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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old April 22nd, 2008, 10:43 AM   #1
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Sony Hdr-hc7 Question

I'm new to videography. I bought a Sony HDR-HC7 for shooting skydiving video and a Macbook Pro with Final Cut Express for editing. I've been told it would be best to time code the tape but I don't see a feature on the camera that allows me to do it. I called SONY and the rep told me it couldn't be done with that camera. He didn't sound like he really knew for sure though. Does anyone know if I can do it with that camera?
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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If it's like the hc-3, an earlier generation of your Sony, all that data is normally recorded anyway. When you dub your tape onto dvd, for example, you can bring up the data code (select "on") under the 'Standard Set' menu and the date and time will then be shown.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 10:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. However, I want to be able to code or black(a term I've heard but am not sure I'm using it in the right context) the whole tape prior to recording on it. With the built in function, it resets the code to zero every time you turn the camera off and back on.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Talerico View Post
Thanks for the reply. However, I want to be able to code or black(a term I've heard but am not sure I'm using it in the right context) the whole tape prior to recording on it. With the built in function, it resets the code to zero every time you turn the camera off and back on.
I have a Sony HC7, and like most lower end HDV or DV cameras, you cannot burn timecode. Recording timecode isn't fatal as you are recording what is known as data code.

The term code and black is mainly used for editors in the linear world to lay down a control track and timecode to successfully execute frame accurate insert edits. You can still lay black on a tape if you like through Final Cut. Well, actually, I work with Final Cut Pro, so I don't know if Express has edit to tape. If it does, open a timeline and choose, edit to tape. Then choose the "black tape" button. When you depress the button, it will show a time code window, but you will be unable to change it for DV, maybe for HDV, I've never tried it. Hit enter. It will display one of those "are you sure" warnings. Hit enter again and Final Cut will black your entire tape, unless you want to stop the process by depressing the esc (escape) key.

Anyway, the record function in the camera is going to put down new data code since it doesn't have a timecode generator and regen capability. Even if you had a camera with timecode capability, you wouldn't want to black or code a tape before hand as it would lay down the timecode during recording. One thing you might want to do is fast forward new tapes to the end and then rewind them back to the beginning. This will take out any possible loose gaps or buckles that might be in the tape, making it less likely to incur video problems like dropouts.

Although it's not true timecode, if you keep the camera on, it will lay down a consistent data code throughout the tape and avoid capture and recapture issues in Final Cut.

Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:59 AM   #5
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One other note: If you do have a timecode or data code break, make sure you record at least six seconds on either side of the break. If you log and capture, you will have to do that seperately for each section of tape that experienced a break. If you need to recapture later, make sure you have good notes because you will have to park the tape at that particular section where the footage is located. It's a bit more work, but it will save you from headaches later. You really don't want to live load the tape, unless you are sure you won't need to recapture any of the footage later.

In the edit world anything can happen, so leave open as many options as you can.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:03 PM   #6
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Everything John says is correct, but I'll add the following:

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Originally Posted by Mike Talerico View Post
I want to be able to code or black(a term I've heard but am not sure I'm using it in the right context) the whole tape prior to recording on it.
Why? There's nothing to gain from this and you could be asking for trouble, as your cam always lays down new timecode when recording, and if the tape stretches just a little bit and you stop recording, your new timecode might not match the old and your NLE will freak.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Talerico View Post
With the built in function, it resets the code to zero every time you turn the camera off and back on.
Not true. It only does this if it encounters tape with no timecode. Even if you remove the tape and re-insert it, it should find the end of the last recorded scene (it always rewinds a little bit when you insert the tape, or you can rewind a bit manually) and pick up that timecode from where it left off. It absolutely won't reset to zero if you don't remove the tape.

But if you really want to lay down timecode and only timecode, put the cam into PLAY/EDIT mode, select REC CTRL and hit the red REC button. It will lay down TC for you.

But again, there's no real point in doing this.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:20 PM   #7
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Thanks to all who replied.

Mike Talerico
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