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On Location With The XDCAM Ex?

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Michael Slowe
On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 17, 2007 at 12:18:54 pm

I desparately want to move to this camera but am worried about capacity. On location as a documentary maker I dare not have less than say three hours HD capacity. The 16 Gig cards cost currently about


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Craig Seeman
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 2:43:47 am

How about a MacBookPro (or Vaio) and then burn to disc of your choice (DVD-R, DL-DVD, Blu-ray, US>XDCAM recorder).

Given the likely initial price of 32GB cards, you can probably buy a laptop with 34 port for around the same price.

The good thing about the laptop workflow is that you can send back discs to "home base" and have a backup stay with you.

Actually even two 8GB cards and a laptop can certainly rival having to bringing a box of tapes.

Now I'd really like to see a "sub-laptop" for this.

The advantage of cards vs tape for doc work is:
1) the ease and speed of which you can make backups compared to tape
2) the ability to keep shooting with one card while offloading the other card compared to having to stop and change tapes.


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blub06
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 6:04:19 am

Doing media management on location while your shooting is insane. Working on a set or roving location is hard enough without adding IT work on the side. This new static memory thing from Sony Sandisk is overly expensive, (Sony seems not to have learned anything from the P2 fiasco) and unusable for many types of shoots, as in needing lots of tapes.

Chris


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Bruce
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 9:44:47 am

I think that prices will fall quickly for the SxS cards. Sony will see others using compact flash (infinity etc ) and have to drop the prices. I have ordered an EX1 and intend to have enough cards for a days shoot. I don't think that it is feasible to mess around with downloading whilst shooting - too much pressure. One wrong move and disaster is at hand.


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Michael Slowe
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 11:05:57 am

I totally agree with those that decry downloading on location. As you say shooting a doc. "as it happens" is hard enough as it is! Anyhow buying laptops and drives is probably no cheaper than buying extra cards in the end. I wonder if there will be a rental market for cards just to supply the need for emergency extras for the one shoot?


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Bruce
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 11:47:51 am

As the cards are relatively 'cheap' I cannot see a profitable market for card hire. There is another possible avenue to go down - the Convergent Design new card recorder that could be plugged into the HD SDI output socket. This unit will use ordinary fast compact flash cards. This unit could transform many cameras in an economical way to produce files for direct ingest into an NLE.


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Craig Seeman
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 1:11:38 pm

Juan Martinez of Sony has said that a firmware upgrade will happen to allow the EX to take cheaper cards. During his Power Point display he showed a potentially compatible 8GB card at about $190.

One rental house where I'm located has already quoted me a price of about $50 a day for an 8GB card.

I have no problem downloading during a shoot with an assistant. I like the idea of burning discs as security. One can easily have hard drive and two disc back ups done in the time it takes to copy a tape. The xfer time to laptop is VERY FAST. It will take about 5 minutes to copy 50 minutes of video. You can burn DVDs at 16x or Blu-ray at about 2-4x. I also feel more secure sending a set of discs to a client knowing a have a set of my own. There's NO easy way to dub tapes during a shoot unless you happen to bring a deck or want to go back and forth from camera to hard drive to camera. With laptop, the client can even view the video on the monitor and decide whether we stay at a location or move on. That's a lot easier and less risky than screening tapes in the camera.

Keep in mind that burning on to disc along with the clip browser also means the client will not need a compatible deck to play the shots.

Sony also says if you change the .mp4 to .ts the files can be copied to Blu-ray disc (without any further compression) and the client can play the video on a Blu-ray player or PS3. The 35mbps falls within the 40mbps playback of mpeg2.ts files.

All this makes it much easier to deliver masters securely (you can easily have backup for yourself) to client for easy viewing from location.


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rafalaos
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 12:58:01 pm

When I go to film I end up easily with 15 hours footage. Three tapes per day or so.
My idea is a laptop and two 250Gb FW800 HDs to the field. Then back in town, data BlueRay for archiving.
BTW I have a question that I placed here but not answer. When you download from the memory cards to your HD, which kind of file your getting there? Are you downloading the original MPG2? can you bring those files directly to the FC time-line?
Rafael

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Craig Seeman
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 2:23:01 pm

Sony has an XDCAM xfer plugin for FCP 6.0.2. It converts the .mp4 to .mov.

You can certainly backup the .mp4 to hard drive or optical disc. Sony also says you can change the .mp4 to .ts and the resultant file can be played on Blu-ray player or PS3 (which is a Blu-ray player).


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Mark Palmos
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Dec 26, 2007 at 1:24:10 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Sony also says you can change the .mp4 to .ts and the resultant file can be played on Blu-ray player or PS3 (which is a Blu-ray player)."

Craig, I wonder if you can change the .mov to .ts to do the same trick? If not, wihout any other equimpent one would have to double up on transfers to the mac.

I dont have a blueray to try it on.

Mark


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Rafael Amador
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Dec 26, 2007 at 4:35:03 pm

And why not with a standard DVD-5? The Compressor HD DVDs presets supports 29'4 Mbps VBR for 4.2.0 MPG2.
rafael

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Craig Seeman
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Dec 26, 2007 at 6:45:24 pm

[Rafael Amador] "And why not with a standard DVD-5? The Compressor HD DVDs presets supports 29'4 Mbps VBR for 4.2.0 MPG2. "

I'm not sure if HD-DVD supports Transport Streams. That could work if it did.
Just to be clear, changing the .mp4 extension to .ts doesn't require any encoding. You copy the file, change the extension, burn to Blu-ray. It's a fast way to give the client a master they can view. They'd only need a $300-$400 Blu-ray player.


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Rafael Amador
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Dec 27, 2007 at 5:10:47 am

Hi Craig,
Many new things to try.
If funny how many times is just a matter of changing the extension to make some files playable by QT.
Few days ago a friend of mine (PC user) brought me some . m2p (not .mp2) files that QT couldn't open. Just changing the extension to .mpg they played fine. The same happens with the .DAT files that comes in the VCDs. They show up as Text files. But replacing .DAT by .mpg QT can play them well.
Rafael

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Glaremedia
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 18, 2007 at 9:46:26 pm

Might be worth taking a look at the new Sony HVR 7 camera which records to both solid state and tape

http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=so...


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Craig Seeman
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 19, 2007 at 5:07:44 am

But doesn't compare to the EX1. 1/2" vs 1/3" chip and I doubt it will come close to the low light performance of the EX1 which can be critical in many doc situation. It's also an HDV camera and that's another can of worms I won't go into.

35mbps XDCAM has already been approved by some broadcasters/cable for acquisition which is not the case for HDV.

If one MUST have hand held tape you're going to have to live with a lot of limitations that aren't there in the EX1.

There certainly can be situations where card based recording can be a problem but I'd find HDV 1/3" and poor low light performance much more of a limitation.

[Glaremedia] "Might be worth taking a look at the new Sony HVR 7 camera which records to both solid state and tape
"




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Chris Babbitt
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 19, 2007 at 5:01:30 pm

The review I read claims the camera is rated at 1.5 lux minimum resolution. How does that compare with the EX?


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Michael Slowe
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 19, 2007 at 7:26:57 pm

Couldn't agree more with Craig. The Ex is THE camera of this size and price. The larger chips and proper lens do it for me but we just hope that the cards get cheaper and the transfer / storage questions get worked out.


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rafalaos
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 20, 2007 at 6:05:34 pm

[Michael Slowe] "he Ex is THE camera of this size and price"
THE CAMERA will be when the EX will record 422 at 50Mbps. Can be done right now. And for not much higher price. Soon the market will demand that quality with that size. Sony will repackage it and will rise the price of the camera..while, hopefully, will low the price of the solid memories. Sony is really mean, but they make good equipment.
rafael



PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Joe Yaggi
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 3:37:55 am

Hey Folks,

Is there anything like the HVR-DR60 (hopefully with a much bigger memory) for use in the field with EX? I too can spend weeks in the jungle or some gawd forsaken place where keeping even my laptop charged can be dodgy. Needless to say we need to carry lots of batteries.

Was it Simon that wrote there'd be a firmware update for cache recording? Any ideas when that will be out?

I also recall reading that transfers to XDCAM discs was problematic. Any new info on that?

Unfortunately our dealer here in Indonesia says we're looking at January before the camera reaches our shores. Singapore's also sold out and behind and it hasn't even arrived! Certainly could use the camera NOW, not to mention the UN Climate Summit next month... Oops, sorry for rambling. See, there are benefits to living in the west!

Ah well, guess all the bugs will be worked out :)

Joe



Joe Yaggi
Creative Supervisor, Director, DP
Jungle Run Productions
http://www.jungle-run.com


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Don Greening
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 5:29:40 am

[Joe Yaggi] "Was it Simon that wrote there'd be a firmware update for cache recording?"

Are you referring to Simon Wyndham? Sony has stated that eventually there will be a firmware update for the EX that will allow third party flash memory like SanDisk to be used. I heard that once that takes place that the price of a 16 Gig card will drop to around the $200.00 mark USD.

[Joe Yaggi] "I also recall reading that transfers to XDCAM discs was problematic. Any new info on that?"

XDCAM disks are generally considered to be the most reliable backup at the moment with a projected shelf life of 50 years plus. The problem with XDCAM disks is that right now you can only record the 1440x1080 frame size to the disks, whereas the frame size of the EX is a full 1920x1080. Effectively, it's a down-convert. You can bet that that will change in the future.

As for backup for your particular shooting environment you might want to consider the forthcoming flash memory recording solution from Convergent Design. It uses inexpensive non-proprietary SanDisk memory (along with others) that is available now. Download the .pdf here:

http://www.convergent-design.com/downloads/Flash%20XDR%20Spec%20and%20FAQ.p...

- Don





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rafalaos
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 11:59:14 am

[Don Greening] "right now you can only record the 1440x1080 frame size"
Don,
I guess that this is a problem if you want a kind of auto-playable disc or an editable disc. Is'n it?
But about to record standard data BlueRaY? Is posible to save the files as they were in the SS card?
I can not dream in any device to play the XDCAM disc, so having my archives as files that I just can drag to an HD when needed would be my option.
Rafael


PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Craig Seeman
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 1:32:01 pm

Sony rep told me a nifty "trick." Apparently you can change the .mp4 to a .ts (Transport Stream) and the files will PLAY on a Blu-ray disk in any Blu-ray player. No compression or authoring needed. The 35mbps VBR falls within Blu-rays playable 40mbps data rate.

Of course one might copy the files from card to disc and burn the free Sony clip browser on to the disc for the client to view if they don't have a Blu-ray player. This workflow seems a lot easier than handing the client a tape or even XDCAM disc which they then need to have or hunt down or rent a player for.




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Joe Yaggi
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 2:38:56 pm

Hi Don,

Thanks for your reply. I've downloaded the Convergent Design info.

I was referring to Simon Wyndham but what I read was that there would be a firm ware update for cache recording where, like the F900, Varicam, your camera, in standby, is logging what it sees so when you hit record, like trying to get some furry creature doing some weird furry creature habit, you've got the previous 3-7 seconds as soon as you hit record...

Anyone aware of that or was I being dyslexic again?

Joe

Joe Yaggi
Creative Supervisor, Director, DP
Jungle Run Productions
http://www.jungle-run.com


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Don Greening
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 23, 2007 at 3:59:47 am

[Joe Yaggi] "so when you hit record, like trying to get some furry creature doing some weird furry creature habit, you've got the previous 3-7 seconds as soon as you hit record...
"


Right. I heard about that rumour as well, but don't know squat about whether this is a built in feature of the EX that can be activated at some future date or not. It's a VERY cool feature that would be a blessing for wild life shooters, especially. Having something like a 20 sec. RAM buffer in-camera that constantly updates like a revolving door would be just about right.

The big boy cameras have that feature and now I'm wondering if Sony will choose to keep something like that reserved for the bigger XDCAMS, along with 4 channel 48k PCM audio. Sony probably could have made the latter feature available in the EX but then there would be no incentive for EX owners to upgrade to the other XDCAM family members.

- Don





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Joe Yaggi
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 2:40:03 pm

Hi Don,

Thanks for your reply. I've downloaded the Convergent Design info.

I was referring to Simon Wyndham but what I read was that there would be a firm ware update for cache recording where, like the F900, Varicam etc, your camera, in standby, is logging what it sees so when you hit record, like trying to get some furry creature doing some weird furry creature habit, you've got the previous 3-7 seconds as soon as you hit record...

Anyone aware of that or was I being dyslexic again?

Joe

Joe Yaggi
Creative Supervisor, Director, DP
Jungle Run Productions
http://www.jungle-run.com


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rafalaos
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 12:11:21 pm

[Joe Yaggi] " even my laptop charged can be dodgy."
And batteries in the MBPs run fast.
BTW, How are prices in Indonesia comparing with Singapore?
I'm in Laos and always bought everything in Singapore (Expandore). I heard that now Malaysia have very good prices.
Rafael



PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Joe Yaggi
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 2:30:58 pm

Hi Rafa,

Indonesia is generally 10-20% more than Singapore because of the duty coming in. I could just fly over, pick it up and and carry it in, something I've been considering. But I'm hoping to build a relationship with the guys here in hopes that they'll come on board with some sponsorship at some point!

Joe

Joe Yaggi
Creative Supervisor, Director, DP
Jungle Run Productions
http://www.jungle-run.com


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rafalaos
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 4:29:04 pm

Hi Joe,
Thanks for the replay.
I've been having a look to your web site. Very interesting works. I wish I could have a team as yours.
If you ever think of coming to film in Laos, look for me in the Cow.
Rafael

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Joe Yaggi
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 22, 2007 at 5:10:36 pm

Hey thanks Rafa,

I really appreciate that and I'll take you up on that offer one day. In fact, a buddy of mine just opened a bar in Ventienne (can't think of the name, way to late for thinking :) and we've been threatening to descend!

Best,

Joe



Joe Yaggi
Creative Supervisor, Director, DP
Jungle Run Productions
http://www.jungle-run.com


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rafalaos
Re: On Location With The XDCAM Ex?
on Nov 23, 2007 at 9:37:46 am

Hi Joe,
If for any chance your friends name is Marc Stokcwell, the name of his bar is: Martini.
Careful Joe, if you love jungles and white-waters, you may don't want to leave this country:-)
Rafael

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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