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Old April 5th, 2005, 10:21 PM   #1
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Panasonic comparison

What are people thinking about the comparison of the newly announced Panasonic HD P2 camera as compared to the new JVC?
Thanks so much,
Stephen
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Old April 5th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #2
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Rather than comparing cameras, I think you need to compare formats.

HDV and P2 involve two completely different kinds of workflow in both the production and postproduction stages. There are much larger issues at stake for you than the camera, so this question really isn't about cameras but about formats.

Choose your format first, then pick your camera.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #3
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Plus, it's really early -- we know barely anything about the Panasonic, and while we know more about the JVC, I'm betting both companies will spring some surprises on us at NAB. Any sort of comparison at this point would be random speculation.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 02:19 AM   #4
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Obviously the point has already been made...but I do enjoy beating a dead horse.

Regardless of camera, format, and any other suprises that might be sprung on us at NAB (all very valid points), the most important point to me is that we have yet to see what these cameras are capable of. Until we have footage, there isn't much to compare.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 02:24 AM   #5
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Keeping in mind that we really don't have enough information on either cam to make a reliable comparison at this point. I've got to put the JVC in front so far.

1. CCD Resolution. The CCD's put out the full 720p frame size rather than scaling to fit as both panasonic and sony do. Seeing as how even the high-end HDCAMS don't offer the full 1080 resolution, I think its safe to say the new Panny won't have native 1080 chips either. I predict that the panasonic cam will have a native resolution less than the JVC, and all of the 1080 frame rates will be "scaled up" in camera. Which makes the whole 1080 advantage moot, as you can also scale up the images off the JVC in post with maybe even a better result?

2. MPG vs. HDVC PRO. Having used MPG encoding extensively in our Sony IMX machines, I am very impressed with the quality of the MPG image. (Of course the IMX format is I-frame only and 4:2:2 sampling, where HDV has a GOP and only 4:2:0). I've also seen the footage out of the Z1, and been suitably impressed with it. However all said and done, the DVCPRO codec seems to be more robust, (and ironically originally designed by JVC as Digital-S if i beleive correctly?). So while I think the Panasonic does have the better codec, the HDV codec is certainly not anything approaching awful.

3. PRO Features. The JVC has a real lens, CRT viewfinder, and an uncluttered surface with what looks like real buttons and toggle switches. For me, the lack of these features, and the difficulty of manually adjusting settings has been my main complaint with the smaller format cameras, not lack of picture quality. The Panasonic looks to be the same old kind of small format camera.

So for these reasons, I think the JVC is in front at the moment, at least for me. But all this could change once the official specs come out, and I can actually get my hands on these cameras and try them out. Still I am very glad I resisted the urge to walk out of the camera shop with a Z1 last month, and decided to wait for NAB. But man it was hard to do at the time :)
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Old April 6th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #6
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The CCD's put out the full 720p frame size rather than scaling to fit as both panasonic and sony do.

If I'm not mistaken, the details on the CCD block haven't been released yet on the Panasonic.

Seeing as how even the high-end HDCAMS don't offer the full 1080 resolution, I think its safe to say the new Panny won't have native 1080 chips either."

The JVC won't have native 1080 chips either, I believe.

The Panasonic looks to be the same old kind of small format camera.

I suppose it looks that way from under a shower curtain... but we should probably wait to actually see the camera (as well as the footage) before jumping to conclusions.

"I am very glad I resisted the urge to walk out of the camera shop with a Z1 last month

Well, that's one thing we can definitely agree on!
:)
Unless you absolutely have to purchase, I really thing right now is one of the worst times to buy a camera in as long as I can remember.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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>>1. CCD Resolution. The CCD's put out the full 720p frame size rather than scaling to fit as both panasonic and sony do. Seeing as how even the high-end HDCAMS don't offer the full 1080 resolution, I think its safe to say the new Panny won't have native 1080 chips either. I predict that the panasonic cam will have a native resolution less than the JVC, and all of the 1080 frame rates will be "scaled up" in camera. Which makes the whole 1080 advantage moot, as you can also scale up the images off the JVC in post with maybe even a better result?
<<

John, all the formats hd, digital, sd are 4:3. Either regular 4:3 or 4:3 anamorphic when recorded to what ever (P2,tape,HD...).

What JVC is doing is collecting more info to sqeeze into the 4:3:anamorphic space. Doesn't mean you can't get good quality form Pixel shift, but in theory the JVC can concentrate more on capturing the image with true 1280x720 chips, without adding a special manipulation (Pixel shift) to make it fit a specific format. Remeber though, JVC is offering 1080x60i out through it's component connections. I wonder how that will look.

When you capture, it's your NLE that unsqueezes it and make it look wide.

So the proof will definitely be in the recording part as to who has a better picture and who uprezes better.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:46 PM   #8
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Remeber though, JVC is offering 1080x60i out through it's component connections. I wonder how that will look.
Depends on whether it's camera-based, or tape-playback-based. What I mean is, this is an HDV camera, compatible with HDV, so that means it has to be able to play back HDV tapes. And HDV includes 1080i. So is the 1080i output of the camera merely the displaying of content that's been recorded on a 1080i HDV tape (i.e., someone records on a Z1, and plays back the tape on a JVC HD100)? Or is it some sort of up-rezzing/interleaving process?

I'd bet it's just the playback from the Z1/FX1 tapes. The Z1 and FX1 also have "720p output", but you can't get that from the live camera feed, you only get it when playing back 720p HDV tapes. I'd bet that the JVC HD100 would behave similarly.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #9
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Also, the JVC doesn't have a CRT viewfinder. Nobody makes CRTs any more, remember.

As for looking at resolutions of the chips etc. Apart from that we don't know what Panasonic are doing yet, the limiting factor is more likely to be the lens than the chips. And just because the JVC lens looks "pro" doesn't mean it measures good and has an appropriately good MTF.

720p vertical resolution >= 1080i interlaced vertical resolution due to the fact that the interlace video must be filtered to stop line twitter. A 720p sensor used without filtering should have more than enough rez to make a great 1080i vertical. Obviously, if you want real 1080p, then 720p vertical rez is insufficient.

Cameras, at least affordable ones, are all about compromises. You pays your money, you picks your compromise. There is no "best" camera, only a "best" camera for you and your budget.

Graeme
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Old April 6th, 2005, 02:38 PM   #10
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<<<"I am very glad I resisted the urge to walk out of the camera shop with a Z1 last month

Well, that's one thing we can definitely agree on!>>>

- I don't think I've heard of anyone being unhappy they were owning a Z1- They'll be alot of folks w/ the desire for both,( or all three ) just as there were alot of folks with a pd150 and a dvx. The choice will be between buying a sony or jvc because of size. The people that want the options that the panasonic will offer , will be doing a different style shoot( studio and narrative) But , you are right to say this is waiting time. Even if I could be making money shooting today , I'd rent, until the panasonic and JVC were fully devulged . It will probably be six months before the Panasonic and JVC are really shipping - not just a few hundred to select buyers but available online. I think a case could be made for going with a sony now because you can probably add another 6 months to that before you've got a decent workflow(w/the pany). And then there's the card issue which will probably limit the shooting ratio considerably.My point is a fx1/z1 will always be a nice camera even if you later own the JVC and the HDX !Kurth
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Old April 6th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #11
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The choice will be between buying a sony or jvc because of size.
Actually, both cameras will probably be the same size. Maybe the JVC will appear a little longer because of the lens, but in general camera size the Z1 and the JVC HD100 will be about the same.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #12
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Barry _ I was really trying to say between a handheld size and a shoulder supported size even though the body sizes might be about the same. Living in mexico and having to cross borders regularly. I'd chose a sony just for that reason. Every customs agent in the world is going to point to the jvc as a pro camera and , with the sony , one could still bs their way across, all things being equal. Kurth
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Old April 6th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #13
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What JVC is doing is collecting more info to sqeeze into the 4:3:anamorphic space

I was under the impression that the HDV spec for 720p recorded to a true 1280x720 image (i.e., square pixels), and that this 3CCD JVC will therefore be happily devoid of interpolation.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #14
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However, we should be reminded that even if the CCD has 1280*720, and the codec records 1280*720 without squashing it, there's no guarantee that the actual detail in the recorded image will do justice to such a resolution figure. You've got to figure in what the codec does to fine detail, and the MTF of the lens.

It's arguably better to go the DVCproHD route of recording 960x720 at a higher quality (downsampled from 1280x720) with less compression, than recording a higher compressed 1280x720. Either way is a compromise though.

Graeme
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Old April 6th, 2005, 09:05 PM   #15
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Well, like I said, it's still too early to really tell.

The reason I'm glad I didn't buy the Z1 is not that it is a bad camera, but with the upcoming competition there is more opportunity to comparison shop. I still might buy a Z1 after all the dust settles after NAB, but it won't have been my only choice.

I understand that the lens on the JVC is not going to be a pristine piece of glass. But when I said it had a real lens, I meant it functioned like a broadcast lens:

1. focus controls that have a relation to actual distance printed on the lens, with hard stops, that allow you to do follow focus, and rack focus much easier. I hate having to try to "nudge" the focus on these smaller cams that have the infinite rotation. Do you need to move it clockwise? Counter clockwise? How far?

2. A smooth iris control, marked in fstops.

3. Removable so you can slap on a wide angle, or ultra telephoto depending on your needs.

This observation was meant to be more from a usability standpoint than a quality standpoint. Probably all things considered the lenses from all these manufactureres will be pretty similar quality wise. I just feel the JVC's lens will be easier for me to use.
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