What are the benefits to using a 744t with a slate running time code over a zoom H4n with regular slate if the camera is a Canon DSLR? are there any tutorials out there on syncing time code from a 744t to a slate?
Well, first of all, the audio on the 744T will be FAR superior to what you get on the H4n, plus you get all the meta data that you can't get on any Zoom pieces.
As far as TC goes, my answer really depends on your post production workflow. This will only benefit you if you are going to use the TC imprinted in the audio files to do the sync. IMHO, if you're doing a simpler shoot, it's much easier to enable onboard audio in the 5D as a reference track, record your production audio with whatever your recorder is (I would recommend a 744T over a Zoom any day), then sync the 744T audio to the 5D scratch audio in post. You can visually sync to transients very easily. There's also a plugin that will do this for you called Pluraleyes.
If you want to go the TC route, it's very easy to sync a 744T to a Smart Slate (or a dumb slate). You just need a cable that goes from the 744T (lemo connector) to the slate (generally a 1/4" TS connector), plug them in together, turn the slate to Read, then tell the 744T to send a Jam signal (in the TC portion of the menu, about half way to 3/4 through the menu screen). If you decide to go that route, I can most definitely walk you through it with more detail.
If it's a short film or commercial you're working on, I'd go with a manual sync. If it's something in long format, or you're using a lab to do your prints, I'd go with TC.
What type of project are you using this for?
Will be recording a series of interviews that will run for 3 hours for a documentary @25p PAL and I'm concerned it will go out of sync after the 15nth minute. The director will be editing this and I doubt she has researched on discrepancies with importing Canon DSLR footage onto an FCP sequence. I have read about having to compress footage at ProRess before syncing or that audio files speeds have to be slowed at 99% before syncing.
All the equipment is being shipped a day before although i know how to work with an SD 442 this will be my first time with a 744T. The walk through would be great.
I want to be able to supply on sync audio. Having read all that can happen in post it would be great to know in my end i did things right.
I agree with Colin on all fronts here. The 744T is a better investment, a dumb slate will do you fine on shorter project, and a smart slate will make your life simpler on larger ones (kind of like the one you're about to start on).
What a smart slate will buy you when using the 5D is some faster relinking of media in post. The 744T will time stamp your audio. With the slate chasing time code, you'll have a visual representation of time code in the picture until the slate is clapped. This means you can sync at any point before the actual clap using that visual output and the audio's timestamp. While I wouldn't trust it completely (you'll still want to verify that the visual clap and the audio pop are in sync), it will be close enough for the director/editor to at least start with.
I mention that last part, because of time code discrepancy offsets that I've encountered in testing this workflow idea (mentioned in another post). We've shot some more test footage, and I just need to sit down and relink it to see where it's at now. I have been getting feedback from multiple sources that a "smart" slate will always have a timecode offset. I'm still pursuing first hand confirmation of this.
Eric, the 5D's memory card is said to overheat after about
5 10-12 minutes of take, so you'll probably have to cut every 10 minutes. The factors to this seem to be both the environment and the parameters of your video (res, fps). Your timecode should never go out of sync too much :) Or you could have a take per interview, that's what we did when we shot with a 5D.