Sync of TC & VTR(really:VDR) Control With Multiple Camera Shoots at DVinfo.net

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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:03 PM   #1
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Sync of TC & VTR(really:VDR) Control With Multiple Camera Shoots

Does any one know the exact setup and or requirements to connect 2 to 3 HD XDCAM cameras together with all having the same timecode and having the ability to start and stop the recordings of all cameras from the "master" camera?
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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:04 AM   #2
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Not sure how you would start all the cameras from one camera. Maybe if you had a wired control box that connected to the lens remote socket or lens socket you could fire off several cameras together. Timecode is simply a case of taking the timecode out from one camera to the time code in of the next with a BNC cable. The slave cameras should have the timecode set to regen and free-run. I would recommend that the master camera ran free-run timecode and that you allawys try to run the cameras for at least 5 seconds prior to starting a take to allow for pre-roll should you need to feed the edit suite using deck control with pre-roll (i.e traditionally). If you are going to use XDCAM file transfer then pre-roll is not such an issue, although it is a good habit to get into.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
Not sure how you would start all the cameras from one camera.
If all the cameras within view of a single IR remote you can start all recording simultaneously with it.

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Old October 25th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carroll Lam
If all the cameras within view of a single IR remote you can start all recording simultaneously with it.

Carroll Lam

Yes you can Carroll, but without being truly synced, they will drift. This method was tried when the XL2 cameras came out. Setting them to free-run and resetting them to 00:00:00 via a common IR command. They drifted apart in short order.

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Old October 25th, 2006, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
Not sure how you would start all the cameras from one camera. Maybe if you had a wired control box that connected to the lens remote socket or lens socket you could fire off several cameras together.
If you had a box that would do one in/multi out firewire, that would work. I just verified last week that you can start/stop the camera's record function via fw control. The camera also sends out start/stop via FW as I was able to start Scenalyzer's own direct capture by pressing record on the camera.

If doing multi-camera TC sync, make sure all of them are set either to DF or NDF otherwise they will drift apart.

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Old October 25th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Yes you can Carroll, but without being truly synced, they will drift. This method was tried when the XL2 cameras came out. Setting them to free-run and resetting them to 00:00:00 via a common IR command. They drifted apart in short order.
Yeah, but we're speaking of _Sony_ cameras in this case. 8-)

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Old October 25th, 2006, 08:15 PM   #7
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Starting the cameras all at once is not really what you need if you're trying to do multicam. What you need is to have all the TC on the cams match as much as possible.

If you jam sync all the cams, TC will match on all of them to the frame until one gets powered down. Then that cam will drift up to 7 frames, although in practice it's less. The way multiclips in FCP are set up this drift you'd have to fix once, and that's it. Not a biggie.

If you want them all perfect, all the time, just run TC between all them and leave it. Then you don't have to worry about them all starting and stoppping at the same time...a second here or there won't slow you down in the edit at all.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #8
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Nate is very correct regarding "Frame Drift."

I guess just don't power down the cameras until
the shoot is all done (in a studio)?

Is there a device that I can hook up to all of the lenses
that will start and stop the recording?
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Old October 27th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #9
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Various companies make wireless TC links so you don't even need cables, just one camera with a transmitter to send the TC and all recievers on all the others. More expensive certainly but if running long cable is a problem or if cameras are moving around alot it's a neat solution. As nate and others have said, starting in sync isnt really the issue but TC sync saves so many headaches.
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