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Bryce Moose
XDCAM File Size
on Sep 11, 2010 at 10:28:47 pm

Hello, I have heard from various people that if you export your files to XDCAM either in SD or HD it's a better file size and functions better with Final Cut Pro. Is this really true? I can't seem to find any documentation online that supports this. If this is true what is the reasons and how much better is it?


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Shane Ross
Re: XDCAM File Size
on Sep 11, 2010 at 11:22:50 pm

[Bryce Moose] "I have heard from various people that if you export your files to XDCAM either in SD or HD it's a better file size and functions better with Final Cut Pro"

From whom? Export as SD? What format of SD? Do you mean if you SHOOT SD? So XDCAM SD?

Better file size...yes. Smaller that's for sure. Function better? I'll argue against that. XDCAM is a GOP format, which is processor intensive. Takes up a lot of computer resources. But, if you edit in a ProRes timeline, things can be better.

Converting to ProRes makes things a LOT better, but the file sizes are huge. So if you need small, just use native, and edit in a ProRes timeline.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Bryce Moose
Re: XDCAM File Size
on Sep 12, 2010 at 12:55:26 am

Sorry, but I don't understand what native is or how to edit in a prorez timeline


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Shane Ross
Re: XDCAM File Size
on Sep 12, 2010 at 1:04:27 am

[Bryce Moose] "but I don't understand what native is or how to edit in a prorez timeline"

Then you have no business editing. I'm not sure if you have any business ASSISTANT editing.

Native...the codec in which the footage was shot...just wrapped in a Quicktime file.

ProRes timeline...you choose an Easy Setup that matches the dimensions of your footage (720p, 1080i) and frame rate, only you choose PRORES. Then you make a new sequence...and use that.

Confused by what I said? Then you need to take an editing class or two.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Bryce Moose
Re: XDCAM File Size
on Sep 12, 2010 at 5:22:53 am

Well thank you very much for the info because I'm taking a college class in final cut pro and my instructor just emailed me saying he doens't know what native is either.


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John Pale
Re: XDCAM File Size
on Sep 12, 2010 at 5:34:50 am

Bryce,

This is primarily a forum for pros, so when you ask questions that would seem shockingly basic you might encounter some snarling from people that have spent years learning their craft (often paying their dues for a long time assisting). That does not mean you are not welcome to post or ask questions...this is really a great place to learn....but its probably a good idea to state you are a student up front. The expectations are a bit different for a student and the responders might be a great deal more patience and understanding of serious gaps in your knowledge.

As for your instructor not knowing what working "nativ" means.....hmmmm.....


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Shane Ross
Re: XDCAM File Size
on Sep 12, 2010 at 7:31:51 am

Sorry, had I known you were a student I would have responded differently. But really, if your teacher doesn't know, how are they qualified to teach?

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Andy Mees
Re: XDCAM File Size
on Sep 12, 2010 at 8:55:32 am

Hi Bryce

You might hear this generality from folks using H264 / AVCHD based cameras. In such a case the "native" camera format (H264) is not a good or practicable working format for your edit, and so you will first transcode that footage into a intermediate format ie one that lies between that native acquisition format and your intended delivery format. Obviously when choosing an intermediate format then you'll want to choose one that works well with your editing system. With FCP you can check the list of codecs supported in the "Easy Setup" menu ... all those formats work very well in FCP, and amongst them you'll find various XDCAM codecs. However, not all codecs are created equal, and just because a codec may be supported will not necessarily make it the best codec for the job. Each codec will have strengths and weaknesses - with XDCAM HD as an example, you have pretty good quality at, comparatively speaking, very low data rates. This makes it a good choice for those with limited storage space, limited needs and/or limited budget (for bigger faster storage) ... on the down side it is, as has already been pointed out, a very complex and therefore computationally intensive codec which may overstrain a less powerful system, so whilst you may enjoy lower data rates you'll spend more time rendering. Additionally, it is a very heavily compressed codec, which means more of the original data is thrown out than with a less compressed codec ... so if your needs are for heavy treatments, effects laden work then choosing XDCAM HD as an intermediate means you would be working with less real image data so effectively the quality of your production is compromised.

So to recap, is XDCAM HD a better file size? Well it produces clips with a smaller file than Uncompressed HD, DVCPRO HD, or ProRes ... that would certainly be "better" if you have only very limited storage space. Does it function better with Final Cut Pro? Depends what you are comparing it to ... it definitely functions better with FCP than H264, but it functions far less efficiently than the same 3 codecs mentioned above (Uncompressed, DVCPRO HD and ProRes).
Still, these days, with storage being both pretty fast and pretty cheap, most folks tend to prefer a less compressed, better optimized intermediate codec ... the current flavor of choice would probably be Apple ProRes.

Hope it helps
Andy


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