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XDCAM Codec

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Bill Coons
XDCAM Codec
on Mar 8, 2010 at 9:22:36 pm

We have about 4 hours of footage shot with the PDW 350 HD recorded at 1080 60i 35VBR.

The footage looks great - interviews and B-roll, final product several 3 minute videos.

Question: In Final Cut Pro, when I drag an XDCAM HD clip into an empty timeline, the suggested compressor comes up as HDV 108060i, even though there is a compressor available for XDCAM HD 1080 60i 35VBR in the menu. When I change the time line to that specific codec, the native footage must be rendered.

Any insights would be appreciated as to why this happens. I guess if I use Apple ProRes it would need to be rendered anyway but it seems odd.

Thanks
Bill Coons

Sony XDCAM 350 HD
MacOS 10.6.2
Apple FCP 7.0.1
2x2.66 Dual-Core Xeon
5GB Ram
ATI Radeon X1900 XT
1.5T Internal RAID

OS 10.6.2, FCP 7.0.1, XDCAM Transfer 2.10.0
(2) 8-core, (1) Dual Core, (1) G5, (1) MB Pro Edit/Graphics Systems
Sony XDCAM 350 HD, DSR500, DSR300, Pana DVX100


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Wayne Carey
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:42:54 pm

[Bill Coons] "Question: In Final Cut Pro, when I drag an XDCAM HD clip into an empty timeline, the suggested compressor comes up as HDV 108060i, even though there is a compressor available for XDCAM HD 1080 60i 35VBR in the menu. When I change the time line to that specific codec, the native footage must be rendered. "

That is because XDCAM HD uses a flavor of HDV. Its not HDV but a "cousin" of HDV. Apple doesn't understand XDCAM HD very well, and reports it as HDV.

But, let me ask you this... Did you import the footage using the Sony Transfer program?

It almost makes me think that someone has converted the footage improperly if FCP as saying this is HDV 1080i60. FCP SHOULD interpret it correctly if the Sony Transfer program is installed.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 12, 2010 at 2:04:55 am

XDCAM at 25Mbps is just HDV.
I don't think that FC is reading nothing wrong.
The metadata in the MPEG-2/XDCAM is really solid.
Open your clip in MPEGStreamclip and have a look to the Info window.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Bill Coons
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 12, 2010 at 5:28:15 pm

Wayne,

Thanks for your insight. I did use XDCAM transfer to ingest the footage. (V2.10.0) I am working in Snow Leopard, and from what I have read, I understand that it is not fully compatible with Snow Leopard (10.6.2) and that a driver update is coming out at or after NAB.

But checking further, I think I do understand the issue. We shoot our green screen with the HQ setting, and the XDCAM codec pops right in. As noted in the next post, this video was shot at the SP setting, which is not 35Mbps VBR, but 25Mbps CBR.


Bill

Sony XDCAM 350 HD, XDCAM Transfer 2.10.0
MacOS 10.6.2, Apple FCP 7.0.1
2x2.66 Dual-Core Xeon, 5GB Ram, 1.5T Internal RAID
ATI Radeon X1900 XT


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Wayne Carey
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 12, 2010 at 5:34:54 pm

[Bill Coons] " As noted in the next post, this video was shot at the SP setting, which is not 35Mbps VBR, but 25Mbps CBR. "

Wel... That'll do it!

Funny how FCP can't tell the difference in HDV and XDCAM HD 25 mb CBR.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Andy Mees
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 12, 2010 at 2:37:05 pm

Bill

You might want to check this footage back on your camera or deck. Chances are that despite your best intentions you did actually record in SP mode (which is the default) ... SP, as Rafa notes, is 25 Mbs CBR MPEG HD aka just plain old HDV video.

Sorry its not better news, but as you say "the footage looks great" so even though its not what you intended its still all good right?

Best
Andy


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Bill Coons
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 12, 2010 at 5:50:32 pm

Andy,

You and Rafael are correct, this footage was shot at SP -- 25Mbps CBR. The footage does look great, so no worries re this project.

However, it is a bit disconcerting that Sony doesn't mention this in the XDCAM operating manual. Aside from the fact that this is a much more expensive instrument than any HDV camera, aren't there other issues with the HDV codec? I knew that the sony's XDCAM MPEG2 format was somewhat unique to this camera line, but I assumed that it was not HDV.

Are there any other known issues or am I making a mountain out of a molehill. Note that most of our shoots with this camera have been green screen, and were done with the HQ setting, and the correct codec does display with all of those projects.

THANKS, and any other insights would be most welcome!

Bill Coons
Creative Dynamics Studio

Sony XDCAM 350 HD, XDCAM Transfer 2.10.0
MacOS 10.6.2, Apple FCP 7.0.1
2x2.66 Dual-Core Xeon, 5GB Ram, 1.5T Internal RAID
ATI Radeon X1900 XT


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Rafael Amador
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 13, 2010 at 3:54:06 am

Hi Bill,
If you export from Compressor a LGOP MPEG-2 at 25Mbps CBR, what you get is basically HDV, even if you call it something different.
If you look in the Sequence Presets window for XDCAM HD, you will see that in all the CBR flavors, the compressor is HDV.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Bill Coons
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 13, 2010 at 3:28:46 pm

The XDCAM HD 35Mbps VBR is merely a variant of HDV video, correct? The three camera settings, HQ, SP and LP are all some relation of HDV. The video does look great -- but are there ramifications that I haven't run into yet. Most of what we have shot with this camera is green screen interviews or regular interviews.

Thanks

Bill Coons

Sony XDCAM 350 HD, XDCAM Transfer 2.10.0
MacOS 10.6.2, Apple FCP 7.0.1
2x2.66 Dual-Core Xeon, 5GB Ram, 1.5T Internal RAID
ATI Radeon X1900 XT


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Wayne Carey
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 13, 2010 at 5:54:06 pm

I do have one question for you, Bill. Is your computer one of the new style Macs or the original Quad systems of a couple years ago? I ask because if your system is of the older style, 5 gigs of RAM will cause some serious performance issues with XDCAM. The newer boxes don't seem to have this issue.

I have a couple if the older style Intel Macs and memory for us had to be in multiples of 4. Otherwise, there are weird issues with FCP.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Bill Coons
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:01:04 pm

I am pretty sure that this is an early MacIntel -- just prior to the first 8-core release. We have bought every other Mac and are anxiously anticipating the release of a Hexacore (or dual hex -- can we hope for 12 core?) Mac next week. This particular system is handling all the XDCAM editing without any problems. I regret upgrading to Snow Leopard, but most of those problems revolve around compatibility issues with drivers and other equipment.

Final Cut Pro runs smoothly with no hiccups -- maybe one crash in the last 60 days, and I think that I have edited about 35 programs since the first of the year. (course mostly in DVCAM)

I am using one of my monitors (23" Apple Cinema HD Display) as the HD monitor, and sometimes the motion in a pan or tilt looks a little stuttered, hence my uncertainty about this HDV codec, but I chalk it up to not enough bandwidth. When I rank the media over to DVD or for H.264 (for web) it looks absolutely fantastic and the clients are very satisfied. We use the MOTU4D but don't have an HD monitor to output to yet.

Bill Coons

Sony XDCAM 350 HD, XDCAM Transfer 2.10.0
MacOS 10.6.2, Apple FCP 7.0.1
2x2.66 Dual-Core Xeon, 5GB Ram, 1.5T Internal RAID
ATI Radeon X1900 XT


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Wayne Carey
Re: XDCAM Codec
on Mar 13, 2010 at 11:25:44 pm

[Bill Coons] "Final Cut Pro runs smoothly with no hiccups -- maybe one crash in the last 60 days, and I think that I have edited about 35 programs since the first of the year. (course mostly in DVCAM)"

Wow! That's amazing. We have two of the same systems and both had lots of issues with RT support using odd memory sizes.

Do you have any RT issues? Are you able to play your clips in real time even with the 3-way Color Corrector applied?

This memory specs also applies to XDCAM support. Mine crashed so much until we found out that the computers had new memory requirements. I have the original 1 gig that Apple shipped with the computers on a shelf. Both systems are running 8 gig of matched memory pairs in order between the memory risers.

As for snow leopard compatibility issues, everybody should be up to speed now, except for Sony as usual.

As for the stuttering issue you are seeing on your program monitor, that is because computer monitors are progrssive scan only monitors. In order to see the siginal properly, you'll need to use something that will convert your video properly like a AJA HDP2 converter or the Matrox MXO2 series boxes.

[Bill Coons] "I am using one of my monitors (23" Apple Cinema HD Display) as the HD monitor, and sometimes the motion in a pan or tilt looks a little stuttered, hence my uncertainty about this HDV codec, but I chalk it up to not enough bandwidth."

The only time I have seen this is when I tried to play HDV on our old G4 or from the system drive (which is a HUGE no no).

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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