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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old July 4th, 2009, 03:57 AM   #1
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Shoot DF or NDF with A1s in 24F for FCP?

To Drop Frame or Non-Drop Frame? That is the question.....

I'm shooting 24F with a Canon A1s for editing latter by a yet to be identified editor (so I can't ask them) with FCP. Should I shoot in Drop Frame or Non-drop Frame mode?

I did a search here on this site and on Google but could only find one answer to this question from two years ago, which was that it did not matter. (If it does not matter why is there a choice?)

Well, I'll settle for just the advice as to which one to choose without the explanation as to why there is a choice.

If anybody else has a defining answer about DF and NDF, I (and I bet others) would appreciate reading it. I'm shooting Monday, July 6th, and I have to pick one of the choices.
Kelly Olsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 4th, 2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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You should shoot Non-Drop Frame if you are going to be using 24F. If you ever have to go back to the tape once you edit it will match frames much more accurately than the math required for drop frame. Some of the other camera systems lock out DF when shooting 24P some don't. If you never want back to the tape after ingest into a computer then you may not care but why ask for the potentail aggravation
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Old July 4th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the answer. I have read and was told that if you ever get the project to be broadcasted they need Drop Frame so they know exactly how long the program is. Does this make sense?
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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Olsen View Post
I have read and was told that if you ever get the project to be broadcasted they need Drop Frame so they know exactly how long the program is.
From my experience in the broadcast world, we almost always record in drop frame. Often when recording a live event, we will set the timecode to match the real time of day. If we are going to be starting and stopping during the record, we will also set the machine to free run timecode, so essentially it will always be set to time of day. Obviously it will drift slightly over long periods of time and its hard to set it exactly to time of day; but thats why almost all broadcast devices have a timecode input to lock to a house TC generator. Other times we'll record a show starting the timecode at 9:58:00 and record 1 minute of bars, 30 seconds of slate, 30 seconds of black (different stations have different protocol), so that the show begins at exactly 10:00:00. But, its always done with Drop Frame.

As for what to do when you're recording on your XHA1, Daniel made a good point, but I've never run across that issue before. I always use DF and free run timecode set to time of day (as I explained above). If I'm shooting and I want to remember a particular thing that happened, I can just look at my watch to get a good idea for the timecode I'm looking for on the tape later when digitizing the footage.

If you do shoot NDF and later want to submit it for broadcast, you can always record it in DF when you print it back out to tape.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #5
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Unless this is for an in-house project you will want to shoot drop frame for broadcast.
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