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Old April 28th, 2005, 05:27 PM   #46
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"Look, buy your new camera, and then if someone asks you to shoot in HD just rent a camera. If you start to get more HD requests than SD ones then you can think about an HVX200."

I agree completely.
I have not bought a camera since my GL1 back in ...jeez when was that?

Meanwhile, I've been making a living shooting and editing.
I rent and borrow everytime I have a shoot.
My GL1 sits in the closet now.

I haven't bought a camera in all this time because I didn't see one that fit the majority of my needs. I've done a fair amount of HD shooting, and the rest has been pretty evenly split between 4:1:1 and 4:2:2 SD formats.

That said, for that very reason the HVX200 is exactly the camera I've been waiting for. But, if it's not for you...don't fret.

Don't let anyone tell you that you have to own an HD camera until you see that demand from your clients. In fact, don't even let anyone tell you that you have to own your own gear to make a living.

I do better than most of the people I know who spent the bulk of their income on gear. Meanwhile they are still paying off loans.

I'm not saying not to invest in yourself....just don't feel pressured to move into a piece a gear or a format that you feel may not be the right choice for you.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Gannon
And after Barry Green and Jarred Land's comparision of DVX/XL2/FX1,
is this an online comparison? Sorry to hijack the thread, but if I've been looking for a good comprehensive comparison of these three cameras. Can someone post the link if it is available?

Thanks,

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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:53 PM   #48
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Hi Kelly, you thread hijacker, you.

That comparison is located at http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/shoot3/

Hope this helps,
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Old May 7th, 2005, 01:31 AM   #49
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"If money saved is money earned, P2 pays for itself right out of the box as I delete mutiple tape decks from my Excel spreadsheet."

Unless I'm missing something, the new Panasonic camera isn't likely to eliminate the use of DVCProHD tape decks, unless you're planning to replace them with a big stack of hard drives. Think about it for a moment: you're certainly not going to archive your video on P2 memory cards costing over $200 per *MINUTE* of HD storage capacity, so what are your other alternatives? Basically, you can either copy your HVX200 footage to tapes or to hard drives. But most people don't seem to trust hard drives for storing their master footage, so now we're back to good old DVCProHD tape as our archiving media. So wait, what was the point of developing a camera which can't record directly to tape (in HD mode) in the first place? Okay, it's a little more rugged, but it's not going to save most people any money compared to more expensive cameras with less expensive media options. Once people realize what this means in practical terms, I wonder if there won't be a significant cooling of interest in the HVX200.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 02:01 AM   #50
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Kevin, you can archive your footage straight to DLT rather than DVCPro tape.

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Old May 7th, 2005, 05:53 AM   #51
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And what happened to DVD, HD-DVD, BluRay?... the latter ones being apon us by xmas time as well!
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Old May 7th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
"If money saved is money earned, P2 pays for itself right out of the box as I delete mutiple tape decks from my Excel spreadsheet."

But most people don't seem to trust hard drives for storing their master footage, so now we're back to good old DVCProHD tape as our archiving media.
I'd much rather archive to a hard drive as data than a magnetic tape. I've been using a removable hard drive system for a few years now- and prices of drives are so cheap now. But either way, as Daymon said, cheap, high capacity storage will be among us soon- P2 just may seem a bit "premature" in the market place, but the idea is certainly where the industry is heading.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 09:12 AM   #53
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Thanks, I hadn't thought of archiving to DLT tape, but I probably wouldn't go that route because hard drives are so much more convenient at little additional cost per GB. And I suppose you could use standard DVDs, but I calculate a single-layer disc would only hold about six minutes of DVCProHD footage. HD DVDs may be a realistic option eventually, but from what I hear they're going to be expensive at first -- at least $1000 or more for a burner and as much as $1/GB for the discs. (More per GB than hard drives.)

But the biggest problem I see with the HVX200 is finding a cost-effective and practical way to use it for event work. Let's say I'm planning to shoot at least 3-4 hours of footage at a wedding, how I am suppose to capture that out in the field? If I use P2 memory cards I'd need roughly $50K worth of those to get through just one wedding, and twice that if I want to be prepared to shoot two events back-to-back. If I use the Panasonic 1-hour offload device I'd need four of those at $1800 each for a total of $7200, times two again for two events. Plus I'll need someone working full time doing nothing but handling the memory cards to offload the video data during the shoot, so add that to my base cost for using the camera.

Given the above costs, I'm puzzled why there isn't a version of this camera which either records directly to tape (in HD mode) or to an inexpensive removable hard drive. Sure, you can attach an external Firestore or equivalent, which is what I would plan to do, but that's going to be rather clumsy and still effectively doubles the price of the camera for event work. So maybe the HVX200 is a bargain compared to more costly HD alternatives, but it seems like an odd choice to have designed it around expensive, proprietary memory cards. Unless you happen to be selling expensive, proprietary memory cards...
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Old May 7th, 2005, 12:48 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Think about it for a moment: you're certainly not going to archive your video on P2 memory cards costing over $200 per *MINUTE* of HD storage capacity, so what are your other alternatives?
Think about it terms of today's digital still cameras. You don't archive your digital still photos on flash memory cards... you're only using flash memory for acquisition. You clear the cards, and then put them back in the camera. Sometimes you don't even take them out of the camera, you just download directly from the camera over a USB cable. The methods you're using to archive digital still photos will carry over to digital video... most likely via optical disc or hard drive, and even to tape if you want... you don't have to own a DVCPro HD deck, just rent one on a daily basis as you need it.

For some folks, the P2 cards in their HVX camcorders may never see the light of day, they'll simply be left in the camcorder on a continuous basis, their contents downloaded via USB2 or FireWire.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #55
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Ok, let's say the HVX200 needs 20,000$ kit to be "fully practical" in real life term. So ? It's still a deal. Maybe not for the "level 1" prosumer, but for the serious customer who wants the best technology at the best price: it's a great opportunity that's coming.

It is well-knowned that memory technology is moving FAST and prices are going DOWN. Please don't worry, within 5-6 months, when the HVX will be available for sale, new things can come up...

If you cannot afford the kit needed for the HVX, maybe you simply can't afford to shoot in HD. Period.


...Just wait few years again..
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Old May 7th, 2005, 01:28 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
HD DVDs may be a realistic option eventually, but from what I hear they're going to be expensive at first -- at least $1000 or more for a burner and as much as $1/GB for the discs. (More per GB than hard drives.)
True, but I think you have to put a value on your archived video. Isn't your video worth a dollar per gigabyte for archiving? Especially when it's on a random-access format such as HD DVD?


Quote:
But the biggest problem I see with the HVX200 is finding a cost-effective and practical way to use it for event work. Let's say I'm planning to shoot at least 3-4 hours of footage at a wedding, how I am suppose to capture that out in the field? If I use P2 memory cards I'd need roughly $50K worth of those to get through just one wedding, and twice that if I want to be prepared to shoot two events back-to-back.
I've done my fair share of weddings in the past, and have had plenty of opportunities to stop and change tapes, change batteries, etc., so I'm pretty confident that you would not need $50K worth of P2 cards. You could probably manage with three or four P2 cards. You've got a helper along for the job who can manage card downloading while you're shooting, right?

I think an important question you have to ask yourself about doing event work such as a wedding with a P2 camera such as the HVX is, do you really need to shoot it in DVCPro HD? I mean, what are you delivering to the bride... if it's a standard DVD in the end, then why would you need to shoot in DVCPro HD... wouldn't DVCPro 50 suffice for a wedding? Is it a question of marketability -- are your competitors advertising that they're shooting in HD? I have a friend in Los Angeles who owns a VariCam, and she has shot at least one wedding on DVCPro HD, but it was for a client in Saudi Arabia who flew her over, etc. etc., money was no object. I guess what I'm trying to get at is, despite the short recording times for DVCPro HD on currently available P2 cards, would you really want to shoot an "average" long-form event such as a wedding in the DVCPro HD format anyway? If the client gets a standard DVD, what would be the point?

If it is a question of marketing yourself over your competition, I wouldn't use an HD format such as DVCPro HD against a competitor who uses HDV. Instead, I'd be going for the wedding market tier that's above the HDV level... the clients who are willing to pay for that difference, that next step up in image quality that you're offering. Otherwise I'd show an example of the difference between HDV and 16:9 DVCPro 50 on a standard DVD demo to my potential clients (I haven't actually done such a demo, but I bet I have a clear idea of what it would look like).


Quote:
If I use the Panasonic 1-hour offload device I'd need four of those at $1800 each for a total of $7200, times two again for two events.
You're talking about the Panasonic SPC060 P2 Store. I'm glad you brought this up. I'm no expert on nomenclature, but notice that the model number is "060" and that it's a 60GB drive. It leads me to suspect that Panasonic might follow up with a higher capacity model... how about an SPC200, with a 200GB capacity? You could get by with one or two of those and I'm willing to bet they'll be priced only slightly higher than the SPC060. My point is, when I first saw that P2 store, the model number jumped out at me. It's a 60GB drive but the model number isn't SPC60. Instead it's SPC060. I'm laying odds that we can expect an SPC120, SPC200, or some such follow-up not too long from now.


Quote:
Plus I'll need someone working full time doing nothing but handling the memory cards to offload the video data during the shoot, so add that to my base cost for using the camera.
Back when I shot weddings in the Hi-8 days, I had an assistant on just about every shoot. I don't think offloading P2 cards is a full-time job, though.


Quote:
Given the above costs, I'm puzzled why there isn't a version of this camera which either records directly to tape (in HD mode) or to an inexpensive removable hard drive.
There already is a version of this camera which records HD to tape -- it's called the VariCam. Remember the DVCPro HD tape transport all by itself is a $16K item. If you put one on the HVX, it's not a $6K camcorder anymore but a $20K-plus camcorder, a price which negates the low-cost objective Panasonic was shooting for with the HVX in the first.


Quote:
Sure, you can attach an external Firestore or equivalent, which is what I would plan to do, but that's going to be rather clumsy and still effectively doubles the price of the camera for event work.
Where did you hear that a FireStore would double the cost of the camera? An external DTE hard disk recorder such as an HD-ready FireStore might go as high as $3K, I think. Mount it with the HVX on a solid shoulder support such as the DV Rig and it's not so clumsy.


Quote:
So maybe the HVX200 is a bargain compared to more costly HD alternatives, but it seems like an odd choice to have designed it around expensive, proprietary memory cards. Unless you happen to be selling expensive, proprietary memory cards...
The SD cards inside a P2 array and the surroundling PCMCIA cardbus are not proprietary, but rather quite standard, which paves the way for non-Panasonic third-party options. And while it may seem expensive, remember these are zero-fault SD cards, which aren't cheap to begin with.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Think about it terms of today's digital still cameras. You don't archive your digital still photos on flash memory cards... you're only using flash memory for acquisition. You clear the cards, and then put them back in the camera. Sometimes you don't even take them out of the camera, you just download directly from the camera over a USB cable. The methods you're using to archive digital still photos will carry over to digital video... most likely via optical disc or hard drive, and even to tape if you want... you don't have to own a DVCPro HD deck, just rent one on a daily basis as you need it.
I think this is a good analogy for where we're all headed in digital fim making/video. We all edit and distribute via HDs and DVDs, inernet streaming etc. The last link to tape and tape drives are in our cameras and now that is about to change, And in our kooky 21st century compressed time frame, that means once Panansonic crosses that bridge, pretty much everyone else has to follow.

But back to the photography analogy, We do a bunch of it, all shot RAW and usually 2 to 3 gigs per shoot. Our digital workflow is similar to how I would see setting up a HVX workflow, and none of it involves tape. Once we get back to the studio, files are immediately downoladed to a master 500 gig HD called (creatively) Darkroom. The folders are named by subject and dated for easy retrieval with Photoshop media browser.

After doing initial selex of the best, they go into a keepers folder and everything is redundantly backed up onto DVD as often as necessary

Occaisionally folders a reviewed and purged of all the obviously unusable shots to keep the main Darkroom HD as clean as possible.

I would definitely take a similar approach to an HVX/P2 system, keeping the clips for any finished project on master HDs and redundantly backing up those clips to DVD and in the future Blu Ray etc. All the unused footage could certainly be backed to tap, but we and probably most people never end up going back to the stuff that never made it to the finished film, commercial, promotional project etc....certainly not after pulling several alternate takes initially.

Anyway with the ridiculously low cost of HDs as well as solid state media continuing to drop, it will only get better and cheaper to look beyond tape in all phases of production the way it's pretty much dissapeared for editing.

By the way, how do I get my quotes to look as cool as everyone esles?
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Old May 10th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #58
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Sd & Dv.....

I've got a beta SD that mostly sits in the closet these days (my back appreciates it) and thank god for that. I've only had to pull it out recently for a green screen shoot and that was because it does 4.2.2.. I think HD will come along nicely and be the standard for TV within a couple of years. As an example, how many new CRT computer monitors do you see in homes these days - not many!
5 years ago, LCDs where not happening yet and here we are not too far down the road with LCDs as the mainstay in monitors and in new home TVs.
If this cam can give me 4.2.2 (I'm not even thinking HD)- a reasonable workflow via P2 and/or firestore record, I can see that by next year the HDX will have paid for itself.
As for DOF and focus range- I'm certainly interested in new approaches in 35 mm adaptors like the affordable guerilla35 or micro35 vs the mini35 which is out of my reach at $6,000.
I'm curious to see how the HDX lens does with 35mm adaptors and if it works well - that's going to be my route for DOF and focal range. Hope they get the light lose minimized in these 35mm adaptors!
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Old May 10th, 2005, 06:23 PM   #59
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Hmm, personally I never saw the advent of LCD's as a good thing! Bloody awful colour reproduction, limited viewing angle, and appalling aretefacts on the lower end displays. Ugh.

Now as for the HDX, it is an interesting camera. Though if I ever got one I certainly wouldn't want to put grainy ground glass in front of its lens. If I do ever get an HDX though it will be as a secondary camera.

As for backache http://www.easyrig.se/

It looks silly, but works very well from what I hear. Although having said that I generally prefer to operate my cam from a tripod or from cradle holding.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #60
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Just to be a nit picky bugger - it's HVX guys. :)

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