To offer the counterpoint:
I've been working with the Epic since before day one. I was the key digital imaging technician on the first movie to shoot *any* Epic at all along with about a half-dozen other features. I've worked with the Epic nearly every single day since before it shipped.
Not one single time in that stretch have I ever recorded audio to the camera. I honestly might have to consult the manual to figure out how to do it.
To me the decision to use 1/8" audio inputs was perfect. There are two primary reasons why. One, they are essentially invisible to me. I don't even have to try to ignore them, they're completely out of my way as a camera person and never cross my mind. Two, I don't pay a volume or mass price for their inclusion. A full-size XLR connector is gigantic. Having full-size XLR connectors on the Epic body would've added several cubic inches to the overall volume of the camera. To me that is unacceptable on a camera that prides itself on its remarkably tiny size.
I'm excited about the Pro IO because of the additional monitor and power outputs it provides. If there were a Pro IO without audio inputs... I'd buy that one instead. In my world audio has no place on a camera if it is going to negatively impact the camera in any way [size, weight, etcetera]. RED's idea to put it on a module is the best balance in my eyes.
So for every person that hates the 1/8" audio inputs on the Epic there is another person that loves them and another still that ignores them.
Let's live up to our professions and find solutions rather than yelling about problems.
Thanks Brook! Perfect wording in my eyes! Totally agree
I understand using the mini jacks to keep the brain as small as possible. I just wish they had gone with screw-on minis (such as the ones Sennheiser uses on their wireless systems) for a more secure connection. I made the suggestion to Red early in development but it didn't make it into the mix. Oh well...still love my camera and its' SMALL size....
THANK YOU BROOK! That pretty much sums it up, man.
The last shoot I had, we got almost no level out of the headphone jack. You need at least a couple of hundred millvolts for the output, and I think you're not nearly there. A $150 iPod puts out more (and better) sound, in my experience.Stereo headphone jack - check
Not for Channel 1 and 2. Name another pro camera in the world that costs over $10,000 that uses mini plugs for audio input. I'm hard-pressed to think of a single one.Available full size XLRs - check
Only with a pad. This is not a true line input. Every ENG camera I can remember, going back to the 1970s, has had conventional XLR inputs that are truly switchable microphone or line. I'm also not convinced the distortion specs and headroom on the Epic or Scarlet are acceptable. In that respect, my observation is that audio quality is low on the list of priorities. (I grasp the reality that the camera is optimized 95% for picture.)Available Line in at 0dBu or 0VU reference
Does this work now? To my knowledge, timecode out has not worked in 6 months.Available LEMO Timcode In and Out
I worry more about timecode stability. There are not a lot of cameras that can hold, say, 10ppm in terms of timecode accuracy (less than 1 frame in 12 hours) if you turn them on and off. Red has been particularly disappointing in this regard. If you could keep the timecode backed up 100% of the time and make it absolutely rock steady, this would alleviate the requirement for a timecode jam box -- except in situations where you need sync reference, as for 3D or multicam shoots. And again, Red is using a timecode jack no one in the entire industry uses -- a 4-pin Lemo jack. Even the Red One had a jack more compatible with industry practice.Timecode cross Jam
Stuart, I'm not your enemy, and I've been impressed with Red (both the camera and the company) for many years. I've actually defended the camera in some cases with some post supervisors, editors, and engineers. I've been through the Reducation classes and have been impressed by the company's commitment to making great pictures.
But it's clear to me that Red did not do their homework in terms of audio and timecode, and I'm frustrated that even after 8 months, the Pro IO doesn't solve these problems. I grasp the idea of forging new ground and trying different things; the problem for me is, the Epic and Scarlet have to work in the real world with existing audio and TC gear that's been around for decades. Ignoring this is a huge folly.
All strictly in my opinion.
I also would've recommended putting the audio connectors on the back or the sides of the camera. I'm baffled as to why they felt putting inputs 1 & 2 on the front was a good idea. Baffled.
I'm happy with the timecode and genlock signals on the Pro IO module. If the camera can hold timecode accuracy for a long period of time, even with battery changes and reboots, that would be an improvement as well.
My 2 cents...
The front mounted jacks on the camera can be adapted to full sized XLRs by the use of a simple adapter by x. To me the real problem with the jacks will be durability over the years. XLRs are the size that they are to stand up to years of plugging and unplugging, while the type of mini plugs Red put on the Epic and Scarlet don't stand up so well to continued use on consumer devices like IPODs / Walkmen. Once the protective coating on the internal spring loaded contacts wears off the contacts oxidize and the jack will need replacing.
Not having the best sound on the Epic is a forgivable sin, as the Epic truly is a cinema camera targeting that consumer base. Scarlet, on the other hand, targets a user base that arguably requires top notch sound on camera as it will undoubtedly be used on projects where external full sound solution may not be affordable or logistically practical. On balance, built in audio may be the one edge that the R1 has over the newer cameras, although the addition of the Pro IO seemingly gets you the 2 solid channels of audio most projects would need.
I never understood the slams on the mini XLRs. Maybe that's because I bought the purpose built break-away cable that adapts channels 1 & 2 and the 5 pin headphone jack to the full sized XLRs and headphone jack found on just about every portable mixer in use today. It baffles me that Red never made this cable avilable through their website, and honestly it is actually kind of hard to find on the internet (Trew Audio for R1 owners who are interested).
has anyone posted pix of the other side of the PRO IO module? Any ports there?
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