John Blankenship

5D Shoot Workflow

135 posts in this topic

It was still a double-system shoot, but the camera sound would be the primary audio, and the double-system sound would be the backup.

They're paying the bills and that gives them the right to determine their workflow.

We clapped a timecode slate on each take.  I have worked with people in the past who -- once they decided upon using the camera audio -- would have foregone the use of proper slating.

It's bad enough that some of these tiny $3K videocameras audio tracks are being used as the primary sound when a high quality double system recorder is used but DSLR audio as the primary sound without metering?

What about the idea of sending timecode via a 2nd comtek or cheaper wireless unit to the DSLR camera instead of the mono mix?

The AVID could resolve the audio squarewave and turn it into timecode to be easily sync'd with the double system sound.

This would guarantee they would be getting the best sound quality.

If tests were done during preproduction perhaps they would be open to the idea?

Technically they wouldn't need to clap a slate if they really wanted to not do proper slating. Although a slate's clap is really a lot cheaper than syncing by hand if the timecode on the DSLR's audio track is lost.

Of course since on a shoot with a DSLR there is no video village recording to DV or harddrive and if they wanted to playback a shot like on an HD video camera they would be unable to hear sync sound.

Though where does it end? How many DSLRs are shooting at once? Will you have to send sound to 2 or 3 of them and that is the primary sound?

I visited a set of AMC Storymakers which is a 2-or 3-person interview shot with 4 Canon 5D (now 7D) DSLRS and the sound was double system only. Actually the camera's mini-HDMI video out was converted to HD-SDI and sent out of the room to be viewed by the director as a quad-videoscreen monitoring village.

http://www.amctv.com/movienights/amc-storymakers/

The one I saw was when they shot Scorcese & DiCaprio last month.

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resolve the audio squarewave and turn it into timecode "

I would want that tested... the non defeatable agc and ?? quality A-D could cause problems...

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...What about the idea of sending timecode via a 2nd comtek or cheaper wireless unit to the DSLR camera instead of the mono mix?  The AVID could resolve the audio squarewave and turn it into timecode to be easily sync'd with the double system sound.  This would guarantee they would be getting the best sound quality.

If tests were done during preproduction perhaps they would be open to the idea?

Technically they wouldn't need to clap a slate if they really wanted to not do proper slating. Although a slate's clap is really a lot cheaper than syncing by hand if the timecode on the DSLR's audio track is lost...

It boils down to the difference between the theoretical world and the practical (real) world.  In the theoretical world, the client would contact us a couple of weeks in advance and offer to pay us for a day of testing, location scouting, establishing workflow, etc. -- nice dream. 

All the ideas you advanced are ones I'd use under differing circumstances.  And, they're all good ideas in the theoretical world. 

In the real world of this particular shoot, my client was busy trying to pull together a production on short notice because their client wanted something at the last minute and my client was busy trying to wrangle executives from their client's company to all be in the same place at the same time, meanwhile putting out numerous "fires."  The last thing my client needed from me when they called and said, "are you available..." was for me to make it "all about sound."  I was booked only a couple of days prior to the shoot and technical details were discussed the day before the shoot.  I made my 5D pitch, then was informed what they wanted and needed.  My client understood the compromises they were making in the audio and were willing to do so.  It was their choice.  They are savvy enough that we did record double system in case they couldn't get by with the camera audio.

Earning a living in this business is more about meeting our clients' needs than it is about how perfect our sound is.  My sanity improved dramatically (although it's still in question) when I quit thinking about perfection on the job and decided my mission is to give my clients the best quality I can within the conditions they give me to work under.

If it were strictly about sound and I were required to make it the best possible, to begin with, I'd veto at least 90% of the locations they've chosen.  That, of course, is not the real world.

If I'm paying for the production, I get the choice; if they're paying for it, they get the choice.

Naturally, I still voice concerns when I have them, and council them on compromises they are making, but an important part of my job is to know when to shut up and just do the job they need and want.

Perfection is a theory.  Making a living is the reality.

John B.

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" Earning a living in this business is more about meeting our clients' needs than it is about how perfect our sound is.  "

and the rest of what JB said, too!

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First of all - thanks to everyone for the 5D MK II info - I'm going into battle with one tomorrow! Now to convince the producer that the camera DOESN'T record @ 29.97.

Second - I couldn't agree more with everything John said below: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets..." *

-Adam

*...and a backup track on a real audio recorder.

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Perfection is a theory.  Making a living is the reality.

I'm going to put that on a T-shirt!  thumbsup.gif

--Marc W.

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Just heard yesterday that Canon is promising a software update for the EOS-5D in a few weeks that will give it the same 24p (23.98) frame-rate capability as the cheaper EOS-7D. So eventually, we will be able to provide 23.98 TC for sound.

Note that the camera only does 8-bit video, so the dynamic range has a lot of visual compromises. Not enough bits. If they can up it to 10-bit someday, that will be a much more serious camera.

--Marc W.

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" we will be able to provide 23.98 TC for sound. "

or 29.97...

but I want to do 24P !!!

" If they can up it to 10-bit someday, "

that would be a different model, and a different price point...

and BTW, is 12 bit audio good enough to use with 10 bit picture??  at 32kHz ??

but of course even at those spec's, it would still be HD, right??

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From the Canon webpage regarding the 5D firmware upgrade:

Firmware Version 2.0.3 incorporates five enhancements to the movie function and a fix to the manual sensor cleaning function of the EOS 5D Mark II camera.

Adds or changes the following movie frame rates.

NTSC:

1920×1080 : 30 fps (changed - actual 29.97 fps)

1920×1080 : 24 fps (added - actual 23.976 fps)

640×480 : 30 fps (changed - actual 29.97 fps)

PAL:

1920×1080 : 25 fps (added - actual 25.0 fps)

1920×1080 : 24 fps (added - actual 23.976 fps)

640×480 : 25 fps (added - actual 25.0 fps)

Adds a function for manually adjusting the sound recording level (64 levels).

Adds a histogram display (brightness or RGB) for shooting movies in manual exposure.

Adds shutter-priority AE mode (Tv) and aperture-priority AE (Av) mode to the exposure modes for shooting movies.

Changes the audio sampling frequency from 44.1 KHz to 48 KHz.

Fixes a phenomenon where communication between the camera and the attached lens is sometimes interrupted after manual sensor cleaning. (This phenomenon only affects units with Firmware Version 1.2.4.)

Best regards,

Jim

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My partner downloaded the firmware upgrade for our 5d this morning. I am off Friday and we plan to do sync tests then. Will report the results then.

CrewC

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My partner downloaded the firmware upgrade for our 5d this morning. I am off Friday and we plan to do sync tests then. Will report the results then.

CrewC

How about a SOUND test too?  In the video on the other thread about the 5D the sound still sounded very bright and very "AGC/pumpy", manual levels or no.  And still no monitoring.

Philip Perkins

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Mr Perkins, good idea to try a sound test as well, though for our purposes we always go double system. The camera is already doing something it wasn't targeted to do. No reason to make it a sound recorder as well.

CrewC

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There are problems with the new firmware:

Recently we have discovered a malfunction that occurs with Firmware Version 2.0.3, in which the manual recording levels for C1/C2/C3 are changed and the camera becomes unable to record audio if the power is turned off (or if Auto power off takes effect) after registering "Sound Recording: Manual" in the camera user settings.
We apologize very sincerely for the inconvenience, but we are going to stop making this firmware available for download. For customers who have already updated to the new firmware, when using the camera with the mode dial set to C1/C2/C3, please either set the sound recording settings to Auto.
We are currently preparing firmware that will correct this malfunction. As soon as those preparations have been completed, we will let you know on this Web site. In the meantime, we apologize for the inconvenience this represents, but please wait until the fixed firmware is ready.

http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/firm-e/eos5dmk2/firmware.html

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I am doing a commercial with a Canon 5D and it is to broadcast in the Neatherlands, language is Flemish. 25fps I believe for Europe.

What do I set my recorder to? Looks like it might depend on the firmware upgrade? Hmmm.....

Sorry to ask what is probably obvious, but I get numerically dyslexic,

pouring over all this information.

Thanks,

Kevin

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I am doing a commercial with a Canon 5D and it is to broadcast in the Neatherlands, language is Flemish. 25fps I believe for Europe.

What do I set my recorder to? Looks like it might depend on the firmware upgrade? Hmmm.....

Sorry to ask what is probably obvious, but I get numerically dyslexic,

pouring over all this information.

Thanks,

Kevin

25fps camera and recorder for PAL. If only it were that easy here.

Eric

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Yes, PAL and the Metric system!

Kevin

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Yes, PAL and the Metric system!

Kevin

We tried the kilometer, litres and millimeter thing here some years back. Had all the flight dynamics of a piano.

Eric

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"  25fps  "

if the camera actually does 25fps, of course...

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" 25fps  "

if the camera actually does 25fps, of course...

Under  the old firmware, 1.2.something, it did a great job at 30 FPS. The editor of most of the 5D work I've done (also the DIT/transfer guy on location which is a great advantage) says it held sync fine when properly imported into a properly set-up FCP project. So I'd expect it to work flawlessly with a 25 frame scenario given the same 2 conditions. You can do everything correctly on location and have no end of trouble in syncing and post because one setting is wrong for whatever reason, usually operator error.

Best regards,

Jim

PS: Regarding the metric system thing, I always like to think of my minivan's top speed in those terms. Makes the whole experience so much sportier.

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" 25fps  "

if the camera actually does 25fps, of course...

It does. 100%

1/50 180 rule turns the 5d in a perfect 25P camera

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So, does the 7D have any of the new audio controls that the 5D got with this new update?  Did a 7D shoot a few weeks back and couldn't find any controls so I could send a reference track.

J. Hemmerlin

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So, does the 7D have any of the new audio controls that the 5D got with this new update?  Did a 7D shoot a few weeks back and couldn't find any controls so I could send a reference track.

J. Hemmerlin

It used to have the same audio on/off control under the "Live View/Movie" menu (the center icon of the 3 "wrench" icons).  I sent scratch track to 7Ds on a couple of shoots--same drill as the 5D (in auto gain).  I haven't been on an a 7D shoot since 5D v2.04 came out (that has the manual audio gain settings), but I thought I had heard it had gotten that update too.

Philip Perkins

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My buddy Gary was on a show recently, a red show,  the DIT showed him that the data could be sunk on his laptop on set with the audio data in a minute!!!! And in bulk!!! As long as both files had TC....

  So I agree, why all the hassle getting audio to these cameras....  It is an added pain in the ass, and if doing it wireless, it is an expensive pain in the ass...They should cease this procedure in my book...  I dislike the whole thing....  You always find yourself responsible for someone else's gear and negligence.

  Funny to see the Zax receivers and trans. on sale on the WTS page for $6000...  Why should we put out that kind of money for redundant audio, then get beat up on rates!!!  I'll tell you why... Too lazy to sync it, and we're just supposed pony up gear to be used for free.... or listen to static from production when they hear there is actually a charge for that gear...  duhhhhh...

  These days, if they hear anything, and it did not include syncing up the quality audio, they're happy.... A bit sad...  If all goes well though, and nobody messed with your receivers, or cables,the red sounds OK....  The Canon's...  better be using YOUR gear... 

  I still trust and believe in MY recorders...  I own them, take care of them, service when necessary, and operate them myself.... 

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