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VariCam's strange Thin Blue Line


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#1 jeremiahcrowell

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 12:24 AM

I've been having some trouble with the VariCam lately and I'm hoping someone can explain what's going on. On three of the last 4 cameras I've rented, I've discovered a strange thin blue horizontal line running across the center of the image. This line flickers faintly and is very hard to see (but definitely there) unless you're looking at something quite dark (a dark wall in the shot, for instance, or the dark side of a silhoutted image). It increases as you add more gain and is recorded onto tape (and can be viewed in fast motion when reviewing).

Has any one else seen this?

The last time I checked a VariCam out, I discovered the problem at the house and they replaced the camera with a newer one (the "H" version), which didn't have the line. I suspect it may be a defect in the "F" version. Any thoughts?
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#2 Jeff Tanner

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:26 PM

The varicam builds up a lot of heat...especially when shooting at frame rates below 24fps. Since I live in the southern U.S. where temperatures in the summer can stay above 90 degrees F (even through the nights!) I have found a few "gremlins" that appear on occasion. Once I had a blue line similar to what you describe. I powered the camera down and took it indoors for a few minutes and when I turned it back on, the line was gone.

It was suggested to me (from a panasonic technician) that when shooting in extremely hot conditions (especially when undercranking) we should place a cold pack on the top vents of the camera (obviously the type that does not have condensation dripping off. Something like runners wear around their necks). As weird as this sounds...it works. No problems since, even at 6fps in the Mississppi Delta with 95+ degree temperatures.

With all of that said, if you were experiencing this problem in a mild climate there is another underlying problem that I can't really help you with.

I hope this helps.

Jeff
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#3 jeremiahcrowell

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 11:26 PM

Thanks Jeff. Yes, it has occured in moderate, even cool, climates, so it doesn't sound like the same issue. I'm hoping that the new generation has this problem solved for good.
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

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New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets