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EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...

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Shane O'Brien
EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 2:58:56 pm

Hi there,

I'm shooting a corporate project in a fairly remote location. It will be for 2 days, and I'm estimating we'll shoot maybe 6 hours of footage. I would potentially have time to load the material onto a laptop at the end of each day (or maybe once at lunch, depending how far from the camp we are). However, I don't have a MBP and would probably have to find somewhere to rent one.

I'm trying to decide whether to rent a EX1 or Z7U (using tapes). The tapes would obviously give me the longest recording time. However, I would prefer the better image produced by the EX1, and it would be nice to avoid the hassle of capturing from tapes (I have never used the EX1 before).

Given the type of project, what route do you think would be the most practical? I'm doing this project at very short notice - flying up on Monday, and needing to rent today or tomorrow - so any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks.


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 3:13:00 pm

[Shane O'Brien] "The tapes would obviously give me the longest recording time."
No. 32GB card is nearly two hours. You can have two in the camera giving you nearly four straight hours.
With four 32GB cards that 8 hours can cover you for the shoot.

BTW if you're renting I've found renting SxS is very inexpensive (IMHO). You could buy 32GB Transcend and Mx/Hoodman adaptor but I'd want to test the cards before going on a shoot. Since you're renting anyway, renting 32GB SxS is probably a good way to go.

I think the above makes much more sense than tape. You're not going to get a surprise head clog or dropout. If you run out of tape uh oh. Run out of SxS you can dump the card in laptop. I recommend making a back up to optical disk as well. A good laptop can handle DVD-DL but with only 8 GB per disk it'll mean some swapping. Now if only more laptop had Blu-ray disks built in.




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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 3:32:52 pm

For me it starts with three little letters: HDV. Bleah.

After that, it's the tape dropouts. I will never go back to tape, especially those silly little DV/HDV cassettes. Nothing but nightmares. When the tape manufacturers changed their DV tape formulation for HDV (tighter particles but also different dry lubricants) we found our DV/DVCAM stuff clogging up constantly.

Cf


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Shane O'Brien
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 3:41:49 pm

That's great. My other concern is what to how to load the footage onto a laptop / MP once I've shot it.

First, for the sake of bringing along a laptop, what would I need in order to be able to transfer the material onto a hard drive for backup (or if more recording is required). I'm wondering whether I could get away with using a Windows laptop from my office here and just buying a firewire/USB drive. I would just need an express card slot and the drive - is that right?

My G5 died about 6 months ago, and my old MB died about 2 months ago - so this project has prompted me to at least replace G5 with a new MP (and to upgrade FCP). However, as I'm leaving in a few days, I doubt I will have the machine by the time I get back. So I guess then my concern is what to do with the rented SxS cards once I get back. If I brought along a drive, could the VAR/post house transfer the footage to the drive?

Sorry, I know these are probably rather basic questions.

Thanks.


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 3:51:47 pm

Laptop with Express port is best if using SxS cards. Do test if possible because there has been reports of flaky ports. You'd need to download the Sony driver as well.

SxS is PCIe based so 3rd party Express card readers don't work. You'd need Sony's SxS reader to USB if your laptop doesn't have the port built in.

One reason why some like SDHC cards (besides the price) is that a standard SDHC to USB reader works you can get in any electronics or office supply store and even drug stores.

You'd really want a known reliable portable hard drive. These for example
http://www.g-technology.com/



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Shane O'Brien
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 5:05:26 pm

I think I'm going to rule out having a laptop with me - I won't be able to get a SxS reader to USB prior to leaving and won't have much time to test. Any thoughts on my other question about what options I might have when I get back in terms of loading the footage onto a hard drive (before getting the new MP)?
Thanks!


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Michael Slowe
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 5:40:37 pm

I have just downloaded the BPAV files from two S X S cards directly from my EX1 into my MacBook Pro using the lead supplied with the camera. I then dragged and dropped the BPAV files onto an external drive as back up. I often do this on location too. Be aware that you must not interfere with these files in any way, keep the whole BPAV and in your label for any folders include the letters BPAV in your title.

Michael Slowe


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Shane O'Brien
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:00:20 pm

Do you know what kind of lead that was? Looks like I can rent an older Macbook Pro... just want to make sure it has the required connections.
Cheers!


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:14:28 pm

You can hook camera to copy data from USB port to USB port on laptop. It's kinda awkward to use the camera that way but it works.



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Michael Slowe
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 4, 2009 at 8:34:40 am

Yes, it is USB but the camera end has to be the small connection, not the usual big one. Don't know how easy they are to come by, mine was with the camera on purchase.

Michael Slowe


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Joe Yaggi
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 5, 2009 at 12:54:01 am

Yeah, I'd agree - if your renting, not owning, certainly EX1 for tapeless workflow. I rented a Z1 outta Jakarta once when all my other cameras were i the field and I got royally screwed - the only way to play back the footage properly was through that particular camera. How ferked up is that? Anyway, tapeless for sure. I've got an EX3 and it rocks.

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


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Shane O'Brien
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 5, 2009 at 3:41:03 am

Thanks for all the help. I have gone with the EX1. I picked it up today and will have tomorrow to get familiar with it before heading off on Monday.

I also rented a MBP, so I can backup the footage on location - as per the above suggestions. I also have an external firewire 800 drive I can bring. Once I'm back, I'll transfer the files onto the drives I'll actually be using while editing.

Just so I have the process straight - I can either transfer the BRAV files (just literally drag and drop) from the cards or I can use Sony's Log & Transfer Utility to load the footage? The guy at the rental house recommended the latter. As I'm not going to be editing from the computer or drive upon which I'd be saving the files, is there any benefit to doing that?

One final question - I was thinking to shoot 1080/30p. It's a corporate project - to go on DVD, the web, and possibly a higher res format that could be kept on computer and played on HDTVs in meeting rooms etc. Any thoughts on format?

Many thanks!


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 5, 2009 at 6:14:43 am

[Shane O'Brien] " can either transfer the BRAV files (just literally drag and drop)"

NO
Transfer the BPAV with ClipBrowser with CRC ON.
NEVER DRAG AND DROP!



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Michael Slowe
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 5, 2009 at 9:14:57 pm

Craig, WHY? I have been dragging and dropping BPAV files into suitably named folders for a year now with never a problem. I know what your dictum is but don't fully understand your reasons. I use the Sony Transfer software to cherry pick from the clips before importing to my edit system but drag and drop the files from the cards.

Michael Slowe


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 v using tapes on Z7U - which is more practical...
on Jul 5, 2009 at 10:04:29 pm

[Michael Slowe] "Craig, WHY? I have been dragging and dropping BPAV files into suitably named folders for a year now with never a problem."

You can drive without a seatbelt for years without ever getting into an accident. One accident, one expensive reshoot, one lost client can cost thousands of dollars. CRC ensures the copy is the same as the master. Like a car accident, it may only happen once in years but that one time can be fatal.

Nearly 30 years in the business and I've learned this is always a game of odds. Every good facility I worked for made protection masters (because tape is so reliable he says sarcastically). When it comes to copying BPAV, CRC ensures the copy is as good as the master.

As Dirty Harry used to say, "Do you feel lucky?"




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