- direct-to-compact flash recording with media rollover for continuous recording
- 50mbps 4:2:2 editable codec (no rendering in Final Cut Pro timelines)
- XLR inputs with phantom power
I shot at 35mbps so that I could get 57 minutes out of my two 16GB cards, knowing that I was transcoding down to DVD for delivery. I was very happy with the overall performance during the filming. I used my $30 OEM battery and it still showed over 50% capacity after 2 hours of runtime. I used autofocus and it worked well. I shot wide open at 1/48 and 0db gain, and that was perfect, along with tungsten white balance.
I used rsync (a built-in Unix utility in OS X) to copy each of the CF card images to my hard drive. Then I used Log and Transfer in FCP to wrap the video in native form to Quicktime (not ProRes). Everything went swimmingly.
But I ran into an interesting problem in DVD Studio Pro. I used the Compressor preset “DVD Best Quality 120 Minutes” setting to transcode to DVD format. Then I created a DVD Studio Pro project to burn the DVD itself. But the DVDSP muxing process error’d out, with very little information other than “Bad Video File Error”. Nothing I tried would work. So, on a hunch, I re-encoded (2 hours!!!) the video using a 1-pass encode (to save time), but dropped the VBR data rate a bit (4.6-6.0). And that worked. So I re-encoded overnight with the 2-pass encode using the lower data rates and it worked properly.
I’ve done hundreds of DVDs and I’ve never had a problem of this nature. Is there too much data in the files? I’m perplexed. Doesn’t seem rational.
Anyway, I’m a happy camper!