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Re: Keep the camera originals or not - what say you?

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Tangier Clarke
Re: Keep the camera originals or not - what say you?
on Mar 13, 2019 at 6:02:17 pm

Ok, folks I've been doing some testing, examining, playing around with these MXF files from the Sony FS7 and looking into the XML files in the card structure. Though DaVinci Resolve is not pertinent for what I am trying to find out, it helped to have another NLE to see how two different systems handled the same content, which in turn helped me verify (or not) certain things about the MXF and MOV files. Here's what I discovered:

Tools: FCP X 10.4.5 and DaVinci Resolve 15, MediaInfo app
Hardware: 2013 Mac Pro 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5/ 64 GB RAM /Two AMD FirePro D500/ Thunderbolt 2 connected drives.
OS: mac OS Mojave: 10.14.3

Using FCP X import window rewraps MXF files to .mov with no option (even from hard) drive to "leave in place". Dragging in MXF files to FCP X event keeps MXF files as MXF and MXF files are allowed to stay in place inside their card structure on the hard drive.

Playback of MXF files in DaVinci Resolve 15 is much choppier than FCP X. Lots of green scrubbing frames as well in DaVinci Resolve. The rewrapped version of these files played back much smoother than their originals.

Using MediaInfo I noticed that the .mov FCP X created (due to using the import window) which was a rewrap it seems and not a transcode of the MXF retained all of the pertinent information and metadata that the MXF had and needed for playback and identifying the camera LUT used; in this case - Sony S-Log3/S-Gamut3.Cine.

I created a new library in FCP X and brought the .mov file in to see if FCP X had and/or would identify the LUT (meaning that it's truly with the file) and it applied the LUT right away. The LUT info was presented in the inspector in the Camera LUT fields and Color Profile. I didn't want to give FCP X a chance to use any potential previous database info on how to handle the file. To further confirm the LUT info was there I used DaVinci Resolve 15 and brought the same clip in. It showed flat. I had to apply the LUT manually. Behaviors between the two apps are different, but it seems nothing so far is lost.

The rewrapped MXF to .mov is an mp4 Quicktime inside a .mov. I am thinking that it has to be this way because because perhaps mp4 don't support PCM audio, but .mov files do. (I could be wrong on this).

The rewrapped .mov from the MXF seems to have all of the pertinent information needed to keep these files instead of the MXF files. I compared information using MediaInfo going line by line to review all of the file structure, metadata, and header information. I recognize this is not scientific.

If money were no object it wouldn't matter. We'd keep everything. As it stands that's likely what we'll do anyway for now, but in the end everything will be edited, archived, referenced, searched, and potentially one day unarchived using the .mov files. So I am keeping these findings in consideration in the case I do have to (dare I say it) ditch the Sony card structure originals.

I know there is no one size fits all solution.

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