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Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio

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Patrick Cutler
Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 25, 2012 at 6:19:17 pm

I'm upgrading my broadcast equipment and would like to know which HDMI video cameras work best with the Black Magic ATEM Television Studio?


I typically broadcast long sporting events (such as tournaments) that last for several days, so I need cameras that will be able to handle this.

Also, I'm not able to broadcast in HD so the picture quality isn't an issue, I'm just looking for the best, most consistent quality for the best $.


(The reason I'm upgrading is because I currently use a fire-wire video board with fire-wire cameras...which, as everyone knows, is going obsolete.)


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 25, 2012 at 8:45:45 pm

What will be the maximum distance from the camera(s) to the switch?

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Patrick Cutler
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 25, 2012 at 9:02:19 pm

The Max would be 50-100 ft.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 25, 2012 at 9:40:52 pm

You may need to use extenders for HDMI cable runs over 50ft.

Would GoPro Hero work for you, or do you need a more "pro" camera with, say, interchangeable lens, remote control, etc.?

GoPro cameras can take abuse and are hard to beat price-wise.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Patrick Cutler
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 25, 2012 at 9:49:32 pm

Probably not, I would need a camera with the ability to zoom in and out and it has to have a small lcd screen viewer of some kind. I was looking at spending up to $1,000 per camera.


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Patrick Cutler
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 25, 2012 at 10:02:14 pm

Also, since I'm broadcasting all day, I'll need a camera that can be plugged in and not ran off of a battery. But i don't need interchangeable lenses or anything that high-end.....


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 25, 2012 at 10:22:38 pm

How about Canon VIXIA HF R300 for under $300? Zoom, LCD, power adapter, HDMI output.

Not sure if the camera supports SD over HDMI, or that ATS can take SD, for that matter. Last I heard it was only compatible with HD signals, which means you may have to down-convert coming out of ATS.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Patrick Cutler
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:08:16 pm

Yeah, I'll try that. I'm still in "experiment" mode since there hasn't been really alternative created for fire-wire, and HDMI doesn't like to import video firewire does, so we'll see. Thanks.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Oct 31, 2012 at 5:58:59 pm

You didn't state a budget. I am doing something similar and I am VERY happy with my Sony HXR-NX5U cameras. (Street price: $4K) I have three of them and I am planning on dumping my EX1 and getting a 4th NX5. They are relatively lightweight, but not a twinky little consumer-style "handicam". They have 20x lens and good low-light performance. And what is VERY VERY NICE is that you can use a rather comprehensive remote-control that turns them into a semi-broadcast quality camera.

I have three remote pan/tilt heads (and one camera with a live operator) for the kinds of productions I typically do. You would probably need a larger number of live camera operators for fast-moving sports productions.

I have had DISMAL luck trying to use HDMI cameras more than 1m/3ft away from the switcher. Even with good-quality cable and extention amplifiers, etc. etc. I've just completely given up on HDMI and plan on using SDI for anything over 3ft. Even if I have to convert HDMI to SDI.


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william clarke
Re: Video Cameras to use with Black Magic ATEM Television Studio
on Dec 1, 2012 at 10:47:52 pm

Have you considered using consumer grade cameras with HDMI out and converting to SDI for the cable runs ?

I'm using three refurbished (US$330) Canon HF M400 cameras with 1080i HDMI out, BMD HDMI to SDI converters with coax cable runs of 50, 100 and 150 feet into BMD ATEM Television with Wirecast for Live Streaming (1 Mbps 360x640 & 2 Mbps 720x1280).

Subject matter is indoor sports with a fair amount of rapid movement

The cameras have batteries in them (avoids flash card problems) but run off mains power - longest sports event we have done is two days - all our stuff happens in doors ( good ) in a low light and very dusty environment ( bad ).

We use volunteers for camera operations so the limitations of point and shoot technology which may be frustrating for a professional actually help a lot.

Have not had any problems so far with the cameras mis-behaving after being powered up for durations of up to 9 hours per day.

We record locally during the live stream and post the video on YouTube as it provides higher quality than archiving the web stream files.

Still experimenting with best local recording solution - here's a sample recorded on BMD Hyperdeck shuttle DNxHD compressed files then down converted to a 17Mbps mp4 stream for upload to youtube.
sample





Have also recorded directly from ATEM TV to USB2 attached i3 Laptop at 720P, but due to the lack of CPU capacity there have been issues - specially when I forget to change defaults record mode from 1080 to 720 ( agh ! ) Have yet to test with latest version of BMD s/w.

HDMI out on consumer cameras is very poorly documented - all I can tell you is:

1) Pay attention to where the HDMI interface is on the camera - depending on whether the camera is to be tripod mounted or hand held the location of the output can be a challenge.

2) Making HDMI work over long HDMI cable distances or with consumer grade HDMI to RJ45 may work in the "lab" but under the typical conditions in a sports arena using volunteer labor to set things up HDMI to SDI works every time and allows one to focus on where best to locate the cameras rather than then being limited by the tech.

3) Canon HF M400 cameras work with BMD HDMI to SDI converters and BMD ATEM studio tested in 1080i mode

4) Canon HF G10 cameras work with BMD HDMI to SDI converters and BMD Studio tested in 1080i mode but have poor HDMI interface placement.

William Clarke


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