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can I view ex1 hd footage on my old PowerBook G4 10.4.11 FCP 6.0, using QuickTime?

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Alex Rotaru
can I view ex1 hd footage on my old PowerBook G4 10.4.11 FCP 6.0, using QuickTime?
on Mar 15, 2009 at 5:00:18 am

Hello guys -

I'm new to the Sony Ex series and have been shooting a doc in HD(v) using Panasonic HVX200, whose mxf footage I can both view and edit on my old PowerBook G4 10.4.11, FCP 6.0.

I'm about to throw some Sony Ex1 cameras in the mix and although my laptop will obviously not be the main editing machine, I'd love to know if there is any way I can view the EX1 footage on it - and if I can theoretically edit it, even better.

Does anyone know? I'd love to hear what you guys think before I do a test - which will probably be an actual shoot. :)

Thanks!

Alex


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Don Greening
Re: can I view ex1 hd footage on my old PowerBook G4 10.4.11 FCP 6.0, using QuickTime?
on Mar 15, 2009 at 6:28:18 pm

Hi Alex,

Welcome to Creative COW.

You'll be able to view EX footage on your PowerBook G4 with the following minimum software requirements:

  • Final Cut Pro v.6.0.2. You already have v.6.0.0 so do the software update.
  • Quicktime v.7.3.1
  • Mac OS v.10.4.11. You're already running that so no prob. there.
  • Sony Transfer Tool (this is a universal binary app so no problem there, either.
  • Sony FAM driver - this is for your G4 to recognize the camera as an attached device.


You can get the free Sony Software here:

http://www.sony.ca/xdcamex/support.htm

Don't bother downloading the Clip Browser software. It's Intel only and won't work on your Motorola PPC PowerBook.

There are fundamental differences between the Panny HVX and the EX cameras and how they approach video recording. The HVX footage is not as compressed so it's easier on your computer's processors to play back the footage smoothly as long as you have a decent transfer rate between your editing hard drive(s) and your computer. The HVX does not use the HDV codec but in fact uses the DVCPro HD codec, which is a very good thing. The DVCPro HD codec runs at 100 Mbits per second.

The EX cameras shoot to a more compressed codec which is much harder on your computer's processors because they have to sort of "uncompress" your footage to play it back with some semblance of smoothness. The upside is that the data transfer speeds between the computer and hard drives aren't that much more than DV NTSC which is good for you. So the data rate comparisons are:

DV NTSC (and HDV) - 25 Mbits per second
EX footage - 35 Mbits per second
HVX - 100 Mbits per second.

Since I've never had the opportunity to watch EX footage playing back on a G4 PowerBook you'll have to find out for yourself. Your PowerBook almost meets the minumum software requirements now so I recommend you do the Apple software updates, download the Sony software and get to it. If your PowerBook ends up not being enough then you'll just have to buy something that is. Even so, you'll still be able to see what your EX footage looks like in the FCP timeline (or QT Player by itself) and will give you an idea of your EX picture settings.

- Don



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Alex Rotaru
Re: can I view ex1 hd footage on my old PowerBook G4 10.4.11 FCP 6.0, using QuickTime?
on Mar 16, 2009 at 3:17:47 am

Thanks a lot, very useful info! I checked and I actually meet all the minimums already (I have QT 7.5.5 and FCP 6.0.5), so as soon as I ascertain whether I can play the EX footage acceptably I will post the results.

Best,

Alex



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