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can mp4 wrap around on ex1 be avoided?

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Ginger Gentile
can mp4 wrap around on ex1 be avoided?
on Dec 29, 2009 at 12:48:15 am

I´m about to shoot a documentary using the sony xdcam ex 1, on full hd pal. The client, who is doing post remotely on Final Cut Pro, does not want to receive the footage in mp4 format because he believes that mp4 is not compatible with FCP, because he read this thread on creative cow:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/200/880546

I´ve shot footage many times on the ex 1 and edited on FCP with no problems. I will not be operating the camera, so I don´t have the answer for this: can the video be recorded on mpeg2 directly, eliminating the need for the mp4 wrapping? (We will be recording the footage onto a PC and hard drives, which client will receive and then upload into mac). In other words, can I do what my client is requesting (perhaps by switchig recording format on the camera) OR is the only way to get the files is with the mp4 wrap around? I understand that the camera records in mpeg2 long gop format, what I am talking about is the file extentsion.

Thanks in advance! Ginger
ps--any other advice on hard disk formatting or recording will be greatly appreciated.


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Craig Seeman
Re: can mp4 wrap around on ex1 be avoided?
on Dec 29, 2009 at 1:09:13 am

What does that thread have anything to do with the XDCAM EX?

XDCAM Transfer wraps the MPEG2 codec in MOV.
Alternately one can buy CalibratedSoftware MP4 import codec for Final Cut Pro and the MPEG2 wrapped in MP4 work directly in FCP.

Just because the "client" may know how to push a button on an NLE doesn't quality them for understanding how codecs work in general or FCP specifically.

Knowing how to drive a car doesn't necessarily bequeath one with the knowledge of how combustion engines work.

It seems the client either has no idea how XDCAM Transfer works nor Log and Transfer in FCP, which can also do the rewrap with the Sony plugin installed.

If you want to take on the work of baking up the BPAV folders and doing XDCAM Transfer yourself and handing him the MOVs, you can do that but make sure you charge him for the time and backup media.

NEVER let a client DUMP on you (unless you charge them for that).



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Ginger Gentile
Re: can mp4 wrap around on ex1 be avoided?
on Dec 29, 2009 at 1:53:47 am

Thanks for responding, Craig. So I understand, the xdcam ex 1 will always give me a mp4 as a finished file--there is no other wrap around file for HD. The only way to get a mov file is to export it using the XDCAM transfer program.

I just wanted to double check because I don´t have the camera in front of me, the DoP is away for a few days. As I said, I´ve edited from the XDcam on Avid and FCP, and never any problem--footage is easy to work with and looks great. I´m willing to give a client the benefit of the doubt, but always want to be sure before I insist on what I think to be correct.

You´re right that the thread has nothting to do with xdcam, but they sent it to me as an example of how fcp doesn´t support mp4--even though the post says that the writer has a system problem, and that fcp can work with those files.

Once again, thanks for your clear and quick answer.


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Craig Seeman
Re: can mp4 wrap around on ex1 be avoided?
on Dec 29, 2009 at 2:35:52 am

[Ginger Gentile] "Thanks for responding, Craig. So I understand, the xdcam ex 1 will always give me a mp4 as a finished file--there is no other wrap around file for HD. The only way to get a mov file is to export it using the XDCAM transfer program. "
Yup. Log and Transfer in FCP can also do it with the Sony plugin. With that, the BPAV (the MP4 within) gets wrapped to Quicktime.

[Ginger Gentile] "As I said, I´ve edited from the XDcam on Avid and FCP, and never any problem--footage is easy to work with and looks great."
Yes the wrap to MOV (or MXF for Avid) is very easy to do. A good assistant editor or editor should do this without breaking a sweat.

[Ginger Gentile] "but they sent it to me as an example of how fcp doesn´t support mp4"

MP4 is a file extension which can contain a few different things. Sony has an MPEG2 essence and it can work in FCP with CalibratedSoftware's plugin for $80 or so. With that, the EX MP4 work in FCP without issue. I know as I use this for fast turnaround and to save storage space. In short, there's even an MP4 compatibility option if the client feels it'll make their life easier.

Some people use XDCAM Transfer (or Log & Transfer) for organizing the project, naming files etc, though. This might even be critical for a documentary.

In short,
Calibrated Software will allow him to use MP4 in FCP.
XDCAM Transfer or Log & Transfer will rewrap the MPEG2 MP4 to MPEG2 MOV to work in FCP.

BTW since the client "claims" to be an FCP editor they might take a look at the codecs supported.








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