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Sony F3 Post Workflow with FCP 7

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Arwa Merchant
Sony F3 Post Workflow with FCP 7
on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:10:18 am

I recently edited a 30min documentary shot on Sony EX3. All the footage was saved onto a hard drive and I imported the footage through Log and Transfer on FCP 7.0.3.
System specs
Mac OS X 10.7.2
Memory 16GB
processor 2x2.26 GHz

The footage imported as XDCAM HD422 1080p25 (50Mb/s) and my editing timebase was also the same compressor. On my Powermac tower, my project would crash literally every 5 mins. I was using a FW 800 HD to read the footage from. To avoid the crashes I was told to move my exact same project and HD to my laptop, and believe it or not on my MacBook pro the project worked like a beauty. Absolutely no crashes.
This was a bizarre solution, but it worked fine. Not sure if it was a OS Snow Leopard thing. My Mac Book Pro system specs.
OS X 10.6.7, 4GB memory, Processor 2.53 Intel Core i5, FCP 7.0.3

This was a fast and easy solution for this project, however the next project I am working on is a feature documentary that will be shot on the Sony F3. I cannot afford to have crashes like I did earlier, and also cannot work on my laptop. Will I need to go back to my previous OS to avoid these crashes with XDCAM Footage. I work on Pro Res Footage on my tower and I have no crash issues. I want to know if there is a recommended workflow approach when working with footage from the Sony F3 (same codec as EX3, right?) Should I use L&T in FCP to import, or XDCAM browser to import, should the footage be shot in a particular format so its friendlier to FCP 7.0.3 and OS X 10.7.2? , use a specific HD?. Any suggestions would help so I can plan for the post accordingly to avoid crashes and also make recommendations to the production team before they start filming.

Arwa Merchant

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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Sony F3 Post Workflow with FCP 7
on Jun 20, 2012 at 1:21:45 pm

Post the specs of that Firewire drive.

How is it formatted? You can find out by selecting it, then typing cmd+i.

The FW drive should be used for the media storage. Nothing you've done was incorrect. The problem lies in that hard drive I'll wager. The drive needs to be Mac OS Extended, and should be pretty fast. XDCAM isn't the easiest to work with, but works fine most all the time. I'm posting with it a lot, and use the workflow you've posted with no problems.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Sony F3 Post Workflow with FCP 7
on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:13:48 am

I would also suspect 7.0.3 on Lion with XDCam.

That said, the best workflow with the F3 is to use a PIX, Atomos or KiPro external recorder going sLog from the camera to ProRes 422 on the recorder. No Log & Transfer, easy pictures for editing, even off a FW800 drive (depending on frame rate) and sLog grades much better than XDCam.

If you add up all the time spent mucking around with XDCam, using the external recorder is a good investment.

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