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ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?

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Janne Eerola
ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 20, 2011 at 7:04:14 pm

Hello,

I was wondering.. could I use the new BMD ATEM tv studio and some DSLRs like Canon EOS or Panasonic GH2 to build a cheap and lightweight multicam system for live events? I'd need to mix 3 cameras and a PC feed (powerpoint etc.) into projector screens and record the event (H.264 is fine for that). It would seem like an ideal solution, but is it possible?


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Eric van Engelen
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 20, 2011 at 8:17:23 pm

The problem with the DSLR's is that they -most times- can't output a clean video-signal in 720P or 1080i. In general Menu-info is overlay, or the video is strangely cutted in letterbox etc.

Maybe there's a Magic Lantern-hack for the Eos 5D's which can activate a clean output at a resolution that the ATEM Television Studio can handle?


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Bob Zelin
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 21, 2011 at 12:46:50 am

Hi Janne -
have you looked at the HDMI output of a Canon EOS series camera ?
Tell me exactly what you see when you look at the output.
That will answer your question.

But yes, the ATEM requires very little - let me qualify this -

1) you need either a computer or a control panel to run the ATEM.
So for $995 and no PC or MAC, it doesnt work.

2) you need at least one monitor to be able to see the multiviewer output. You don't see any video on the computer screen for the ATEM

3) you need some way of recording or streaming the output of the switcher.

SO, you don't walk into a production with 3 Canon 7D's, and an ATEM TV Studio, and go to work. There is more equipment required -

AND - I didn't even discuss audio, or intercom (communication) to your cameramen.

Bob ZElin



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Shane Duggan
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:40:23 am

HI,

I am lucky enough to have a ATEM switcher & control panel & to be honest you still need a computer even with a control. The media pool is only stored in volatile memory so you need to attach it to a laptop to put in any media for a show. This may be changed in a future version All the key's are much easier to control on a computer as well - but can be done on the control panel. But I think for the price it is head & shoulders better value than anything else out there. The HDMI source we are using is a Sony FX 1000 720p. Seems to have no problem with accepting it. We will be getting Panasonic AF101's so I'll let you know how we get on.

Obviously all the other equipment mentioned is a given. Monitor's, audio, recording & intercom.

Shane


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Janne Eerola
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 21, 2011 at 9:25:15 am

Thanks for the quick replies.

First of all, of course I'd be using a laptop for control and a screen/tv for the multicam monitoring. Just didn't mention that in my post, sorry. And there'd be cables, stands, intercom etc. also included, but it'd still be a lot less to carry and a lot less expensive than traditional cameras & switcher, considering the quality you'd get.

The HDMI out of Canon's has the problem that it shows information on the screen, but it seems you can get a clear output with the Magic Lantern. However, what I read about Panasonic GH2 is that it has the ability to output a clean image from HDMI out and show all the info on the LCD at the same time. So that'd make a very good camera for this purpose (at least until Canon makes this feature available).

One problem would also be the cable lenght of HDMI, but couldn't that be solved by just using a HDMI-SDI converter with the DSLR's and using SDI cables to feed the ATEM?

For the recording with ATEM, isn't that done by just recording the H.264 feed into the laptop?


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Dimitry Czar
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 7:04:21 pm

I think one very important thing worth to mention is the sensor overheating. DSLR sensors were never designed to be ran continuously as required in live production. Sure they perform fine in start n stop multi-take scripted production, but that's much different from live...


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Janne Eerola
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 24, 2011 at 8:44:02 am

I think the overheating might be a problem with Canons etc. (at least the 550D gets a bit hot when shooting), but what I've read about GH2 is that no one has encountered any heat problems with it. No personal experience about using Panasonics though..


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Elvis Deane
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 12:27:58 am

I use the GH1 all the time for long shoots, and it never gets hot. I've done 2.5 hour shows, and it's fine. I assume the GH2 is the same, especially considering you won't be necessarily writing to a card while using it with the ATEM set up.

I'm very interested in hearing how you get on, Janne, as I'm hoping to try something similar. I have been wondering if using a wireless HDMI solution would work with it to cut out the cable length issue.

--
Elvis Deane!

The Apprentice Magician's Guide to particleIllusion

Wilbur of Wumbaberry


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Peter Peťovský
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Aug 31, 2016 at 11:18:00 am

Hallo Elvis Deane,

Please I want to connect two Panasonic GH2 to ATEM Television Studio - switcher.
Please, what firmware / patch / is suitable for GH2 that they can connect with Switcher

Peter


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Janne Eerola
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Jun 29, 2011 at 7:44:00 am

One thing we've been wondering: do you think there would be lots of delay in the picture? If you have 3 cameras going into the ATEM with SDI cables and then from the ATEM to a projector/screen, is there too much delay for this system to be used in a live event situation?


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Marc Enette
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 3:22:48 am

Switching live is cool, Having a multi input ISO recorder would have been even better I suggested the idea to Blackmagic let's see what happens...

I worked in a multicam shoot with the GH1, GH2 7D & T2i. The panasonics shot for over an hour non stop... The canons stopped about every 14 minutes... The Hdmi from the canons output 480i while shooting... You have to let them cool down before restarting or they would stop the recording earlier the next time... Sensor over heating is the issue.

I amalso thinking about the Atem... If you want extended hdmi cable length, use the HDMI to Cat5 converters there are a few on the marketcheck out Markertek.com, I saw a few in action going from a switcher to hdmi monitors with very little delay.

Best


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Philip Peel
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Dec 3, 2011 at 10:48:48 am

The GH2 works fine with ATEM mixer. I'm using it with hdmi to sdi converter if I need a long cable run.

Phil

http://www.philpeel.com

http://www.philpeel.com


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Greg Wall
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Aug 30, 2012 at 7:34:35 pm

I just came back from 4 days on location using ATEM Studio controlled by MacBookPro Retina (Thunderbolt) and recording directly to BM's Hyperdeck Studio. And we used 3 Panasonic GH2s connected via 40 ft HDMI with end-of-line signal boosters. All cameras were set to High Bit Rate 1080i. The cameras were running for an hour straight and close to 5 hours each day. No overheating issues. And we recorded on camera at the same time. As a matter of fact, you can't get clean signal via HDMI while shooting unless you are recording to internal card at the same time. It all worked flawlessly. ANd we have iso footage from each camera source.

Now I may have said flawlessly a bit too soon. But not sure whether my issues are related to user error (cables too long?) or not. But we did experience some small patches of stuttered imaging that looked more like a shutter speed set too high. But that was the only issue aside from an approximate 3 frame offset between video and audio which we ran through a separate mixer/recorder and then took digital output. Easy enough to fix in post. And I assume that may have been caused by the cable length. Otherwise it worked well.

The only other thing is that the cameras require a little extra effort to set them up for the right balanced exposure. While the camera is on but not recording, you get a rather harsh lower rez image via HDMI along with all of the little icons giving exposure, color temp, record time, etc. But as soon as you hit record you can see what the image is really like. And it is there that you have to determine if the balcks are too low or your saturation is good and exposure is correct. Then you have to stop recording and make your adjustments. Then hit record again and review your refinements. If it's not just right, stop and start until you have what you want. We also ran a monitor out of the Hyperdeck Studio recorder into BlackMagic Extreme via HDMI to monitor through the same laptop using ScopeBox's $99 app via a second screen.

When it's all said and done it's totally incredible that $7-800 cameras, some good lenses and a $1995 switcher controlled by my Apple laptop can be so good.

I would recommend this set up for anybody who is on a budget but wants professional quality.


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Jon Wood
Re: ATEM TV Studio + 3 DSLRs = multicam production system?
on Mar 26, 2014 at 12:58:01 am

Greg - sounds like you've got an awesome setup. Once the picture is set and matched between all 3 cameras do they remember their settings or do you have to set it up every time? How much fuss is it? We are looking for just this kind of solution for our studio. Any more info would be really welcome!


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