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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 August 1st, 2008, 09:03 AM   #1
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PC-Based Video Editing Software for EX1/SxS

What do you recommend for PC-based video editing software?

I was thinking of Vegas but wanted to be sure there wasn't anything better out there.

... or should I think about moving to a Mac and Final Cut?
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:22 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan of Vegas so I'd recomend FCP or Premiere; don't have XDCAM EX experience with either one but I believe both can handle the format.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #3
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What is it that you don't like about Vegas Xan?
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Pick an NLE that works for you.

Avid MC3, Edius, PPro CS3 or Vegas...They're not all the same and even though they edit the EX's footage, that doesn't mean they will work for you. There is no substitute for hands-on experience.

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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:43 AM   #5
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Don't exclude Avid Liquid. It works GREAT with XDCam and is real time with all the MPEG2 formats like HDV and XDCam (as long as you have enough computer horsepower). As an example its as fast on my dual core 2.0ghz laptop as my friends DUAL Quad core Mac with FCP.

Liquid is in the process of becoming a new product. The latest version will be the last version of the software in its current form. However, I do think it is a solid product as is and I use it every day.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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I use Vegas Pro 8 and like it a lot. Knowing very little about video editing I found it very easy to get into and I can do everything I want to do (at the moment) in it after paying for the VASST video training material and buying the book by Douglas Spotted Eagle. But it's disappointing how few users there seem to be out there so, if you hit problems.....

For me Vegas biggest disadvantage is lack of plug-ins. I often see plug-ins I'd like only to find out they're available for "the big boys" (Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Avid) but not Sony Vegas

Vegas FINALLY got Magic Bullet Looks a few weeks ago (Hoorah!), but if you check the user manual you'll find it's somewhat hampered with regard to the UI compared with other NLE versions, allegedly because of "problems with the Sony plug-in interface".

I won't buy Adobe Premiere on principle - the company treats its customers like sh*t and every time there's an upgrade to their products (I've been using Photoshop and InDesign for years) it becomes a nightmare of trying to get what you've paid for to be activated/registered.

So, at the moment I'm saving like crazy for a decent Mac and Final Cut Pro. I'm dreading the move (I'm not an Apple fan - I think they're all about "looks over substance" and you only have to look at what they've done with the Apple iPhone SDK to realise that monopolies are evil). I dipped my toe in the water with a Mac Mini a few years ago but I never really took to the thing. However I feel if I don't make the switch soon it will be difficult to switch. Most forums seem to be full of Final Cut Pro users so at least if you hit a problem there are people who can help.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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I love all the NLEs, they are fantastic tools and of course, each has its pros and cons. I use Vegas and all I can say is that I LOVE it. It is a very intuitive program, there is really nothing that doesn't make sense when using it. And it has the most powerful audio engine of all the NLE's built right into it. Like Ian said, my only complaint is the smaller amount of plugins available. But when I need to do a lot of effects, I use After Effects and that has about the largest number of plugins of any application. So I use After Effects to do anything that needs a special touch, and I use Vegas to do my regular editing and audio.

If you are independent, then Vegas works just fine. If you are going to be doing a lot of interaction with post houses or a colorist, then FCP or Avid makes more sense. I love macs, they have a lot of eye-candy and an intelligent operating system. But I have never been tempted to switch because of the lack of competition which keeps things sharp. If you need an professional audio program, PC has 8 and Mac has 2. If you need to do a lot of 3D work, you have a lot more options on a PC. Again, I love using macs and all of their tools are very professional, there are just fewer choices and I like choices.

I don't know if a solution has been found yet, but a lot of FCP guys here were having difficulty getting a decent SD video made from EX1 footage. If you are comfortable with Vegas and prefer using PCs, you might want to save a few dollars and supplement it with Adobe Products. But if you are needing to interact with other editors, post houses, colorists, etc. then FCP would be a much better solution and would be worth the switch.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:15 PM   #8
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@Chris: I also love Liquid and just today I checked some EX-raw-files and it worked fine. But I am not sure of staying with Liquid because my information is that Avid's folks will let it die. There won't be a real Liquid succesor.

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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:41 PM   #9
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I never heard of anybody that switched from Vegas to Adobe, I know a few (including myself) who switched from Premiere to Vegas, and I talked to the guys who switched from Vegas to FCP, and everybody is happy.
If we're talking PC, my vote is for Vegas, I love it for it's stability, low system resources demands, native MXF editing and there is nothing I can't do in Vegas that I can in Premiere, but that's PC.
FCP is another one I would love to try, but that's MAC, which for me means $6-8K hardware/software upgrade plus the learning time, not sure it it worth it, but I keep it in my mind for the time when I'm not gonna be as busy as I am now.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:55 PM   #10
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I'm with you. Used Premiere for two years, switched to Vegas two years ago. I have to say I'm shocked, though, that Vegas doesn't support native ingest of EX1/3 clips!
Sony EX3, Vegas 9.0 64bit, Windows 7(64), Core i7, 12GB, RAID1 & 0, HotSwap SATA, 30" LCD(2560x1600)-GTX285 & 24" LCD(1360x768)-7800GT
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Old August 1st, 2008, 02:04 PM   #11
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I use Vegas 8 and it is a real powerful editor. The 3rd party plug-in market sucks compared to whats available for Premiere/FCP as everyone says). I use some professional Direct X Audio plug-ins which gives me access to fantastic sound tools normally used for producing music. I like the multi-camera edit (could be improved). Editing is intuitive and fast from the timeline, just click and drag.

** Weak points
- Preview Window - I know its a preview window but put on a couple of plug-ins and a 1080i clip slows down from 25fps to 10 and lower.
- Odd unrepeatable glitches which make Vegas crash - not everyone expereinces this - but Vegas on my PC will just exit without even a error pop-up - I think this is becuase the weakness of an open platform means it has work under a myriad combination of processors, graphics cards, memory and SOny can't test for every combination - BUT its inexcusable to crash without invoking a error pop-up.
- until 64bit Vegas comes out even the fastest machines today arent fast enough for me - renders to MPEG2 are slow - and unlike Premiere there isnt any hardware accelerators - I hope they are working on making it work on 8 cores

I like Vegas but I will move to FCP on MaC because of the BRILLIANT matrox MXO product that allows pro color correction a possibility on Apple or LCD/plasma TVs - plus there is AJA hardware for professional interfacing. FCP is of course MUCH more expensive than Vegas so NOT a fair comparison. Without the ability to color correct on a std LCD you just cant take it any further. (unless I;ve missed something.....)
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Old August 1st, 2008, 02:28 PM   #12
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Jan Ozer has an interesting article about this subject in Event DV.


In terms of why we choose an editor Jan says:

"it came down to three reasons: "the complete product," "first love," and sheer, subjective preference.".............................."The forces marrying an editor to his or her product are just too strong, and the features differentiating the various products are simply not that great."

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Old August 1st, 2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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I use Avid Liquid and Media Composer V3. Liquid is a fantastic editor - very much underrated. It is the only real native MPEG2 editor around - which is why it works so well, but you will need a decent graphics card to edit 35mps 1080. Once again I agree here that all NLE's are capable of doing a great job - its the person behind the keyboard that makes a difference.

I am not real fussed on the macs either and agree with the choice argument - although dabbling with FCP it seemed a nice editor, but definitely not better than Liquid or MC3 for me.

Last edited by Graeme Fullick; August 1st, 2008 at 09:57 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 06:47 PM   #14
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Just have to add in here.... :-) Cineform, did I say Cineform?? ;-)

I'd go with Adobe CS3 suite because you also get Adobe After Effects and Premier Pro
and Encore and...lots of other software...
so a turn key solution from shooting the footage to the final output to DVD/Blu Ray production.

And, I'd get Vegas ( you can find it very well priced )... just get a cheap copy of Vegas 7
and upgrade it to Vegas 8.. (from B&H Photo)

And to tie it all together... I'd get your choice of a Cineform product...

This package will let you get some very nice plugins, like Looks to color grade your footage
and other plugins... that you will need over time...
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 02:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
... just get a cheap copy of Vegas 7 and upgrade it to Vegas 8.
I'm in England and there don't seem to be any copies of Vegas 7 available now.

It seems like the cheapest way for me to buy Vegas 8 is through one of the private sellers on Amazon UK, but they're based in the US. Would there be any problems with support or upgrade if I buy a copy from outside England?
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