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Old November 16th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #1
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went to HVX200 demo....

First impressions...

I'ts a great camera, but I still see problems with the P2 workflow.

Let's say you buy a package with 2 P2 cards. Your recording time is limited. What if you have to shoot all day? You'll have to hire someone to keep transferring the footage to a hard drive while you're shooting, so you'll have to buy a P2 card reader, and bring along a laptop, this makes production more expensive, and may be unaffordable for shoestring-budget independent documentaries. (Hiring a PA or AC to do the transfer, etc.)

Okay, so let's say a producer brings a bunch of P2 cards, maybe that'll work, but are they really going to be able to afford 20 or more P2 cards?

Panasonic made a bad move by not allowing the tape mechanism to record in DVCProHD as well as Mini-DV.

What if you don't do a tranfer, and hand the shot cards you bought for the project to the producer, who's flying back to New York, and you'll never see them again? I guess you could include a bill for 5 P2 cards in your invoice? This would make the day rate for a freelancer like me astronomical. And you know how budget minded television production is these days. A lot of us have had to lower our rates to stay in business.

Just some thoughts...
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Old November 16th, 2005, 07:57 PM   #2
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Jacques,
Besides a reiteration of some concerns about P2 workflow, what about the camera itself? Anything new? Any surprises? Did you get to shoot or see footage? What were your impressions about the camera?
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Old November 16th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Star
I'ts a great camera, but I still see problems with the P2 workflow.
It's apparant from your post that there are many concepts regarding P2 that you're not understanding very well. When and where was this demo? In Dallas? If so, where was it and who was the presenter?

Quote:
Let's say you buy a package with 2 P2 cards. Your recording time is limited. What if you have to shoot all day?
If you have to shoot all day, what you do depends on what format you're recording in. If you're shooting standard def DVCPRO in 16:9, then you've got a couple of hours of recording time on four 8GB P2 cards (most HVX200 shooters will probably use three or four P2 cards, not two). This also gives you more than an hour of DVCPRO 50 or DVCPRO HD at 24fps. Seems to me like an hour of recording time works out to about half a day of shooting (if you're working fast, that is, and if it's not a long-form event)... clear these cards once during lunch and you're ready for the rest of the day. If you're constantly rolling tape *all* the time, most likely that's not going to need to be DVCPRO HD, right? But assuming it is, then most likely you wouldn't record long-form events to P2 at all. Instead you'd record to a FireStore FS-100, which holds 100 minutes of DVCPRO HD. Right tool for the right job, remember?

Quote:
You'll have to hire someone to keep transferring the footage to a hard drive while you're shooting, so you'll have to buy a P2 card reader, and bring along a laptop, this makes production more expensive, and may be unaffordable for shoestring-budget independent documentaries. (Hiring a PA or AC to do the transfer, etc.)
With four P2 cards I don't think you'll need an assistant, as I said depending on what kind of work you're doing, you'll probably have to download those cards one time throughout the day. Take care of it during lunch. If you have a PC laptop then you don't need a separate "P2 card reader" because the laptop *is* the P2 card reader. Remember all you need in terms of hardware to download P2 cards is a standard PCMCIA slot, and most all laptop PCs today come with two of those built right in. In fact I've never seen a laptop that didn't have at least one PC card slot.

Shoe-string budget independant documentaries probably have no need for DVCPRO HD, but it's important to realize that this camera certainly isn't intended to be the right solution for everybody. Remember, choose the right tool for the right job. Shoe-string budget? Shoot standard definition 16:9. After all, content is king and nobody will care whether or not it's HD as long as the content is compelling. Which it should be.

Quote:
Okay, so let's say a producer brings a bunch of P2 cards, maybe that'll work, but are they really going to be able to afford 20 or more P2 cards?
Dude, you're not getting it. Nobody needs twenty P2 cards. Maybe a TV news station will have that many, but not some producer. The cards stay with the camera. If you think you'll use more than what three or four P2 cards will hold, then what you need isn't more P2 cards. What you need is a FireStore FS-100.

Quote:
Panasonic made a bad move by not allowing the tape mechanism to record in DVCProHD as well as Mini-DV.
It's clear to me that you haven't been following the discussions in this forum, but it's okay because this really is worth repeating yet one more time: if it recorded DVCPRO HD on tape, then it wouldn't be a $6,000 camera. It would be a $22,000 camera. As we have explained here before, a DVCPRO HD tape transport by itself is a $16,000 item. How many HVX200 camcorders do you think Panasonic would sell if each one cost $22,000? Not very many. Or let me put it this way, would you prefer to shoot with the HVX200 and a couple of P2 cards for less than $10,000 or would you rather shoot on DVCPRO HD tape for $22,000? Realize that the whole idea behind the HVX200 is to make the DVCPRO HD format much more affordable for a broader range of users. They can do this with P2. They certainly can't do it with DVCPRO HD tape. This is a fundamental concept to understand. Panasonic made a good move here.

Quote:
What if you don't do a tranfer, and hand the shot cards you bought for the project to the producer, who's flying back to New York, and you'll never see them again? I guess you could include a bill for 5 P2 cards in your invoice?
No, the cards stay with the camera. You never hand the P2 cards to anybody to take away. At the end of the shoot, you transfer the P2 card contents to an inexpensive portable hard drive via USB and bill for the drive (like $200). That's what they take away. Your P2 cards always stay with the camera.

I'd really like to know some more details about this demo you attended... everything we've discussed here should have been covered in their P2 workflow explanation as this is all pretty much standard stuff. It was worth repeating again so no big deal. I suppose I should add all of this to my P2 F.A.Q. page:

http://www.p2info.net/p2faq.php
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Old November 16th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #4
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I hear they have one at NAB Post Plus, but I haven't had a chance to go by. Nice FAQ, Chris.

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Old November 16th, 2005, 09:32 PM   #5
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Thanks, Heath, it will be when I update it with all the stuff from this thread.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #6
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P2

Chris,

Okay, now I understand the workflow ideas going on here.

I also shoot a lot of news, usually on BetaSP. However, shooting on a P2 camera would have it's advantages, especially having the need to cut news packages in the field. I could do this all on a laptop, and I wouldn't need a deck.

This demo was at the "It's an HDV World" seminar at ECI video in Dallas.

All the rep had was a mock-up of the P2 camera. It's a little fatter (wider) than a DVX100. Overall, it's very similar, and weighs about the same, I think.

One good thing is the rep said that P2 cards will larger in storage capacity as time progresses.

I might be interested in one of these camera, now. Or, I might just wait untill the P2 version of the Varicam comes out. Depends, this might be a way to build up P2 HD clientele so that I could eventually move up to a larger camera due to demand.

But, of course the bottom line is, will it make money. The bulk of my income is still from my D-35 and PVV3 Betacam SP camera, followed by my DVCam back-end.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 09:58 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, I've been to ECI. Great bunch of guys down there. Weird how they'd show P2 at an HDV event.

With P2 you wouldn't need a deck. All you need is a laptop which can crunch DVCPRO HD. Probably means a new laptop, at least for me it does.

See my P2 card capacity chart for an idea of where it's all heading:
http://www.p2info.net/articles/misc/p2cardcaps.php

Panasonic did a tickle at NAB about a full-size camera shooting DVCPRO HD on P2 but it's still a ways out yet. More info next April probably.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 10:06 PM   #8
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I was one originally concerned with P2 Cards,
But now I think "the closest thing to Uncompressed HD, already Digitized" for me
Though I am shooting more standard narrative, I even think,
2 P2 cards are enough - one is constantly downloading to a laptop or when you have a break, you plug in and clear the Camera.
if I am shooting 720 24p I get abot 20 minutes an 8 G card.

Yeah, I know it's not ideal but this will tide me over until a Firestore or the cards get larger and less expensive -
Price is a bit high, but...
think the closest thing to Uncompressed HD, already Digitized
or is it even
Uncompressed HD, already Digitized
either way, It's insane really

I know how you feel, I reacted like that at first
but
Read Kaku Ito's thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=54482
He said it took a 4G card one minute to download to a G4 powerbook
It's insane I tell you
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Old November 16th, 2005, 10:15 PM   #9
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Been to NAB Plus in New York, no sign of the HVX200 camera anywhere...

Hope I didn't miss it... :-)
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Old November 16th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #10
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Mike,

I am teaching classes here and someone informed me that they were showing it. I'll see about making a trip around the Javitz and try and track it down.

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Old November 17th, 2005, 12:01 AM   #11
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Heath,

Where are you teaching? If I may ask.

Mike
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Old November 17th, 2005, 12:43 AM   #12
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You hit on THE number one issue for a tapeless workflow... freelance shooters. Many of my jobs are shooting ONLY, I show up, shoot, hand them the tapes and they send me a check. Until solid state storage is HUGE and CHEAP, tape will rule. Tape may be dying but it is a SLOW SLOW death.


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Old November 17th, 2005, 02:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
I show up, shoot, hand them the tapes and they send me a check.
I know this is a bit ambitious, but the new paradigm could be "I show up, shoot, transfer the footage to their portable hard drive, and they send me a check."
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Old November 17th, 2005, 02:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight
Mike,

I am teaching classes here and someone informed me that they were showing it. I'll see about making a trip around the Javitz and try and track it down.

heath
They aren't listed:
http://www.nabpostplus.com/exhibitors/exhibitors.asp
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Old November 17th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
card contents to an inexpensive portable hard drive via <<<<<USB and bill for the drive (like $200).]

Are you writing about transferring from camera/p2 to hard drive on location?

Is that only with USB or can it be done with FW too?

Do they make portable drives that run on battery power?

How do you know that the file actually made it to the portable hard drive before you wipe the p2 cards for more filming?

Can we play clips from the hard drive to see if there on the drive ounce you have transfered them from p2?
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