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Fernando Bobadilla
Sony Z5U Camera to FCP... What setting should FCP be set to if recording in HDV?
on Sep 26, 2011 at 6:02:00 pm

I just bought a Sony Z5U and I'm looking to import some footage into FCP on my Mac Book Pro.

I know there are different settings in FCP to receive the footage (pro res, h.264, etc); I would like to know which setting would give me the best quality video and audio.

Also, the Z5U can record to a Memory Stick Pro card - should I use this instead of using tape..?

I need to go buy a HDV/DV cable (firewire) to transfer all the footage if I don't use the Memory Stick.

My predicament: how am I going to transfer the footage to my external hard drive from the Z5U if my computer only has one firewire outlet, which my hard drive would be connected to..?

Thank you, any information will help.

- Fernando


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Bill Hall
Re: Sony Z5U Camera to FCP... What setting should FCP be set to if recording in HDV?
on Sep 26, 2011 at 8:15:00 pm

It sounds like you are in a bit over your head. Not to be rude but you may benefit from a training class to get a hang of some of the basics of working with an edit system.

Still to answer your questions. You can use a firewire cable to transfer from your camera to your computer. You may need to buy a firewire hub or a pci card that has some extra firwire ports. My guess is you are on a laptop if you only have one port. If that is the case a hub may be the way to go. You might also be able to use something like this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/437092-REG/SIIG_NN_EC2012_S1_2_Port_F... .

Your camera has a 4 pin port so you will need a cable that goes from 4 pin firewire to six pin or 8 pin depending on your computer.

I personally love using memory cards rather than tape because it is so much faster to transfer. That would be my recommendation but tapes are a lot cheaper to buy.

You will want to make sure that you set your scratch disk to the external firewire drive you are using. If you don't Final Cut will save all of your files to your computer's internal hard disk.

Lastly you can use one of Final Cut's easy set ups for HDV. Just pick the one that matches your frame size and frame rate. For example if you shoot HDV in 1080 30 P use HDV 1080p30 FireWire Basic. Make sure your camera is plugged in and turned on in VTR mode before starting Final Cut. If it's not final cut won't recognize the camera. Then you will use log and capture to capture your footage. If you use the cards you will still use the easy set up as above but you will use file log and transfer to get the files.

My policy is to always capture and edit in the same format I shoot in if at all reasonably possible. The less transcoding the better. Since you are shooting HDV you should have no problems. Final Cut handles that like a champ.

If you decide to use tape and edit a lot buy a deck. You will wear down your camera heads using it as a deck all of the time.

I hope this helps.


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Fernando Bobadilla
Re: Sony Z5U Camera to FCP... What setting should FCP be set to if recording in HDV?
on Sep 28, 2011 at 4:56:59 am

Thank you; the information was very helpful...

How reliable do you find those memory cards?

I found someone that said the cons outweighed the pros in opposition to using tape.

Also, I've been seeing that people buy HD cards of some sort that allow your system to fully process captured HD footage uncompressed.. What's the deal with that?

Thanks again,

- F


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Bill Hall
Re: Sony Z5U Camera to FCP... What setting should FCP be set to if recording in HDV?
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:25:02 pm

I'm not sure what memory cards your camera uses. I've had no problems with the cards I use. I've never heard of anyone leaving tape wanting to go back.

Your camera will not be shooting uncompressed HD. It will be shooting HDV. Most video formats are compressed. My guess is if you are just starting out you won't work with uncompressed HD.

The only thing I could think you mean is that they are talking about a graphics card. If you are using FCP 6 or 7 that won't help you with uncompressed HD. Really what limits your computer working with uncompressed HD footage is how fast you can read and write to your hard drive.

A fast graphics card and editing software that can make use of it will help with editing some compressed footage natively.


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Fernando Bobadilla
Re: Sony Z5U Camera to FCP... What setting should FCP be set to if recording in HDV?
on Oct 10, 2011 at 6:51:33 pm

Thank you very much.

You have been a great help.

I think my camera needs a memory recording unit, even though it has the slot for a memory stick pro duo on the side of it -___________-

I need to do some research!


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