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SONY F3 FCP workflow - also combining with Canon 5D footage - seen mixed messages out there

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jesse mendelson
SONY F3 FCP workflow - also combining with Canon 5D footage - seen mixed messages out there
on Jun 21, 2012 at 6:45:38 pm

Hi all,

thanks in advance for advice. I've seen a lot of differing opinions out there so I'm trying to figure out the best way to go.

I'm going to be editing a :30 for broadcast in FCP7. Footage was just handed to me. It was shot 23.98 and I will edit at that rate and convert at the end.

They shot on two camera's - A camera was a SONY F3 / B camera was a CANON 5D. I'm going to transfer the footage to a Thunderbolt drive and edit off of that on a new-ish IMAC.

My main question is trying to confirm what i should convert/import/transcode the Sony footage to, so that I don't lose any quality and so that it will work seamlessly in FCP.

Once that is decided I will also need to figure out what to transcode my 5D material to and what my FCP sequence settings should be.

Would like advice on all! Obviously it's too late for kipro, but I've read on one hand that converting my xdcam ex footage now to prores will not be the same as "transcoding". by the same token i've read that xdcam ex is still a super compressed format and i can't imagine wanting to convert the 5D footage to that, but i'd prefer not to edit mixed medias if i can avoid it...

thoughts MUCH appreciated! Thx in advance!


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Ian Cook
Re: SONY F3 FCP workflow - also combining with Canon 5D footage - seen mixed messages out there
on Jun 21, 2012 at 7:38:40 pm

You can use XDCAM Transfer or XDCAM Browser (Sony FCP import plug-ins) to re-wrap to .mov in the native EX codec, then convert using Compressor, Episode or any other encoder. None of the Sony plugins, including the FCP Log and Transfer add-on, transcode on import. They rewrap to .movs in the XD codecs which FCP decodes/encodes natively. XDCAM Browser can up-convert EX to XDCAM HD 422 50 Mb if need be, but this is a demo feature of the software until a serial # is purchased..

Not entirely what you are asking but there is a lot of confusion out there re what the Sony plugins do and don't do so I thought this might help preempt any time wasted trying to create Pro Res files on import..


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jesse mendelson
Re: SONY F3 FCP workflow - also combining with Canon 5D footage - seen mixed messages out there
on Jun 21, 2012 at 7:40:55 pm

Thank you. That WAS part of what I was asking...if there was a 1-step process to get pro res files from the sony native files (mp4s) - which I see there isn't.

I guess the 2nd part to my question was if I really SHOULD/NEEDED to convert those xdcam ex .mov's TO pro res, or if I should/could just edit with the xdcam's (compressed codec mpeg2).


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Don Greening
Re: SONY F3 FCP workflow - also combining with Canon 5D footage - seen mixed messages out there
on Jun 22, 2012 at 8:21:26 am

Editing XDCAM EX natively is certainly an acceptable practice if that's the only format you're editing with. You however, are in a different situation. There's no reason to exchange highly compressed (and lossy) H.264 clips with another format (MPEG2) which is also highly compressed. This is just asking for a step down in quality because of a possible generational loss.

In this case I would create a ProRes sequence, drag both formats in, do your edit then export using current settings, which would be a ProRes movie.

- Don

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


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