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Old December 16th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #1
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How Useful is Timecode?

All,

Right now I am regularly doing two camera shoots without time code. We are running audio in to camera 1, slating every scene and synching the footage in FCP. It works, but definitely eats some time in post in terms of cataloging and synching. We generally run both cameras throughout, but sometimes we only shoot one.

A bit too much of our time is spent tracking down audio, but I think a better workflow will fix that.

I'm thinking of buying new cameras - probably the Canon G1 or A1. There is a $3000 difference, and the only thing it would really buy me is timecode.

Now the question... how much easier will it be in post to have timecode? Will the cameras just automatically synch? If I record audio separately with timecode, can I just call it up on the timeline opposite any clip with the same timecode?

I have never worked with timecode, so I don't know. If it really makes all those things trivially easy, and instant, I might be able to recover the $8500 (2 cameras + a slate) difference with time in post.

If it just makes it a little easier... I'm thinking that a more steamlined and detail-focused workflow will do just as well.

Any input?

Thanks in advance.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #2
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Bumping here... anyone have experience with this?
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Old December 18th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #3
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Time code is simply...the bomb.

Recently, I had a scratch disk die on me with all my footage on it. One project, I have been working on for a few weeks. I just about had a heart attack.

Well, thank god for time code because I was able to recapture everything and reconnect the footage so I didnt have to restart the whole project. That makes it really useful for archiving a project as well since you don't have to keep the scratch files.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #4
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Yes, synced TC with multiple cameras makes editing much easier/faster. I'm not familiar with the canon cameras, but my HVX can sync thru FW connection another HVX/DVXB camera.
I'm going to try a workaround with 4 sony Z1 cameras next month. I cannot jam sync the cameras but I can set all cameras to a predetermined TC and start free run with the sony remote. Not jam sync , but same TC and good enough for govt. work as they say here in DC.
Alternatively, I'll pull out my trusty clap slate if that fails.

chris li/wash.dc area DP
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