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Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?

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Christopher Coffyn
Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:01:29 am

I've looked/tried the Panasonic software for viewing/offloading (AVCCAM Viewer...), but I'm looking for one piece of software that would allow both viewing footage on the card and offloading to a laptop backup hard drive. It would be nice to be able to selectively choose only certain clips to offload at times.

I've tested ShotPut Pro & looked at HDVU, but wondering what else is out there. Thoughts?


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Erik Naso
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 12:33:56 am

MPEG streamclip works as well but I have had mixed results. I found no real fluid player yet. If you do please post!

Blog http://www.eriknaso.com
My Vimeo Page http://vimeo.com/user626030
Follow me on Twitter @ErikNaso


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 1:23:58 am

Hey Erik, thanks for the tip. We have used Mpeg Streamclip for other things, never thought of trying it for this purpose.

What I'm wondering is if there is at least a viewer that Sony or Canon users get when they purchased there H.264 camcorders/cameras. Still it would be nice to have once piece of software that would be an awesome viewer/mover of footage from the cards.

Maybe the Shotput Pro people will combine their viewer w/ShotPut Pro and lower the price. Hmmm, maybe I'm dreaming. Will definitely post when I find something.


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Erik Naso
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 10:56:46 pm

I haven't tried this software. HD-VU, but its from the Imagine Products. The same co. that makes ShotPut Pro. Looks interesting.

http://www.imagineproducts.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id...

Blog http://www.eriknaso.com
My Vimeo Page http://vimeo.com/user626030
Follow me on Twitter @ErikNaso


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 10, 2011 at 3:45:52 am

It does look interesting, but I was hoping they might combine the two. Actually, it seems odd to me not too have it in one program, but maybe it's a marketing thing.


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 12, 2011 at 3:17:38 am

I did a brief test run with the HD-VU demo software and it definitely feels like a beta. Very, very buggy. I was hoping I could actually select only the clips I wanted off the card to transfer, but it looks like it's really not built for that. Of course, being new to the tapeless workflow I'm guessing that most would offload an entire card, but we would not always work that way.

Other than copying an entire card at times, in other situations all I would want to do is quickly find the newest clips off a card and transfer only those to a backup drive.

Oh, I also gave the AVCCAM Viewer a closer look. It will not transfer anything but entire cards from what I can tell, but it is nice to be able to view the footage as well. The interface seems a bit archaic though.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 13, 2011 at 3:18:29 am

way too expensive for a viewing app- should also ingest/archive at that price.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 13, 2011 at 5:38:59 am

Hey Noah, I totally agree. In my searching for budget applications to do what I want with the AVCHD footage I stumbled on Shed Worx, an Aussie company. It's all consumer stuff, but it looked like their "Cosmos" software might just do the trick. Nope, a least I didn't find it workable for our purposes.

The search continues.


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Dan Montgomery
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 15, 2011 at 4:38:09 pm

HD-VU is designed as an 'all-in-one' player of virtually any camera original media. In that sense, it's a general purpose viewer, but doesn't rely upon QT codecs for most formats. That said, it's not overpriced and is becoming quite popular :P

The problem with your desired workflow Chris is most readers (of AVCHD cards and other types) can't be used for reliable, smooth playback due to the connection to the computer. I suspect this is the root of your comment about the software seeming 'buggy'.

Perhaps as Thunderbolt or faster connection readers become more prevalent a workflow of playing from the source to select items for offload may be more practical than today. (Mac's don't even support USB 3 ports today!).

The purpose of HD-VU to to watch offload destinations (already on a hard disk) and allow quick checking of the clips before erasing the cards.

To allow individual clip selection (ala Log & Transfer) begs the question what format are you coming from and going to. With a NLE you're generally ingesting into that editors format (e.g. QT ProRes) at the time of selection.

To pick a few clips and make an all new, say, AVCHD volume means you have to edit the folders, files and metadata to create a new volume that's recognized by any editor as if it came directly from the camera.

Changing originals opens the door to people accidentally not saving all the clips they recorded/wanted. In our terminology means you're asking for a LOGGER not an Offloader, (because you're changing things).

I'm sure there's a subset of intelligent folks that want that, but the vast majority using ShotPut Pro are simply in a hurry to make 2-3 pristine, verified copies of the entire originals. That alone is a pretty important, significant task given the wide variety of formats, equipment and operating systems.

I guess what we're seeing is the clip selection process has shifted from a logging/pre-post-production phase to the ingest step into the editor. A driving force behind that too is the declining cost of hard disk space, even if used temporarily.

Video logging is just the beginning...


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:55:35 pm

Thanks Dan, I appreciate what you guys are doing and I got the impression at last years NAB that ShotPut Pro has become a standard piece of software for many. I just didn't particular like my brief experience with HD-VU.

I'm sure we are doing something that is not the norm for most. We just switched from tape-based HD to flash (SDHC) based HD, AVCHD. Finally we can cost effectively shoot for several weeks overseas and keep our cards as one backup. We also will be doing some editing in the field after offloading our media to a small portable RAID. It will make it so much easier to view footage off locked SDHC cards and transfer only what we want.

I did a test, only because we happen to have a copy of FCPX. The interface in FCPX to ingest directly from a camera or card is exactly what I've been looking for, I'm just not 100% happy with the results.

You can preview footage, ingest only what you want and create ProRes copy all in one easy go. The thing I don't like is that FCPX rewraps the footage as an MOV and once imported back into Premiere it's more of a dog (slow w/JKL) on the timeline than AVCHD. The ProRes works much better, but is 6x the size and I can't afford that real estate loss in the field. On the scopes the AVCHD to ProRes looks really clean though. Unfortunately we have discovered a bug in PP where it squashes highlights in some movs. Not ProRes though.


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Patrick Murphy
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:39:56 pm

Transfer of clips, renaming, archiving, and other basic media management functions seems to be a major PITA with AVCHD footage. My experience with Panasonic's AVCCAM utility is that it doesn't preserve timecode, nor allow selection of individual clips, and has a hopelessly clunky interface. Compare this with Sony's HDCAM EX ClipBrowser 2.6 which allows all of the above and is fairly easy to use.

Shotput Pro is a nice start, but not if you are editing in a Windows environment. I'm really surprised that no third party or, god forbid, Panasonic themselves, have not addressed these basic professional issues with media management. And of course that's only for routine file transfer and logging. As far as I know there are no programs that allow for sophisticated storage and data based archiving of media in this area.

For PC users the only solution that seems to be functional at this point is to transcode them using Cineform which essentially triples the storage requirements of the media. Since my editing software easily handles the footage in it's native format this seems to be an rather clumsy and costly workaround that could be resolved with a better application.



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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 8:23:52 pm

Thanks Patrick, I appreciate your thoughts! I'm surprised as well that somebody hasn't created something really user friendly with a great workflow by now, dual platform. I'm guessing AVCCAM/AVCHD has not garnered much attention from the big video companies and developers since it's not 100% focused on professionals in the industry.


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Erik Naso
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 12:09:28 am

Hit the nail right on the head. AVCHD or the what they call the pro version AVCCAM really doesn't have a pro user base large enough to support it. Or at least pay pro prices for it.

Blog http://www.eriknaso.com
My Vimeo Page http://vimeo.com/user626030
Follow me on Twitter @ErikNaso


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 12:46:55 am

Funny thing is that I know there must be plenty of other non-profits like us that are trying to do the best we can professionally on limited budgets. AVCHD is great for that. So I think eventually someone will come to the fore and make it happen and I hope make a profit as well so that they last a loooong time. But in the meantime we'll figure something out.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 1:06:47 am

For PC users like myself, our NLE software handles offloading with ease...

I use Sony Vegas Pro, so all I have to do is either connect the camera or plug the SD memory card in to a reader, then use the built-in Sony Device Explorer utility that allows me to selectively import individual clips or import them all if I want, and will then automatically transfer full length clips to our hard drives and maintain the AVCHD format.

The CineForm CODEC is very useful, but mainly as an editing CODEC, though you can use it to import clips, and it will automatically detect and remove telecine pull-down encoding that many consumer AVCHD cameras use to store 24p footage.


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 4:03:17 am

Cool, FCPX also, as I mentioned earlier, has a superb and easy interface to view and transfer a few clips or all off a card, as I found in in my tests. BUT we switched from FCP7 to Premiere Pro for many reasons.

So ADOBE are you listening? We need you!!! :)


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Best software to view/offload SDHC cards?
on Jan 30, 2012 at 8:26:06 pm

It looks like a very cool answer is coming for Premiere Pro users. Check out a quick glimpse of Adobe Prelude:

http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2012/01/adobe-prelude/


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