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Question and warning

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Ron Craig
Question and warning
on Apr 17, 2009 at 6:45:44 pm

A friend recently did a shoot on Firestore with the HVX 200, shooting SD 480. The producer chose not to roll tape at the same time. At the beginning of the shoot they were shooting on P2 cards -- P2 mode set on the camera. When those were filled they switched to a Firestore FS-100 and switched the camera to shoot "tape."

The crazy thing is that the video recorded on the Firestore did not have clean video; it showed the viewfinder image -- rolling timecode numbers, flashing record icon, frame lines, etc. This isn't just metadata that you can choose to turn on and off. It is actually part of the video image -- showing up in Final Cut, QuickTime Player, whatever.

Is this camera supposed to default to delivering that viewfinder image to the record media this way? How can that be turned off? For that matter, how did it get turned on? Even if setting the camera to "tape" was an error, it seems insane for the camera to default to that.

Has anyone else seen this? It required an expensive re-shoot.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 18, 2009 at 1:20:10 am

And yet another one bites the dust on Firestore. Join the club...

Noah

Check out my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
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Ron Craig
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 18, 2009 at 3:39:22 am

I have to disagree with you, Noah. Obviously your mileage may vary but I have had excellent results with Firestore. It has become easily my favorite workflow. There is a bit of a learning curve to do it correctly but it's worth the trouble.

Actually, I don't see why you perceive this as a Firestore problem. The Firestore didn't create that video signal; the camera did. That's what I'm asking about.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 18, 2009 at 4:32:51 am

I do agree, this isn't the Firestore's fault, same thing would happen if going to FCP directly.

My question back would be why would you put the camera in Tape mode, especially if they were not rolling tape? Never do something on set that has not been tested off set, NEVER!

On the HVX, in Tape mode the [Display Setup] Video Out OSD is also on the Firewire Out, it has to be set to off. (not so on P2 mode)

This is a user error, Know Thy Camera (as Thyself).



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Ron Craig
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 18, 2009 at 3:04:47 pm

First of all, this is only "my" problem because a friend had the experience and asked me to help. I admit all my own (many) mistakes but this isn't one of them. And, yes, I thoroughly agree with the point about knowing all settings before taking them into production.

My initial thought about this was that it is a stupid way to design a camera -- delivering the viewfinder/display setup video through the same port that is used for delivering "clean" video to an outboard recording device. But, then, if the camera has been "told" that the recording medium is tape, it might make sense to have that port default for use as the video source for an external monitor.

I don't know. It sure is a big "gotcha." None of the camera guys my friend called about this knew what you just described, Michael. I'm sure it's in the manual somewhere. And, of course, every DP and camera op reads every word in the manual.


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Christopher Wright
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 18, 2009 at 8:36:58 pm

Yes, contrary to Noah's obvious bias, I have only used the FS-100 on both the HVX-200 and HPX-170, and have never even touched a P2 card on either camera. I have never had a problem with the FS-100s (I own two) unless the settings were mismatched between the camera and the unit, or someone pulled out or stressed the FW cable. I must also say however that I have never shot any SD footage to the FS. The reason I bought the Panny cameras and the FS-100 was to do HD production. My feeling is that the camera operator should never have shot in the tape mode using the FS. Out of almost three years of posts on this and the FS forum, I would say 99.9% of all FS complaints are operator error, simply not reading simple instructions, and testing the unit and workflow before your shoot. And if you are shooting SD, just use the %@*&% tape drive! It is also very good to see Michael sharing the "FS slamming patrol duty" and giving correct versus knee-jerk reactions to FS issues and "problems."

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Ron Craig
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 18, 2009 at 11:56:23 pm

Yeah, the thing that got me most about this whole thing was that the producer decided not to roll tape. Both the DP and the sound tech encouraged her to roll tape as backup but she refused.

I am a big Firestore fan, as I mentioned. But I also roll tape on every job (almost always shooting with an HDX 900) JUST TO BE SAFE. To Firestore's credit, I'll report that I have never had to resort to those tapes for any shot that was missed by the Firestore. In this case, as everyone has figured out, it was not a Firestore problem that caused the trouble; it was a camera setting issue. Even so, backup tapes would have saved the day.

Remember: tape is cheap.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 19, 2009 at 1:49:59 am

[Ron Craig] "Remember: tape is cheap."

For real, why would she not want to run tape? that makes no sense at all. A backup at $10/hr, seems like pretty cheap insurance to me. Man, I wish the HVX could also go to tape when in HD mode, even to have a SD DV backup would be so nice.

These are very expensive lessons.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 20, 2009 at 1:17:48 am

I have nothing against the good folks at Focus Enhancements, and I have nothing to gain personally from their product's failure or success.

All I can say is that if there's one piece of equipment I read about problems most often in these and other forums, user error or system failure, it seems be the Firestore. So if that's 'bias' then I guess I'm guilty as charged.

Noah

Check out my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Lens Adapter Guidebook, Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Christopher Wright
Re: Question and warning
on Apr 21, 2009 at 3:51:19 am

Actually the P2 problems and people's difficulty with the P2 workflow outnumber the FS issues about 99% to 1%. And both set of problems are usually user error. The bright note on the horizon is the new 64 Gig P2 2nd generation cards coming out in August for less than a grand! Panasonic is finally getting smart. With these cards at this price and capacity, the FS will eventually fade away anyway.

Dual 2.5 G5, IO, Kona LH, IO, Medea Raid, UL4D, NVidia 6800, 4Gig RAM
Octocore 8 GB Ram, Radeon card, MBP, MXO
Windows Vista Adobe Studio CS4, Vegas 8.0, Lightwave 9.3, Sound Forge 9, Acid Pro 7, Continuum 5, Boris Red 4, Combustion 2008, Sapphire Effects


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