Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

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rpmoon88

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Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 5:07 pm

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Hello everyone! I'm new to film making and recently been obsessed with authentic retro/vintage look and I'm planning to purchase a Sony DXC 537 which is the model above. Will the Blackmagic Video Assist SDI
monitor and record the sdi image from such an old camera? might be a noob question but if you have an answer I would appreciate it a lot!
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Denny Smith

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostSat Feb 20, 2021 1:32 am

That is an old 2/3rds inch 3-ccd SD camera. You can take the video output (which is standard definition video) and record the video via the Bout to a Video Assist SD input model. I used to use these cameras, they are nice, but will look soft and low in detail compared to a newer HD camera. I am not sure the camera will output audio with the video, so you will need to input the audio directly to the VA. The model you show has the studio multi-pin CCU output cable, make sure the small BNC cable is a video SDI video out, and not a composite video output. These cameras were built with composite video outputs on the camera head for a monitor. To use with a VA you will need a Analog to SDI mini converter, if the small BNC cable coming out the studio converter is not SDI.

If you decide to get one of these cameras, I have the zoom/start and stop remote control unit to use on a tripod. I also have a Sony portable Hi8 recorder that connects via the 26-pin cable output. Send me a PM for details.

I think you might want to also look at the Ursa Broadcast, pick one up on used market, which has a 1-inch sensor, and you can record in HD, and use the newer 2/3rd ps ENG zoom lenses on its built in 2/3rds lens mount, which corrects 3-CCD lenses to a single sensor image. This is also a very nice camera, and you can get retro ENG type images with it in HD, or higher definition images shooting 4K/UHD when you want more detail in your image.

Retro looking scenes is more to do with the lens, lighting and approach you take to filming.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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rpmoon88

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostSat Feb 20, 2021 12:16 pm

Denny Smith wrote:That is an old 2/3rds inch 3-ccd SD camera. You can take the video output (which is standard definition video) and record the video via the Bout to a Video Assist SD input model. I used to use these cameras, they are nice, but will look soft and low in detail compared to a newer HD camera. I am not sure the camera will output audio with the video, so you will need to input the audio directly to the VA. The model you show has the studio multi-pin CCU output cable, make sure the small BNC cable is a video SDI video out, and not a composite video output. These cameras were built with composite video outputs on the camera head for a monitor. To use with a VA you will need a Analog to SDI mini converter, if the small BNC cable coming out the studio converter is not SDI.

If you decide to get one of these cameras, I have the zoom/start and stop remote control unit to use on a tripod. I also have a Sony portable Hi8 recorder that connects via the 50-pin cable output. Send me a PM for details.

I think you might want to also look at the Ursa Broadcast, pick one up on used market, which has a 1-inch sensor, and you can record in HD, and use the newer 2/3rd ps ENG zoom lenses on its built in 2/3rds lens mount, which corrects 3-CCD lenses to a single sensor image. This is also a very nice camera, and you can get retro ENG type images with it in HD, or higher definition images shooting 4K/UHD when you want more detail in your image.

Retro looking scenes is more to do with the lens, lighting and approach you take to filming.
Cheers


Thank you Denny for your reply! I purchased this model and can I message you if I have more questions after I receive it?

And for the Video Assist, is there a model with the SD support and without?
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Howard Roll

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostSat Feb 20, 2021 10:05 pm

That isn't a Betacam.....yet. The DXC 537 was the first of the industrial D series of cameras that replaced the M7 in the mid '90s. The backs on the cameras were interchangeable. There were Beta, VHS, Hi-8, DV, Triax, and multicore backs. As Denny points out, camera 4 features a multicore back. The 26 pin multicore cable would be connected to the CCU to give the Engineer control of the camera. The CCU base station designed for the 537 is the M5, though the base stations are interchangeable as well as the RCPs.

This is a 537 with a Beta back, below the M5 CCU for the multicore back.

Beta.jpg
Beta.jpg (370.03 KiB) Viewed 936 times


M5.jpg
M5.jpg (101.43 KiB) Viewed 936 times


The E ticket would be to get a back that records in an easily captured format. Using the VA on camera with some adapters is an option, but will probably result in less than delicate de-interlacing.

If you actually get all the parts together and hook it them up correctly you'll realize that the vintage video look you're looking for has more to do with uncalibrated tape transport and generational loss than any inherent look imparted by the limitations of the camera. The cameras of the eras were designed to be calibrated to Rec601 and they were, just as modern broadcast cameras are calibrated to Rec709. The actual difference between those standards is minimal, like the difference between 709 and RGB.

Good Luck
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Denny Smith

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostSun Feb 21, 2021 7:31 pm

The issue with buying one of these older cameras with the tape recorder back already on it, is the transports or heads on the recorders are worn, and my not work well. I would just shoot with a HD camera, and convert to the “video” look in post. Also the servos in the zoom lens could be worn. You really do not have much to determine the level of wear, apart from the camera you meter, which only tells you how long the camera was powered up, not actually used.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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rpmoon88

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostMon Feb 22, 2021 3:10 am

Thank you Denny and Howard for you reply! I ordered the camera from Ebay and currently waiting to get it and since I'm in Korea it's gonna take me a little while to get it. Once I get it and if I more questions can I pm you guys?

thanks
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Howard Roll

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostMon Feb 22, 2021 12:04 pm

Denny Smith wrote:You really do not have much to determine the level of wear, apart from the camera you meter, which only tells you how long the camera was powered up, not actually used.


You just need to know where to look.

Good Luck
8E909D6F-77FA-46C6-A5E6-746973A4FD93.png
8E909D6F-77FA-46C6-A5E6-746973A4FD93.png (163.27 KiB) Viewed 836 times
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Denny Smith

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostMon Feb 22, 2021 7:14 pm

Yes, Howie, That will give you an indication of how many hours are in a tape head, and threading system of the tape transport, more hours more chance of wear. But I got a camera once, with low hours and it was not working correctly, had a threading error code come up, which is why it had low hours. Also camera use hours does not give an indication of the ENG lens condition. Kim went through five or six Oldermused 2/3rds EMG zooms, to find one that was not excessively worn in its zoom cams and components.

Buying used ENG gear is a crap shoot, as best an good educated guess based on the available data about the camera in question. I went through several, finding a few good ones for our local cable TV station.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Howard Roll

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostTue Feb 23, 2021 4:42 am

rpmoon88 wrote:Once I get it and if I more questions can I pm you guys?

thanks


No problem, I can tell you now, that's the wrong back, you need an evf, a power supply, and some obsolete NP-1 batteries. When it shows up drop me a PM and I'll help you get it running, I learned engineering on 537s and the GV110.

Good Luck

Hi8.png
Hi8.png (48.58 KiB) Viewed 771 times
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Denny Smith

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Re: Video Assist with old Betacam camcorders

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 9:16 pm

I also have some NP-1 batteries and the charger you can have for the cost of shipping.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions

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