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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.

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Old January 25th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #1
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The External Recording Control Menu?

The External Recording Control Menu?. What is this exactly.....

This is what I PRAY it is....

That I connect the Z1U to a Laptop via firewire. Open up a capture program (Vegas 5 Capture is my flavor of choice). And then when I hit the record button on the camcorder, it automatically tells Vegas to begin recording also. When I hit the record button again to stop, Vegas Stop also...all this...FRAME ACCURATE with identical timecode.

Please, someone tell me... that is what this is. I am in need of something like that, and the XL2 comes with it via that little software they have, but it's ONLY for the XL2. DV Rack has it...but only for $500 bucks.

If you tell me that the Z1U does this with any capture program you point point at it, then I may have to buy 2 Z1's instead of one.

any answers?

- Shannon W. Rawls
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Old January 27th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #2
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I haven't played with that menu, but my guess is it works something like you want, but not with typical capture software, but rather recording equipment such as another camera or deck, or a hard-disk recorder (such as the Firestore). It might work with Serious Magic's DV Rack as well. At this point, none of these recorders support HDV mode, so it would be DV only, but some of them will likely support HDV in the future. Like I said, I haven't played with the menu, but the options are probably when and what commands it sends to the external device (none, sync with camera, always record, ?).

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Old January 27th, 2005, 09:31 AM   #3
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Yeah, it should be a standard external recording trigger and will probably work with any of the standard peripherals such as a portable hard disk drive. I think a better solution than a laptop for mobility purposes is a dedicated firewire hard drive such as a FireStore FS-4 when it (eventually) supports the HDV format. Either way, the ext. rec. control is a great way to get around the limitations of the videotape (dropouts, rec. limit, etc.). These drives will run only a little bit more expensive than the DV Rack but the big advantage is freedom of movement. If you're shooting from a locked-down camera then that may not be such a big deal though.

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Old January 27th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #4
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Great. One of the reasons I ask is because I shot a movie last spring and Murphy's Law showed up.

We were using a JVC DV500 camera and during this card playing scene in a dark smokey room where the actors did pure improvization and the camera circled them at the round table having their conversation. The scene was sweet.

But guess what...

Of all the footage we shot from that movie, guess what MiniDV tape decided to take a crap on us...and guess where.....

So after that I deceided I will never shoot another anything without some sort of redundancy. Now since I am not a run & gun type producer, all my cameras are tehered to a snake cable consiting of 75' XLR cables, 75' BNC, 75' audio return, and 75' Firewire cable.

I would use a Sony Vaio and Vegas Capture to make a digital backup to a usb2 external drive....everyting was sweet. When we "Roll Sound!" the mixer would hit 'capture' on the program and then scream "Sound Speed".

Well, DV Rack showed up, and it was a godsend. Because now, the mixer had one less duty to do, because DV Rack would slave its recordings to the camera frame accurately. However....the problem is....DV Rack has a bug in it that makes its captured clips uncompatible with Sony Vegas & Premiere as far as Timecode goes. None of the time code is correct, and they have yet to fix that bug.

So back to the drawing board. Now if I shoot with an XL2...I am ok, because Canon provides their own type of slaving program which works fine (i think). But if I use a DVX100a, then I have to go back to the original method. However, in 2 weeks, I will have the Sony Z1u, and with this new recording control, I was praying it would slave a laptop the way the canon software does, and the way dvrack does.

Now if it slaves another device...that will be ok too i suppose...i will just have to recapture all the footage. Capturing footage is not a biggy for my editors, and most of them prefer to capture it anyhow, so they can see what they are about to work with, but having a BACKUP is my biggest concern, and thats what I want the Z1U to do.

- Shannon W. Rawls
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Old January 27th, 2005, 12:00 PM   #5
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Keep in mind, Shannon that when you talk about "capturing" video, what most of us think of is shuttling the tape, marking ins and out, then batch-capturing in real time.

With the Firestore or similar device, you simply copy files over to your editing hard drive, which is much, much faster than real time. When the FS-4 supports HDV, it will offer the same advantage it offers now to DV shooters: no re-capturing of footage. Your editors should love it even more, because they can get right to work.

As an editor, I would love to have a full bin of clips ready to go without having to slog through a field tape. I would still make a first pass to familiarize myself with the footage and make notes on the clips, but doing that non-linear will even speed that process up.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 01:33 PM   #6
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Hey Shannon, just be glad you aren't a MURPHY!
Christopher C. Murphy
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