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AJA + Adobe = great high-end workflows

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the privilege of getting to work with high-end workflows all of the time.  I go from everything to DV to Film 4K and everything in between, but clearly SD and compressed HD workflows predominate what we do. However, I have to say that I’ve been really intruiged with what AJA offers for Adobe products – all that you would expect and a whole bunch extra.  Read on to get all the details.

I recently had a chance to play around with AJA Xena 2Ke and have to say that I love the ability of the AJA Xena and Kona cards.  Xena by the way is no longer just a PC card – they’ve removed the licensing restrictions and lowered the price to top it off.  I’d love to get my AJA card in a Mac tower and then make it work in both OS X and Vista via Bootcamp.  Rock on!

So, what’s cool about the AJA cards?  A lot if you’re a film maker, digital film maker, documentary film maker or video editor.  Here’s the top things that I think are compelling for you.

  1. DVCProHD Quicktime capture in RT for cross platform compressed workflow.  This also includes the ability to use these captured files in FCP or use DVCProHD captured files from FCP in our projects in Premiere Pro or After Effects.
  2. Native sequence file support on Mac (DPX, Cineon, etc) without using proxies.  Are you kiddin’ me?  DPX files playing in real-time.  Digital film makers rejoice!  Premiere Pro + AE + AJA = end-to-end digital film workflow!
  3. Native 10-Bit RGB Editing on Mac (can’t do this in FCP)
  4. PS capture plug-in on mac for deck control and individual frame capture (great for touch up work with sequential file workflows)
  5. AE capture directly in AE (instead of through Premiere Pro)
  6. Built in RT down convert or cross convert from formats.  This makes it easy to see your HD material on an SD monitor or do a high-quality conversion from 1080 to 720. It’s got a very comprehensive control panel.
  7. Playback support for P2 and XDCamEX that is native to Premiere Pro: These files play in the timeline and out to the board in RT without using proxies or converted files.  In other words, native file types stay native – not converted!
  8. Also it makes basically everything in the AJA/Adobe workflow cross platform.  Because the project files are cross platform and because AJA functionality is virtually identical across the two plaforms in Premiere Pro (except for AVI file support which is windows only) it means that users can more easily have full cross platform collaboration if they need it.

So, check out the AJA website when you get a chance.


I have been unable to determine if there is in fact an AJA solution for the Mac which supports Premiere Pro.
Likewise, I can’t determine if Black-Magic does either. While their web page for the Decklink Studio card does in fact make this claim, there is no mention of it in the product documentation.
While it may be a foregone conclusion by hardware manufacturers that all video on Macs must be done in FCP, this is not the case. I hope they’ll change their views, as PPro continues to evolve while FCP is beginning to stagnate.

[DR – Mike, some VERY good points. As I’ve said many times, one of the advantages of Adobe is the open hardware system. You have choices between BMD, AJA, Matrox and others. However, if they’re not adequately informing potential users of their Adobe compatibility, it’s a big problem for them, you and us! Glad to see that you along with many others are understanding that Adobe Premiere Pro on the Mac is a smart choice for editing.

For my part, I have already taken steps to make sure that the companies you mention work harder to inform users of their compatibility with Adobe products. Thanks very much for your comments.]

Unfortunately our XENA LHe card is not detected by Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder. Sot it seems that the the co-existing of the 2 brands is not perfect…

[DR – that’s true. That’s a function of the job. Do you think that AJA support for the FMES is important? Digital Rapids and Osprey cards are more the standard for encoding.

I think AJA is more about great high-end video and film workflows and that was more of the point of the post. Thanks for your comment.]

Wow.. it’s things like this that make me question the ‘camp’ in which I should settle.

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