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What is the benefit of XDCam versus straight hard drive?

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Kevin Anton
What is the benefit of XDCam versus straight hard drive?
on Dec 18, 2015 at 1:16:56 am
Last Edited By Kevin Anton on Dec 18, 2015 at 1:17:58 am

The gig I'm working on still shoots DVCPro tape and they want to transition to XDCam. We will likely be editing in an offline low-res codec and then upres-ing later (that's what we do now with the tapes.) I just spent three hours reading forum posts about Avid-XDCam workflows and I'm still confused, so here I am.

From what I can tell, my options for offline-online editing with XDCam are this:
  1. AMA link and transcode each individual disc to a low resolution one-at-a-time. Edit. Upres by re-linking and re-transcoding each individual disc to a high resolution one-at-a-time.
    (It seems very tedious to link and transcode each tape one-by-one as opposed to batch capturing the way we do with tapes now.)

  2. Import the files from each individual disc at a low resolution. Edit. Upres by batch importing the files one disc at a time at a high resolution.
    (It seems very tedious to bath import one-at-a-time, plus it would require importing an entire 20-minute clip if a few seconds were used in the sequence.)

  3. Treat the discs like tapes and digitize real-time with a deck. Edit. Upres by decomposing and batch capturing the clips one-disc-at-a-time at a high resolution.
    (This would be the easiest upres, but it seems ridiculous to capture digital video files in real-time.)

  4. Back up each tape to a single hard drive. Link and transcode all files at once to low-res. Edit. Upres by relinking all-at-once and transcoding all-at-once to a high resolution.
    (This is clearly the easiest and fastest workflow, but it requires a lot of disc space.)

Assuming I use workflow #4, what is the point of shooting to XDcam as opposed to shooting straight to a card/drive? If we're going to have to back up all of the media to a drive anyway, wouldn't it be way cheaper to just use a second hard drive as a backup instead of a large collection of XDCam discs?


Using Avid MC 6.5 on Mac OSX 10.7

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