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    Questions and Feature Requests for the Varicam LT
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    I don't want to create a bunch of new threads, so I thought I'd try to cover everything in one post. I'm pretty sure most of this stuff hasn't been covered here before. But sorry if I missed it!

    I’ve been using the LT about 8 months now. I love the camera. But I have certain issues I’ve been encountering over and over again on productions. So I wanted to ask the community some questions and maybe use the opportunity to direct some feature requests towards the very helpful Mitch Gross. I’m not looking for pie in the sky 120fps 4k Raw requests. I’m asking for small usability tweaks that are (hopefully) solvable to some extent with firmware updates.

    SDI Outputs:
    Why is PsF still a thing? Especially for 24p (23.98)? Is anyone actually live switching cameras at 23.98? Or recording to tape?

    Isn’t true 23.98p part of the SDI spec now? Every monitor/convertor I’ve used seems to support it.

    PsF however, isn’t supported on many common converters and wireless transmitters. I have to use my Odyssey or Gratical EVF to do a conversion for wireless transmission. I can also use the VF SDI Out for these kinds of applications, but with some huge compromises. More on that.

    Plus PsF adds a bunch of processing delay to many monitors.

    REQUEST: Please give us an option for non PsF framerates on all SDI outputs!

    In general, I can’t fully understand the thinking behind the differences between the VF SDI Out and SDI OUT 1 & 2.

    VF SDI Out:
    It’s incredibly useful to be able to change the format of this output. This is a workaround for converters and transmitters that don’t support PsF. But I can’t seem to get sound, or timecode, or record tally information on the VF out. Am I missing an option for enabling this?

    It’s so nice that Panasonic supports third party viewfinders and monitors on the LT. But they are kind of crippled without the ancillary data.

    Is it possible for the VF SDI out to support audio and timecode at the least? Even if that means that you have to use the project frame rate (non PsF of course!!)

    REQUEST: Please add TC and Audio to VF Out

    SDI Out 1 & 2:
    These outputs support audio, timecode, recording flag. This is great. But the output format and frame rate seems to be completely locked to your main recording format. So once again I’m stuck with 23.98PsF for 99% of my shooting. I can change the SDI 2 to the VF Output. But then sound and timecode once again stop working. Plus now I can’t send a clean feed from that output without turning off my viewfinder overlays as well.

    REQUEST: Please give us an option for some limited frame rate conversion on SDI outs 1 and 2. It’s already on the VF output.

    Monitor Volume:
    Is there a way to have separate control of the internal speaker volume vs the headphone out? I don’t really use the internal speaker except for playback. I guess I could use a dummy plug in the headphone jack. But I was hoping for a more elegant solution.

    Timecode:
    This is minor, but it’d be great to have a quick option to set the camera to time of day timecode. Docs love this. The camera stores the time info anyway.

    ABB:
    When shooting LOG the ABB option is in MENU>CAMERA SETTINGS>BLACK.
    When shooting with a scene file the ABB option is in MENU>SCENE FILE SETTINGS>BLACK.

    I guess what I’m asking is, is there a difference between these two ABB options? If the camera has been recently black balanced while in V-Log, is it best practice to re-balance when switching to a scene file using the scene file ABB option?

    IRIS Wheel Options:
    Would be great to make the IRIS wheel more programmable when using non-ef lenses. I love that direct audio control was added. But would love to see white balance and ISO added to the programmable options. And just a press in of the iris wheel to activate those options. It stinks to have to waste a user button on changing the function of the iris wheel.


    Card Format:
    I recently discovered that you could format cards from the Control panel without diving into the ‘deep’ menu. But that functionality seems to be missing from the ROP app. Would be great for AC’s to be able to format the cards from the app.

    NR:
    When exactly is noise reduction active? The manual is super confusing here, but it sounds like it's only active when recording in an LT codec. Is this correct? I can't see any difference on the monitor outputs. Even when zoomed in 1:1.

    SDI Lag:
    I read somewhere that one of the last firmware updates was going to have a feature to reduce lag at the SDI output. Was this implemented? Is there an option to enable this or was it just implemented behind the scenes? I haven’t noticed a significant difference in monitoring lag.

    Please post if anyone has thoughts, or workarounds, or corrections. Or other REASONABLE feature requests. Lets not start asking for them to add hardware knobs in a firmware update =-).

    Also I’m sure Panasonic is well aware that we’d like to reboot the camera a lot less.
    Last edited by BerkeCreative; 06-09-2017 at 05:40 PM.


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    #2
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    Interesting points. I'll look into them and get back to you.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    What I really wish is Intra 4:4:4 recording. I know that chances are this will never happen. Raw is too cumbersome with big files and 4:2:2 is a bit too compressed (though I still love it).


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    If any of the above changes can be made, please implement them. Sans the slow reboot, these changes would remove most all of my complaints about the camera.

    Dolby


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross View Post
    Interesting points. I'll look into them and get back to you.
    Thanks Mitch!


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    I have a question and/or feature request.

    When your using frame guides to help define your aspect ratio, if you disable to camera details then the frame guides disappear too.

    Is there a way maintain the guides and toggle the camera details on and off?

    And I think it would be way more intuitive and have more visual impact if the frame guides were black bars (maybe the user could change the opacity to his/her liking) and not just 1 pxl lines.

    3.jpg
    This my screen with the details turned off w/ a user defined switch

    1.jpg
    Here are my frame guides

    2.jpg
    This is what I am proposing. Black mask but the details off.


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    Improved frame guide functionality is one of the feature requests I have already submitted.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    Mitch, I mentioned this to Luc Bara in January and since this feature doesn't seem to be enabled in the new FW I ask for it again because it would be very useful and should be very easy for Panasonic to do:

    One of the user programmable buttons can be set to activate the six user buttons on the control panel. The problem is that they only work if that user button is pressed. That makes sense if the control panel is in it's "control mode" (or whatever it's called) but if it's set to "view" those buttons aren't doing anything. My suggestion is that those buttons are activated automatically (if one makes that choice) when in "view mode" so that one can access false colour, focus assitance and such with just a single button and also deactivate them the same way.


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    Interesting, but that's a programming architecture question for our engineers. Based on the structure of the control systems I do not know if this could be implemented. I'll ask.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    #10
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    Thank you Mitch! It's just "as simple" as enabling the feature that's already there but also when it's in view mode. It sounds like it should be easy, but then again, I'm not an engineer.


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