Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello all:

 

I'm looking at updating my camera hop setup, and I'm interested in who's having the best success with what gear.

 

Any info will be appreciated!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your current setup, and what's not working?

Depending on the job, I usually use an ERX2TCD or a QRX100Q (and RX900S for second camera). The QRX can also output TC, which is really useful in a world full of C300s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The zaxcom camera link with the qrx 235 will give you a solid camera link with a boat load of features.

You get a two channel of audio sent to the camera with time code and you have a two channel backup recorder in your bag which will record your send audio with time code. The camera link can take analog or digital audio in.

The qrx235 recriver will output two channels audio as either analog or aes and tc to the camera. The qrx235 can also send return audio from the camera back to you. And if the the camera is running record run TC you can feed that tc back to you as well do you can jam your recorder to the cameras tc. The 235 also has ultra bright leds mounted on the side so you can visually see that rf and audio is making it to the receiver, the multi color leds will also show the audio modulation so you can get a rough idea of the audio levels getting to camera as well.

All audio is fully digital and encrypted.

I have been personally using the zaxcom camera hops for 5 or so years now with no issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i wouldn't use anything other than a Lectro SRB, with UM400 transmitters. Very reliable, great sounding, great range.

No where near the feature set and capabilities of the above described Zaxcom CameraLink. If you can get by with the Lectro setup and don't need anything more than a basic audio hop, the SRB - UM400 route will be fine as long as you realize that is all you will be able to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't need or want the features in the Zaxcom unit, I use the Lectrosonics unit, so when someone asked who'd had success with what gear, I answered the question. I don't 'get by' with it, I work very successfully with it, and don't wish for anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and wait there's more. The zaxcom camera link transmitter is also a full zaxnet transmitter and receiver as well. So not only will you be able to send uhf audio to a camera you can also send the same audio to Zaxcoms erx receivers at the same time. So you now can broadcast audio to be used as a scratch track on felt cameras, distribute tc, and feed audio to anyone on set who needs to listen.
If you eventually add zaxcom wirless to your arsenal you can remote control the transmitters with the camera link as well.
And the uhf transmitter and zaxnet transmitter are all independent from each other. So if you want to turn off just the zaxnet transmitter and leave on the uhf transmitter you can ot you can have the zaxnet transmitter on and shut off the uhf transmitter. Or you can shut off both transmitters and just use it as a two channel recorder with time code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't need or want the features in the Zaxcom unit, I use the Lectrosonics unit, so when someone asked who'd had success with what gear, I answered the question. I don't 'get by' with it, I work very successfully with it, and don't wish for anything else.

Well, excuse me. The original post: "I'm looking at updating my camera hop setup, and I'm interested in who's having the best success with what gear" seemed to imply that they were looking for something more than just a basic camera hop. By my saying "getting by" was not in any way designed to be a slight against you or your methods of work. I was merely pointing out that when looking to UPDATE a basic camera hop there is a lot offered by the Zaxcom CameraLink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We'll be right back after these messages...

No, I'm just kidding, that's some great information there, Jack. For me personally, though, I agree with Jon un that I don't need or want all the extra bells and whistles of the Zaxcom setup.

Although to be honest, I'll only ever need to send a scratch track, and I just use a Sennheiser G3 system for that. And I add a Lockit if needed. This had proven ultra reliable for me so I'm not looking anywhere else.

I did try the Zax/ERX route for a while, but was unimpressed (unpressed?)by range issues. And the sound after all started sounding a bit garbled which was weird. That and the less-than-robust case of the ERX made me turn back to the cheap-and-cheerful G3 series/lockit setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, excuse me. The original post: "I'm looking at updating my camera hop setup, and I'm interested in who's having the best success with what gear" seemed to imply that they were looking for something more than just a basic camera hop. .

Well, the OP didn't say that. He's asking for who is having success with what. Jack and Jon answered and they were both answering the question correctly. As did I with an even more basic setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All great comments, guys!

 

Ultimately, for cost effectiveness, I need to be able to use a wireless setup for talent as well as a hop, so the Zaxcom system might be too specific.

I've used and SRb/LMa or SRb/UM400 setup multiple times, and have been very happy with it. My main concern is that I'm seeing more of a trend of production asking for multiple hops--up to 3 cameras. Adding up to 6 additional hop xmitters in my bag in addition to my 4-6 talent receivers (Lectro 400) seems pretty daunting, not to mention cost prohibitive. A possible solution might be to go with the Sennheiser ew series and tell clients they're for reference only, but when I've brought up that idea before, there's been some pushback.

So I guess I'm looking for something like a Sennheiser for size, and a Lectro or Zaxcom for sound quality at a price that won't break the bank. I'm probably up in the night, but it doesn't hurt to ask, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"So I guess I'm looking for something like a Sennheiser for size, and a Lectro or Zaxcom for sound quality at a price that won't break the bank. I'm probably up in the night, but it doesn't hurt to ask, right?"  

 

Never hurts to ask, and I apologize if my answers and comments were out of place (as some seem to be saying) with the suggestion of a more full featured camera hop (Zaxcom). It just always irks me to a certain extent when people dismiss Zaxcom when comparing items which really are not comparable in either cost or feature set. Case in point, if one were to put together a camera hop (system) that accomplished everything that can be done with Zaxcom CameraLink, it would cost way more and require many more boxes, interconnects, portable timecode recorder, etc.. Again, I apologize for discussing a system which does so much more than you require and also does not take into account that you would like to utilize items you already own and use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JeffHall- feeding the same mix to all cameras? That's pretty easy. Do you need "full broadcast quality", or can you use something more considered reference mix quality? 

I spent a while working for a company that wanted 2 channel hops (they didn't care if it was Lectro or Zaxcom) to 2 cameras, but it was the same mix. @ sets of receivers getting signal from the one transmitter. I guess they wanted that in case one camera is powered down or changing lenses or battery or media. I use my single Zaxcom stereo transmitter and send that feed to my QRX100Q and RX900S. 2 channels on 2 cameras. Another mixer on the job did the same thing transmitting using a pair of Lectrosonics LM transmitters to SR receivers on each camera, both SR receivers tuned to the same freqs so they got the same feed. 

 

If you are feeding 3 cameras, you don't need 3 sets of transmitters unless production is trying to use camera audio in place of a multi-track recorder.... and that's just stupid. Cameras power down all the time for battery media and lens changes, and that would wipe out the iso recording of 2 lav'd people. 

If you are feeding 3 cameras, maybe they are ok with single track of reference audio. That may be done with an ERX2TCD, R1a, 401, Comtek, G3 or a host of other options.... and again you wouldn't need multiple transmitters. If they want a different mix on 3 different cameras, they should have 3 people mixing. Properly sending 3 mixes to 3 cameras is not something easily doable with the hardware on the market. Mainly because you can't do it well, and somebody is going to remix it anyway. These days that's not so common. Most companies want one mixer on location to record all day with 2-10 lavs and let their post people sort it out later. Not saying what is the best way to do it, just saying what is more common. 

 

I prefer the ERX2TCD or QRX100 because it includes TC and I don't have to also mount an SB-3, or rejam cameras 15 times a day (C300 needs to be rejammed every time it's power cycled for media changes, battery change, lens changes etc). Set it up in the morning and walk away. Everyone's happy. 

I do like the size of the SR, but the hump battery destroys the elegance, and most of these cameras that are trendy in reality now don't offer power options. Some camera ops actually don't care because they see the hop as a counterweight on the shoulder rest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No where near the feature set and capabilities of the above described Zaxcom CameraLink. If you can get by with the Lectro setup and don't need anything more than a basic audio hop, the SRB - UM400 route will be fine as long as you realize that is all you will be able to do with it.

This isn't meant to be a one is better than the next post, but if you're implying that you can do more with a zax (dedicated) hop setup... Sure that may be true if you'll never need it for anything else. However... To say that "this is all you'll be able to do" with the lectro setup is false.

In this case, the lectro route would allow you to use your transmitters and receivers for talent as well, should you need.

Again, not saying one is "better" than the other. Both are going to perform well... But the lectro may be more versatile given different scenarios.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the word "hops" can be vauge.

There are many different versions of "hops". Do you want good sound quality or do you want a scratch track? Do you want a dedicated camera hop with features or something that you can re-purpose as talent wireless? How much money are you looking to spend? There are lots of version by several manufacturers.

For me a hop is a dedicated system that will send broadcast quality audio to a camera. I personally have always owned a dedicated hop system going way back to my lectro 190's. I never re purposed those for talent - but YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Zaxcom systems have great features that solve a lot of workflow issues when there are mixture of cameras involved, and therefore worth the investment with one caveat...  Those of you that own them, and provide the TC/scratch track and IFB functions, I sure hope you are getting paid accordingly for being able to provide these features that not only are currently not yet industry standard expectations, but are considered above and beyond what is expected when production is looking for in an audio package.  

 

Bottom line, providing these functions to simplify workflow, and make post productions job easier, and making the clients super happy is one thing, getting paid for your investment is another.  If getting the rentals is no object, I feel Zaxcom is the way to go because of the extreme flexibility of the system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I'm experiencing is being asked to supply different Mix feeds to different cameras (they use camera shotguns on Ch2 just in case there's a hit on the wireless feed), and they want broadcast quality, even though I'm creating a L/R mix and ISO tracks on a 664 or 788. It's a kitchen-sink (sync?) situation to be sure.

 

 

 

 

 Do you want  something that you can re-purpose as talent wireless? How much money are you looking to spend? 

 

 Bottom line, providing these functions to simplify workflow, and make post productions job easier, and making the clients super happy is one thing, getting paid for your investment is another.  If getting the rentals is no object, I feel Zaxcom is the way to go because of the extreme flexibility of the system.

 

These are my main points/concerns. Any hop investment will have to do double duty as a talent system as well. And it's hard to justify spending multi thou$ands in gear that will be difficult at best to realize a decent ROI. I'm open to renting anything production wants, but above a reasonable request, they gotta pay for it. I have a source that gets me anything I need at a very competitive rate, and I usually pass the rate on with just enough markup to pay for gas. But I'm seeing a trend of more and more gear requirements with a capped Deal Memo and no wiggle room.

 

I'm very satisfied with the Lectro arrangements I've used, but more than one hop requirement gets sketchy. I guess I've been hoping someone could come up with an alternative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, and welcome jeffhall: " I'm interested in who's having the best success with what gear. "

since you signed up in May, you could have done some reading on jwsoundgroup and read everything that has been posted here, including the personal preferences...

all been covered before numerous times, including recently enough that all the newest options have been included; all the successes folks have been having with what have also been thoroughly covered, even though you didn't initially provide nearly enough information for us to properly ascertain what exactly you had, or were lacking...

especially since you claim to be looking for who is having the best success with what, as it seems many folks are having their best success with the various setup they are using, and some are even strongly suggesting systems they have no personal experience using...

always remember that many folks expressing opinions often do have a particular POV

and thanks for stirring up an old pot.

Edited by studiomprd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If cost is an issue, and you need the transmitter to do double duty you might want to consider a used trx900AA with an sta adaptor. It can be used as a link transmitter and a talent mic as well. Plus the 900AA will take a line level balanced signal which will prevent noise plus you can power the transmitter externally from your bds with out having to use any type of battery eliminator - which can potentially add noise.

Plus you can get a good deal on a used 900AA since many people have or will be upgrading to the 900CL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×