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"Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?

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Alan Langdon
"Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:00:25 pm

Hello-

I am about to edit a documentary with a ton of raw footage, so I would like to bring into Final Cut 7.0.3 the full cards, but at a lower bitrate, such as Apple Intermediate Codec. Then, after editing and cutting down to a 52 minute piece, I would Online the footage in high quality.
How can this be done?
I have heard of Log and Transfer handling XDCam card media, so I would think this to be the solution. But I am unable to find the needed plugin to get FCP to recognize the card media, while SONY's XDCAM transfer and browser softwares can see and ingest the material. But they can't ingest at lower quality nor can they recapture later only the used footage, correct?

I am running FCP 7.0.3 on Lion OS 10.7.3).

Any help much appreciated!



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Don Greening
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:42:19 pm

Sadly, I've never found a way to convert XDCAM EX media to another format such as Pro Res when the clips are being imported. Sony's Log and Transfer only allows FCP to "see" the media and is basically just another way to get the clips in to FCP. Log and Transfer can convert to other formats such as AVCHD and Panasonic P2 during the import process.

If you want to work with proxy files then I suggest getting Compressor to convert your XDCAM files to Pro Res (proxy) instead of other formats. The reason is that the Pro Res version will always be at the same dimensions as the full res. versions so you can add graphics and pictures etc. without having to redo everything when it's time to recapture at full res. I can't vouch for other formats doing the same when creating proxies.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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shur harewood
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52:28 pm

Hi Don you need the FCP log and transfer plugin, this allows for the transfer into Pro Res for your FCP project works with versions 6 and 7.

Please check link http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcam/resource.downloads.bbsccms-assets-...

Shur

Freelance HD and DSLR camera producer and trainer.
Enjoying the fruits and passion of living life to the full.


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Don Greening
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:27:32 am

Hi Shur,

I have the Log and Transfer plug-in but in the drop down menu there's no format import choice other than XDCAM EX, unlike the other formats such as AVCHD where you can import with any flavour of Pro Res except 4:4:4. If I could ingest as Pro Res this would save considerable time when doing proxies.

There's an option to convert to MPEG 2 standard def. for "consumer" cameras. Surely you're not referring to that. are you?

What am I missing?

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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shur harewood
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:43:05 am

Hi Dan there are 2 Methods.

Method 1 use log and transfer you can use the Canon, AVHD or P2 options to transcode to the Pre Res available in the drop down options in the window.

Method 2 Using XDcam clip browser you can batch export out to RAW DV and select 4:3 squeeze.

Shur

United By Photography

http://www.unitedbyphotography.com

Freelance HD and DSLR camera producer and trainer.
Enjoying the fruits and passion of living life to the full.


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Don Greening
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 1:08:39 am

[shur harewood] "Method 1 use log and transfer you can use the Canon, AVHD or P2 options to transcode to the Pre Res available in the drop down options in the window."

Yes, that's correct, however there's no way to convert XDCAM EX files to Pro Res within FCP's Log and Transfer window with the Sony plug-in. That's a shame because FCP L&T plug-in
will do Pro Res for consumer cameras but not XDCAM.

[shur harewood] "Method 2 Using XDcam clip browser you can batch export out to RAW DV and select 4:3 squeeze."

Also correct. I have XDCAM Browser 2.1 already but you can only convert to standard def. using 4:3 squeeze. What I want is a way to convert XDCAM EX files to Pro Res proxy, which is the same physical frame size as the original so that graphics, titling, images etc. don't have to be re-done when recapturing at full resolution.

Which is what I think the O.P. was asking about. Well actually. he was just asking about proxies and didn't say anything about wanting original clip dimensions. So I guess you basically answered his question if he's satisfied with importing SD DVCAM files @ 4:3 squeeze.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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shur harewood
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 2:05:53 am

OK your other workable solution is to download the free full working version of Adobe Premiere CS5 or 5.5, it will see you XDcam files natively and you can then use the Adobe Media Encoder to batch convert to Pro Res Proxy as you have the codec already installed.

As the Adobe is 64 bit it will churn these files out quicker than Compressor.

Otherwise you can use the Cinemon XDcam MP4 tool full working trial version.
I've used cinemon several times before with out problem.

Put simply you simply import the files straight into FCP or drag the mp4 files you require either batch
process or send to compressor.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-datastorage/resource.latest.bbsccms-assets...

Shur

United By Photography

http://www.unitedbyphotography.com

Freelance HD and DSLR camera producer and trainer.
Enjoying the fruits and passion of living life to the full.


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shur harewood
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:08:26 am

Hi Alan,

Please check out the FCP log and transfer plugin that will allow you to bring your footage in at Pro Res opt for Pro Res proxy codec in the log and transfer options window as this will save space and allow you to rough cut quicker.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcam/resource.downloads.bbsccms-assets-...

Hope this helps.

Shur

Freelance HD and DSLR camera producer and trainer.
Enjoying the fruits and passion of living life to the full.

http://www.unitedbyphotography.com


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Alan Langdon
Re: "Offline" ingesting XDCam media: possible?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 2:54:57 am

First of all, many thanks to such speedy and detailed answers.

In the meantime, I have done some deep digging and found some tutorials and through them founds SONY's website's hidden plugins (I say hidden because things are spread across the different sites: http://www.pro.sony.com and http://www.servicesplus.sel.sony.com.
And within the sites, finding the right path to the right files was tricky and not tag-name-friendly, in my opinion. But by watching what the tutorial guy found (a tutorial here at creative cow, Tapeless Workflow in Final Cut 7), I was able to locate the drivers.

I found what I think what was missing, as now I have Log and Transfer XDCAM card capabilities.

Funny observation: when I try the preferences for that specific format (called MPEG2 Consumer Cameras), it only lets me choose Apple Pro Res. But then once things are ingested, they are actually XDCAM EX 1080p24 (35 Mb/s VBR)...?

For now, this is fine, as 1 hour takes up 16 GB, not too bad. But I was curious to know why I can't choose other even lighter options like Pro Res Proxy or Apple Intermediate Codec. And why is it not in fact Apple Pro Res 422 (although this would be too heavy for me now, it is curious that it didn't really ingest the way it said it would).

In short, thanks for all the input, it has guided me to what seems to be a better approach. But a few things still make me curious to know if I can do better / different.
---
Question 2, if anyone wants to help further: if I edit and master in the XDCAM EX 1080p24 codec in which the ingested material came in as, am I working (and finishing) with less quality than I could have been?
Seems to me that the native codec is as best as it will get, unless I start addinf effects, etc, which I won't. I just want to know if by ingesting in this (native?) codec, I am editing at the native quality and therefore not loosing quality.

Many many thanks!!!



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Don Greening
Re:
on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:19:40 am

The reason the MPEG 2 option in FCP didn't work is because it's a generic version of MPEG 2 that's only for the consumer cameras that use it. XDCAM EX cameras use the propriety EX codec which is another type wrapper for MPEG 2.

MPEG 2 is a long GOP lossy codec but if you're just doing straight cuts and minimal colour correction then editing with an XDCAM EX timeline will be fine. It's when you start doing heavy CC you should be using an "I" frame codec such as Pro Res.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Ian Cook
Re: Re:
on Apr 18, 2012 at 4:09:40 am

Log and Transfer does not transcode EX to any other codec. It will only rewrap. The options referred to are not for EX. Your best bet is to stay in the EX codec unless you have a really enormous amount of material and storage concerns. If you have to convert your best bet is to import at full res and then batch convert/media manage to Pro Res proxy or another offline format.

Apple Intermediate will actually create larger files and is not really an option. Raw DV isn't going to do much for you either.


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Alan Langdon
Re: Re:
on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:48:26 am

Thanks so much, Ian... This is all a master class for me! I have been using FCP for 12 years, but never (!) had to deal with EX material. So I am learning with you all... Gracias again!



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