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    GH5s, Timecode & VFR= mindblown, problem?
    #1
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    Hello guys, sharing some experience and glad to hear if this is normal or something not well thought by Panasonic.

    I shot a concert last Saturday and decided to use the GH5s Timecode feature (first time in my life I count on that, normally I sync to audio).

    So I shot mainly with Timecode "Free Run", and I had set Custom profile for 100fps VFR to easily switch across realtime shooting and slow-mo. Everything looked fine until today I realised and the produced timecode is unusable BECAUSE:

    Turns out, that when VFR is enabled timecode "Free Run" isn't available and it shoots in "Rec Run" which I somehow looked normal and I predicted that I do not count on the timecode of the Slow mo VFR enabled files. But The big surprise is this:

    If you start to record for example at 18:00 oclock at 50p VFR disabled and record for 5 minutes till 18:05h everything is fine
    Then at 18:06h you switch to 100fps VFR enabled, the camera freezes the Timecode to that time 18:06h you shoot what you shoot in slow mo and may be scratch your butt for a second and at when you turn back to manual profile with VFR disabled the Timecode resumes from 18:06 even though it might be already 18:30h.

    Multiply that by a few switches between manual video mode and some custom mode with VFR enabled and you've got some huge unpredictable delays and time of code completely useless.

    The VFR enabled profiles act as PAUSE of the timecode.. I think this is horrible, may be I am a dumb ass since I use the timecode for the first time and this is normal, but to me it looks very unintuitive to expect.
    If this is something firmware related I will look where to give feedback.
    So, share your knowledge or opinions please. Thank you.
    Last edited by gowcoizer; 04-09-2019 at 12:21 AM.


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    #2
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    Red highlighting not helping. Probably worth removing.
    But essentially..variable/high frame rates disable certain features in numerous cameras...including audio.
    Gotta test


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    #3
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    If VFR disables the timecode it would be okay, the problem is it messes with it, freezing at the time of switching when you are not shooting and shifting it ahead when you are shooting. If you shoot 1 minute in 240fps the timecode will be sent 10 minutes into the future, so using timecode to sync with another camera is impossible, unless all the cameras that need to be synced, switch their control at the exactly same time, shoot in the exactly same frame rates for exactly the same time and then go back to c4k 50p at the exactly same time. Color highlighting is to point when the problem occurs. It is funny how no one mentioned that anywhere, like all of the userbase of this camera never ever needed to touch timecode.. but if you want to shoot some event with more than one camera, timecode can be very helpful. We saw reports about the out of sync when using timecode input, but the internal behaviour with VFR pausing/ drifting/ shifting the timecode is ridiculous.
    Last edited by gowcoizer; 04-10-2019 at 11:09 PM.


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    #4
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    The whole TC function on the GH5s is completely useless any way you look at it.
    It doesn’t work. I use tentacle sync sending TC via audio and Sync in tentacle sync software. That works


    Quote Originally Posted by gowcoizer View Post
    If VFR disables the timecode it would be okay, the problem is it messes with it, freezing at the time of switching when you are not shooting and shifting it ahead when you are shooting. If you shoot 1 minute in 240fps the timecode will be sent 10 minutes into the future, so using timecode to sync with another camera is impossible, unless all the cameras that need to be synced, switch their control at the exactly same time, shoot in the exactly same frame rates and then go back to c4k 50p at the exactly same time. Color highlighting is to point when the problem occurs. It is funny how no one mentioned that anywhere, like all of the userbase of this camera never ever needed to touch timecode.. but if you want to shoot some event with more than one camera, timecode can be very helpful. We saw reports about the out of sync when using timecode input, but the internal behaviour with VFR pausing/ drifting/ shifting the timecode is ridicilous.


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    #5
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    I agree. Support said that my feedback will be given for examination, but this was after screaming my opinion cause the first response was that "such behaviour is normal". I demand for changing the "normal" or at least grab a camera, shoot for one month fit in in our shoes and understand what we mean than give second thoughts on what normal is and isn't


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    Look - timecode sync is ONLY possible when using FREE RUN.

    VFR doesn't use FREE RUN - it uses REC RUN.

    Full stop.

    What you tried to do is impossible, and resulted in exactly the mess you ended up with. If you had never used VFR, the whole thing would have worked just the way you wanted it to. But VFR is not compatible with timecode sync.

    Sorry your shoot got messed up. This experience just underscores the need to test your workflow before relying on it.


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    #7
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    In my first post I explain what you say, that VFR does not support FREE RUN but just REC RUN, I had many encouragements by filmmakers that this is normal but it isn't. It is just bad implementation. REC RUN should not change the base FREE RUN settings. Or if it changes em, any time that filmmakers like us switch to FREE RUN setting, that at least TIMECODE should make a check for the current time set within the camera. I am just marking this as it should be improved, many agree, many could not get what we mean by saying this. And yes, testing of a workflow is oftenly a must. This camera has some flaws and why not fix at least the ones that can be fixed. We all know about the horrible aliasing in high frame rates or the line noise


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    I just checked this myself on a GH5 and it is indeed a bad implementation. The switch into VFR changes TC into REC RUN mode. Upon stepping out of VFR, the TC rolls forward as if in FREE RUN but it is no longer in sync with actual Current Time setting in the camera. Which may be how timecode works on broadcast cameras, but the fact is when looking in the GH5 menu, the Time Code Value setting still says "Current Time", even though it isn't. The work around, of course, is every time you get out of VFR and go to "normal" frame rates, you have to go into the menu and reset Time Code Value to Current Time, which then resets it.

    Certainly, a line of code could automatically reset this to current time whenever the camera returns to FREE RUN. This is needlessly confusing.


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    #9
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    Yeap, that's it. I had trouble with even the support understand what I mean that's why it feels good somebody acknowledges my same concerns ;d , I repeat, I am long time audio syncer (ha), so I do not count on timecode, but If I want to count on timecode I want to be confident in it and if this is fixed in the firmware it will make the cameras even better overall. Since we see that the firmwares are inherited it is just that if this is not marked for change it may be passed to the next generation GH cameras.


    Quote Originally Posted by dvbrother View Post
    I just checked this myself on a GH5 and it is indeed a bad implementation. The switch into VFR changes TC into REC RUN mode. Upon stepping out of VFR, the TC rolls forward as if in FREE RUN but it is no longer in sync with actual Current Time setting in the camera. Which may be how timecode works on broadcast cameras, but the fact is when looking in the GH5 menu, the Time Code Value setting still says "Current Time", even though it isn't. The work around, of course, is every time you get out of VFR and go to "normal" frame rates, you have to go into the menu and reset Time Code Value to Current Time, which then resets it.

    Certainly, a line of code could automatically reset this to current time whenever the camera returns to FREE RUN. This is needlessly confusing.


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    #10
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    It also goes out of sync with current time any time you change a battery, have to reset to current time with each change of battery.


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