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I am interested in upgrading my camera link. Currently, I am using a couple of Lectro 195's in the low 590 range, they have been working great for over two decades. They are just too big for most to use now. I was looking at the Zaxcom QRX235. Is there anything that is smaller?

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QRX235 is a receiver. The Zaxcom Camera link (TRX900CL) is a Stereo Transmitter/ Zaxnet TX. I have 2 RX200 (Stereo Battery powered reciever is slightly smaller than a QRX235 I guess) and a TRX900CL and it’s an awesome setup.

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Do you need hifi audio to camera?  I ask because virtually all of my gigs anymore assume double system sound with the "hero" audio being recorded on my rig, and the camera audio being just a ref/syncing guide track or for on-set playback checks.  If that's all you need there are some smaller cheaper options folks use now, like ERX or Senn. G3s or other smallish RX, w/ or w/o TC.

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4 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

Do you need hifi audio to camera?  I ask because virtually all of my gigs anymore assume double system sound with the "hero" audio being recorded on my rig, and the camera audio being just a ref/syncing guide track or for on-set playback checks.  If that's all you need there are some smaller cheaper options folks use now, like ERX or Senn. G3s or other smallish RX, w/ or w/o TC.

That pretty much describes my needs. My old lectros work great but they are big and heavy.

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Lectro SRb or SRc is the obvious choice. Two 400-series receivers in a small-ish receiver. Lots of mounting and battery options for on camera use.

 

I used to own a Zaxcom stereo camera link system when I just used an ENG mixer and no recorder and loved it once I sorted out a few buggy/cludgy areas (I had the original black box units and was also an early QRX100 user and dealt with a few teething issues with that receiver). One issue I NEVER had with it was RF performance or audio quality. Always perfect sound to camera that seemed pretty much immune to RF interference from the camera. Also the new receivers have real line level outputs. 

 

Lately, it seems that about half the time with an SRb on camera the op will complain that he's hearing some swishes or other RF crap (all originating from his Teradek video transmitter of course but that thing isn't going anywhere). So I end up trouble shooting half the day. I suspect the Zaxcom digital system wouldn't suffer as much from this like Lectro does.

 

However, I also like to turn the SRb around and use it in the bag when I need more wireless channels for on-camera talent and don't need hops. Can't do that with the purpose-built Zaxcom solution unless you buy more body-pack appropriate transmitters.

 

If you just need hops (camera link) for on-camera duty and don't need them to do anything else then I'd seriously look at Zaxcom's latest stuff. RX200 and cameralink most likely. You also get a backup recorder built in to the transmitter and timecode transmission to the receiver on camera all in one box. 

 

Personally, I can't really justify owning a very expensive camera link system that can't also be used for on-talent mics. I try to avoid high-end wireless gear on camera at all costs these days. Why bother now that you can record 10-tracks in the size of a 442. I'd rather use a mono Sennheiser G3 setup which, if you ask me, is more suited to being a camera hop in many ways. They can go on very small cameras, power all day on 2 AA, transmitter has a minimal RF footprint in the bag to keep other receivers working better, sound quality is fine for a mono reference mix (if you actually mix not just sum it all blindly), easy to setup and mount on camera so I have more time for actual important stuff, and if they need better quality I have 24-bit poly WAVs right over here. 

 

And if the camera op trashes it you're not out $2500. 

 

Still some clients need a full 2-channel hop and cry if you suggest they sync dual-system. Usually the ones that still shoot on tape of some sort or reality shows that are clinging to a workflow they setup in 1998.

 

Good luck! ;)

12 minutes ago, newzhack said:

That pretty much describes my needs. My old lectros work great but they are big and heavy.

 

Then just buy a G3 transmitter and 2-3 SK100 receivers. The camera guys love it and then you can feed multi-cam with a solid mono track and be the hero there while providing everything they need from the iso track recording. You can even connect them to DSLR cameras no problem. Look up the Sennheiser SK2000 XP transmitter. Same form factor as a regular G3 transmitter but can boost the power up to 100mW (10, 30, 50, 100mW variable setting on the US version) if you need a little more range confidence. Also has slightly extended low-freq response. 

 

It really depends on what your clients want at the end of the day. 

 

Another plus to going with a G3 mono-mix setup is that it frees up the other XLR connector for a real camera mic which on docs can be a life-saver.

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Thanks, Derek. That is good advice. I think I will head that way. 

 

What do you think of the Sony urx dual reciever? it can be had for around 1200 dollars with two transmitters. 

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Haven't used it, sorry. The G3 works well enough for me and are pretty ubiquitous. You can pick them up used easily. They also make a nice IEM version with a headphone amp for using like an IFB.

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And if you do get the SKP2000 (it will also work fine with the regular SK100 or SKP100 tx) you can use it as an ok boom tx or plant mic tx, because it provides 48V and has the form factor

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Lately due to the decreasing amount of real estate on cameras, I’ve been using Lectro LR on cam for scratch. I also use them in my bag when I need extra wireless. They are usually good for the day off Lithium AAs and the range is pretty good especially if I use the 100 mw option on the LT transmitter. 

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12 hours ago, newzhack said:

What do you think of the Sony urx dual reciever? it can be had for around 1200 dollars with two transmitters. 

 

The standard Sony UWP-D11 kit is pretty similar in sizes to the G3 (& the same cost), but just generally all round a bit improved in the details (which is why I now own 5 UWP-D11 kits, and no G3 wireless at all, even though like everyone else I have used them many times in the past.)

One of the big benefits of the Sony UWP-D11 system if you work with Sony FS7/FS5/a7S/a7R/a6x00/etc cameras is you can use the smart shoe to run directly into the camera. Thus no fuss with wires or worrying about powering (and with the FS7 this taps into 3/4th audio channels, leaving the XLR inputs free for other uses). 

Sadly I've never used the dual receiver yet, but I'm constantly tempted to buy it myself! (there is a smartshoe adapter for the dual receiver as well: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1272753-REG/sony_smad_p3d_smadp3d_multi_interface_shoe_adapter.html/pageID/accessory )

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I use the TRX900CL and RX200.  Digital out the mixer into the CL, digital across the air, digital output into the camera too if it supports it.  The RX200 is small, weighs very little and has a useful level indicator on the side.  The only downside is that mounting it can be a pain on cameras like the F5, due to the amount of stuff cameramen bolt onto them these days.  An added benefit is that with this combination, you don't need separate timecode sync - the CL sends timecode with the audio, you just plug the RX straight into the camera's BNC and that's that.

 

It's a simple but effective system and the RX200 will also work with any Zaxcom body-worn transmitter.

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I am leaning towards the Sony solution. 1200 from B&H. I seem to work with either the Red or Sony cameras any more. This would work with many of the Ronin type rigs with an A7 camera. 

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8 hours ago, IronFilm said:

 

The standard Sony UWP-D11 kit is pretty similar in sizes to the G3 (& the same cost), but just generally all round a bit improved in the details (which is why I now own 5 UWP-D11 kits, and no G3 wireless at all, even though like everyone else I have used them many times in the past.)

One of the big benefits of the Sony UWP-D11 system if you work with Sony FS7/FS5/a7S/a7R/a6x00/etc cameras is you can use the smart shoe to run directly into the camera. Thus no fuss with wires or worrying about powering (and with the FS7 this taps into 3/4th audio channels, leaving the XLR inputs free for other uses). 

Sadly I've never used the dual receiver yet, but I'm constantly tempted to buy it myself! (there is a smartshoe adapter for the dual receiver as well: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1272753-REG/sony_smad_p3d_smadp3d_multi_interface_shoe_adapter.html/pageID/accessory )

Is there a menu choice to take the "shoe" audio input (from the UWP RX)?  I like the idea of no wires, but often they have already parked a monitor or focus dingus on that shoe by the time I get to the camera...   But for verite work....sounds good!

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5 hours ago, newzhack said:

I am leaning towards the Sony solution. 1200 from B&H. I seem to work with either the Red or Sony cameras any more. This would work with many of the Ronin type rigs with an A7 camera. 


If you go the Sony path, make sure to get the smartshoe adapter too! :-)

One handy trick with the dual receiver from Sony is you can also plug a microphone (such as a teeny mini stereo one, which they sell for this purpose) into the receiver itself (I like also how they have a headphone output, I've used a few times my Sonys as ultra frugal "IFBs"). Useful if you want to get a scratch mic on the camera itself, but super super tight on space. 

 

4 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Is there a menu choice to take the "shoe" audio input (from the UWP RX)?  I like the idea of no wires, but often they have already parked a monitor or focus dingus on that shoe by the time I get to the camera...   But for verite work....sounds good!

 

Yes, you need to change settings (in the audio menu, easy to find!). Doesn't do it automatically of course (at least not with the FS7/FS5). 

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I use a Lectrosonic IFBT4 as a transmitter for my IFB headsets and funny enough, a Sennheiser G3 can pick up a Lectrosonic IFB transmitter signal no problem / sounds great so I use that on cameras.  Two AA NiMH batteries in a G3 receiver on camera lasts 12 hours easy.

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18 hours ago, Derek H said:

Especially when most productions don’t want to pay extra for it either. 

 

If they don't pay they don't get.  But there are situations where you can make it pay, for instance, the last time I used it was on a building site.  If you're filming in a city centre, around pedestrians, there's another location.  Or walking alongside a road.  It's very easy to justify these things to production - nobody likes to ignore the word "safety".

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12 hours ago, codyman said:

I use a Lectrosonic IFBT4 as a transmitter for my IFB headsets and funny enough, a Sennheiser G3 can pick up a Lectrosonic IFB transmitter signal no problem / sounds great so I use that on cameras.  Two AA NiMH batteries in a G3 receiver on camera lasts 12 hours easy.

 

Yup, works great. Doesn’t work the other way around though because there’s no way to defeat the pilot tone system on an R1a. 

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22 hours ago, codyman said:

I use a Lectrosonic IFBT4 as a transmitter for my IFB headsets and funny enough, a Sennheiser G3 can pick up a Lectrosonic IFB transmitter signal no problem / sounds great so I use that on cameras.  Two AA NiMH batteries in a G3 receiver on camera lasts 12 hours easy.

So that would mean that a Sennheiser G3 IEM could also get signal from an IFBT4 I would think.  How about from a UM400?

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Yup, just disable pilot tone in the menu. Sounds pretty good. 

 

If the UM400 is in IFB mode it will work well. 

 

The latest Lectro transmitters have a specific emulation for G3

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