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what are the RET/SYNC IN and TC I/O ports on the back of a camera

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"Ret" probably means return video. It's often displayed in the viewfinder when the "ret" button on an ENG-style lens is pressed. It's used so the operator can check whether their picture is being used in a live situation, or to adjust framing with respect to the picture that is being used to ensure it cuts.


Sync is a video signal used as a timing reference for the camera, so that it can be frame synchronised with other equipment. Again, mainly something you'd use on live or studio work, but there are probably reasons to frame sync cameras on drama.


Timecode in and out are actually audio signals, although they're often on BNCs. If you actually listen to it, it's a sort of raucous buzzing sound which is used to encode the timecode as digital information. It was originally done this way so it could be recorded onto spare audio tracks, although modern equipment tends to generate the audio signal on the fly based on digital information in the frame data.


Hope that helps



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