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Using a Tapeless Workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4


  1. Panasonic P2
  2. Sony XDCAM
  3. AVCHD

Article Description

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 simplifies the process of working with video from a tapeless camera. The Adobe Creative Team discusses how the Adobe Premiere Pro workflow varies for the P2, XDCAM, and AVCHD tapeless formats.

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Sony XDCAM refers to a family of cameras that record to optical disc or SxS flash memory cards. Most of the cameras in the XDCAM and XDCAM HD lines record to optical disc. The XDCAM EX1 and EX3 models record to SxS flash memory cards.

You can remove the optical disc from your camera and place it in a deck attached to your workstation, or you can insert the SxS flash memory card into an SxS card slot in your workstation and read it as a flash drive. In either case, it's recommended that you copy the files from the optical disc or SxS flash card to your local hard drive for best performance, rather than attempting to edit directly from the source media.

Adobe Premiere Pro offers native support for optical disc XDCAM content recorded as standard-definition DVCAM and for all high-definition XDCAM HD formats recorded at 18 Mbps, 25 Mbps, and 35 Mbps. Adobe Premiere Pro doesn't currently provide native support for standard-definition IMX and the new high-definition MPEG HD422 50 Mbps codec. However, you can play content in those formats in an XDCAM or XDCAM HD player with SDI or HD-SDI I/O and bring it into Adobe Premiere Pro through a compatible third-party capture card.

Adobe Premiere Pro supports every XDCAM EX format variation except for 1440x1080/23.98p SP mode with 3:2 pulldown. As an alternative, Adobe Premiere Pro offers native support for 1920x1080/23.98 HQ.

A typical workflow for XDCAM EX media is as follows:

  1. Shoot onto the SxS card in the camera.
  2. Move the SxS card to your workstation, and copy the files to your local hard drive.
  3. Edit the files natively in Adobe Premiere Pro.
  4. Export the project to Blu-ray disc, to DVD, or to the Web.