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DVX100A TC Issues

>Published : 19th April 2005

>OK, in the past I have trashed the Panasonic DVX100 and as a matter of fact sold mine.

>Then I took a leap of faith and bought the DVX100A and like it very much. Better features, nice pictures, blah, blah!

>That was when I was dumping to Beta SP for seamless logging/editing into an Avid Adrenaline.

>Now we're trying to up our quality and time suck of making SP dubs and log and input directly via a DSR 45 DV player/recorder (nice machine by the way).

>Our problems are with the timecode. This little beast wants to jump ahead by up to 2 seconds on virtually every shot...but not every shot.

>This of course reeks havoc when the digitize process starts as the Avid is not smart enough to realize to take the next logical in-point.

>Now the Adrenaline is supposed to be able digitize over broken time code and my editor is awaiting some tech support to find out why she can't facilitate that function.

>However, the bigger issue is why is my Panny doing this? The button battery is charged and these TC jumps happen one shot after another when I have not powered down or changed batteries. It'll happen when I'm just going for another angle.

>Am I alone in this?

>As I enter into the world of HD I was counting on using the Panny for up-conversion shots to compliment my HDW700A, however I now find that I'll have to use my Sony PDX10 as the TC from that little gem is stable and never various.

>It does have limited features but after doing a series of up convert tests I find the PDX looks as good and some say better in the up-convert stage.

>BTW, the electronic squeeze in the DVC100a is not nearly as good in the up-convert stage as straight letter box from that camera.

>Any help or opinions with the TC anomaly from the Panny would be greatly appreciated!

>Regards,

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


>Allen Facemire wrote:

class="Paragraph">>...This of course reeks havoc when the digitize process starts as the >Avid is not smart enough to realize to take the next logical in-point...

>I guess if it wreaks havoc, the havoc reeks....

>Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


class="Paragraph">>Now the Adrenaline is supposed to be able digitize over broken time >code"

>"However, the bigger issue is why is my Panny doing this?"

>I'm not sure why, I'm guessing it has to do with the internal timecode generator. Have you tried shooting in REGEN?

>Pete Wages
Atlanta


class="Paragraph">> Am I alone in this?

>No. I have seen it myself and have read at least 100 other posts on various boards concerning it. I believe it is a manufacturing/design defect. I never asked anyone from Panasonic, but if this is a problem as so many people are laiming eventually I hope they can find a solution.

>Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.
www.bluesky-web.com


>Pete Wages asks :

class="Paragraph">>" Have you tried shooting in REGEN?"

>Well no actually.

>It seems to me when I accidentally tried that it wouldn't let me preset the TC. I like to use hour 1 for tape 1 and so on.

>Perhaps I should give that a go!

>I'll report what happens!

>Thanks!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


>Walter replies :

class="Paragraph">> I believe it is a manufacturing/design defect...but if this is a problem as >so many people are claiming eventually I hope they can find a >solution."

>That's what I was afraid of.

>I guess I'll just continue using the PDX10 until Panasonic can get this anomaly worked out.

>Anybody need a good used DVX100a?

>Just kidding (not really)!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


>Allen

>Something I used to do when shooting with the PD-150, which I assume works with the DVX100A as well, is to go ahead and lay preset TC with color bars at the head of a bunch of tapes, then set the TC on the camera to regen, then pop the tapes in when ready - the camera would catch the existing TC and there'd never be a jump in TC anywhere, while the TC hour would still be what I wanted.

>This was because the regen function works really well on the PD-150., better than on my DSR-300, which doesn't do the same nearly as well, though that might be because it's been beaten up.

>Bryan Donnell
Dp
LA


class="Paragraph">> Pete Wages asks: " Have you tried shooting in REGEN?"

>Regen can cover up a multitude of sins.

>I try not to wind up in a situation involving equipment that cannot provide me with REGEN or JAM SYNC.

>Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator
Dallas, Texas


>I've had good luck keeping continuous timecode with this technique:

1/. Set your desired timecode in the preset mode, as you would do normally. Run 30 seconds bars.


2/. Now change the timecode setting to regen.


3/. Set the end search button to search for last recorded material, not end of tape.


4/. After playing back, changing battery, or repowering, hit the end search button while in Playback mode. Camera will search for several interminable seconds, then cue up. Return to Record mode.

>See if that helps!

>Chris Mosio
DP/Seattle


>Bryan suggests:

class="Paragraph">>"... go ahead and lay preset TC with color bars at the head of a bunch of >tapes, then set the TC on the camera to regen..."

>I'm REALLY liking that idea!

>I'm going to give that a test run today!

>Thanks!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


>Jeffery Haas says :

class="Paragraph">>"I try not to wind up in a situation involving equipment that cannot >provide me with REGEN or JAM SYNC. "

>Man do I wish these little toy Mini DV's would provide jam sync functions, but I guess Panasonic and Sony, along with the rest, are really making these cameras for the high end consumer and not pros.

>Too bad!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


>Thanks Chris. You're the third person to suggest regen relative to my TC beak issues with the DVXJ100a.

>Yours has a few more steps but essentially the same theme and that's regen after laying down enough TC in the preset mode.

>I'm wondering though, what advantage am I gaining by going to Play Back mode in order to rescue the tape after a battery change?

>Thanks!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


class="Paragraph">>Man do I wish these little toy Mini DV's would provide jam sync >functions, but I guess Panasonic and Sony, along with the rest, are >really making these cameras for the high end consumer and not pros.

>It's an artificially designed "dividing line" in my book. I find it hard to believe that there is an adequate justification for leaving out one or two switches (or even one or two menu functions). I wonder what the additional cost/price adjustment would be. But then again it's another argument for DVCAM over miniDV and it all comes down to the budget and education of the client.

>Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator
Dallas, Texas


>Jeffery Haas points out :

class="Paragraph">>...But then again it's another argument for DVCAM over miniDV and it all >comes down to the budget and education of the client."

>This is a case of where size does matter.

>I'm not using MiniDV for anything other than because it's a good quality picture in a small package.

>When I'm sliding around in a bat cave or shooting researchers out on canoes, etc., dragging along a big ass Betacam or HDCam is not an option, particularly when you get used to being able to get angles that are all but impossible with the mass of a bigger camera.

>I know I'll be bitching about HDV when it becomes viable but hopefully the manufacturers will heed customers needs and offer some of the features that can make these little guys a bit more professional!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director


class="Paragraph">>I know I'll be bitching about HDV when it becomes viable but hopefully >the manufacturers will heed customers needs and offer some of the >features that can make these little guys a bit more professional!

>---If it purports itself to be HD, that's a bold statement and it begs the inference that it is supposed to be a "bridge" format that spans the two worlds, so there should be a loud enough clamour for the features which every professional considers basic necessities.

>If not, there are certainly a few very intelligent people who may well find a small goldmine in upgrade kits. Companies like BeachTek et al always seem to have their ear to the ground with ideas like this so it wouldn’t surprise me to see some sort of add-on.

>Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator
Dallas, Texas


class="Paragraph">>> After playing back, changing battery, or repowering....<<

>I am also having trouble with the time code on my DVX100 but I found that with a little patience you can keep the timecode at its place :

>1/. When you change the battery pack...turn off the camera, wait for a few seconds and listen to the camera as it shuts down. The last noise will be the clicking sound of the lens. Once the camera is properly shut down you can change the battery and even leave it off as long as you like.

>2/. When you l put on the new battery block...make sure the camera is shut off. Put on the battery block and listen to the camera start up (don’t touch anything!). Once you hear the clicking noise of the lens, the camera has started up and you may turn it on without loss of the time code. It will be at the same position it was before.

>The only problem I face is when you take out the tape. The time code will always set itself to 00:00:00 even when I use tapes where the TC has been pre- generated and/ or are partially filled with material from the previous day.

>One solution might be to rewind the tape, quickly take out and put in the battery to reset the timecode and forward to the end of the last take. This is a real pain and it takes to long, just like having to enter the user TC in the menu every time you use a partially filled tape.

>I hope the above can be of help, and if anybody knows a solution to my problem I'd be very glad to find out. (I've tried out all the TC settings and combinations and I am feeling desperately sorry for the editor who will have to capture the 40H of material we will have shot by the end of our shoot)

>Thanks and best wishes

>DANIEL LOHER
.................................
Cinematographer
London / Munich
www.dploher.com


>Daniel Loher suggests :

class="Paragraph">>One solution might be to rewind the tape, quickly take out and put in the >battery to reset the timecode and forward to the end of the last take. >This is a real pain and it takes to long..."

>You're right, what a PITA!

>My real problem is that my TC jumps ahead a few seconds in between takes, when the battery has not been changed, the tape hasn't been changed, and I haven't powered down.

>And a second to two seconds of advanced TC is subtle enough to not be caught by the logging producer which make Mr. Avid very unhappy, not to mention the driver (editor)!

>Several solutions have been offered like pre-striping up to 30 seconds of a series of tapes in TC preset and then set to TC regen to begin shooting.

>Worth a try.

>The big fix should be in post as the Avid Adrenaline has a "Digitize Across TC" function which my editor says either doesn't work on her machine or won't work with Panny tapes.

>Not working with Panny tapes doesn't seem right so I'm inclined to think there may be an issue with the Adrenaline.

>I think I'll head over to the cml list that deals with post and see what happens.

>Meanwhile since I have caused so much problem with going straight from DV to edit using my DVX100a, I guess I'll shoot my next project with the PDX10 until I can really sit down and try and sort this out, otherwise my DVX will be relegated to doing progressive production when the need arises, which for me is not often...yet!

>It's always something!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


>Allen asks :

class="Paragraph">>I'm wondering though, what advantage am I gaining by going to Play >Back mode in order to rescue the tape after a battery change?

>Well, the End Search button only works in the playback mode. It's like using the RET button on bigger cameras. I haven't found an easier way to rescue to the last recorded frame on this camera.

>Chris Mosio
DP/Seattle


>Chris Mosia says :

class="Paragraph">>...the End Search button only works in the playback mode. It's like using >the RET button on bigger cameras.

>I'm wondering what the REC CHECK button is used for...is that for just seeing if the video stuck or is it a form of rescue?

>Just wondering!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


>Allan,

>I have read down through the list of postings and found some of the suggestions to be good and others totally erroneous, like the design flaw idea. Sorry, I have joined in sooner but I have been helping my fiancée with prepping his house for sale this weekend.

>So down to business. The camera will work the way you need it to in REGEN, it must be in regen. If you wish to have specifically numbered tapes you can pre-stripe the first 60 seconds with the numbers that you want, ie 01:00:00:00 and then the next with 02:etc. This will allow you to have continuous time code through out the tape, with them starting a numbering sequence that works for your workflow.

>One more insight, if you are working in 24P, and review the takes often, make it a habit of recording color bars for a few seconds after the take so that when you start the camera into record, you can park it anywhere in the color bar zone and thus it can start on the AA frame which is where it should start and only can start.

>I hope this helps,

>Jan Crittenden


class="Paragraph">>make it a habit of recording color bars for a few seconds after the take >so that when you start the camera into record, you can park it >anywhere in the color bar zone (SNIP)

>----The above is not specific to 24p as far as I know. I was taught this in the very first days as a student videographer at community college. "Come up from bars, a few seconds for pre-roll, etc etc etc"....you know the drill.

>One question...what's an "AA frame"....do others know it by other names or have I been living under a rock?

>Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator
Dallas, Texas


>Hi Jeff,

>As the camera records in a pulldown mode, it always starts with the A Frame, or the two fields f the A frame as AA. AA BB BC CD DD or in advanced pulldown AA BB BC CC DD. Sorry for the shorthand.

>No Rock,

>Jan Crittenden


class="Paragraph">>As the camera records in a pulldown mode, it always starts with the A >Frame, or the two fields f the A frame as AA. AA BB BC CD DD or in >advanced pulldown AA BB BC CC DD.

>See what I mean?

>I'm always learning something! I didn’t realize they were "named" in that manner and I always wondered what to call them. I've shot film and I've shot video but I have yet to shoot anything in 24p video and I was always aware that there was an issue with pulldown but you have illuminated very nicely for me and I thank you for that.

>Respectfully,

>Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator
Dallas, Texas


>Allen S. Facemire wrote :

class="Paragraph">>I'm wondering what the REC CHECK button is used for...is that for just >seeing if the video stuck or is it a form of rescue?

>If I'm not mistaken, that REC CHECK button actually does the same thing as the RET button on larger cameras. seems like last time I used this camera, I tried it and it worked that way as I was hoping it would.

>Worth trying anyway.

>Bryan Donnell
Dp
LA


class="Paragraph">>I have read down through the list of postings and found some of the >suggestions to be good and others totally erroneous, like the design >flaw idea.

>I knew I'd get you out of the woodworks. Thanks for the info Jan.

>Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.


>Jan Crittenden reports:

>I have read down through the list of postings and found some of the >suggestions to be good and others totally erroneous, like the design >flaw idea.

>Well this is news I can use and several other CMLer's suggested the same thing, which I tested out and it works great!

>Now I just did an eyeball but after shooting a test of about 6 minutes both quick recording and slight lulls in between takes, it seems the TC is stable and not jumping ahead. The test I shot will go to my editor for a digitize test.

>I've only been shooting video for about 25 years now, and DV for only 5 and never knew what the significance of REGEN was, relative to TC.

>Now I know and my life and more importantly, the life of my editor will be easier.

>Thanks and yes it did help!

>Regards and thanks to all who chimed in with answers...some of them even correct ones!

>Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta