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Old July 31st, 2010, 04:42 PM   #1
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Tape Varicam onto hard drive

What's the best/easiest/CHEAPEST way to get footage from a tape Varicam into an edit suite or to copy it to a hard drive?
I assume I'm talking about some sort of Kona/AJA card or similar to take an HD SDI feed from the (in this case) camera and convert it to data?
I'd like to make a copy of the whole tape onto a hard drive for easy access, just leaving the tapes as archive.
Will the BlackMagic decklink cards do it?
Cheers,
Steve
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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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Someone must know, surely!
Or is the tape Varicam now a total dinosaur?
Steve
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:19 PM   #3
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Steve,
It is too complex a question best/easiest/cheapest sounds like the you can pick two joke. It all depends on what you own already as to what might be the best way let alone the cheapest. Are you doing this transfer a lot or just a little. Are you working on Final Cut? Do you have an edit system you want to use for this project? AJA cards work well, but they are not the least expensive and depend on computer compatibility. Blackmagic cards at first seem less expensive. Renting a deck with firewire capability for the transfer might be the cheapest solution unless you want to keep the deck. An Aja Ki Pro might be a better solution if you want to record to Pro Res but it is not cheap. If you have an Avid set up then you might want to go in a different direction (back to the deck idea plus other hardware). Good Luck
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:51 PM   #4
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I just want to take a shot tape and dump it to a hard drive for those clients who don't have the hardware to play it.
I'm sure the connection is straightforward, with an AJA card or whatever, I'm just not sure what you'd get when you hit play. If you have a tape with mixed framerates, I get the feeling as soon as it detects a framerate change it'll stop and report. Even if it doesn't, once on the hard drive, what would I get? I'd hope 60P as slomo and 25P as sync speed with audio - but I doubt it.
I realise it's a tricky question, and may just need trying to answer, but no harm trying!
Steve
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Old August 7th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #5
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Hi Steve I have the blackmagic extreme HD card in my mac pro and it will take a HD/SD-SDI input so that will work, It all seems to be Ok and I use it with the 301's to record direct to hard drive.
It only cost 800 and it will write direct to pro res 422 format so will handle any frame rate.
If you fancy a day out and as its for one tape you are welcome to come up and use my system if it helps, you will have to bring the camera though and it would be good to meet you.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #6
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Thanks Gary, much appreciated.
Situation is that I don't actually have a tape Varicam of my own just now, I was just considering the possibility of buying one as a personal use camera for my spare time, as I don't ever really want to got down the road of buying another 30k camera ever again if I can help it! Still using the HPX2700 for almost all work, but so many nature production companies have bought them that mine was sitting gathering dust (and depreciating!) Hence the idea of a tape Varicam which can be picked up for around 5k and will look as good as ever. If supplying tape material to BBC then it's fine as they have all the gear, but most small companies won't, and nor do I. So it'd be nice to be able to dump shot tapes straight to drive and just keep the tapes as archive.
Problem is the funny way the Varicam records things, it's always a bit of guesswork to what will work and what won't - I know there have been limitations using the Nanoflash that took people by surprise.
I'll keep you posted, thanks again.
Steve
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