PIX-E5 video delay

I recently bought the Video Devices PIXE5 monitor/recorder. I am really happy with the size, features and the screen.  There is only one problem, I am way to sensitive about the video delay.  I tried to operate a comedy show off the monitor and thought I was filming a different person at times.  At IBC I spoke to the lead hardware engineer at Sound Devices who completely discarded this when I brought it up.  He said they have measured the delay to 2 frames, 1 frame to precess video and 1 frame to flip the display.  I made a claim of the delay being atleast double that but got an answer this was nothing they were going to look into to.

When I got back from IBC I set up this, very unscientific test, to show there is more than a 2 frame delay. You be the judge.  Shot with an Sony Fs7 with one SDI port going to each monitor, so no loop out.  I have since confirmed with Sony Europe that the delay from the SDI port on the Fs7 is 20ms, 1/2 frame.

I chose to use the Sound Devices PIX240i, a wonderful recorder/monitor to show the difference.

I sent this video to Sound Devices/Video Devices on the 28th of sept and got a fat response they would have a look but have heard nothing since. (2 oct)

 

a 4-5 frame delay is usually not a problem if your lighting or shooting a slow moving setup, but it is a lifetime if you’re shooting anything moving fast.

wireless monitor – on the cheap

Wireless1

About a month and a half ago I really started looking at low cost wireless solution for onset monitoring.  Working in a high stress environment in the field and having a HDSDI cable tethered to you is not ideal. I try to stay as wireless as possible. I’ve been looking at Teredek bolt, Paralinx etc etc and they all look like great units. The BOLT is a really nice with SDI and everything but a bit pricy on shoots where I am unable to invoice for this item.  A lot of producers will rather save the rental on wireless and go with a cable… 🙁   After searching the net for a wireless consumer HDMI system I found the Nyrius and ordered on from Amazon.com, not my usual place to buy gear.  😉

After some soldering and custom battery plate work I had a perfectly great wireless solution for about half of what the competitors charge.  One drawback is the HDMI only connection but since I have the Odyssey 7Q on camera, it will do the SDI-HDMI conversion for me.  The V-lock battery plate drives the monitor and the HDMI reciever.

I know, its not a pretty solution, yet. 😉  And no it’s not silly puddy on the side , it’s plastic padding… I need to finish the build and tighten everything up a bit but it works perfectly and that’s what matters.   I’ve ordered a short, thin HDMI cable and with some tie wraps and glue (just kidding) it will be a nice package soon.

Wireless3
The custom V-lock plate with 2 different monitor power plugs, and 1x5V (2A) solution to drive the wireless receiver.

Wireless4

Handheld and on-board monitor

ESC_onboard1

My current project is a handheld project, simple as that. I would say 85% of this documentary is handheld. We are running around, literally, and light is changing from room to room and color is a constant change. The Sony XDCam PDW-700 has really great in-camera paint options, but in order to get the colors close enough a monitor is a must.

Since it is so much handheld work I decided to move my on-board monitor (which is usually located on the top handle) up front and down low to allow me to have a constant view of it.

I started with the Alphatron viewfinder, removed the eye piece and just used the monitor. This was great small solution color was ok. But the alphatron is missing a thing I really wanted, a waveform monitor or histogram.

ESC_onboard2

So…

I decided to go with the trusted 5′ TV-logic. It is a little bit bigger but the quality screen and waveform monitor makes it worth the trouble.

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This is something I will definitely do again if a true run n’ gun situation comes up.

Disclaimer: No connection to either TV-logic nor Alphatron.20130512-145911.jpg

External DC power Canon 1Dc

Yesterday I heard of something I’ve been wanting ever since I got my Canon 1Dc, a way to power it off our big V-lock batteries.

Well Letus has come up with a great solution with a industry standard D-tap plug which runs into a mock battery fitting into the 1Dc. Pretty sweet setup.  I am assuming that since the 1Dx uses the same battery this solution would also work for the 1 Dx.
Today I heard its passing final testing and the product should be ready to ship soon. Cost is in the $150 range.

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Update: Here is a link to Letus website

Disclaimer: No connection to Letus.

MōVI Gimbal rig

MOVI
(c) 2013 http://freeflysystems.com

Every now and then a new invention comes along that may change the way we work.  Steadicam was one such thing that changed the way we move the camera in a shot.  It allowed us to go where we couldn’t previously go and give a sense of movement and energy to a scene previously impossible.  Now here maybe another such invention. The Movi.

It is a “digital 3-axis gyro-stabilized handheld camera gimbal” which allows a single operator to move freely around for the floating shots we all love, but without the years training required to master the Steadicam and with a price tag within reach for even the smaller setups.

The Movi Gimbal rig is produced by http://freeflysystems.com

I had to watch the video 4 or 5 times and I think this has got to be one of the coolest inventions to hit the industry in a while. I cannot wait to see it in real life.

 

MōVI BTS from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

Convergent Design – OLED monitor

Photo: (c) Convergent Design
Photo: (c) Convergent Design

Today Convergent Design announced a new 7.7″ OLED monitor.  It has some really great features, other than the 1200×800 OLED display. It is also a recorder if you’d like.  So when you are ready to move into external recording you simply purchase an upgrade or even “rent” the recording options you need for that day and pay on a day to day basis. ArriRaw, Canon RAW, Avid DNxHD up to 1080p30/1080i60, HD/2K Uncompreseed RGB 444 up to 60fps, 4K support.   Brilliant concept if you ask me.  Buy the monitor at a great price (only $1295!!) and add the features you need, When you need them.  UPDATE , NOTE:  The Odyssey Q with more options etc is listed at $2300.   SEE:   http://www.convergent-design.com/Products/Odyssey7.aspx#7-vs-7Q-Comparison-24

Photo (c) Convergent Design
Photo (c) Convergent Design

Of course it has all the Focus Assist, YRGB Waveform, Histogram, False Color, Vectorscope, Zebras options as well.  Check out Convergent Designs site for all the details.

 

Disclaimer: No affiliation what so ever to CD.

F55 – and accessories

I’ve spend some time playing with the Sony F55 in the last couple of days.  Wow! The latitude is amazing and the handling of this camera makes me feel like I am cheating on our F3. The Oled-viewfinder sets a new standard for color VF’s.  Very very nice indeed. The S-log2 is great and I look forward to shooting a proper project with this camera. I am working on posting some frame grabs in 4k.

One little thing though. The viewfinder connector: An oversight?

130312-F55_3This is such an amazingly well built camera that just feels so solid, but the VF connector is a flimsy plastic connector that sticks out of the side of the camera without any protection. But no need to worry, the third party manufacturers are in full swing.  Check out this seemingly great solution to this little issue. By www.Solidcamera.com

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Disclaimer: Please read my ethics statement.

Pix240 Dropouts

A few weeks ago I tried to connect our GoPro Hero 3 to our Sound Devices Pix240 but I got all kinds of digital breakup in the picture.

GoPro connected to PIX
GoPro connected to PIX

I assumed it was related to the GoPro outgoing HDMI stream somehow and haven’t had time to play more with it since.
Today I got a bit of a shock when downloading and scrolling through my footage! It was exactly the same problems, this time with footage shot on our Sony PDW-700. Shot in 1080/25p (1/50 and 1/100). Pix 240 registered that the footage coming out of the camera via HDSDI was indeed 1080/25p/psF/10bit. Time code rolled from the camera and triggered the Pix to start recording. Recorded in ProRes 422 HQ onto SSD. No error message or warning what so ever. There was no way to tell until screening the footage on a proper monitor.

I’ve never seen this before on the Pix before we updated to the new firmware (Aurora (v3.0)) I’ve shot with it on our Sony F3 as well as the PDW-700 countless times without any issues, but that was before the FW update. Could that be the reason?

PIX_Dropout2
Shot on Sony XDCam PDW-700 and output to Pix240. Frame grab saved as Jpeg (12)
PIX_Dropout1
Shot on Sony XDCam PDW-700 and output to Pix240. Frame grab saved as Jpeg (12)

Any suggestions or thoughts would be really be appreciated!??

 

Wireless Bluetooth follow focus

At the trade show in Gothenburg the other day I saw a really nice follow focus rig/follow iris from Hedén Engineering. Hedén motors are known for the quality and reliability and now they are extending their line up with a complete package including a single channel control unit and receiver.

The control unit has back lit scale rings, smooth turns with adjustable drag and no external antenna.

Control unit
Control unit

This is a bluetooth device but with the newest Bluetooth 4 standard. It has a 100m (300ft) range. The receiver unit is about the size of a pack of cigarettes. The setup was a snap and it took all of a few seconds for the units to pair up. There is one-touch scaling button to easily set up to any lens. One of the nice things with this for example, is being able to scale the very short throw of a stills/DSLR lens over the whole turn of the controller dial. This will allow you a much greater control of the lens, despite the short throw of the lens.
You can also very quickly setup 2 points, a start point and and end point, for an easy rack focus.

What really got me was the enormous precision of motor in relation to the follow focus dial. It was really really accurate and the tiniest move transferred over the bluetooth into the motor and onto the lens. According to Heden there are 204800 “points” on each turn of the motor. Therefor the precision is a few hundreds of a millimeter per “step”. So in short, very accurate.
I can see this unit as a great solution for folks using stills lenses on their cameras. Scale the controller to the stills lens and get a much greater throw on the lens.

Bluetooth reciever
Bluetooth reciever
Bluetooth reciever mounted on a Sony F3
Bluetooth reciever mounted on a Sony F3

You can also skip the receiver and connect the controller via cable directly to the motor. The handcontrol runs on a Canon 5d battery and last 3-4 hrs. It is, as all things worth having, a bit pricy at roughly $6 200 but quality costs… Would love to get ahold of a unit and do some real world testing.