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Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC

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Morgan Gewert
Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 19, 2012 at 4:04:36 pm

I'm currently looking for a prosumer HD camera under $5,000 that will have a good workflow with Final Cut Pro 6.0.6 with good imagery, XLR inputs, and ease of use. Ideally, I'd like a camera that records on SD cards for cost reasons. I shoot both SD and HD, and sometimes shoot long unbroken scenes that can go over an hour. I was initially "sold" on the Sony HXR-NX5U, but from previous Creative Cow posts it seems that it is not very compatible with FC, particularly when shooting long scenes. I'd prefer not to have to purchase an AJA Ki-Pro or the like. Any thoughts?

Thanks!



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David Eaks
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:52:22 pm

I just bought my third Sony NX5u, I consistently shoot 1-2hrs at a time and am able to edit in FCP 7.0.3 with no problems (Log and Transfer to Prores).

What is it about the NX5 is "not very compatible with FC, particularly when shooting long scenes", is the problem specific to FCP 6.0.6?


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Shane Ross
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:00:14 pm

The N5X camera shoots a variant of AVCHD that FCP 6 cannot really deal with. In fact, FCP 7.0.1 and .0.2 couldn't deal well with it either It took an update to .0.3 to get it to work right.

But, ClipWrap2 deals with it fine. That is a good camera, and if you use it, and use ClipWrap2...you will be fine.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Gary Milligan
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 1:24:53 am

I agree with both David and Shane - the NX5 and ClipWrap is a good combination. Go for it! If you can afford the optional FMU-128 flash drive it'll give you close to 11 hours at best HD quality and you can record to SDHC cards simultaneously which gives you an immediate back-up as you go.

HTH

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Morgan Gewert
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 1:59:37 pm

Hi Gary,

As I asked Shane, are you certain I won't have any issues with my version of FC when using ClipWrap?



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Gary Milligan
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 5:45:33 pm

Okay, here's the truth - I don't use Final Cut... not as an editing tool anyway. I purchased FC Studio 2 (FCP 6.0.6) mainly for the other tools in the bundle - DVD SP, Compressor, etc. I sometimes bring clips into FCP to apply an effect (SmoothCam, or a CrumplePop filter, etc.) that I don't have in my editing tool of choice - Media 100. So, for me to say with any certainty that you won't have any issues would be unfair. However, knowing how ClipWrap works, I don't see any reason why you would have problems fitting it into your workflow with FCP 6.0.6. I edit in Media 100 using ProRes files transcoded in ClipWrap from the original AVCHD files. When I first started using ClipWrap I had a problem with long shots but it turned out ClipWrap has a built-in fix - the NX5 has a maximum clip file size of about 12 GB (or 12 min at full quality HD). That doesn't mean you can't record longer - I've recorded 2 hours at a time without stopping, but the shot gets split into 12 minute segments. In ClipWrap you can select multiple segments and join them to be transcoded into one long clip, thus avoiding a 4-5 frame break in the shot if you transcoded each file individually and tried to join them in your timeline.

The best way to see if you might have issues is to download the free trial of ClipWrap and put it to the test. If you can get hold of a Sony camera that shoots AVCHD, record some long shots (more than 12 min.) and see how it goes.

In your reply to David you said:

Hi David,

I read on earlier Creative Cow posts that v 6.0.6 and earlier versions were getting error messages when importing long running files.


Were those posts referring to a particular codec? Or maybe ClipWrap transcoded ProRes files that weren't joined?

HTH.

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Morgan Gewert
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 8:24:15 pm

Gary, I'm putting together a quote on a job that entails 9 days of straight recording. Owning the NX5U or the like will allow us to bid more competitively than if we rented. Although experimenting with the new camera and a trial version of the software is wise, it won't help me here since once the quote is submitted, we have to honor it. That's why I'm looking for advice from someone who actually used ClipWrap with long running files in FC 6.0.6. Thanks for your suggestions, however.



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Morgan Gewert
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 1:16:08 pm

Shane, thanks for the advice. Are you certain ClipWrap2 will solve the problem with v 6.0.6?



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Morgan Gewert
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 1:12:33 pm

Hi David,

I read on earlier Creative Cow posts that v 6.0.6 and earlier versions were getting error messages when importing long running files.



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Jeff Meyer
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:01:06 pm

I would look at the JVC GY-HM100 or the Canon XF100. The JVC shoots at 35mbps to SD cards, the Canon shoots full raster 50mbps to CF cards. Both types of media are readily available and affordable. These are small format cameras, so there will be some handling compromises associated with them. I don't have experience with the JVC, but the Canon works great in Final Cut Pro once you install the Log and Transfer plugin. I usually bring it is as ProRes instead of the native XDCAM422. The Canon XF series is not compatible with Final Cut X. The JVC shoots right to .mov, so it's supposed to be as simple as importing the files - no Log & Transfer needed.

If budget permits Panasonic's HPX250 looks fantastic, but that's stepping into another class of camera and expensive P2 media.


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Morgan Gewert
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:05:00 pm

Thanks, Jeff. The JVC looks very interesting.



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Nick Price
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 3:01:00 pm

hi
the panasonic AF101 is good too...not sure what the dollar price for this though

nick


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Kevin Young
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 22, 2012 at 7:10:15 pm

Morgan, I use the JVC GY-HM100. I own two and rent two for a weekly Public Access show. I am able to put four stream of XDCam EX 35Mbps in a multicam and run it on a 2.5Mhz MacBook Pro with 4Gb of ram. The footage looks great. There are better low light cameras out there but for your price point this is a great camera.

"Up Close and Remote"


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John Christie
Re: Finding the ideal prosumer camera for FC
on Feb 20, 2012 at 9:08:53 pm

Check out the Panasonic AC130 or it's bigger brother the 160. It seems to fit everything on your list. SD and HD, variable HD data rates, XLR inputs, etc. Shoots up to 12 hours in a single clip!


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