Amphibious Use: Z1, HVX200 or Z2? at

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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 09:57 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
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Amphibious Use: Z1, HVX200 or Z2?

Now that the underwater housing market for the Sony Z1 has matured, I'm just about ready to upgrade from my Sony VX2000.

But before I do I want to make sure that I shouldn't be going for the Panasonic AG-HVX200 or even waiting until a Sony Z2 appears. Housings for the HVX200 are in the pipeline but not available just yet.

I get hired for TV jobs internationally for both above-water and below-water shoots (so far mostly PAL but I could well get jobs from the USA) so the camera has to be flexible and right for those jobs. The Z1's PAL/NTSC flexibility is nice but would the HVX200's 24p and DVCPRO HD capabilities put me into the "next bracket"?

I also want great footage for my own growing archive of underwater video but I don't know whether 24p, 50i or 60i would be best for this. The archive needs to be attractive to the widest range of producers internationally.

And finally I produce my own videos, currently on DVD (both PAL and NTSC), but in the future to be on HD-DVD, Blu Ray, downloadable files or whatever.

In particular, how important is the HVX200's 24p capability in my situation?

Any advice would be much appreciated before I take the plunge.
Nick Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2006, 10:40 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
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Nick, you're already shooting 25/50, so you'll gain nothing by 24p, especially underwater. There is no "Z2" in the near future so far as anyone knows...and the P2 workflow would be a huge PITA underwater. Do you really want to surface every 16 minutes to change drives? Someone will probably bring a housing to market that will support some kind of HDD storage, but that'll maybe be a while. On the other hand, the Z1 already has a tested and tried underwater workflow.
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
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Old February 25th, 2006, 01:35 AM   #3
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Thanks very much as always for the reply Spot.

Actually 16 mins is not the end of the world for me. I usually come out with around 15 mins from most dives I do and bigger 16Gb+ cards cannot be far away. I heard 128Gb P2 are planned for 2007. Plus Gates are talking about an underwater housing for the Firestore FS4 drive.

Nevertheless I'm still tending towards the Z1. But I've read in other places such as (the best forum for serious underwater videographers) that the formats the Z1 shoots natively are not acceptable to the "big boys" (Nat Geo, BBC, Discovery etc.). i.e. They might licence something special from your HDV stock but they would be reluctant to actually hire you for a shoot with a Z1 and they would probably whinge a bit about licensing stuff unless it's been upconverted to DVC pro HD or better. What's your view on that?

Also I don't see DVC Pro HD on Vegas' list of outputs. What would be the workflow to upconvert to that for a guy like me? Is it possible?

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