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MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170

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Tim Ryan
MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:51:27 pm

Has anyone used the new Panasonic HPX170 or Sony EX3 to EASILY edit in FCP using a Mac Book Pro?

I'm going to be producing two projects and am trying to determine which camera to use based on workflow with the MBP. I'm fine with the image quality of either camera. The first project entails editing a series of short interview profiles from several 20-minute captured interviews (handheld and tripod) blended with graphics, music and text. I might be using a 35 mm adaptor. The second project is an Internet cooking show with two tripod and handheld mounted cameras on a single subject (chef), music, graphics and text.

My editing tools include a Mac Book Pro (2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/4 GB SDRAM) and a 2 TB G-Tech FW800 external HD.

Can I use either tapeless cameras (P2 or SxS) as my deck without having to purchase additional hardware? Are there any issues with using FW800 to capture and store my footage and to use for editing? Other than more P2/SxS/Firestore media storage, is there any other hardware I'll need to purchase for seamless editing? I don't think Firestore offers a drive for the EX3. Does the Sony's PHU-60K works well with FCP?

I've been warned by loyal Panasonic shooters that the EX3 uses HDV's long-GPO MPEG2 format and takes more horsepower and longer encoding times. Seems like there's a lot more positive press on the P2 vs. SxS (same for DVCPRO HD vs. HDV)?

Thanks for your input!

Tim

MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:43:01 pm

As far as EX is concerned:
Take SXS card out of camera and put in Express slot of MacBookPro and copy video to hard drive.
Camera keeps shooting with other cards so you NEVER stop shooting.
SXS offload can be 4x to 8x real time depending on how you offload. That would be 7 to 15 minutes to offload nearly 60 minutes of video.
Wrap video in BPAV folders to MOV for use in FCP. That's around 6-8x real time in my experience
Set FCP timeline to XDCAM EX codec but render in AppleProRes so you avoid Long GOP conform.



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Tim Ryan
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:09:40 pm

thanks Craig.

Sounds like a deck (or even the camera's SxS reader) is not necessary if I can simply use my MBP's Express slot. Is there a way to downconvert while editing or is that what the Apple Pro Res does?

Do you recommend additional SxS cards or the Sony Hard Drive for field interviews where I won't be able to bring a MPB and an external hard drive?



MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 5:00:22 pm

[Tim Ryan] "Sounds like a deck (or even the camera's SxS reader) is not necessary if I can simply use my MBP's Express slot."

Actually when people who have been using other formats and consider EX series and the cost of ownership, one should point out the savings because one doesn't need a deck. The slot is all you need. You'd need the Sony SxS reader (generally) if you use a desktop.

[Tim Ryan] "s there a way to downconvert while editing or is that what the Apple ProRes does? "

It depends on what you mean by "downconvert." You can downconvert after editing by using Compressor. You can edit EX source in an SD timeline (ideally 8 bit uncompressed or Apple ProRes).
If you edit HD, using the EX codec timeline with AppleProRes render is fastest. That's nothing to do with downconvert though. It avoids the GOP confirm which makes rendering very fast with no loss of quality.

[Tim Ryan] "Do you recommend additional SxS cards or the Sony Hard Drive for field interviews where I won't be able to bring a MPB and an external hard drive? "

This is literally changing day by day. The hard drive is far less expensive than the equivalent SxS cost. Some folks are having issues with it. It can't record slow mo (which uses a very high data rate). Many people are reporting success with fast SDHC cards which are much less expensive than either SxS or the Sony Hard Drive. 32GB Class 6 SDHC cards are on the way (by December I hear). You may well be able to get two 32GB cards and adaptors to work with EX for much less than half the price of either a 16GB SxS card or 60GB Sony Hard Drive. The downside (so far) is no reliable slow mo and slower transfer times than SxS (but with those cards you don't have to worry about fast transfers in the field).





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Tim Ryan
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 5:13:47 pm

Craig - Long render times and pushing my Mac Book Pro to its limits with huge files is a concern. You addressed the question by translating what I was trying to explain when I said downconvert.

MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Michael Palmer
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 5:10:29 pm

The SxS card reader is something you will need and for $259 it is worth it. Your not always going to transfer files on a laptop, so build this small cost into the package.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Tim Ryan
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:03:30 pm

michael. Can I use the SxS reader to feed footage from camera directly to thumb or hard drive when computer not on hand?

MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Michael Palmer
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:00:44 pm

Can I use the SxS reader to feed footage from camera directly to thumb or hard drive when computer not on hand?
NO, you need a computer, the card reader is just a box that the SXS card fits into and connects to any computer via USB. You will need this however there could be generic alternatives turning up as it seems there are some folks working to find alternatives flash memory cards that work with adapters to curb the high cost of the SxS cards.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/948870-post400.html


Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Michael Palmer
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:56:17 pm

Here is what I know, between the two cameras there is a huge difference in the resolution size. I believe the P2 is still a native anamorphic 720p/1080i and the new EX series is a true 1920x1080p full raster HD camera. As to work flow they are essentially the same except the P2 cards won't just insert into your laptop and you will need additional gear if you can't use the camera for importing. The SxS cards work perfectly with the new Mac Book Pro units and so does editing in the field. I wouldn't worry to much about rendering as this should really be done in an online suite if you're really going to broadcast. IMO there is no comparison between the view finder, the profession jacks for TC in & out, Genlock and remote control for a paint box, and with the new firmware update true 24p out of the HD-SDI, the exchangeable lens and the frame rate controls makes the EX3 the better choice between the two. You say you are shooting with two cameras, so how much time will you say have the timecode in sync every day.



Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Tim Ryan
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 6:11:21 pm

I just booked a job for late October and realized, in addition to not having a new camera yet, that some clients like to get the RAW footage captured during a shoot unedited. What's the going process now for tapeless shooters who need to hand off something to say an advertising agency immediately following a shoot? Would I just convert the footage to .mov files in FCP and export to a DVD?

MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 9, 2008 at 6:32:15 pm

[Tim Ryan] "I just booked a job for late October and realized, in addition to not having a new camera yet, that some clients like to get the RAW footage captured during a shoot unedited."

Well that's a piece of cake IMHO.

Either copy the BPAV to optical discs or to external hard drive or even to USB thumb drives. Include Sony Clip Browser for Mac and Windows and they can play the source on both OS, no deck or compatibility issues. VLC 0.94 (also free) will also play the clips but don't show the time code. Don't forget you can hand them one copy and keep another for yourself.

Compare that to handing master tapes to a client with no backup. Or HDV tapes and the issue with Sony, Canon, JVC compatibility depending how it was shot (and the need for the client to have a deck).




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Tim Ryan
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:01:31 pm

craig. Can I do a footage dump without a computer? Does a SxS card reader feed directly from camera to external hard drive or thumb drive?

I'm thinking about situations in the field where client needs copy of footage in hand. Not always going to have computer with me.

MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 3:06:07 pm

[Tim Ryan] "craig. Can I do a footage dump without a computer? Does a SxS card reader feed directly from camera to external hard drive or thumb drive? "
As Michael says elsewhere, you need a computer at the moment. People are hoping for "P2 Store" like devices but costs make a lap top more flexible although the size can be awkward.

[Tim Ryan] "I'm thinking about situations in the field where client needs copy of footage in hand. Not always going to have computer with me. "
It'll be interesting to see what's happening with Flash card technology and prices. Even so I still like the idea of the computer so both the client and I can have copies. You can certainly use the computer to copy to external hard drive, burn to optical disc, copy to USB thumb drive. Remember the copy speeds are several times real time (except for optical disc).

My fantasy would be to see an iPhone type sized device with a port of some sort. One could not only copy but view the video. Basically it would be a "micro" laptop (ultra ultra portable). As it is my camera bag has a slot for a 15" laptop so I can take my MacBookPro with me. One can get a Windows laptop with Express port for much less though if budget is a concern.





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Tim Ryan
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 3:46:08 pm

In reference to asking again about dumping to drive without computer, it sounds like the P2 cameras can dump directly to external hard drive without computer (OR P2 Store device).

Here's a response the same question on a different post (FCP forum):

---------

Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
by Shane Ross on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:33:56 am

[Tim Ryan] "does a direct dump to external hard drive (without computer) apply to either the EX3 or the P2 cameras"

I have zero experience with the EX series. But P2 I know...it works with the P2 cameras.

[Tim Ryan] " is it via a firewire cable (mini from camera) and can I select files to "save to" from a camera menu? "

Firewire or USB...and yes, it is all done in the camera menus.

[Tim Ryan] "I read elsewhere that using a USB 2.0 external was a mistake"

Only as MEDIA drives...drives where you store the media you are editing. Perfectly fine for offloading cards and archiving data.

[Tim Ryan] " Do you have suggestions for field hard drives (format and brand) to dump from camera to drive without computer?"

LaCie bus powered drives are good. Acomdata I have used with success. These are all bus powered drives that you can attach to the camera or computer. If you want to use firewire and have access to more power, I recommend the CalDigit Firewire VR...as it can do Raid 1 backup (mirrored backup on two drives). You can use this then as your archived storage, as the drives are removable.

I use USB bus powered drives...they get power from the computer or camera (or P2 Gear)...and hold a LOT more than a thumb drive.



Shane




MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 4:07:25 pm

Yes, the EX series can not go to USB drive and there is nothing like P2 Store (yet).

I do have problems with that workflow though.
I don't like to have to tie up the camera to dump to a drive.
I don't trust dumping to a device where there isn't a data check and a visual confirmation.
I don't like the fact there's also no visual confirmation on P2 store even though it obviously doesn't tie up the camera.
That's why I like ClipBrowser 2 with CRC check and being able seeing the clips.
That's why I'd like to see an iPhone size ultra portable.

P2 Store at about $1500 costs for 60GB only slightly less than MacBookPro and much more than various Windows laptops. I don't see it as I device I'd purchase over a laptop, which slides right in to my camera bag. You can certainly use a bus powered drive with a laptop. I would NOT trust camera to bus powered drive as a safe way to handle camera masters.



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Michael Palmer
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 4:10:52 pm

The P2 system does have a stand alone battery operated card reader that can offload the card to an internal hard drive. This comes at a premium price. Tim I think you need to search and read more about these two workflows as these questions can most likely be answered from reading the brochures.
http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-broadcastcameras/cat-xdcam/product-PMWEX3/
http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?display...


Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Noah Kadner
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:06:02 pm

I've done step by step workflows on both P2 and XDCAM EX if you're curious to see exactly what's involved in going with either workflow. In my opinion they are quite evenly matched. The EX3's format is a bit more visually compromised, though arguably the efficiency of XDCAM EX makes up for its long GOPpiness. It's a far cry from standard HDV. The P2 workflow is a lot more supported and battle tested, however to really offload the cards quickly you need an old Powerbook or an expensive P2 drive. With EX3 you get Expresscard compatible memory cards that fit right into current model MacBook Pros, and since the file datarates are more than 50% smaller your transfers are all around much faster. So there you have it- very evenly matched, yet quite different cameras. Here are my discs for each:

http://www.callboxlive.com/store/sony-guidebook-p-39.html

http://www.callboxlive.com/store/panasonic-workflow-with-final-hvx200-p-33....

-Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Tim Ryan
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 17, 2008 at 1:36:52 pm

Hey Noah,
I've decided to go with the HPX170 and invest in a Firestore FS100-160 (in addition to two 16Gb P2 cards). Can you say that the advice and processes used on your DVD on HVX200 workflow apply exactly to the HPX170? Do you reference the FS100 at all within the DVD?

Thanks,

Tim


MacBook Pro
Mac OSX version 10.4.11
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDr SDRAM
FCP 6.0
G-Raid 2 Tb external hard drive


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Michael Palmer
Re: MacBook Pro Edit workflow and Sony EX3 vs. Panasonic HPX170
on Oct 17, 2008 at 3:29:29 pm

I wouldn't go with this combo, I really think you should hold off from the FireStore as hard drive recorders or a thing of the past. I know someone that purchased the P2 HVX-200's and the FireStore units and hated it as they had major issues. I think you should save your money and wait for the Convergent Design Flash XDR or the Nano Flash (compact flash memory) recorder as it will deliver near uncompressed quality way beyond any firewire connection hard drive recorder, also the CF cards have drastically reduce in price and some 32 gig cards are now down to $84 .
http://www.convergent-design.com/
It is also said that the EX series cameras can use SDHC solid state memory that will lower the cost of the media by 75-85 percent.
http://www.glasseye.com.au/articles/sdassxs/
I believe the 170 is still using 720p native CCD's while the EX sensors are full raster HD. I wouldn't rush into this just yet as I'm sure Panasonic is brewing up some better competition. IMO The 170n isn't it. Purchasing expensive P2 cards is over. If budget is a concern look for a used HVX-200 and save yourself a lot of money.
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/38/860817


Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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