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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old February 14th, 2010, 12:40 AM   #1
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Can EX1R burn date/time on SD image?

I currently use a Z1U in SD mode to shoot some legal work that requires date/time to be stamped on the video. I'd like to get an EX1R for the considerably better HD while still having SD capability. I've searched the user manual but can't determine for sure if it's able to stamp date/time onto the image in DVCAM mode. Can anyone confirm one way or another, please? TIA!
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Old February 14th, 2010, 03:37 AM   #2
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No, it can't record it burnt in to the images. You could do it by recording on an external device such as a NanoFlash.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Alister. (BTW, I really enjoy your website and reviews).

I was also eyeing-up a Nanoflash and if I sold the Z1U could probably get one in addition to the EX1R. I read the Nanoflash user manual and FAQs but didn't see anything regarding date/time stamping the video. Could you briefly explain how this would be accomplished (is it an inherent but undocumented feature of the nanoflash or would it be accomplished some other way)? TIA.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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I'll venture a guess . . . since Nano can talk output from the camera one would simply enable it in the menu in the camera. The EX allows monitoring the the data display visible so that would would be fed to the Nano.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #5
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Yep, that's it Craig. You can superimpose the viewfinder data on the SDi output which can include timecode or userbits. One thing to consider with the EX is that the time and date is recorded in the clips Metadata. When you play back the clips in Clip Browser it will display the time, date, zoom position and many other camera settings in the Aquisition Data window. IMHO it would be harder to fake this than taking a clip and burning in substitute time and date info.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #6
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I thought for legal depositions etc they require tape? Not sure why that would matter but I'm sure I read it in a business model thing on this site.

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Old February 15th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #7
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Not always, John. It depends on many things including what state you're in, what the client would prefer, etc. Also, that article is 7 years old and things have changed considerably in legal videography since then.

Craig and Alister, many thanks for the info.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #8
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Good info - thanks Bruce. As I said I couldn't think of a logical reason why it would make a difference.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #9
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You can set the EX-1's timecode to "clock" and it would record the actual time time of day as it's timecode, in military time. Set the user bits to "date" and it will record the date in metadata. You can shoot in HD or SD.

My NLE (Edius) is capable of burning timecode from the timeline. After importing my footage, I can burn a SD dvd or dub a transfer to dv tape with the camera's original timecode (actual time of day.)
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Old February 20th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #10
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Superimposed Date & Time image from metadata

Will any of you guys do me a favor and post a pic on how the superimposed time/date image will be displayed from an ex-1, or pmw-350's viewfinder? I also record legal depositions, and would like to record a superimposed "Current Date and AM/PM clock" onto an external HD/SDI device.
Note: For deposition recordings, ONLY a burn-in of date and time is required; No other metadata burn-info needed, i.e... F-stop, Kelvin, audio 44.1k, etc.
Thanks in advance!
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Old February 27th, 2010, 03:53 AM   #11
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Here is a screenshot of an EX-1 frame from an Edius timeline. Original shot was 1440x1080, opened in Edius 720x480 SD preset.
1. Set the EX-1 timecode mode to "clock."
2. Set user bits to "date."
3. Download your footage to your hard drive.
4. In Edius, go to settings/applications settings/customize/overlay/source information to show, then select recording date (2 lines) and you get the resulting screenshot.
5. From the timeline, press F11 (export), then tick the "display timecode" box.
6. Your resulting SD file will have your date and timecode burned onto your footage. In the overlay menu, you can move the time and date anywhere on the screen.

If you needed HD, simply use a HD preset instead of SD.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #12
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Thanks Warren!
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Old February 27th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #13
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In legal depositions, depending on the state, they want no processing of the file at all. Hence the need to burn in straight from the camera. Once it hits an NLE they believe the file is open to modification and therefor legally in doubt. Basically the file should be visually as recorded (as opposed to metadata exposed and added visually after the fact).
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #14
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Well if your video has to be on tape and have burned in UB (date) and TC (TOD) recorded on location no dubbing or NLE manipulation.

What I would do is bring my BetaSP deck and record to that and then dub tapes from the Beta using "super" composite output the TC and userbits to VHS.

You could of course do this just by shooting Beta or even any HD tape camera that records TC and UB.

So if this is what you need the EX tapeless cams are not really what you need.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 09:31 PM   #15
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I'll just add that since attorney's from both sides are at the deposition along with the court reporter who creates the official record....the chances that the time/date of the video would ever be called into question is practically non existent. And if it was brought into question I'm sure it would be a serious matter that would require a videographer to testify under oath about any authenticity issues of the original recording. I have never heard of this happening in the history of legal video. Food for thought...in other words, I wouldn't hesitate to use external time/date generation from video data.
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