View Full Version : ALL: General workflow for the AC 130/160?

11-06-2011, 07:48 PM
I am looking to upgrade cameras and am looking at the AC130, AC160 and HPX250.
I am curious about the workflow. I have previously been working SD and transfering fooage from deck to computer via firewire 1394.
How do you injest the AVCHD footage into the computer (just connect the camera to the computer?) and is there any conversion required before the NLE can work with the footage?

I have 3 NLEs (all support only USB 2.0, not 3.0) :
-Final cut studio3. NVIDIA Quadro 2gig Video Card CUDA enabled. 20 GB RAM
-Adobe Production Studio CS5. NVIDIA Quadro 2Gb Video Card CUDA enabled. 20 Gb RAM
-Adobe Master Collection CS4 and Production Premium CS (Premiere Pro 2.0)
Can they handle the task?

Thanks for any advice or input. I realize the HPX250 is a P2 workflow so I'll have to post that in the other section.

Phil vG
11-07-2011, 05:58 PM
The cameras only have USB 2, so it doesn't matter about USB 3

For the SD Cards you can always get a internal memory card reader that plugs into the SATA on the MB ($20+), and that would be a lot faster to get info off the cards, its just that you have to take the cards out of the camera all the time. Or just get a external card reader that goes in the USB 2 and swop the cards over (put new cards in the camera while you take info off the others.
You can also get PCMCIA card readers for the P2 cards that plug into the USB for $20+

The rest of your System Specs sound more like a BRAG compared to what I have! :(

11-08-2011, 01:13 AM
Thank you. That sounds easy so far. But once the footage is copied from the cards to the computer, can they edit it natively or must it forgoe conversion before my NLE can edit it? I wasn't trying to brag. My newest computer is 3 years old and the oldest one, 6. I had concerns about anything older than CS5 not being so great dealing with AVCHD. I imagine Premiere 2.0 cannot handle it at all, and wonder if Final Cut Studio (3) will be okay on the MacPro. I dread working with long 1080 projects and render times. Compositing in SD is bad enough..

11-30-2011, 02:36 AM
Adobe CS5 should have no trouble natively editing AVCHD. CS4 was the first Adobe release to support AVCHD if my memory is correct. However, I also do recall that it seemed to have some bugs in working with AVCHD, if I recall correctly. I've never used CS4 myself. Even the latest Final Cut releases do not edit AVCHD files natively. You have to import and convert the files, giving your workflow an extra step. I always transfer the files by inserting my SDHC cards into my computer, and then copying the entire PRIVATE directory from them.

Hardware wise, I believe that the most important thing that helps with working with AVCHD is the performance of your CPU. More so than your graphics adapter, or the speed of your hard drive. The Intel Core i7 family is pretty much ideal, since it supports Hyper-threading, and gives you two virtual CPU's for every core in the chip. So a Core i7 with 4 cores gives you 8 virtual CPU's, and one with 6 cores gives you 12 virtual CPU's.

11-30-2011, 04:26 AM
FCS3 requires a transcode (to ProRes) for AVCHD, but once that's done it handles the footage beautifully. It requires a "re-wrap" for P2, but again then handles the footage beautifully. Even on pretty old systems. I can't address the Adobe Suite earlier than 5.5, but in my experience (which is all longform shooting), the transcode of FCP is not significantly slower than the analyzing Premiere does before I can edit footage effectively. The disc space requirements, of course, are a lot higher.

Most PCMCIA card adapters WON'T work with P2... it must be Cardbus, and should hopefully say P2 compatible... and you don't say if the Adobe systems are mac or PC, but Mac compatibility is an issue. The camera can act as a 2-slot USB P2 reader; or, you can buy an old laptop that has cardbus and network it for ingest. I personally use a Thinkpad T42 with a dock; that setup acts as a 4-slot P2 reader that sits on the network, and the whole thing cost less than $250 on ebay a year or two ago.

For SD cards, a cheap USB reader will do... the cards are generally the bottleneck, not the reader.


12-02-2011, 05:39 PM
Looks like the only machine I have that will work is a 2008 macro , running final cut studio 3 and cs4 master collection in Mac OS, and then dual booting to windows vista 64 to run cs5 production premium.

The old laptop for a p2 card reader is a good idea to save a lot of money over multi card panasonic readers.
Would it be fast enough to edit footage straight from the notebook(acting as a reader) connected to the NLE?

Is Transcoding or premiere analyzing footage a very long ordeal if you are say working with a 3 camera shoot of a 1 hour long recording/file?

05-03-2012, 07:14 PM
I run Sony Vegas Pro on an ASUS laptop that has 8 GB of RAM and 4 x i7 processors.

Time to offload from SD (direct USB) from camera to laptop is minimal compared to rendering time for a 3 minute video (about 15 mins to make an MP4) which in turn is nothing compared to 2 hours to upload the MP4 to YouTube.

06-27-2012, 01:46 AM
While CS4 will allow you to edit AVCHD natively, the CS5 version has the "Mercury Playback Engine" that can speed up processing considerably. So I would use that system. BTW if you are running 64 bit Vista, you probably would be better served upgtading that to Windows 7 Professional. While it still has a few issues, its a whole lot more stable than Vista.

09-08-2012, 09:10 PM
I ran a test today delivering SD card content to a Mac User.

Whereas the entire SD card file structure has to be on distribution media, you can split up your mts files across several DVDs PROVIDED you put the SD card file structure on each DVD along with however many mts files you want on each DVD (i.e. under sub-directory STREAM).

So, a copy of the SD card file structure comprising 000.mts, 001.mts and 002.mts under sub-directory Stream can go onto 1 DVD o,r if size is a problem, you could at the extreme make 3 DVDs with 000.mts only under Stream on the 1st DVD, 001.mts only under Stream on the 2nd DVD etc.

In other words the import to Mac routine that needs the entire SD card file structure does not hiccup when mts files are missing. I suspect the structure has a record of where each mts starts but it looks like the import routine just skips over missing mts files.

I did not try renaming any of the mts files - unless you hear it is OK to rename mts files, assume it is NOT OK.

It's always best to front-end all clips with a few clapperboard frames but many times this is difficult.

In any case, at the receiving end, never respond YES to Overwrite?, always create a new directory wtih name "yyyymmdd____" and copy to the empty directory.

Note that the new wi-fi upgrade (see another thread on this) only uploads mts files so NLEs that rely on the entire SD file structure are likely to have issues importing uploaded material.