5D footage coverted via Neoscene won't sync with Z5 native at DVinfo.net

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Old July 8th, 2010, 08:05 AM   #1
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5D footage coverted via Neoscene won't sync with Z5 native

Hi, i shoot using a Sony HVR-Z5 and a Canon 5DMK2. I convert the 5D to AVI using Neoscene, and edit the Z5 HDV without converting.

The problem i have encountered is that the converted 5D footage is out of sync with the Z5 footage. I edit both using Sony Vegas Pro. Both cameras shoot at 25FPS and a shutter speed of 50FPS.

Why is the converted 5D footage drifting out of sync? It is as if Neoscene is adjusting the length of the file.

I have contacted Cineform and they are next to useless. Slow to respond, and not able to help so far. Not the service I am used to from software companies.

Neoscene is fine if you want to edit 5D footage on its own, but so far it appears to be utterly crap for syncing two cameras.

There isn't anything that i can change on the Neoscene settings before converting, this is extremely frustrating and I would not purchase another Cineform product again based purely on the lack of 'customer service'.

When i contacted Cineform i was told to post on here for advice..... how about Cneform actually give a paying client some feedback on what is wrong with their product?

Anyone on here encountered similar conversion issues? Any info or advice would be appreciated!
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Old July 8th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #2
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There is most likely nothing wrong with software, that is why support kindly directed you here -- although not to complain about them as that will not help you get your issue solved. You will find member here are generally positive about support.

If both source are captured at 25p, flagged at 25p, and the software is not dropping frames (which it doesn't do without a corruption in the source) the only way they can get out of sync is if the clock in the two camera sources are off (yes that does happen.) You forgot to mention the percentage of drift, from that so much can be determined.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 12:56 PM   #3
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I do appreciate you responding, though I will point out that as a public forum that i am entitled to come on here and share my experiences, good and bad, with others. My recent experience with Cineform 'support' is that it has been lazy at best and downright unhelpful at worst. Should my experience improve and the issues I have encountered become resolved I will be only too happy to come on this forum and share this with others.

Regarding the sync issue, i don;t understand what you mean by the clock sync. I convert the 5D footage to AVI, put it on the timeline on a separate track below Z5 footage and manually sync. As is stated to your support previously, the native 5D footage syncs with the 5D footage....... so it appears the clock is fine. The reason i use Neoscene is that Vegas Pro 9 freezes/crashes if i try to natively edit long 5D files.

So, to summarise, the 5D/Z5 footage syncs just fine if native files are used. When converted to AVI, the 5D files have been stretched. It seems to be quite clear that it is Neoscene causing this as it is Neoscene which creates the AVI file...... or am i missing something obvious here???

The reason I didn't advise you the % of drift is that I was never asked, however I will check this and get back to you.

Your advice about the above would be appreciated. I would also be grateful if you would elaborate about the clock sync you have briefly mentioned.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #4
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Hi, Jonathon. I'll jump in and give you the down and dirty clock sync explanation.

Each camera has an "internal clock" that it uses to base its timecode/frames per second on. Not all of those clocks are perfectly precise so they don't always match perfectly. It's like setting two wall clocks to exactly 12am and two hours later you find that one is 1 second slower than the other. That's what it's like to have two cameras shooting the same event for and hour. You can sync the first part of the footage perfectly in the beginning but by the end of the hour you may find that sync has drifted by a second or two. It happens quite often when mixing camera.

Now your problem is different because you said that the unconverted footage syncs fine between the two cameras but the converted footage doesn't. Can't say I've ever run into that issue with Cineform. Sounds like something is slightly modifying the frame rate during encode. To me that suggests that something in the metadata of the 5D clip is telling HDLink to encode it at a strange frame rate.

How bad a drift is it? Are you talking a second or two after an hour or is it worse than that?
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Old July 8th, 2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for your reply Chad, much appreciated. The sync is out by approx. half a second over 3 minutes. The Z5 records constantly, while the 5D is recording cutaways of a few seconds, sometimes of a few minutes. I've never recorded a clip on the 5D of more than 5 minutes, yet this sync issue is really annoying.

If, and i'm not convinced this is the problem, but if it is, how is the clock issue fixed? How do I check the clock, do i need to send the camera to Canon?

Will Cineform be able to assist at all? Not convinced there is a clock problem when it seems that Cineform conversion is the issue - however I am happy to listen to what folks have to say.

Thanks again Chad.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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I'm surprised that no one has pointed out Plural Eyes. I have a similar problem with my Zoom H2 audio recorder (which isn't known for it's accurate clocking):

Singular Software
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Old July 8th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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Jonathon,

This is not a CineForm problem, we don't make frames go faster or slower (technically not possible.) The only exception is a old non-firmware upgraded 5D mk2 which shoot at the incorrect 30.0, we do fix that and flag the frame rate as 29.97 (we didn'y do a frame in interpolation all the same frames are there, but presented at the correct video rate.) You can use interpret frame rate if you want to incorrect 30.0 rate. If you haven't upgraded you camera firmware please do so as that is the cause of you problem. You can't mix 30p and 29.97p sources and expect correct sync.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #8
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Ah-ha! That's what we have going on...

Jonathan, David knows his stuff. Once you upgrade your 5D firmware you shouldn't have this issue again. But there is no real "fix" for the footage you've already recorded.

Here's what I'd do. Since your 5D stuff is basically cutaway footage, I'd edit each clip with sync in the beginning then use your NLE's speed correction to slow the footage just a touch until the sync is close enough. This is a common work around for people using cameras with clock sync issues. At least it is for me.

About clock sync. First, that's not your real problem here. Your problem is that the 5D is recording at a different frame rate than the Z5. That should be fixed with the 5D firmware upgrade. You shouldn't have to send the camera in to Canon.

Second, there's no real fix to clock sync issues. High end camera systems have Jam Sync capabilities that force all cameras to us the same clock. That's how the big boys do it. We little guys have to find those work arounds.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. I live and work in the UK and have the latest firmware. The footage on the 5d is all recorded at 25 fps, not 30 fps. I live in PAL land. Does Cineform convert my PAL footage to 25 fps AVI or is it being changed to a different frame rate? Is neoscene designed for NTSC and changing my files because it thinks they are NTSC files?
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Old July 9th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #10
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Jonathon, the file would say it was altered and we don't alter 25p sources. Just read the frame in the NLE, it should say 25.0, if it doesn't that is the cause of your issue.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #11
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I have QT player installed and the files, both the original 5D file and the AVI conversion state '25 FPS' when I right click the file and check its details.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 08:22 PM   #12
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Then you should see that they are in sync (other than camera clock issue as stated above,) as that number is the only thing that controls the playback framerate, not the image data. Place source and cineform files on two tracks of a timeline, set the opacity to 50%. Now look for missing frames -- the only way that can get out of sync. My guess now is you 5D's flash card is dropping frames, I've seen that -- you may need to switch brand. We convert all the frame presented, the MOV source may just pause on dropped frame, this capture error may cause the issues you are seeing (this has not been confirmed, just that I'm also a Canon DSLR shoot and some flash media doesn't work perfectly in these cameras -- I've stop using one CF Card for dropped frame issues.)
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Old July 12th, 2010, 07:52 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info David. What cards do you recommend - I've been using Sandisk Extreme 3 cards and never seem to have any issues with them?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:53 AM   #14
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Need to first confirm you have dropped frames. The Sandisk Extreme 3 are rated at x133 which should be fast enough (in theory,) yet I've been using a range of card rated at x233 and x266, some brands work some don't.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #15
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David and all, please red through the answer #3 again

Jonathan sates that if he uses native clips then the sync is fine - the only problem is with NEO converted files. Also he states the files become longer than originals (5D original mov - as far as I understand) about half a second (12frames) for 3minutes (4500frames) that equals about 0.2% what is weird because it is twice more than than 30.00 to 29.97 (0.1%) slow down. Even then when Cineform would mess up frame-rate tag it cannot still make the file longer if the frame rate stays the same! I have seen a problem where the FPS is 24.89999 from SI camera some time ago - maybe something similar?

Quite a bit of these nasty arguments could be avoided if we all would read carefully what other people write and sometimes would answer emails and support request in timely manner.

NB! Just to recap if somebody cross-reads this again, this has nothing to with camera clock if the original files are correct in editing application.

NBB! Also patiently waiting cineform to squash a mac bug regarding SI2K footage...

Thank You
-Kaspar
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