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Old September 11th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #1
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Ki Pro Mini and Varicam

New Ki Pro Mini looks very interesting. Just wondering what it'll do with the crazy tape Varicam's way of working.

Will the unit record the "Flags" denoting what frame rate the shots are at? And will FCP then be able to use these in its frame rate converter to allow simple offspeed footage?

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Old September 12th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #2
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Steve P. - The Ki Pro Mini will operate like the original Ki Pro product with respect to 720p framerates within larger framerates. Currently we support 720p 23.98 and 720p 29.97 within the larger 720p 59.94 and 720p 25 within the larger 720p 50 frame rate.

Hope this is helpful. Need to leave for the IBC tradeshow now... day three about to begin shortly,

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Old September 12th, 2010, 02:32 AM   #3
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But what about the Varicam flags? If I shoot say 42fps for slight slow motion when I import that to FCP will it recognise the flagged frames and remove them or via the FCP Framerate Converter so I'll have slomo?
All it needs to do this is record the flagged frame information along with the pictures because FCP can read them (as you Kona cards do I believe), but can it do this, that's my question?
This is from you website on the Kona cards, this is what I'm asking if the Ki Pro Mini will do:

"The software Frame Rate Converter works on DVCProHD clips that have the embedded VariCam flags (these are the flags that identify the "shooting" rate of the clip, and which frames are duplicates). You can capture DVCProHD clips from a VTR in one of two ways: via FireWire (which transfers the clips in their compressed DVCProHD format - and retains the embedded VariCam flags); or by connecting the HD-SDI output of the VTR to the KONA 3/2/LH input and capturing it as you would any other video clip. During playback, the Panasonic VTRs take the VariCam flags out of the compressed video and add them to the HD-SDI video stream as "RP188 Ancillary Data". The KONA 3/2/LH hardware/software picks off the Ancillary Data while it is capturing and adds the VariCam flags back into the compressed DVCProHD clip where the FRC can find it. "

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Old September 12th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #4
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Steve P. - To answer your question: AJA supports the detection of flagged frames within the signal via the RP188 ancillary data. We don't extract every framerate possible on the Varicam cameras at this time because quite a bit of effort is required to pad the frames extracted back to the larger framerate for playback to monitors. So, at this time, we offer support for the formats I listed in the previous post: 720p 23.98/59.94, 720p 29.97/59.94 and 720p 25/50. We may provide more framerate support later for the product, but these are the most common framerates that are not "cranked" rates on the Varicam cameras.

Hope this helps clarify the question.

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Old September 12th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #5
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Thanks Jon,
So the box doesn't extract the framerates itself, that's fine and as I expected, but the flag data is there once you connect the ProRes material to FCP? So that you can process it via the Framerate Converter?
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Old September 12th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #6
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Steve P. - If Ki Pro "knows" the flagged frame rate and supports it, you get the native framerate recorded on the Ki Pro Mini, meaning that when you important it into Final Cut Pro, you see, for example, 720p 23.98 fps. If we do not support a specific framerate housed within the larger framerate, the product will record the larger framerate of, for example, 720p 59.94.

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Old September 12th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #7
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I researched the whole 720 25 thing with my H Varicam and the NanoFlash. Thanks to the great guys at Convergent Design, the answer lay with taking the analog audio from the varicam and inputing it separate from the embedded SDI audio stream. In this way I could get sync sound from a Varicam at 720 25P. At the very least I would expect the Ki Pro Mini to work in the same way.

But it's a moot point as I sold my Nano yesterday because of the Ki Mini. The ProRes and 10bit thing is very important to me. Shipping soon I hope John...
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Old September 16th, 2010, 06:22 AM   #8
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Hi Peter,
Interesting that the analog audio idea worked in the end, also interested that you're going for the Ki Pro.

It seems that they will only support 30P from the 60hz signal, not 25P, so what will you do?
As for non-sync stuff, what are your thoughts there? Just shoot 60P and hope that the flagged frames are preserved to allow them to be removed with the FCP Frame Rate Converter?
Still a few unknowns here, but it does look nice. The other thing I'm not sure about is start up time - how long does it take to boot up?
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Old September 16th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #9
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Hi Steve,

I'm not so worried about the Varicam. I'm more intersted in using the Ki Pro with the new AF100. I'm going to have another go at moving my Varicam this week. With regards to quality, I recently bought a HD1200A DVCPROHD deck to play back PRO50 material, but I thought the 1080 VTR uprezed material from the Varicam look terrific. So I'm just using the Varicam in tape mode at the moment anyway.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 03:41 AM   #10
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Judging by another look at the specs, it seems clear to me that the lack of 50hz on the Varicam is going to semi-cripple it again on the Ki Pro. The Ki Pro spec says it will do 720 25/50, ie giving 25P from a 720/50P input - which we know the Varicam doesn't have.
So we can either get 23.98 or 29.97, or shoot 60P and conform to 25P but none of these will give sync sound at 25P. The Nanoflash works with a bit of fudging by using Undercrank and analog audio, but I don't think the Ki Pro will even do that as it doesn't have an over/under crank mode.

Jon, looking at what I just said, any way you can see that you could get sync sound 25P shooting from the Varicam to Ki Pro? Hopefully there's something I'm missing.

Thanks,
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Old September 17th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #11
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Peter C. and Steve P. - The reality is that the 720p 25 within 720p 60 produced by the original Panasonic Varicam tape-based camera is pretty unusual... essentially you have a 50Hz format shoehorned into a 60Hz container. Note that with the later HPX series of cameras, Panasonic did away with this scheme and elected to use a more standard 50Hz/50Hz approach with 720p 25 within 720p 50.

Again, AJA uses the Varicam flagged frames within the ancillary data of the SDI stream to extract the appropriate "framerates within framerates." The is the appropriate way to do frame removal based on our collaborative efforts with Panansonic over the years.

We will consider adding support for 720p 60 and Varicam formats with future firmware, but for now, only the formats I listed for 720p 50 and 720p 59.94 are supported.

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Old September 17th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #12
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The Mini is now up on B&H's site at RRP. Although I did see it elsewhere for $100<.

AJA ULTRA-PORTABLE DIGITAL CF RECORDER KI-PRO-MINI-R0 - B&H

But the lack of 10-bit output from the AF100 makes me wonder if it is worth pre-ordering at this stage. Plus as mentioned above, it can't be used with a Varicam in it's present form. I'm also wondering if I'll need a large V-lock plate and battery to power it. Not sure what to do with this little beast.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 06:01 PM   #13
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Peter C. - To be fair, the Ki Pro Mini, like the Ki Pro, will work with the Panasonic Varicam cameras (pre-HPX series); however, at this time, we just don't support the somewhat uncommon 720p 25/60 that the camera can output and which you have an interest in seeing supported.

With regards to Ki Pro Mini power, consumption is very low, so you're likely to power the Ki Pro Mini and a camcorder (with equally relatively low power consumption) from a single professional battery like an Anton Bauer. With the mini mounting plate, you've got a lot of flexibility on where you put the battery and the Ki Pro Mini with respect to each other.

With regards to the Panasonic AG-AF100 camera, until it is a publicly released product, I can only speculate what it will or won't output just like everyone else. The early literature I was provided doesn't state 8-bit or 10-bit output from the camera's SDI so I would prefer to not speculate about it.

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Old September 17th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #14
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Thanks Jon, it's still a great device. If the Varicam 60Hz doesn't happen, it's not a deal-breaker. But great if the engineers can crack it.
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Old September 18th, 2010, 01:31 AM   #15
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It seems the Ki Mini is only about the same size as broadcast battery so should mount on a plate/wireless reciever type cage quite easily. Size and power consumption do seem seem like one of the little areas I talked about which might just swing it for the Nano for some users.
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