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Old March 29th, 2004, 04:36 PM   #1
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6 cameras, sync timecode, how?

I am shooting a concert with about 6 different cameras, is there anyway to sync timecode? pperhaps run them all to a deck or something? any tips guys?
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Old March 29th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #2
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It's really easy to sync them visually with a flash from a camera. TC shouldn't drift (like it would for double system sound), but it wouldn't be hard to compensate for that.
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Old March 29th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #3
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If the cameras do not accept external sync, you would have to run each camera to it's own deck. the decks would need to be synced to a common external source. If you don't have that kind of equipment, you could rent it possibly.

If the program is short (under the length of one tape) you could visually sync the tapes with either sound (clap or something similar) or the light from a flash in post. However, once tapes end you would need to sync again, which in a long form program might be next to impossible.
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Old March 29th, 2004, 04:52 PM   #4
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i was just thinking that maybe they could all plug into like a clock or something that would send them the timecode. Hmm, this is going to be tricky, any more tips?
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Old March 29th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #5
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i was just thinking that maybe they could all plug into like a clock or something that would send them the timecode.
This is possible if your cameras accept external sync. If they don't then you have the options Glen and I outlined. Do you have a budget for renting any equipment?
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Old March 29th, 2004, 05:21 PM   #6
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yup, I am renting most of the cameras, 3 DVX100, 1 GL2 and 1 PD-170. There is also a "lipstick camera" but timecode is not essential on that. Oh baby I can't wait to see all those spread out on my bed....I am going to check right now to see if they can accept external sync, what device do I need for that?
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Old March 29th, 2004, 05:33 PM   #7
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The GL2 does not accept external timecode, and I doubt the PD170 or the DVX100's do either. I think your best bet will be to go the audio or visual sync method.
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Old March 29th, 2004, 07:34 PM   #8
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Assuming you're recording the audio from a mixing board or some other centralized recording station, you could feed that single audio source to all the cameras.

Then I'm sure you'd have plenty of percussion hits through out the tapes that should be easy to spot and sync against in your NLE.

You know...when most guys get excited about something that's gonna be spread out on their bed, they're usually not thinking about video cameras. :P

Have fun.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 08:42 PM   #9
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Staggering the tapes

To prevent all cameras from stopping recording at once, you can stagger the tapes a few minutes apart on each camera and use an optical sync reference such as a flash or anything prominant that all the cameras are able to see as stated above. If you can get a reference, I highly recommend getting a tail reference too so if you have to split the project in half you have one on the back end. It will save your butt every time!
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Old March 30th, 2004, 09:05 PM   #10
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DV Time Code Reader & Sender

This may assist you with your time code sync. You could have a master deck or hard drive recording the event or just use the code from one of the cameras as a code source and the device below will send DV time code from it to something like a time code slate that reads the feed. This would give all of the cameras the same visual reference of the code on the master deck or camera you choose as the master code. This device is around 250.00.

www.spcomms.com

www.spcomms.com/ltcexport
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Old March 31st, 2004, 08:18 AM   #11
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How will you edit? It is more important to keep cameras running for each tape used. Don't start and stop, run tape then change tape. That way you will only have to sync at the beginning of each tape. Prearrange tape changing times for each camera, ie 40 mins for cam1, 45min for cam 2 etc. This was how we shot concerts in the early 60s with Super8 film cameras that only had 4 mins film total. Although in that case we had head sets and shot in sequence time rather than waste film!!! Have one camera on full stage so that there is always a reference point of the action. Assuming you will edit in Premiere etc. Name each track for each camcorder. Decide on a start reference and look for this on each cameras clip and mark with clip marker, fine tune with audio wave form, then alighn clips. I have done this with 5 cameras and it isn't a real problem to post sync, as each tape is changed there will be a slight delay to put in time line find another cue and insert with using audio again to fine tune. None of the cameras you are renting will use external sync, if you had rented Panasonic AGDVC200 you could have the ability to use long tape ( up to 4hours and 36 mins) and remove the tape changing problem. Consider getting a AGDVC200 or JVC DV5000 and using a standard long tape as the full stage camera from the centre back. That way you will not have to worry about tape changing for over 4 hours and could use a high quality long lens with full manual control on a solid tripod. Leave this camera fixed on the stage so it will not need any operator once it is setup just a check , this operator could then run the GL2 from the same location and pick up closups using the long 20 times zoom,again on a heavy tripod with LANC zoom controller. My wife and I do 4 camera shoots this way with each of us with one fixed camera and one that we track action with.

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