Some sensible suggestions to the AG-HVX200E (PAL) development team at DVinfo.net

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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:57 AM   #1
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Some sensible suggestions to the AG-HVX200E (PAL) development team

Needless to say that the HVX is anticipated with interest also in Europe, but there are several issues I would love to see considered in the final product.
As I expect to find some support with my concerns, I would appreciate if you could show yours by posting it, and so turn this into a open proposal. We do not want Panasonic to forget about listening, do we?


1. Non-proprietary hard drive streaming support is mandatory. The days of "specialized" hardware controlled by a single company are definitely gone, and there will be hardly anyone missing them, Panasonic at least, owing the tremendous success of the DVX to the desktop video (DV the 2.) revolution. Remember the time when you had to pay 400% for a standard drive from the waterfront hacked by a greedy manufacturer to be recognized by the software? Please, not again! Besides, with the P2 cards having a file system by default, it should be possible to write the data to a pre-formatted hard drive, too. Low cost 2.5 notebook drives with 5400 rpm and 100 GB easily sustain data rates beyond 15 MB/s, quick enough even for DVC100HD.

2. What about a compartment for the above mentioned drives below the P2 slots (or slot, would be sufficient then)? Slightly larger dimensions, but to be adressed directly via firewire. There is an abundance of cheap and power saving chipsets available on the market for this purpose. Add 512 MBs of DRAM, and you have a shock-proof buffer of more than half a minute in HD!
Also, modern drives have a number of stand-by modes to lower the already modest consumption, and who - in the worst case - would care about playback stuttering on the camcorder when the contents are dubbed to the NLE anyhow.

3. Having a short-play mode for enhancing the data rate accepted by the tape would be very welcome. You could call this DV50, running the tape at double speed, giving 30 minutes of recording time with the popular AY-DVM63 series and nearly all the advantages of the DVC50 mode (except the CUE track). Panasonic did this years ago in their first professional dual-format camcorders featuring both DVC25 and DVC50. So the tape mechanism still would be very useful.

4. Finally, while due to the highly increased pixel density (about two to three times more in comparison with the DVX) significantly decreased latitude and smear resistance are very likely, waveform monitoring could help quite a bit.


I do not think that unleashing the described potential would have an influence on the sales numbers of bigger cameras in the P2 range. The HVX is a 1/3 inch type with a fixed lens, thus "crippled" anyway.


Thank you for your attention and help, especially to you, Jan, for forwarding,


Lu
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Old May 8th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #2
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Hi Lucia,

Welcome to DV Info Net. This is obviously a well-intentioned and carefully prepared post, and I appreciate the time you spent in writing it.

Some of your suggestions involve radical alterations to the design of the HVX200. Although I do not speak for Panasonic, I have been around this industry long enough to know that although the PAL version has not been released yet, its final design was "locked" quite some time ago and I don't think you should expect it to change. Also, the *external* differences between PAL and NTSC versions of any camcorder are usually very minor and may involve only the placement and labeling of a button or two. There really is no chance that the form factor and physical design and make-up of the camcorder, for example to include a built-in receiver for a removeable hard drive, can be changed at this point. The external design and features of the PAL version were finalized months ago. Some of what you propose might be interesting additions to a succeeding model... the HVX300, perhaps? And I find that sort of speculation and wish-list drawing to be enjoyable and fascinating. I'm sure Panasonic does, too. Cheers,
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Old May 8th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #3
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The thing is, when this camera is finally on the market, it is still going to be a 1/3" chip "prosumer" type camera, and the manufacturer has to keep in mind the acceptable price ranges for that market. We would all like to see them give us a fully professional HD camera for $5K, but it ain't gonna happen. That would be financial suicide for the manufacturer. Probably JVC is going to be the one with the closest thing to a full blown pro camera in the 1/3" chip arena--maybe what they do will force a downward spiral in the ol' cost vs. benefit thing. It happened with computers and editing systems, so it could happen in cameras too. However, unless people quit using high end cameras and move en masse to 1/3" chip ones, I doubt there will be any incentive to design anything much different from what's already out there, or coming soon. If Panasonic made a camera like the HVX200 with the ability to use professional lenses and record to cheap hard drives attached as you mention, which would be cool, then I can see that a lot of people might start to look at the cost of a Varicam and say, hey, this is good enough for this project. They surely wouldn't want that to happen.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #4
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I only know one thing..if Panasonic and JVC give the Euro version the ability to support both PAL and NTSC systems and only give us NTSC, then I'm going for the Sony. I won't stand to be crapped on by a Japanese manufacturer again. No matter how much I want the camera.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 05:35 AM   #5
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.. plus some clarification

Hi Chris, thank you very much for your friendly words, and for your excellent site, which took apparently a little more time than my post.
I am quite aware of the general policies you mentioned, and so simply compiled some facts with the meta-intention to point out the European situation. There are no HD broadcasters here, so if the industry wants to push HD on the continent, the equipment has to be outstanding in order to lure enough buyers to build up a broad content base. Then 5.000 Euro are a fortune for an entry-level system, and upselling the storage system will not work, for the mainstream limit is reached at this price point.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 06:02 AM   #6
 
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Ya, sounds silly to suggest it, but the thing that would certainly kill any competition at all would be the possibility of non-fixed lens/i.e. interchangeable lenses. Even if Canon/JVC has it, their codecs are inferior. So far the Panasonic is the only one coming near the quality for the price. Panasonic, if you want to not only hinder, but DESTROY the competition in its entirety, do interchangeable lenses.
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Old May 13th, 2005, 12:18 PM   #7
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Hvx200

So will will the HVX200 be available? I was just getting
ready to buy a new AGDVX100A, should I wait?
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Old May 13th, 2005, 12:37 PM   #8
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Bravo, Lucia! All your points are well-considered.

Laurence, I agree that's the most desirable feature on Panasonic's cameras in this price range. If only ...
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Old May 13th, 2005, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Jodoin
So will will the HVX200 be available? I was just getting
ready to buy a new AGDVX100A, should I wait?
The HVX likely won't be on the market until sometime around December...
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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:51 AM   #10
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... and last but not least the piece of cake (shooter-speak)

5. Not to forget a decent fidelity rebate for current DVX100 owners (and some boon for those contributing design recommendations perhaps).

Do I meet approval there?
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