Premiere Pro CC takes XAVC direct from the card

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

XAVC-title

I can report Premiere Pro CC v7.2.2 accepts Sony’s XAVC MXF file direct from the SDXC card and takes seconds to import…Premiere Pro CS6 on the other hand cannot ingest XAVC and crashes trying.

MXF

You have to hand it to Adobe they are on the ball with the latest codecs from Sony (XAVC) and Panasonic (AVC Ultra LongG) both files are accepted with no problems from the Panasonic PX270 and the Sony PXW-X70 camcorders. Apple are out on a limb once again with no support for XAVC or AVC LongG.

I use FCPX and am very frustrated with no support for LongGOP even after 5 months and a major update to 10.1.3 no inclusion has been made for LongGOP footage.

Scott-X70

Once again we were out today with the Sony PXW-X70 filming waterfalls for a current project and the pictures are fantastic…my enthusiasm is only curtailed by the need to use Sony’s Catalyst Browse with its very limiting and time consuming process but something is better than nothing.

For the record Sony need to add the following features to Catalyst Browse…1. Batch process, 2. The ability to choose a template i.e. ProRes 422 HQ and use that preset for all transcodes.

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Sony PXW-X70 Update on Lanc control and user info (Updated with new remote & AVCHD still)

Categories: Miscellaneous 29 Comments

X70-update

Sony update their information from a PXW-X70 product specialist in Japan…

So there are two ways to control X70:

  1. Wi-Fi remote (using the Content Browser Mobile)
  2. Multi/Micro USB jack

-LANC remote controllers cannot be used. Remote controllers such as the ”RM-VPR1” and  “VCT-VPR100”(attached to a tripod) can be used. Multi/Micro USB to AV/R “VMC-AVM1” can also be used.

The Sony RM-VPR1 works with the PXW-X70 and has the following functionality…Start/Stop, variable zoom and power on and off. Not as good in my opinion as a Manfrotto zoom controller but having a variable zoom switch is a bonus I was not expecting. It comes with a clip to allow it to sit on a tripod handle but the regular video handle as used on the Manfrotto 505HD is too thick, a couple of tie wraps do the trick.

rem-a7s-X70

remote

It’s official there is no hidden or otherwise LANC control for the PXW-X70 camcorder, you can use the supplied RMT-845 which is very useful for reviewing shots but not as practical as a wired zoom controller.

xdcam-work

Last week was my first chance to use the X70 in anger and the pictures are fantastic to be honest I did not miss the zoom control and if I needed some kind of control during an interview I could use the small remote pictured above.

I think companies like Sony put so much effort into making a wee camera like the X70 professional that they forget the simple things like a LANC control but the picture quality certainly outweighs any misgivings I have over the lack of remote zoom control.

ND

Having ND filters really sets this camera apart from the likes of the NX70 and NX30 also having a second card slot is a major bonus, one user comment the ND filter switch is behind the camera and would benefit from a yellow background like the AUTO/MANUAL switch above it.

You can only choose between SDI or HDMI or Video out of the camera so if you choose SDI the HDMI O/P is disabled.

menu

The MENU switch is in the wrong position once the LCD is retracted its a pain to get to quickly.

REC-butt

Be aware that you will find yourself using the wrong switch during recording, I am so used to a round rec button I find myself trying to use the wee joystick to stop a recording but thats just a minor detail.

X70-studio

X70-VF

Jill pic timeline web

Click this picture Sony XAVC to see the Full HD 1920 X 1080

AVCHD-X70-Susan-Full-HD

Click this picture Sony AVCHD to see the Full HD 1920 X 1080

I kid you not you will film your first interview with the X70 and sit in complete amazement at the sheer quality of pictures the XAVC codec delivers, I keep banging on about this wee cameras output but please be assured Sony have delivered a true jaw dropping picture out of a camcorder that most seasoned professionals would sneer at…till they saw the pictures !

Preston-ADD

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Quad Copters take to the stage

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

Quad-cop-web

Found this on the net and its a great way to update that now familiar video toy …the quad copter.

Quad-copter-PG

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Sony’s New “Catalyst Browse” for converting XAVC clips to ProRes for FCPX import (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 10 Comments

Cat

Firstly this is a temporary work around for FCPX users as Sony hope to have a working plugin for XAVC Long G in the near future that will negate the need for this browser. Today Sony released their powerful management tool “Catalyst Browse” which converts XAVC footage into ProRes and other formats.

Catalyst-Browse-4

Finally I get to choose my XAVC files (PXW-X70) via the computer and with this nifty application transfer them to Apple ProRes.

Catalyst-Browse-Trans

As you can see you can transcode to .mp4, DPX, ProRes and XAVC, I can only presume the XAVC version will be conversion from another Sony format ?

Catalyst-Browse-2

Exporting to ProRes gives you the perfect option for FCPX.

Final-Cut-Pro-2

Here is a test shot I filmed yesterday now in all its full HD glory just about to be imported into FCPX…fantastic. You may want to download the “Catalyst Browse” for yourself remembering you will need to register with Sony before it allows you to download it for real…in other words this link takes you to a Sony download page where you can choose WIN or MAC versions…when you press download it will ask you to sign in or register, just fill in your details, sign in and press download again.

UPDATE Friday 3rd August : Sony reply to my email… “Some people have tried to batch capture from Catalyst Browse but the Transcode button greys out” Reply “Currently there is no batch transcode on the catalyst browse, but the team have already requested this as an additional feature.” “As I mentioned before we continue our close work with Apple on FCPX integration”.

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/catalystbrowse

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CAMBO GH4 RIG v2… £475 plus vat

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Cambo-GH4-Rig-Exploded

I have had this rig for a few weeks and is perfect for run and gun shoots, the Cambo GH4 Rig v2 comes with the longer camera plate and 4 screws.

GH4-rig

Exp-GH4-rig

This allows you to attach the Manfrotto quick release camera adapter (not included) to the rig via the 4 screws provided making a solid connection for video work. You can unscrew the weight at the back of the rig if you feel its back heavy.

A7s-front-better

Although its called the GH4 Rig you can also use it with various other cameras in this case the Sony A7s though I do recommend using a loupe to keep daylight off the LCD.

x70-side

X70

Smaller video cameras like the new Sony PXW-X70 can also benefit from the Cambo GH4 Rig v2 especially using the quick release Manfrotto plate. Cambo rigs are not only solid but very practical and easy to setup, everything locks into place and made with the greatest of care. The rigs are made in the Netherlands and can be bought from various resellers like Production Gear.

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Sony PXW-X70…1st Thoughts Video (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 13 Comments

 

Sony-PXW-X70-First-Thoughts

I have put together a 3m 30s video to let you see the capabilities of the Sony PXW-X70. Having XAVC 10bit 422 at 50Mbps onto a fast SDXC card produces some stunning footage only seen from shoulder mounts at 5x the price of the X70. All the green screen was shot with the X70 as were the flowers and chip shop footage. The 1080 50p footage was taken into FCPX via Ultra Studio 4K.

The PXW-X70 soaks in the light, thank goodness for the ND filters, this is a camera you need to work with but I did find setting it in full auto mode for a couple of shots did a fine job. You can work up to 15dBs with this camera without any discernible noise, for the money its a no brainor.

NHS-job

Today (Friday 3rd October 14) I was filming an interview with a very ill patient for a major NHS job that we are producing and the quality of the pictures are stunning, I am blown away with the picture quality from the X70 and I love the ability to view my HDSDI output to my Sony PVM-740 OLED monitor. This was the perfect scenario for the smaller camcorder to capture 1080 50p pictures in a tight space.

CU

The PXW-X70 comes with a second cold shoe that you can mount onto the rear of the handle, very useful for my Sony hybrid radio mic UWP-D11.

X70-for-blog

 

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KLM advert…brilliant

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

KLM

Every so often a well produced advert comes along and the KLM is no exception, this is a great PR add for the airline and I would be interested to hear from the production company with some background information.

 

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Initial thoughts of the Sony PXW-X70 Camcorder (updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 20 Comments

PXW-X70-web

The Sony PXW-X70 arrived during polling day, the 18th of September, as you can imagine other things were on my mind that day so it wasn’t till the next day that I had a good look over the camcorder and spend some time filming with it. In XAVC mode you get various flavours from 720 50p 50Mbps to full HD 1080 50p 50Mbps, to 50i and 35Mbps to save on card space.

The cards I am using are Transend SDXC 64G class 10, speed 3 (R95-W60Mbps) anything else like the SanDisk class 10 speed 3 (45Mbps) won’t allow XAVC recordings. This is the major bonus for me using fast SDXC cards at about £30 a pop you are not having to fork out for expensive £329 64G XQD cards. I have been using these cards with my 4K GH4 for a few jobs now without any problems.

X70-side

Its heavier than I was expecting and slightly fatter than my previous NX-30 but someone in Japan has been thinking carefully about this camera and packed a ton of features into a wee body. In XAVC 50Mbps mode you now get 10bit 422 footage which is stunning and very noiseless.

Candy

A shot taken at 0dB’s if you double click you can view the 1920 x 1080 10bit 422 JPEG from the timeline.

Butts

Main body with switches (above)

All the main switches are on the side of the camera and as usual pressing the Thumbnail button gets you into playback mode, the headphone socket is also on the side now (green socket).

I went up to view a local chip shop I have in mind to get some run and gun shots and took the camera with me…this little monster can shoot 18dBs with virtually no noise.

WB-set

Setting your white balance is in my opinion slightly convoluted in the PXW-X70 you have to press the WHT BAL button (seen above in main body pic) and finnish off the WB in the camera menu under “WB SET”.

lens-v2

The Zeiss 12x optical zoom starts at f2.8 which is disappointing as its not a constant aperture lens, a feature I would have gladly paid extra for. Very sharp and lots of detail especially in XAVC mode. The good thing about a 4K ready camera is you get sensors and glass that exceed HD and therefore give you cracking HD pictures.

back

HP-Volume

Headphone volume is another strange menu driven task under the wee audio ikon, its just called “VOLUME” then you can raise or lower your headphones.

Like previous smaller cameras like the HXR-NX70 the camera powers up by opening the LCD unlike the NX70 this has an HDSDI socket and a full size HDMI socket. The wee joystick beside the start /stop button is in the perfect position when flicking through the menu.

So far…The pictures from this camera are some of the punchiest, noiseless 10bit 422 I have seen, this camera was bought as a run and gun compliment to my Sony A7s (more about that in another post). Sony are pulling no punches with this camera to a season’d professional who prefers shoulder mounts this camera will slip by them…if you need a camera capable of green screen work. news and corporate this will fit the bill, the only feature I can’t find on the X70 is syncro scan , a small detail. Sony do not give you any microphone or charger with the X70 but as I already have the AC-VQV10 double ActiFORCE “V” charger its no great shakes.

Another function missing is Lanc control which is surprising …admittedly you can use Wi-Fi or NFC to remote the camera but not having a simple Lanc for a zoom control is poor.

UPDATE :  Sony VMC-AVM1 DOES NOT CONTROL the Lanc on 3 controllers that I have this micro USB seems to be for video/audio only.

The PXW-X70 really benefits from being 4K ready, I saw this with the Sony PXW-Z100, having a 4K sensor, 10bit 422 engine gave you some stunning HD footage and the X70 is no exception.

corrupt-file

A WORD OF WARNING : If like me you are using Apples FCPX you may have a problem…I have not got to the bottom of this yet but FCPX should be able to ingest XAVC footage, I have tried the X70 in many XAVC frame rates with no success. A more sinister problem has occurred which I have not got to the bottom of is when you pop the SDXC card into the card reader and try to get FCPX to look at the footage you end up with a corrupt card, as can clearly be seen above. Sony do supply a plugin for XAVC called PDZK-LT2 for mac but offers no solutions for my problem.

Doug “I’ve noticed the same problem when trying to import the XAVC files from the X70. Not only is FCPX unable to read them but Sony’s very own Content Browser won’t recognize them either. There was a recent XAVC plugin for FCPX but that was only for XAVC-S which uses the MP4 container and this camera’s XAVC-HD codec uses the MXF file format. I’ve even tried a few converters but nothing seems to work. After attempting to upload the clips I was unable to view them on the camera or locate them again in the thumbnail browser. The files were still on the card but unreadable even in the camera. Very strange. I do hope there’s a firmware update coming soon that will fix this.”

So its not just me, I can get the footage into FCPX via my Ultra Studio 4K and Ultra Studio Express software but I bought this camera for its 10bit 422, cracking pictures and dual card system and the ability to transfer quickly from card for news use.

Update : Sony sent me this link to a new updated content browser, see if it helps you…  http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/contentbrowser

Sony are on the case and hope to have a workaround by the 31st of September 2014, I will keep you posted. 

I will post some footage when I get more time.

 

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One of the most important days in Scottish History has arrived !

Categories: Miscellaneous 11 Comments

Pic-title

I saw this lying on the road yesterday and it kind of put the last few weeks in one picture”a choice of two futures”

YES-family

You would have to have been at Mars if you were not aware of the Scottish Referendum, this is a typical Glasgow YES family overlooking a typical Glasgow view.

Wee-girl

I love this on two accounts firstly asking her father if I could take the picture and the fact that todays vote will affect this wee girls future a lot more than myself.

Yes-dog

As a big dog lover and collie owner I could not resist this picture.

Tim

Lastly I bumped into my good friend Tim who was filming with his new Sony RX10.

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New GH4 firmware (Early October)

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

GH4-FW

The 4K Photo is a new way of photography that Panasonic is proposing. It encourages users to capture the spur-of-the-moment in high resolution 4K photo by cropping out a designated frame out of the 4K video. With the new firmware, it is easier to get a 4K photo by using the 4K Photo Mode. Once selecting the 4K Photo Mode, recording format / picture quality setting / brightness level are automatically set to the optimum parameters for photo shooting. Users can record high quality video either in 4:3, 3:2 or even 1:1 aspect ratios in addition to 16:9 – all can provide a still image with 8-megapixel equivalent resolution. Each JPEG image cropped out of the video footage complies with EXIF just as a normal still picture. While recording the 4K video in 4K Photo Mode, it is possible to mark the designated portion by just pressing the [Fn1] button. This can reduce postproduction work for searching the spur-of-the-moment worth cropping out. Moreover, 4K video can be recorded continuously with Loop Rec function which keeps saving the 5 newest 2-minute video files. Users can patiently wait for the perfect photo opportunity to come as long as they want keep the camera recording without worrying about the capacity of the SDXC/SDHC Memory Card*1.

There are more functional upgrades such as the addition of 4K video recording in 23.98p (MP4, AAC) and enhancement of controllability over ISO setting or the amount of flash emission. Also, the DMC-GH4 now expands its connectivity with external equipment. For example, the PC software “USB Tether*2” enables remote camera control (shooting, setting or image data transfer) by PC via USB.

The PHOTOfunSTUDIO 9.5PE and Panasonic Image App for iOS/Android will also be updated to support these functional upgrades.

The new firmware program is scheduled to be released with more information in detail at the Panasonic LUMIX Support Site at http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/ in the beginning of October, 2014.

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