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Sony Hard Drive and Memory Card Recorders
Including the HVR-MRC1K CF Card Recorder, HVR-DR60 Hard Disk Recorder and others.


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Old March 3rd, 2009, 12:05 PM   #1
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MRC1: malfunction or operator error?

When I first got the Z7 and MRC1, everything was perfect. One of my first jobs was recording a 60 minute lecture. Everything worked perfectly. I imported the footage into CS3, dragged the 3 clips down to the timeline. The video and audio were perfect. Happy camper.... But then I started having numerous recording problems, particularly with 2 Transcend 16g 300x cards. Blocky patterns in recorded data, format errors, blank screen, missing timecode. All kinds of problems. In an effort to figure out what was going on, in the last week, I have spent numerous hours recording test footage intermixed with doing customer pay jobs. I finally started to notice what I thought was a pattern. If I formatted the CF card in my computer, I was pretty much guaranteed to have a problem. If I format in the camera, I seldom have a problem. Has anyone else noticed anything like this? What do I need to do to never have a problem?

And now I also have another problem. No matter what I do on long programs that exceed the FAT32 4gig length, I get an audio gap that ranges from 3 frames to 23 frames in duration at the end of the out-going cut. The video looks perfect. That missing audio gap really screws things up. It is certainly disappointing considering that it worked so perfectly the first time. I am beginning to think it is something I am causing. Any suggestions would be helpful.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 12:16 PM   #2
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I don't know about the audio problem, but the manual is very clear that you're supposed to format the card in the recorder, not the PC. Pages 6, 24, 25, 27.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 12:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
No matter what I do on long programs that exceed the FAT32 4gig length, I get an audio gap that ranges from 3 frames to 23 frames in duration at the end of the out-going cut. The video looks perfect. That missing audio gap really screws things up. It is certainly disappointing considering that it worked so perfectly the first time. I am beginning to think it is something I am causing. Any suggestions would be helpful.
If you take a look at this thread:

Awesome news for canon users - Page 9 - The Digital Video Information Network

About halfway down the page, post number 324, there's reference to a Sony program - free download - that recombines 4GB files from the MRC1K with no audio loss.

Regards
Dave
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 01:36 PM   #4
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You can download the Sony Recording unit utility from here:

Sony : Sony Recording Unit Utility Software : United Kingdom

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Old March 3rd, 2009, 02:13 PM   #5
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As others have already noted, you should format the cards within the recorder in order to avoid any recording issues, and the audio sync issue can be solved using Sony's software (or, if you're on a mac, another program known as ClipWrap is also supposed to do the job).

Anyway, aside from your technical issues, I'm curious as to your recording style. I'm a sophomore in high school and I constantly drool over the z7u and other great cameras like it. The only problem is that I feel like I would really have to have multiple cameras and a crew of at least one more person in order to effectively record live events (although I do have an HV20 and HDR-HC1 right now, which I use pretty frequently).

Anyway, do you find yourself shooting live events solo with the z7u? If so, how do you avoid making them boring?
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 02:16 PM   #6
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Re: formatting cards. Adam, I guess I should read the manual. What an interesting concept. I just hate reading. ADD strikes and I have a hard time learning from reading. As you may have already noticed. My bad. Thanks.

Re: Sony software utility. I downloaded it but now I need some clips to try it out. But I still don't understand why it worked perfectly without it at first and now I am having problems. I sure hope this cures it.

Thanks for the help guys. I will let post if it works.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 02:28 PM   #7
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Anyway, do you find yourself shooting live events solo with the z7u? If so, how do you avoid making them boring?
Glenn, I generally don't shoot stage performances, if that is what you mean. I have recorded some lectures for a local University. I don't know if there is anyway to make them less boring. Actually, in my case I think it depends on the speakers. Some are extremely fascinating, so boredom is not an issue. I had the pleasure of taping Dr. Sylvia Earle (you can do a google search) and her enthusiasm was so infectous, I was ready to go back to school right then. I shoot the lectures with one camera. Other than that, I am mainly using the Z7 for commercial footage. One camera is the norm for that. I have been using tape and CF card for all shoots, just to make sure I have good footage.

I did tape a live performance of a C&W singer, once upon a time. We used 4 cameras for that shoot. That was back before HD.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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Ah, alright, thanks Greg. That satisfies my curiosity. :)
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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I ran 2 clips through the Sony utility. It did load both pieces on the timeline with a single click and drag but the gap in the audio was identical to what I had before. Hmmmm.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 11:47 PM   #10
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I actually assumed you were already using this utility before you posted because it's mentioned in the... um... never mind.

But curious as to how this works out as I'm considering the MRC1K for doing long stage shows without an act break for changing tapes... I'd be really irritated if I bought four of them and found we couldn't stitch the clips together properly.

Please let us know if you get this resolved.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 12:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Glenn Fisher View Post
The only problem is that I feel like I would really have to have multiple cameras and a crew of at least one more person in order to effectively record live events (although I do have an HV20 and HDR-HC1 right now, which I use pretty frequently).

Anyway, do you find yourself shooting live events solo with the z7u? If so, how do you avoid making them boring?
I run the Advanced Video Production Unit at the local high school, and we shoot all the live productions in their theatre. We use four cams -- two FX1s and two FX7s. If UPS delivers before tomorrow's matinee, we'll be using two new FX1000s instead of the FX1s.

Multiple cams certainly help. You really do need a change of viewpoint to keep the video from getting boring. People assume that because when you attend a live theatre event, you are sitting stationary in one seat, that the POV in the video doesn't need to change, but that isn't really true. As the action shifts around the stage, your brain sees it as if you are moving around and changing POV as well.

If you are sure you will never distribute in HD or BD at all, you could simply crop and zoom your wider shots to make closer shots in editing. You could zoom in quite a way in post without going below good SD resolution. You could even pan while you crop in your NLE. And if you were to set up your two small cams in different places in the theatre, you could lock one down on a wide shot and make it look as if you had four cams. You'd always have the wide shot to go back to when making a sloppy pan or zoom on the other cam, and could crop and pan from that wide shot as well.

But obviously this doesn't work if you want to keep it in HD. And for ease of editing, you want an NLE that can do multicam editing, like Premiere or Final Cut (assume but not sure Vegas can do this).

Last edited by Adam Gold; March 4th, 2009 at 12:41 AM.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:38 PM   #12
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Hey Greg--

Any news on this?

Or has anyone else experienced this and/or found a solution?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 11:26 PM   #13
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I haven't had a chance to do any more testing. Maybe I will get a chance to test more on Monday.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #14
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I am still having problems. As per everyones input, I am only formatting in the MRC1. I am using the Sony utility for long recordings. I shot a 70 minute lecture the other day and the recording was fine except I still got little glitches at the point where 2 pieces are stitched back together. Today, I was copying some old 8mm films. I was dual recording on tape (thankfully) and the MRC1. I was recording in DV 4x3. On my CS3 timeline, I was getting this intermittant diagonal checker board pattern on footage off of the CF card. And a big audio crunch sound wherever there was a video glitch. And when I tried playing back in the camera, the same thing happened. I decided to test again. This was the first time I had a problem with an 8 gig card. Previously, I had problems with only 16 gig cards. I formatted the card in the camera. I set the camcorder up on a tripod, reset the timecode to 00:00:00:00 and let it record while I was doing other jobs. I went back to check on it later and the time code said 34:12:22. I paused recording. BUT it kind of stopped but not really. The record indicator on the LCD was still on. The tally light was still on. The record light on the MRC1 was still on. But the timecode was no longer advancing. I tried starting recording again but it would not respond at all. After a couple of minutes, I was getting impatient so I turned the power on the camcorder to off (not VCR. I am positive). The viewfinder turned blue but the record light was still on. So then I turned the MRC1 off, itself. I still had a blue screen and the record light. After about 3 minutes everything finally shut off. I turned it back on and the MRC1 displayed "welcome" for about 3 minutes. I turned just the MRC1 off and turned it back on. "Welcome" again for a couple of minutes. Off and on again. This time it went through the normal boot process and it recognized the CF card and was ready to record. I recorded a couple of short clips. By now the time code was showing 37:40:19. And then I noticed that my 8 gig card that will hold approximately 37 minutes is saying it still has 24 minutes left. When you play back the footage, it will freeze frame, give blue screen, time code comes and goes with or without a picture. Arghhhhh.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #15
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What I would do is to try the unit on another PC and see. Just to make sure it's not your computer the problem.

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