Timecode Sync

Being able to sync events on the timeline according to timecode is a feature that is built into Vegas, and would automatically synchronize clips with zero effort. I took some time to research different timecode settings for the Canon XH-A1’s, and ended up performing a few tests. Typically we are running the camera in the default “REC-RUN” format, and I switched it to “FREE-RUN”, which, when synchronized with the second camera, means that both cameras are always displaying the exact same timecode because the counter is always running. Even if the battery is removed. It’s running off the ‘backup-battery’ technically which also basically keeps track of the clock.

The problem turned out not to be on the camera end, as the timecode recording worked great no-matter which setting you had it on. The problem lied within Vegas, as when I looked at the imported clips in the Project Media dialogue, each clip’s “Timecode In” started at 00:00:00:00. This means that the timecode information wasn’t being captured with Vegas’s built in video capture program.

Also, there is an option to synchronize clips according to the date and time stamps, but Vegas didn’t appear to import these either. Online research revealed that it’s even possible to get information from the camera such as the F stop, shutter speed, gain, and more!

In conclusion, I believe that all of this will be fixed in future releases, or with the next camera (probably being tapeless). For now, it’s not a huge issue when we line it up by audio wave-forms, so we won’t make it a priorty to find alternate software to capture this special XIFF data.

As a quick last side note, it looked like Edius might be able to do it.

UPDATE May 12, 2009

After upgrading to Vegas 9.0 the other day, I noticed timecodes in the media bins in vegas!  I played around with it a little and it appears that Vegas can now read the timecode information on all the clips that have been imported from the XH-A1's.  It will need to be tested a little further, but it could become a massive time-saver.