Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion

5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!
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Author:  kruppTown [ Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

hi, my first post in this fantastc forum - very exciting. after one year of trial and error I found a way of gelock-like sync in liveviewmode with the 5dmk2. here are my 27 testtakes with a steppermotor, original 5dmk2-files, one after the other, all in sync:


until now I found no accurate method to synchronize DSLRs.
should I register a patent now - or am I a fool? what do you think?

Author:  Milapse Jay [ Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

There are some German guys running an indegogo campaign right now for something similar, it's primarily for audio sync but I would think it could be used in the same way..

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tent ... -different

Author:  kruppTown [ Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

it is different, but very useful, thanks for the link !!

I uploaded a fastloading preView (1MB):

a few links to the subject:

(..) At the current time, there is NO proper sync for the DSLR like the 5D, the option that was on the 3D Film Factory page is by far the closest i have seen, but there is still phasing which is not acceptable for real productions. (..)

(..) Some such as the Canon 5D will do none of the above .. after abortive tests attempting to Sync the camera via it's PAL output I realised that the only way to sync it would be by eye. (..)

(..) As previously mentioned DSLR's do not sync. I tested a 5D MkII and it was a bit random (..)

Author:  geraldft [ Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

Hi Interesting news for 5D MkII.

I am assuming that the quicktime shows two or more passes superimposed?

I have to assume you have hacked the camera internals? How practical is this for a user or would it require a "factory" mod? Can you describe in principle the method? ie. are you taking a sync signal from the camera and slaving the moco to it? Mantis sync normally works by this method - either a frame pulse or video signal is used.

Note that maybe the 5D MkII will become less popular for Indie filmmaking with the rise of 4K Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the amazing low light capability of Sony A7s. Then we need to hack these cameras too! I have looked at the GH4 but it only outputs HDMI during recording. I intend to try using an HDMI to Pal converter and see if that works...

Milapse - the indigogo project is based around timecode. It is for syncing audio not phasing the shutter. From what I can tell it records a timecode signal simultaneously on the camera audio track and on the separate audio recorder. In post this can be used to align the audio to the image, likely with an accuracy +- 0.5 frames. I'd guess this means the camera audio is not usable as guide track - as it now contains timecode information...

Thanks Gerald

Author:  kruppTown [ Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

hi gerald,

nice to get an answer from you :-)) I contacted you 1 1/2 years ago for your amazing bfg mantis system (I'm looking forward to purchase it one day), but I did not get the job for a special moco/realtime/timelapse-project, so I had to develop my own system on amateurLevel.. but now I try to turn my invention into a job.

and yes, -preView.mov shows four passes superimposed. you have to shift the passes in afx one frame to the right or left, then all are perfectly in sync. 27 shots in 11 minutes, not one miss.

my technik should work with many cameras, but I haven't tried it yet. I'll try it with the cameras you mentioned above - let's see where I can rent these cameras for a couple of minutes.. (what about the 5dmkIII?)

many greetings goggi

Author:  geraldft [ Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

Hi Goggi

Well if you make some business from motion control the price of Mantis is cheap really... :)

Re the sync. I do own a GH4 so that's the one I'm most interested in... but still - if this technique can be applied to a variety of cameras, will it be expensive? The reality is most professional moco is done with pro cameras, and then sync is available already... so using DSLR's is more for the low budget end.

In fact I still do a lot of jobs where absolute sync is not required. Most of the demo's you see on the web are made without sync - and maybe they fix it up a bit in post - but equally a lot of shots won't reveal this issue at the resolution seen on the internet...


Author:  kruppTown [ Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

hi gerald

I agree with you. however, the technique exists and won't be expensive.

I also made a test with two 5Dmk2. a 3D shot over 12 minutes, both cameras in sync from start to the end. maybe that's interesting for stereo freaks and 3d Productions. they could use their old 5Dmk2 for the rigs. I'll post an 3D-example later on.

I don't know if there is a market for a little gadget like this?

g gg

Author:  geraldft [ Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

Hi Maybe you can sell a half dozen or so? I don't know. It's not going to make a business by itself, but I'd know a few people atleast who might be interested...

PS - I am likely being a bit pessimistic... :)

Author:  kruppTown [ Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

hi gerald

cool, thanks! at least I can use it myself.. ;-))

just uploaded the stereo-file of two DSLR synchronized - I love it!
(should be long enough for most productions)


g gg

Author:  geraldft [ Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

Yes - likely for 3D it might be more in demand. Then sync is very important...
BLet us know if you commercialise or otherwise make this technique available... G

Author:  kruppTown [ Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

so I'll do it :-)
g gg

Author:  geraldft [ Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

Hi Krupptown

Any progress on this project?

BTW - I looked at the Tentacle sync in more detail. It looks like what they do with the 5D is record the timecode on the camera audio track. Then in post the audio tracks are synced on the editor timeline. Unfortunately this does not result in shutter phase sync, only to the nearest frame, which is ok for audio purposes but not for precise moco passes.

So far the only way I can get a DSLR to sync repeatedly is keep the recording going continuously and shoot multiple passes using video output from the camera as a sync reference for Mantis. But if I stop recording and the do another take later, the sync is no longer the guaranteed.. :(

So your hack might still be useful?

Thanks Gerald

Author:  kruppTown [ Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

hi gerald,

I made some tests with sony a7 at 120fps and it is also in sync.
now I'm testing the rx100m4 at 250fps at 2m/sec dolly speed.

but actually I'm working as a timelapser outside.
when I have time again, I will continue with my "diy the marmalade high speed shots"..
g gg

p.s.: (..) Even though we have a way of syncing the camera for motion control at 25 FPS we would not advise using the 5D in video mode for VFX work. (..)

Author:  geraldft [ Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

Hi Krupp

I think the main reason Justin says not to use the 5D is because it doesn't sync, like most dslrs : and now we must also include mirrorless cameras... But if it can sync, then no reason not to use it if the image quality is ok for the job... :)

Meantime let us know if your method can be done DIY? thanks G

Author:  geraldft [ Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

On the subject of DIY high speed have you tried doing this?

My camera only does 60 fps but it's still possible to see how well it can follow...

Password = Gravity

Author:  kruppTown [ Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

hi gerald

yes, you can DIY.
It is a nice little invention, but there is no big market for it and nobody would spend money to buy the idea.
so I will use it myself to do some jobs. It would be less expensive for television productions to get some nice slomo mocos - thats my idea in the moment. but after one or two shootings on location my secret will be public then..

gerald, thanks, your gravitiy test is great!! btw - last week I also built a solenoid release for waterdrops, so we are working on the same idea ;-)

g gg

Author:  geraldft [ Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

Hi Look forward to further info. I don't really use DSR's for professional work but it would just be nice to be able to make them work better... call it a technical challenge?

Re the solenoids - I have also used an explosive charge to release a car hanging from a crane at just the right moment! GPO's can be handy...

Author:  kruppTown [ Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!

hi gerald

yes, it definitely is a technical challenge..
I'd like to see your car release!!! btw, what camera do you use for professional work?

g gg

Author:  geraldft [ Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 5d mk2 genlock sync works!!!


I use whatever camera the production chooses... though I should say that a Red Epic is often a better choice than an Alexa, due to being more compact hence less chance of vibration... for high speed a Flex Phantom is pretty standard. Especially like the Miro because it is so small and light and can be moved much faster.


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