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EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question

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Tom Laughlin
EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:42:51 pm

Sorry Craig, and everyone, it's me again. Ok, I'll make this very short, so this is what I'm doing:

1.) Shooting with the EX-3 in 24p, "SP" mode.
2.) Converting the footage using the Sony Transfer Software. BPAV to QT.
3.) Importing it into FCP.
4.) When dragging video clips to time-line, FCP asks you "Do you want to match the settings of the clip?"
5.) I click "Yes".
6.) In shooting 24p, now in FCP, when I go to the clip and hit "Reveal in Finder", and check the specs out. I get this:



7.) The preview says that this file is "1920x1080", ok...
8.) But then, when I double-click and play this raw file in QT, the video is being presented this way, in a "1440x1080", with the frame-rate changed to 29.97,



Which is also what my FCP sequence is, it is not 24p, it's magically now 29.97, and it's also "60i":



So, did I do something wrong? And will this add auto-conversion either by the Sony Software or somewhere in FCP take away from the quality or affect the project in terms of adding telecine or is this normal, or do I need to change my time-line settings to match the EX-3 HDV codec in 24p? I'm just wondering if I've done something wrong. I'm about 2.10 projects in, and stumbled upon this question. Will it affect the quality in any way? My ultimate output for this is web, in a 854x480/h.264/coming out of Compressor.

Any thoughts?





Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Tom Laughlin
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:48:50 pm

Also, I guess I can always export it out in 24p at the end, in QT or Compressor, and will that return it back to the 24p frame-base it was shot in, even if it was not edited in 24p, but 29.97?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:12:19 pm

I can't answer your frame rate issue, but I think SP is actually HDV dimensions, ie 1440 on the horizontal.

Cf


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Ron Pestes
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:19:16 pm

Yes, according to the manual SP is indeed HDV spec. not full HD.

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Alan Okey
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:14:25 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "Also, I guess I can always export it out in 24p at the end, in QT or Compressor, and will that return it back to the 24p frame-base it was shot in, even if it was not edited in 24p, but 29.97?
"


This won't really work because the 3:2 cadence will change with every edit point. If the piece is one long unbroken clip, then yes, you could conceivably do this, but if it's many shots edited together then the pulldown cadence would be constantly changing.

An alternate solution would be to transcode the footage to ProRes, then use Cinema Tools to conform each captured segment to 24p. You could then edit in a 24p ProRes sequence. Cinema Tools can't conform long GOP footage, hence the need for transcoding to ProRes.

Does Log and Transfer give you the option to create ProRes clips instead of HDV? If so, that would save the transcoding step. I know it's possible to use Log an Capture to capture ProRes via Firewire from HDV sources.


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Alan Okey
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:27:17 pm

When you record in SP mode, you are effectively recording HDV (25mbps), not XDCAM EX (35mpbs). As a result, you can't shoot native 24p when using SP mode, nor can you shoot full-raster 1920x1080. Instead, footage is recorded as 24p over 29.97i with 3:2 pulldown added, at 1440x1080 resolution.

While recording in SP mode saves space and increases available recording time, doing so records a lower quality HDV signal that negates many of the inherent advantages of the EX series cameras.


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Tom Laughlin
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:05:23 am

Alan, (and others)

Thanks for the explanation here, this makes sense. I completely understand and acknowledge this scenario, as with the project we are shooting and the magnitude of hours we are needing to get on one card, the decision to shoot SP was not mine. The concern of course was getting the most video on a card, and so therefore 160 minutes seems more of an advantage than shooting in HD, especially since this is going straight to "web", so , if we did shoot in the HQ quality, it would ultimately be compressed for web, so what the grooup I'm working with was thinking, was that there is no need to shoot HQ, unless we are going to DVD or Blue-ray. I never thought of it that way though, in terms of "not shooting" what the camera does best, HD. But I think it is a matter of card space.

As far as your thoughts on the level or quality of the HDV being shot, I'm actually personally surprised that the HDV quality really looks good. I mean I know it is not HD, but for HDV, it's a great picture. I'm satisfied, at least for the amount of hours we are able to get on one card and the quality HDV I'm seeing, maybe we are just lucky, but for web, I guess it is sufficient.

Any further thoughts Andy on this 24p to 29.97 and how that affects this project? Could I reset the sequence and change it from its current time-line setup to another setting, and change the frame-rate, or does that even make sense, sense it's really not 24p, you mentioned a 3:2 pull-down? I guess this may need to be done on my next edit, as I probably won't have time to reconvert this to a 24p format, then replace my assets with the same names and re-linking, I'm not sure if it's worth it at this point. But as far as steps 1-8, does this appear to be straight to what HDV would be imported as and edited? Taking into consideration everything has stayed the same with the original footage being imported and edited in HDV?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Alan Okey
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:23:30 am

[Tom Laughlin] "Any further thoughts Andy on this 24p to 29.97 and how that affects this project? Could I reset the sequence and change it from its current time-line setup to another setting, and change the frame-rate, or does that even make sense, sense it's really not 24p, you mentioned a 3:2 pull-down? I guess this may need to be done on my next edit, as I probably won't have time to reconvert this to a 24p format, then replace my assets with the same names and re-linking, I'm not sure if it's worth it at this point. "

You're probably right, at this point I'd suggest just forging ahead and treating everything as 29.97 (interlaced). For future projects, you could weight the pros and cons of conforming to true 24p before editing. The advantage would be a better looking end result on the web with either a lower overall bandwidth or greater quality at the same bandwidth, i.e. 24fps at a given bit rate will look better than 30fps at the same bit rate.

[Tom Laughlin] "But as far as steps 1-8, does this appear to be straight to what HDV would be imported as and edited? Taking into consideration everything has stayed the same with the original footage being imported and edited in HDV? "

Looks good to me as long as you stick with 29.97 (interlaced) for this particular project all the way through.

I'd suggest that you try posting some questions in the FCP forum. Several regular contributors there use the EX series cameras and might have some good ideas on workflow.

Good luck!


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Tom Laughlin
Re: EX-3 Shooting in "SP" Mode - Question
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:26:36 pm

Alan, thanks, you've been most helpful.

Cheers,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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