Data Wrangling Sony HXR-NX70 on Mac

Here’s a workflow review on how we’re moving files from the water-resistant Sony HXR-NX70 camcorder into our Macs.

The camera records to Sony proprietary .mts files that are HD MPEG-4 AVCHD format compatible.

1. Plug in the NX70’s external power supply and connect a USB cable from the camera to your Mac. We’re recording directly to the internal 96 GB memory. There’s also a slot for SD and Memory Stick cards.

2. Create a folder on your Mac with the job title. Inside that, make a folder for each data dump, day of shooting or “camera roll,” e.g. “Day One.”

3. Turn the camera on. Select “USB Connect” on the NX70?s touch screen display. The camera shows up on your computer’s desktop curiously named “NO NAME.” Open “NO NAME.” There will be 3 or 4 folders: AVCHD, AVF_INFO and MODELCFG.IND. If you’re grabbing stills, there will be a DCIM folder. Drag all 3 or 4 folders from the camera to your “DAY ONE” folder. If you’re going to shoot again today after downloading, call the next folder “DAY ONE-Part 2.” But whatever you do–drag all the folders from camera to computer intact.

The actual video .mts files live deep down in the AVCHD folder, in the folder called “STREAM.”

4. Download Clipwrap from Divergent Media to rewrap the NX70’s AVCHD files into viewable QuickTime files. Be sure to indicate your outputs:

5. For Final Cut, the recommended route is Apple ProRes 422.

6. For Avid Media Composer 5.5, we’re using the DNxHD 145 setting.

7. Select audio converted to LPCM for FCP and Avid.

8. Create folders with matching names for the rewrapped files — something like: “DAY ONE-ProRes” and “DAY ONE-Avid.” These files will open seamlessly in your NLE.

(On the Windows side, you can use Sony’s supplied DVD containing Content Management Utility.)

2 hours later: it's still magic hour in Helsinki at 11:30 pm

After downloading (it takes about 20 minutes to move a 20 GB day of shooting to laptop, and about two hours to rewrap with Clipwrap), copy your files to external drives.

After checking that all the data is safely wrangled, the scary moment comes when you  select FORMAT from the camera’s touch screen menu. Note that file numbers revert back to zero. That’s why it’s important to keep each day or “camera roll” separate.

Leave a Comment

1 Response:

  1. Jean Philippe:

    Hi,

    Thank you for the article which introduced me to Clipwrap: I convert to QuickTime files.

    I do pre-construction videos. Let’s say I videotape a street with a videocamera Sony NX70u on an SDHC memory card. I want to burn a ”regular” SD DVD or a BluRay DVD. Right now I connect the NX70 to a MC10 Sony DVD recorder via SVHS cable +the RCA audio. I press play on the camera and 1 hour later I have 1 DVD.

    With these settings on the videocamera:

    HD: MPEG4-AVC/H.264 AVCHD

    PS (28 Mbps) 1920 x 1080/60p

    or

    FH (17 Mbps) 1920 x 1080/60i

    It takes only an hour/DVD, no computer. BUT I want to improve the DVD picture quality. I know it’s a DVD and from HD there’s a downgrade but there must be a way to get something better without spending hours on a computer. I do not do any editing for these DVDs. It’s a transfer from shooting to DVD.

    Any suggestion?

    Thank you for your help.

    JP

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