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Old April 28th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #1
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Should I move from my FX1 to an HVX200?

I'm considering switching cameras, and I'm looking for some advice.

Here's my current situation: I use my FX1 primarily for corporate/industrial production. While it's working great for that, I've got a couple new short films in the works, and I think the HVX200 might be much better suited for my indie film hobby.

Obviously, I love the progressive options (especially 24p) of the HVX200, and I really want its over and undercranking options.

My biggest concern with the HVX200 is its lower resolution CCDs -- with half the vertical resolution of the FX1's, I'm a bit concerned that I'll see a quality loss. On the other hand, the DVCPRO HD codec and increased color space could make up for that...

I'd really appreciate any insight on my situation. I tend to think the loss in resolution is worth it, considering everything else I gain... but I'd certainly like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks in advance!
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Old April 28th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #2
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Before you jump ship to the HVX200, you should seriously think about the P2 workflow. HVX200 records in dvcprohd codec. That's 100mb/s, which will give you 16 minutes of hd video on one 16 gig card. High definition video from this camera cannot be recorded to tape, only standard definition DV. As far as quality is concerned, Panasonic uses pixel shift to attain HD resolution. It might appear a bit softer, but it still produces very nice images. Some cinematographers actually prefer its softer look. The disavantage that I see is price and recording times.

Price will set you back at least $6,600 ($5,200 street for camera, $700 x2 for two 16gig P2 Cards). Recording times with two 16gig cards will be 32 minutes. You can try a hard drive solution like firestore 100, but that'll run you another $1500.00 and still give you only about an hour and a half recording time.

Since you have an FX 1, why not consider the Sony V1. It's HDV, so it records to mini dv tapes. You can even get its optional hard drive for longer recording times (4.5hours of HDV) or use the hard drive as a backup because it can record to the hard drive and tape drive simultaneously. It has 24P and a very sharp and clear image. It doesn't have variable frame rates, so you can't overcrank/undercrank. However, you can achieve a similar look in post. And for the price of the HVX200 camera alone ($5200.00), you can own the V1 and its optional hard drive. I think that would be the best deal in my opinion.

If price is no object and you can wait another 6 months or so, you might want to consider the new XDCam-EX, a variable rate tapeless camcorder that records on flash type cards called SxS. The big selling point with this camera is it's half inch full resolution sensors, in my opinion.

I still think the V1 is the best bang for the buck for what you want to do with it. Good luck on whatever camera you decide on.
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Old April 29th, 2007, 01:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by John Bosco Jr. View Post
Price will set you back at least $6,600 ($5,200 street for camera, $700 x2 for two 16gig P2 Cards). Recording times with two 16gig cards will be 32 minutes.
Except in 720p 24pn, where recording times will be about 80 minutes.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #4
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Thanks very much for your insight. You've given me a lot to think about.

I'll probably stick with my FX1 for now and look into upgrading a bit later on... frankly, the FX1 is working just fine for me, and as much as I'd like the extra features the HVX200 offers, it really is a cost/benefit issue.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 11:02 AM   #5
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and keep in mind the hvx200 is about the size and weight of a cinder block :)
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Old May 1st, 2007, 11:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Noah Yuan-Vogel View Post
and keep in mind the hvx200 is about the size and weight of a cinder block :)
Is it that much bigger/heavier than the FX1?

I just picked up a 35mm lens adapter; I tend to work with big, heavy rigs... So weight and size aren't really a problem.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:26 AM   #7
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How about the Canon A1? Wont set you back much, 24f (i.e. 24 progressive fps ready to go) and a lot more manual control than the fx1.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Eric Wotila View Post
My biggest concern with the HVX200 is its lower resolution CCDs -- with half the vertical resolution of the FX1's, I'm a bit concerned that I'll see a quality loss. On the other hand, the DVCPRO HD codec and increased color space could make up for that...
In practice the real-world difference in resolution between the two cameras isn't necessarily a big deal, while the difference in color depth may be significant depending on what you're doing. But the biggest difference is in terms of workflow: with the HVX200 you basically have to plan to archive your footage either on the set or as soon as you get home after a shoot. (Because you have to empty out your camera media to something else before you continue shooting.) If that doesn't bother you then the HVX200 is worth a look, but don't buy one until you fully understand what owning it involves.

As far as cost is concerned, a complete HVX200 setup with a few P2 cards or a Firestore hard drive could set you back even more than indicated in a previous post. If I was going to spend that kind of money on a camera, I'd wait for the recently announced Sony XDCAM EX due to ship around the end of this year.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 02:21 PM   #9
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Yeah you might want to consider what it is you are buying the HVX for. If it is for dvcprohd then it could be worth it. The A1 has more resolution and much lower price and is a good camera. The HVX's strong points are chroma sampling, variable framerate, and file based workflow. I wonder about these things though... 960x540 CCDs for each color mean the physical color resolution cant be higher than that, even if it is resized to 640x1080. Seems like that might mean an effective chroma resolution of 640x540, which is lower than HDV's 720x540. And then 60p at 960x720? From what I've heard, the A1's 60i at 1440x1080 can have its field separated into what is effectively 1440x540 60p. And file based workflow is great, but P2 isnt ideal for a lot of shooting styles. Direct to disk recording could be a great option though.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 02:27 PM   #10
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hi eric: before i spent a lot of money, i would experiment with some film-look filters and your FX-1, especially because for the biz end of things you are describing, i am betting that you will miss having long-form recording more than you miss having progressive images in-camera. if you were considering adding the HVX to your arsenal, that'd be one thing, but replacing it entirely might not serve your other projects that you're describing--the ones that generate income, rather than sucking you dry, har har.

the A1 might be a nice compromise, as others have suggested, and cheaper.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
As far as cost is concerned, a complete HVX200 setup with a few P2 cards or a Firestore hard drive could set you back even more than indicated in a previous post. If I was going to spend that kind of money on a camera, I'd wait for the recently announced Sony XDCAM EX due to ship around the end of this year.
By the time that cam is ready, an HVX with two 32 GB cards will cost less than the EX will without cards.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 01:42 AM   #12
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Hpx 500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Wotila View Post
I'm considering switching cameras, and I'm looking for some advice.

Here's my current situation: I use my FX1 primarily for corporate/industrial production. While it's working great for that, I've got a couple new short films in the works, and I think the HVX200 might be much better suited for my indie film hobby.

Obviously, I love the progressive options (especially 24p) of the HVX200, and I really want its over and undercranking options.

My biggest concern with the HVX200 is its lower resolution CCDs -- with half the vertical resolution of the FX1's, I'm a bit concerned that I'll see a quality loss. On the other hand, the DVCPRO HD codec and increased color space could make up for that...

I'd really appreciate any insight on my situation. I tend to think the loss in resolution is worth it, considering everything else I gain... but I'd certainly like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks in advance!
You might want to take a look at the new HPX 500. I understand you're an enthusiast so consider the money ~ about $20,000 fully loaded.

Last edited by Dean Harrington; May 5th, 2007 at 06:43 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #13
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One of the reasons that I would get the HVX200 is because of the tape less workflow. Another reason is that it can record 720 60p. 1080 60i and 1080 30p can’t compare to it. The only drawback is that it’s best to buy a few 8 gig or 16 gig P2 cards and you may end up spending a bit more than you planned.

It all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend. If you have a tight budget then to be on the safe side the Sony V1u and the Canon XH-A1 is a smart choice. If money is really not an issue then the smart choice is to wait until the XD-CAM EX and the successor of the HVX200 is out.

Eric Wotila,
At least you’re deciding to wait because it gives you more time to save up for the more expensive camcorders.
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