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Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA

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James Orlowski
Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 9, 2009 at 1:52:58 pm

This may be better suited in the VeriCam forum, but I'll give it a shot here first...

We shoot with the Panasonic VeriCam AJ-HDC27FP, and acquire that footage into our AJA Xena HS PC workstation via HD-SDI from our Panasonic AJ-HD1400 deck. We us the Adobe CS3 suite of apps.

This set-up work well for us and our 720p footage. But we'd like to start taking advantage of the over/undercranking features found on the VeriCam.

We shot some tests at various framerates, but no matter what, the deck plays the footage at 59.94fps.

I can't figure this out. I read a few forums on the matter, and it seems this is only possible to utilize varying framerates when you acquire via Firewire. Is this true?

I tried to acquire over Firewire, but I don't think my PC workstation recognizes the AJ-HD1400's output when playing 720p material (the Firewire works when acquiring standard DV footage). When I try to start a DVCPROHD 720p job in Premiere Pro, the acquisition window shows the error, "Can't activate recorder."

Thoughts? Is this just not possible with our current configuration?

Thanks.


--
James Orlowski
RYNO Production, Inc.
http://www.rynoproduction.com
800-860-7966


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Jeff Kosmicki
Re: Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 9, 2009 at 3:47:36 pm

I think you need to switch the frequency setting in the deck, I'm almost positive you can capture VariCam through HD-SDI, but I've only ever loaded it through FireWire or P2 myself.
The problem is Preimere does not have a DVCPRO HD codec that will allow FireWire Capture. If you can confirm that you can't use SDI, then maybe the MainConcept MPEG Pro HD 4 plug-in will give you FireWire capture for DVCPRO HD.

Jeff Kosmicki
http://www.toyraygun.net


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James Orlowski
Re: Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 9, 2009 at 4:00:03 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I've been doing a lot of reading on this, and I don't think I'm able to utilize my current set-up for acquiring over/undercranked footage.

We're actually looking at a newer P2 camera to replace our aging AJ-HDC27F. It seems like the market is shifting towards tapeless anyhow, which may be why Adobe doesn't natively support it.



--
James Orlowski
RYNO Production, Inc.
http://www.rynoproduction.com
800-860-7966


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Tim Kolb
Re: Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 15, 2009 at 7:57:28 pm

Everything the Varicam shoots is technically 59.94p. It doesn't matter what frame speed you're actually shooting as far as I know...the tape always moves at the same speed.

That said, I've never brought in over- or under-cranked footage via HDSDI into PPro (The DVC ProHD presets are for P2 cams as you stated). I would wonder if you could simply capture it and the set the interpretation to the proper framerate in the bin...




TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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James Orlowski
Re: Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 15, 2009 at 8:09:30 pm

Yes, I've been doing a lot of reading on this, and I just don't think with our current set-up I can utilize over/undercranked footage from our tape-based VeriCam (the AJ-HDC27FP). As you said, everything is 59.94.

That said, I think I "fake" 200% slomo by shooting at 60p (so every frame is unique), and placing that footage in a 30p project. We're going to test this theory to see if it produces good results (albeit, very, very slow motion).

However, we may be looking into upgrading (if you want to call it that) to a newer P2-based camera. Our tape-based VeriCam has done it's job for us, and now we'd like to move on.

We're looking at the HPX500, or possibly the 2700 or 3700 (if we can get our local Panny rep to let us do a side-by-side comparison).

But I think the lower-priced 500 might do the trick for us for what we produce.

Any thoughts on this?

--
James Orlowski
RYNO Production, Inc.
http://www.rynoproduction.com
800-860-7966


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Tim Kolb
Re: Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:36:15 am

I've liked the P2 equipment that I've worked with...

It's a mature technology and it works pretty well. The 500 is a lot of camera for the money, however if you put one beside a 2700 or a 3700, I suspect you won't want to setle for a 500. The 2700 and 3700 are worthy heirs to the original Varicam and I've seen shockingly good pictures from each...

Of course, it's a matter of a fair cost spread between them as well.

If you're looking for a lot of camera per dollar, I'd also check out the Sony EX-1 and EX-3. I've been stunned by what I can get out of my EX-1. The Sony shoots long-GOP MPEG at 35/25 Mbits/s, but physically, it's a similar data-card system to P2...it just uses an Express 34 form factor instead of PCMIA.

...it all depends on what you're looking for I guess.




TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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James Orlowski
Re: Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:10:14 pm

Thanks. We actually demoed the 3700 yesterday in house. Nice camera, and a worthy replacement for our tape-based VeriCam, but it doesn't look like it can overcrank. It can only undercrank.

That's a deal breaker, as one of the major reasons we were thinking on upgrading was to shoot in-camera slow motion.

Apparently, the 2.1 million pixel CCD (2010 x 1120) can't handle processing more than 30fps, so anything more wouldn't be possible.

The 2700 has a smaller resolution CCD, 1370 x 744, which is similar to our AJ-HDC27FP, so it can do the overcranking.

We couldn't find any "official" reference to the 500's CCD resolution. I assume this is because Panasonic doesn't want you to know (or compare). But I did find somewhere that it is believed to be 960 x 540.

Can anyone confirm this resolution? How much of a hindrance does this put on the 500?

--
James Orlowski
RYNO Production, Inc.
http://www.rynoproduction.com
800-860-7966


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Tim Kolb
Re: Over/Undercrank VeriCam and the AJA
on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:15:23 pm

I believe the 500 is a 960x540 sensor, though it's a larger physical sensor than the HVX200...

Light sensitivity would obviously be one benefit of this arrangement.

It's one of the key reasons why the 500 is at the pricepoint that it is...



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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