HPX500 and Flash XDR at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders

Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders
All AG-HPX and AJ-PX Series camcorders and P2 / P2HD hardware.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 19th, 2008, 05:07 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
HPX500 and Flash XDR

As the HPX500 shoots 100mb/sec anyway, would there be much benefit to using it with the Flash XDR? Apart of course from being able to use CF rather than P2.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 06:37 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Dear Steve,

All 100 Mb codecs are not created equal.

A Long GOP codec at 100 Mb maximum variable bit rate can offer higher quality than an intraframe compression (or I-Frame only) codec.

The trade-off is in the ease of editing where the intraframe codec is easier to edit directly.

Another trade-off: a dropout in a Long GOP codec causes more interruption of your image than does a dropout in an intraframe compression codec.

However, when using quality solid state media, dropouts should be a thing of the past.

Also, if creating two "original masters" simultaneouly, the odds of a dropout in two separate Compact Flash cards must be exceedingly low.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #3
Go Go Godzilla
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 2,739
Images: 15
It's an interesting proposition but if you're looking for an alternative to P2 media capture using HD-SDI there are other options that won't put you into a long-GOP format regardless of bitrate.

The other thing to consider is that Convergent clearly states that the format their recorder creates is not yet native to FCP or other NLE's however you could use ProRes to ingest.

The FlashXDR was originally intended to give tape-based cameras with HD-SDI out a tape-less workflow and in that respect it should do well. However to use it as a replacement for P2 doesn't really make sense, again mainly because you're losing the I-frame benefit of DVCPRO and forcing your footage into an unsupported long-GOP format, and you already have a tapeless system with the 500.

To really take advantage of the FlashXDR you'd need to capture into the uncompressed format it will *eventually* provide, but do you have the horsepower to work in uncompressed successfully? That's the other consideration.

The real question is: What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to capture the raw, uncompressed signal from the 500 or did you want an alternative to P2? If the ultra-high quality signal is the goal then I'd suggest you should be using a camera that has native HD imagers first before attempting this workflow to really take advantage of the high-bitrate signal. Second, considering the cost of the XDR and the impending drop in P2 prices I'd be hard pressed to recommend it as a "P2 alternative".

Ever since P2 (and now SxS cards) came out the lamenting about card cost has always had people looking for alternatives. My response is and will always be, that if you're pricing your services correctly regardless what market you're in, the cards should be paying for themselves in short order.
Robert Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Very good points Robert, clearly made. Thanks.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #5
Convergent Design
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
It's an interesting proposition but if you're looking for an alternative to P2 media capture using HD-SDI there are other options that won't put you into a long-GOP format regardless of bitrate.

The other thing to consider is that Convergent clearly states that the format their recorder creates is not yet native to FCP or other NLE's however you could use ProRes to ingest.

The FlashXDR was originally intended to give tape-based cameras with HD-SDI out a tape-less workflow and in that respect it should do well. However to use it as a replacement for P2 doesn't really make sense, again mainly because you're losing the I-frame benefit of DVCPRO and forcing your footage into an unsupported long-GOP format, and you already have a tapeless system with the 500.

To really take advantage of the FlashXDR you'd need to capture into the uncompressed format it will *eventually* provide, but do you have the horsepower to work in uncompressed successfully? That's the other consideration.

The real question is: What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to capture the raw, uncompressed signal from the 500 or did you want an alternative to P2? If the ultra-high quality signal is the goal then I'd suggest you should be using a camera that has native HD imagers first before attempting this workflow to really take advantage of the high-bitrate signal. Second, considering the cost of the XDR and the impending drop in P2 prices I'd be hard pressed to recommend it as a "P2 alternative".

Ever since P2 (and now SxS cards) came out the lamenting about card cost has always had people looking for alternatives. My response is and will always be, that if you're pricing your services correctly regardless what market you're in, the cards should be paying for themselves in short order.
Hi Robert-
We should have an announcement this week regarding the support of Flash XDR in FCP. We just need to get everything cleared with Apple first. You probably read the announcement at NAB regrading FCP's support for the new 50 Mbps 4:2:2 camera (PDW700) from Sony. Since we use the same exact hardware CODEC from Sony, you can imagine that support for the Flash XDR will be forthcoming.

Just as a point of reference, Flash XDR does support both Long-GOP and I-Frame only modes. Our tests indicate that the 50 Mbps Long-GOP 4:2:2 yields superior results to the DVCProHD CODEC, at least on still image comparisons (full-motion tests are in the works).

One of the primary reasons we believe the MPEG2 CODEC from Sony is superior is the full-raster processing. DVCProHD subsamples the image to 1280x1080, while the Sony CODEC maintains the full 1920x1080 raster.

So the Flash XDR can provide a tapeless workflow while simultaneously improving the video quality.

Currently the Compact Flash cards we recommend (Transcend 32GB) are 1/10 the price of P2 and SxS on a GB basis. I assume all Flash media will come down in rpice over time, but I would bet that a considerable price difference will always exist between these formats.
__________________
Mike Schell
Convergent Design
Mike Schell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
I am with Steve on this point as I am considering the HPX-500.

My big problem with P2 is that even with all of the camera's slots filled with 16GB cards, only 64 min of record time is possible at 720p60 or 1080p.

That is not far away from the cost of the XDR unit along with longer recordc times using less expensive media.

To record a three hour event, I would need to spend $10,000 on P2 cards just to have enough record space.

Quite frankly, impending future drops in prices does not help one record anything now and also makes the P2 cards look overvalued in their current space.

It is quite obvious they need to lower the price to be competitive with new products coming to market.
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
To record a three hour event, I would need to spend $10,000 on P2 cards just to have enough record space.

It is quite obvious they need to lower the price to be competitive with new products coming to market.
I agree that P2 seem to have a steep starting point, but the US list price for a dvcproHD deck is about $25,000, thats a lot of P2 cards....and a reader. And thats excluding the media cost of tape workflow.

You could actually spend say $15,000 on P2 cards, $1,000 on a P2reader and about $7,000 on a quantum SDLT 600A and still be within what a deck would cost if you look at list prices.
Christian Magnussen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #8
Convergent Design
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
I am with Steve on this point as I am considering the HPX-500.

My big problem with P2 is that even with all of the camera's slots filled with 16GB cards, only 64 min of record time is possible at 720p60 or 1080p.

That is not far away from the cost of the XDR unit along with longer recordc times using less expensive media.

To record a three hour event, I would need to spend $10,000 on P2 cards just to have enough record space.

Quite frankly, impending future drops in prices does not help one record anything now and also makes the P2 cards look overvalued in their current space.

It is quite obvious they need to lower the price to be competitive with new products coming to market.
Hi Tim-
Stay tuned as we will soon announce a lower-cost version of Flash XDR (called nanoFlash), which will be ideal to cameras like the HPX500 and the upcoming HPX170, both of which have HD-SDI output with embedded audio and time-code. nanoFlash uses the same CODEC as XDR, but eliminates the analog audio I/O and only has two Compact Flash slots. It's also about 1/3 size of XDR.

We'll have the full specs released shortly.
__________________
Mike Schell
Convergent Design
Mike Schell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Thanks for your update Mike.

With the HPX-500 rebate expiring in June, I have some decisions to make and the XDR might be in the middle of them.

I like the idea of P2, I just can not afford to spend $10,000 per camera on memory.
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #10
Go Go Godzilla
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 2,739
Images: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
I like the idea of P2, I just can not afford to spend $10,000 per camera on memory.
To reiterate what I said earlier: "Ever since P2 (and now SxS cards) came out the lamenting about card cost has always had people looking for alternatives. My response is and will always be, that if you're pricing your services correctly regardless what market you're in, the cards should be paying for themselves in short order."

To be honest, Tim, I've seen this complaint about P2 media cost in several of your threads. If you haven't learned or don't understand proper pricing methodologies for how to afford your equipment maybe it's time to rethink your production-cost structure as a whole.

For example: If the bulk of your work is event, corporate or reality TV then you wouldn't shoot it with a Viper or F23 and it's associated workflow costs. Conversely if you were given a major feature-film contract you wouldn't be shooting it on a handheld video camera (exception to RED).

As stated in many threads by several members including the forum owner, Chris, comparing CF-type memory to P2 or now even SxS is the age-old "apples and oranges" argument. If all you see is the media cost itself as the primary point of validation then you've completely missed the point of what P2 is and it's intended mission and, you should instead consider a tape-based system, not tapeless.

The FlashXDR has it's place just as any viable product on the market today, but as far as I'm concerned the intent to use it as a replacement for *existing* tapeless media product is akin to reinventing the wheel.

If you feel the FlashXDR make more sense for your workflow or cost strategy, be my guest, but please stop the constant lament about how you can't afford the media specifically designed for the camera you'd intend to use. From my perspective it seems you'd be better off shooting one of the tape-based cameras and then incorporate the FlashXDR; that is in fact what the product was originally designed for and then you'd be in the cost structure you seem to be able to afford.
Robert Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #11
Convergent Design
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
The FlashXDR has it's place just as any viable product on the market today, but as far as I'm concerned the intent to use it as a replacement for *existing* tapeless media product is akin to reinventing the wheel.
Hi Robert-
Agree with most of your comments. But, I do think we will find that lower-cost cameras (tape or tapeless) combined with Flash XDR (or nanoFlash) can significantly improve the overall quality. I am not saying that a $7K camera + $5K Flash XDR = $40K camera in overall quality, but it's getting very close. Some of the newer cameras with full-raster imagers produce an amazing image. If you capture the HD-SDI output into Flash XDR at 100 Mbps Long-GOP or 160 Mbps I-Frame 4:2:2 full-raster, I think you will find the results to be visually lossless. We can't see a difference between 100Mbps Long-GOP and uncompressed, at least on a still image. (Our comparison shows the 50 Mbps Long-GOP to be superior to DVCProHD, again on a still image).

So, the Flash XDR and nanoFlash are not intended to simply bring a tape-based camera into a tapeless workflow (the Firestore already does that). Rather, we bypass the built-in compression and record at much higher bit-rates and higher quality levels.

The lower-cost CF media does help. For example, it's now economically feasible to simultaneously create identical copies of the same footage on 2 cards (RAID1). So you can pass one to the editor and one to the director, or save one for backup. You also don't have to do the card shuffle (immediately unload the footage off the card), as you can afford to carry many more cards.
__________________
Mike Schell
Convergent Design
Mike Schell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2008, 10:28 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Well Robert, your point is taken. Nobody likes a whiner.

I had a long response typed in but I erased it. Whats the point.

You will not hear anymore from me on this issue.
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2008, 02:20 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Macau
Posts: 331
Had to shime in on this thread.
Actually, I believe that the Convergent box can, in a certain way, be a complement to P2: One can still record in P2 cards to view the under and overcranck shots, for example, and keep a full raster HD master in a higher quality codec from the Convergent box.

The best of both worlds.

That's why I'm seriously considering the upcoming HPX170 with a NANOFLASH drive...
__________________
If you don't believe in your film, no one else will.
Sergio Perez is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:06 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network