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Old January 1st, 2009, 11:16 AM   #1
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Selling FX1s for HPC150s a good move?

I'm considering selling my three Sony FX1s for two HPC150s and a compact AVCHD for our third static shot. We film weddings, and often come home with 11 tapes, which takes a day to capture. By switching we'll still need to spend hours converting to DVCPRO-HD for editing. The difference would cost us about $1k - what we can afford right now.

Good move?
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Old January 1st, 2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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Do you mean HMC150s? If so- then yes these cameras are perfect for weddings and you'll spend way less time with all that tape ingest. Why would you need to convert to DVCPROHD though? Editing in AVCHD in Premiere is fine or during ingest you'll get an automatic conversion to ProRes in FCP.

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Old January 1st, 2009, 07:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
By switching we'll still need to spend hours converting to DVCPRO-HD for editing.

Good move?
If you do go for the HMC150s, then transcoding to a more NLE friendly codec may be a good idea, but it may make a lot of sense to go with the NLEs native codec instead of DVCProHD - ProRes for FCP, etc. One thing about the HMC150 that I do like is that it's native 720p mode is 1280x720, and that suits the chip resolution quite well, whilst being easier on the compressor than 1080 mode. If you then transcode that to DVCProHD, that then gets subsampled to 960x720 - surely better to stay in a 1280x720 mode for editing?

If you've got the money, I'd go for EXs if possible, at least now that they can also be used with cheap SDHC cards. Same ease of capturing as the HMC150, without any need for transcoding. They have advantages over the HMC150 (sharper picture, better viewfinder, better low light performance, true manual lens, variable speed options, better zebra options etc etc) but do cost about 50% more.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 10:13 PM   #4
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*whimper* Yes I know David. I want an Ex1 big time. It's still close to Christmas...anyone ;o)

Prores -- thanks for the tip.

What do you think I'm looking at as a quality comparison to the FX1?
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
*whimper* Yes I know David. I want an Ex1 big time. It's still close to Christmas...anyone ;o)

Prores -- thanks for the tip.

What do you think I'm looking at as a quality comparison to the FX1?
Definitely a noticeable upgrade to the FX1's image, especially if you're using to seeing mosquito noise and macroblocking. But these are also widely rentable in major cities if you have doubts- go for a test drive.

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Old January 3rd, 2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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Going to the 150 would be a significant change both in image quality and especially in workflow. ProRes is currently the best way to handle things with FCP and transcoding clips on your 8-core MP would take far less time than ingesting tape, hands down.

The EX1 would be a small step-up beyond the 150 in image quality but the cost is significantly more and you're stuck with the proprietary SxS cards which are no less in price than P2 media. You're also dealing with the "conform" process at the end from XDCAM into whatever your final is - unless you transcode into ProRes first.

Since you're used to the HDV workflow you might consider Another little-known option, the Sony Z7, which is about the same cost as the 150 but adds a removable lens system which would allow you to mount Sony Alpha-series SLR lenses (with the appropriate adapter of course) AND it can also shoot to CF cards (when you buy the CF-card writer which plugs into the side of the camera). The direct-to-CF cards is a backup scenario and only works if you're shooting to tape concurrently.

The HMC150 is the best bang-for-the-buck for what you're doing and will outperform the FX1's in all areas from capture to ingest.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 06:01 PM   #7
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The EX1 would be a small step-up beyond the 150 in image quality .....
I can only say that from what I've seen the difference between the 150 and the EX1 is far from small, certainly on a 42" 1920x1080 Panasonic plasma.

That's before we even begin to think about things like the better viewfinder, true manual lens, variable speed ability, etc etc...
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.....and you're stuck with the proprietary SxS cards which are no less in price than P2 media.
Err, I don't think so. Not for a few months now. The ability to use an EX with basic (and cheap) SDHC cards has given rise to what I believe may be the biggest single thread ever (??) on DVinfo - 1,353 posts, and no less than 86,310 views!!! See http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...sxs-cards.html (and a summary at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...sxs-cards.html ). You need a true SxS card for overcranking, but thousands of people are now using EXs reliably (and cheaply) with SDHC cards.

I don't know about the States, but SxS Pro cards have always been somewhat cheaper in the UK than P2 anyway. One of the largest UK dealers is currently listing 16 and 32GB P2 cards at 895 and 532 respectively (plus tax). The corresponding prices for SxS Pro (Sony) are 745.45 and 429 - a difference of about 25% for the 16GB cards. Factor in the data rate differences and it makes SxS about a quarter the cost of P2 per minute.

But that all becomes pretty academic now that EX cameras can use SDHC cards anyway.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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From another thread I'm hearing that, "for every 8 GB card you fill up, if you want to transcode it all, you'll ned to store about 54GB for the transcode and then 8 GB for the native AVCHD, for a total of 62GB of storage for approximately 45 minutes of recording time or about 80GB per hour. In addition, Prores decoding still takes processing power and a fast hard drive."

For archiving I would just store the AVCHD, but I'm concerned about editing something that big. My 7200rpm internal already has to stop for a 5 second breather after playing 5 seconds of FCP timeline footage. Would Prores be able to do multicam on my 8-core?
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Old January 9th, 2009, 09:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
From another thread I'm hearing that, "for every 8 GB card you fill up, if you want to transcode it all, you'll ned to store about 54GB for the transcode and then 8 GB for the native AVCHD, for a total of 62GB of storage for approximately 45 minutes of recording time or about 80GB per hour. In addition, Prores decoding still takes processing power and a fast hard drive."

For archiving I would just store the AVCHD, but I'm concerned about editing something that big. My 7200rpm internal already has to stop for a 5 second breather after playing 5 seconds of FCP timeline footage. Would Prores be able to do multicam on my 8-core?
Depends on the number of streams you have in mind. But I'd say it's time for an upgrade to faster hard drives. You could make a nice internal SATA RAID or spring for an eSATA box for not too much dough.

-Noah
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Old January 10th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #10
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Have you considered the handling qualities of the EX1? It is hard to handhold the EX1 for long - the balance is really odd. Compare that with HPX170.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
From another thread I'm hearing that, "for every 8 GB card you fill up, if you want to transcode it all, you'll ned to store about 54GB for the transcode and then 8 GB for the native AVCHD, for a total of 62GB of storage for approximately 45 minutes of recording time or about 80GB per hour. In addition, Prores decoding still takes processing power and a fast hard drive."

For archiving I would just store the AVCHD, but I'm concerned about editing something that big. My 7200rpm internal already has to stop for a 5 second breather after playing 5 seconds of FCP timeline footage. Would Prores be able to do multicam on my 8-core?
You should plan on about transcoding requiring about 1GB/minute so then an hours shoot = 60GB's....more or less.I am shooting with the HMC150, and just keep it in PH mode, 720/60p and that is what I am seeing, using Main Concept's transcoder for now. I may try that transcoder from Cineform and Avid as well, see which really is the best.

The HMC is the way to go for event work, it's so light, very well balanced, and has outstanding low light capabilities. I only have one for now, but may get a second by the end of this quarter.

Last edited by Steve Wolla; January 12th, 2009 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Added info
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