Sony F55

Sony F55

This one is hot off the press! The Sony f55 card camera. So hot off the press infact that the AU/TC button is not connected to any firmware yet and does nothing. So… your guess is as good as mine about where the line-up for audio should be!     The audio connections and switches look sensible though, apart from the headphone socket being on the opposite side of the camera to everything else, and the audio meters being covered by the camera persons head when the camera is in use. Thanks for Visual Impact, Bristol for letting me photograph their camera at the Bectu Western Freelancers day...

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Sony PMW-F3 (pictures)

Sony PMW-F3  (pictures)

Here’s a few pictures of this little camera so you can see where the sound setting switches are and find that headphone socket first time! The viewfinder shows the handy diagram which confirms that the inputs of channel one and two are being sent to separate tracks. Details on the Sony site...

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Sony XDcam HD422

Sony XDcam HD422

Some of these smaller cameras are a real pain for sound recordists. Mainly because no two are the same and it’s always a case of delving into the settings and hunting for the headphone socket every time you see one. This one was a pain to set up. It look liked most of the others at first glance. It turned out to have that really annoying feature that allows you to record channel one’s input on both channels. Most of them do to be fair. I hate that, it was impossible to tell that feature was on from the status screen – certainly not clearly anyway. Some of the cameras have a really useful diagram that lets you see how the audio is routed. I always check with line up tone so I’m not caught out but after that you have to work out how to turn the “feature” off. It’s normally a switch on the side of the camera nowadays but with this camera it’s in the menu. As are the monitor settings which can also be set to only monitor channel one. Bring back...

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Canon XF105 (pictures)

Canon XF105 (pictures)

New small cameras seem to turn up all the time nowadays. Fortunately the latest ones, well the ones used for broadcast anyway seem to be provided with pretty standard XLR inputs and a useful array of manual controls on the outside of the camera – rather than buried in the menus.   The Canon XF305 HD Camcorder (PAL Version) illustrated here is a good example. XLRs on the side are easily switched between mic / line and also auto / manual level with switches on the body of the camera. The level controls are not easy to knock out of place either and it all lined up quite well to my Sound Devices 552 mixer. There is a headphone socket somewhere, but I can’t remember exactly where – they often take a while to find on these little ones! The only level meter we could find (below) was very small and there did not seem to be a more detailed version available. We lined up somewhere between the 2 and the 0 of -20dB and that seemed to work just...

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Panasonic AG-HVX201E P2 Camcorder

Panasonic AG-HVX201E P2 Camcorder

Things to look out for with this camera:This is one of a new breed of DVC Pro HD/SD cameras that can record onto cards as well as tape.Most of these little cameras have some way of putting the sound from input one onto both channels, so make sure to check for this if you are using more than one sound source and want to keep them separate.The brochure for this camera is available online. If you have used this camera and any useful hints and tips especially if they are helpful for sound recordists, please leave a...

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