November 28, 2016 at 2:43PM

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Best solution for importing Sony a7s footage into Avid?

AVID can be a solid solution for editing some works but not as versatile as other editing platforms.
We currently shoot a TV broadcast documentary series on Sony a7s, but the editing has to be done in AVID (that's the platform of choice of the production channel).
AVID cannot import the XAVC-S files directly & not even reproduce them through AMA.
Looking around for a solution we came up with a software called EditReady, but that means converting the footage instead of importing or playing back directly through AMA.
Is there any other suggestion we could try out?

3 Comments

The standard protocol for that sort of work is to trans-code everything to DNxHD 220. The loss introduced by trans-coding is minimal compared to what was lost by capturing in XAVC-S. In other words, you probably won't notice a difference, especially when it's broadcast in MPEG-2 at 8mbps (if you're in the U.S.). The other option is to use an SSD recorder on the HDMI ports of your cameras to capture DNxHD.
Avid intentionally limited the supported CODECs to ensure stability and performance, which is nearly impossible with long GoP CODECs.

December 1, 2016 at 12:22PM, Edited December 1, 12:24PM

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I use the free version of DaVinci Resolve to convert the files to MXF DNxHD 115, just like the Avid does. you have to copy those MXF's into your MediaFiles -> 1 folder and use the Media Tool to get the master clips into the project.
DNxHD 115 is a high enough resolution when working with 4:2:2 color sampling, there's no need to use DNxHD 220 - you'll get a bigger file size without any actual data in it.
When you're done editing simply export an AAF for your online software, (no need to embed the media) and link it to the original Master clips without any problem.
Good Luck

December 3, 2016 at 12:47PM, Edited December 3, 12:52PM

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DNxHD is essentially MJPEG with a provision for 10-bit. We were complaining that 25mbps was too low back in the standard-def days. FHD is 6x the resolution of SD (bit rate doesn't change resolution), so 115mbps falls under the "not good enough" category, especially if compositing or grading will be done. It may be better than AVC at 50mbps 4:2:0, but it still adds visible mosquito noise and sometimes macroblocking (to my eyes). So, I still suggest trans-coding to 8-bit 220 even though it's more robust than the source. The idea is that you already lost a lot of information with the first encode, don't risk losing any more, like how we used to edit to Betacam SP even if the source was 3/4".

December 5, 2016 at 7:30AM

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