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Infobank

EOS MOVIE: Timecodes

Widely used by professional filmmakers and videographers shooting with more than one camera, timecodes make it easy to synchronise several cameras for multi-camera shoots. Both the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III feature a timecode ability following the standard of Hour:Minute:Second:Frame, as defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The frame count runs from 00 to 29 frames, so if, for example, you are filming at 30fps frames are counted to 29 and 1 second is added to the 30th frame to return the counter to 00.

The timecode can be set in one of four ways. The default setting is 'Count Up'. Within Count Up, there is the option of either Rec. Run or Free Run. With Rec. Run, the timecode will only advance while a movie is being recorded. It is useful when filming with a single camera as it helps to organise the clips into chronological order. In Rec. Run, the timecode will continue even if the memory card is replaced with a new one. Since the total shooting time is recorded, the count will not be reset even if a movie file is deleted or the memory card is formatted.

In Free Run, the timecode will continue to count even when no movie file is being recorded. This is useful when filming with several cameras. By using the time synchronisation feature of the EOS-1D X, several cameras can be set to the same time so that all the files captured have the same starting point in the timecode. When editing footage together, the clips can then be arranged chronologically.

Option 2 within the timecode settings is ‘Start time setting'. Here you have the option of defining the starting timecode in HH:MM:SS:FF using the manual input setting option. You can also reset the timecode to 00:00:00:00 using reset, or you can set the timecode to the current camera time using the HH:MM:SS fields.

The third option is 'Movie Rec. Count' with the options of Rec. Time and Time Code. In Rec. Time, the elapsed time after the start of movie shooting will be displayed on the rear LCD panel as the movie is being recorded. With Time Code, the timecode will be displayed while the movie is recorded.

The final option is ‘Movie play count'. The two options within this setting are Play Time and Time Code and they determine what is displayed while the movie is played back on the camera. In Play Time, the elapsed time after the start of shooting will be shown on the rear LCD panel during playback. With the Time Code setting, the associated timecode will be shown during playback.

 

The timecode menu screen on the EOS 5D Mark III DSLR.