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Sony XDCam Ex1 to ProRes for digital Print out?


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#1 Alex Fuchs

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:07 PM

Hi,
we have shot a feature length documentary with the sony xdcam ex1 and now we have to prepare the final cut for the digital print. The postproduction facility asked us to convert the stuff to apples pro res codec. We've edited the film with final cut pro and the film will be graded before print out. Has anyone experience with that workfolw? For me as an editor it seems that there is no need for the convertion to apples pro res... thanks a lot.
cheers from Berlin,
Alex

P.S.: Sorry, I posted that thread in "Film Stocks and Processing" before. Sorry for that, I wasn't here for a long time...
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:21 PM

Since you are already in Final Cut, what codec are you actually editing in? ProRes HQ is a really amazing codec to work in.

If you're not already in ProRes, the conversion is painless... you may want to establish exactly which variant of ProRes they are talking about... ProRes. ProRes HQ or the new ProRes 4:4:4.
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#3 Alex Fuchs

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:59 AM

Hi Will,
thanks for your reply, but that wasn't my point. Of course, the ProRes codec group are good codecs and I think they want the new ProRes 4444. As I mentioned before we edited with a XDCam Ex 1080/50i compressor. And my point is, that I don't understand why they want to convert the stuff, because I have learned that with every compression you have a data loss. And yes, I knew that Apple told us, there is no data loss with there codecs, but it is physically impossible to compress a file without a data loss. I only wondered why they want to compress the film in there workflow, because it is possible to work with the XDCam Ex compressor during the color grading process and to print it to film from that codec.
Thanks,
Alex
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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 11:53 AM

And my point is, that I don't understand why they want to convert the stuff

Did you ask them?

While data certainly is altered in any conversion, it isn't necessarily lost if you are going from a more compressed codec to a less compressed codec which it would be in your case. ProRes 4:4:4 has about the most data of any standard codec (short of an uncompressed one) around which is probably why they prefer it. I would bet that they have tested different codecs and had the best results with that one on their hardware.
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#5 Phil Connolly

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 03:56 AM

Hi Will,
thanks for your reply, but that wasn't my point. Of course, the ProRes codec group are good codecs and I think they want the new ProRes 4444. As I mentioned before we edited with a XDCam Ex 1080/50i compressor. And my point is, that I don't understand why they want to convert the stuff, because I have learned that with every compression you have a data loss. And yes, I knew that Apple told us, there is no data loss with there codecs, but it is physically impossible to compress a file without a data loss. I only wondered why they want to compress the film in there workflow, because it is possible to work with the XDCam Ex compressor during the color grading process and to print it to film from that codec.
Thanks,
Alex


Alex, your right every re-compression is going to degrade your footage. Which is why you don't want to stay in the XDCAM EX codec. The EX codec is a long GOP codec and as such any time you manipulate your footage - that can either be a cut, a fade, a dissolve, titles added or color correction your have to make the change and then recompress in EX format. If your timeline is set to XDCAM EX - you are having to recompres the footage to that codec all the time.

So you can keep you footage in the EX format during colour correction but its a very compressed codec and will degrade the image a lot more then working in a better codec. So the advice to go to ProRez is good, but you have to transcode to ProRez before you colour correct. If you'd colour corrected in the EX codec then exported to ProRez you would have no real benefit quality wise.


The best way to extract as much quality out of the EX cameras is transcode to uncompressed as soon as possible in the edit process - so all you manipulations to the footage occur to uncompressed footage. If uncompressed is too big to work with then ProRez is a good middle ground.
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#6 Alex Fuchs

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 03:03 AM

Thanks Will & Phil,
I think I got the point. Merci.
Cheers,
Alex
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