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Old March 17th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #1
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HMC-40 VS XL-1 & GL-2 in low light/wide angle

1. I video a lot of depositions,the main reasons I bought the HMC-40 is because of the date and time stamp which is a requirement to be recorded on the video. Panasonic advertises this as being a big plus. Only thing they dont say is that it only records in the 24 hr time (military). You can't change it to 12 hr. Does anybody out there video depositions and is the 24 hr time acceceptable.

2. I also video a lot of dance recitals and high school shows and plays. For the last 10 years I have been using the Canon XL-1s and the GL-2s. How does the HMC-40 compare to the canons in low light. I have also read some reviews on the HMC-40 needing a wide
angle adaptor to get a better shot. How does the HMC-40 in its stock form compare to the Canons shot. Any ideas.
Thank you.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 08:27 AM   #2
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I can't speak to question #2, but can offer thoughts on #1.

The Federal Rule 30 and your state Rules of Civil Procedure govern what's acceptable in terms of date/time stamp, so you'll have to check California's rules. That said, when I began shooting depositions about 10 years ago I used a Panasonic DVC80 and DVC30 which both had a 24 hour clock. I now use a PD170 with and HMC40 as second cam (when necessary).

From my understanding, the federal and NY state rules don't specify whether the clock needs to be 12 or 24 hours, just that it permanently imprints the date, hours, minutes and seconds on the video image. For you, look up California's rules to find out the specifics just to be sure what the requirements are.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #3
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time code in depositions

Thank you Mark
I have been recording depositions for about 20 years now and never ran into this problem.
I have always recorded in the 12 hr time code. My concern is doing my reading, as you know when you go off and on the record you are required to state the time, This could create a problem, if it is 3:00 pm and you state that its 1500 pm, how many attorneys will know what you are talking about. I hope this will be ok. I dont know of any requirements that say you need to record in a specific time format. I wanted to use the HMC-40 because of the longer record times. Some attorneys get a little upset with having to stop the deposition every hour to change tapes. I also record live to DVD at the same time. I make the DVD my master and the tape is my back up. With this setup I will only need to change media every 2 hours.
Thanks agian Mark for your time.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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You're welcome, Terry.

I use a similar procedure in recording simultaneously to a Firestore and DVD recorder with the PD170. That way I can get a 2 hour record time to get away from swapping MiniDV tapes every hour (unless of course a I'm shooting for a reporting firm that requires MiniDV for duplication).

Like you, I've yet to run into a problem with a 24 hour clock. In fact, the time stamping of most reporters uses a 24 hour clock anyway, which makes transcript syncing easier. IMHO, using 24 hours is easier because it's more specific - especially for the depos that run into the afternoon and evening hours.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #5
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Shooting Depositions in 16:9

Hello,

I have a client that is looking to upgrade their deposition camera packages. I've looked at the HMC150 and HMC40 as a possible options, but I'm concerned about shooting in 16:9. Shooting in 4:3 and trying to keep the frame clear of laptops and gesturing attorneys has been always been a challenge. What's been your experience?

Also, what's your work flow like? I'd like to burn a DVD at the same time and then download off the cards for archives, but it's not clear that the HMC40 has composite out. (and does it put out a clean picture with just time/date stamp and not view finder info)

Things have certainly change from the days of tape, when you threw your tape archive up on the shelf and forgot about it. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks - jw
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Old March 19th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #6
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Shooting depositions

Hi John
Are you the one who is shooting depositions or are you asking for someone else. Just curious. When I arrive to shoot a depo, I get there 1 hour before it starts. This way I set the room up the way it works best for me. After doing this for over 20 years I find that most of the attorneys appericate this being done. I always make sure that the court reporter is set up close enough so she can hear the attorney asking the questions and
hear the whitness. When I get the ok from everyone to start, I inform everyone off the record to please turn off all cell phones, black berrys and all electronic devices as they interfear with the mic mixers.,and please try to keep all lap tops, cups ect out of the cameras view. Then I do my reading and start the deposition.

I just bought the HMC-40 and have not used it yet, but it does have composet out and it does show only the date and time recorded to the clip on the card and also if you are recording on a seperate DVD recorder through the composit out. I have already tried this out in my studio. As i stated above the time is in the 24 hr mode only. (military time).

I have been shooting my depos with the canon XL-1s and the GL-2s mostly. I actually use the DVDs as my masters and the mini DV tape as my backup. When I am finished, I keep the mini DV tapes and also a copy of the DVD. The 1st run or master DVDs go to the client.
Its been over 7 years since I was asked for a video tape.

As far as archiving from a AVCHD camera goes, this is what I am going to do. Master on DVD and archive on DVD for backup. If the DVDs look fine like they usually do I will erase the card for the next time.

This is my work flow now. I come out of the GL-2 with composit only to a time and date generator, out of that to a DVD recorder. 4 lapel mics go into a mixer than out of the mixer to the DVD recorder. I come out of the DVD recorder into a Sony 10" portable DVD player to monitor the video and audio.

When I get ready to use the HMC-40 I will just slide it right into the GL-2s place.
If all your going to do is depositions I would not spend the extra money for the HMC-150
The 40 should do just fine.
I hope this helps.
If anyone else has any comments please jump in.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark L. Whalen View Post
You're welcome, Terry.

I use a similar procedure in recording simultaneously to a Firestore and DVD recorder with the PD170. That way I can get a 2 hour record time to get away from swapping MiniDV tapes every hour (unless of course a I'm shooting for a reporting firm that requires MiniDV for duplication).

Like you, I've yet to run into a problem with a 24 hour clock. In fact, the time stamping of most reporters uses a 24 hour clock anyway, which makes transcript syncing easier. IMHO, using 24 hours is easier because it's more specific - especially for the depos that run into the afternoon and evening hours.
Hey Mark
I did a deposition yesterday and asked the court reporter (who has been doing depos for 22 years) about her time code. She told me she does not record time on her manuscript
unless she is asked by the attorneys when ordering a copy. And she also said it is in the 24 hr time code. So thats good to know.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #8
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John,

The HMC150 and the HMC40 can downconvert to 4:3 through the A/V Out and Component Out jacks. The one thing I've noticed is that the date/time stamp is perilously close to the edge of the frame, so it goes beyond the safe area for monitors that don't overscan.

I'm sure Terry can add to this, but one thing I've found over the years is depositions can be conducted in locations that would benefit from supplemental lighting. I tend to shy away from using my Tota Lights in these situations due to the heat generated by them (and a light stand is just one more thing that may be in the way in an otherwise already crowded room), so I go with what's available and control unwanted sources - which means sometimes adding gain to get a proper exposure. When weighing options for shooting under available light, the HMC150 will be better in lower light situations than an HMC40 by about 2 1/2 to 3 stops.

A recent alternative to the HMC family is the Sony NX5U. It can shoot in HD and 4:3 SD to cards or the optional FMU128 flash drive. I'm considering switching to it for a primary legal video cam.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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Mark, Terry thanks for the input. Sounds like panny zooms in to achieve the 4:3 image in the down convert, how does the picture quality hold up? The time/date stamp being on the edge of frame, is it unreadable or just sitting on tv safe? That might work until HD starts to take hold for playbacks. Thanks again. - jw
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 11:12 AM   #10
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John,

You can output either letterbox or sidecrop to SD. Letterbox works fine. But if you're using the sidecrop setting to output 4:3, the latter portion of the seconds is beyond the TV safe area by about 50% or so - at least on my monitors. Your mileage may vary.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 03:46 PM   #11
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The HVX200 is the same way with the dt stamp, but it's just on edge of frame on my monitors. It's acceptable. Thanks again. - jw
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