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Idiot Proof

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Brent Dunn
Idiot Proof
on Nov 30, 2010 at 8:25:36 pm

I had a 6 camera concert shoot recently. One of my camera guys was supposed to film some B-Roll crowd shots prior to the featured band. I had 2 SxS cards set aside for the main band for him to use. I also told him to change batteries between bands to make sure we were set for filming.

Well to our surprise the band decided to go on one act earlier instead of waiting to close the show like usual. In the scrambling to get everyone set, my guy didn't change the battery and yes, 3 songs from the end of the show, the camera went dead - mid-recording.

He got the dreaded "restore media" and started to panic, not finishing the show. (I had other cameras to cover). When I looked at the camera and did the restore, it seemed like I had lost the footage, but the B-Roll stuff was there.

Well, the Sony SxS did hold up and after two days of sulking, I finally loaded the card and it was all there....Yeah!

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Don Greening
Re: EX1-R external Mic settings
on Nov 30, 2010 at 9:10:07 pm

Thanks for your post, Brent. It's gratifying to see
that someone else has the same opinion about
SxS that I have. If cared for properly these cards
should last for many cycles with near bullet
proof reliability. My only concern is something
I heard only recently from a Sony person: that
when an SxS card is new the data transfer rate is
800 Mbits per sec. but as they age it can drop to
as low as 200. This was said by the Sony guy who
was talking about the new 1 terrabyte cards for the
Sony solid state SR recorder.

http://www.macvideo.tv/camera-technology/news/index.cfm?newsId=3249777

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Brent Dunn
Re: EX1-R external Mic settings
on Dec 1, 2010 at 4:34:33 pm

Don:

That's interesting info about the bit rate dropping after use. I wonder why this happens?

I went el-cheapo with the adapters and SD cards, but was bitten twice with lost data (pre-firmware upgrade). Once due to operator error letting the non sony battery without on screen notification, go dead. Once due to firmware issues reading the sd cards.

I finally shelled out the $800 for the sony SxS. Even though I would love to have the additional safety of an external recorder for redundant capture, it's just out of my budget, especially when I shoot multicamera shoots.....6 for this one.

I would gladly buy more Sony SxS, if they would just get real and start dropping their prices.

In other news, I had a mixture of cameras on this shoot. The EX-1 performed better than the other cameras for image quality and crispness. It was a night outdoor concert with lots of lights flashing.

A bit of insider tips; Don't use a tripod on a wooden stage. I was doing some test shots with the warm up bands and discovered my lens looked like a bumble bee, vibrating, we had to stay handheld for the stage shots and also had a glidecam. I also had a problem with one camera in front of the stage that was too close to the speaker stack having the same problem. We had another cam on a dolly track in front of the stage more toward the middle with no problems.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Don Greening
Re: Idiot Proof
on Dec 1, 2010 at 8:08:44 pm

[Brent Dunn] "That's interesting info about the bit rate dropping after use. I wonder why this happens? "

Yeah, I don't know either. If you watched the video I linked to the reason the speaker brought up the subject is because he wanted to draw a comparison between SxS media and the new SR solid state memory. Apparently this new 1 Tbyte memory card for the SRW-9000PL recorder will never lose any transfer speed over the card's life, unlike SxS and all other solid state recording media. He goes on to say that this is the only media in the world that can do this. The SR memory can transfer data at over 5 Gbits per sec.

I've also done (and continue to do) multi-cam shoots and am well aware of the 'gotchas' that you've mentioned, especially trying to shoot on floors that like to flex. It's the same reason one should never have the tripod and the operator on the same raised platform, etc.

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Idiot Proof
on Dec 1, 2010 at 8:27:50 pm

[Don Greening] "I've also done (and continue to do) multi-cam shoots and am well aware of the 'gotchas' that you've mentioned, especially trying to shoot on floors that like to flex. It's the same reason one should never have the tripod and the operator on the same raised platform, etc."

I did a multicam shoot where the singer and dancers decided to pound the wooden floorboards down the isle and hang right next to me in the 100 plus year old church this was taking place in. I motioned to one of the other cameras to get a reverse angle at a safe distance thinking my shot was toast (or more like jello).

When I later checked the footage it was absolutely fine. Schactler carbon fiber legs with FSB6 head. Apparently the shocks didn't travel to the camera (and these people were pounding inches from me and I felt it). Of course one would expect Zacuto or somebody to come out with an expensive set of shock absorbers for those using CMOS cameras. I can't help but believe the legs and head provided enough shock absorption though, or maybe it was the spirits in the church.



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Brent Dunn
Re: Idiot Proof
on Dec 2, 2010 at 3:36:23 pm

My other concern having a camera so close to a 10 foot wall of speakers, were the magnetic fields and how they might affect the camera. Have you ever heard of cards being wiped out from being close to something like this?

I was thinking of building a spring box to sit a low profile tripod on for a Drummer POV shot. I was hoping the springs would absorb the thumping of the drums.

I also want to clamp a GoPro inside a drum head..call me crazy.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Don Greening
Re: Idiot Proof
on Dec 2, 2010 at 8:18:28 pm

[Brent Dunn] "I also want to clamp a GoPro inside a drum head..call me crazy."

Okay you're crazy, but this is the last time I'll let you order me around. I've no experience with putting a camera inside a percussion instrument so you're on your own there. My own GoPro is in fact still on the top of a mountain attached to a portable radio repeater at an elevation of around 9000 ft. It's been there over month now waiting for someone (a helicopter) to rescue it. I have a feeling that the client will be paying for a new GoPro and the suction cup attachment the next time I send an invoice.

[Brent Dunn] "Have you ever heard of cards being wiped out from being close to something like this?"

No I haven't heard anything to that effect but then I've never had a camera shooting from that close to so many speakers, just close to a couple of 4x3 foot ones. There was no issue. Just don't expect to get any decent sound from any camera that is close.

[Brent Dunn] " was thinking of building a spring box to sit a low profile tripod on for a Drummer POV shot. I was hoping the springs would absorb the thumping of the drums."

You might be wasting your time if you stop for a moment and think about the physics of sound. The pressure wave hitting the camera will be coming more through the air and to a lesser extent from the surface the camera is sitting on. Springs beneath the camera might very well increase the problem of pulsing sound waves hitting the camera rather than reducing them. Don't you think? How about one of those bean-bags-for-cameras type of a resting place instead.

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Brent Dunn
Re: Idiot Proof
on Dec 3, 2010 at 7:26:53 pm

Sorry to hear about the GoPro. I don't expect to many shots from it, but it would add interesting pov's. I don't even mine the shaky vibrating shots since it adds action and excitement to the shot. Maybe the drummer would let me strap on a helmet cam : )

I'm not worried about sound in the camera since we had a ProTools setup with the sound man recording all the audio mix for post.

I even have a bean bag setup. Good idea. I'll try that instead, less hassle and time building.

This was a fun shoot. I hope I'll be able to get more gigs shooting concerts. It helps that they are a great band and I like their music.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Les Wilson
Re: Idiot Proof
on Dec 4, 2010 at 12:57:53 pm

I have used high density 3 inch furniture foam under each tripod leg to great effect in attenuating floor vibrations. YMMV.

Your point about affecting storage is a good one. I would not expect a problem with solid state media but wouldn't be the least surprise to find out there are problems with hard disk based storage.


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Brent Dunn
Re: Idiot Proof
on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:54:18 pm

I was thinking about the foam. I did try this before with mixed results, 2 " foam. I may try the Memory Foam Pillows or foam bean bag pillows they sell for 10 bucks at Walgreens.

SxS media saved me, but I had this power interruption on an SD card and lost everything on the Restore Media. This was pre-firmware-upgrade, which might also have something to do with it.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





Return to posts index

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