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Old November 5th, 2008, 06:02 AM   #1
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Which recorder to use with HDX900

I have a Panasonic HDX900 and want to start recording to solid state in addition to tape. I am wondering which recorder would be the best option? Should I mount a Panasonic AG-HPG10 (P2) recorder on the camera or the Convergent Design XDR or perhaps the nanoflash? Also wondering if the Convergent Design products give me any increase in quality over the tape?

The reason I want to do this is that I shoot for a stock footage library that wants me to deliver in a file based workflow not on tape. Meanwhile I still have clients wanting a tape after a shoot, so have to find a way to provide both.

I would also like to avoid spending too much on a post system to duplicate material as I spend most of my time out shooting, not in a edit room. Any advise would be much appreciated. Thanks

David
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Last edited by David C Wright; November 5th, 2008 at 07:07 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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Hi David:

I am a HDX900 owner/operator and have a XDR unit.

This is a XDR site. So most here will tell you to get an XDR. However, the XDR is not a stable option at this time. My guess is the technology and programming will catch up to their dreams in a few to 6 months. I was just doing some testing this morning with the latest update and it is all over the place. They have some new options, but the options don't really work because of bugs and what worked before doesn't work now. I have hopes for this system, but again it's not a stable option for serious recordings at this time.

Another question would be whether you want to stay in DVCPro HD or not? The XDR format is based on XDcam in a couple flavors and as I understand it will never record in the DVCPro formats.

The Panasonic AG-HPG10 (P2) is a proven system and will work with your camera out of the box.

I hope this helps.

Scott
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Old November 5th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Douglas Scott View Post
Hi David:

I am a HDX900 owner/operator and have a XDR unit.

This is a XDR site. So most here will tell you to get an XDR. However, the XDR is not a stable option at this time. My guess is the technology and programming will catch up to their dreams in a few to 6 months. I was just doing some testing this morning with the latest update and it is all over the place. They have some new options, but the options don't really work because of bugs and what worked before doesn't work now. I have hopes for this system, but again it's not a stable option for serious recordings at this time.

Another question would be whether you want to stay in DVCPro HD or not? The XDR format is based on XDcam in a couple flavors and as I understand it will never record in the DVCPro formats.

The Panasonic AG-HPG10 (P2) is a proven system and will work with your camera out of the box.

I hope this helps.

Scott
Hi Scott-
Thanks for your patience, we will continue working out the glitches on the XDR. The record reliability has improved significantly over the past few weeks, but the playback broke on the last release. We should have that fixed tomorrow.

We do set up a Flash XDR box every night with 4 CF cards for a long record session. We then check out all the files across all cards the next day. We look for any problems with the image and any missing frames or files. We have debugged and fixed a ton of issues, but we know we still have some more work.

I do expect we will have these issues sorted out in the coming weeks, as we are testing and debugging on a constant basis.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks, yes I need something that is extremely reliable. We work in some pretty bad conditions and need to know that gear is going to work every time (with the usual problems that none of can predict. The XDR looks like a great product, so hopefully it will be all sorted soon.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by David C Wright View Post
Thanks, yes I need something that is extremely reliable. We work in some pretty bad conditions and need to know that gear is going to work every time (with the usual problems that none of can predict. The XDR looks like a great product, so hopefully it will be all sorted soon.
Hi David-
Just wanted to mention that you will see improved video quality with the Flash XDR as it uses a full-raster CODEC (1920x1080) instead of the 1280x1080 CODEC in DVCProHD.

You will also save a ton of money on the media. 32GB P2 cards are running 20X the cost of 32GB CF cards ($1600 vs $82).

Naturally, we know the box has got to be rock solid. We're working very hard to make sure we don't miss a single frame.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #6
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Firestore should work well, and I think one of the strongest bits of the HDX900 is the codec, DVCPro HD is pretty damned good. I and many others would probably choose the Flash XDR to improve a camera with an iffy codec like HDV or any of the other Long GOP ones.
Firestore also works from camera controls I gather, ie stop/start.
Steve
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Old November 5th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #7
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Very interesting Mike that the XDR is not stable. I also need to know it will work flawlessly. I know the advantage of the bit rate and am very excited about the footage but if I shoot 4 hrs in a helicopter and do not have all the footage to show every time I am out of business.

Should I hold off until you know it is ready for daily use? I am also waiting on the Red Scarlet as a possible option or the XDR for a EX3 with nice glass.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 09:54 PM   #8
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Very interesting Mike that the XDR is not stable. I also need to know it will work flawlessly. I know the advantage of the bit rate and am very excited about the footage but if I shoot 4 hrs in a helicopter and do not have all the footage to show every time I am out of business.

Should I hold off until you know it is ready for daily use? I am also waiting on the Red Scarlet as a possible option or the XDR for a EX3 with nice glass.
Hi Paul-
I think we'll have the reliability sorted out very soon. Our engineers, John, Brent and Tommy have made tremendous progress over the last month. So, I think we can get this solid in another week or two.

In fairness, we were seeing very reliable results until we added the Quicktime support, which did complicate some of the code. I think we have most of this bugs worked out now.

We will continue to test multiple boxes each night loaded with 4 CF cards, running at 50 and 100 Mbps. At 50 Mbps you get about 4.5 hours of record time, so this should be sufficient for your shoot.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 07:05 AM   #9
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Thanks Mike I look forward to your reports and progress. The Quicktime is a great feature for me using FCS 2.

Also I appreciate all of you honest quick communication.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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As for environmental reliability, I have shot in temperatures in the 20's and 30 degrees F (not Celsius) and have had no problems.

As for quality, in the 50Mbps and 100Mbps I've seen a huge improvement over HDV. And in shots consisting of lots of detail and motion (such as panning of small leaf bushes), the 100Mbps in 30p really provides a result free of mosquito noise, twitter, aliasing,and macro-blocking.

Last edited by John Richard; November 7th, 2008 at 03:32 PM.
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