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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old May 8th, 2013, 04:16 AM   #1
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Using externel recorders via HDMI

Hi,

I am asking myself if it's possible to get cleaner footage by using an external recorder via HDMI.
We know that AVCHD isn't the greatest thing on earth, but how good is the signal that comes via HDMI out?

As I still use the old FinalCut Pro 7 which doesn't like AVCHD, I always begin a project by bringing the EA50'S material to ProResLT inside the FCP tool. It takes along time.
So recording in ProRes would have two benefits for me. Saving time and getting cleaner footage?

But is it worth it?
How does it work?
Will the BMD Hyperdeck Shuttle automaticly start and stop recording when I hit the rec button on the EA50?
How will the Hyperdeck get power? Extra battery?

Any help appreciated.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 05:59 AM   #2
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Re: Using externel recorders via HDMI

I tried my EA50 with a borrowed Sound Devices Pix 240 a couple of weeks ago. It's a fantastic recorder, but costs $2,500. I captured using ProRes LT (100 Mbits/sec) via the HDMI output. During the test I simultaneously recorded to AVCHD. To be truthful I couldn't see any difference between the Pix ProRes and the AVCHD transcoded to ProRes. I didn't do any color correcting, nor did I shoot any green screen, both situations in which the 4:2:2 colorspace of an external recorder would be beneficial

The biggest issue is that the EA50 has no way to trigger record start/stop in an external recorder. To my knowledge there are three ways that start/stop can be accomplished 1) a flag in the HDMI/SDI output that signals the recorder to start and stop, 2) start and stop via timecode start/stop (eliminates the possibility of free run tc), and 3) via LANC connection. None of these were possible with the EA50 in my test. I could not get the Pix to start/stop recording via my EA50. Atomos' website shows that only the FS100 and 700 have the start/stop flag over HDMI. F3 - What cameras work with Atomos recorders? - ATOMOS The EA50 has no LANC connection.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Using externel recorders via HDMI

I have been using a NanoFlash for a couple years to shoot green screen footage. The footage from AVCHD may look the same as the 422 100mbt from the Nano but believe me when you go to pull the key there is a huge difference. The NanoFlash footage can be pulled in one click. One click on the AVCD immediately reveals the problems with AVCHD.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: Using externel recorders via HDMI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Berger View Post
The EA50 has no LANC connection.
It does. Look on the back just above and to the right of the battery. It says remote. I plugged in my old Manfrotto LANC controller and sure enough, it starts and stops recording and controls zoom.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re: Using externel recorders via HDMI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Cloninger View Post
It does. Look on the back just above and to the right of the battery. It says remote. I plugged in my old Manfrotto LANC controller and sure enough, it starts and stops recording and controls zoom.
yes it does i use it all the time!
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Old May 10th, 2013, 02:53 AM   #6
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Re: Using externel recorders via HDMI

I ran some tests with the BMD Shuttle 2 from the VG20 HDMI (8 bit 4:2:2 output - same as the EA-50) and decided that the additional SSD recording costs was not worth it. (with an 8 bit camera)

Yes, there is a slight image quality increase but as no professional would ever consider editing with native AVCHD, my alternative to an external SSD recorder is shooting carefully, then transcoding immediately to 10 bit ProRes or better still, DNxHD. (if you are editing on a PC)

The extra latitude offered by a 10 bit editing codec is very worthwhile and my preferred transcoder is the AWPro Suite from HD Cinematics. It is fast, free and is designed for professional applications and fast workflows.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 12:28 PM   #7
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Re: Using externel recorders via HDMI

THX.

I do transcode my EA50 material to ProRes LT. I think that this is pretty much the easiest way to get good footage for post. If an external recorder will give reasonably better results I will try. But I think there is no huge boost of image quality.

I stay at the AVCHD material until I recognise it's not good enough.
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