Jump to content


Photo

Multicamera with HVX200


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Mark Allen

Mark Allen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 March 2007 - 08:12 PM

Looks like I'll be shooting a Live Concert with 3 cameras. We'll get two or three passes pre-show and then one shot with a live audeince. I've been using the HVX camera a great deal. Is there any reason to think it would not work well in this case?

I've also always used it with the P2 (or firestore or direct to disk), but if memory serves - it can read to tape as well, right? Is the quality on tape reasonable? If I'm shooting to tape, should I consider another camera altogether? It's all rental so if there is a reasonable option, I can consider it. F900's probably are out of range for both rental and post purposes. We are most likely finishing only to standard def. anyway.
  • 0

#2 Chad Stockfleth

Chad Stockfleth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 622 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Louisville, KY

Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:23 PM

Mark,

I just shot a concert with four of them and they handled pretty well.

Some things to note:

First off, to tape is DV quality which would kind of defeat using it. DVX100B's would rent for cheaper and be essentially the same.

A thing to be aware of is that when you import your footage into final cut it likes to split up the footage into clips. You will have to line up your clips on your timeline and sync them. For my wide camera I used a firestore and that's where my troubles began. Not huge troubles, but annoying troubles. First off FC 5.1.2 wouldn't recognize the clips, I'm not sure why. I went to a 5.0.4 version and it worked. Now I rolled constantly for the duration of an hour, but FC split it up into 5 minute clips or roughly 2gig.(I shot 720 24pn). I am also not sure why it splits it up, but you'll, again, have to sync them in your timeline. There were glitches where it rolled over between a couple of the clips. Just a few frames, but I have had to cut around them. I have since heard that there is a way to do it to avoid all that. My firestore is long since cleared.

I shot three of the cameras to P2 rotating out 12 cards (4 per camera) and that worked pretty well as long as you can coordinate your ops to not load at the same time. Be sure to clear the cards at the laptop too.

Which brings up the fact that if you are shooting to P2 you will need someone with a laptop that is dedicated to offloading the footage. Be sure to have a couple spare cards for the cameras as it takes a bit of time on the offloads (5-8 minutes per 4gig card)

Timecode sync was kind of tricky. You can setup one and then using firewire (4pin to 4pin) sync the rest, but it was kind of finicky....had to go into tape mode to do it, and then switch back to P2 mode. Make sure they are all setup with matching DF/NDF (you can use a card to load scene and user files for each camera as a timesaver).

Beyond that, all I can say is that if you are shooting in low-light, the black-press gamma setting reduces a lot of noise but is a bit contrasty.

Once I got all the technicalities worked out and (finally) got it into final cut, I've been happy with the images.

Gotta love the multiclip editing.

Good Luck!

Edited by Chad Stockfleth, 14 March 2007 - 10:27 PM.

  • 0

#3 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:48 PM

Save yourself the trouble and shoot dvx100s. You get long loads, no problems with switching around cards, and get the same thing you'd get with an HVX the way you are going with the output.
  • 0

#4 Mark Allen

Mark Allen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:51 PM

Save yourself the trouble and shoot dvx100s. You get long loads, no problems with switching around cards, and get the same thing you'd get with an HVX the way you are going with the output.


We have to have the HVX for one camera the day before. (It's Greenscreen and I'v efound the HVX does good Greenscreen short of full HD). Would the HVX cut in with the DVX100s well?

Thanks.
  • 0

#5 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:58 PM

Same chips as a DVX and smae camera in DV mode.
  • 0

#6 Chad Stockfleth

Chad Stockfleth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 622 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Louisville, KY

Posted 15 March 2007 - 08:26 AM

I didn't mention it, but I also had 2 DVX's in addition to the 4 HVX's. Footage cuts in pretty good. I used the new panasonic deck to upres to 720 so I could work with it in the same file format.

Compared to the true 720, it was a little softer and colors are not spot on, but with a little correction it can work.
  • 0

#7 Mitch Gross

Mitch Gross
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2873 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 15 March 2007 - 08:53 AM

I think you'd be far better off renting a bunch of SDX900 cameras. Proper sync between them, 24p, 16x9 and a great SD imager. The results would be much better and you'd likely end up spending about the same.
  • 0

#8 Chad Stockfleth

Chad Stockfleth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 622 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Louisville, KY

Posted 15 March 2007 - 09:55 AM

I would agree with Mitch, 2/3" chips will be better too.

If you can spring for the HDX900's you would have basically the same camera but HD.
  • 0

#9 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 15 March 2007 - 04:57 PM

I would agree with Mitch, 2/3" chips will be better too.


Same here. Nothing beats proper time code and a proper ENG configuration.

Did this same setup with 3 Varicams, jam-synched TC in free run and slated with a "clap" on stage (audio was being recorded separate).
  • 0

#10 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 15 March 2007 - 09:27 PM

I think you'd be far better off renting a bunch of SDX900 cameras. Proper sync between them, 24p, 16x9 and a great SD imager. The results would be much better and you'd likely end up spending about the same.


He said he was looking for a budget inline with HVX/DVX for both shooting and post. Anyhing more if that is the case would be out of his budget.


Same here. Nothing beats proper time code and a proper ENG configuration.

Did this same setup with 3 Varicams, jam-synched TC in free run and slated with a "clap" on stage (audio was being recorded separate).


how did you do the jam syncing of the cameras? Did you use AC or batts? After jam syncing, did you leave them cabled together with sync?
  • 0

#11 Mark Allen

Mark Allen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 March 2007 - 09:37 PM

The SDX900 was on the maybe list... so I think the fact that this is coming up a lot means I need to take a closer look at it. I was leaning towards HVX because I will have to have one that weekend for the greenscreen shoot anyway. You need the extra mbs for GS. But it sounds like life would be a lot easier for the 2nd day with SDX.... I'm curious about the synching as well. Since I don't need to swtich live can I just synch in post or will it drift. I'm doing only a six minute song - not the whole concert.
  • 0

#12 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 15 March 2007 - 10:07 PM

You have to consider post costs too. Now you need a deck if you have a lot of stuff to transfer. YOu could use teh camewra but a deck has a better playback ability and might cover errors that a camera can not.

As for syncing, there is only one way to do it correctly. You have to conenct video out/mon out/genlock out of one camera to genlock in of another AND you have to connect a Time code out of one camera to anotehr. Two connections MUST BE MADE, not one as many folks incorectly think. And that conenction must be maintained for proper sync. If you don't keep cameras locked VIA CABLES and your cameras loose power (as in using batts), OR POWERINGT DOWN MOMENTARILY your timecode may drift a bit. Or changing tapes with the cables not connceted can drift TC too. The back up is to either use the music for sync or have some sort of visual slate every now and then which could be anything from your slate, a flashlight flash or the stage lights.
  • 0

#13 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 16 March 2007 - 09:10 AM

how did you do the jam syncing of the cameras? Did you use AC or batts? After jam syncing, did you leave them cabled together with sync?


Jam synch was with Time Code only, battery powered, uncabled as all three cameras were mobile around the concert hall. Of course there can be drift, but with mobile cameras there's only so much you can do. And of course, you record audio on camera as a scratch track.

I've done plenty of TC-only jam synching without remaining connected and gen-locked and it's not as trecherous as some might fear. Generally in a worst-case scenario, the editors have to adjust one camera's footage a couple frames as soon as the drift becomes large enough. And that's usually after a few hours -- more than the three hours a concert shoot lasts (let alone Mark's 6-minute performance).

I brought this up as a comparison to shooting with HVX's that don't provide any proper timecode/gen-lock connections!
  • 0

#14 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 16 March 2007 - 09:38 AM

Good. I'm happy to see that someone else understands time code. There are so many inaccuracies about it on the web, that this seemed to be a good time to discuss it. I just thought I'd mention the only real way to sync cameras. You can use a single TC cable. But changing power (as in batteries, starting and stopping decks, etc) will cause drift. Sometimes a few frames sometimes a minute, depends on a few factors. But once again it matters little as you can easily resync TC later. TC as much more important for sourcing decks for edit in the older online suits.

Time code is not as important these days as folks seem to make it with non linear, especially in prosumer cameras like the HVX where on many systems like AVID it's frankly useless for multicamera, let alone editing clips. Not as useless as color bars are nowadays, but not as important as in make or break a shoot.

"I bring this up as a comparison to shooting with HVX's that don't provide for any timecode/gen-lock connections!"

Prosumer cameras never needed it and hence why for the price point they still don't. If it's music, you probably don't need it to survive anyway as you have so many things to sync cameras available from the sound to the lights to the talent on stage.
  • 0

#15 Chad Stockfleth

Chad Stockfleth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 622 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Louisville, KY

Posted 16 March 2007 - 10:28 AM

If you are only doing a 6 minute song, the HVX sounds more viable. You won't have to worry about switching cards and such. Still, depending on what your operators are familiar (and skilled) with, you may want a full ENG setup, especially if you're going to be handheld.
  • 0


Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

The Slider

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

The Slider

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

CineLab