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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
HD recording with a Super35 CMOS Sensor.


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Old February 10th, 2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Another Samurai issue

I've had some playback troubles with the Samurai related to the fact that the unit strips the PSF from a 23.98 signal from the F3 and converts it automatically to ProRes @ 23.98P. I have a small Panasonic 8" monitor which has no problem with the 23.98P playback, but a larger 23" ECinema won't handle anything but PSF at 23.98. The live picture is stable, but playback to that monitor is NG.

Can't find any way to disable this auto conversion or re-convert it for playback, I'm not totally literate about the ProRes HQ specs but it's my guess it has to be P and not PSF so that explains the automatic conversion.

Now I have to record out to a NanoFlash just for immediate on-set playback to the ECinema monitor - would be easier and nice to just playback from the Samurai, although playback to it's internal screen does provide recording confidence.

Another issue is that occasionally it just shuts off and needs to have a battery pull to re-start it. No data losses related to this problem, but it is annoying. Seems to happen when a source is plugged or unplugged while it is live. Still trying to track this one down to specifics. Love to hear anyone who's solved this one. There is a new firmware out from last week, but I've installed this and still have this problem.

Also, I've not had any issues (yet) with my Intel 120GB SSD's. Interesting about the firmware upgrade for it though. I downloaded the Intel Toolbox but it doesn't recognize the Intel drive plugged into a USB port.

Last edited by Bruce Schultz; February 10th, 2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: Another Samurai issue

Looks like the problem I was having with the Samurai unit freezing after playing back clips was addressed and (hopefully) fixed in new 2.8 firmware update from Feb 14, 2012.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Re: Another Samurai issue

Just a nerdy note, Bruce.

PsF is an HD-SDI format only, not a Quicktime recording framerate or method. In other words, when it's in a file, there is 24P only, no such thing as PsF.

So the beef is that upon playback, the Samurai doesn't do PsF playback out SDI, only P. Lot of good that info does you, right :-) I'd look into a new cheep convertor box from AJA or BMD? Maybe even a Decimator might do that job?

Good to know about playback freezing, I've had that problem for a while and actually spurred my purchase of X25 SSD vs. Intel 320 series. Since nobody else complained about it, I assumed it was my drive choices.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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Re: Another Samurai issue

I've noticed that clips that are recorded without audio freeze on playback. I make sure I have the camera mic on even if I don't need audio and the problem goes away.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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Re: Another Samurai issue

All good notes, thanks for the responses. Good info on the freeze issue, hadn't considered the audio possibilities at all but will make sure there's audio input somehow on any future shoots.

On my stage shoot last week at Sony Studios I did use a Samurai for 10-bit but did not hook up an external monitor, just used the Samurai monitor for playback checking. BTW, that Samurai monitor (at least mine) is way under saturated compared to every other monitor I hook up to look at live images - wouldn't want it to be the only monitor on any shoot. I also output from A output on the F3 to a NanoFlash I-Frame 8-bit which I recorded as backup and sent loop through to video village for their playback - that was PSF. They then re-recorded it for playback to a SD Pix 240 (I turned off tally red bar) which gave a 3rd backup recording (10-bit) and of course triggered it all with camera start/stop to SxS cards internally. So 4 separate recordings - a bit extreme I'd say, but what the hell it didn't cost anything more, and we only transferred the Samurai footage on stage and banked the other 3 for a few days until post notified all was well.

All in all, Samurai has performed very well, despite the few minor quirks we've been discussing on this board. I'm guessing the listmums will be setting up an Atomos board for all of this real soon now if not already . . .
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