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TOPIC: Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX

Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 12 Oct 2017 21:10 #91079

  • RayPaula
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Newbie question...... I did a video of a Christmas play last year in a auditorium. The video came out very good but, I can't remember what settings I used such as Gain, Iris, PP, etc. I downloaded the card and kept it intact in which I archived it within FCPX.. I would like to use the same settings for another upcoming play. Is there a way to see what my settings were on my camcorder within FCPX? Thanks, Ray :unsure:
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2017 21:14 by RayPaula.
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 12 Oct 2017 22:15 #91080

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RayPaula wrote:
...Gain, Iris, PP, etc. ...Is there a way to see what my settings were on my camcorder within FCPX?...

Unfortunately video "EXIF" data is not standardized the way stills are. Video cameras often use proprietary and undocumented data structures to record this. Thus deciphering it requires reverse engineering and the metadata is subject to change without notice.

Probably the best way to attempt extracting that info is using the command-line tool ExifTool, which works on both video and stills. For some video cameras it can extract a fair amount of info from the files, from others not so much: www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

Some camera manufacturers may have vendor-specific software tools to decode this. Some of the tools may be publicly available whereas others may be for internal support or product development.

A still camera can record EXIF, IPTC and XMP metadata for each image. But with video cameras, various exposure and other parameters can fluctuate over the span of a clip. What you ideally want is not the parameters at the start of a (say) 15 minute clip, but the parameters of the clip range of interest. This would require writing all that frame-unique metadata 30 or 60 times a second, or some protocol for sample frequency every x frames. I don't know which (if any) cameras do this. Maybe a RED camera or others which record lots of metadata in sidecar files do .
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 01:44 #91096

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In addition to what Joema said, here is another consideration. Gain, Iris, focus and those types of settings probably won't be of much help unless your next shoot is lit exactly the same way and your position to the subject(s) are identical. More than likely a different shoot in a different venue will require changing all those items anyway. It seems what you really want is to make sure your frame rate, codec and shutter speed can be known so they can be duplicated. FCPX will tell you the first two and programs like Sony's Catalyst (if using a recognized Sony camera will tell you shutter speed (in addition to Iris, gain and other items - although as Joema points out, it won't display changes to those parameters over time). For interviews and basic static shots it can be useful. For run and gun with adjustments on the fly - forget it.
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Last Edit: 14 Oct 2017 01:46 by dgwvideo.
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 12:37 #91102

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Thanks to both of you......... Very helpful information. The shoot will be identical lighting and position. In fact, it will be the same show that was performed previously. Better story lines along with actors will be the changes. My camcorder is a Sony PXW-X70. I haven't downloaded Sony's Catalyst but, I will do so. Thanks again for the help. Ray :)
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 12:43 #91103

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RayPaula wrote:
...camcorder is a Sony PXW-X70. I haven't downloaded Sony's Catalyst but, I will do so....

There are three items termed Sony Catalyst. (1) Catalyst Prepare, (2) Catalyst Edit, (3) Catalyst Browse.

The first two are subscription-only. Catalyst Browse is free and that's what lets you see the acquisition metadata on some Sony video files. It works on our A6300, A6500 and A7RII cameras which all shoot XAVC-S. I don't know what other Sony file formats it works on. It is available on both Mac and Windows.
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 12:59 #91104

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joema wrote:
RayPaula wrote:
...camcorder is a Sony PXW-X70. I haven't downloaded Sony's Catalyst but, I will do so....

There are three items termed Sony Catalyst. (1) Catalyst Prepare, (2) Catalyst Edit, (3) Catalyst Browse.

The first two are subscription-only. Catalyst Browse is free and that's what lets you see the acquisition metadata on some Sony video files. It works on our A6300, A6500 and A7RII cameras which all shoot XAVC-S. I don't know what other Sony file formats it works on. It is available on both Mac and Windows.

Thanks.... I will download Catalyst Browse today :)
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 15:43 #91105

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It works on PXW-X180 with XAVC-I codec and all flavors of HD422 that I have seen. I believe it also works on most, if not all PMW series.
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 16:06 #91106

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I downloaded Catalyst Browse without any issues on my 2016 MacBook Pro. Catalyst Browse read my Private Folder in which I was able to get tons of information as you stated. Only thing I find hard to believe is the "Camera Master Gain Adjustment" which shows 27.00 dB. I thought for sure I was shooting with my gain set at 12dB at the most........ video is extremely clean with the exception with a little noise in the red's with a fogger being used. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. I might add, I'm glad I kept my folders intact...... Ray :)
Last Edit: 14 Oct 2017 16:35 by RayPaula.
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 19:22 #91107

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Interesting....... I can't open a video Archive that I created in FCPX in Catalyst Browse. The archive I made was directly off my SD card at the time. I made FCPX archives in order to reformat my SDXC card. I'm really glad now that I kept the original "Private" folder on another drive. :huh:
Last Edit: 14 Oct 2017 19:23 by RayPaula.
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 19:25 #91108

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It may be that Catalyst is not reading the data from your PXW-X70 correctly. You can check your camera settings to see if that high of a gain is selectable. I'd expect extremely grainy footage with that setting.

Here is typical acquisition data from a PXW-X180 during setup.
CatalystMetadata.jpg
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 19:32 #91109

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RayPaula wrote:
Interesting....... I can't open a video Archive that I created in FCPX in Catalyst Browse.

This is normal because the archive file that FCPX creates is strictly for use by FCPX. I am not aware of any other app that would recognize it.
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 19:51 #91111

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dgwvideo wrote:
It may be that Catalyst is not reading the data from your PXW-X70 correctly. You can check your camera settings to see if that high of a gain is selectable. I'd expect extremely grainy footage with that setting.

Must be....... at 27dB, noise would be extremely noticeable. My PXW-X70 will go as high as 33dB. As always, I start out with 0dB, I simply can't believe I was above 12dB's due to the 4k footage being super clean with the exception of the red's under fog. Here's a shot of the metadata;

Metadata.jpg
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Can Camcorder Settings be Viewed in FCPX 14 Oct 2017 19:51 #91112

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dgwvideo wrote:
RayPaula wrote:
Interesting....... I can't open a video Archive that I created in FCPX in Catalyst Browse.

This is normal because the archive file that FCPX creates is strictly for use by FCPX. I am not aware of any other app that would recognize it.

Just what I figured......
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