need some advice

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Matthew, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    I handle in-house commercial production for a small retail chain and we're
    distributing our comercials to 3 different markets across the state via
    shooting on a PD-170 and then mastering to BetaSP (it's still the one format
    that every station will take). The owner wants to go ahead and shift the
    shooting to HDV so that we can start to archive some footage of some special
    events we participate in for next year's promotion. But he's not ready to
    upgrade our edit suite or distribution at this time. I'm currently editing
    on a system running Premiere 1.5 with a BlackMagic SD card, firewire into
    the system and BlackMagic out to a UVW-1800. I'm looking at possibly going
    with a Sony PMX-EX1 or maybe EX3 but am I going to run into problems
    dropping the footage down to SD for distribution? Especially with Premiere
    1.5? Also... do you think it's a mistake to go with a tapeless camera if we
    do need to archive a decent amount of footage? I'm just thinking that drives
    aren't extremely expensive these days...but I'm still reading up on
    workfllow changed when working in a tapeless enviroment.
    Matthew, Aug 4, 2008
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  2. Matthew

    Spex Guest

    I'm not familiar with Premiere 1.5 but if I were moving into the HDV or
    XDCAM EX arena then I would upgrade the suite too. Does Premiere 1.5
    support XDCAM EX even?

    How do you propose to drop down the footage to SD? The SD Blackmagic
    card is unlikely to do it again making a case for an HD version that can
    cross convert to SD would be a good idea for your workflow.

    My own personal take on tapeless acquisition is that it is still in its
    infancy so solid state prices are comparatively high so you'd probably
    want to capture to a HDD which Sony now have for the EX3. It is an
    absolute must that you have a bullet-proof media backup system in place
    as early as possible after shooting. This obviously has a cost
    implication not only as far as having a backup while in production but
    obviously long term too. I am completely signed up to the rapid
    turnaround benefits to tapeless shooting but anything longer term I'm
    not so sure at this time.

    Personally I'm still happy to spend next to nothing for a good quality
    DV tape that records an hour of HDV on my Canon XH-A1 that doubles as a
    proven reliable archive too.

    If money is tight I would have a look at HDV (have a good look at the
    Canon range) instead of XDCAM EX. I'd edit in HDV then render out the
    completed project to SD, then import back into your system for output to
    tape via your existing SD hardware.

    When your company has out grown the HDV solution solid state recording
    options are going to be so much more affordable. This is exactly where
    I am now.

    I'd be very surprised whatever you intend to do if your boss didn't have
    to put his hands in his pockets to upgrade some software or hardware to
    accommodate the new workflow.
    Spex, Aug 4, 2008
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  3. Matthew

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    I'd suggest reading the thread titled "SONY.... please, please....
    PLEASE....." on the Sony Vegas forum at
    (or if the above link gets wrapped).
    It started off talking about HDV issues but quickly became a tape vs.
    tapeless thread with a lot of potentially useful information.

    Mike Kujbida, Aug 5, 2008
  4. Matthew

    Spex Guest

    I just scan read that thread an one thing that popped out was someone
    saying HDDs don't fail if little used. Well, last week I had a drive
    die on the shelf. It was fine when I used it some months ago but now it
    has died, it is an ex-drive. It was an eSATA Enterprise drive from WD
    with the lowest failure rate going! Fortunately I haven't lost any data
    as it is backed up to LTO, a tape!

    In the light of the above I wonder if there is such a thing as a truly
    tapeless workflow? Not for me yet.

    Canon said around NAB time that they believe 2 years will be the sweet
    spot for tapeless acquisition when SD memory prices for an an hour of
    shooting are not that much more than tapes were at the beginning of the
    DV revolution. Still more expensive than tape at today's prices but
    cheap enough to use once and then place on shelf.
    Spex, Aug 5, 2008
  5. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Well don't get me wrong... we do plan to upgrade the suite as well... I just
    don't have the budget for both it and the camera at this point. My goal here
    was to go ahead and upgrade the camera now and then the suite closer to the
    end of the year. That way I could go ahead and start archiving footage this
    year and not waste any time.

    The Canon XL-H1 was my second choice and fall back camera if tapeless didn't
    look like the right choice for my needs... though I hate that I already own
    a few Sony related products that I may have to toss.

    I need to dig into Premiere 1.5 to see what it's capaple of, but I was
    hoping someone in here might just know off the top of their head. When
    you're a one man show, sometimes you don't have the luxury of time when it
    comes to research. And after an event we were at last Saturday, my boss is
    pressuring me to make a purchase as soon as possible.
    Matthew, Aug 5, 2008
  6. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Matthew, Aug 5, 2008
  7. If I may add a "me too". Hard drives are NOT "archival"
    storage. They can be convienent to set on the shelf for quick
    access to revise a project or re-use some footage, but NEVER
    rely on a hard drive as your primary archive or backup for
    any kind of data (especially video that didn't come from a
    videotape of some kind).

    I have a growing stack of dead hard drives to demonstrate
    the effect. Perhaps I should post a photo online.
    Richard Crowley, Aug 5, 2008
  8. Matthew

    Bill Fright Guest

    If you don't mind me asking, how are your hard drives dieing? Are the
    internal or external and what system are you using to kill them? I've
    had only one fail since 1987.

    Just curious,
    Bill Fright, Aug 6, 2008
  9. They either fail to spin up (after sitting around for months/years)
    or else they spin up, but report that they "aren't formatted" or
    some such catastrophic data failure mode.
    I've had both fail. I have seen no distinction between internal
    and external.
    Not sure what that means? If you mean what operating system,
    I'm using MS Windows. But I don't think MSwin is killing the
    drives :)
    Then you've had remarkably good luck with them. I wish
    you continued good fortune.

    At least at this point in the game, digital mag tape is the most
    reliable commonly used backup/archival medium.
    Richard Crowley, Aug 6, 2008
  10. Matthew

    Jack Perry Guest

    Several things to consider:

    you can upgrade from Premiere Pro 1.5 to PPCS3 for $299 --

    You'll get most flavors of DV, HDV and some XDCAM plus
    the new version comes with Adobe Encore ---For Blu Ray and regular Sd
    DVD Authoring,Encore is a very powerful and versatile program - just
    learned it, AND you get: Adobe On Location -- a nice Field Monitoring
    and Straight to Hard Drive Recording program

    as an experiment using an old sony VX2000 as a video pass-through
    monitoring device I was able to load and scale HDV footage into to my DV
    project from my Sony Z7U in real-Time using the cheapest Q6400 Quad Core
    Processor editing System in PPCS3. Very Steller performance for $299 and
    that's where you should start IMHO

    Prem Pro 1.5 is good but very outdated for new formats

    The EX1 is an awesome camera, I have one of those too. You can backup
    all your files very quickly onto Dual Layer DVD's -- (Verbatum Brand -
    $1 or so apiece) If Critical, make 2 copies. Use Hard Drives for Working
    They DO FAIL sitting on the shelf --I've had several go down like that.

    Shoot in HDV Mode DownConvert to DV in PPCS3

    or save a Grand and Get the Sony Z7U --- Shoot and Archive on Tape
    --Simultaneously record to Flash Media

    The Z7 is also Phenomenal Camera --Just shot a bunch of stuff for E
    Networks and REUTERS with mine and the picture quality blows away stuff
    I used to shoot on my trusty Betacam rig

    Jack Perry, Aug 6, 2008
  11. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Thanks for the advice... I do plan to upgrade the suite... but I have a set
    budget and the extra $300 to upgrade the software puts me over that amount.
    I will make the purchase soon... but just not right away... maybe in a
    couple of months. With the way the economy is my area we are pinching every
    penny at this point.

    I looked at the Sony Z7U and I liked what I saw but I can get a Canon
    XL-H1a for about $500 cheaper... so that's the route I may end up going...
    who knows.. maybe I can talk the powers that be into the extra $300 for the
    upgrade too...

    Thanks again!
    Matthew, Aug 6, 2008
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