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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #1
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AVCIntra transcoder for FCP

I just found out that Panasonic released the plugin for FCP to transcode AVCIntra clips to FCP, to ProRes422 and 422HQ. I guess in order to take advantage of full HD ratio, ProRes422HQ was the choice.

Barry, is there any way that Mac can take native AVCIntra and edit if any company (like blackmagic) include hardware encoder/decoder in their video chip?

Also, can you tell me the image quality difference in HPX3000 and HPX2100?
It's hard to tell the real differences besides the AVCIntra board is an option for 2100.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #2
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ah, the horizontal resolution....2100 is 700 and 3000 is 1000. Nice.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 12:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaku Ito View Post
Barry, is there any way that Mac can take native AVCIntra and edit if any company (like blackmagic) include hardware encoder/decoder in their video chip?
I don't know... I doubt Apple's going to be in much of a hurry to support it natively, they seem like they're more interested in advancing their own codec.

EDIUS will take AVC-Intra files natively.

Quote:
Also, can you tell me the image quality difference in HPX3000 and HPX2100?
The 3000 is amazingly sharp and noise-free. It's noticeably sharper than the 2000/2100. I put each of the cameras (500/2000/3000) on the same tripod and used the same lens and pointed them at the same scene, and there was a noticeable resolution increase from the 500 to the 2000, and an equally noticeable res increase from the 2000 to the 3000.

The 3000 also has features like FILM REC (from the VariCam).
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Old January 15th, 2008, 03:20 AM   #4
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Barry,

Thank you very much.

I'm in a position to suggest a workflow for a major feature film this year.
They might go with film, but if not, I'm thinking RED if it's not going to be flaky. Do you think HPX3000 with AVC Intra might be an option?

It's the same team used XL H1 for the film and HPX555 for HDTV drama.
H1 was okay but they have more budget this time so they would want better resolution and picture. What if I suggest to shoot with HPX3000 then what would be the advantages?

I know a good rental company with lots of varicam/p2hd related gears, so HPX3000/AVCIntra could be good for film output then it could be sensational.
I would probably establish uncompressed workflow with Blackmagic to compre with ProRes422, too.

I'm even considering to buyHPM100 with AVC-intra board.

What was FILM REC now? The gamma matching thing was it?
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Old January 16th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #5
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Kaku, I know your question was for Barry, but, anyway, here's my take:

Going HPX3000 will give you some advantages:

1- Workflow and portability. HPX3000 is a camera capable of run and gun shooting, without cables- so its a bit more versatile untill all the RED recording/monitoring/workflow issues get completely sorted out.

2- Support. Panasonic is right there where you are, and RED is not. However, RED might provide an engineer to help on the production, like they are doing with some of the major US ones, in order to help boost popularity of the RED system in Japan- this would require personal contact, of course, with the RED team.

3-FILM REC mode. If you've worked with the Varicam, you know this is something special. Its sort of a cine-gamma with fantastic dinamic range, motion rendering, etc. You should try and see it for yourself.

4- p2 Workflow. Something you already know and proven on the field. The RED workflow is still on its infancy- while it works, and major films are being shot with it, its still in early development with the help of the community.

5- CCD Technology- no rolling shutter issues.

6- 2/3 Lenses- this can be a plus or a -. Digiprimes are available but are very very expensive, and DOF is still not the same as 35mm full frame sensor

RED Advantages:

4k, REDCODE RAW and 35mm full frame sensor- Cinema DOF, IMAX resolution, 4:4:4, capture, etc.

Evolving camera- Camera was announced as 4k only at 24p/30p- Its now announced that it will be upgradeable to 4k at 60p- free of charge. The team is always working on improving the camera for the better, which means is a camera that will be improving in performance with time, and not lose its value as much as a 3000.

FCP integration- The folks at RED have very close contact with Apple. The FCP workflow is evolving with the Camera- full integration of workflow is close.

Modular design- can be constantly improved, also in the hardware aspect.

35mm lenses- you can use cine lenses for excelent DOF and even still 35mm lenses (without the need of an expensive 35mm adaptor) for cheap 4k capturing and decent image.

A LOT cheaper!

Barry, please correct any mistakes on my reasoning here ;)
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Old January 16th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #6
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Sergio, thank you very much.

We'll have Paul Leeming working with us if we go with RED and also I have contact with Jim. I helped little bit on the feasible study while RED sent someone to Japan in the beginning.

But it seems to be too challenging to work with RED this year. They might just go with film but I will study more on HPX3000.

As far as the support, Jan tried to make people at Pana J help me with the last HD drama but I actually didn't get too much attention. They weren't even interested in covering the production story, they seems don't bother unless they directly work on something. It's disappointing because I even own HPX and HVX. But that sets me free anyhow.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kaku Ito View Post

As far as the support, Jan tried to make people at Pana J help me with the last HD drama but I actually didn't get too much attention. They weren't even interested in covering the production story, they seems don't bother unless they directly work on something. It's disappointing because I even own HPX and HVX. But that sets me free anyhow.
That's a bad move by Panasonic Japan. They probably don't know how much you've done for the HVX and HPX community worldwide, with your testing and hands-on comparisons..

You're an opinion maker, with your own web page and also a trustee in major international forums for video production...

A very bad move, indeed! If I was on the Panasonic Japan Broadcast pr department, I would be sure to help you out first hand- Its just good business sense!

EDIT- If you have RED personel helping you out on the production, I would certainly look into it! They would definetly want to make it a "flagship"Japan promo for their product, as well as it would guarantee free publicity for the movie as well as the best support possible...

If Panasonic doesn't want to help, then go with RED! Here's a racing analogy: The HPX3000 is like a Porche in supercar races- whenever there's a supercar race, they are there, because they are proven to be reliable and relatively cheap to run (no need for big team support or heavy maintenance). But if you have Lamborghini, a much faster car, but a lot less proven in the track, with their engineering team supporting you, what would you choose? Go independent with Porche, or factory with RED? It seems an easy choice (at least to me!)...
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #8
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Sergio, thank you for you kind words.

Most manufacturers don't like me because I'm too honest.
I stay on the users' side always for my comments.

I have a magazine column anyway to talk about my findings, so I covered the stories but pretty much no response from Pana J.

I really admire Jan's effort here, though. No other person from "large" corporation do that with their own real name. Though other company staff seem to come on stealth and start attacking someone like me sometimes.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #9
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Agreed. Jan was a pioneer and practically single handedly created the worldwide internet user feedback route to help develop broadcast gear...

It is, indeed, a win/win situation. Panasonic knows what we want, and at the same time we get immediate response to our problems and excelent support.

It was good to see and hear that following Jan and Panasonic USA incredible success with the DVX and HVX marketing that the European and Asian branches followed, with internet forum support (Panasonic NZ- New Zealand- is a very good example of a good online representation, for example, and Panasonic Europe too- they created a -not very active- forum for user Q&A and troubleshooting)

The fact that Jan from the beginning came up with her real name was a sign of trust for both the costumer and the potential costumer. She does deserve the praise.

Unfortunatelly, the Panasonic main branch (Japan) doesn't seem to realise the big impact the internet has on their marketing. our industry very much works from word of mouth publicity. There's no better place than the internet for this feedback.

Surprised to see how they could ignore a production by someone with the internet credentials as you, Kaku.

Credibility is very hard to achieve, and you have it.

Anyway, I've always had the best of service from Panasonic Hong-Kong. Always responsive, eager to help, and keep me up to date. I'm a very early HVX operator (almost two years ago), and was a DVX/PD170 operator for over 3 years. It was mainly the excelent costumer support (when my DVX had a tape drive issue, I went to the technical department and actualy saw the DVX being tested, and later repaired, by the technitian !) and, of course, fantastic picture of the cameras, that made me stick with the brand.

Even tough I'm in constant contact with higher end gear for some of our higher budget TVC's- Sony Digibetas, F900, and some Beta SP footage- they have all intercuted excelently with my HVX DVCPROHD footage- a big testament of Panasonic picture quality.

But their costumer support is something that really does deserve a strong weight in the equation.

Even though I'm a costumer like everyone else, their excelent costumer support and professionalism is what made me resist the urge to go for the Sony Z1, which was the first of the affordable pro level cameras to do HD at the time. (And it was a very, very tempting camera that produced-and produces- great non moving or panning pictures- It was at the time when people still hadn't saw the mpeg2 shortcomings).

However, this doesn't mean I've my eyes closed.

As much as I like Panasonic's cinegamma and motion rendering of 25p, if there's something better out there, may it be Sony, or RED, or anything, I'll be looking into it.

With the Panasonic gear, its like I'm working with a team that I know for years- I know what to expect. I also get to have the incredible help of user forums, that have excelent knowhow on how to get the best from the gear. However, I can also see its limits. If something comes along that can make me go beyond these limits, than I will most certainly go for it. I hope that, as it has been for me for the past 5 years, that the next reasonable step is, again, Panasonic- if not, so be it.
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Last edited by Sergio Perez; January 17th, 2008 at 01:47 AM.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 08:16 AM   #10
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My friend just had a problem with HPX555 on the road but I hear the local service there gave him superb support locally, so I don't doubt that Panasonic will provide good service. I guess marketing is a separate story and they probably need very very high profiled people talking about their products I guess.

By the way, Pro Video Station Shinjuku got me a demo unit of the HPM100 for a week and I briefly captured AVCIntra100 with HPX'S HDSDI out and wow, it looks fabulous. I'm staring at the HD monitor and it looks so solid!
I can test the AVCIntra to ProRez422HQ feasibility so, I'm going to try to shoot many stuff by next week as much as possible, but so much going on me, I don't know how much I can work on this(asked to shoot a concert on the weekend with HPX).

HPX + HPM100/AVCIntra card can capture this good then shoot, I can't even imaging the quality of HXP3000 with 1000 horizontal lines.

Watch my blog for Nikon lenses to Brevis35 HD to Flip unit to Fujinon HD lens to HPX555 to HPM100 AVCIntra 100 clip in few days.
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