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Old May 9th, 2008, 08:45 PM   #1
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Sell the 16Gig P2 / Buy 32Gig P2?

At the risk of sounding foolish I really would appreciate someone's educated opinion on the subject of the workflow for the HVX-200 and the P2 cards.

I own a HVX and 3 16Gig P2 cards. I do not own a laptop to offload it to. I am looking at a PowerBook 17" 1.67 G4 running Tiger 10.4 with a PCMCIA slot for about $800.

Now I am lost in this maze of options. Should I sell the 16 Gig P2s and pony up for two 32Gig P2's and the G4 Mac, or conversely keep the cards, buy a New Mac Book Pro and a new Dual Adapter to download the cards to a an express slot?

Money is an issue, but I tire of spending money and watching the technical obsolescence of it all leave me in the dust. What is the best option in the long run?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 09:54 PM   #2
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To be honest, a high bitrate external recorder seems like a better deal that the P2 cards to me.

Hard drives or CF cards are way cheaper per gigabyte than P2 cards.

Even with the 32 gig versions coming out, they are still priced at $50 per gigabyte.

Laptop Hard drives are more like $.50 per gigabyte!
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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #3
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So then go with a new MBP and forgo the 32 Gig P2's? Would the cheaper PowerBook 17" 1.67 G4 work as well?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:41 PM   #4
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It all depends upon how much record time you need, what resolution you record at and how often you can stop to offload cards.

I don't know what an MBP is.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #5
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I don't know what an MBP is.
Mac Book Pro

Dan
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:11 AM   #6
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Sorry about that.

OK now I understand the SD card slot exists on the HVX but the CF card? Sorry, still lost i guess - I dont understand how I could employ that.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 02:24 AM   #7
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Unless you need really long record times i'd stick with the 16s, they are a great size. I've just picked up 2 to complement my 3x 8 gig cards and they are great.

Laptop wise, go the Powerbook g4. I looked very long and hard at this 2 months ago and was so close to buying the Macbook Pro option.. however went with a 15" PB G4 and am so happy i did, offloads so quickly and never have to worry about rebooting to get the mac to see the dual adapter.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 08:08 AM   #8
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Solid state is great

The real question isn't the cards vs. laptop but what is your typical production environment? Are you shooting weddings/events or reality TV where you don't get a break in the action and can't stop shooting to offload? Or are you in a more controlled environment such as commercial or film work where you're not shooting more than 10 minutes at a stretch?

The argument about P2 vs. laptop/CF card pricing is an old one and doesn't hold water. I don't want to re-iterate what's been said literally dozens of times on this forum but do a search as to why P2 is so unique and why it won't ever be as "cheap" as spinning HDD's or consumer-grade CF/SD cards. By the way, Sony's SxS cards follow suit to-the-penny with cost also.

In actuality, you're more secure with an investment in P2 than any laptop; the only thing that will change with P2 is card size (and speed). Laptop's change processors, RAM type, external connections and soon HDD type; case in point the old G4 powerbook is overshadowed by the newer technology in the MacBook Pro lineup making the G4 a less sound investment since it's newer cousin adds more capabilities. "Older" P2 cards will always be able to do work in any P2 camera making them free from obsolescence.

If you're a one-man-show doing it all and don't have help to offload cards or shoot in an environment where offloading is easy then either more 16GB cards or moving up to 32GB would be prudent. If you can wait I'd suggest waiting for the 64GB card release and getting those. That would be a significant "upgrade" in your record time especially if you wanted to record at 1080 (a gig a minute).
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Old May 10th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #9
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The argument about P2 vs. laptop/CF card pricing is an old one and doesn't hold water.
Robert,

I also think the concept of P2 is the best there is. Very useful and functional.

I just do see it as a good value or investment as it is literally 100 times more expensive per gigabyte than comparative methods of storage.

4 16gig cards yield 64 minutes of time at 1080p or 720p60. That's a $3,600 investment to record an hours worth of material. Maybe that was price is acceptable when solid state recording was unique, but the thrill is gone so to speak with the host of SDI recorders coming out.

I am looking to purchase an HPX-500 and the only way I can justify the camera is if I find a longer form of storage as 1 hour is just too short.

And, if one needs to offload to a computer so often, why not just record to the computer and get more record time?

P2 just seems artificially expensive to me at this point in time.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:24 AM   #10
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Not to beat a dead horse, but a little more research into these SD-HDI recorders will show that P2 is still far more affordable.

The "Indi" recorder is over $10k; The Cineform/Wafian HR1 starts at over $13k with newer models costing even more. And regardless what brand/model you're still talking about an external device that you'll be tethered to (no walk-around location shoots) and they're recording to what... internal HDD's in a RAID array.

If you review what P2 actually is inside, how it works and the benefits of solid-state vs. spinning HDD's or consumer-grade SD/CF cards the cost becomes moot. Not to mention that if you're pricing your services properly they should pay for themselves within a few months (or jobs depending on the work you do).

P2, like any other device on the planet, isn't the end-all perfect solution for everything, but certainly has earned it's place as the best bang-for-the-buck in usability/reliability and cost effectiveness for video acquisition. If the viability of solid-state wasn't so strong certainly Sony would not have jumped on-board with their version.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:19 PM   #11
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Actually, it is not a dead horse.

I can think of two devices the Flash XDR and the Elite HD that will retail for $5,000 & $6,000 respectively.

My hesitation with P2 is the shear record times that are possible.

The $3,600 investment will yield 1 hour of 720p60.

I often need a lot more record time, so my investment doubles if I use the 32 gig cards. That is $7,200 for two hours of recording.

Clearly, these kinds of numbers show the P2 format is mainly for short run, produced shooting. Anything outside of that arena and one needs a laptop to carry around or a lot of money or both.

Not debating its usefulness, just its price.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #12
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The real question isn't the cards vs. laptop but what is your typical production environment? Are you shooting weddings/events or reality TV where you don't get a break in the action and can't stop shooting to offload? Or are you in a more controlled environment such as commercial or film work where you're not shooting more than 10 minutes at a stretch?
Thanks for the reply Robert,

I do feature film work - never weddings or ENG stuff.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:26 PM   #13
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At the risk of sounding foolish ...
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bump........
I don't get it -- you bumped a post 21 minutes after making it?

A word of advice: we don't allow thread bumps on this site at all.

If you want to continue participating here, don't ever do that again.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #14
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Laptop wise, go the Powerbook g4. I looked very long and hard at this 2 months ago and was so close to buying the Macbook Pro option.. however went with a 15" PB G4 and am so happy i did, offloads so quickly and never have to worry about rebooting to get the mac to see the dual adapter.
Joe it sounds like you and Robert agree on this, and in my situation I think that is the way to go. But the other option of going directly to a Hard Disc Drive - while highly alluring to me only has the drawback of the firewire port (if I understand this correctly) having dropout issues.

I work in a controlled shooting environment so the P2 / laptop & Lacie Hard Drive route sounds really good to me.

Thanks for all of the information and feedback guys :) - I love this forum!
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #15
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Okay - I just bought the 17" PowerBook. 1.67 G4, 120 gb 5400 rpm hard drive, 2gb ram, 8x dual layer superdrive, Airport Extreme, and 1680 x 1050 screen and OS X 10.4 preloaded as well as iLife '08. The screen is big, bright and beautiful.

I hope to use this to interface with the P2 Cards... any ideas as to the Final Cut Pro Edition I should acquire before it arrives next week? Thanks to Chris and everyone who keeps this place alive!

RLA
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