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New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions

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Tim Polster
New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:43:20 pm

Hello,

I just puchased a Varicam H model as an upgrade from an HPX-500 (I shoot mainly in 720p60) and am learning the camera and its settings. One thing I noticed is the difference between Video and Film mode.

I prefer the image look and gamma of the Film mode but there is a distinct loss of detail when I change from Video to Film mode. Is there a way to retain the detail but use the film-like gammas?

Also, I am missing component output on this camera as my editing monitor is analoge. I guess an SDI to component converter is the only way to get a component signal?

Thanks for your help and I will continue searching for answers on the forum.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Aug 26, 2011 at 7:25:37 pm

That camera only has SDI out.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Tim Roane
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Aug 28, 2011 at 4:12:26 am

Hello Tim,
A bit like a mirror-universe sci-fi sorta deal, as my name is also Tim, and I am about to purchase a HDC27H also.
I don't have any specific questions, and I very new poster here on the Cow, although I have been reading avidly for some years.
Are you using an external recorder like KiPro mini or perhaps a NanoFlash ?
Please check out this little beauty, as it will allow the Varicam to "play" well with any other situation/cameras.
All the options of the over sized,high priced KiPro (original deck), yet without the size and yet with a decent rez monitor.
Not to mention Sound Devices being in my humble opinion, an absolute leader in quality and durability.
Their audio gear is doubtless the preferred option for most pro soundies, if not all.
Thus the preamps will make the device a powerful audio recorder to boot!

Unit is called the Pix240.
I won't bother with a link, as I am sure u can operate a search browser!
Please share any info about your recent purchase, I am keen to know how you feel etc.

Many thanks from DownUnder.
Cheers
Tim R (soon to be fellow Varicam owner)


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Ernie Santella
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Aug 29, 2011 at 5:10:02 pm

I've been using a NANO Flash since they came out. Works great-best investment I've made! I've extended the life of my Panny camera.

Ernie Santella
Santella Productions Inc.
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Patrick Forestell
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Aug 30, 2011 at 12:23:59 pm

You guys give me encouragment; I am looking for a H version and would have no use for the VTR section. I have seen several for sale with dead pixels at 9db and higher. Unless I am wrong, a new "H" CCD is close to $700. I have taken a SPX800 apart and the CCD on it is within a cube like housing. There is a low hours H version on Ebay for $8500 but no takers yet. I was looking for more like $5k.

Patrick


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Tim Polster
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Aug 31, 2011 at 4:57:55 am

So far I really like the image but have yet to really dial it in until I get a way to send signal to my component monitor. I am looking at a Blackmagic Intensity for this.

As far as detail in Film or Video mode, I have approached the two as separate animals. The video side still has a bit more detail but I have adjusted the film side to a nice image so far. The film side is better at handling highlights anf the general look is more cinematic. I have found the second level detail adjustment to be very useful. It gives a lot of definition without edge fringing which allows one to back off on the overall detail level.

I am using this with a NanoFlash. If there was an easy way to disable the tape mechanism to save power consumption I would do it as I will never use the tape drive.

This camera has a lot more detail than the HPX-500 I am coming from.


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Patrick Forestell
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Sep 1, 2011 at 12:37:46 am

Just bought a H model and found this BBC Varicam settings article:
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/site/hd_panasonic_hdc27f.pdf

My JVCHD200 fires the external FireStore even though there is no tape; why can't the Varicam do the same ?

Patrick


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Jeff Regan
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Sep 1, 2011 at 3:31:57 pm

I don't believe the Varicam 27H has a Firewire output, which a FireStore FS-100 requires.

Regarding an HPX500 vs. any Varicam or native 720P 2/3" Panasonic camera, the difference in highlight handling is not subtle. Not just more latitude, but the superior processor found in the 27H, HDX900, HPX2000/2700/3700 makes for a much more film like over exposure.

The HPX500 suffers from the same chroma clipping as the Panasonic palmcorders. Hard to match the current 32-bit processors found in the P2 Varicams.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Bruce Greene
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Sep 13, 2011 at 2:56:53 pm

For the best quality with the H shoot in the FimRec mode.

The knee function must be turned on, but you don't adjust it. Instead one adjusts the dynamic range of the camera using the"dynamic level" menu item.

200% is a little bit lower in contrast than standard video and 500% is extremely low contrast. Use the lowest setting that will capture your scene.

I usually keep the color space at Rec709 and turn off the color correction and matrix.

I also use the white balance pre sets for tungsten and daylight, avoiding the orange filters in the wheel.

If you started from the factory default menu, set the master detail to minus 4 and you're good to go!

Varicam/Steadicam Owner
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.brucealangreene.com


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Tim Polster
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:10:22 pm

Thank for your input. I will give those settings a try.


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Patrick Forestell
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Sep 19, 2011 at 3:58:02 pm

I just got my "H" off Ebay for $5k.

Question: What is the best tape ? Anyone know if the tape transport need rep[air (heads. etc) can one just remove it and send the VTR section for repair minus the Varicam body ? I am used to working on the P2 SPX800 internals but the Varicam lacks the easy processing card set up. The H instead has motherboards that are not that easy to remove (but doable) the SPX800 by contrast has several processing cards which are easy to remove, as easy as removing a P2 card.

Anyone have a SDI HD capturae card they could suggest I buy ?

Would like to stay with 720p editing wise.

Thanks,

Patrick


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Chris Tompkins
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Sep 19, 2011 at 4:03:59 pm

BMD Decklink card has analog,HDMI, SDI i/o

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Patrick Forestell
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:52:50 pm

If I wanted to edit solely on a 29.97p timeline; how best can I convert my Varicam 59.94p video to 29.97p ?

I can capture from the Varicam using it's SDI output to DeckLink or I can capture out of the Varicam H using the Panasonic Model 10 SDI recorder that uses AVChd codec.

Some times I have multi cam shoots and use several SPX800 DVCpro50 cams along with the single Varicam and two small consumer (Panasonic) HD cams that shoot at 1080p

All those videos are to be editing on a 29.97p timeline for mostly use on web with DVD versions as well. The DVDs will be burned at 720/480p and the web versions are uploaded at 1280/720p

What I end up with after the shoot will be lost of P2 at DVCpro50, some 1080p shot with small consumer HD cams, and the Varicam H DVCproHD via it's tape or it's companion Model 10 AVChd Recorder.

Thanks for any helpful input you guys might have,

Patrick


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Tim Roane
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Dec 28, 2011 at 5:40:54 am

Hello HDC27H onwers/operators,
Can someone please provide us with definite experience/accounts/footage of anybody using a HDC27H with a Sound Devices PIX240, or similar device.
I am curious about the PIX240, primarily as I hope that its Up/Down/Cross Conversion functions will enable the camera to be used in more standard composite IMAG situations, and also when a plain old SD-SDI feed is required on multi-cam corporate gigs.

My main question is: Can a PIX 240 connected to HDC27H record 720/60P ProRes HQ data, and then will I be able to conform this back to 24P / 25P without any issues, using Cinema Tools or similar.

I don't know of any reasons NOT just to edit at 60P , on a 720/60P timeline. And then unless I need slomo,
I can just output it to the desired frame rate once all the editing etc is done.

Please chop me to bits if I am over-simplifying things. I have edited a ton of HDSLR footage, and AVC-Intra and Redcode RAW over the years, so by all means, be brutal if I deserve it!!!!
many thanks,
Tim R (Down Under ...it's warm and wet!!!)


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Bruce Greene
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Dec 28, 2011 at 6:25:33 am

I don't think you want to shoot at 60fps and then convert to 24fps. There will be un-even movement/cadence during playback.

You'll want to shoot at 24p. I don't know if the PIX240 can record the 24p from the 60p HDSDI that comes out of the Varicam. (It's 24fps + duplicate frame/pulldown to make 60fps). The real frames are flagged, and the AJA Ki-pro products and the AJA I/O products can read these frames and lay down only the "real" frames to a digital PROres file. The Ki-pro products can only do this at 24, 25, 30, and 60 fps I believe. Other frame rates are not compatible with the Ki-pro and you'll need to record to tape and extract the real frames later, or use the AJA I/O connected to a computer and HD.

There is the NanoFlash recorder that works, I believe, at more (or maybe all) frame rates, but you can't play back footage in the NanoFlash itself that hasn't been captured at 60fps. And I don't think it records the flags for later frame extraction. The NanoFlash cards can be played back at 24p via a computer though, but you'll need to remove the CF cards from the device and plug them into the computer.

There is a Panasonic P2 recorder that records at 60fps only, but does record the flags for later 24p frame extraction. I would however remove the duplicate frames before editing using the panasonic frame rate converter that used to come with Final Cut Pro 7. So hold on to your old FCP for this workflow :) Perhaps the P2 recorder itself connects to your computer via firewire and you can capture the 24p from the 60p files that way as well.

Edit at 24p for 24p footage. You can add pulldown to make a 60p output at the end of the process if necessary for broadcast.

The 27H is a very good camera that makes beautiful images. Enjoy your new camera!

Varicam/Steadicam Owner
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.brucealangreene.com


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Tim Roane
Re: New Varicam 'H' owner, Settings questions
on Dec 28, 2011 at 6:39:58 am

Thank you Bruce! This was ohly my second ever post on the Cow, and I am stoked to get such a quick response.
I am now suspecting that I simply "don't get it" as far as flagged frames is concerned.
Here is my hope, (perhaps you can tell me if I am misinformed):
The PIX 240 is said to record 720/60P.
I can simply edit this footage on a matching timeline. At the end, output a 25P version.
If I want to use some of this 60P footage as slomo (over cranked), I can take the clips I need slowed, and run them thru Cinema Tools,to conform them to 25P slomo.

Is the issue to do with "flagged frames"? I have never encountered this, and terms such as cadence makes my head hurt. Its just one of those things my 'art-brain' likes to make me struggle with.

Is the Varicam H version of 720/60P different to the 720/60P one might achieve with say and EX-3, or even a Canon 7D ?
Is that what this "flagged" business is referring to? What is the point then of the extra frames?
Arggh!!! Public admission of ignorance!!! Will my ego allow me to post this......


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