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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old November 10th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #1
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Z1 Timecode Breaks

I recently had a shoot where I had timecode breaks in the captured footage. I heard some reports from others having the same problem.

Basically when I shoot I managed the timecode same as I do for other formats, Digibeta, Betacam, etc.

I set timecode to hour 01 for the first tape and then 02 for the second and so on. This is a good standard timecoding practice for ENG shooters. The timecode is set to PRESET to be able to set specific timecode. And then after I roll some tape I switch to REGENERATE to have continuous timecode and avoid timecode breaks. After changing tapes, I switch to PRESET and repeat the procedure.

This is nothing new. Standard procedure. Please, bear in mind that I have been exclusively a full-time shooter for the last 18 years and I know about timecode procedures. However, I have noticed that upon capturing the NLE reported on a few tapes, at least three or four timecode breaks (no dropouts!!!) It is possible that after setting timecode in PRESET I may have forgotten to switch to REGEN, and then upon reviewing the tapes in front of the customer I may have forgotten to switch to REGEN to have continuous timecode. Unfortunately in this camera you do not have a way to cue the timecode via a return bottom such as in more expensive cameras (Or is there one and I am missing it?) What I was carefully to do was to back up the tape so the recording was happening on immediate prerecorded footage. I was sure to do that because as you know, leaving a gap will definetly leave a gap in TC and produce a definite TC break.

I have heard people reporting TC problems out there with this camera and would like to know if you have similar experiences on this. On the tapes I did not pause the camera and review footage, it does not seem to be a problem. And again, whenever I reviewed footage I was careful to restart the recording cued to the last shot.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #2
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We had the DSR 390's before the Z1 was introduced and I know when setting timecode on the DSR we would go from preset to regen once we set the starting timecode. With the Z1's the only time we have had a problem with timecode breaks is when we follow the old procedure of the DSR preset to regen. Once we began to see allot of timecode breaks in our Z1's we left our cameras on preset and never turned back to regen once timecode was set. This may sound odd but we have 13 Z1's and since we made the change timecode breaks are a thing of the past.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #3
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The problem with leaving TC in Preset is that, as you probably had noticed, the timecode will not be continuous TC if you have to review the tape an proceed later with recording. Even if you cued the tape, when in Preset, you will have a TC which will be be not continuous. And that is another problem.

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Originally Posted by John M. McCloskey
We had the DSR 390's before the Z1 was introduced and I know when setting timecode on the DSR we would go from preset to regen once we set the starting timecode. With the Z1's the only time we have had a problem with timecode breaks is when we follow the old procedure of the DSR preset to regen. Once we began to see allot of timecode breaks in our Z1's we left our cameras on preset and never turned back to regen once timecode was set. This may sound odd but we have 13 Z1's and since we made the change timecode breaks are a thing of the past.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #4
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I understand that if you take the tape out of the camera you will not be able to cue the tape back up for continuos unbroken timecode if you have rewound the tape . If you leave the tape in the camera you can go to VHS and rewind and view what you have shot then go back to camera and press end search and have no broken time code. This can be done in preset mode and maintains a unbroken timecode until you get to the hour mark when the timecode switches to the next hour for the remaining time of a 64 minute tape. I am not a pro but we have shot some 1000 hdv tapes and it works great for us and edits with the avid are running smoothly. If you feel we are doing something wrong I would definatly be willing to try a differnt approach I am always looking to learn something new about this camera. Thanks
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Old November 10th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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John, If you stay in preset and switch to VTR and do End Search is your Time Code is OK?

The TC seems to be fine if you just pause the recording because it backspaces and hangs where you left off. If you shut down the camera the TC seems to be a bit erratic, but I have not used mine enough to figure it out.
One thing I always do in Betacam (BVV-5) is burn some black after the last shot then hit the RET button on the lens after power up which cues it back up.... but this camera ( DV/HDV) is a whole new animal. I look forward to other posters who have a story to tell. In Avid you can check a box that ignores/ tolerates TC breaks.

Augusto I worked at KRON in SF for 19 years until I moved to New Orleans... send me an email sometime.
George
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Old November 10th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #6
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Hi George:

I do the same with PVW-D50 Betacam, DSR-500 Dvcam, D600 cams. I hit the RET button and never have a problem with TC breaks.

In FCP, with material shot with Z1 the program recognizes the breaks and continues digitizing after recuing itself, however it breaks down the clips in unwanted parts. It is a nuisance but not a major problem.

What I haven't been doing is the Search End according to John's suggestion on the VCR side. I am going to give it a try. One would expect a cueing button on the camera side, not in VCR mode. But as you said, this HDV cam is a different animal. Not quite perfect, I guess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by George Griswold
John, If you stay in preset and switch to VTR and do End Search is your Time Code is OK?

The TC seems to be fine if you just pause the recording because it backspaces and hangs where you left off. If you shut down the camera the TC seems to be a bit erratic, but I have not used mine enough to figure it out.
One thing I always do in Betacam (BVV-5) is burn some black after the last shot then hit the RET button on the lens after power up which cues it back up.... but this camera ( DV/HDV) is a whole new animal. I look forward to other posters who have a story to tell. In Avid you can check a box that ignores/ tolerates TC breaks.

Augusto I worked at KRON in SF for 19 years until I moved to New Orleans... send me an email sometime.
George
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