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Sony FS100 Timecode?

timecode sony sony fs-100 sony fs100

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34 replies to this topic

#1
Toy Robot

Toy Robot
  • LocationBrooklyn, NY
Hello everyone. I have a shoot coming up with dual FS100's and I'm stumped on TC for this camera after reading through the manual and searching online as well as this forum. I hope you might be able to assist me.

I've been asked to provide TC for the shoot. The issues I run into are as follows:
  • The only TC I/O I can find is that TC can be dumped out from this camera via HDMI. I see no connections for accepting any incoming TC, and the manual does not state that TC can be jammed to the camera so far as I can tell.
  • So, assuming I have read the manual correctly, the camera must function as the master TC generator, since TC only flows one direction: out. If that is correct, how could I ever jam two of these cameras?
  • The options for TC are as follows: REC RUN & FREE RUN, but with no options to jam TC, and the only output of TC being HDMI...
It's definitely a scenario in which I believe I have either missed something really simple, and I will be very happy to be corrected and can then move on happily with the shoot, or this is going to involve an education for both myself and the DP/production on the TC capabilities of this specific camera.

To be clear, here are the following items I have found from the manual relating to TC. I have tried to be thorough, so that anyone who attempts to assist me doesn't have to then do research I should have first done myself:
  • Pgs. 35 - 37 'Audio Setup':
    • Skipped; no audio to either cam for this shoot.
  • Pg. 44 'Setting Time Data':
    • "The camcorder records movies accompanied by time data, such as time code and user bit."
    • 'Presetting Time Code':
      • This section gives menu options to set time code between 00:00:00:00 and 23:59:59:24.
      • I see no option or information on how to accept any incoming TC here.
    • 'To Reset the Time Code':
      • This option resets TC to 00:00:00:00.
  • Pg. 72 'Notes':
    • "Time code does not advance while recording the color bars."
  • Pg. 74 'HDMI TC OUT'
    • 'Off':
      • "Does not carry the time code on the HDMI signal."
    • 'On':
      • ​"Carries the time code on the HDMI signal. The camcorder transmits the time code as digital data, not as a video signal to be displayed on the screen. The connected device can read the time code by referring to the data."
  • Pg. 79 'TC/UB SET':
    • Gives options to set REC RUN or FREE RUN, but no options to accept incoming TC. Gives options to reset or set preset based on Pg. 44 info already listed above.
  • Pg. 93 'Troubleshooting':
    • The time code is not recorded in sequence: The TC may not be recorded sequentially if you change the settings of HD/SD SET and HD REC FORMAT.
That's it. That's everything in the manual I could find on TC. So if anyone has any information on how to do this, please submit. I have a hunch the answer might be that this device was not designed to accept incoming TC and that it should be treated like a film shoot, but again, I'm looking forward to your answers.

Oh, and lastly, I had intended to use a Denecke TS-3, SD 552 and 744t bag setup. Just so you know what connections I'd be dealing with.

Thanks!

8)

\\\\\\ Alex Ramirez
Toy Robot Studios
FCC Call Sign WQPU870


#2
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
" I've been asked to provide TC for the shoot "
I would interpret that as "sound" bringing professional, appropriate SMPTE equipment, and asking the camera dept (it is their toy!) what they need (TC slate, SB/Locit, etc. and etc.) from sound...
" the camera must function as the master TC generator, "
you did not select the cameras, they are not your toys...
I guess you need to ask them what you need to accept SMPTE TC from them (connectors, accessories, etc.)

...or of course the good old reliable TC slate...
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#3
evolvmedia

evolvmedia
  • LocationSarasota, Florida
I own an FS100 and there is no way to send it TC. You can only output TC via HDMI. The catch is you'll need a TC recorder that is specifically compatible with Sony and accepting TC via HDMI with markers. I know Sound Devices Pix240 is compatible, but it's a video (and audio) recorder first. I am unaware of an audio only recorder that accepts TC and compatible with HDMI TC markers.
Does this make sense?

Damen

#4
Toy Robot

Toy Robot
  • LocationBrooklyn, NY

I own an FS100 and there is no way to send it TC. You can only output TC via HDMI. The catch is you'll need a TC recorder that is specifically compatible with Sony and accepting TC via HDMI with markers. I know Sound Devices Pix240 is compatible, but it's a video (and audio) recorder first. I unaware of an audio only recorder that accepts TC and compatible with HDMI TC markers.
Does this make sense?

Damen

It does, and that is what I was thinking was the case after reading the manual. Thank you so much for this. It's a big help to hear from an actual owner of the camera.

\\\\\\ Alex Ramirez
Toy Robot Studios
FCC Call Sign WQPU870


#5
Philip Perkins

Philip Perkins
We did some shoots with mulitple FS100. We got the internal TC as close as we could (everyone set TC, then 3-2-1 go etc), and made sure all cams had a wireless ref feed (at least). This worked for them. No TC i/o.

phil p

#6
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
" TC recorder that is specifically compatible with Sony and accepting TC via HDMI "
Then it is not SMPTE TC
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#7
OmahaAudio

OmahaAudio
  • LocationOmaha, NE

" TC recorder that is specifically compatible with Sony and accepting TC via HDMI "
Then it is not SMPTE TC


Does it have to be SMPTE time code to be time code?
Jim Colburn
Omaha, NE

#8
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis

Does it have to be SMPTE time code to be time code?


No, it doesn't. Time code could be an elf that sits atop the camera and calls out numbers like a bingo parlour -- or any other method that a manufacturer decides to come up with.

However, SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) and EBU (European Broadcast Union) time code are the standards the industry normally uses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMPTE/EBU

Unless, of course, one gets an especially good rate on an elf.
John B., CAS

#9
Tom Visser

Tom Visser
  • LocationHonolulu, HI
This won't help you with jamming the cameras to each other, but some Sony cameras spit timecode out of the LANC port. I bought a little box years ago, prior to the DSLR rage, for my typical indie productions at the time. I think it was called the Fisher Robotics Timetool or something to that effect. Sounds like this is a job for a timecode slate to me, but if you were dedicated to being able to get timecode from one of the cameras, this might be an option. Don't get your hopes up too high, though, as apparently the FS100's LANC port works differently when it comes to transport remote, could be an odd duck with timecode too. Sorry, second hand smoke...

#10
Richard Nault

Richard Nault
  • LocationOttawa, Canada

No, it doesn't. Time code could be an elf that sits atop the camera and calls out numbers like a bingo parlour -- or any other method that a manufacturer decides to come up with.

Unless, of course, one gets an especially good rate on an elf.


If the elf runs on tuna sandwiches, I'm getting one.

R
Richard Nault
www.soundmindproductions.com

#11
Toy Robot

Toy Robot
  • LocationBrooklyn, NY
Thanks everyone for your answers. I'm going to speak with the producer, set some friendly expectations and let post dictate what they expect. It will probably be a TC slate without jamming cams.

And perhaps an elf...

8)

\\\\\\ Alex Ramirez
Toy Robot Studios
FCC Call Sign WQPU870


#12
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
an elf is considered proprietary, and SMPTE / EBU is industry standard regardless of make or model.
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#13
Eric Toline

Eric Toline
  • LocationCoral Springs Florida
Perhaps the elf needs a title like DTCT*

*Digital Time Code Technician

Would the elf be part of the camera crew or sound crew?

Eric

Attached Files


"I push the Record button and hope for the best"

#14
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis
This particular elf might have a bit of trouble counting past eight, given his limited number of exposed digits.

As a matter of fact, is he pointing... or is he "saluting" the camera crew?
John B., CAS

#15
Eric Toline

Eric Toline
  • LocationCoral Springs Florida
ok John, is this one better?

Attached Files


"I push the Record button and hope for the best"

#16
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis
That is one awesome elf. I hope he never goes off his meds.

Thanks for my LOTD.
John B., CAS

#17
OmahaAudio

OmahaAudio
  • LocationOmaha, NE

an elf is considered proprietary, and SMPTE / EBU is industry standard regardless of make or model.


So you're not actually answering the question, "Does it have to be SMPTE time code to be time code?"

Why not?
Jim Colburn
Omaha, NE

#18
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis

So you're not actually answering the question, "Does it have to be SMPTE time code to be time code?"

Why not?


Actually, we did answer it. The answer is "NO," it doesn't have to be SMPTE time code to be time code.

Forgive me for repeating myself, "Time code could be an elf that sits atop the camera and calls out numbers like a bingo parlour -- or any other method that a manufacturer decides to come up with."

So, that clearly says, the answer to your question is "NO."

A lot of the "why not?" is contained in the Wikipedia article.

If it's overtaxing to read the reference I supplied, the short answer is that time code is a generic term for measuring, well, truthfully, whatever you want it to measure, whereas, SMPTE time code is a specific set of specifications that the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers came up with for our industry to accurately delineate film and video frames and their timing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMPTE/EBU

Here's another:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_code

Homework time.
John B., CAS

#19
John Steigerwald

John Steigerwald
  • LocationThird Stone
Is it entirely unfeasible for it to be simple LTC fed over an audio channel of the HDMI connection as opposed to being available on BNC?

Or maybe it's some sony VITC-ish type...
-Steigs

#20
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis

Is it entirely unfeasible for it to be simple LTC fed over an audio channel of the HDMI connection as opposed to being available on BNC?

Or maybe it's some sony VITC-ish type...

Yes, it's feasible. What you've mentioned is just the manner of carrying or delivering the time code, but it doesn't address what type of time code is being carried or delivered. With files, OTOH, it's just carried as a stamp at the beginning of the file that delineates samples past midnight which then relies on the host's microprocessor to compute the actual values.
John B., CAS

#21
OmahaAudio

OmahaAudio
  • LocationOmaha, NE

Actually, we did answer it.


My questions were directed specifically at Mike.

Thanks for your input but I'd like to see what he thinks about the whole thing.
Jim Colburn
Omaha, NE

#22
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis

My questions were directed specifically at Mike.

Thanks for your input but I'd like to see what he thinks about the whole thing.


Fine. Don't believe me. Sorry for trying to inform.
John B., CAS

#23
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
" Does it have to be SMPTE time code to be time code? "
What my CPF John said. Exactly... word for word...
do I need to quote it for you ?? :blink:
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#24
OmahaAudio

OmahaAudio
  • LocationOmaha, NE

" Does it have to be SMPTE time code to be time code? "
What my CPF John said. Exactly... word for word...
do I need to quote it for you ?? :blink:


So, given that Mr Monkey's original question did not concern SMPTE time code but the time code used in a Sony FS100, your reply was essentially pedantic and meaningless. N'est-ce pas?
Jim Colburn
Omaha, NE

#25
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis
Speaking of pedantic and meaningless, those seem to be the very tools you're deploying in your futile attempt to pick a fight with SM.

Perhaps your time could be better served learning your craft.
John B., CAS

#26
Marc Wielage

Marc Wielage
  • LocationNorthridge, CA
Before everybody gets angry and flustered, let's get back to the real problem, which is that manufacturers like Sony continue to persist with these "prosumer" camcorders that almost have real timecode. To me, it's gotta be SMPTE, it's gotta have inputs, and it's gotta have outputs. Missing one of these things is a deal killer. This is not the fault of the sound man or the camera operator/owner; it's the fault of the manufacturer. We're all victims here.

From the description of the camera, I would say this will not work in a professional "slave/jam" situation, so you'll have to just go at it film-style. Jam the slate to the sound recorder, let the camera free-wheel time of day (or close to it), and let the assistant editor sync it all up manually in the edit room. With luck, the two timecode sources (camera and sound) will be close, and the offset will be consistent. If they want greater accuracy, then they have to get a higher-end camera with real timecode inputs and outputs.

Note to the producers that Sony deliberately does this in order to cripple their lower-end cameras, so that they won't compete with their higher-end cameras. They've been doing this for at least 30 years that I know of. It's sad that things like this keep happening.
www.cinesound.tv | location sound • post-production consultant

#27
OmahaAudio

OmahaAudio
  • LocationOmaha, NE

Speaking of pedantic and meaningless, those seem to be the very tools you're deploying


Agreed. But then turnabout is fair play.
Jim Colburn
Omaha, NE

#28
John Steigerwald

John Steigerwald
  • LocationThird Stone

Yes, it's feasible. What you've mentioned is just the manner of carrying or delivering the time code, but it doesn't address what type of time code is being carried or delivered. With files, OTOH, it's just carried as a stamp at the beginning of the file that delineates samples past midnight which then relies on the host's microprocessor to compute the actual values.


Of course. I was just suggesting that it may be actual SMPTE readable TC, just not in any accessible form.
-Steigs

#29
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis

Of course. I was just suggesting that it may be actual SMPTE readable TC, just not in any accessible form.

What does Sony say in their description of the camera? If they don't specify it as SMPTE time code, then it's probably not, as this is a selling point.
John B., CAS

#30
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis

Agreed. But then turnabout is fair play.


I getcha. My mistake. I had read all those fervent posts about how newcomers wanted desperately to learn all about the craft. Apparently, that's not what we're talking about here -- only a sparring match -- so, count me out, I have better things to do with my time than to try to educate someone who isn't interested in learning, just in playing a game of one-upmanship.

I apologize for misunderstanding your intentions and I'll try not to let it happen again.

If SM is interested in playing, that's between you and him.
John B., CAS

#31
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
" reply was essentially pedantic and meaningless. N'est-ce pas? "
Ah, peut-etre

Edited by studiomprd, 07 April 2012 - 03:01 PM.

SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#32
OmahaAudio

OmahaAudio
  • LocationOmaha, NE

" reply was essentially pedantic and meaningless. N'est-ce pas? "
Ah,pitet


Small? Or did you mean to write pitié?
Jim Colburn
Omaha, NE

#33
Nova

Nova
Www.lockitbuddy.com

Built for 5d's, useful for any camera without useable timecode features...

James "Nova" Nowiczewski

Location Audio

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA


#34
Philip Perkins

Philip Perkins
These cameras have a form of TC that's like the "A-time" found in non-TC DATs, the Tascam DR680, DSLRs etc etc. It's just elapsed time from the start of the file, time of day (w/o frames) in metadata and an arbitrary file name. There are ways to "do something" with it, but they are gnarly, production-unfriendly and unnecessary given the range of options avail today (ie PluralEyes, TC Buddy etc).

phil p

#35
Toy Robot

Toy Robot
  • LocationBrooklyn, NY
I am very excited about the TimeCode Buddy system. Since I don't yet own any TC gear (all rentals to this point), I am going to wait and see what the pros on this site think after viewing and using this system after its release at NAB, and if they approve and depending on their reviews, my TC system will be built entirely around that product line.

My hope is to integrate a Denecke TS-3 and the TC Buddy system for a one-stop-shop kind of setup. Of course there might be scenarios where I might require specialized equipment, but for the overall system I'm hoping the TC Buddy is where it is at.

\\\\\\ Alex Ramirez
Toy Robot Studios
FCC Call Sign WQPU870






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: timecode, sony, sony fs-100, sony fs100