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Old May 22nd, 2008, 10:34 AM   #1
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Understanding Tape and Timecode

I shoot a lot of small segments that need to be shot quickly, and captured right after so it can be used immediately. I'm having a bit of a dilemma regarding managing my tapes and capturing process... so I thought I'd run my dilemma by you guys and seek your guidance and advice.

A scenario I find myself in often is the following:

I shoot a full 63 min tape... then I put in a new 63 min tape and finish up the rest of my shots in 8 mins. So the first tape I filled, and the second tape I only recorded 8 mins. I'm done with my shoot and go home.

Now I need to capture all this footage and get it in the timeline. So I plug my A1 into the computer, capture all 8 mins (with scene detect) from the second tape, eject it, then put the first tape in and capture all of that.

Now here's the dilemma... that second tape that I captured only has 8 mins recorded on it. I'd like to keep using that tape. But since I had to remove that tape from the camera to capture the first tape, I can no longer use the "end search" feature to find the end of the timecode.

So my question is, what's the best way for me to use that tape again? What happens to the timecode since I ejected the tape previously? Should I put a couple frame buffer between the first 8 mins previously shot and any new footage I shoot on it? I'm clueless not only about how this all works, but what I should be doing in this situation.

Thank you so much for any helpful guidance and advice. I appreciate it!
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Deke Ryland View Post
But since I had to remove that tape from the camera to capture the first tape, I can no longer use the "end search" feature to find the end of the timecode.
Seems odd. My Sony's that have that feature can find the end of any tape, previously ejected or not. It wouldn't make sense that a camcorder with the feature couldn't. If you put the tape in at a pre-recorded location, it should be able to find the end. After all, how can it know whether the tape had been removed or not. (Perhaps yours can??)

In lieu of that, if you start recording on a previously unrecorded part, the timecode will reset to zero. As you suggest, a buffer would help or just let your recording of the 8min session run a few seconds longer than needed perhaps with the lens cap on.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 02:28 PM   #3
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It's good practice to always record at least 10 seconds of black, or bars, or anything at the end of your last take before you take the tape out. That way you can easily fast forward to the area near the end and start recording again without worrying about cutting into your last scene, and the time code will pick up at that point. Or you can reset the time code manually.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 06:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
It's good practice to always record at least 10 seconds of black, or bars, or anything at the end of your last take before you take the tape out. That way you can easily fast forward to the area near the end and start recording again without worrying about cutting into your last scene, and the time code will pick up at that point. Or you can reset the time code manually.
What a terrific idea! Simple and effective... I like your style!!!
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Old May 24th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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Bill got in there before me. I find it useful (when I remember to do it) to shoot 10 seconds of colour bars when I move to a new location, or restart filming on a different day. It's a good reminder when you are downloading, that something has changed. My PC struggles with dealing with a whole tape at a time, so the bars tell me when I can safely/sensibly stop and start the download process.
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