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  • HD XDCam editing

    Posted by Tom Matthies on June 20, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    We will be doing an HD edit in the near future and I have a few questions in an attempt to stay out of trouble as much as possible.
    The DP on this shoot is planning to use a Sony HD XDCam for the shoot. He will be shooting 24P and I will be editing in FCP at 29.97. The spots will be distributed in SD to stations but we will retain the HD edit for future use. All editing will be in HD and downconverted for SD dubs.
    I’m running a Quad G5 with FCP5. For storage I have a Huge 2Tb raid. Right now, for input I have an Aja Io, but I’ve been planning to add a Kona 3 card to the mix as well.
    I’ll be inputting the video via HD SDI from a rented deck and outputting SD to a Digibeta via SDI. The spots will be fairly simple with aq minimum amount of graphics and titles. Just a bit of CG graphics at the head and some dealer info at the end.
    Any obvious “got-chas” in this plan that anyone can see? I’m sure that there are a few I’ve overlooked. Any input on the work flow, suggested codecs or helpful hints will be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

    Steve Connor replied 18 years, 1 month ago 10 Members · 19 Replies
  • 19 Replies
  • Scott Simmons

    June 20, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    Give this article a read:

    maybe you can soon edit native.

    Life is linear. Edit life.

  • Arnie Schlissel

    June 20, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    I went to a small SMPTE show 2 weeks ago, & one of the Sony reps told me that they will be releasing a plugin to import the 25Mbps material into FCP 5 natively, Usimilar to how you can now work with XDCam in SD or P2) in a month or 2. He though that by the end of the summer we’d be able to work with all of the data rates, and maybe have all of the XDCam HD features available to us by the end of the year. But he wasn’t to sure about the timetables. If you can wait till they release the plugin, then at least you’d be able to shoot at the 25Mbps data rate until they release an upgrade. Till they release any plugin, you’re limited to capturing over SDI.


  • Tony

    June 20, 2006 at 3:28 pm

    Just got a brochure from Apple about the nationwide FCP/XDCAM HD tour.

    Native XDCAM HD editing on a MacBook Pro.

    More info at

    Tony Salgado

  • Arnie Schlissel

    June 20, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    Yeah, I’m already signed up for the NYC event next month.


  • Tony

    June 20, 2006 at 3:45 pm

    Los Angeles event has a waiting list.

    Other cities still look open.

    Tony Salgado

  • Mschirad

    June 20, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    Our station just got in a Sony XDCam HD camera (the 350 model, I think) which we’re borrowing from corporate for producing an HD 1 hour show. The FCP edit system is slated to arrive beginning of July. As soon as I get info on the workflow, I’ll share it.

    What I did hear is that the Sony beta software won’t send your finished sequence back to the deck/XDCam disk. You have to output via an HD-SDI output, or something like that. I heard of some Miranda converter being used, but I just don’t understand how….yet. You have to use 25 megabit for everything, unless you can capture uncompressed from the deck, which seems a waste of disk space.

    I was told Avid has NO XDCam HD solution! Yet. Except for capturing HD like any other HD video deck, course….

    Looks like there could be a lot of material shot in HDV that will be comp-ed into Shake, considering that price reduction….


  • Mark Maness

    June 20, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    My company has a Sony XDCAM HD 350 camera on order, right now… Should see it any day now!

    Just to add my two cents… We’ve been using XDCAM for the past year and we love it! I digitize all of my footage using the Kona 2 and SDI input. The only reason I do this is that its still easier to get only what you need to edit. In order for my workflow to get faster, my camera man will have to rethink his shooting methods and use the markers in the camera. That’s easier said than done for a 20 year veteran shooter.

    Anyway… until Sony makes their software available and fully working, SDI is your best option. Its still digital and you can import into any codec there is to work with. Keep in mind, XD HD is still a form of HDV and HDV is a transport stream of data – not video. That means your computer is still have to work very hard to decode and encode every frame in native mode. Using anyother codec will be a breeze.

    Drive space… Well, that easy, too… It won’t be any different than any other depending on the codec. Besides that… There are no XDCAM HD codecs in FCP 5.1.1. If you record HDV 35mb/s, you still ony have the regular HDV setting which is 25 mb/s.


    Wayne Carey
    Schazam Productions

  • Steve Connor

    June 20, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    Shoot 35MBs, capture via SDi to DVCPro100, should work well – hoping to test the theory next week

  • Arnie Schlissel

    June 20, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    [Steve Connor] “Shoot 35MBs, capture via SDi to DVCPro100, should work well – hoping to test the theory next week”

    Of course, I’m sure you’ll let us know!


  • Tom Matthies

    June 20, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Good advice. Thanks guys.
    I did talk to the Apple/Sony guys out at the NAB convention a few weeks ago about the upcoming software for importing files from the disk, and while it looks good on paper, I will need to turn this project in the next month or so. Can’t wait for the software plugs right now. My plan is to capture thru a Kona3 card via HD SDI. I take it from the above post that the DVCPro100 codes works OK for this? How about the 24P frame rate? I assume tht it will add pulldown frames to a standard 29.97 timeline? You know what happens when you assume, don’t you? The DP wants the “film look” to this spot so 24P it is. Also as for color grading, any suggestions? It should be a simple spot with minimal CC necessary. “Should be” being the key operative phrase here.
    We will shoot on the 350 version of the camera. It was good timing for this since that is the camera we are most likely to purchase to replace our aging fleet of Digibeta camcorders. I’m excited to see just what this camera can do. Also just a bit worried since it is different than what we are used to dealing with. We will have the camera for a week and plan on putting it thru it’s paces while here.
    Any more advice, post below.
    Thanks again,

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