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Shooting in XDCAM, Delivering in XDCAM, edit in....

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Jeff Meyer
Shooting in XDCAM, Delivering in XDCAM, edit in....
on Jul 28, 2011 at 2:49:06 am

Currently editing the first of many shows for broadcast with some Canon XF series cameras. The delivery format is XDCAM HD422 1080i60 50mbps CBR in MXF. The Canon cameras shoot this exact codec, so it seems logical to selective Native in the Log & Transfer window, but it defaults at ProRes422.

For this first program I switched the Log and Transfer to native. The cutting went great, but now we're at the stage where we're treating colours and adding graphics, and getting several (2+ per hour) crashes on Final Cut. It's still manageable, but it's really starting to be expensive waiting for the computer to work, which is leading me to think selecting ProRes at the Log & Transfer point would have been a good choice.

I guess my question is if the cameras shoot in the delivery codec, and the delivery codec is a long GOP codec, is it logical to go to ProRes as an intermediate?

I'm thinking ProRes is a good choice because it's Final Cut's codec of choice. It'll be easy to work with since it lacks P and B frames. It's also a robust codec that's visually lossless, so the quality shouldn't take a hit despite that it isn't the acquisition/delivery codec.

I'm thinking stick to XDCAM because it simply makes sense to stick to the acquisition codec if it is the delivery codec. The secondary benefit is we don't take footage offline, so the decreased storage requirements are nice, both in terms of footage shot and bitrate over our network. We regularly use AFP file sharing off of 4 drive RAID-5 arrays over a gigabit network. At 1080i I'm not sure how many streams of ProRes we can push over gigabit ethernet.


Equipment details:
MacPro 8 core nahelm, 32gb RAM, 4870 video, internal RAID-5 4x2TB
MacPro 12 core nahelm, 12gb RAM, 5870 video
MacBook Pro 4 core i7, 8gb RAM
MacBook Pro 4 core i7, 8gb RAM
All Snow Leapord 10.6.7 except the 8 core is 10.6.3 I believe. All Final Cut Pro 7.0.3.

Each MacPro has a G-Speed 4x2TB eSATA RAID-5 that is shared over AFP. Network is all gigabit. In addition two more 4x3TB G-Speeds are waiting at our vendor to be picked up.

Canon XF300, Canon XF100
Occasional footage from: GoPro, Canon 60D, anamorphic XL2

MXF file on Blu-Ray data disc; XDCAM HD422 1080i60

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Rafael Amador
Re: Shooting in XDCAM, Delivering in XDCAM, edit in....
on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:35:55 am

Hi Jeff,
I work in FC/Color with every kind of XDCAM stuff, from EX-SQ (HDV) to NANO-Flash footage (XDCAM HD.422-280Mbps).
I work on a MBP.
No problems at all working native.
Update your systems, repair permissions and rebuild directories (Diskwarrior or TechTools).

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Anthony Bairstow
Re: Shooting in XDCAM, Delivering in XDCAM, edit in....
on Jul 28, 2011 at 3:50:52 pm

if you keep getting FCP crashes - it might be something else as Rafael has hinted.

Id suggest you keep your project smaller than 100mb, for example. Ive run up to 150mb+ but its a nightmare.

When doing any multicam stuff, i find less crashing by switching sequence settings to Pro Res with XDCAM material.
With single camera stuff, i think the XDCAM sequence setting is very stable.


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Shooting in XDCAM, Delivering in XDCAM, edit in....
on Jul 28, 2011 at 9:17:39 pm

Thanks for the input. The project isn't too large - only 20mb. I'll run tools to check out the disk and switch the sequence over to ProRes to see if that helps.

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