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Sony F3 can't output HD-SDI and SD at the same time


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#1 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:19 AM

On a shoot with the F3 recording to a Ki Pro Mini and turns out the camera will NOT output an SD signal without switching the SDI output to SD-SDI. Obviously can't do that because we are recording to the Ki Pro. Just thought I would point that out since other threads on here say that there is no need for a downconverter with this camera.

-Jess
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#2 David Williams

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:15 PM

It can do HD-SDI and SD-SDI simultaneously. There are two sets of SDI outputs you know :) Set one to 1.5G, the other to SD. I've been using an F3 with an SD Flyer-LE and Ki Mini for six months that way.
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#3 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:20 PM

Looks like it will output both with the right settings (which the manual is very unclear on). Sometuimes I love being wrong.
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#4 Jackson Yeung

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:04 AM

If i remember correctly, It will do HD and SD out, but NO off-speed shooting. OR either HD or SD out, with off-speed capabilities.

Edited by Jackson Yeung, 22 December 2011 - 12:05 AM.

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#5 Daniel Mimura

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:10 AM

I just used the F3 this past week for the first time.

It can do HD-SDI and SD-SDI out simultaniously...but won't do digital and analog out at the same time. The confusion is that SD sounds like analog, and uses the same BNC connector, but SD-SDI, is (as the name implies), a digital signal. It will output analog OR digital...but not both at the same time, and apparently, it's a quirk particular to this camera (that new Canon whatever-300 outputs everything at once, I'm told).

At 40 years old, being the 3rd oldest person on set (behind the director and DP), everyone on set was just shocked and appalled that I couldn't give them an HD signal for monitoring. We were fortunately not using S-Log, or it would've been impossible to operate without a downconverter.

(My rig should be able to do HD-SDI, but I've been unable to get it working---I had been previously using the analog port, but obviously, I need to get this sorted out.)

It's funny what people expect b/c just a few years ago, you couldn't use video taps and monitors for anything but framing and composition and now the AC's are spoiled...getting focus off of the monitor instead of by measuring (during rehearsal---I'm not talking about hunting during the take).
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#6 Brian Freesh

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:26 AM

I'm with you on expectations. They can suck it.

But as mentioned above, you can output both at once. I've done it all 3 times I've flown the camera (3 bodies). The way the setting is labeled is very strange. All I know is that in the end I get an HD-SDI signal through one port, and composite signal to my transmitter. First time my AC knew how to do it, the second time I found it by trial and error. Jess mentioned in his original post he was not talking about SD-SDI
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#7 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:15 AM

The problem I ran into recently is that one of the outputs doesn't work for playback and slowmo. I believe it is the top one so if you have the side ones set to SD you cant do HD playback and you cant monitor in HD when shooting slowmo. The conclusion I came to was that this camera needs a downconverter if you want to be happy. This is unfortunate because I like to keep my Modulus on camera for off steadicam work but putting the downconverter as well really adds a lot of mess.
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#8 Brian Freesh

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:55 PM

We definitely did HD playback when I used in in December. The focus puller was green so they wanted to check each take with better resolution than the SD transmission. I've never done slow mo with the camera so cannot speak to that.
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#9 Daniel Mimura

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:31 PM

On the two separate things I used the F3 on last week, both times we could get HD playback, but we would switch the settings every time... The issue is getting digital and analog working simultaneously.

Brian, in the original post, Jess mentions SDI (SD-SDI), not composite. David's comment right under it was about SD-SDI and HD-SDI working simultaneously.

Brian, Jess, do either of you know what you did?

3 different ACs, as well as 2 camera techs from the rental house couldn't get it working.

I'm going to the rental house next week to try try again, just to figure this out (and figure out why I can't get the SDI on my rig working).
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#10 Brian Freesh

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:52 PM

Not sure why you're going back and forth on this.

Jess, you were wanting to know how to avoid using a downconverter to get a composite SD signal, correct? Presumable for use with a wireless video transmitter? That is what I am saying does indeed work with the correct setting in the menu while maintaining HD-SDI on the SDI connectors, and allowing HD-SDI playback. If you were looking for an SD-SDI signal simultaneously as an HD-SDI signal, apparently that's doable too, and my mistake and apologies for confusing anyone.

Just realized: I don't think I ever used the HD-SDI outputs at the same time as I used the Composite SD outputs. So while you have both as an option at the same time, I cannot guarantee that both output simultaneously as I did not try it. Since you were recording through HD-SDI to an external recorder, you would obviously need both to output simultaneously. This would absolutely be the difference between using a downconverter or not if you are using an external recorder. I can only vouch for having both as an option, maybe they output simultaneously, i don't know.

As I said, it's not clear in the menu, it's not labeled composite. Actually I feel like HDMI was in the description, which makes no sense to me, but maybe others can understand how that works. Like I said, I did it with trial and error, if you're going in to test you should be able to find it pretty quickly. If it's a fluke that it worked, it worked on all 3 of the F3 bodies I've ever used. If it's intentional that it works, it's a very strange thing Sony has done. I'm not at all surprised about the confusion everyone has and only knew it worked myself because my AC did it the first time.
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#11 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:54 PM

Going from memory here but I believe you can send the component "Y" signal out simultaneous with an HD-SDI output, without much messing around in the menus. Send that to a composite input for a monochrome composite signal, for a workable compromise. More recent firmware might enable something more, but I don't know.
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#12 Brian Freesh

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:11 PM

I agree, Jess wasn't explicitly stating the word composite, but I found it clear from context that is what he was looking for. Confirmed by his recent post that he wants to use a modulus with that signal. I agree that David thought Jess meant SD-SDI, but I was talking about what I thought Jess meant, and was just trying to clarify.

Interestingly, David said he was recording HD externally through HD-SDI as well as sending SD-SDI through an SD Flyer sled. The SD Flyer sled is set up for a composite signal. the BNC will take the SDI, but the monitor won't. So either he is doing what I did (HD-SDI and composite, rather than HD-SDI and SD-SDI like he claims) and they do output simultaneously (solving the downconverter problem), or he's got an HD flyer that is accepting SD-SDI, or he's not recording HD to the external recorder like he thinks.
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#13 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:44 AM

OK, just checked my PDF of the manual and notes from a previous prep. I was mistaken about analog downcoversion via the component "Y" signal. According to the manual, it can't be done. (unless a newer firmware has enabled something different):

1. The camera's monitoring outputs function differently depending on whether you are in HD record or SD record mode.
2. In HD record mode, the "video out" port sends an HD "Y" channel component signal.
3. In SD mode, the "video out" port sends a SD composite signal.
4. There is NO downconversion of the analog "video out" port when recording in HD mode.
5. You CAN downconvert digital outputs to SD while recording in HD. You can set SD output on the SDI, HDMI, or i.Link (Firewire) ports.
6. You CANNOT simultaneously output HD signals on both the SDI port and HDMI ports. If one is HD, the other is limited to SD. This is controlled by a very confusing menu that controls the signal routing to the video ports.
7. You CANNOT simultaneously output any signal to both the SDI and i.Link port.
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#14 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:14 AM

In order to get a composite signal out of the video out port you have to set the side port to SD-SDI. The two ports are tied together and it will only convert to composite when the side SDI port is set to SD-SDI. So it can downconvert.

The problems I had with playback and slow mo output were on a different shoot than with the external recorder. The camera did have the dual link firmware upgrade(not sure if it makes a difference). When the side port was set to SD-SDI and I was using the composite video out I could not get HD-SDI out of the top HD-SDI port for playback or when shooting slowmo. The rest of the time it would give an HD-SDI signal it would just go black during those occasions. I would have to switch the cable to the side SDI port and switch the menu setting to HD-SDI in order to get HD-SDI output in those situations. This would disable the composite output so I couldn't leave it that way and keep the modulus.

~Jess
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#15 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:42 PM

Jess,

Thanks for the additional info. To clarify, were you able to record in HD, plus have both an HD-SDI (from a dual-link port?) and a choice to downconvert to SD output from either the video (composite) port or the side SDI port?

This must be a firmware thing. Page 41 of the manual PDF I have says that the output resolution (HD or SD) follows the recording format (set in the menu OTHERS-SYSTEM-HD/SD).

EDIT: wait, I see now...you can send SD out when recording HD. Makes sense. But I still can't find where you would set it so you can output SD (composite) and HD --at the same time--.

Wish I had a camera here to play with right now.

Darned confusing...
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