Camera Guide: XT3

XT3 Camera Guide

Overview

Note that this guide focuses on post-production knowledge that is relevant to using this camera. For the full camera manual from the manufacturer, see the very bottom of this page.

There are many parameters to take into consideration when shooting on the XT3. Make sure that your resolution and frame rate are appropriate for your project. 1920x1080 is considered standard HD footage, so you likely don’t want to shoot in a lower resolution than that. You’ll also likely want to record audio at a sound sample rate of 48kHz.

The files recorded on the XT3 are in QuickTime format and use H.265 compression. If you are familiar with H.264, then you can think of H.265 as a similar codec with smaller file sizes. The H.265 video codec requires a lot of processing power for real time playback, so it is suggested that you transcode your footage before editing to reduce rendering time and drain on the processor. See the steps below for how to transcode.

For Production

Recommended settings:

Please note that these settings are not your only option when shooting with the XT3. The suggested settings have been recommended by the EDC and Post Production staff. These settings align with our proven workflow below. 

Resolution: 1920x1080

Frame Rate: 23.976

Codec: HEVC/H.265

Long GOP

4:2:0 - 10-bit - 100mbits/second

Color Profile: Eterna

 

For Post-Production

Organization

Organization is the key to post production. When you finishing shooting, the first thing you should do is backup all of your footage to an external hard drive or cloud-based storage (ideally both). Be sure to copy the entire contents of the SD card (including the DCIM, MISC, and PRIVATE folders) to your external storage. You should NEVER edit footage directly from an SD card. Doing so may case the SD card to fail, leaving you without any footage.

Another note about organization: NEVER rename your video files at the finder level. This should only ever be done in Premiere (or your choice of NLE)

Below we've attached a screenshot of a well organized project. Feel free to experiment with your own organizational methods, as well. Remember that organization is key to a smooth post production process.

1_finder.pngTranscoding Your Media

Adobe Premiere is designed to work natively with many video formats. Unfortunately, editing some video formats directly from the camera can cause unstable playback and the need for frequent rendering. Premiere can handle XT3 footage natively, but playback is likely to appear "choppy" or "laggy" without transcoding.

Therefore, we suggest that you transcode your media before editing in Premiere. Adobe Prelude is Adobe’s best solution to this step in the process.

  • Open Prelude, create a new project and save it to a separate folder on your hard drive.
  • Locate the "Ingest" button in the top menu bar to open the Ingest window.
    2_Prelude.png
  • Use the browser window on the left side of the Ingest window to locate your MEDIA FOLDER on your hard drive, not your card.
  • Find you media clips and select "check all" corner to enable its ingestion.
    3_Check_All.png
  • In the Transfer window on the right side of the Ingest window, check “Transfer Clips to Destination.” This setting will copy your media to the folder of your choice after transcoding. We recommend making a completely new folder for this labeled "Transcoded Media"
  • If you want to create an additional folder inside the folder you selected above, check “Add Subfolder” and choose a name for it.
  • Check “Transcode”.
  • Under the “Format” drop-down menu, select QuickTime.
  • In the “Preset” drop-down menu, select “Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)”.
    4_Transcode_Settings.png
  • Finally, select the Ingest button to the lower right corner of the window to transcode and copy your media. This will open Media Encoder - but your transcode will begin automatically in this program. The transcode may take some time depending on how much footage you have.
  • Once finished, this transcoded media can now be imported into Premiere in an edit-ready format.

Starting a Project in Premiere

  • Open Adobe Premiere Pro and create a New Project, then give it a name. 
  • Under "Location," use the "Browse" button to navigate to the folder on your external hard drive where you want to save your project. It should be a completely separate one from where you saved your camera files. In our example above, we would save the Premiere project under "Project Files"5_PremiereSave.png
  • Under the "Scratch Disks" tab, make sure the drop-down menus for Captured Media, Previews, and Auto-Save are set to "Same as Project." This will save these files to the folder you selected above.
  • Under the Ingest tab, make sure all options are unchecked.
  • Select "OK."

Importing Your Media

  • The easiest way to import footage in Premiere is through the Media Browser, usually found in the lower left corner of the program. If you don’t see it, go to Window > Media Browser.6_Premiere.png
  • Inside the Media Browser window, navigate to the Transcoded Media folder on your hard drive, (not your card!), select it, and then right mouse click and select "Import".7_Media_Browser.png
  • The clips will now show up in your project window, and you can begin editing them immediately.

Editing in Premiere

After you finish importing (and organizing) your media, you are ready to edit! To start a new sequence with the exact settings of your footage, right click on a clip and select "New Sequence from Clip". 8_New_Sequence.png Make sure to rename this sequence in your project window, otherwise it will use the same name as the selected clip. 9_Rename.png

For more information on editing in premiere, see our guide: Basic Editing in Premiere

 

Exporting from Premiere

Once you have finished editing, the final step is to export. Navigate to file/Export/Media to open the export settings window. 10_file_export.png  There are countless ways to export you video, but we will try to simplify this process for you. Below are our recommended export settings for class submissions shot on the XT3

Format: HEVC (H.265)

Preset: select HD 1080p. This will automatically change to "custom" before you finish.

 

Video: click "Match source" and this should give you the following settings:

Resolution: 1920x1080

Frame Rate: 23.976 (unless you shot in another frame rate)

Aspect: Square Pixels (1.0) 12_audio_new.png

 

Audio:

Audio Codec: AAC

Sample Rate: 48000 Hz

Channels: Stereo image

On the bottom left of the window, find "Source Range" and select "Entire Sequence" (unless you only want to export a certain part, in which case you would use in/outs)

Before you click Export, make sure you select a destination for your exported file. To do so, click on the blue text following "Output Name" and select your exports folder.

Then, just click export and wait!

For a more detailed guide on exporting, see our guide: Exporting in Premiere