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Daniel Schultz
Titanic-sized files
on Dec 4, 2009 at 4:26:34 am

Just shot some footage with an EX1 for my job. An hour of footage = roughly 14 gigs.
I love my HMC150. But transcoding one of those darned 16gb SDHC cards takes so much room. I know that hard drive space is cheaper these days, and that with cheaper SDHC cards, we have the option of using the cards as archives.

But is there any way the transcoded files can take up less hard drive space?

Dan S.


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Gord Stephen
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 4, 2009 at 4:29:16 am

What format are you transcoding to right now? And what NLE are you using?

Gord


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 4, 2009 at 4:49:25 am

I'm using proRes 422 with FCP 6.0.6.

Dan S.


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Gord Stephen
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 4, 2009 at 3:01:11 pm

Well, I'm not the guy to talk to about FCP, but from what I understand in FCP7 Apple introduced ProRes 422 (LT) - a lower bitrate variant of ProRes 422. That would cut your file sizes right down. Of course, I guess it's a matter of whether or not it's worth the upgrade...

I'll defer from here to someone who actually knows what they're talking about... ;)

Gord


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Noah Kadner
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 4, 2009 at 9:02:33 pm

Lower file size = lower quality. I'd stick with ProRes- as you mentioned hard drives are very very cheap these days. Why stiff yourself on image quality just to save a few bucks. You can always media manage and archive projects off as soon as you're done cutting.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 4, 2009 at 10:58:59 pm

But why is the the AVDHD footage take up so much more room than the XDCAM from the EX1? The quality looks just as good on the EX1, don't you think?

Dan S.


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Gerry Lawson
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 5, 2009 at 12:15:08 am

I assume that you can edit the XDCAM directly without transcoding correct?

The XDCAM is recording at 35Mbs which you can edit and the AVCHD is recording at 25Mbs but needs to be transcoded to be edited. If you were to transcode your XDCAM to Prores it would take up just as much room as the AVCHD to Prores. If you were to transcode the AVCHD to XDCAM then it would be the same size as what you have coming out of the EX1. i doubt you would get the quality you want from a second generation XDCAM clip though - also Final Cut doesn't transcode directly to anything other than Prores.

gerry


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Noah Kadner
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 5, 2009 at 6:39:37 pm

Exactly, FCP can handle XDCAM almost natively- it's not quite native but a conversion from MXF to MOV without transcoding. AVCHD is less suitable to native editing and so must be transcoded. By converting to ProRes you preserve as much image quality as possible. Really with a good quality 1TB drive costing $199 these days- I don't quite understand your issue here. Quality isn't free.

http://www.g-technology.com/Products/g-drive.cfm

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 9, 2009 at 2:26:48 am

Hi Noah,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. At the risk of sounding "whiny" I'd say the issue with the large file size is this: Yes, hard drives are $200 per terabyte. But then I need two so I have everything backed up twice. One medium size job takes up 50-60 gigs with all the footage. So that means after about 15 jobs, I have to archive. I can use toast to burn to DVD's, but it's a lot of DVDs. I don't have the $$ for tape backup machine, and Blueray doesn't seem to be so cost effective. I'd prefer not to use the SD cards as backup either, if I can help it.

It was just comparing footage from the two cameras: HMC150 and the Sony EX1. The EX1 takes up so much less space and the quality seems just as good.

So, is what I'm hearing that there's not anything I can do do make my file size smaller w/out loss of quality? If so, I'll bite the bullet and take it from here.


Dan S.


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Steve Eisen
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 11, 2009 at 1:24:57 pm

Get used to the fact that you are working in HD now, not DV. 720 x 480 vs 1920 x 1080. Big difference. Not only will you need larger and faster hard drives, you will also need an HD I/O device, an HD monitor and a fast computer with plenty of RAM (there is a huge difference in speed between your MBPro and a Mac Pro). Yes the money adds up. You have no idea how inexpensive hardware is today compared to what it has cost in the past.

You also have to charge your clients accordingly.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Board of Directors
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 13, 2009 at 10:33:01 pm

Thanks for your response, Steve.
What I don't get is why are the HMC150 files so much bigger than the EX1 files at the same resolution (1080/30p) They're both high quality HD, but the HMC150 seems to take about 5 times more Hard Drive space. Any thoughts?

Dan S.


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Bradley Green
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Dec 20, 2009 at 3:49:48 am

The EX1 files remain at their native 35mbps rate thus taking up a lot less space. The HMC files must be transcoded to Prores. These Proress files are more along the lines of 100+mbps. Until Final Cut can natively edit AVCHD its going to require larger files. I have FCP7 and have been testing out the Prores LT option. It seems to decrease the size by 25%. We are only running at 1280x720 so the extra compression isn't noticeable.

The issue here is you can't transcode one heavily compressed format (AVCHD) to another heavily compressed format without serious quality loss. Thus you have to work in Prores until you finish to keep the macro-blocking and compression artifacts to a minimum.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Titanic-sized files
on Feb 11, 2010 at 11:23:35 pm

Thanks, Bradley.

I think I actually understand, more or less.
Which does help.

Dan S.


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