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Steven Hill
XDCAM HD more information
on May 20, 2006 at 8:59:54 am

Well we are now the owners of a XDCAM F350/ Fujinon XS 17x.
Have been playing with it for a couple of days now and we are in the process of
gathering information about the new capabilites of the XDCAM HD format.

Completed a shoot in our studio today. Things went well.

Just a few quick questions.
Has anyone compared the different types of ingest?
Until MXF is supported by FCP and Avid, what is the best method for capturing the best
image?
Will capture card like BlackMagic and AJA Kona LH be a better solution than native FCP MXF conversion?
Advantages and disadvantages?
What about the EDL export function and Essence markers? Is anybody using these features?
Has anybody played with the Gamma settings to create series of Profiles? If so any sugestions?
What are the Strengths and weakness of the format?
Any suggestions for a field monitor?

So many questions and we are really just looking for some tips or "make sure you do this and nerver do that" kind of suggestions.

We will be playing with our new toy often over the couple of months.

Anything will help

Thank you
Steve





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filifer
Re: XDCAM HD more information
on May 23, 2006 at 10:17:23 pm

Well, I think the best way to get high quality from a PDW-F350 is using the HD-SDI out. You can use a BlackMagic HD (any model) and capture at uncompressed HD quality. Of course you will need a lot of GB in your system. Really I want to see the MXF and direct ingestion quality, because I suppose the best you can achieve only by HD-SDI.
Here we have a 330, and the output is analog component HD, is more difficult to manage. Now BlackMagic is selling a Extreme HD (with analog component HD in), I am waiting for one unit to try it.
For the monitor issue I think a good option will be the LMD-9050 from Sony. Is portable, LCD, and multiformat with HD-SDI input. Use the same battery than the camera. The list price is high (High Definition Price)
4.266 US$.
Good luck


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Steven Hill
Re: XDCAM HD more information
on May 24, 2006 at 4:11:31 am

Thanks
I have used the MXF Import in FCP. It works by rewrapping the MXF into Quciktime file HDV codec.
It works well and keeps the file size down and still RT.
Today we also received the Panasonic's BT-LH1700W 17". It looks fantastic! It has AC/DC adaptor. 2 HDSDI in with switch loop out. Nice.
The work flow will start to work it self out.
Tommorrow another all day shoot indoors on location. It should put the camera to the test.

Steve




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cow
filifer
Re: XDCAM HD more information
on May 24, 2006 at 4:56:00 am

Thanks.

How is the process to capture MXF in FCP? I have a old version and I am upgrading to 5.1 this week... and really I am not familiar with MXF

regards


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Jay Kinghorn
Re: XDCAM HD more information
on May 31, 2006 at 10:09:11 pm

The concept is simple. Once you have the flip4mac addition to FCP installed you just click import mxf file and select whatever media you want to work with. However, I keep ending up with horizontally smashed stuff when working in an HDV timeline. I'm assuming that a little trouble shooting will solve this.


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David Boonton
Re: XDCAM HD more information
on Jul 2, 2006 at 9:59:22 pm

You wrote

Until MXF is supported by FCP and Avid, what is the best method for capturing the best
image?

File based ingest will yield superior image quality than SDI ingest. (And much faster) When you capture via a card you are doing multiple transcodes on the algorithim. In other words you leave the MPEG-2 compression of the camera, go to baseband (which is analog not digital) then transcode to a QT codec supported by the capture card. Many of these cards tell you their codecs are uncompressed, but in reality there is not such a thing as an uncompressed codec, as every algorithim applies some sort of compression.
Even HDCAM-SR, which is actually MPEG-4 Studio Profile, is compressed.

You then transcode on the way out back to the XDcam deck to MPEG-2.

Will capture card like BlackMagic and AJA Kona LH be a better solution than native FCP MXF conversion?
Advantages and disadvantages?

See above. Remember you are not "converting" the MXF file. You are only unwrapping the metadata and
re-wrapping in QT. The essence media, in other words what you shot, remains native on the NLE timeline.
In the computer NLE world, native MXF editing is not relevant and will never happen. You do not edit metadata to create your finished sequence, you edit the essence media.

What about the EDL export function and Essence markers? Is anybody using these features?

There is no NLE in the world that can edit the .SMI file (ClipList) generated from the cameras and decks.
Only Sony XPRI edit system can do this and that is no longer available. Hopefully you will see this feature added in future NLE's as this is a truly powerful aspect of XDCAM.

Avid is the only editing system that can read and directly interpret metadata in Sony's implementation of MXF (Operational Pattern 1a) In the higher end Avid's, Essence Marks are translated to Avid Locators, so the ability to jumnp to a particular scene can be done easily. In addition, Good Shot flags can also be read, created by Sony's PDZ-1 software. No other NLE's can do this as of this writing and it will be a while before any of them do this. Most are still battling with codec support. Avid will release full codec support for XDCAM-HD in the next few weeks for Newscutter and Media Composer systems and portable software solutions.

Has anybody played with the Gamma settings to create series of Profiles? If so any sugestions?

Yes, the sky is the limit here, experiment and save what you like. 64 Scene files can be saved in the camera. Start with the built in Cine files, there are 4 of them, and work from there.


What are the Strengths and weakness of the format?

Metadata, proxy manipulation, non linear access to clips you shot on disc, robust, cost effective, etc

As you can see I am a fan :)

Any suggestions for a field monitor?

Use CRT with HD-SDI in if you can. You get SMPTE 1920*10870 output that way for critical monitoring.
Stay away from LCD and the like. Or just use the built in LCD, it's very accurate.



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Timothy Duncan
Re: XDCAM HD more information
on Jul 28, 2006 at 3:23:01 pm

Matrox Axio is the best solution I've found for handling MXF, including native MXF timecode. We have two Final Cut suites here but we've been using Axio to do all MXF based editing for a couple of months now. On an average project, we are saving about 2 Terabytes of hard drive space on our SAN. We've had up to 1:50:00 of HQ footage fit on a single XDCAM disc. (That's only 23 Gigs!). We have a workstation setup to do the MXF transfers so that everyone connected in our workgroup has instant access to the XDCAM footage.

Axio can mix all formats on the same timeline including HDV. (It allows you to even monitor HDV via HD-SDI outputs while connected to an HDV device 1394). So, I can mix MXF, HDV, and uncompressed HD on the same timeline all real-time with all effects real-time, too. All renders can be done in full uncompressed so no new compression is introduced. Color correction and multiple secondaries all easily real-time, making it a very enjoyable editing experience. Plus, you get a real-time down convert from 23.98 to 29.97 SD SDI simultaneously.

We've done several projects now completely MXF based. Axio does not write back out to XDCAM HD MXF files at this time. We use the XDCAM HD as acquisition only, and master out to HDCam. But, we can output HD-SDI to the XDCAM HD as well for archival purposes.

Axio also handles Panasonic MXF files natively allowing you to even mix those with the HDV and XDCAM MXF. It is one heck of a great solution, especially withe the Adobe Production Suite ,which allows you to dynamically link After Effects compositions and Photoshop files in Adobe Premiere Pro. I often make AE comps from the timeline in PPro that other artists here work on while I continue to edit away. (Axio supports MXF files into After Effects as well).

And the bummer for Final Cut is that it only supports 25 mbit HDV from XDCAM HD currently. Axio supports ALL frame rates and data rates.


td


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Ron Exalto
Re: XDCAM HD more information
on Sep 23, 2006 at 11:42:28 pm

Guess somebody is using Axio utils 2.5 a looooooooong time before release ??!!
My Axio doesn't do any MXF files (running 2.0)
2.5 drivers cover all information mentioned in above post but won't be released until november 2006 supposedly.

Bye,

Ron Exalto


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