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Old September 13th, 2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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SMPTE timecode in the 5D Mark II

Magic Lantern - SMPTE timecode into the Canon 5D Mark II

This is a short preview of a new feature that I'm cooking up for the Magic Lantern firmware for the 5D Mark II. Currently it is a proof-of-concept; it's long way from being useful on the set. I am using a one minute MP3 of LTC that I am playing out of my iPod for testing. If I had a timecode slate and audio gear that used timecode, it would probably develop faster. I still prefer shooting single system audio, but occasionally want to be able to separate the audio crew from the film crew.

Last edited by Tramm Hudson; September 13th, 2009 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Fix title of URL
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Old September 13th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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A very interesting project Tramm, adding smpte to the camera...even if it does use up the audio track.
I had in the past thought of feeding smpte into the audio track in on my camera, but with no ability to 'embed' the code into the video file I couldn't see how I could use smpte in the 5D2 workflow. As you know the picture file needs to be somehow relatable to the separated audio track tc, so I'm really looking forward to see how you get on with this.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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A very interesting project Tramm, adding smpte to the camera...even if it does use up the audio track.
I'm hoping to not need the feed continuously, but instead to be able to jam the timecode into the camera at the start of a shooting day or scene and have the camera free run during the shoot. It remains to be seen if the internal clock is sufficiently stable for this to work over the long term.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tramm Hudson View Post
This is a short preview of a new feature that I'm cooking up for the Magic Lantern firmware for the 5D Mark II.
This is truly something I'm interested in. (By the way, it's spelled SMPTE ;^)

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Old September 13th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tramm Hudson View Post
I'm hoping to not need the feed continuously, but instead to be able to jam the timecode into the camera at the start of a shooting day or scene and have the camera free run during the shoot. It remains to be seen if the internal clock is sufficiently stable for this to work over the long term.
Or it could do timecode out?
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Old September 13th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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(By the way, it's spelled SMPTE ;^)
You mean you can't use it to exchange email? Chris -- can you fix the title?
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Originally Posted by Don Miller
Or it could do timecode out?
I haven't figured out how to drive the audio output circuits. The other uses that I have considered for audio out would be to provide audible signals to the camera operator of the approaching 4 GB limit, running out of card space or temperature warnings.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #7
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Chris -- can you fix the title?
No problem -- done,
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Old September 13th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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The other uses that I have considered for audio out would be to provide audible signals to the camera operator of the approaching 4 GB limit, running out of card space
Think I would prefer the screen to flash a few times instead of an audible signal (that would get recorded).

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Old September 13th, 2009, 07:37 PM   #9
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Camera locked to LTC means multicam shoots all locked together and with locked audio.

This is utterly astonishing in this price range.

Unbelievable.

-MD
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Old September 13th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #10
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But it seems most multi-camera shoots I have edited over the years seem to use TIME OF DAY (using the tc generator on each camera) synced and run on all cameras. Its easier and cheaper then tethering them all together.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 01:30 AM   #11
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But it seems most multi-camera shoots I have edited over the years seem to use TIME OF DAY (using the tc generator on each camera) synced and run on all cameras. Its easier and cheaper then tethering them all together.
Which works fine most of the time.

But if you need to do a 12 hour concert with multitrack audio recording, it is really handy to not have the cameras and audio decks slowly slip out of sync, which they will, over that much time.

Also handy for doing music videos, where the music was done first.

And if you are doing 3D, perfectly synced cameras are essential. That is one area I see this as opening up a whole new world for this camera.

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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #12
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I would love this ability as I'm trying to do a multicam 5dm2 shoot in a couple of months (we were just planning on slating and going off the click but having locked timecode would be that much better)

Since we're talking about SMPTE I would love to make a request to Tramm or anyone that might already be doing it. Is there SMPTE color bars that can be loaded onto the memory card (or firmware) so we can use it to calibrate the monitors on set, this seems like it would be a handy thing to have added into the firmware as well.

Thank you tramm for all of your work.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #13
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The other uses that I have considered for audio out would be to provide audible signals to the camera operator of the approaching 4 GB limit
No audio warning needed actually, JUST START A NEW FILE FOR US!!!

I will love you even more than I already do if you could add this capability... <SMILE>
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