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Sony EX1 and Steadicam Pilot


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#1 Brian VanHeuverswyn

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:55 AM

Hi,

I just recently purchased a Steadicam Pilot to be used with a Sony PMW-EX1 camera, and I have a question regarding the monitor.

We're attaching the EX1 to Sony decks via an HD-SDI connection. The EX1 has several outputs including an A/V (RCA) output as well as a Component (RGB) output. Unfortunately, the EX1 will not allow the SDI and RCA outputs to operate at the same time. So, while I am outputting via SDI, I can't use the Steadicam monitor. However, the component output on the EX1 DOES stay active when the SDI output is enabled.

So, I'm wondering if there is a way for me to connect a component signal to the Steadicam (Pilot) monitor? Is there an accessory or a different dongle (the cable system on the back on the monitor) that would allow that type of input? Or, is there a different monitor (that is relatively inexpensive) that can be purchased that would allow this type of input?

I'm guessing that I'm not the only EX1 user that has encountered this problem and I'm hoping that there is a solution to this problem.

Any ideas?
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#2 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:24 PM

Hi,

I just recently purchased a Steadicam Pilot to be used with a Sony PMW-EX1 camera, and I have a question regarding the monitor.

We're attaching the EX1 to Sony decks via an HD-SDI connection. The EX1 has several outputs including an A/V (RCA) output as well as a Component (RGB) output. Unfortunately, the EX1 will not allow the SDI and RCA outputs to operate at the same time. So, while I am outputting via SDI, I can't use the Steadicam monitor. However, the component output on the EX1 DOES stay active when the SDI output is enabled.

So, I'm wondering if there is a way for me to connect a component signal to the Steadicam (Pilot) monitor? Is there an accessory or a different dongle (the cable system on the back on the monitor) that would allow that type of input? Or, is there a different monitor (that is relatively inexpensive) that can be purchased that would allow this type of input?

I'm guessing that I'm not the only EX1 user that has encountered this problem and I'm hoping that there is a solution to this problem.

Any ideas?


Hey Brian,
I have never used this camera, but it seems from what you said that when the HD/SDI output is in use the other outputs are not functional so if this indeed the problem, which sounds crazy to me and I would ask Sony about this if it is.

You have two options that I can see, keep the same monitor you have and split the HD/SDI signal and get a AJA downconverter for the NTSC monitor or split the signal from the HD/SDI signal and get a HD/SDI monitor. Either one would work, the AJA would be easier but they are both about the same price $1500 on the low end.

Hope that helps

Good Luck
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:59 PM

Hi Brian:

I think one of the cheapest monitoring solutions is the Ikan 8" HD which accepts component video, I think it's around $800. This will however have worse performance outdoors than the Pilot monitors which have anti-reflective coatings, although you could possibly get your monitor coated aftermarket.

You will also have to contend with an HD-SDI cable coming off the rig; since you are using this to record you can't skimp on the cable and thus it will inevitably be pretty stiff. With such a light rig it will be a challenge to overcome what this will do to the operating. Personally I think there is a good argument to made about just recording the footage from the Pilot onto the SXS cards (which of course will allow you to switch the camera to SD monitoring and eliminate the cable coming off the rig)--arguably there may be a slight loss of picture quality vs the 4:2:2 output but it may be offset by what that cable will do to your operating...! If you are doing green screen work or heavily color-correcting the lesser compression scheme may be more important but for all purpose shooting, I would think the onboard recording will do fine and ultimately no-one would notice the difference.
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#4 RobinThwaites

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 04:38 AM

Hi Brian

It is possible that you could get a monochrome image out of the green channel of the RGB to feed the monitor, can't promise but worth a try.

Robin
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 11:25 AM

Robin:

I think that works with standard def component video but not HD component as would be the case here?
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#6 RobinThwaites

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 04:06 AM

Ahhh! Yes you are right. I had assumed the RGB could be SD as well as HD.

Robin
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#7 Dave Gish

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 05:48 AM

Hi Brian,

If you are operating with an HD/SDI cable, it might be a good idea to try some thin flexible cable, especially the first 10 feet that you will be working with. Here's a place that sells Mogami 2964 cable with whatever ends you want.
https://eventhorizon...4lllqu5sssqn6t5

I've used this for composite when a wire is required, but it says it's HD rated. It's a lot better than the regular stiff cable. I've read on the web that you would probably want to keep the length down to 10 feet max, and then transition to the regular type cable. Also note that a dedicated cable puller is a really good idea with this.

But as Charles says, if possible the best solution would be to forget the cable and record to the flash memory card.

As for a Pilot HD monitor that's component or HD/SDI capable, I have no idea. Let us know what you end up with.

Edited by Dave Gish, 20 June 2008 - 05:52 AM.

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#8 Peter Hoare

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:39 PM

Why would you be ouputting HDSDI whilst you were on the sled? I had an EX1 on my jib once and the monitor just plugged into the BNC video output and it was fine...
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#9 Charles Papert

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 08:18 PM

As Brian explained, they are looking to record the HD signal off the camera heads to outboard recorder (presumably to avoid the XDCAM compression).

Dave, I just got a couple of 2964 jumpers from BTX and while pretty flexible, I'm a little discouraged by the combination of weight and stiffness, but this is compared to the nicest non-HD rated cable, so it's not really fair to compare I suppose. The search will just have to continue...but then again, as the CamWave WEVI and Boxx HD transmitters are released shortly, I'm hoping to never have to worry about HD-SDI off the rig again, assuming useable onboarding recording format (once again, see Brian's original post, and my response wondering that the XDCAM isn't good enough...)
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#10 Dave Gish

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 02:20 PM

Dave, I just got a couple of 2964 jumpers from BTX and while pretty flexible, I'm a little discouraged by the combination of weight and stiffness, but this is compared to the nicest non-HD rated cable, ...

What's the nicest non-HD rated cable?
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