Latest post Tue, Jun 27 2017 10:36 PM by cuervo. 11 replies.
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  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 5:32 PM

    • bushfilm
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    DnxHD

    This is actually more of a comment than a question, but i am interested in what everyone has to say. Seems like it took years and years before the camera design guys figured out that if a lot of people were going to edit on Avid, then why not offer a camera that shoots in an Avid format, like DnxHD. I would have thought this would have been obvious from the get go, but camera engineers have always designed in a vacuum. Remember the RCA TK-76? What a clumsy piece of engineering, obviously designed by people who didn't have to carry one around all day on their shoulder! Things got better with the Ikegami (boy, am I dating myself!) and later Sony cameras, but it took a loooong time.

    As far as the format wars, I understand why every camera maker wants a proprietary format, so you will be "married" to their brand when it comes to playback machines, editing setups, etc. I just think its insane that it took so long for the designers to realize "Hey, if we make a camera that actually shoots the same format as the owner's editing software, then we can save a lot of time and headaches". Really? Was it that difficult to see? How much better is it to be able to go out and shoot something, then hustle back to the editing computer, stick the SD card in the slot and BOOM, all the media is there, ready to edit...no linking, importing, encoding, transcoding, etc, etc....A non-BS system! WOW!

    That's my two cents worth and I would appreciate any comments that can shed light on this.  Thanks and peace to all!Cool

     

     

     

  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 6:02 PM In reply to

    Re: DnxHD

    But some camera makers have for years.

    Panasonic with AVC intra and Sony with XDCAM. Not DNx but Avid native. In fact one of the first ways to "link" to media.

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  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 6:21 PM In reply to

    Re: DnxHD

    Several issues appear to have been at play. Most importantly: DNxHD was HD only (720p/1080i/1080p), so no SD flavors, an no >HD available. It is also Rec709 only, whereas many camera manufacturers were exploring other color spaces for acquisition. Then: Avid tried to make it an industry standard, sought and got SMPTE VC-3 approval, and (understandably) asked for a license fee to implement the codec. This in a periode where Avid's relationships with third parties weren't always as warm as they could have been.

    Finally: it seems to me that it doesn't need to be so hard to have Avid 'eat' any other codec more easily. Looking at Resolve makes us all jealous of course.

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  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 6:34 PM In reply to

    • bushfilm
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    Re: DnxHD

    Again, proprietary systems that aren't DnxHD. Panasonic AVC Intra is not a very good format; Sony XDcam is a good format, but is not at the lower end of the price range for cameras, at least not professional cameras. And the media you must use is ridiculously expensive (referring to the discs). I guess I'm just saying that it took a really long time for camera folks to get with the (Avid) program and produce a camera that actually and simply shoots in DNxHD. Is there some technical reason why you can't design a camera that shoots DNxHD? It's kind of like having a car that you can only drive a block, then you have to transfer to another car for another block and then get in a third car to complete your journey. It's the long way 'round the block is what I am saying.

    Like I said, not really a question, more of a comment on camera design.  Thanks for your reply!

     

     

  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 6:43 PM In reply to

    • bushfilm
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    Re: DnxHD

    Hi Job,

    Thanks for your knowledgable explanation. I knew there had to be a story behind al this. Avid seesm to have a history of not always doing what's in their own best interest. But they have learned to be better over time.

  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 7:03 PM In reply to

    Re: DnxHD

    Bandwidth and file size, simple as that.  That's why more heavily-compressed formats exist.

    Take the storage you currently use in-camera, and now multiply it by at least 5-6x to get the same visual quality at DNxHD sizes for the same recording times.  That gets unwieldy, quickly.

    Now, the bandwidth - SD cards are often borderline once you get into DNxHD sizes and rates, especially the higher rates.  Therefore, you need faster, more expensive media - or hard drives, which of course aren't as convenient as the much-smaller cards.  Then, think about storage and archival - many people just didn't (and still don't!) have the space to archive DNxHD for everything they shoot.

    Each of those different proprietary formats has its tradeoffs (file size / color sampling / ease of playback / etc.), but the idea is the same - get as much data into as small a size as practical.  AVC-Intra does a pretty good job of it, and is better than most other "portable" formats (why do you say it's not very good..?  Unless you're thinking of AVCHD?).  XDCamEX and XDCamHD have their reasons for existing as well.

    NOW, you start seeing more cameras and recorders that do edit formats like ProRes and DNxHD/DNxHR.  The drives are getting bigger and cheaper, SSD media is getting less costly, the cards are getting bigger and faster, so it's finally starting to be practical for more users.  But as these camera formats were being developed, DNx/ProRes recording just wasn't practical for most likely users.

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  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 7:55 PM In reply to

    • bushfilm
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    Re: DnxHD

    All of this makes perfect sense. And I was referring to AVCHD. Thanks so much for your cogent explanation. All I can say is that time marches on, and thank goodness for new technological developments that make our video lives easier! I can remember sitting in a tape-to-tape editing suite many moons ago, and thinking "Wow, wouldn't it be cool if you could somehow use a computer to edit video with?" Naaaa, never happen.  As someone said, "I don't like to make predictions, especially about the future"...but I see good things down the road. Thanks again for your comment. Cool

  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 9:38 PM In reply to

    • ronn
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    Re: DnxHD

    When I shoot 4K on my FS7 I almost alway record externally on a Ninja Assassin in DNxHR or Prores (client's choice). The SSDs are huge and cheap. However, the XAVC-I codec is very robust and MC handles it well. So if it's something I will edit myself and I have enough cards, I'll record internally on that codec. FWIW

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  • Mon, Jun 26 2017 10:47 PM In reply to

    Re: DnxHD

    Job ter Burg:
    Several issues appear to have been at play. Most importantly: DNxHD was HD only (720p/1080i/1080p), so no SD flavors, an no >HD available. It is also Rec709 only, whereas many camera manufacturers were exploring other color spaces for acquisition.

    The Arri Alexa actually can record DNxHD in ArriLogC.

    The issue is that the licence to enable this in the camera costs $4.400!

    I once persuaded a production to pay for this and the workflow was a breeze.

     

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  • Tue, Jun 27 2017 8:04 PM In reply to

    • CinéMatica
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    Re: DnxHD

    The Sony PXW-X500 can record the DNxHD 422 codec if you install the PXWK-502 optional key. It is placed on an SxS card and installing is simple and quick. List Price is $1,470.00.

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  • Tue, Jun 27 2017 10:03 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: DnxHD

    David Yardley:

    Job ter Burg:
    Several issues appear to have been at play. Most importantly: DNxHD was HD only (720p/1080i/1080p), so no SD flavors, an no >HD available. It is also Rec709 only, whereas many camera manufacturers were exploring other color spaces for acquisition.

    The Arri Alexa actually can record DNxHD in ArriLogC.

    The issue is that the licence to enable this in the camera costs $4.400!

    I once persuaded a production to pay for this and the workflow was a breeze.

    One thing to keep in perspective is the diffence between OP1a and OP-Atom forms of MXF, a common wrapper for cameras these days.

    Cameras want to record OP1a (a muxed recording where audio and video are intergrated in one file).

    Avid wants to edit with OP-Atom (the audio and video files live as individual files in your storage).

    There are several reasons for this, but the one that made alot of sense to me was in an early Arri Alexa whitepaper.  They stated that in the case of an accidental power cut, the OP1A file would just stop recording and be useable.  Where if they were recording OP-Atom and lost power, video and audio files might not be the same length and the file would be corrupt.  Made sense to me.

    And if you follow the procedure of wanting to copy camera files from shoot drives to your media storage, Consolidating the OP1A file unmuxes into OP-Atom Avid edting happy files in just a tiny bit longer than the disc copy you were going to do anyway.  So if the codec inside the OP1a MXF wrapper is an Avid Native codec, things are not as bad as they might seem.

    Jef

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  • Tue, Jun 27 2017 10:36 PM In reply to

    • cuervo
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    Re: DnxHD

    You're opening  can of worms by wanting to discuss the politics of software commercialization...:)

    If you want to study the history of very similar software applications, the story of CAD/CAM software competiotion, back in the 90's-2000's is  a good read.

    From what I can discern, Apple did a very successful marketing campaign with ProRes, while Avid fell on their sword with DNxHD. A very similar experience was had with Cineform, who could never find a camera maker willing to adopt their codec because of the cost of licensing issues. Apple flooded the market with free software, then slammed the door shut, a very succesful way to market their product. Avid, on the other hand, approached everything with the arrogance of Avid. Something which didn't go over well with prosumer device makers. 

    Ahhhh, live and learn.....maybe. Avid is marketing their app as a networking product to big users who need that capability. Meanwhile, a very capable Davinci Resolve is being given away for free......uhhh, gee, looks familiar.

     

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