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XDCAM FCP Workflow


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#1 Joey Daoud

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:44 AM

I got a Sony EX1 a few months ago for a long term documentary project (filming over a year) and smaller freelance projects.

So far I've been using the XDCAM Clip Browser to pull the files off the SxS cards onto my hard drive, sorted in folders based on projects.

Then to edit in FCP I'll either use XDCAM Transfer or Log and Transfer to turn the clips into Quicktimes to edit, and here's where I get curious.

Do I need to keep the original XDCAM clips or are the Quicktimes the exact same quality? Is there any quality or color space loss for color timing? Each clip is now taking twice the space and pretty soon that's going to be a big issue.

Premiere can just read the native XDCAM clips and edit straight from them, which is nice. Is there a way to just have a small quicktime proxy of each clip, or is that totally unnecessary?

I'm also open to other ideas for FCP/XDCAM workflows with minimal hard drive footprint, as well as any inexpensive archival ideas. Thanks!
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:41 PM

Once you import into Fcp you can get rid of the original clips. There is no change in quality that I'm aware of, as it's the same codec inside of the .mov as there is in the .mp4 it also rebuilds broken clips and should correct for span etc.
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#3 David Williams

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:59 PM

There's no change to the codec or clip, but you do lose all the MXF metadata. There have been rumors lately of some update from Sony that expands the use of metadata on the EX to include stuff some of the bigger cams have, like kelvin, f-stop, etc.

I wonder what hack Apple will have to implement to retain both their proprietary mov format and MXF data...
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#4 Joey Daoud

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:35 PM

Any downside to losing the metadata?
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#5 David Williams

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:53 PM

It might be handy information at a later point. Conversely, you may always have your camera logs, if you do that. Just being able to keep notes and settings embedded in the clip is very handy. All the modern edit systems are beginning to use these fields as well.
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#6 Joey Daoud

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:16 AM

Thanks for the help, David. Is there an easy way to extract that and save it as a text file, just in case? But as far as color correction and quality go, converting it to Quicktime has no effect, correct?
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#7 Michael Belanger

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:48 PM

As an argument for keeping the BPAV data from the camera as a backup, I recently had to re-transfer a clip shot on an EX1 to SXS because the .mov version had a 2 second 'drop-out' in the middle of a 20 minute shot. It's the first one I've seen in over a year of using the camera. If I'd dumped the BPAVs I'd be out of luck right now.
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#8 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 09:37 AM

As an argument for keeping the BPAV data from the camera as a backup, I recently had to re-transfer a clip shot on an EX1 to SXS because the .mov version had a 2 second 'drop-out' in the middle of a 20 minute shot. It's the first one I've seen in over a year of using the camera. If I'd dumped the BPAVs I'd be out of luck right now.

That's good enough for me! I'm keeping the BPAV folders!

My workflow is to copy the entire card to an external hard drive (via my Macbook Pro), duplicate the entire BPAV folder onto a dual-layer DVD (and onto a second DVD for extra redundancy, if time permits). I have 8GB cards which fit very nicely on a dual-layer DVD.

--
Jim
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#9 Dennis Dillon

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 11:53 AM

That's good enough for me! I'm keeping the BPAV folders!

My workflow is to copy the entire card to an external hard drive (via my Macbook Pro), duplicate the entire BPAV folder onto a dual-layer DVD (and onto a second DVD for extra redundancy, if time permits). I have 8GB cards which fit very nicely on a dual-layer DVD.

--
Jim

Always keep the BPAV folder as is. Your footage may move to other NLE's that need the original BPAV. Our method of back up has progressed to more redundancy after loosing 2 HD. Start with Imagine products Shot Put Pro. Copy SxS to three destinations. We use (1) CAL Digit 3 TB Mirrored, (2&3) USB HD SEAGATE or G Tech. Send one USB copy with client, Mail second USB after confirmation of ingest. Erase CAL Digit and start over. A more secure process could involve LTO. Not many folks are ready to lay out $$. Since Sony now allows writing back to their optical disks User Data folders, we have added this along with the above. It requires a laptop and a Sony U1 Drive. I now sleep well.
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