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GY-HD 100 & 200 series ProHD HDV camcorders & decks.


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Old August 22nd, 2008, 08:59 AM   #1
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Tapeless workflow options for JVC ProHD

Hi all,

Tim D is close to convincing me that if I want to shoot news on a tight deadline in 720 on my HD111 without gaps and breaks, I need to go tapeless.

I know there are all sorts of options out there for this. Problem is, I'm a long way from a decent equipment store, and though the WWW is a wonderful resource, it doesn't answer questions like "how does a unit work with another unit?" "Can you mount it without using gaffer tape and Gorilla glue?" "Does it sound like you have a vacuum cleaner parked on the back of your camera?" etc etc.

So I wondered if I could ask the assembled wisdom of dvinfo thread 98 (that's us lot) what you guys think is the best option for going tapeless.

Here are some criteria, to get started:

1: Ideally solid state, not disc drive based.

2: Silent running (obviously this would be the case with SD card or solid state)

3: Dust, rain, and shock resistant.

4: easy and unobtrusive to mount - ideally at the back of the camera, not the top.

5: Minimum possible cable run. Even better, hard wired - is there something that clips onto an AB or V-mount, and has a mount on the other end to mount a battery?

Any thoughts on this would be hugely appreciated.

Best wishes

Rob Adams
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 04:16 PM   #2
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Check out nNovia. They have several units that mount onto either "V" mount or AB brackets, thus running the recorder off of your camera battery. I think that they may have an SSD option as well.

I looked at their QC HD unit with V mount kit and it was around $1100 from my local dealer.
It comes with a 120 gig drive. Also MCE Technologies has an SSD recorder as well as an HD based one. Don't know much about them or if they are reliable or not.

Check out the Tapeless Recording forum on this board as well.

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Old August 22nd, 2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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Gee Rob, you're not asking for much :>)


I know the ABC station in Cleveland been shooting with a HD250 & and dr-HD100 for a number of months. the one shooter I talked to liked it. I bet they'll really like it tonight when american high school football starts and they each shooting 3-4 different games.


They are using the Anton mount that puts the drive behind the camera which personally I like better than the one I have that mounts on top. I had someone at AB tell me that that customers requested it.

your other option is a new camera
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 05:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for your thoughts, guys. I've been shooting a doc in Rwanda this past three weeks using Panny HVX200s and DR-100 firestores. I don't like the camera - it is without doubt the most ergonomically uncomfortable camera i have used in 20 years of shooting video - and i don't like the DR 100 - we had one fail on the first day of the shoot, and intermittent problems with a couple of others. Plus the fan noise is intrusive, and the fact that if you hit pause on the camera you create a new clip, but if you hit pause on the FS you don't, is annoying.

Other probs? Well, they ingest dust through the fan (a problem in Africa, and for sure a deal breaker in Iraq and Afghanistan). They run hot, also a problem in Africa. And most other places I work. And they take the same time to download as tape - ie real time.

And certainly, on the HVX200, there is no intelligent way of mounting the FS without using elastic bands, gaffer tape, odd little metal arrangements, and a tube of Gorilla glue.

So no Firestore for me.

I like the look of the nNovia - the media pack and v-lock mount exactly hit my requirement. But I can't quite establish if you need the media deck as well as the mediapac - which pushes the price up a lot, and the tactical load. Without the deck, the price is good, for sure. But some questions (again!)

Like: how much HDV footage does the the 16Gb store? Is it like a Panny P2 16Gb card (16 minutes?) Or is it a sensible amount of footage - like an hour or so?

or, How much goes onto a 120Gb HDD? And does it make lots of fan noise? Is it dust proof? etc etc...

And what format do the mediapacs record in? is it mt2? That would work with my preferred FCP NLE.

And, although the mediapac mounts to the V-lock (good) is there still a need for a Firewire cable to the camera for video signal?

But this is good. Choices getting narrowed.

If anyone else feels like adding to this conversation, I'd love to hear from you.

Best wishes

Rob Adams
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 06:44 PM   #5
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The Firestore on the HVX200 is a different ball game to the JVC 111.
The reason the files download at about real time on the Panasonic is the recording format, on the HVX they're Varicam 4.2.2 quite large files. On the the JVC HDV they're much smaller HDV files. My experience is on the JVC they transfer via firewire on my Mac Book G4 at about 5 X realtime. My DR HD100 80gb drive will hold about 6 hours of footage. The DR HD100 is set so the roll button on the camera controls the tape and hard drive start stop simultaneously. The DR HD100 can be set to record M2T or Quicktime in HDV or a number of codecs in SD to suit almost all NLEs. Also unlike the Panasonic the tape and the drive are both capable of recording in HD resolution.

To mount the drive to the camera I use one of these adaptors; Provisual Online
Thet are also available in AB mount from the same outlet. I use a D tap power cable to power the drive from the battery mount (there are now 2 on my camera, one from the adaptor and one on the camera 'V' mount so if I need to use an on camera light I can without a separate battery.

I bought short right angled Firewire cables from;-
FireWire Cable, 6pin to 6pin, Plus New Extension Cables
which route the cable horizontally back towards the drive and keep them very close to the camera, a far better solution than the cables that came with the drive that occasionally got dislodged.

The camera viewfinder indicates the DR HD100 is recording and there are a number of other workflow options with file storage and organisation in the Firestore, including a timelapse option in SD.

I find that files can be downloaded to the clients hard drive during a meal break or during pack-up time at the end of the shoot day. I have never had problem with files on the drive, unlike drop out problems occasionally on the tapes. I always shoot to tape and drive, producers feel more secure with this and do not need to archive. Indeed I have producers who are so happy with the quality of the pics they prefer this camera to Digi or SP Beta because of the workflow advantages.

Long takes of more than 2Gb break into seperate files but no frames are lost so just edit them together. Also this is probably why I've never been bothered by the FCP missing frames / broken clips problem. This seems to have been resolved by importing from tape as Apple Pro Res though (maybe even better with Clipwrap which I will try soon)

The camera balances nicely handheld with the extra weight at the back (I normally have a Chroziel Matte box and rods at the front. It's long but no more than a Betacam.

I imagine that shooting conditions in Australia are similar to Africa, hot, dusty etc but I have never had a problem with the DR HD100, unlike the camera. The camera did have a lot of problems initially but local support was excellent with loan cameras always provided either by Lemac, where I purchased the camera or by JVC whenever my camera was problematic. My kit has been 100% reliable for the past year but having such good support locally is also a confidence boost.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Adams View Post
T...I like the look of the nNovia - the media pack and v-lock mount exactly hit my requirement. But I can't quite establish if you need the media deck as well as the mediapac - which pushes the price up a lot, and the tactical load. Without the deck, the price is good, for sure. But some questions (again!)

Like: how much HDV footage does the the 16Gb store? ...
The nNovia unit comes in two models, the "Deck" model which uses the MediaPaks and the regular "QC HD" model which is a fixed hard drive. It uses a Firewire cable from the camera to the hard drive. You can record either .m2t or Quicktime files.

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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:44 PM   #7
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anybody know the advantage of nNovia product over dr hd100?
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 10:15 PM   #8
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It is cheaper and has a larger Hard Drive. Also the V mount or AB mount options are better than the Firestore mount.

It doesn't use FAT32 to format it's hard drive. Thus no more 2 gig file size limitation.

When using the JVC cameras the Firestore does integrate better with the camera, giving you a readout in the LCD of time left on the drive and drive status.

Both are good options.

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Old August 24th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #9
 
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I've been using both an nNovia QCDeck with a 120Gb mediapac and a Firestore FS4HD on my JVC HD110. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The FS4HD is compact, relatively lightweight and records 1 hr of m2t data on 40 Gb.The QCDeck is very large and much heavier. 120Gb records about 3 hours of m2t, and also costs around $1700 with a 120Gig drive. The FS4HD records scene info, but will randomly drop out. The nNovia has never dropped out on me, but, sometimes I have a problem injesting the data into my NLE. Cineform NEO seems to always read the files and has saved my butt several times. I can power both systems from the V-mount on the back of my HD110. Both system rely on 1394 firewire for signals. I think the fundamental problem with all 1394 connections is the flaky connector, which can be bumped, causing loss of data/dropouts, or even worse, connecting the connector improperly will blow the entire firewire bus, resulting in very expensive repair bill.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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Hey Bill, does the tape need to roll for the nNovia to record?
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #11
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And, to add a futher question to the list... When recording in timelapse mode on the nNovia, is it posible to do it HDV or is it just limited to DV like the firestore.
Sorry if this is hijacking the thred somewhat.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #12
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great advice

Thanks for all this guys. Phil, your report on the Firestore is really helpful. I think I need to get hands on experience with both the FS and the Nnovia before I start throwing plastic at a solution.

Bill and Daniel - for me, the only nNovia that would work for me is the QC HD. I like the look of it, and the V-mount system is a major advantage.

So I guess I need to get to a proper country, with a decent camera store, and have a play. I'll post a note once I've made a decision.

Best wishes

Rob Adams
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Old September 5th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Adams View Post
Thanks for all this guys. Phil, your report on the Firestore is really helpful. I think I need to get hands on experience with both the FS and the Nnovia before I start throwing plastic at a solution.

Bill and Daniel - for me, the only nNovia that would work for me is the QC HD. I like the look of it, and the V-mount system is a major advantage.

So I guess I need to get to a proper country, with a decent camera store, and have a play. I'll post a note once I've made a decision.

Best wishes

Rob Adams
Rob,

Good luck finding an nNovia QC HD to play with. Even here in the states it is a special order item that will drop ship to my house. None of the vendors I talked to had one in stock to play with.

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Old September 13th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Adams View Post
Thanks for all this guys. Phil, your report on the Firestore is really helpful. I think I need to get hands on experience with both the FS and the Nnovia before I start throwing plastic at a solution.

Bill and Daniel - for me, the only nNovia that would work for me is the QC HD. I like the look of it, and the V-mount system is a major advantage.

So I guess I need to get to a proper country, with a decent camera store, and have a play. I'll post a note once I've made a decision.

Best wishes

Rob Adams
If you are able, check out the new JVC MRHD100 HDD media recorder. It's smaller, no fan, and has WiFi and metadata capabilities. Also, the HDD is UDF formatted so you are not limited to the FAT32 file limit. The units should be available in either end of September or the first part of October.

Hope this helps in your HDD hunt. Good luck!
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