Panasonic AVCHD camcorders announced; plus AVC Intra (pre-NAB2008) - Page 5 at DVinfo.net

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Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders
AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


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Old February 25th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #61
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One slot...

...in the HMC70. Just one little slot.

Geez. Couldn't they have put in two? Was that too much to ask for?

Perhaps the 150 will satisfy my desire for more, um, ports.

ian
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Old February 25th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #62
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...in the HMC70. Just one little slot.

Geez. Couldn't they have put in two?
I'd love more than one slot as well, but if I remember correctly, part of the reason P2 cards are so expensive is that to bridge continuous shots over 2 cards, the card itself had to have some type of controller built into it. My guess is that they haven't figured out a way to bridge shots over normal SD cards and that's why we're stuck with a single slot.

I'm still hoping for a dual slot setup on the HMC150 too, but I have no clue if this is possible with the current SD card architecture. Any of you really smart people care to comment on this one?
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Old February 26th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #63
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I am eager to see something of the HVX-200 successor. I am looking at a new camcorder with tapeless acquisition. The Sony PMW-EX1 is certainly an option but I would like to compare it with something from the competition. And so far there is not really a comparable product. The HVX-200 is really due for replacement. I currently have a Canon XL-H1 with I like but there are a lot of things that annoy me (low resolution LCD, tape, no shot transition mode, no in camera over/undercranking, no interval record mode, no stop motion mode). I want to minimize my editing time as much as possible. I hope Panasonic will announce a HVX-300 at NAB with everything the PMW-EX1 offers but then with the DVC PRO HD codec and a proper LCD and lens. Let's wait and see. Like someone else mentioned, I am in a position to do that.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #64
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I do like the setup that the HVX and the EX have regarding tapeless media.
It's quite exciting but for long format shoots like dance recitals, plays, etc the media isn't big enough or cheap enough to be viable.

For an average shoot I'd require media for two cameras that would shoot for about 3+ hours on each camera. Right now that's prohibitive but with the advent of the new Panny 150 using the Class 4/6 SD cards it's now within my reach to go tapeless.

I realize it's not the same codec, colour space, etc as the HVX or EX but for my clients it will be very nice.

Looking forward to this fall to see how the 150 shakes out.

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Old February 26th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #65
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The price of SxS and P2 media will drop very quick. Each year you get double the size for the same amount. For the EX1... I think I need like an extra 32GB to be comfortable. So that means 2 hours of HQ recording. It comes with 2x8GB which gives me 3 hours of recording time. It will be hard to fill that in one day. I think with tapeless, you need to get a good archival system in place. So capture, load to laptop, copy to external drive. This way, you have A) a copy on the original SxS/P2 card B) a copy on a internal (desktop or notebook) harddisk and C) a copy on an external harddisk. Once you have completed step B and C you can delete A and overwrite the data as you have two copies of the master data which should be safe enough. I agree that when shooting plays and events it is hard to do this as you can't copy a card to your laptop while you are still shooting a stage play or concert. But I do not think many plays/concerts are over 3 hours, so I think 48GB will be sufficient.

16GB SxS costs $899 now but at the end of the year you will probably get 32GB for the same amount. Also, with SxS eventually they will open it to Sandisk (no Sandisk cards yet) and other manufacturers, which will bring the price of the cards down rapidly (look at computer RAM/harddisks).

So I think that when you can deal with 2 hours of recording time, now is a right time to go tapeless. If you need 4 hours or more it might be smart to wait one more year to allow prices of SxS/P2 to drop further.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #66
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It still boggels my mind why panasonic goes the routes they do towards the release of new equipment. Maybe it's because of some internal structuring of the company, I don't know. When sony released an EFP HD format, they based it using a beta cassette, where as Panasonic used their same DVCPro dv based cassette. Panasonic releases a low end shoulder P2 camera, but puts SD chips in them. Call me crazy, but I'm a little sceptical about how good this camera will actually be.

When I first heard about the HVX 3 years ago, I was amazed that they would release a palm cam that shot DVCPro hd, but in comparison to the competition at this price level, the HVX looks noticably softer, albeit with very nice color rendition. Now with two years of HVX ads claiming the majesty of intra frame copression, Panasonic releases an mpeg4 prosumer camcorder touted to "replace" the DVX. Now sony is onto their third gen HDV cam, canon and JVC producing very nice cameras, I think this camera is going have some very hard competiters. I for one found the DVX a little clunky to handle some times.

The benefit of this camera is the fact that it can shoot variable frame rates at this price point. Don't get me wrong, I think this camera will find some people that love it and the images it produces. Let's hope Panasonic will install a decent encoder in this camera and put a really good lens in front. The JVC 200 is only a little bit more expensive and offers a lot that this camera doesn't have for 720 shooters. Lets hope for an update for the HVX too.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #67
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Now with two years of HVX ads claiming the majesty of intra frame compression, Panasonic releases an mpeg4 prosumer camcorder touted to "replace" the DVX.
I could see your point if the HMC150 was supposed to be the HXV successor, but it's not. By using AVCHD, Panasonic is clearly signaling that the 150 is not supposed to be in the same class as the HVX.
I might add here that the HVX replacement most likely wont be using DVCProHD anyway. My guess is that too will be using an mpeg4 variant; AVCIntra which is now being used in Panasonic's hefty pro grade cameras. AVCIntra should beat the pants off of AVCHD.

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Now sony is onto their third gen HDV cam, canon and JVC producing very nice cameras, I think this camera is going have some very hard competiters. I for one found the DVX a little clunky to handle some times.
I own HDV cameras and I've used the HVX extensively and I can tell you that I'd take DVCPro over HDV any day of the week, hands down.
All these prosumer handy-cams are clunky to handle. I've never used one that just felt right in my hands. Oddly enough though, they all handle very much alike to me.

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The benefit of this camera is the fact that it can shoot variable frame rates at this price point.
What price point? Has Panasonic announced a pricepoint yet?

Quote:
The JVC 200 is only a little bit more expensive and offers a lot that this camera doesn't have for 720 shooters.
Again, do you know how much the 150 will cost?

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Lets hope for an update for the HVX too.
It just has to be coming... right?
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Old February 26th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #68
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Ethan, good points.

To my knowledge, the DVX100 was the first palm cam that had a smooth transitioning iris and servo/manual zoom control. These were really remarkable features and made the camera feel a lot more "pro" in at least my hands. But I think cameras have come a long way since then. Why still use the same shoe box style body?

I really like what sony is doing these days, as far as lens control and ergonomics go. Their new HVR-Z7u is the next major purchase on my list.

I would hope that Panasonic would release this camera significantly under the $5000 price point, to put it in line with its various competitors and that is why I made my points.

This cam is definitely competing against HDV cams, not DVCPro HD.

I agree with you, at least I think, that DVCPro HD has seen it's day as an acquisition codec. I would really like to see a full raster 10bit HD camera come to market from a major manufacturer. Thompson's Infinity digital media cam looks promising in this regard, but I don't think they have started shipping. The AVCintra codec looks really promising, full raster (10bit?). I would really be interested to see some footage from the hpx2000, but not the hpx500.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #69
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I've heard nothing but praise for the AVCIntra codec used in the AJ-HPX3000 (Tapeless Varicam). By all accounts I've read, the ACVIntra based HPX3000 looks better than the DVCProHD based Varicam.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 10:41 AM   #70
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Yes, Yes. 10-Bit, full raster, 4.2.2 codec comming from a camera with specs rivaling the F900. This camera is suposed to look much better than the varicam. Grass Valley's Infinity has similar specs (with a 10bit, full raster, 4.2.2. JPEG2000 codec), but costs half the price, so it would be interesting to put the two cameras up against each other. AVCIntra is said to rival the quality of D-5 and is quoted to be a "mastering" codec. I would still want to post in an intermediate codec though (I guess I could be wrong here).

Back to the HMC150. I guess this camera could really be incredible, much better than the canon A1 or the sony V1u (I doubt the lens will be though). Who knows really? I guess I could be jumping the gun and that AVCHD recorded to compact flash will be the future of low end HD production. Maybe Panasonic is really on to something here.

I would be equally excited about a new release of a small P2 format camera, but it will have to be at least as good as the Sony EX-1. I still think Panasonic has some catching up to do. Me, I'm tired of 8-bit video. I switched to shooting 10bit raw stills, with much greater control for post processing exposure and color, I think we as videomakers need a robust 10bit format to achieve what was achieved many decades ago with film.

I'm not completely clear on specs for AVCHD though, time to do some research.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #71
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Most of the descriptions I've heard have put 13mbps AVCHD pretty much level with HDV. I don't think there has been an AVCHD camera with 1/3" chips to date though, so that should make a pretty big difference to the quality of the image.

So assuming that 13mbps AVCHD in the 150 can rival HDV in cameras like the XHA1, then hopefully the higher-level codec in the camera (at least 19mbps fingers-crossed) will bring the IQ footage from hand-held cameras like these into a level above HDV.

I think the big factor is going to be the sensors in the camera, hopefully Pannie are going to take a page out of Sony and Canon's books here and give actually push the quality of their sensors. By all accounts they've done a superb job with the sensors in the HPX3000, lets hope they push things along in their lower end too.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 10:34 PM   #72
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The SONY AVCHD cams have 1/3" CMOS chip. Also record at greater than 16mbps, playback monitoring of a SR7 on my PS3 shows rates greater than 18mbps, AVCHD is VBR not CBR like HDV. Just picked up my Sony SR11 yesterday, 1/3" Exmor CMOS chip, noticeable improvement over the SR7. Records 1920x1080, face detection, records to HDD or memory stick etc. Panasonic will really have to move along fast, I am sure Sony is thinking of moving this technology into the FX7, FX1 category. Its a long time to the fall.

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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:53 AM   #73
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The SONY AVCHD cams have 1/3" CMOS chip. Also record at greater than 16mbps, playback monitoring of a SR7 on my PS3 shows rates greater than 18mbps, AVCHD is VBR not CBR like HDV. Just picked up my Sony SR11 yesterday, 1/3" Exmor CMOS chip, noticeable improvement over the SR7. Records 1920x1080, face detection, records to HDD or memory stick etc. Panasonic will really have to move along fast, I am sure Sony is thinking of moving this technology into the FX7, FX1 category. Its a long time to the fall.

Ron Evans
I didn't know that. How would rate the quality you get from 1/3" AVCHD to 1/3" HDV Ron?
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Old February 29th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #74
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In good light, shown on my Panasonic 42" Plasma there is very little difference between the SR7 and FX1. I think my wife prefers the image of the SR7!!! In low light all these Sony consumer cams raise the gain too much, the picture is brighter than reality so the image falls apart, too much grain( at 18db) and the encoder then has too great a task to encode. For low light one needs to be in manual. With gain less than 6db( you need to know how to set on the scale otherwise you can only tell the gain in the data code on playback) the image is much like the FX1. Of course the FX1 then performs better in low light. Intercutting between the FX1 and SR7 , in good light, was not noticable edited on a Vegas timeline and output to DVD. The new SR11 I got a couple of days ago seems to be even better than the SR7 but will have to wait for some more tests against the FX1. I only use the AVCHD at the highest data rate which was average of 15mbps on the SR7 and is now 16mbps on the SR11 thought the SR11 is of course recording full 1920x1080 whereas the SR7 was at the HDV standard of 1440x1080. I have posted some stills on the AVCHD forum.
A FX1 replacement using this technology would definately be on my list.

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Old February 29th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #75
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It's the encoder that worries me most about these AVCHD cams. You would expect to pay several thousand dollars for a stand alone broadcast encoder that takes up a significant amount of space compared to these cameras. I guess this won't matter for most of the subject matter we shoot on a daily basis, but put a heavy motion intensive scene (fast rolling water is one of the toughest tests to an encoder, smoke and fog don't do well either) and I'd like to see how they perform.

The other issue is audio. We need a spec that goes back to at least the bandwidth of dv audio. As storage space increases, I don't see why this isn't possible.

Edit: I guess this was the argument initially against HDV. Bottom line, full raster recording at this level good. Why we need 5.1 recording in camera (at a ridiculously low data rate) baffles me. Rob, have you put these avchd cams up to any difficult tests as I mentioned above?
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