Control three DV camcorders at once... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Remote Lens Controllers


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 13th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #1
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Control three DV camcorders at once...

As if you didn't have enough to do already, apparently you can now control three cams at once...

http://www.grizzlypro.com/index.htm

Thoughts, comments, feedback? Looks interesting to me.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
Now if it was wireless, THAT would be cool. But with cams having to be wired, it must limit usefulness and require its own crew to run/gaff cables.. OTOH, Dave Williams is a bright and innovative guy and HE likes it...
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: bellvue, CO
Posts: 13
Wireless Remote

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Costa
Now if it was wireless, THAT would be cool. But with cams having to be wired, it must limit usefulness and require its own crew to run/gaff cables.. OTOH, Dave Williams is a bright and innovative guy and HE likes it...
Wireless would be great but for a couple problems. First, wireless will NEVER be as reliable as a wired connector. Especially when you are trying to send the video back so that you can monitor the camera. The situation where the system works when set up and stops working when more bodies are in the room (rf absorbers) is a constant concern. Second, with a wired solution you don't need system power at the camera. With wireless you either need another (sizable) battery or you need to plug it in (and then it's not wireless anymore).

I took the tack of making the video feed, camera control and pan/tilt control interface a single cat5 cable (way smaller than any other remote camera on the market) which makes setup and takedown significantly easier. No crew needed :-)

What you can do is hire a totally unskilled assistant to lug all of your stuff and help with cables. No longer need to get someone who can keep the camera in focus, not zoom in and out all the time, keep the camera running etc etc..

I've heard folks talk about how they put together a home brew system with the pyramid or something but invariably it ends up that they are only running it for 20 or 30 feet or they quietly stop talking about the system when it fails them at an important shoot.
Phil Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 1,193
Speaking of controls, I just had an idea. I used an IR repeater on my home theater stuff about a year ago so I could relocate all the gear to the basement. Ran the wiring through the walls from the basement.

These things are available from Best Buy. Here's what it does. You set up a small egg shaped transmitter anywhere you want in the room you want to be in when controlling the gear. You put the receiving unit where the gear is. The transmitter sees the IR from your various remotes and sends RF, not IR, to the receiver which turns the signal back into IR and blasts it out in a wide arc pattern. Get the idea?

OK, what if you bought 2 or 3 or more of these things, used one transmitter but used several receivers near each camera? Ah ha... Multiple IR control for cameras in different locations. There is no training these like universal remotes because they sinply rebroadcast what you send them.

Interesting idea?

Sean McHenry
__________________
ĎI donít know what Iím doing, and Iím shooting on D.V.í
- my hero - David Lynch

http://www.DeepBlueEdit.com
Sean McHenry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 06:04 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,761
Phil,

I would like to ask about the exposure control of your product, how it works, can it independently control iris?

We have a problem with the new Sony consumer HDV camera. the HC1 (and probably many consumer cameras). The only manual exposure control is a combined combination of shutter, iris, and gain control, of these we can only lock down one, meaning manual exposure control still adjusts the other two. Most knowledgeable people here want to control all independently (at least the Iris for depth of field).

Can your device control iris independently, or gain or shutter?

I have thought of making a Firewire/Lanc handle controller myself to control these things. But for $100 a control device like this might be up your alley.
Wayne Morellini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,761
Phil,

I agree with you, wireless has it's problem. There is technology with a range of more than 20-30 feet. It is possible to setup over hundreds of feet, or miles. Some buffering, digital and reconstructive coding are needed though for reliability, and set antennas up with clear line of site of each other. However modern wireless network standards will do most of this in future. With newer technology and standards you shortly could see 100's of megabits over long distances (vs 108Mb's per device (upto 54Mb's real throughput) over hundreds of feet).

Thanks

Wayne.
Wayne Morellini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 07:49 AM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: bellvue, CO
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
Phil,

I would like to ask about the exposure control of your product, how it works, can it independently control iris?
Basically, the control that the r-THREE gives you is the same as the menu scroll dial on the back of the camera. Exposure control is dependent on what the manufacturer allows you to do. You can't control iris, gain and shutter seperately as those functions require you to press a button on the camera that can't be controlled with the LANC interface.
Phil Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: bellvue, CO
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
Phil,

I agree with you, wireless has it's problem. There is technology with a range of more than 20-30 feet.
No doubt there are solutions that would work just fine to provide a wireless link over several hundred feet, however, every one that I've looked at would both cost a lot and would require sizeable antennas and power supplies. Sony sells a video feed for some of their high end eng cameras .... it costs $15,000usd. One of the main goals of the r-THREE was to stay as cost effective as possible.

I think you are correct that there are some better solutions coming, particularly in the area of home video networking. Unfortunately, most homes are not more than 100 feet in any direction and so the development is targetted at that range.

When I can figure out how to do a solution that:
1) Is affordable.
2) Is reliable
3) Doesn't require 30 pounds of batteries or an AC connection
4) Can carry the video feed, camera control and pantilt control on the same channel

I'll add it. I think that there is a perception that some type of star trek communication can be done when, in fact, someone buying something built on a simple ISM band radio would be significantly disappointed.

A couple of manufacturers of pantilt heads sell a wireless option but it only controls the movement of the pantilt (what good is that?), they leave the rest of the solution up to the user. Even at that they cost over $600/head.
Phil Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Vero Beach
Posts: 392
How about something that can just set the camera to record/standby. Doing a hunting 2 camera shoot and would like to turn on/off the Broll camera from 200 feet max. Is there anything out there?

Jim
Jim Montgomery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 09:19 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 1,193
If the cameras in question can handle IR, see my previous post.

Sean McHenry
__________________
ĎI donít know what Iím doing, and Iím shooting on D.V.í
- my hero - David Lynch

http://www.DeepBlueEdit.com
Sean McHenry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Vero Beach
Posts: 392
And where would I find a plug 5 miles in the middle of nowhere?

;)
Jim Montgomery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2005, 12:21 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
Extension cable...
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2005, 12:30 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,761
Phill,

Yes, wireless is not needed if the application is permanently fixed, and enough people running their own wireless equipment (even bluetooth) on the same band could stuff things up too.

If you ever are interested in a portable/transportable version. The wireless network technology is pretty cutting edge even in price, and designed to work in offices and across distance from 100 feet to 1000+ feet (if you get the right one) on reasonably small antennas. Cheap IR can be made to operate at 1000 feet. Batteries, probably the newer version of the Lithium technology, to be introduced next year (I think) with 10K recharge cycles.

Nothings as cheap to produce what you already, but for a different product would be good.

Thanks
Wayne Morellini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2005, 11:55 AM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: bellvue, CO
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
Phill,

Yes, wireless is not needed if the application is permanently fixed, and enough people running their own wireless equipment (even bluetooth) on the same band could stuff things up too.

If you ever are interested in a portable/transportable version. The wireless network technology is pretty cutting edge even in price, and designed to work in offices and across distance from 100 feet to 1000+ feet (if you get the right one) on reasonably small antennas. Cheap IR can be made to operate at 1000 feet. Batteries, probably the newer version of the Lithium technology, to be introduced next year (I think) with 10K recharge cycles.

Nothings as cheap to produce what you already, but for a different product would be good.

Thanks
I've been keeping a pretty close eye on the wireless possibilities for a number of years now (In a former life I was a researcher at HP Labs). The biggest problem that I've seen so far with the network based wireless solutions is the falloff in bandwidth. 802.11g is great if you are close but quickly drops below 1mb/s at any distance. I'm assuming that I need at least 5mb/s for an h.264 video stream to be able to send a good enough video signal that it can be effectively monitored (and focused). Most of the time you get specs that will say something like 54mb/s and will cover up to 350 feet. Unfortunately this usually means that you can go 54mb/s OR you can go 350 feet. The second problem is that as soon as someone starts up the microwave or uses their cordless phone the network can get bonked. For computer data that's OK since the data will be resent. In an isochronous application like video that can cause some major glitches in the image.

My belief is that this a fairly cost sensitive application and so I've spent most of my energy there. The motion control portion of the system is, for the most part, as good as some of the $15,000 solutions. You can move the camera at a distance just like you were on a fluid head tripod ... it's pretty cool!

I'm very interested in developing a wireless solution, but I'm also dedicated to the principle that my customers have to be happy with the system that I sell them and I don't think I can do that with wireless yet. The single cat5 cable solution is really much easier to work with than you might think, and it is cheaper and more reliable. Virtually all of my current customers use it as a portable solution.

If you've got a specific technology solution that might work I'd love to look at it. So far the best possibility I've seen is this one: www.air5.com.

Regards,
Phil
phil@grizzlypro.com
Phil Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2005, 12:00 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 1,193
Any small device, like those IR/RF devices, can be run by battery. I can't recall but I think they were small 9v AC supplies meaning at most, stack 2 9v batteries and off you go.

I'm used to adapting and building what I need. Easy stuff for me but if you want some expensive, off the shelf "thing" specifically for such a project, you may be waiting a long time.

Sean McHenry
__________________
ĎI donít know what Iím doing, and Iím shooting on D.V.í
- my hero - David Lynch

http://www.DeepBlueEdit.com
Sean McHenry is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Remote Lens Controllers

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:51 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network