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Old March 16th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #1
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Maybe some are being too hard on HDV?

Hey, I've read through just about every thread based on the new HD cameras and I have to say that HDV just doesn't seem to make anyone happy at all, except for those that have stated their praise for the Sony cameras so far. Everyone else though, seems to be waiting. My question is, why?

Look, I know that MPEG2 compression isn't a good idea on paper, but just by using the Sony cameras and fiddling with all the options and seeing some of the results on the net (Mini-35 video and some music video), I can tell that these HDV cameras are capable of A LOT more than people are saying. Dropouts are a possibility, but so far nobody who has an HDV camera has said that a dropout has totally ruined their shoot and some say they've experienced no dropouts at all!

I've played with the XL2 and the FX1 (no Z1 since Sony's got a policy of not selling their Proline camera stuff in retail stores or even their Sonystyle Stores or even the Sony Metreon in San Fran!) and I must say that the FX1's picture looks a lot better, but that's not saying much as the XL2 is freaking awesome for an SD camera. 24p mode is about the ONLY thing I can think of that HDV cameras have failed at miserably on paper and in Sony's Cineframe approach, though JVC has found a workaround apparently so the lack of 24p is no longer an issue.

Low light is another pointless issue I hear about. Honestly, what independent filmmaker would be shooting in immensely low light anyway?

You know, I don't want to hear about compression on the audio, if that's such a problem, then there are some simple solutions, like using a mixer, sound recorder, or even a serperate non-HDV camera for audio.

I know people are jumping all over Panasonic's DVCPROHD solution as the Holy Grail of prosumer video solutions, but surely HDV can be useful too! ^_^ I don't mean to start a fire or anything with this thread, I'm just saying that HDV isn't as bad as most say it is in its current form and it can only get better! =)

P.S. I still don't know what camera I want, Panasonic's or JVC's but I'll have to wait until NAB to see.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 05:34 PM   #2
 
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Jack, this all happened 10 years ago with DV, too. And it will happen with whatever else comes down the pike.
Aside from the math, from the logic, from the thought processes, the correct response (IMO), is to say "look at the picture" and if you like it, great. If you don't. Great. Go find something better or spend more money.
For 5K, it's simply amazing. I expect the new JVC to be very impressive, and same with the new Panasonic. They cost more, but more importantly, they've got the marketing and developmental benefits and mistakes of the Sony cameras to examine and follow up with. That's why this industry is always so "leap-frog" because everyone looks at whatever anyone else is doing and one-ups it.
HDV is a great format for what it is supposed to be. It's only going to develop upward from here, IMO. Is it perfect? No. But for 5K, it can't be.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 05:39 PM   #3
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Re: Maybe some are being too hard on HDV?

<<<-- Originally posted by Jack Felis : ... Everyone else though, seems to be waiting. My question is, why?
... I still don't know what camera I want, Panasonic's or JVC's but I'll have to wait until NAB to see. -->>>

Am I the only one who found the irony in this?

For me personally, since there isn't a way to currently distribute the final product, I don't see the point. It's also a first generation format AND camera, which scares off a lot of people.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #4
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I agree wholeheartedly with Spot and with Rhett.

For $5,000, and it's available now, the Z1 is absolutely amazing. For $3,300 the FX1 is completely amazing. They really do record high-definition video on an $18 tape, and they're available now.

Now, if they'd included 24p as a legitimate offering, I would have had one already. Probably 85% of my work nowadays is shot in 24p, so not having it is not an option. So before going to high-def, I am waiting. The demand isn't there yet, for what I do (still haven't had a single client ask about HD, much less demand it). So I have no problem with waiting, and things will only get better by waiting -- JVC's announcement is off-the-hook cool, and Panasonic's forthcoming camera sounds very tantalizing as well. Both offer the 24p option.

So, as to why we're waiting, the answer is - why not? Things can only get better. But if you have a need now, and can justify the purchase now, the Z1 is a great little camera, absolutely revolutionary. These cameras don't take long to pay for themselves -- I'm shooting a reality pilot this Thu/Fri/Sat, and in just those three days I'll bank enough to pay off my DVX again (for about the 30th time). If they'd demanded HD for this shoot, you'd better believe I would have gone out and bought a Z1 to do it.

If you're in the business and you make money with your camera and your clients are asking for HD now, get the Z1 now -- waiting would be silly. If not, or if 24p is your thing, I think it'd be silly to spend 5 grand on a camera that doesn't do it, when we're due to see two announcements of cameras that will do it, just four weeks from now. More choice = good for the consumer. Even if you decide (after seeing the competition) to go with the Z1, as competition could lead to lower Z1 prices.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 09:46 PM   #5
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Re: Re: Maybe some are being too hard on HDV?

<<<-- Originally posted by Rhett Allen : <<<-- Originally posted by Jack Felis : ... Everyone else though, seems to be waiting. My question is, why?
... I still don't know what camera I want, Panasonic's or JVC's but I'll have to wait until NAB to see. -->>>

Am I the only one who found the irony in this?
-->>>



Heh, heh, heh, glad you noticed! ;)

I support HDV, but I'm mostly talking about those that totally deny HDV entirely simply because of the current technicalities.

But yes, I do understand that there is an immensely limited amount of distribution options at the moment. It's a crying shame too; you'd at least think the VTRs would cost a lot less because of this fact, but I guess not. It's not like everyone has D-VHS or something!
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Old March 17th, 2005, 09:12 AM   #6
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I was mocked exactly 6 years ago when my XL-1 came in (on St. Patty's Day 1999) and I was going to use it to shoot my first feature film that summer. When I bought an Apple, G3 400 mhz Power Mac, (a month before Final Cut Pro 1.0 shipped, so I went with Premiere 5.1--ugh, then I moved to FCP 1.0 later that year) to edit my film with then pricey $3000 internal drives (120 gb total), I was laughed at. Those same people use DV (DVX100A, etc.) and an Apple with FCP.

Same thing with the HD10, and now the FX1. That's life!

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Old March 17th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #7
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Here's one for you...

Back in 1995 I started a website...everyone said I was a "geek" for using computers so much. Then by 1996 I got a job at the biggest television station in NH as the Webmaster...made more money over the next 4 years then just about anyone in the station! The entire time there almost all of them said the "web is a fad".....yes, they said "FAD"! Well, almost all of them lost their jobs when the station was sold. By that time I'd already made my money and mark. Thank God, I didn't listen!

If I had listened, wow, I'd feel really stupid right now. HDV (and whatever the off spring will be) in the television world is like Netscape was to the Web. It's going to bring millions of people into the fold by providing low-cost high definition video....for pros and mom's and dad's! It's definately going to be the foundation for all visual media in the future...and the future looks infinate to me with digital.

Something to keep in mind - they're already talking about outfitting theaters with 3D capabilities. Lucas and Cameron are pitching it as we speak....I'm positive that HD and HDV are the platforms on which that stuff will be built. It's so obvious! We all argue about cameras, but the real exciting thing to talk about is the formats and distribution. In 5 years, we'll all be able to shoot high quality HD, burn it in HD and display in on all home televisions. There are distribution paths opening up for indie filmmakers all the time, but in 5 years it will have shaken down enough so we'll have an easier time. My take? HD cable and Sat..."On Demand" indie movie libraries. I've got "On Demand" now and I can see them wanting content really soon...the more they got the more it's like the Internet. It's an all you can eat thing....100 movies on demand or 1,000,000 movies? It's totally possible, and we can definately make use of it. They'll have "Viewer Rated" indie films...and if you're film is good it'll pop up on a million televisions! Cool!!!!!
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Old March 17th, 2005, 01:48 PM   #8
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Good points Chris
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Old March 17th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #9
 
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<<<If you're in the business and you make money with your camera and your clients are asking for HD now, get the Z1 now -- waiting would be silly. If not, or if 24p is your thing, I think it'd be silly to spend 5 grand on a camera that doesn't do it, when we're due to see two announcements of cameras that will do it, just four weeks from now. More choice = good for the consumer. Even if you decide (after seeing the competition) to go with the Z1, as competition could lead to lower Z1 prices. -->>>

Very well said. To put it another way, why should I drop $5K now when, in all likelihood, there will be the next generation camera out from Panny or JVC in a short time. Looks like the JVC will be interchangeable lenses. After these cams are released, how much do you think the F1/Z1 will sell for? My guess will be south of $4K brand spankin' new, and less on the used market.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 04:27 PM   #10
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I imagine that if I was shopping for a new camera now, I would wait for NAB. But I am glad I bought my FX1 in time to take it to Hawaii for Christmas and more recently, to Acapulco. If I had waited, it would not have killed me, I am sure. But I would not have six hours of HDV footage. Some of which is quite spectacular.

Now, if I could just get over the impulse to shoot clouds at sunrise and sunset. I think I must have a couple of hours of it. I just love watching it on the 60" Sony HDTV. I tried that with my little palmcorder, and it was OK. But with the FX1 it is just stunning. I turn on some music and watch it over and over.

If I had waited, it would have been OK. But, you know, I am having fun, and that has to count for something.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:14 PM   #11
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Thanks Bob! lol
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Old March 17th, 2005, 11:47 PM   #12
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If you need it, buy it. That's why I bought a G5 1.6 ghz in Sept. 2003, right when the G5 Power Macs shipped. I needed it then for my DVD project with a release date a month away. Otherwise, I would've waited for the dual 2 ghz.

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Old March 20th, 2005, 02:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steven Gotz
I imagine that if I was shopping for a new camera now, I would wait for NAB.
Yeah, I did the unthinkable as well. Bought a first generation camera 2 months before NAB.

But, I needed to upgrade my gear for a project, and this was the best way to go for me at the time. The project more than paid for the camera, so even if something comes out at NAB that's amazing I can just work it into the next project.

However, I've been so pleased with my FX1 that I think it will last me at least until next April. I might even get another before then.

By then we might have some second (and even third) gen HDV cams and who knows what it'll be like.

I'll be happy with my FX1 for another year, even if it is suddenly obsolete a month form now.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #14
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It could take a while to become obsolete. As long as the people shooting with it continue to shoot quality footage, anyway. Once all the best pros are using something else, then the rest of us may have to follow.

Or, maybe, we will annoy everyone and upgrade before they all do. We did it once, we can do it again!

The leading edge is an expensive place to be, but it certainly is entertaining. It is not my normal position. I usually wait too long to upgrade. Which is why I went from a Canon ZR10 to a FX1 without stopping at a decent 3-chip SD camera first.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 07:39 PM   #15
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I shifted from the DVX100 to HRD-FX 1 about a month ago, I come from a film backround (mostly 16mm) and I donīt regret switching even for a second, the FX-1 is spectacular.

Even though there is no easy distribution at the moment, I want HD now because I can reuse it in the future. I can use anything I film from now on in 5-10 years because it is HD, with my DVX100 that same footage will be outdated and virtually worthless in the future.

Selling old stockshots in new projects makes up a good part of my income, and switching as soon as possible is the best solution in my case, especially when the FX-1 is so great. No drop outs so far.

Coming from film I have always hated the low resolution of standard definiton, compared to anything and everything SD is total crap, High Def is the inevitable solution and its here now! And that is not a day too soon.
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