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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old February 14th, 2008, 08:34 PM   #1
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Workflow question for non-Intel Mac

I have an older G5 (non-Intel) which I will be replacing with a new Intel Mac Pro in a couple of months when I ramp up work with the EX. In the meantime, what's the best way to get files from the camera to this computer?

I'm running the latest FCP 6.0.2 / studio 2 and I'm running OS 10.4 and I am not eager to upgrade to Leopard at the moment. I'm not concerned about speed at the moment, figuring I will just connect the camera via USB for now.

Will my current configuration work? and how?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #2
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My G5 Dual 2.5 works just fine.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #3
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With your current setup the only thing that comes in the EX1 package that won't work will be the XDCam EX Clib Browser. This software needs the intel mac to run.

You should be able to bring the clips in with the XDCam transfer tool into Final Cut just fine though. I'm using a 12" powerbook to offload footage in the field and it's working great.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #4
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I'm using Dual 2.3GHz G5, OS 10.4.11, QT 7.3.1 with Sony XDCAM Transfer Tool 2.1 in FCP 6.0.2 and it works fine although import is only about 1.2x.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #5
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You're fine. I have a dual 2.0 PPC G5 with 3.5GB RAM and 10.4.11 and NOT QT7.4.1 BUT QT7.3.1 == DON'T UPDATE YOUR QUICKTIME, and turn the auto upgrade option off!!! FCP 6.0.2, and Sony's SxS drivers and readers for my Mac, my Pentium XP machine, and my MacBook Pro.

Workflow (tried, tested, true) -

1) shoot SxS, mount card (using the fast copy on the MacBook Pro 17" you've bought when you didn't upgrade your G5), copy onto TWO firewire HDDs directly from the SxS card, (one HDD sits as archive/emergency backup, the other copy goes to post), check both drives and clips good using the Sony reader program, add metadata (logging) if required, double check all clips and images good, then empty card and recycle;

2) mount firewire HDD on G5, create QT file using Sony's reader/import program;

3) use MPEG Streamclip to batch convert these files into Apple ProRes422 (thereby making another copy, altogether four copies of the camera originals at this point). If the project won't go through a lot of layers and renders, etc., I'd go Apple AIC instead to save on drive space, but since I now have 4TB online I usually go ProRes these days;

4) edit FCP 6.0.2 in ProRes422 (or AIC) as usual. I found that on an older machine such as mine the MXF files took a long time to load and played a little stuttery at times. No problems with ProRes, however, and full camera resolution stays intact. Also ProRes works well with Apple's Color;

5) make standard DVDs... yeuch! No, actually, I have had two real honest-to-goodness finish-in-HD jobs since converting my entire workflow to HD a year ago. And around 60 SD jobs still. Hopefully that will all change before too long;

6) on client okay and acceptance (and the final check clearing) delete emergency backup HDD set and the first QT conversion clip set, leaving you with the ProRes camera masters and one backup original MXF file set (and one more chance to screw up in case you deleted something by mistake, which, after all these years, can still happen to the best of us...)

7) (I've not taken this step yet but will have to soon) archive everything to LTO tape or similar.

Don't forget that even though Apple's latest and greatest Mac Pros ship with Blu Ray burners, there isn't any full software support as yet via DVD Pro, so you'll have to work around that until it arrives if you need to finish in HD.

Broadcast outputs have been in ProRes422 file out to a local (Los Angeles) HD duplication facility. If you're spitting out broadcast D5s you'll probably need safety clones as well.

BTW I have an Aja Kona 2 setup in my G5 and to be honest I haven't used it very much at all, save for monitoring. Maybe one day I'll crack the manual open...

Finally, when you upgrade, keep your original machine. IMO it's worth much more as a second machine in case your sexy fast new one crashes, or as a render/QMaster machine, or for "other tasks" while your prime machine is rendering. JM2C, of course.
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