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Graham Kay

PMW F5

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Hi

I know this camera is already an antique, but I've recently acquired one and I'm curious about external recording options - apart from the Sony AXS recorder - as an alternative to using SxS internally.

Which currently available external recorders can accept a signal from the camera over SDI (rather than HDMI) and recording to ProRes?

Thanks in advance!

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I don't know that there are any (or at least, any that you'd want to mount to the camera). The SDI ports are 3G-SDI, so you need to run 4 separate BNC cables to get 4k 60p out of the camera externally.

I think that would be crazy.

The XAVC 4k upgrade gives you the option of XAVC Class 480 (which is a solid codec). And you can pick up an AXS-R5 Raw Recorder for fantastic prices at the moment.

It'd be silly to muck around with external recording when you can get 16-bit 4k raw INTERNALLY for practically the same money or less.

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I was just about to write that I don't think the F5 supports 4K output, so external recording would be 1080p only. 

In that case you can use any external recorder from both Atomos and 7Q. It would work great for instances where you need long record times (conferences, speeches, etc) where quality isn't that important. That way you could save money on SXS cards.

 

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I’m not sure why anyone would want to record externally if you didn’t absolutely have to.  Outside of the AX5/AX7, external recording is going to severely hamper you.  Frame rates will be limited “standard real-time frame rates”(24, 30, 60)(i.e: no slow-mo).  And then you have something hanging off the camera that you have to worry about powering and cabling.  The only times I’ve had an external recorder on my F55 was when we were shooting 4K RAW with an AX5 and AX7.  And it’s hard to consider them external recorders, because of the way the attach and integrate with the cameras.

If media cost is an issue, just use Sony XQD cards in Sony adapters. That’s what I’ve been doing on my F55 for the last five years.  Even my sales rep talked me out of SxS cards and told me to go XQD/adapter.  They are approved by Sony for ALL internal CODECS, resolutions and frame rates.

Edited by Run&Gun

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Out of interest, why do you want to record externally instead of internally?

However, as above, pretty much any external recorder will record HD signals from the SDI ports.

If you have the 4K upgrade then you can do quad-SDI.. but there are only a few recorders this will work with. You can also get 4K out over HDMI if you have the upgrade.

The AXS-R5 and AXS-R7 are the only RAW recorders that'll work with this camera.

And the other down side to recording externally over SDI/HDMI is you lose all the metadata except timecode.

I also use XDQ cards in adaptors. Have done for 7 years. Aside from one which sometimes doesn;'t load (just needs to be ejected and reinserted) they've never skipped a beat.

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This is great - really helpful advice in that it has helped me realise that what I was asking is in effect moot!  Having said that, one reason I can think of (apart from media costs, which in reflection is neither here nor there) is to have footage is a more edit ready codec - ProRes etc.  Also as I will often be using an external monitor this may as well be a recorder a well.

But this is by the by, as you all have suggested.  I will look into the AXS units again!

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53 minutes ago, Graham Kay said:

is to have footage is a more edit ready codec - ProRes etc. 

Most good computers can handle XAVC just fine. I’m still running a late 2014 iMac and in most cases it handles XAVC ok. Handles X-OCN and Sony RAW ok too. Only starts to get sluggish when applying multiple effects to clips, especially if 4K.

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If using an external recorder (ProRes) and the camera in CineEI mode, be aware that slog2/3 are both Data levels, whereas ProRes is typically Video levels. So unless the recorder allows you to force Data levels, or you adjust the flag in post (can easily do this in Resolve, for example), it’ll look wrong. Also the recordings will always be at the base EI.

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If you need 4K or slow-mo, it won’t work(but you can’t do slow-mo to an external recorder either, anyway), but you can get the ProRes/DNxHD card installed from Sony and record ProRes internally.  I had the card installed when I got the camera, but I’ve only recorded ProRes a handful of times, because eventually people figured out how to edit without it...  (insert sarcasm and eye rolls).  One of my friends used to always get digs in on producers for this client we had that always used to ask for ProRes.  He’d ask them if they wanted him to take them to the middle school next to his house so the 7th graders in the production classes could show them how to edit any codec/format, not just ProRes.  I always found it amusing. Kids with laptops could do anything and this TV network with millions of dollars worth of editing equipment and professional editors couldn’t handle non-ProRes codecs.

Also, ProRes will take up more space(data) than XAVC with no visual improvement.

Edited by Run&Gun
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