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Old March 30th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #1
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F900 timecode issues

I posted a similar message on the Vegas site but got no response so I thought I'd re-ask here. I hired a crew to do a 3 cam shoot in HDCam 1080 60i. They own to F700's and rented an F900. I am doing an SD edit in Vegas and was going to have that crew take my edl and do the online. My edl's won't recognize t/c so the edl's won't work. I used a J-H3 and superimposed a timecode burn on my image. I can't seem to get Vegas to recognize my t/c burned onto the image. It assigns it's own funk t/c. I went back in and selected my original captured media and set the properties to use my t/c. every thing starts ok but in 3 minutes, the timecode is off by 5 seconds or so. It seems upon further inspection that two cameras were set up on drop frame and one was set up on non-drop. I didn't realize that when I captured. Anyway, within vegas I set the t/c to start with my window burn # and selected drop/non-drop and it starts of ok but as I get to the end of the clip Vegas gets out of sync. I don't know if I need to recapture (I have to anyway to get the t/c burn off) and adjust my capture utility to drop or nd. The wierd thing is that if I captured all of my footage as non-drop, then at least the one tape should stay sync'd but it doesn't. I did a second shoot with the same crew with their 700's and I am having the same problem. I did a third shoot but I rented an F900 and it's perfect. Can anyone tel me if older cameras can drift or is there something silly that i am not thinking of?

Jeff
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Old April 1st, 2006, 01:57 PM   #2
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Jeff I can't tell you 100% but I know in my personal experience 700's tend to drift. I don't know why, and I don't know if it can be fixed with a firmware update or not, but I personally have witnessed a locked camera drift after onlyt 3 minutes, sound's like you've got the same deal. A solution for the future may be to rent a clockit box (I've been suggesting them a lot recently I wonder if they'll cut me a deal on a couple) at least that way you know your time code will be spot on.

The other thing that may be an issue is making sure you have the correct set up on the jh-3 I know you have to do a little digging through the menu's (I think it's item 13 or 15) in order to change the frame rate. Obviously if you're shooting with 700's your frame rate is 29.97 (59.94) so if for some reason the deck was set up to read 23.98 that could also be an issue.

I'm also curious are you using the firewire out of the jh-3 or are using sdi and all of that set up?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 10:17 AM   #3
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Thanks Nick, I was hoping that you'd respond. I googled Clockit and came up with an HD discussion group that was pretty heated over the thing. Some said it was stupid and others not. Pretty much they all thought that timecode should not be an issue but to tell you the truth it is absolutely pissing me off.

I am editing my 1st project ever. It is a 3 camera shoot with 2 F700's and an F900. SInce All three cameras were within 20 feet of the subject (MUsic Performance in a studio) there should be no latency issues between them. I want this edit to be exact and meticulous. What I have found is that my timecodes don't match, waveforms don't match and Vegas doen't handle edl's very well. Maybe a lot of the issue was due to the crew I hired. It seems the 2 700's (he owns) were set to drop frame and the one 900 he rented was set to Non-drop).

I was hoping to do an sd edit and then have the crew take an edl and do the HD (HDCAM 1080 60i) edit. Now since the timecodes don't sync and apparently drift, I have to do a lot more work to ensure the synchronization.

Yes, I did a firewire ingest.

Jeff
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 10:37 PM   #4
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don't mean to sound of topic, but if the cameras were that close why didn't they hard wire the TC from camera to camera?? using the f900 as master and the 700s as slave. the window will show you that they are locked in a 60I mode . again I don't mean to overlook the fact that its in the can, but I would like to have more info on what was done, in order to further the understanding of why the problem is there.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #5
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Craig,

I spread the whole story over several posts but here it is in a nutshell.

I had an idea to produce a show called Songwriters. The concept was to have a prominent songwriter perform their songs in a recording studio so I can control the sound & lighting. I wanted to interview the artist so when you hear their interview about the song, you can understand the how's and why's of how it was written. Then the artist performs the song and, voila - the viewer gets an new understanding of the song. I wanted to shoot Hi Def so I could send the series to broadcast. HDNet was leading me on of their interest so I did all of this on speculation. I also intended to deliver 11-13 songs plus interviews to DVD with an accompanying CD. The HD would be a half hour show of 3-4 songs with interviews. I had no expierience in video outside of consumer editing but thought I could hire an HD crew for the shoot. We planned a 3 camera shoot in HDCam 1080 60i. The crew owns their 2 700's and they rented the 900. I was to rent the j-h3 to do the sd edit and give an edl to the crew to do the HD edit. That's the setup and the beginning of my issues.

I intended for the 3 cams to be sync'd to aid me in syncing the tracks in Vegas. I rented the J-h3 and set it to capture via firewire with a windowburn of the timecode (superimpose the timecode on my avi). Tis way I could visually sync everything up. 1st problem. 900 did not get sync'd properly because it was set to Non-Drop 9I guess from the last renter) and the 700's were on drop. Since I din't know anything about this, I just captured 35 tapes and began to edit. I realized immediatel that when to sync'd the tracks on my timeline per the window burn timecode, the video and audio were WAY off. I then sync'd the audio as best I could near the beginning of each song, and the timecode on the window burn was WAY off. I used the wave forms from the 3 camera mic to do the sync. I assumed since they were all within the same distance to the source, they should be consistent. I noticed that neare the end of a 3 minute song that I couldn't be dead on with the wave form but also it didn't look out of sync. I thought if I match the front, it should match by the end but there is just not enough definition on the Vegas audio timeline to match very closely but it appears it's close enough. I tried printing out EDL's of the songs but since the timecode was so far off, I did not feel comfortable using it. The HD editor uses Speed Razor and Vegas does not appear to be compatible with it.

I finally tried to set my own t/c in vegas in D or n-d mode by using the starting t/c from my windowburn. Vegas added the t/c to the timeline as well so I see that the windowburn and the Vegas t/c match on the first frame. Near the end of the 3 minute song, the t/c's get out of sync by at least 5 seconds.

Here's the wierd thing. I had to shoot an extra interview and I rented a 900 myself and after capturing the same way, the t/c in Vegas is within a frame of my tape.

Now all of this is irrelevant if I contained myself only in this project. I don't have the capability to edit HD and I can't color correct so I need to transfer my edit to someone else and the natural way is to edl and redigitize. I have decided that for the sd colorcorrection, I can recapture the tapes without the window burn and redigitze myself, then do a save as and trim all the media with say a 1 second on the front and back and rename each (approx 20 cuts to a song) in numerical order to an external hard drive. My HD guy could then align each clip on his timeline in order, color correct and save in a new folder so I can reassemble and finish my graphics to make my DVD master.

Whew! This project just keeps getting worse and more expensive. In hindsight, it would have been cheaper for me to buy 3 Z-1's and have the crew shoot in HDV and broadcxast to SD and deliver on my own to DVD. Any suggestions or flaws im my flow? In retrospect, locking the t/c as you mentioned would have been good but who would have known?


Jeff - sorry for the long post
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Old April 4th, 2006, 10:46 PM   #6
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the operators should have known. What would happen if you cloned each tape and had the TC restriped? the quality would still be there, and you would have consistant TC for each tape. Yes the exact frames would not have the same TC on each tape, however you could at least sync the 3 tapes up for each performance, So cam 1 starts tc hr 1, cam 2 hour 2, cam 3 hour 3, . then at least the math for segment duration would still work once you found the same frame to start with on each tape??? does any of this seem to make since?? post is really not my thing,. I can do the deck to deck cloning. I think that part would be simple enough.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:18 AM   #7
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Jeff,
fellow Vegas user here :)

A few points that might help you.

1) Without the cameras being genlocked you'll always have issues. Even trying to resync audio from a camera back to the same CD as was played at the event I've had a few frames drift over 4 minutes. Easy enough to fix in Vegas, CTl-Drag the audio from the CD, just a pain when there's 40 tracks to do but until I get a CD player that'll lock to word clock....

2) In Vegas it's very easy to check audio sync, shift + Up/Down arrow will magnify the audio waveform. Also switching off Quantize To frames when working with audio, just remember to turn it back on when cutting video or you'll get some real nasty issues.

3) If you can find someone who can ingest the HDCAM footage to the Sony YUV or BMD codecs you can then render to the Cineform codec and edit that almost as easily as DV with it would seem no quality loss over HDCAM. Keeping the whole show in Vegas will save you a lot of grief down the road.

4) You can get the JH3 to burn in TC on the f/wire feed I think, I
ve only got J30s which do do this, assume JH3 will also. This way you know for a fact you're looking at the T/C off the tape. However with two tapes DF and one not I think you're going to have dramas with the on line, I'm in PAL land so not 100% certain on this however I think the suggestion to restripe the tapes to get them all NDF would be wise.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #8
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Craig,

Thanks for the comments. After having to learn the hard way, I guess I can do the sync manually. I guess my biggest issue is that I probably need a new system that won't lag. Currently I run Vegas on a P4 3.2G 800 FSB HT 512K, 2 gig of Ram (I think) and an ATI 9800 Pro 128 MB 8x video card. As I do my 3 cam (and hopefully 4-5 in the future) edit, I get a lag in preview that compounds the sync issue. If I could get rid of my lag, I could feel comfortable with being in sync. Now I have to render and playback to see for sure. Even soloing my cut track doesn't play smoothly.

I am intrigued with Bob's comment thou about ingesting my HDCam into YUV or BMD codecs. I don't know how to do this. Are you saying that it would be much like when I capture my HDV and use Gearshift for the proxy and then I can go back to HDV? That would be cool and allow me to keep more in house. What kind of demand on my system would there be and could my system do it? How about space? Could I get someone to do it to my 1.6 TB drive and then I can edit on my machine?

Thanks for the help!

Jeff
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Old April 5th, 2006, 09:44 AM   #9
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One more thing, I obviously have a 32 bit system.
Jeff
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Old April 5th, 2006, 06:15 PM   #10
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Jeff,
capturing the native HDCAM footage needs fast disk arrays and a card with HD SDI from BMD et al. Obviously you don't have this!
But once it's captured you no longer have to deal with things in RT.
So you get someone who has a machine with the grunt to do the capture.
Clearly trying to edit that on a slow PC is going to be way too tedious.
You can however open those files in Vegas and render to the Cineform codec, approx 30Gbs / hour, depending on quality setting. Yes this is the same intermediate codec as used for HDV, except you're no longer dealing with a lossy codec, the Cineform codec is way superior to HDV, even compared to DVCPro HD, less lossy, check out the tests on the Cinefrom site.

Now you do need a fast PC to handle the Cineform codec fluidly, at least a 3GHz P4 but that's hardly an expensive box these days.

You should be able to get Gearshift to work with this as well but check with the creator. Given what you're attempting, editing the Cineform DI directly might be easier if you're also having to mess with the audio timing
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Old April 5th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #11
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well good luck, and please keep us posted on the outcome, and how you overcome these problems
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Old April 6th, 2006, 02:21 AM   #12
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UNfotunately I don't think it's posssible to get a timecode burn in through firewire on a jh-3, I remember giving this a shot on a short I did last year and it was no dice. If someone knows different please chime in.

Just so we're completely clear, the 900 was in 60i mode right? I mean it seems odd for a 5 second drift after only three minutes. Oh well I think the really critical thing to learn from this is uh, maybe not to use that crew again.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 12:54 PM   #13
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Guys, thanks for all of the help you gave me. I guess I am just going to have to suffer through this mess as Sony says it's a known issue - timecode reading - and that they will address it in a future release.

This just doesn't make sense because when I rented the 900 and I captured the same way, the t/c matched all the way. The other crew's work doesn't.

That to me just doesn't make sense - the fact that the different setups don't match and obviously that the Vegas people must not really understand.

Oh well.

Thanks everyone.

Jeff
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