News Production & Post

Sony launches XM Pilot and XDCAM workflow tour

29 November 2011
Sony launches XM Pilot and XDCAM workflow tour

Sony is adding a "second screen" to its XDCAM workflow, to make it simpler to add metadata and integrate the file format with post. It has also started a Europe-wide tour offering day-long training seminars to users, writes David Fox.

The new XM Pilot wireless metadata system "speeds up your workflow and reduces your costs in post by allowing you to flow logging information and metadata all the way to post much quicker and more easily, especially compared to paper logs," said David Young, Product Specialist, XDCAM range (pictured).

It uses automatic ingest tools, so you don’t have to waste time organising and viewing clips. Users can also create metadata in planning (using a free planner) and import that into the XM Pilot via WiFi, USB or file-copying onto recording media, before going on location.

Users can access and input data on their iPhone or iPad, or Android device (with apps available as a free download for iOS and for Sony Ericsson phones). For post, there are free ingest tools for Apple’s Final Cut Pro 7 (an FCP X version won’t be available until Sony finishes work on XDCAM support in X) and for Avid Media Composer v5 upwards.

The system requires an add-on WiFi unit for the camera, which sends timecode, synchs metadata and streams proxy video and audio (with a two to five second delay – there is no delay if not streaming proxy).

Talkback Thames used a beta version to shoot Escape To The Country for the BBC and found it cut logging time per episode from two days to just two hours.

The XM Pilot package consists of two hardware elements (dongle and firmware upgrade) and three software elements (planning tool, smart-device app and NLE integration).

Customers will have to purchase the WiFi dongle, which plugs into the camera (£533), and a firmware upgrade for their camera: a £670 activation board for the PMW-500; a £922 software activation code for the PDW-700/800; a £383 activation board for the PMW-350/320 or TD300; and a £2,375 SxS Card Key for the PMW-F3.

The software is free, and includes: an XM Pilot planner (PC application with web access via any platform downloadable from; the XM Pilot smart-device app (free download from Apple App Store, and on Android Marketplace); and the NLE Integration plug-ins for FCP7 and Avid).

XDCAM Workflow Tour

Sony’s XDCAM Workflow Tour offers different sets of users (and dealers) a week of one-day seminars on how to get the best out of the technology and new ways of working, in a variety of locations across Europe.

It started in London last month, followed by Stockholm, and is in Copenhagen this week (28 November – 2 December). It will move next to Amsterdam (5-9 December) and Belgium (12-16 December). It will resume in the New Year on 9 January for five days in Köln, followed by Munich (16-20 January), Madrid (23-27 January), Lisbon (30 January – 3 February), Paris (6-10 February), Milan (13-17 February), Rome (20-24 February), Prague (27 February – 2 March), Warsaw (5-9 March), and Istanbul (19-23 March).


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