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XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???

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Kellen Dengler
XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 13, 2009 at 8:56:19 pm

Hi everyone. I'm not sure if this would techncially be a FCP question, an XDCAM question, or a MacPro question, so I am starting here...

So I'm beginning to start using Sony XDCAM footage for the first time from an EX3. I have directly offloaded the footage to a MacBook Pro by directly connecting the SxS card and or SDHC card with the adapter. This is very quick and effective, however, I don't edit on the MacBook Pro, I edit on a MacPro. In order to direct connect offload, this requires me to offload to MacBook Pro, then transfer to an external hard drives, then transfer to one of the 4 hard drives in the MacPro - Kind of time consuming. I'm not a big fan of the camera to MacPro USB connection option as it is painfully slow and ridiculous.

I am wondering if there is a way to offload SxS and SDHC cards directly to a Mac Pro without the means of a USB card adapter? Do they make FireWire supported adapters for SxS or SDHC cards? Or do they make an actual direct connect function that somehow can be installed in the back of the machine in the areas where you could install say a BlackMagic card? I don't even know if that would the correct area I just thought of it. I'm just really trying to NOT use the camera USB connect mode in order to get the footage to the Mac Pro.

THANKS!



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Michael Slowe
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 13, 2009 at 9:35:00 pm

Kellen. If I connect my EX1's USB outlet to my Mac G5 (I have the Sony Transfer Software installed) I instantly get all the clips from the card as thumbnails and they are ready for playing. How is that "painfully slow and ridiculous"? I agree that it can be a bit longwinded when you want to take the contents of a card to an external drive pending ingest to your edit system because you have to go through a laptop.

Maybe I've misunderstood your query, apologies if this is so.

Michael Slowe


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Kellen Dengler
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 13, 2009 at 9:48:47 pm

Hmmmm....

Well maybe I am doing something wrong then. Like I said, first time using this media. I too am able to view/preview the clips via USB, but in terms of actually offloading the media for storage USB is incredibly slow. Am I adding a step to the process that doesn't even need to happen? I thought using log and transfer in FCP similar to P2 would be the only way to go via USB connection. No?



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 13, 2009 at 10:11:44 pm

I haven't tried to bring the clips over from the camera via USB, because I like to keep the cameras in the hands of the shooters, but I have to say that the USB card reader from Sony is FAST. Worth the $250 in the time you save, if you ask me. We bought an additional reader so we wouldn't have to go through the time-consuming process you describe with our second Mac system.

Cf


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Kellen Dengler
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 13, 2009 at 10:25:14 pm

Clint, so you are saying Sony makes an actual USB connection device that is separate from the camera?

I've been direct connecting which is slow, but I assumed a USB connection to slow anyways, and thought that maybe even a FireWire SDHC card reader would be faster than offloading via direct USB connection. That would however eliminate SxS connecting...



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 14, 2009 at 4:12:21 pm

Clint, so you are saying Sony makes an actual USB connection device that is separate from the camera?

Yep, it's the SBAC-US10 reader:



Sony's site says around $280 but we got ours from B&H - one as part of their EX-1 Accessory Kit, and one for $250 as a separate purchase.

Cf




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Michael Palmer
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 13, 2009 at 10:24:06 pm

If the MBP has the PCI Express slot then the data can transfer to the MBP system drive very quickly. I use my MBP pci express slot but I copy to a USB drive and it takes as long as it takes. Then I copy that to my media drive back at the office. I use the USB drive because it operates from the battery power of the MBP for field use.

I think the biggest time saver is not having to actually capture video from tape as this really requires a person to sit and watch making sure it doesn't get interrupted, unlike drag and dropping files that we assume are coping, but if you add up the time it takes to final get the files to the place they need to be edited from then tapeless can be as much time or more than tape solutions.

Make sure you copy the entire BPAV folder into a parent folder of its own every time you dump a card, and it is a really good idea to keep the original EX BPAV folder as the archive so you can always convert to any platform.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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olof ekbergh
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 13, 2009 at 10:54:19 pm

I use a MBP to offload cards to a FW800 drive.

I then hook that drive to my MacPro used for editing. The FW 800 is fast enough to edit with. But at some point I do convert foootage to ProResHQ and that is rendered to my 12TB SAS raid.

I find this quick and convenient. I also back all raw SxS files onto Blueray DVD's and enter Card descriptions into a FMP database with short clips or stills for searching in the future.

Olof Ekbergh


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Don Greening
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 14, 2009 at 5:43:38 pm

[olof ekbergh] "I also back all raw SxS files onto Blueray DVD's and enter Card descriptions into a FMP database with short clips or stills for searching in the future."

Nice, Olof. This is the way it should be done. BTW, I have RAID envy.

- Don



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Andy Nagel
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 16, 2009 at 12:40:30 am

I'm a new user, and my current workflow is to FIRST create the camera archive, using either my desktop MacG5 to copy the BPAV to an archive HDD, using the camera USB or the Sony Card Reader USB (not much difference in speed, about 2x real time for me), or in the field, using a WindowsXP laptop running Sony XDCam Clip Browser and the USB card reader to a USB HDD. This is much slower than a Express Card/34 transfer would be, but I'm not ready to buy the MacPro or MBP. Then I ingest to FCP 6.0.5 from the archive HDD with either Log & Transfer or XDCAM Transfer plug-ins. I transfer to RAID scratch disk for editing, then delete the ingested clips after approval/delivery. The archive HDD goes on the shelf with a print log when full. I'm more concerned with archiving the camera footage safely than the speed of transfer.

Would appreciate any feedback on this process from more experienced editors...

Andy Nagel
Mirage Productions Inc



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Don Greening
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 16, 2009 at 8:34:54 am

[Andy Nagel] "I'm more concerned with archiving the camera footage safely than the speed of transfer. "

Agreed. You're a smart guy. Once the Sony PDW-U1 firmware gets updated to allow any file format to be written to a disc you might consider shifting your archiving strategy to XDCAM Disc. A projected shelf life of 50 years plus and 50 Gbyte capacity for the dual layer disc version. As we all know, all hard drives will eventually fail so the sooner we can stop using them for archiving purposes, myself included, the better.

If you're not concerned with the relatively slow USB transfer speeds when offloading cards that's okay. I don't see anything wrong with the way you're doing things in that respect. Keep in mind that down the road you may need to start using Express 34 transfer on-site. With my Macbook Pro I can offload a 16 Gbyte card in about five and a half minutes. For myself, this time savings will be critical perhaps as early as this summer when I'll have 3 EX cameras to worry about on a shoot.

- Don



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Kellen Dengler
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 16, 2009 at 2:53:58 pm

Thank you guys. This all really helps and will speed up my work flow. I'm going to go with the Sony USB offload device for my Mac Pro. I want to eliminate the MBP middle man and just go straight to editing. A decently priced quality RAIDed drive system for archive is next on my list of things to purchase.

Recommendations?



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Don Greening
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 16, 2009 at 8:05:29 pm

Hi Kellen,

Are you sure you want to spend money on a RAID system just for archiving? Since access speed isn't a factor with stored files why not just buy some USB drives and fill those up? RAID systems are more for editing multiple streams of video rather than archiving. And if you're thinking of using a RAID setup for both editing and archiving that sort of defeats the purpose of having a separate raw file backup, doesn't it?

There are lots of great RAID systems out there these days. Whatever you decide to go with give serious consideration to a turnkey system as opposed to something cobbled together from different manufacturers. The article below explains why:

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/weiss_roth_david/caldigit_HDOne.php

- Don


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 20, 2009 at 7:22:29 pm

One thing about a RAID is that it's hard to put in a fire safe. Perhaps it's part of my tape-based upbringing, or my collector mentality, but I need something physical to lock away in case Milton sets the building on fire after I take his Swingline stapler :-) That's why the XDCAM disc method is so appealing (once Sony's firmware update comes). I have space ready next to our tape library in our gigantic fire safe.

Cf


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olof ekbergh
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Jan 21, 2009 at 1:20:13 pm

The way I see it, RAID is for editing. I use a RAID level 5 12 drive SAS system very fast and redundant with hot spare. I have current projects on it, and a few where we are doing new versions often.

I use FW 800 drives for archive storage of projects files and footage (2 sets) in a different building. This is for quick reloading onto RAID and BU of current large projects (we have some that we have been working on for years).

All non tape footage is burned to DVD single layer, dual layer or Blueray depending on how much footage there is (4.3, 8, 23 or 46GB). I see this as my "tape" library, we also have hundreds if not a thousand or so Beta, DVcam, DVCpro, and even MiniDV and HDV tapes stored in the same climate stable room. Most of them (OK less than half) are also in Databases for searching. But all new solid state footage goes in the DB.

Olof Ekbergh


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annette duerr
Re: XDCAM SxS / SDHC Direct Offload to Mac Pro???
on Sep 2, 2009 at 1:55:55 pm

dear experts. we´ve been working with p2 for a year now, but now are thinking of changing to sdhc. i need to get the movs on a fw800/usb2.0-disk (via mbp) every day after shooting (+ safty copies on another disk like that) - so now i wonder if it would be faster to use an expresscard-adapter or a good usb2.0-cardreader?
are there any card readers with more than 1 sdhc slot? i didn´t find any, googeling for it...but we´re shooting with 2 cameras, and it would be great not to spend my evenings next to the computer because of changing cards every 20 minutes.
looking forward to answers: annette


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