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Re: Solution for really accurate sync?

I don't think that Arri's timecode in the SR3 is as reliable, and it is
subject to sync problems, because the code is written in the magazine,
and not the camera gate like Aaton's code.  Besides, most documentary
 filmmakers prefer Aatons.
> John Snopes
> The First Aaton in Muncie, Indiana

 Dear First Aaton in Muncie
 First and foremost I must congradulate you on your Aaton purchase. Next
I must dissagree with you completely. 
 Albeit Aaton is a nifty little box it is not infalable. Aatons main
problem is it is not as reliable as smart slates. I would have to say
3/4 of all the Aaton jobs I have done have had more than twice the
amount of nonbillable downtime because of any number of problems
including, Poor exposure of the timecode, Something amis in the
paramiters (which you cannot adjust anymore one must create a new
config.), And a poorly written operators manual (It's more like a sales
brochure than a guide to operation).
 And when it comes down to it, the Aaton camera needs to be jammed with
the Nagra (or DAT) just like the slates need to be. Also (unless the DP
has a long cable) the camera needs to be physically moved over to the
sound source and rejammed throughout the shoot, something that with a
smartslate the cam assist just walks the slate over and its done.
 Most experenced Aaton shooters slate with smartslate anyway because
they dont trust the Aaton camera unit, Or they can't get time or mabie
they get a better deal at a non-Aaton facility. I would speculate that
Aatons astronomical (for what it actually is) price tag has made suites
that are "Aaton capable" few and far between. And when they are
available they charge more for use of it. I must charge the client twice
the setup fee for Aaton sync. Smart slate syncing is far simpler for
telecine setup.
 Dont get me wrong I like the Aaton. It is a very clever unit. I do
enjoy the challenge when it does have problems. And the interface is a
nice design for a DOS resident program. Logging dalies is a rather
simple process (but not without a whole set of other problems which I
will not get into at this time).
 But as for the best I say Keep It Simple Stupid. The prize goes to the
old reliable TLC with a Nagra follow.

 I would like to disclaim this message as being a personnal observation
and does not reflect the opinion of my past or present employers
 The Growler

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