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    Anyone using ROP for EVA!?
    #1
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    Something just came up for me (a last minute change) where I may need to set some cameras up and leave the (operating) room during the 'taping' (actually a live switched feed.) We were originally configured for 2 cameras - one on a Jib with remote head and the other hand-held. If we can't be in the room, we're looking at options to add more cameras, and I'm trying to figure out my options.
    My EVA1 wasn't originally part of the mix, but I'm now considering adding it as 'Lockoff camera #3 or #4' - so I'm trying to figure out how much control I'd actually get from the ROP app - but I'd also like to hear about user experiences with it:

    How is the range? (I'd obviously be in the next room, probably a wall in the way - no line-of-sight). If it loses connection can it re-connect without needing to physically access to the camera?

    I'd probably put a Sigma 18-35 or 50-11 on the camera -- does ROP deal well with iris adjustments? If I set the lens to AF would I be able to adjust focus at all with ROP? The latest version ROP documentation made it look like some adjustments were available with the Canon zooms, but didn't know about the Sigmas

    Since it's a live feed and I probably could record externally, I'm thinking I might set up the D.Zoom function to one of the User buttons - which I could then use to get a second size for the shot. I'm thinking that should also work fine with ROP.

    The other option would be to use a long LANC extension cable and have the handgrip control outside the room - and assign some buttons accordingly. Of course I'd also need to run both HDMI and HDSDI feeds outside the room as well, so I could access the menu functions.

    So any user stories about ROP use would be appreciated!!!

    Thanks


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    The EVA ROP connects via the WM50 WiFi dongle, so the range is simply the range of a WiFi signal. You can use a repeater or local network if you wish, or connect device-to-device. I don't know if there are any interference issues with hospital equipment, but I doubt it. WiFi connectivity is pretty common in such environments these days. You absolutely do not need to touch the camera in order to re-establish connection.

    The EVA ROP is a free download from the App store, so I suggest you download it to your tablet anyway to have a look. Even without a connection to a camera this might prove useful to you. I definitely recommend a tablet as there are so many available controls it's just easier with a larger panel, but i've done it using an iPhone as well.

    Iris adjustments can be made incrementally using up/down arrows, more quickly and smoothly using a slider next to the arrows, or at the tap of a tab the iris can be switched to auto.

    The EVA1 offers One-Push AutoFocus. You can program a User Button to this and at any time tap the control to engage the one-push autofocus. All of the User buttons are available in a row on the bottom of the ROP screen, so you could program another button for Digital Zoom and whatever other available functions you desire.

    The integration with the Canon Compact Cine Servo Zooms includes some limited control over the zoom as well as focus adjustment. But I caution that this interface might not work for you for live on camera adjustments.

    As for a long-wire LANC control, I do not know how long this could go before resistance in the cable makes it cease to reliably function, and also I could not assure you that you would be able to successfully program any buttons beyond Record Trigger and Zoom function (if using the Canon zooms). So I would not suggest this approach.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    #3
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    Thanks Mitch,
    I really appreciate your response. I was concerned about the re-connect issue, so that's a relief. (Once we leave the operating room an hour before the surgery we won't be allowed back in until after they're done and the patient is wheeled out.)
    WM50 on order and arriving tomorrow. Downloaded app to a tablet last night.
    Will know more after my setup day on Sunday.


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    #4
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    Let me know how it goes.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    #5
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    Hi Mitch,
    Will follow up and let you know how the shoot goes.
    Meanwhile, the WM50 arrived this afternoon - ahead of schedule - so I gave it a quick look.
    I found the setup info a bit sparse, but eventually got it going.
    Tried it with the 18-35 Sigma. I actually was able to manually adjust lens focus with the app (lens switch had to be on 'auto') using the slider, though it wasn't particularly smooth, and the slider distances didn't seem very intuitive. I wished I could have manually entered a distance (or f/stop) and had the lens then adjust. Maybe in a future app version?
    More info after the shoot...


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    #6
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    I forgot that was in the new version! It's not perfect but it is a start, and may improve over time.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    #7
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    Not sure how many others are using ROP - but here's a bit of a debrief...

    My shoot using ROP for the EVA1 went well - the client was happy and the operation was successful. I had set up a small work area in the hall outside the operating room and had absolutely no issues with establishing and maintaining the wifi connection to the camera for the approx two hours I was out of the room. In the end, the ROP was used primarily for iris control, which was adjusted fairly often to help maintain a match with the other 3 cameras. Since it was a live feed being recorded externally I had set it up to be able to 1.4x center crop - which I tested and which did work fine - though as it worked out the camera was more valuable in the normal width configuration, so I didn't use that feature during the taping.

    As a result of first testing, then using the ROP in he field, I did want to make a few suggestions/requests:

    1 - Of course the first one is a pipe dream - but since I similarly had a Sony PXW-X180 controlled via wifi, it was really convenient being able to have a live view from the camera in sony's Content Browser Mobile app. A live view would give ROP a whole additional dimension!

    2 - When I push the Menu button in the ROP all that shows on the tablet is a little box with up/down arrows and a way to select an item or exit. I was getting a feed from the camera that was looped through the switcher, so if I wanted to have the menu visible in the HD-SDI output that tended to freak out the TD and client. When I press the Menu button in the ROP I really want to be able to see and work with the menu in the tablet!!! It was a PITA to need to send the menu over the output!

    3 - Also menu related -- When the ROP is linked to the camera the Menu button on the camera is disabled. This feels more like a bug than a feature.

    4 - There should be an option in the ROP app (maybe it's there and I just didn't see it) to keep the tablet/phone in 'always-on' mode so the screen doesn't time out and go black. (the sony CBM app can keep the screen on)

    5 - Make the slider adjustments easier to use. I had very little sense of exactly how far to go on the slider for making an adjustment. This is particularly true of the focus distance!!! It's very difficult to shift the lens focus to a specific distance! Making this more intuitive would make the app so much more functional!!!

    5a - As a corollary - it would be really great to be able to type in a setting for Iris or for Focus as a number and hit 'go' - or be able to preset 2 or 3 distances and be able to select between them! - preferably being able to set the speed of focus as well!

    All that said, I really think that the ROP has a lot of potential beyond what it can currently do. Hopefully added features will add more interest in it!


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    #8
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    Thanks for the feedback.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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