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John Blankenship

5D Shoot Workflow

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the 5/7d is 23.976, 29.97(in 1080 modes) and 59.94(in 720 60p mode). canon made it a point to change it to native frame rates when they updated the software a while back to make it more friendly with other cameras. but in the end, it really does depend on what post wants.

i probably do 4 audio gigs a month with these dslr's and shoot with my own about 4 times a week. i never use its in camera audio for my own shoots, except for maybe some nat sounds in b-roll. and usually my clients never use the in camera audio. one client has been known to but its usually been in rush situations(5d and i sent guide track via g2).

and most post houses i've worked with usually edit to what the project's framarate was shot at and then change for delivery requirements. but of course, all are different.

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" it looks to me like ALL video device's frame rates are either 29.97 or 59.94, based on the line frequency of either the 60Hz or 50Hz environments they were designed to operate in, regardless of whether the camera is placed into 24p mode. Have I got this wrong? "

I think so...

It isn't really about the power line frequencies, but about the video systems; yes, it is true, that integer frame rates are more prevalent where the power is 50Hz.

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syncing via TC is not an option--the camera's TC is not settable or outputable in any way.  In addition, if you have not sent a scratch mix to the camera then the director has no way of looking at a playback w/ sound of what he or she's shot--the 5D playback is crude but it does work. 

Philip Perkins

Phil, printing TC to an audio track and then using  this: http://www.videotoolshed.com/product/26/fcp-auxtc-reader is a great way to go. When I use my Zaxcom IFB with TC, the director can still watch a preview since the TC is only on CH2, and gets striped at the end of the day. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed that the more people get used to using these cameras, the less likely they are to:

want to slate

remember to tell you they started, or stopped rolling

start using the camera for ENG and B-roll.

these things aren't just for pretty shots anymore. Being able to hand the producer files with your audio already pasted into them has gotten me a lot of work.

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NEW Flavor (May '011?? )

Nikon: Today, Nikon announced the new D5100 DSLR camera: the successor to the D5000.

D5100 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

3.0" Vari-Angle 921K Resolution LCD

16.2 MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor

1080p HD Movies w/Full Time Autofocus

In-Camera Special Effects Mode

Fast 11-Point Autofocus System

In-Camera HDR (High Dynamic Range)

ISO Sensitivity 100-6400

Built-In Speedlight Flash With i-TTL

16 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes

Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning

Nikon D5100 Digital SLR camera designed to meet the needs of hobbyist and enthusiast photographers who demand outstanding performance, reliability, and unparalleled levels of control and versatility in a compact form factor.

According to Nikon, the D5100 is engineered as an ideal balance of durability and functionality. It features a host of new enhancements and updated technologies, which results in spectacular photos and gorgeous full HD (1080p in 24p and 30p) movies. The Nikon D5100 sports a new 16.2 MP CMOS sensor with an unprecedented level of low-light ability in a DX-format (APS-C) camera. The camera’s native ISO range of 100-6400 affords the versatility to photograph in challenging lighting conditions. When needed, it can be expandable to 102,400.

The new EXPEED 2 image processing engine powers the enhanced performance of the D5100 along with a new 11-point autofocus (AF) system and 420-pixel RGB 3D Matrix Metering System to deliver amazing image quality in a variety of shooting conditions.

The EXPEED 2 image processing system engine brings a new level of even tonal gradations while managing color, contrast, exposure, and noise resulting in brilliant image quality. Expeed 2 also manages the D5100’s speedy 50-millisecond shutter response, lightning-fast AF speed, and rapid four frame-per-second burst speed.

The 11-point AF System includes nine center cross-type sensors that operate with more than 60 Nikkor lenses. In addition, there are in-camera HDR, special effects, and a scene recognition system. The D5100 also has automatic image sensor control and built-in speedlight flash control with i-TTL.

Exploiting Nikon’s Scene Recognition System, the camera analyzes subject information from a database containing more than 30,000 images to optimize focus, exposure, and white balance. To assist in creating amazing imagery, the system reads data from a breakthrough 420-pixel 3D color Matrix Meter RGB sensor that examines the scene’s brightness and color data, then optimizes the camera’s performance prior to the actual exposure.

with an optional stereo shotgun microphone, your inner Director will be inspired and unleashed

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Hello all,

I´m now doing pre-production for a feature that will most likely be shot on the 5D, PAL, no sound sent to camera. I will be responsible for the location sound as well as for the sound editing, and I would like to know what are your experiences/opinions regarding the workflow and the 24/25 fps option.

The way I see it, it would be much simpler to stick to 25fps - since, as far as I know, 24fps is not true 24fps. Now, I´m not quite sure what the practical implications of this are since all the jobs I´ve had with the 5D/7D were shot and postproduced at 25fps, and none of them ever ended up in 35mm.

Regardless of pull-up/pull-down, am I right in worrying about framerate/TC problems by the time the first quicktime files arrive from picture editing? I´ll be editing on PT 9.0.2. and will have my location sound stamped with 24 TC. Isn´t this just bringing unnecessary trouble to a PAL production, where doing (REAL)25fps just makes it less complicated?

And would there be any reason why DOP/camera department would prefer to do 24fps other than 25fps?

I know that postproduction should be the ones with the final say on this but so far there is no postproduction supervisor and I would like to clear any doubts before there actually is one onboard.

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I´ll be editing on PT 9.0.2. and will have my location sound stamped with 24 TC. Isn´t this just bringing unnecessary trouble to a PAL production, where doing (REAL)25fps just makes it less complicated? And would there be any reason why DOP/camera department would prefer to do 24fps other than 25fps?

What country are you in? If you're in Europe or Asia, then 25fps would be a perfectly valid standard, especially if the final product is headed to the web, television, or DVD. My inclination would be for the camera to roll at 25fps, then use 25fps TC for the sound recorder and 25fps TC for the slate if possible. Then 25fps for the edit session and 25fps for Pro Tools.

If it's in the U.S., then I think making the whole thing 23.98 makes more sense, sound and picture. But I would get advice from the editor and DP first and find out what their battle-plan is.

--Marc W.

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Ok, I have a question. I've done a bunch of 5/7D shoots and record on a Fostex FR2LE a non tc recorder. Sometimes I feed the cam via wireless, sometimes not. I have no idea what what frame rate the camera is set for since I can't adjust the recorder to match. Now there has never been a sync issue on any of those projects, some I know were synced via Pluraleyes others I have no clue. If syncing works so well with the setup I described, why all the concern about tc & fr's?

Eric

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What country are you in? If you're in Europe or Asia, then 25fps would be a perfectly valid standard, especially if the final product is headed to the web, television, or DVD. My inclination would be for the camera to roll at 25fps, then use 25fps TC for the sound recorder and 25fps TC for the slate if possible. Then 25fps for the edit session and 25fps for Pro Tools.

It is a European production, feature-length, PAL, and it will end up on 35mm. 25fps definitely looks (from a post point-of-view and leaving the final pull-up/pull-down out of the equation for a moment) like the way to go but that is not taking into account the DOP´s preference/inclination for "24fps film look" (however valid that is).

Now, after trying to get a clearer idea by searching on the web, I realise this is a long and complex theme, but my main concern is about what happens in FCP if the frame rate/non TC-stamped 5D files are 23.976 and the audio files are TC-stamped at 24fps. Is there any automatic conversion of the audio files once they are imported just by the fact that their framerate metadata doesn´t match video? Like I said there is at the moment no editor on board yet and besides no matter how much you tell editors to set up their session accordingly, FCP and audio is anything but straightforward.

(And unfortunately feeding the camera via-wireless is not possible.)

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" syncing works so well with the setup I described, why all the concern about tc & fr's? "

exactly: as long as there are no pull-ups or pull-downs going to happen,  in which case...

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Ok, I have a question. I've done a bunch of 5/7D shoots and record on a Fostex FR2LE a non tc recorder. Sometimes I feed the cam via wireless, sometimes not. I have no idea what what frame rate the camera is set for since I can't adjust the recorder to match. Now there has never been a sync issue on any of those projects, some I know were synced via Pluraleyes others I have no clue. If syncing works so well with the setup I described, why all the concern about tc & fr's?

Eric

As you know, what you did was a perfectly valid workflow for those cameras and FCP.  By recording on a non-TC recorder, you avoid the landmine of FCP doing an unintentional pull of the playback speed of the sound files if the audio TC rate is different from the session rate (theoretically set to the camera frame rate), and PluralEyes doesn't care about TC.  So the FCP session is set for whatever they shot the camera files at, and the audio is added and off you go.

The TC issue comes into play because I often don't know if post wants to use/knows about PluralEyes, the shooters want a "running TC"  or "open slate" type of sync w/o a clap, and TC is wanted for transcription purposes.  There are ways around all these issues, but

these things are often spec'ed for jobs I do.

phil p

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Agree with Phillip,

I never send audio to a cheesy cam...Ummm I mean 5D or 7D.... ;)

  We simply open the camera mics and I recommend a TC slate anyhow, if only for scene and take info, and let it rip... Pluraleyes works by analyzing  and matching waveforms to sync, so as mentioned, TC doesn't  matter too much... At least it is on the image and on my recorder just in case...

At around $150 US...  Every post facility should be on board...

Let me add if and when for whatever reason the camera mic can't get proper scratch, the slate would and could come in handy... especially the clap....

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Thought i'd add my experiences; 5D shoots are becoming very common here in the uk now especially in the lower end commercial, short film and corporate markets. I have found an approach which usually gives a good balance between production needs and maintaining audio standards to an acceptable level;

I leave guide track on the camera as whatever the internal mic on the camera picks up - it's often enough for editing if the camera is within 20ft or so of the dialogue. Whether the internal mic picks up enough for syncing later can be managed by simply clapping each take if there is any doubt. You can use your generosity towards the camera department as a reason for not sending a mono mix or similar - "these guys don't need more cables hanging out of that tiny little camera - it will restrict your movement" etc

Plural-Eyes is cheap ($150 or so), and if there is any harrumphing from production about the cost, you can point them in the direction of the free 30-day trial. I have used it quite a bit, and i have to say i'm yet to have it fall down on a job - i have synced on-board 5D audio with double system audio comprised of two radios a placement mic and a boom track, and it seemed to be frame-perfect.

So, guide track is on-board mic; there is no way they will use that for the final film...although it's been close on occasion. I then double system and deliver clap-synced rushes with a time of day timecode (If you can get that to be close to the cameras on board clock then it can be helpful in the edit). They use my iso's/mix every time, i get to roam free and don't have to compromise on sound, production get all excited about how great Plural-Eyes is, and the camera department are happy as they get to hang as much extra nonsense off a tiny stills camera as they like.

Everyone is happy. Unless they use Avid. In which case i have no answers.

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Everyone is happy. Unless they use Avid. In which case i have no answers.

Not to worry -- Singular Software does have a version of Plural Eyes for Avid:

http://www.singularsoftware.com/help/pluraleyes_mc/howto_pluraleyes_mc.html

--Marc W.

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My last 15 production days have all had at least one 5D, some have had more than one. I had one job with seven 5Ds. While I am glad to be working and have come to terms with working with the 5D, I feel I am beginning to become an expert in the down side of these cameras.

First, they are not aging well. More and more the cameras are losing settings during battery changes. On my seven 5D job, 4 of the cameras lost audio set up during battery changes at various times during the day.

When I set each camera up with an identical feed (same signal, same cable) 3 of the cameras had different sound levels for the same signal.

Second, the audio failures are always completely out of my control. The AC pulls the audio connector to get the HDMI cable out and doesn't replace it, or replaces it incorrectly. In one case the camera strap got caught in the right angle connector which kept it from seating correctly.

The jacks are getting looser, of course, and when the DP reaches around to adjust focus, bumping the connector disrupts the sound.

The Rube Goldberg contraptions now being used (HDMI to SDI converters, multiple onboard monitors, etc) leave little real estate for a receiver but they often make room when given the option of using a cable.

To avoid the many many failures that can keep this system from syncing in post I have taken a "belt and suspenders" approach that allows for multiple sync points so the editor can find some way to sync it regardless of what fails.

I send audio to the camera from the mixer via hardwire for sitdown work or via a G3 if we are more mobile. We clap a smart slate that includes my take number in the userbits. I send a sync beep tone and verbally slate my take number on the camera and audio.

Some editors not accustomed to film style shooting try to match up file to file in post forgetting that sometimes the camera rolls with out me or that I might record something they don't. I have gotten calls asking why nothing is syncing only to find they were trying to sync take 17 sound to take 24 camera.

I am convinced that the Producer who relies on 5D onboard sound only will shortly be convinced of the error of his/her ways. I am very careful to point out the dangers inherent in that process before we shoot. I always record a backup if they don't wish to pay for it, I tell them that if the camera recording fails there will be an additional charge for the backup. So far nobody has balked once I have explained that.

The reports that I am getting back are that having the matching sound on the camera and including good sync points (clap, tone, verbal slate) have increased the syncing success percentage of PluralEyes reducing the number of tracks that need a manual sync and represent a significant savings to the Producer.

Reintroducing film style production has been challenging. Something as simple as slating requires a short tutorial. I had a discussion with a DP to convince him that the last 3 pairs of numbers on the smart slate (Min:Sec:Fr)were more important than getting the hour since he was apparently only going to give me 3 sets on closeups. The discipline of making sure camera and sound are rolling before slating is a new thing to new directors. A little extra patience in communicating your needs to the crew is needed. Buts as far as the 5D goes, Old School is Back.

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Around here audio to the DSLR is a requirement, as a syncing guide. Pluraleyes (or just plain old fashioned eye syncing) is much faster and more accurate with a feed to the camera compared to any camera mic recording.

A word of cheer. I've now done some jobs on which the 5D was the "big" camera. The rest of the cameras were phones.

phil p

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I always attempt to get audio to the camera,

I think about the guy doing the syncing and try to help as sometimes it's the same person who calls with the next job

al

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What did you do in instances when the camera mics could not pick up the audio? Long shots, outside with camera inside, etc. I guess at that point a cable or something is in order.

Testiing a 5D next week. If the client likes it, then a serious lengthy shoot this fall is in the offing.

thanks...

This is the very scenario where AuxTCapp works really well, and Plural Eyes does not. Also, I just did a five day ENG shoot like this of a bike race in Tobago. Slating would have been completely out of the question.

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" What did you do in instances when the camera mics could not pick up the audio? Long shots, outside with camera inside, etc "

scratch track by wireless....

of course for those shots, sync audio might not even be needed --as in the speakers' lips would not be visible enough to make it necessary!

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he guys

i always had in mind i should make a litle video explaining to my clients(editors post houses)

on howto sync

if found this sweet little video so i don't have to do it anymore :)

cheers

Martijn

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wow...that work flow is horrible (from the Vimeo video above). If an editor had to go through all of those steps just to get sync that would be a very, very bad thing. They should be able to look at the timecode on the slate, find that same spot in the audio file via timecode and tell FCP to sync. I sat with an AE today and that's all he did with my audio from last week. It took him about 10 seconds to sync 5 clips. I recorded 5 tracks on my Fusion 12 and there were two EX3 cameras on the shoot.

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