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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old September 27th, 2009, 04:02 AM   #1
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how to sync multi-cam shoot

Perusing the Ex-1 manual I can't see that I can sync the time-code to other cams? I often do this with 2x Z5p for easy multi-cam clips in FCP7. What's the best method to sync ex-1 with another ex-1 or 2x z5p in a 3 cam set-up?
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Old September 27th, 2009, 05:28 AM   #2
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I use a clapper board at start of shooting. Make sure all cameras have new cards and batteries. Threaten to fire anyone who switches off before being told to!
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Old September 27th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #3
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You can't "jam" TC in EX1's like you can on EX3's.

But set the TC to free run and try to sync time in cams as close as possible, you can usually get it within 10 frames or so. And it will stay close for a few days, even when cams are turned off.

You can then offset each cam in your NLE with sync marks, it is easy to use audio waveform to do this. Once this is done you can edit as if cams were jammed. Keep notes on how many frames each cam is off from cam1.

I use M100 to do this, but it can be easily done in FCP and other NLE's as well.

I do a lot of interviews with multiple cams sometimes Z1's or other HDV's as well as XDcams. And this technique works very well for that.

I always use TOD as TC in all our cams and keep syncing or jamming, every few days. And I use shot time in the viewfinder not TC on EXcams, this tip came from Doug Jenson's excellent video and it is a great tip.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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Simplest, most basic, but very accurate method is to start all cams running, and fire a flashgun at them. In your NLE, make the in point at the one frame where the flash starts. Never failed me for perfect sync on 3 camera shoots.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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sync cams

There are a lot of ways to do it - clapper, flash, set all the cameras to time of day using the little IR remote, etc.
But the easiest by far is Plural Eyes from Singular software. I've used it to sync the xdcam with the Canon 5d and it can be used with anything as log as there is an audio track to sync to.
On my next multicam I plan on running "A" audio to one camera and recording on the Zoom H4 or similar as backup . All the other cams just use the camera mic which is enough for the software to sync with.
The program runs in demo mode, try it out - it is like magic
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Old September 30th, 2009, 04:38 AM   #6
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I use a hand clap to slate a multi-cam shoot, then set them up in FCP like this:

-- Select clips for each camera angle.
-- Find "slate" points and cut the clips there.
-- Move clips to a bin.
-- Highlight clips.
-- Go to "Modify" dropdown menu and select "Make Multiclip"
-- Select "Sync using in points".
-- Check "on" all clips.

Your multiclip will then be created and can be found in the bin.

Drag this multiclip into a sequence.

-- In Viewer: "Show Multiclip Overlays" and "Show Source Angle Effects" should both be "on."
-- Go to "View" dropdown menu -- Playhead sync -- Open
-- Go to "View" dropdown menu -- Multiclip Active Tracks -- Video + Audio
-- Go to "View" dropdown menu -- External Video -- All frames (not sure if this is essential)

When you click on your sequence and hit the space bar, you should see all camera angles in the viewer playing simultaneously and the "program" or selected camera angle should be playing in the canvas as well.

To select a camera, just click on the angle in the viewer.

At the end your multiclip will be cut into their respective camera angles. You can go back and fine tune the cuts, too.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #7
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I've had good luck syncing Panasonics 100B by using the remote. I set up the cameras so that the time code all matches (say 01:00:00) and then setting up the cameras so the last thing to do is start the free run time code, and then starting the TC with the remote so that all cameras are triggered at the same time. I think the same method would work with the EX1.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 12:03 PM   #8
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A tip if you are doing seminars, you can easily sync cameras in the edit by using the change of one of the Powerpoint slides. Frame accurate every time.

This does depend on the presenter having Powerpoint of course, and you remembering to get at least one shot where you get a slide change where both cameras have the screen in view.

Using that technique at the moment for a shoot I did on Friday and it works well and isn't intrusive for the client.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 12:40 PM   #9
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I prefer to use the visual side rather than the audio side as a larger auditoriums will have some audio lag.

The speed of light works in your favor here.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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I agree with the flash.
We shot with 6 cameras 2 months ago and I can sync them in post very quick. But if you don't have access to the flash, you can use the audio to sync them (will need more time to sync them perfect).
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Old October 1st, 2009, 03:06 PM   #11
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also, after syncing, if you don't have multicam feature in your NLE, you can lay each camera on a seperate track. You can then go through suptractivlt cutting the show to time and when you get ready for your cutaways, they will all be in sync waiting for you. You can go through each track one at a time subractively not unlike live-switching a show at that point.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 03:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
A tip if you are doing seminars, you can easily sync cameras in the edit by using the change of one of the Powerpoint slides. Frame accurate every time.
"Frame accurate". Good pun!
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Old October 1st, 2009, 03:49 PM   #13
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Colin - thanks for the flash-technique reminder. It's so simple I didn't even think about it, and I've got two of the things lying about right here. Radio slaves make it easy to sync even cameras with widely separated fields of view.

Dean - call me slow, but I don't get the pun. "Frame accurate" only refers to motion graphics in my lexicon.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 04:16 PM   #14
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No problem Daniel. I have never bothered with any other method, it just works perfectly everytime
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