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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:30 AM   #76
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sports car runs on rocket fuel

has anyone used the ol' car analogy yet? panasonic has introduced a powerful new sports car at an affordable price. only problem is instead of running on premium unleaded, it runs on a special rocket fuel that only panasonic "gas stations" sell for now. the fuel is scarce and about 1/5 the price of the car. yes the fuel is reusable but you can only travel about 20 miles before you need to refill.

not sure where i'm going with this but it doesn't seem panasonic knows where they're going either. they introduce a prosumer camera but alienate most of their prosumer market by rushing to get out their camera that requires superfast p2 cards. but at a maximum of 100mbps data rate, why would dvcprohd require p2's 640mbps? why wouldn't any 7200rpm or even 5400rpm 2.5" hdd work at this sustained rate? how does jvc offer this option on their new hd prosumer cam? is their data rate that much different? just asking some questions that i haven't seen answered yet.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 03:01 AM   #77
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This has been debated ad infinitum -- it's getting up there with the "mac vs. PC" or "video vs. film" threads as far as overdone...

Here's the answers, all in one place, so hopefully everyone can see this and not be confused about it:

Panasonic is trying to sell cameras. They have made the camera do things that no other camera in this price class can do. They have been able to do that by offering P2 recording, and not recording to tape. Why not record to tape? A DVCPRO50 deck would add about $7,000 to the cost -- and still wouldn't record HD. A DVCPRO-HD deck would add $15,000 to the cost -- just for the deck mechanism. Panasonic has instead brought DVCPRO-HD to the market in a camera that costs less than $6,000.

But you have to buy a card. Or do you? For those who complain about the P2 price, please keep in mind that a) you don't ever really have to buy a P2 card if you don't want to, and b) there may be many alternatives to P2.

For those who are enamored with hard disks, Focus is building a FireStore that will work with the camera. Using that, you would never have to buy a P2 card, and you could still use the full HD capabilities.

Or, if you can stand being chained to a laptop or desktop via firewire, you can use the camera out of the box and record HD straight to the computer, without having any P2 cards at all.

Or, several efforts are underway to determine the feasibility of P2 alternatives -- perhaps a Sandisk Extreme III compactflash card mounted in a PCMCIA adapter will work. Others are talking about using PCMCIA firewire adapters or PCMCIA USB2 adapters. Others are talking about the next generations of MicroDrives.

Also, Panasonic has no intention of having any sort of "monopoly" on P2 cards. They've licensed their SD memory card technology so widely that there are now 700 companies making their own SD cards, or products to go with them. You can bet that you'll see P2 cards from PNY, SanDisk, Kingston, Lexar, basically anyone that makes memory cards.

And, the part that people really seem to not get -- you don't buy lots of P2 cards. You buy one, or maybe two. Maybe if you're really, really gonzo about it, you'll buy three. And that's it. For the rest of the camera's life. It's not like tape or disc or other disposable media. P2 is more like the RAM in the camera, like a part of the camera. It is not media that you hand over to the client.

And, even if you get just one P2 card, you can plug in a hard disk and dub the contents of the P2 card over to a cheap off-the-shelf USB2 drive whenever you want. No other camera can do that. You could dub your footage onto a hard disk that actually costs *less* than a DVCPRO-HD tape does!

If you really want to record to hard disk, you can. P2 cards are faster, more reliable, more rugged, more shockproof, more environmental-proof -- in fact, they're superior to hard disk in every way except one: cost per gigabyte. A hard disk is a far inferior product in all ways except one: it's cheap. So the solution is, shoot to card, dub to hard disk.

If you want to shoot to hard disk, go ahead -- get a FireStore. Panasonic recruited them to be a partner specifically for this purpose.

Please, let's put a rest to the "Panasonic's extorting big money from us for P2 card" conspiracy theory. Competition and licensing will drive P2 cards to rock bottom prices. And there are plenty of alternatives, now and forthcoming, that make it such that you may never need a p2 card at all, if you choose to do without it.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 10:03 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
.....A hard disk is a far inferior product in all ways except one: it's cheap...
Barry, you wrote a great summary of all the posts and arguments of the last couple of weeks - you must have been taking notes!

I didn't understand that one sentence though. In what ways wold an HD be "far inferior"?
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Old April 30th, 2005, 10:20 AM   #79
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Yes, in many ways a hard drive is "inferior" to P2 cards in as much
as they are not nearly as robust, nor reliable as memory. This might not be an issue when it comes to most hard drive applications, but when the drive holds what is now the camera original data then one had better think long and hard about dependability and back up. Other than that they seem a very viable option!
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Old April 30th, 2005, 10:40 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Anderson
Yes, in many ways a hard drive is "inferior" to P2 cards in as much
as they are not nearly as robust, nor reliable as memory. This might not be an issue when it comes to most hard drive applications, but when the drive holds what is now the camera original data then one had better think long and hard about dependability and back up. Other than that they seem a very viable option!
All true, but here's the pinch. Where is all my incredibly valuable footage archived? Oh, it's on an HDD, isn't it??? The data's only on the P2 card for about 20 mins.

I did a degree in computer science at UCL when I was a lad - and I'll tell you this much, I don't trust solid state systems as far as i can p*ss... I'll keep my tape backups, thank you very much!

It doesn't look like a new Panny for me :( Oh well...
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Old April 30th, 2005, 11:45 AM   #81
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dominic, i just spent $400 to get new heads put on my xl1s... the footage i lost at the shoot can't be replaced... don't anybody try telling me that tape is reliable.

coming from an i.t. background, i can also say that tape formats come and go far too often... right now i'm sitting on a bunch of precious hi-8 footage that i don't know what to do with, it needs to be copied off somewhere before the tape itself completely falls apart... and the $5k sony 9850 hi-8 tape deck just took a nose dive.

several years ago i got a frantic call from an old co-worker who desperately needed to restore a dos-based tape... they had lost track of the computer software it was made on, but it probably wouldn't have helped anyway, because nothing runs on dos anymore... i suggested that he pay big $$ to send it to a data restoration service.

what you will be using for long-term storage of your p2/hdd hd footage are cheap hard drives, and the new dvd hd discs, which will be available in quantity within two years... the deck will plug into a pc just like the dvd burners we have now, you'll be able to use it for data storage or as a master copy of your production.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #82
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In the old days archives of any kind was static. You spooled something to a tape, and the big issue was to make sure that the data you recorded remained unchanged.

But it is not so anymore in the IT-world of today. Data in any archive is alive. Meaning that they got metadata assigned to them and they can be transformed to another format as need be. One example is plain Word documents on a storage server. Lets say you changed your wordprocessor. Then what about the older documents? How do you make sure that you can read them? When you restore an older document because you need it, then it a baad time to discover that your old documents and your new wordprocessing program are incompatible. The solution for this is to have the storage subsystem to convert all documents as a background batch process.

The same goes for video. Larger files - yes. Much larger files - indeed. But storage and processing power is getting cheeper by the minute.

So it is possible to build a videostorage system, that could convert your HD to Mpeg4/uncompressed/MPEG2/... And based on metadata convert older projects to a suitable archive format and unload it to DVDs. My old pc was doing exactly that for me. Using Cleaner and a 160 GB USB2-harddisk it worked in the backgrund converting my raw takes to highbandwith MPEG2. Right now it is a Linux-server, but that is another story.

But the morale of all this is that standard fileformats is very important, and paired with metadata it is possible to keep data alive. It might be that it is ones and zeroes we are keeping on the disk, but it is images we are storing.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 08:12 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Caffesse
It seems this camera will record to ANY firewire or USB2.0 drive that will support the datarate.
That means, no need for an expensive 3rd party solution.
Apparently the Panasonic engineers had it working with an Ipod.
:)
Sorry I have been really busy this last week. Let me clarify this. The Firewire needs an intellignet reception like a Firestore, and they are working on something. The USB port will offload the cards, but it does not stream to the USB port, it is only file transfer. This is much different that what is the interpretation here. Sorry I didn't catch this sooner.

The iPod was a file transfer, the iPod is not fast enough for capture.

Best regards,

Jan
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Old May 1st, 2005, 11:38 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Caffesse
Yeah, it looks like the initial reports were a bit premature, and possibly due to a misunderstanding.

My apologies for spreading the news too quickly.
I was only repeating what I had read was a confirmed feature.

Hopefully panasonic will make this a feature on the final model.

Jan, i originally got that news off another board...my fault for spreading it I guess, but I did think it was true at the time.

Anyhow, it's already been clarified, I don't think anyone is under this confusion anymore (although it would be nice, if you could pull it off).

Thanks.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 12:12 PM   #85
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I need tape. I have over 300 dv tapes with old concert footage. I record shows and weddings and do not just edit and distribute, I archive the concerts as well. I might need a few hundred terabytes of hard drive space, much more in HD. I can't afford a hard drive for every gig.

IMNSHO, if Panasonic cares to sell this camera to consumers or prosumers, they will need an HD capable recording tape drive. Whether it means coming out with a more robust tape that can handle the bandwidth, then so be it. Myself and others cannot go the P2 or hard drive route as it's just way too expensive and an inconvenience to be switching memory cards, whether P2 or compact flash.

Also, do we already have computers capable of editing that bandwidth? What about distribution, where is Blu Ray or whatever other recording option? At least with the JVC, I'll be able to go to DVHS, not even sure if the Sony FX1 records to DVHS.

I am not sure about this move away from tape, in fact I believe the need for tape is greater as the bandwidth of the medium increases, as far as I see, there is no alternative. With HD material streaming at such high rates 100MB/sec or whatever it is, I believe tape storage will be more crucial. If not tape storage, then some Blu Ray style optical disk recording format that isn't too expensive but more along the current price of DVDs/tapes and if not that cheap let's say around $25/1hr tape or disk. I hope Canon is listening.

Last edited by David Gomez; May 1st, 2005 at 12:46 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 12:15 PM   #86
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Seems my skepticism was warranted after all.

This is one case where I wish I was wrong, that feature would have made the HVX200 a no-brainer.

Still will be a very nice camera (especially when P2 prices come down), but Firestore drives are usually in the $15 - $20 per GB range, where normal external drives (even very fast ones) are less than $1/GB. I would imagine Focus would want to design a 160GB drive for the high bitrate of DVCProHD (to cover "all-day" shooting, or roughly 3 hours of footage), which would probably put a Firestore designed for the HVX200 in the $2,500 range. Hope I'm wrong though.

Ben

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Crittenden Livingston
Sorry I have been really busy this last week. Let me clarify this. The Firewire needs an intellignet reception like a Firestore, and they are working on something. The USB port will offload the cards, but it does not stream to the USB port, it is only file transfer. This is much different that what is the interpretation here. Sorry I didn't catch this sooner.

The iPod was a file transfer, the iPod is not fast enough for capture.

Best regards,

Jan
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Old May 1st, 2005, 01:34 PM   #87
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Don't count the AG-HVX200 out yet Ben.

Jan is just talking about the HD out FW. I am sure there are going to be some people trying cards that go into the PCMCIA slot that have a ribbon or other output to a Hard Drive. I have seen it for DSLR cameras where they stick a dummy card in and the data travels out external.

Plus, there are some brand new PCMCIA HD's that can sustain easily 40mbs for the 24p 720 and I am sure more as well.

So stick in there, the HVX will have many options.

You could always wait for Canon. I think 2009 for their HDV cam. Just a Joke Canon.....:-)


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Buie
Seems my skepticism was warranted after all.

This is one case where I wish I was wrong, that feature would have made the HVX200 a no-brainer.

Still will be a very nice camera (especially when P2 prices come down), but Firestore drives are usually in the $15 - $20 per GB range, where normal external drives (even very fast ones) are less than $1/GB. I would imagine Focus would want to design a 160GB drive for the high bitrate of DVCProHD (to cover "all-day" shooting, or roughly 3 hours of footage), which would probably put a Firestore designed for the HVX200 in the $2,500 range. Hope I'm wrong though.

Ben
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Old May 1st, 2005, 03:42 PM   #88
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Good to have the clarification, but possibly unfortunate news. Firestore MUST make whatever solution they have, use interchangeable drives. Otherwise we get into the problem of handing stuff off after a shoot. As people have tried to convince us all, handing over a hard drive is probably the way to go now with P2, but if we have to hand over an expensive Firestore, then it becomes a problem. Of course, we can copy via USB as Jan has mentioned which is nice, but the speeds on USB2 aren't that good and if we have to DUB after the shoot, then it's more downtime. One solution would be if the camera allowed dubbing off AND recording to P2 at the same time. So you could dump one P2 card while the other was being recorded to. Of course, this would have to be faster than realtime, or you're in trouble when the other one runs out.

Jan, do you know if this will be a feature?


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Old May 1st, 2005, 03:44 PM   #89
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Keep in mind what's being said here -- you *can* use off-the-shelf hard disks, as cheap as they get. You just can't stream directly to them.

The FireStore product will be designed for those who need to capture long takes continuously, instantly. It has the ability to capture the firewire stream and write it directly to disk. It will be a specially designed unit that supports the high data transfer rate, manages files, names them, etc.

But the camera itself can transfer the contents of a P2 card onto any cheap USB2 hard disk (including the ipod). So you shoot to the card for a while, and then between takes you plug in your USB drive and offload it. Using that method you could store about 8 hours of 720/24p footage for under $200. You could use your ipod to store DVCPRO-HD data. You could edit directly from the ipod or from the cheap USB2 hard disk. You could deliver that hard disk to the producer at the end of the shoot, rather than handing over a box of undigitized tapes.

So you can do both. You just won't be able to capture directly to the cheap drive -- unless someone develops an intermediary solution; something like a FireStore that doesn't include a built-in drive but rather writes to external USB drives.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 08:59 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Gomez
I need tape.
there are current alternatives that may help... right now, for instance, you could transcode everything you shot into cineform, or canopus hq vbr, and save a huge chunk of storage space... and i bet that your footage would still look better than if it was shot in raw hdv.

when blue ray hd dvd hits, it'll hold 25 gigs per layer, and the spec goes up to 200 gig disks... 100 mb/sec = 6 gigs/minute(?), i guess that it won't help much for long-form work :-(

aaron, the usb 2.0 bitrate spec is faster than the 1394 firewire bitrate spec.
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