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Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 09:09 AM   #1
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not sure?

Ok the HVX sounds pretty good but,,the record time is what is in doubt. I was looking at the new portable firestore FS-4. It can record up to 80GB (6 hours). It only weighs a pound,not much bigger than a iPod. Why not put that in a camera instead of the P2 cards that only hold minutes of record time for thousands of dollars? This FS-4 is only like $1,000.

The P2 card is not that good of a deal. We are told ,,just keep changing cards. Put the card in this handy storage device. Every 8 minutes. Sorry it sucks. They are going to need a bigger card.

People are talking that Pansonic moved into the future,,years ahead of Sony, tape is dead. A removable hardrive like the Firestore type thing in a cam would be so much better. It sounds cheap enough, light enough.

Unless Panasonic has more to tell use, this HVX200 just is not that good of a deal.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 11:33 AM   #2
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It looks like your wish may be granted:

http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31579
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:02 PM   #3
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Bob, whether or not P2 is "that good of a deal" depends primarily on what you're doing with video. P2 was invented for news gathering and adapts easily to filmmaking -- short takes with frequent offloads. If you're doing event videography with very long, continuous takes, then P2 may not *yet* be right for you now but could be in the near future when memory prices come down.

It seems like your complaints are primarily focused on the memory, not the camera. P2 memory, just like digital still camera memory, will become less expensive and higher capacity fairly quickly. I don't think there's much to complain about as far as the camera is concerned -- it's just a question of whether or not P2 is right for your type of videography.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 02:43 PM   #4
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I would add to Chris's response by saying that we have to be careful not to judge a camera that won't be out for months based on the abilities and pricing of the media today.

What matters is the cost and size of P2 cards when the camera is actually available, and those things are still up in the air a bit, until NAB that is.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 07:42 PM   #5
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The camera sounds pretty good Chris and your right the memory part is what I'm wondering about. It would be nice like in the photography I do. I leave the pictures on the compactflash till I make prints and burn them on a CD. Some pictures I leave on the computer and on the card,,,,just incase.

It will be nice when a P2 card is cheap enough you can leave it till you know your done. Sure you can put it on a hardrive, but they do crash.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #6
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One thing to remember when worrying about the little over 8 minutes of recording time on an 8 GB P2-card, is the fact that a miniDV cassette only has 13 GB of storage capacity. It isn't possible to record 100 Mb/s on a mini-DV cassette, but if it would have, then the limit would have come very quickly. They couldn't have made any longer tapes than that.

So what were the options with this amount of data?

A new mini tape format. Not so good as the future is tapeless, and those new cassettes would have been expensive at first too.

A swappable harddisk, propably iPod or laptop type. These would have had a lot of storage, but would they have had the speed? Propably yes (I don't know really). But I don't think Panasonic manufactures harddisks? They wouldn't have had any money coming from the selling of media for their cameras. It is often said that the most money is made selling mini-dv tapes.

And then they had the option to use their newly developed P2-cards. Transfer rate is not a problem, and they're betting on the size of the cards to rise to 128 GB by the end of decade. That's about 128 minutes of DVCPRO-HD on one card.

The only problem with P2 remains to be the price. Panasonic is betting on SD-cards prices dropping, so maybe we'll see those 128 GB cards at 500:s. That is still too much for the P2:s to become an archiving format. 1 per minute is about the maximum for video that people would be willing to pay for the quality (professionals would propably pay more).

So this leads to the extra work of copying the material after shooting to another media. This will be either harddisks or blu-ray discs. So the cost of P2 wouldn't be a material cost, it would be part of the camera. And you'd have to decide for yourself, how much material do you want to capture before uploading to a harddrive on the set (if you had the money for such a device).

I don't see the copying to harddrives as such a big problem, and I'm looking forward to the 100 Mb/s quality at 1080p (It's about time we get this). I hope Panasonic gets their workflow to be efficient and affordable. Affordability is what they have promised. Let's see if they can live up to that.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 01:18 PM   #7
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That firestore appears to only store dv25 stuff, not the new Pro stuff. Not really useful for HD it appears. Hope the article was wrong.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #8
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In the Kinetta one 1.8" 40MB HDD records 110Mb/sec. These drives are very small, about 50g, perfect to put one into a camera. Shock resistance may be one week point, but I'm sure in the iPods they need to withstand large amounts of shock some times.

Surely P2 memory prices will come down and the capacity will increase, but so will increase the capacity of HDDs. It will be a long time when you can say that P2 memory capacity is so high that I do not want longer recording time or less compression ratio at a cheaper price by using a hard disk instead. This should at least be an option.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #9
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I agree that it should be an option, but keep in mind the advantages of using flash memory: solid state with no moving parts, no noise, less power required, and much more robust and resistant to g-shock.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #10
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I'm really interested to see the solution Panasonic has to this obvious issue.

Offering us such (what I assume will be) great quality DVCPRO HD at a (Again supposedly) low price to compete with the Z1, means people will naturally go - OK, thanks for the awesome camera, but really do I have to spend thousands on media for it now, upfront? How they tackle this is what is exciting me. Will they

- Bundle something cool, like 1 or 2 8gig cards for free?
- Have a tape transport as well (I'd imagine this would be the easiest, and cheapest option) for DVCPro non-hd only recording
- Will they have some tight integration with something like a firestore and offer some rebate on buying the two together?
- Will they drastically drop the price of the P2 cards to something stupidly low so peple can't complain and Panasonic will sell a lot of them?

Who knows, but I'm waiting.

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Old April 4th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #11
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I agree that a solution for long-form recording is the missing puzzle piece.

Quote:
- Bundle something cool, like 1 or 2 8gig cards for free?
I'm pretty sure, from the way it's been talked about, that yes, for the under-$10k price you're talking about getting a card or two (although what capacity, who knows?)

Quote:
Have a tape transport as well (I'd imagine this would be the easiest, and cheapest option) for DVCPro non-hd only recording
I think that's possible as well. There was one pre-NAB article that pretty much alluded to that, I think -- that there would be DV tape in it, for recording DV, but the DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO-HD would be recorded on the cards (or perhaps streamed out a firewire or USB port?)

Quote:
Will they have some tight integration with something like a firestore and offer some rebate on buying the two together?
Jan has announced that FireStore is one of the P2 partner companies, so I'd expect something from them along the lines of the FS-4, although there's obviously no way to know if there'd be any sort of combined/rebate deal.

Quote:
Will they drastically drop the price of the P2 cards to something stupidly low so peple can't complain and Panasonic will sell a lot of them?
That one, I think is unlikely. I really don't think Panasonic cares to sell boatloads of P2 cards (I mean, obviously they'd like to sell as many as they can, but it's not a "razor & blades" type of marketing model). I think the card is meant to be viewed as pretty much part of the camera, not as a consumable media element. Like batteries. I have four batteries for my DVX, that's more than I ever use in any one shoot. So I think it's reasonable to think that for most users, two to three cards is all they'll ever buy.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 06:27 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Barry Green :
That one, I think is unlikely. I really don't think Panasonic cares to sell boatloads of P2 cards (I mean, obviously they'd like to sell as many as they can, but it's not a "razor & blades" type of marketing model). I think the card is meant to be viewed as pretty much part of the camera, not as a consumable media element. Like batteries. I have four batteries for my DVX, that's more than I ever use in any one shoot. So I think it's reasonable to think that for most users, two to three cards is all they'll ever buy. -->>>

I can accept the mindset that it's considered part of the camera, but it falls down if you have to have numerous ones so you can continuously shoot. And then have the time to swap, offload to a laptop or HD, when you might miss a PAN, or something if you're doing events.

With batteries though, we're talking about 3-4 hours running time; which is sweet for most events right? But P2, we're talking about 4-8 minutes if we want to use HiDef (And we do really)! That's where the analogy fails me thinks. I mean, I'd have no problem with a P2 that I could store an hour on. I'd be happy to buy 2, even for a grand each and swap around, offload etc. But every 4 minutes - nup.

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Old April 4th, 2005, 06:35 PM   #13
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What Panasonic really needs to do with the P2 cards is broaden the market. What if the next evolution of the DVC, DVX and high end GS series (GS400) used P2 to record SD video instead of miniDV tape? That should bring the price down on P2 media.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 07:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
but it falls down if you have to have numerous ones so you can continuously shoot. And then have the time to swap, offload to a laptop or HD, when you might miss a PAN, or something if you're doing events.
That is a concern, yes. Cheap event shooting will not necessarily be practical in a pure P2 environment. That's one reason why I'm hoping there will still be an option to pipe the video out to an off-the-shelf external hard disk. When P2 cards with an hours' capacity are available, it will become a nonissue, but until then there are some types of shooting that will be more difficult with a P2-only solution, and long events are one of them.
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