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Old April 20th, 2005, 11:16 AM   #1
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For narrative work: JVC HD100 or Panasonic HVX200?

Just out or curiousity: which one would you choose for narrative filmwork: the JVC or the Panny?

It looks like technical the Panny comes out the best, but without the interchangible lens system.
What do you guys think?
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Old April 20th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #2
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The JVC. Better lens and the option of using other lenses, ease of adding a matte box, the look. And I say the look because actors also to a degree respond to the equipment around them. If you use a little consumer looking camera, they may not take the whole endeavour seriously. The JVC is still small but somewhat looks more professional, especially with a matte box. Bring a CineAlta or a 35mm camera on a big tripod and everyone (cast and crew) will pay attention :-)
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Old April 20th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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For me, it would depend on the skill level of my on-camera talent. If I had an experienced cast, I would go with the Panny. If I needed to do lots of coaching and lots of takes, the P2 cards loose their advantage, unless Panasonic can come up with a way to record directly to firewire drives.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 01:26 AM   #4
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I occasionally hear this about actors responding differently to larger or smaller cameras, but I will finally speak up about this: I believe it has everything to do with their faith in those behind the camera, not what color or size the camera is. Many big-name feaure directors have toyed with small-format video in recent years, and feel that they have gotten even more intimate performances as the actors are less intimidated by the reduced size of the equipment and personnel. This is a direct contradiction to the theory that the bigger the gun, the better the impact.

Perhaps (and please, this is not directed at any individuals here), it's worth considering that a filmmaker who feels he must dress up the camera to get a better performance is either a) working with actors who are not serious about their craft to begin with, or b) manifesting an overall insecurity that is likely to be picked up in a negative way by the actors, regardless of what type of camera is being used.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 01:52 AM   #5
 
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Well said, Charles.
Victor Milt, who is one of our trainers, has shot Sam Waterston and Dennis Hopper for a number of projects, regularly shoots with a PD 170 and now the HVR-Z1. He's also shot a number of fairly well known nationally airing spots. He has a film history of more than 40 years and nearly 1000 commercials. He now prefers to shoot most things in DV with the 170, even though he owns part of a 35mm Arri. I talked to him about shooting major projects with the 170, his point was nearly identical to yours. "It doesn't matter what I show up with, as long as I show up. They're buying my skills, not my tools. No one ever asked a professional carpenter what brand of saw he uses..." or something to that effect was his comment. But...not too many of us have nearly 1000 commercials with a verifiable product gross of more than 100 million $$, either. :-) I wish I'd have come up with the whole Juan Valdez thing....That's one of Victor's signatures. Same with the "Roaches check in, but they don't check out..." commercials. And the Folgers soap opera pieces, Irish Spring soap, US Air Force, and a lot more.
True, he shot those on 35, but the stuff he's doing today, he mostly shoots DV and processes in post for the film-like looks.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 08:53 AM   #6
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Well, you guys are certainly right about the skills. There is no disagreement. However, not all of us have the luxury of always working with professional actors and extras and whether you like it or not, the gear around you has impact. It doesn't have anything to do with the filmmakers skils but it influences the attitudes of inexperienced actors and even more so extras.

As a footnote here; the size and look of the camera certainly makes a difference when dealing with clients, but that has been covered on another thread...
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 10:58 AM   #7
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The FX1 or Z1, because I've used both. Once I can test the HD-100 and the HVX200, then I'll make a decision.

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Old April 23rd, 2005, 12:37 PM   #8
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Through a career that includes over 700 national TV programs for 12 different networks, I have always maximized technology - while minimizing overhead. I never let ego keep me from matching the correct equipment with the project. If the budget and look of the project calls for an F900, I show up with an F900. If the budget and look of a project calls for a VX2000, I show up with a VX2000. Because you hand someone a paint brush, does that make them Rembrandt? Because you hand someone a pen, does that make them Shakespeare? Talent, experience, and technology are the three necessary elements of quality production in any format or medium.

Here's a case in point:

I produced, directed, and was primary cameraman for a behind the scenes, reality documentary at the NFL Super Bowl in Jacksonville. My budget was tiny, but the show was scheduled to air nationally on Dish Network (Men's Channel). 3-chip DV was the logical choice of formats. Our show, one hour long (8 segments), featured multiple small events, indoors and out. The shooting pace was hectic, quarters often cramped, and we had to be true "run 'n gun" crews. My entire crew was myself, talent, and one other cameraman. We used a VX2000 and an XL1s, both of them outfitted with every accessory imaginable to enable quality mobile production: servozoom pistol grips, wide converters, sunguns, wireless mics, dual XLR adaptors, etc. The whole week was spent interviewing entertainment and NFL celebrities and shooting creative b-roll. Not once did anyone say anything negative about our equipment! We had full-access NFL passes to interview the Patriots and Eagles, including on the field after the game, and in locker rooms. We were surrounded by hundreds of network TV crews from around the world, all of which had full-sized cameras, big crews, and bulky equipment. Our small, highly-accessorized equipment allowed us to get shots those other crews could only dream of. Sure, our resolution may have been less, but that's only one element of good footage. Several times through the week crews carrying humongous cameras voiced their wish to us that they were shooting with our small, mobile equipment.

Bottom line: the show was edited cost-effectively on a Media 100 system, had a ton of pace and creative shots to cover interviews with about 70 celebrities, and was a resounding success as it aired nationally on Dish Network and various cable systems. Our crew had experience and talent. It didn't matter that we were shooting with "prosumer" equipment. "Prosumer" equipment, accessorized correctly, and in the hands of seasoned professionals, becomes PROFESSIONAL equipment. HDV will be the same story.

When Hawaiians go surfing, they check out the size and conditions of the waves, and then pick the best surfboard for those conditions. My approach to television production is the same: check out the conditions, and then pick the equipment that is best suited for it...
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 12:58 PM   #9
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Howdy from Texas,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Gibby
"Prosumer" equipment, accessorized correctly, and in the hands of seasoned professionals, becomes PROFESSIONAL equipment. HDV will be the same story.
Great comment there, Steve. You're definitely our favorite kind of DV Info Net member... sure hope you choose to stick around with us; it's a pleasure to have you here!
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 02:12 PM   #10
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I had an unexpected surprise (that you've know about for months)
that NAB helped me find. This could be the camera that
starts the HD revolution. The JVC GY-HD100!!!

Up until the show, this camera held no interest for me. HDV?
Because of its limited bandwidth, the HDV codec is unable to sustain high
pixel movement without sever image distortion.
The bandwidth is too low IMO for nature documentaries when dealing
with blowing leaves, grass and panning.

I read this article . . . and I have a feeling JVC might have read it too. . .

Mr. Pappas wrote:<<<As JVC stands at the edge looking out over the horizon, they should look farther and realize that it's best to install the future in the present with a better mbs 4:2:2 in the GY-HD100 for those that are going to start using HDD media based recording systems today. >>>

I don't know if you read my other misplaced posts on this camera,
but WOW! JVC had a GY-HD100 with its tape transport removed at NAB.
In it's place (mock up only) was an encoder brick and TWO bnc
jacks that are switchable between SD and HD and output either:

1) Uncompressed SMPTE 259M (D1 NTSC @ 720x486)

2) Uncompressed SMPTE 292M (720P 60fps @ 1280x720)

Three other bnc jacks provide component analog video out.

The native chip size is 1280x720 and the lens is removable.
This offers the possibility of having adapters that range from
film lens at 1:1 to 35mm telephotos at 7.2:1 magnification factor.

This model was ONLY being floated as a TEST BALLOON, but from what
the JVC rep said, it was getting A LOT of attention.

We need to offer congratulations (and sales) to the people
at JVC who are taking the risks in going to this next step
of giving us a TRUE HD camera head for well under $10K.

If JVC does it, I will find the money somehow!!!
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 02:34 PM   #11
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If the tool fits the job, use it. Great logic, Steve!

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Old April 23rd, 2005, 03:03 PM   #12
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Thanks Chris and Heath. I've been reading and enjoying DV Info Net for several months, and finally decided to join and put in my 2 cents. I think networking is the backbone of any business, but especially the media business. My whole career I have stepped up to mentor others. Most times the Karma has come full circle - someone has stepped up to help me when I needed it.

I never worry about creating competitors. I simply focus in on creating allies.

I'm glad to be a member of DV Info Net!
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Old April 24th, 2005, 05:34 PM   #13
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Steve your comments are right on the money. My interest is indie narrative features and maybe shorts. From what I've read, the output from the camera is excellent, something I've come to expect from JVC. For me, true 24p is important. Not having to purchase expensive memory cards to get HD output is important. Not having to purchase a portable HD drive is important too. For the cost of a Firestore I can purchase a Mackie Universal controller and some large fast SATA drives. Or a new monster desktop or...for the cost of the 2 P2 cards even the jvc hdv vtr if I really want to feel like a pro (grin).

Tape is not the demon people make it out to be. Indies on tight budgets have the time to capture from tape,and I have more time than money.

My only fear is that JVC really had some problems with their equipment in the past (chips, vtr..). They can't afford to have any QC problems at this stage of the game or it's pretty much all over for them in the pro world. Heres to hoping they get it right!!!!!:).
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Old April 25th, 2005, 06:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Howdy from Texas,


Great comment there, Steve. You're definitely our favorite kind of DV Info Net member... sure hope you choose to stick around with us; it's a pleasure to have you here!
maybe going a bit OT here but how come when Steve made that comment, which is virtually on the same lines of some of my past comments i've made in other posts on DVinfo (its not the tool, its the operator etc etc), he gets gratitude but when I make these similar comments, there was no gratitude, more so i got negative replies?....

is it because i'm an outback kangaroo shooting beer drinking Australian? is it because i'm only 24 yrs old? is it because i'm white?...:)

not trying to flame an arguement or attack people, just curious like a cat thats all....
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Old April 25th, 2005, 09:11 AM   #15
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Actually it's all of the above, Darren... I prefer to discriminate against folks I've never met who are safely tucked away in a far corner of the planet...

Seriously though, I just happened to catch Steve's comments, but honestly if I had stumbled across yours, I most certainly would have made the same response...

Despite, that is, the fact that you're from Oz, are white, and barely out of knickers at 24, all of which rather disgusts me for no good reason.

Please be sure to flesh out your profile indicating a rough idea of *where* in the vast land down under you're typing from, any nearby major metro center will do, so that I might be able to poke more specific fun at you.

At least you're not a Kiwi. Just having Aaron Koolen aboard makes up for ten or twenty of those... (ducks) (runs)
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