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After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.

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Richard Doyle
After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 17, 2010 at 7:07:15 pm

Hi, any help with the following would be greatly appreciated.I shot two weddings this week, and it was my first time using the Sony EX3 (1080p 25fps, PAL).

Everything went great, but I have a few questions, mostly concerning importing the clips. I've done my homework, but after the first wedding I nearly had a heart attack when a single clip wouldn't import. It was the longest clip on the card (20 + minutes - two speeches), and it happened after the second wedding as well (longest clip). I'm wondering if it has something to do with the length of the clips? Surely not, unless I have some command ticked somewhere that I'm not aware of.

I'm using Final Cut Studio (latest) on a Mac Book Pro (and a Mac Pro). I imported the clips by inserting the SXS cards in the side slot of the Mac Book Pro. I used two different external hard drives for the storage. A 'Western Digital' and a 'Buffalo'.

After the first wedding, I download the mp4 clips (BPAVs) from the cards using Clip Browser V2.6 and saved them on the two external drives. Fine.

I then go to XDCAM Transfer Version 2.12.0 and import the .mov files for editing with Final Cut. Even though I won't be editing this footage for a while, I want the mov files backed up on two hard drives as well, because I will be wiping the cards to continue shooting. A friend has told me that all I need to do is download the BPAV files using Clip Browser, and then when the time comes I can convert them to mov files for editing, but I'd like to be a little more careful and actually SEE what I've downloaded and have it all backed up.

Anyway, XDCAM Transfer wouldn't import the longest clips (over 20 mins), but split the clip up into four parts without me asking it to. In fact, the clips weren't even broken up as subclips, but as you can see from the images below, there are small lines in the 'timeline' that show where the software or the card or the camera has split the clip. So I made my own subclips and downloaded them individually and that worked. But I don't want to have to continue doing that. So what gives? Do I have a setting ticked somewhere that I shouldn't have ticked?

I also need to know:

-When I wipe the cards, should I reformat them every time? I've been doing that with the cards from my Canon 7D (download, back up, check them, wipe the cards and reformat the cards and I've never had any trouble).

-Can anyone recommend Shotput Pro? I'm not sure if I need it, as it might make me lazy and I might stop manually checking the files myself. Is there a good reason to use it in your opinion? I will still check files manually anyway, so I'm not sure...

-There's a shutter on/off button under the lens, beside the white balance button. Even though I've read the manual I want to make sure that I understand it properly. I've shot with it 'ON'. I'm shooting at shutter 1/50. When I turn it off I get a brighter image although it's a tiny bit grainy. What is actually happening here? Is this basically the camera taking over? Is it just automatic shutter?

-I'm using the internal mic at the moment and external Sennheiser mics. I'm using Auto audio. It seems that when Channel 1 (on-board mic) gets over a certain level, it weakens Channel 2 (external mic). The ceremony and speeches are fine, although I am noticing that the sound on Channel 2 (external mic) can go down a little bit if the sound on Channel 1 gets too high. For example, if clapping in the room gets very high on Channel 1, then Channel 2 will dip down a bit. I take it this is the camera doing the work? I will try manual next time. I usually shoot everything manual including audio but didn't want to be concentrating on too much on my first two EX3 shoots. On other cameras that I've used auto audio worked fine. I've also noticed that my audio Channel 2 (external mic) for the dancing is too low. I can bring it up in Final Cut, no problem (better low than high), but I'm wondering is it because I have the AF-OUT on my Sennheiser receiver set too low (-12 or something), or is it the camera that is pushing down the levels?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

-------------------------------------------------

This is the error message I get when XDCAM Transfer has finished downloading. The longest clip can't be downloaded without me creating subclips and importing them separately (four clips).



This is what the XDCAM Transfer 'timeline' looks like. Notice the lines where the clips have been split by the camera/card or software, without me asking.



This is what the Clip Browser looks like. Notice again the lines showing where the clips are split. But I have to go in and create subclips and then import the four clips separately.



This is what the clips look like on my hard drive. It's a bit messy after I split up the clip myself into subclips and downloaded them.



This is what the subclip dropdown looks like when I have finished with it:



This is the message I get when I launch XDCAM Transfer. Apparently, XDCAM Drive Software is missing. I don't know what this means.



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Craig Seeman
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 17, 2010 at 7:19:44 pm

[Richard Doyle] "I've shot with it 'ON'. I'm shooting at shutter 1/50. When I turn it off I get a brighter image although it's a tiny bit grainy."

It's going from 1/50 to 1/25 I believe so it's getting brighter (and adding more motion blur).

[Richard Doyle] "It seems that when Channel 1 (on-board mic) gets over a certain level, it weakens Channel 2 (external mic). "

The AGC is linked. You can set the channels to separate in the audio menu.



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Daniel Wright
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 17, 2010 at 10:18:06 pm

Answers to a couple of your questions:

1. You only need the XDCAM Drive software if you are using a PDW-U1 for reading/writing optical discs.

2. The reason that the longest clip is not imported is probably because the check is removed next to the 16100056.SMI file in your 'subclip dropdown.' These checkboxes allow you to prevent clips from being imported if you do all your logging upfront then select all the clips and click Import.

The longest clip has been split into parts by the camera. This is because the card format is FAT 32, which only supports files up to 4 Gigabytes. XDCAM Transfer should import these as one clip *provided* all of the cards are available (which appears to be the case judging from your screenshots).

By default, the checkboxes for the parts(shown as subclips) are disabled, only the checkbox for the entire clip (represented by the SMI file) being enabled. This means that all the clips from all sources, only the whole clip will be imported.

Why you are seeing a 'There may be insufficient disc space' message, I am not sure. I have only seen this message when there is really not enough disc space. Maybe someone else has a suggestion for that.


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Don Greening
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 12:34:40 am

[Daniel Wright] "Why you are seeing a 'There may be insufficient disc space' message, I am not sure. I have only seen this message when there is really not enough disc space."

If memory serves it was a bug in the transfer program. In some instances when you have the SxS card selected to import and transcode the clips, the program thought it was writing back to the card, hence the warning.

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Richard Doyle
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 1:01:06 am

Don Greening: "If memory serves it was a bug in the transfer program. In some instances when you have the SxS card selected to import and transcode the clips, the program thought it was writing back to the card, hence the warning."

I can't understand how this is possible since the program had imported everything on the card to the external drive except just one clip. I never gave a command to write back to the card.


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Don Greening
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 1:08:05 am

[Richard Doyle] " I never gave a command to write back to the card."

You don't have to. That's why it was a bug.

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Richard Doyle
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 1:14:14 am

Don Greening: "You don't have to. That's why it was a bug."

I'm wondering how I could fix it, if it is a bug (I have yet to try it a third time). I'm using the latest version amn't I? 2.12.


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Richard Doyle
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 2:15:56 am

I only have 10gigs of space on my MacBook Pro. Since I'm importing through the MacBook Pro to an external drive (with plenty of space), could this be the problem?


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Richard Doyle
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 12:59:17 am

Thanks. I'm going to download the footage again from the cards onto another hard drive (no harm in having it backed up a third time), and this time I will make sure that I pay more attention to the checkboxes.

I was totally unaware of the fact that the camera would break up a clip longer than 12 minutes. This explains everything really. You'd think that would have been mentioned on the EX3 training DVD I bought.

I was able to download the problem clip in its entirety after a second try on a different hard drive. The subclips also imported. So I have everything twice.

"This means that all the clips from all sources, only the whole clip will be imported."
I don't get what you mean. If you can elaborate, that would be great.


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Richard Doyle
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 12:54:56 am

Thanks. About the shutter on/off: it's strange that the shutter reading doesn't change from 1/50 to 1/25. If it did, I would know what's happening. I didn't see motion blur but will check that.

On AGC linked: I'll take a look into that. Because the AGC is linked, does that mean if one channel gets too high it weakens the other channel?


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Ian Cook
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 9:21:21 pm

Hi Richard,

[Forgive me if you've already figured most of this out...]

The splitting of clips is due to the file system used on the cards. They are formatted Fat32, which has a 4 GB file size limit. When you go over 12 minutes or so you create 'spanned' files-- multiple MP4s joined by an SMI file (the SMIs are what live in the TAKR folder).

The SUB CLIP list in the Logging area will show the master clip as ClipName.SMI with the component MP4s listed below it as 'part 1,' 'part 2' etc. Typically the SMI is checked by default, although you can deselect it and bring in the subclips/portions if need be.

Glad the 'Free Space' issue worked itself out. Note that this is usually caused by trying to write back to a Fat32 formatted external drive (assuming there is enough free space), which has the same 4 GB file size limitation as an SxS card.

Cheers,

Ian

Ian Cook
Sony Broadcast and Professional Company


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Daniel Wright
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 18, 2010 at 9:21:30 pm

[Daniel Wright] "This means that all the clips from all sources, only the whole clip will be imported."
[Richard Doyle] I don't get what you mean. If you can elaborate, that would be great."

Sorry, loose connection between my brain and fingers. What I wanted to say was:

The default settings of these checkboxes are such that if you select all of the clips belonging to all of the sources and then click the Import button, only the whole clips get imported; there is no duplication as the individual parts are disabled.

Although it makes sense when you are aware of it, this behaviour sometimes causes newcomers problems. For example, if you mount cards one at a time from the camera then clips that span across cards never become available in their entirety and consequently they don't get imported (unless you set the checkboxes to import the individual parts). That is probably why the recommended workflow is to copy everything off the cards first and then have all the cards online in XDCAM Transfer at the same time.


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Richard Doyle
Re: After my first two EX3 shoots, I have questions about importing and other things.
on Oct 19, 2010 at 1:06:04 am

Thanks, I think I am following the recommended workflow? What do you mean when you say "...off the cards first and then have all the cards online in XDCAM Transfer at the same time."?

I import everything with Clip Browser(the mp4 files included). And then the mov files with XDCAM Transfer.

I just bought a FAT32 hard drive and it's no use for downloading XDCAM footage to it, because of the 4GB limit. I'll use another hard drive.

As you can see in this screenshot, I have changed the setting from NTSC to PAL. For some reason NTSC was checked when I first opened the software. Is that okay to do this? I'm always working in PAL.



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