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Timecode with Recorder and Two Cameras (Sorry)


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Excuse me if I seem to be reinventing the wheel but I'm really just trying to confirm (after some research) some ideas I have about using timecode in a two camera shoot.

It's for a longish-term gig that a few friends and I have been talking about that may, or may not, actually occur. Call it a labor of love.

 

We have:
1) A timecode enabled recorder (okay, okay, it's a Zoom F6 but it's affordable and I own it.)
2) Two timecode enabled cameras, one a Canon C300 and one a Sony FS7.

 

My idea is to have one Denecke JB-1 that I would just leave on, to act as a master clock, since I think that all of the other stuff's timecode clocks either stop or go off sync when the camera or recorder is turned off.

 

The JB-1 "Prime" would run for the entire day while other things would be turned on or off and re-synced as needed (there will be some driving/sitting around on each of the shooting days).

 

I figure that this "prime" JB-1 would be used to feed timecode to the recorder.

 

I'd have another two JB-1s (one for each camera) to provide them with a timecode signal.

 

Is this an okay scenario?

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If you jam all the JBs together then you should be fine.  What you are doing is more or less standard current practice, except that most of us don't bother with an ext TC generator for the audio recorder: the internal clocks of professional machines are just as stable as the JBs.

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Best practice would be a system where you have a timecode device for each recorder, be they audio or video recorders. Choose one device as a master, set it, and jam the other two devices from the 'master'.

 

Ideally you would have a system where the 'master' is continually or regularly updating the jammed 'followers'. Ambient Nano Lockits are very good, Betso are simpler, Tentacle are cheap and cheerful, but many people work well with them.

 

I would plug master into your audio recorder, and the jammed followers into the cameras.

 

Do tests. Check TC at regular intervals throughout the day.

 

Enjoy..... sb

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  • 2 weeks later...

If the camera manufacturer hobbles the otherwise professional camera with no TC I/O (like the FS7) then send the TC signal as LTC into one of the audio channels of the camera. I do this with my FS7 with either my Denecke  box or tentacle box. Then sync it up to my SD664 sound files on the timeline.

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59 minutes ago, PMC said:

If the camera manufacturer hobbles the otherwise professional camera with no TC I/O (like the FS7) then send the TC signal as LTC into one of the audio channels of the camera. I do this with my FS7 with either my Denecke  box or tentacle box. Then sync it up to my SD664 sound files on the timeline.

This approach works ok but is nonstandard enough that a chat with the editor before the job would be a good idea.  Most if not all non-TC shoots done around here use audio (a ref track sent to the camera's audio track) as a sync reference and guide.

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14 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Any particular reasoning you're mixing FS7/C300mk2 together, rather than using two of the same, is that all you can get?

Not my choice at all. The DOP just wants it that way, even though he's going to be renting the cameras. Why not two of the same cameras? No idea.

13 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Just a guess: "personal cameras".  I have a shoot coming up with 2 diff models of RED, a BM 4k and a C100, all owned by their operators....

That's what I thought, but the DOP is renting all the gear. I have  a feeling that he may like one camera while the second cameraman likes the other. Weird.

11 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

This approach works ok but is nonstandard enough that a chat with the editor before the job would be a good idea.

The DOP is also the editor...

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As a DP, the only time I will use two different camera technologies is if one is on sticks and the other is on a Movi (gimbal). If both cams are on sticks and i am renting, I can think of no reason why your DP is geting two different cams.

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