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Camera Hop Hell


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Great and helpful posts from all.

Glenn, thanks for the system config advice. But quick calculations send me over $5K, which was the reason I was considering lesser expensive options. I think the system you recommend would be awesome otherwise. I have no illusions about what I stand to give up if I go cheaper/cheapish. Not the least of which would be the lack versatility using the IFB200/ERX3TCD set-up as I already have a full Comtek system.

Derek,

Thanks for all of the insight. Some considerations, both good and bad I definitely overlooked. 

 

 

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The IFB100/200 would give you Zaxnet, which is what would get you to the ERXs. 2.4G system - not perfect but it's been great for me. There are almost always holes and you can scan with any android phone.

Abe,

Tried downloading ZaxConvert on my MacBook Pro 10.9.5) but got the block due to unrecognized developer. Whats up with that? And will I have to carry around my laptop to do file conversions from .zax MARFF to .bwf files for all of my clients?

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Hey Thomas, that's a bummer that your Lectro's can't be upgraded, I've never had any BLK changes done but I would probably just try and sell them before investing in a BLK change personally .   I was surprised when I looked up how (relatively) inexpensive the UCR's are... I figured if i picked up a set in a BLK I already own I could utilize the scan option on that unit instead of just guessing/ fishing.

I really like all the features that the Zax setup gives you but...it's a bit overkill for my needs, as is a Lectro SR set. I'm leaning towards the UCR/SMQV setup. 

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Yes, I am deeply disappointed in Gordon Moore's current stance of tossing off anything 7 years or older for re-blocking. Turning me off to Lectro.  I was told yesterday by Lectro that I may want to consider getting my BLK's 24 and 25 done soon as well ($1150.00 p/ch) just in case (no decision yet) Lectro tosses them into the 7 year old pile as well (mine are 2005).

Just discovered the ERX3TCD also offers a locking 3.5. That's nice.

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Lectro has never upgraded older stuff, going back decades--it has to be pretty current or they won't do it, or it costs as much as buying new.  That's the pretzel for 100s anyhow--if they did the freq change it would cost more than the system is worth, as it requires a circuit board swap.  I already gave you my advice based on my experience, but would add that I'd consider the Zax route particularly if you thought you might end up getting into their other gear, recorder and talent wireless, eventually.  

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Thanks, Philip. Didn't realize that was Lectro policy forever. Guess I'm confused though as Lectro said yesterday each 411A/TX would come in at $1150.00 approx. That strikes me as a whole lot cheaper than $2800.00 p/ch. Yes, the 100's are toast based on cost to re-block.

Thanks again for your thoughts and opinions!  So would you support the IFB200/ERX3TCD solution as an interim ramp-up solution as well?

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59 minutes ago, Thomas Beach said:

Tried downloading ZaxConvert on my MacBook Pro 10.9.5) but got the block due to unrecognized developer. Whats up with that? And will I have to carry around my laptop to do file conversions from .zax MARFF to .bwf files for all of my clients?

Macs and Windows have a similar process by which developers pay to make those warnings go away. Ostensibly the OS architect audits the software as well. It's not always practical for a small group to go through that process. 

I believe if you go to your Security settings you'll find a box to check that says something like "let unauthorized software run roughshod over my system".

Unless you want to use your IFB transmitter as your primary recorder, you won't have to convert anything. If you do, you'll need a laptop with Zaxconvert on it. 

Oh, and the Glenn who wrote you was Glenn Sanders, CEO of Zaxcom. 

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I've had Lectro re-freq several units over the years, but they were more or less current models, and the cost was just enough less than buying new that it was worth it.  In general though I would recommend at least considering selling off old stuff and buying newer gear if you can, lots of improvements have been made recently.  Also I found that when you do eventually sell that older model, the money you put into re-freqing probably won't be recovered in the price you can get for the thing--it is still the same model it was, right?  So only consider re-freqing if you think YOU will get more use out of it that way.

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I've used quite a few of the options mentioned (and more), including:  

   Lectro (two channels full quality), plus a sync box when needed
   Sennheiser G2 (one channel and two channels scratch tracks), plus a sync box when needed
   Zaxcom ERX (scratch track + time code)
   Zaxcom RX900 (two channels full quality), plus a sync box when needed
   Zaxcom RX200 (two channels full quality + time code)

I've never been a big fan of the Lectro 100, but have used and recommend their better units.  (I'm not knocking the 100, just sharing my personal preference)

My current goto cam link for both cart and bag setups uses TRX900 transmitters with STA stereo adapters and filtered antennas sending to RX200 units.  The RX200s are so cool as they receive two channels of high quality audio along with time code locked to the cart or bag time code.  Their small-size-to-function ratio is hard to beat.

For run-n-gun reality, I've also used ERX units sending a scratch track as well as time code locked to the bag.

The ease of mounting and low profile of the ERX units will serve you well as long as you're operating near the cameras.  I have some nifty cases I purchased for 4 or 5 bucks apiece that capture and protect the right angle mini plugs I use, so for me, accidental disconnection is a highly unlikely scenario.

 


 

 

 

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Thanks, Philip. Lots of wisdom in that last reply.

Thanks, John.  Sounds like you've been around the block with Zaxcom and with good results. I appreciate your insights, configs and experiences.

Had a good long conversation with Trew L.A. and think I've settled on something of compromise. I think I'm going to take the plunge with Zaxcom TRX900CL and a pair of ERX3TCD's to start out. Much greater flexibility in lieu of IFB200 for future step-ups to the RX200 or QRX235 w/QIFB option.

Thanks again to all for your invaluable insights and recommendations.

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I will second the trx900 with rx900. I use mine with the sta042 adapter and it's been flawless. Really one of the most versatile transmitters Zaxcom has made. Plus they can be had for a good price used.  Yes it's older technology but still by far one of the best for camera hops. 

Looking forward to using the rx200 soon. 

 

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G2: I personally never liked them much but they definitely saved the day many times. Not using anymore.

G3: I like them much more than G2s. Everyone mentioned the pluses/minuses... they are still one of my favorite units. I setup a compact unit with a tentacle velcroed to its door.  

um400/sr: Frequency dial was never my favorite part of the setup, 100mW was too much most of the time but solid sound/setup. Powering sr is something to think about. Not using this setup anymore.

Lmb/sr: Great setup. Not so good battery life. Lt is another option but Lmb is slightly lighter and in a bag, with exposed antenna I never needed more than 50mV. Again, powering sr is something to think about.

RX200: I love it. Yes! great specs, It is expensive and not so tiny... When I get to set, setting up my RX200 is one of my favorite moments. It is fast and convenient. And most importantly it's fun. That I care a lot. So, I'm not giving up on this unit anytime soon. 

 

Good luck on your search,

Engin

 

 

 

 

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zaxcom is the go,  I agree,  go the Camera Link as it has an IFB tx inbuilt + wireless link that can be teamed with the QRX or RX200.    the RX200 can receive 2 full quality tracks to camera and you could use an ERX for scratch ref and or timecode sync on the second camera.  Or eventually have 2 RX200's.  Plus they can be doubled as inear monitors for monitoring on set for producers scripties etc... love em.

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I would stick clear of G3,  they are great for scratch,  however they often end up being uses in post...  And the editor doesent bother grabbing the audio files off the card...    I do mainly post.  Never fun having to mix stuff that's path has included a G3. SrB always sound fantastic 

 

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I would stick clear of G3,  they are great for scratch,  however they often end up being uses in post...  And the editor doesent bother grabbing the audio files off the card...    I do mainly post.  Never fun having to mix stuff that's path has included a G3. SrB always sound fantastic 

 


Which is why I try not to have a camera hop at all, whenever possible.
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On 8/3/2016 at 8:06 AM, Thomas Beach said:

So I'm looking both at Lectro as well as Zaxcom/Senny.  Right now I'm leaning towards IFB200/EXR3TCD. BUT... as part of my investigation, I trried downlaoding ZaxConvert and discovered my MacBook Pro blocks it due to unrecognized developer reason. Plus I'm not keen on the idea of having to tote around my computer for file conversions. So any thoughts out there on ZaxConvert issues would also be appreciated.

You can bypass that warning message and still run the app with no problem. 

http://www.imore.com/how-open-apps-unidentified-developer-os-x-mountain-lion

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On 12/08/2016 at 8:03 AM, Constantin said:


Which is why I try not to have a camera hop at all, whenever possible.

Editor cracks shits as he has to do more work.  Haha. 

I'm actually going to un plug camera mic as well..  Last 2 jobs I've post  mixed I've had to chase up tracks as the editor used the camera mic...

When it comes to Fuck ups...  Camera ops and editors are Kings   

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On 8/3/2016 at 10:06 AM, Thomas Beach said:

I trried downlaoding ZaxConvert and discovered my MacBook Pro blocks it due to unrecognized developer reason.

If you trust the developer you can go to Preferences > Security & Privacy > General and check the ‘Allow apps downloaded from Anywhere’ button. You'll have to enter your Admin password at least once but that should let you download and open anything. Remember to switch back to 'Mac App Store & Identified Developers' when you're done.

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I generally trust that everyone will try to do their job correctly, including me.  The best way I've found to go, after many years of file-based recording, is to put some kind of mono ref track on the camera (for field playback checks, as a help to the DIT, as a syncing guide if it is decided to sync with PluralEyes etc, esp with cameras w/o real TC setups) and send the camera TC as well, if possible.  On verite docs I like having a camera mic on the camera as well, if that is possible.  I do a lot of doco post and find that camera mic often very useful, even when tracks from the soundie are available too (camera is often closer to some things than the soundie).  It is possible that someone in post may be too ignorant, lazy or harassed to sync up my tracks, that is down to that person and their bosses.  I have no intention of doing a worse or incomplete job on my end because someone down the line might do their job poorly.  Part of my job is documenting the tracks I make and making sure that the relevant people know where they are and what's in them.   If you find that a certain client continually blows off your recorder files in favor of scratch hop audio then you need to have a talk with them about it.  I still have a few clients who are very definite about wanting the camera audio to be the primary track, in that case you move from ERX/G3 etc to real hops like SRb etc, and continue to record, document and submit your recorder tracks anyway.  Eventually they will see the light about isos and higher fidelity.

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