Does HVX200 Include a Macintosh P2 Formatting App? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 9th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #1
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Does HVX200 Include a Macintosh P2 Formatting App?

Subject basically is the question.

It directly pertains to workflow.

Anybody with a production camera confirm this?

I know there is a windows formatting for formatting p2 cards in a cardbus slot of a laptop.

Is there a Macintosh formatter as well for production cameras?

Thanks

David S.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #2
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According to the operating manual now available for download on Panasonics' website, there is a utility available on the same aforementioned website. However, I would suggest letting the camera do the formatting, just as it's easier to let a digital SLR format CF cards than doing it in a card reader. It removes any possibility that the format won't be usable by the camera and, prevents any hidden files created by the Mac OS that would take up unecessary space on the card.

In my business we say, "Clean card = in-camera format"
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Old January 9th, 2006, 05:14 PM   #3
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Robert:

You might be missing my point.

To have the camera do it means you stop shooting.

That doesn't work very well for long form shooting
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Old January 9th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #4
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If you're using multiple cards (like the (5) 4gb card kit option) and want preformatted cards ready to go when the others fill up, then you're right - it certainly does take more time to reformat the cards in-camera. However, the added 20 seconds to do that might get you precious extra space on the card.

From my experience, anytime you format a card on any operating system other than the camera itself, like XP or even Mac OS, the OS from that system puts other folders/files (sometimes hidden to anything other than the OS itself) - small as they may be - on the card.

Since an 8gb P2 card only holds 16 mintues of DVCPRO-HD 720p30pN footage, my suggestion is coming from a perspective of getting as much digital real-estate out of these cards as possible. Once the Cineporter becomes available (and tested) formatting outside the camera and worrying about those extra files won't be an issue.

Until someone has field tested the Panasonic app that allows for out-of-camera formatting, there's no way to know how much space will be lost - if any - to the OS hidden files.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane

Until someone has field tested the Panasonic app that allows for out-of-camera formatting, there's no way to know how much space will be lost - if any - to the OS hidden files.
Thanks.

That's exactly what I've been asking for here and elsewhere.

I just wish someone who has a production model of the camera, and card bus Mac would see if this will work.

It's been a little frustrating news wise since the 29th.

Moreover, there are no 8GB p2 cards shipping from what I've read, and they aren't exactly the cheapest solution.

Firestore is months out, as are solutions from shining (CitiDISK HD), and Cineporter.

thanks

addendum:

Perhaps I'm incorrect about this.

Just did an pretty tight search of the pdf manual, and there is only one reference to card bus, and none to reformatting the P2 card in a windows or mac computer.

I know the disk utility will format to FAT32, but I wonder if that is sufficient.

Any actual owner of a HVX200 and Mac with card bus able to confirm this?

David S.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 06:17 PM   #6
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Let the camera format the card. End of story.

When you're shooting continuously by rotating P2 cards, you don't re-format. The system, P2 store, camera, etc... Simply erases the file entries from the P2 file system's table of contents so that the camera can write new data to the card. Just as you would with your computer hard drive or a memory card in the camera or your iPod. You don't re-format the device every single time you need to wipe it clean.

The Mac utility that can format P2 cards will format the card the same way the camera does. It's not formatting it directly from OSX and placing extra system files and whatnot. Same with Windows. The HVX200 likes its P2 cards formatted a specific way and this is why there are utilities available to do it. And best of all, you can do it right from the camera when you get a new card and be done with it -- just as you do with a memory card for your digital camera. If you're formatting your memory cards for digicams every time you wipe the card clean, you're just wasting your time and adding extra cycle counts to the chips.... Not that you'll format your way to the failure limit of these memory cards, but something to consider.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
Let the camera format the card. End of story.

When you're shooting continuously by rotating P2 cards, you don't re-format. The system, P2 store, camera, etc... Simply erases the file entries from the P2 file system's table of contents so that the camera can write new data to the card.

The Mac utility that can format P2 cards will format the card the same way the camera does. It's not formatting it directly from OSX and placing extra system files and whatnot. Same with Windows.
For the life of me, I thought I had read that the cards won't continuously write over existing file. So basically, the new video writes over existing files until the card is full. A partially written card will have both new and old files.

Is this your experience, or what you have read?

And I understand there are alert lights to indicate how full each card is.

Your second statement I believe is incorrectly typed? Do you mean that the "Mac Utility will NOT format the card the same way?"

thanks if this true
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Old January 9th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #8
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FYI David:

The 8gb P2 cards are out and some retailers do have them in stock. Interestingly enough, B&H (who I would expect to get the most equipment first and, where I originally placed my order with for the HVX kit) does not have any and says it will be February before they do.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #9
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In a different forum, Jan Crittenton indicated to me that you need to reformat these cards.

They cannot be written over.

Last edited by David Saraceno; January 9th, 2006 at 09:09 PM.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:11 PM   #10
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They Must Be Reformatted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
Let the camera format the card. End of story.

When you're shooting continuously by rotating P2 cards, you don't re-format. The system, P2 store, camera, etc... Simply erases the file entries from the P2 file system's table of contents so that the camera can write new data to the card. .
Jeff, it apparently it isn't "end of story."

Jan Crittenton responded to my inquiries in a different forum and stated that you have to reformat.

Sorry to bring the bad news. She also said they are working on a solution, but currently the story continues.

Take care
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:16 PM   #11
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You just keep up your good research, David. Between you and the rest of us monitoring these boards we'll be the most over-prepared bunch of people to ever start using the HVX. Once it finally gets to us, that is.

And if any of us ever come across a problem using the camera and post it here, somebody will quickly point out, "Hey dude, I TOLD you 4 weeks ago - it don't work like that!"

(laughs)

Where would we be without these free forums? (!) God help us if we have to start paying for it all!!!
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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:32 AM   #12
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I think it was made pretty clear over on DVXUser that you have to format the cards OUTSIDE the camera for the continuous-swapping-during-one-long-take approach. The P2Store can do this. The P2 viewer windoze app can do it. And I was told one can download a Mac app from Panny that'll do it.

Formatting in the camera is extremely fast (a second or two), but can't be done while recording. Neither can erasing. So the only solution (and indeed a workable one) for CONTINUOUS shooting is format OUTSIDE THE CAMERA.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 02:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Saraceno
Your second statement I believe is incorrectly typed? Do you mean that the "Mac Utility will NOT format the card the same way?"
The P2 utilities available for Mac or PC will format the cards (or other devices) just as the camera would. The camera will format P2 cards and it will also format external hard drives or other storage devices. ...See references to Kaku having to format his iPod.

Once you have a formatted P2 card (and I believe they come formatted anyway) and you insert it in the HVX200, it's ready to roll. You *DO NOT* have to reformat the card to clear it. Clips are recorded to the card just as a digital camera would record image files to a memory card or your computer saves a file to a hard drive or whatever. You can browse clips right on a P2 card right on the camera or from a computer and you can copy, delete, etc... Just like you would with files on a hard drive.

When recording video on the HVX200, you can set a "pre-roll" where the camera continuously records to a segment of the P2 card, re-writing over and over onto that space so when you actually hit the record button, you will have whatever you wanted and hopefully a few seconds of video leading up to it. You can set the camera to continuously loop record on your P2 cards, over-writing video that's already there.

You can delete files to make room on the card you don't have to reformat. You can instruct the camera to overwrite something. You can offload a clip from the camera to a connected computer or compatible hard drive or an SD card (if it will fit) and erase that file right then and there in the process.

There is nothing linear or limiting about recording space on a P2 card (other than the physical capacity). Chances are, you will only format a P2 card just a few times in its product lifespan - like you can count the times on a single hand. P2 does not act like tape products that need to be destructively demagnetized/erased/formatted from beginning to end to be wiped clean... Think of it as a solid-state hard disk.. It has all the same capabilities of an SD memory card when you plug it into a card reader on your computer, but since it's 4 SD chips interleaved in a quad-channel array, it has a lot more bandwidth.

When you offload a P2 card with the P2 Store drive or into your notebook PC or whatever, you don't format it to clear it. You simply *erase* the contents. What's the difference? Er... If you need that answered, then you're in the wrong forum and this is not the camera for you.

I've read just about every post here and (to my knowledge) everything that Jan has posted online regarding the HVX200. If she ever said the cards need to be formatted between uses, then I don't know what kind of erroneous statement that was or why it was made and I don't recall ever seeing it. 85% of what you need to know about the workings of P2 and related workflow is contained within the HVX200 operations manual and the P2 workflow papers on Panasonic's web site. The other 15% comes from common sense and knowing how to operate a computer.

But if it makes you feel better, I should be able to get my hands on an HVX200 by the end of this week for a test drive. I'll report back here and let you all know just how cool P2 recording is and how any media that would require a complete format between uses would just plain suck.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 02:37 AM   #14
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Reformatting is much faster and far more thorough. This is a high-level reformat: just blank out the allocation map. Erasing is a file by file operation.

Further, erasing does a lot more writing of the flash memory in the allocation table and directory structure, which has a large but limited number of re-write cycles. So again, a reformat is better for the life of the card.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Werger
Reformatting is much faster and far more thorough. This is a high-level reformat: just blank out the allocation map. Erasing is a file by file operation.

Further, erasing does a lot more writing of the flash memory in the allocation table and directory structure, which has a large but limited number of re-write cycles. So again, a reformat is better for the life of the card.
Well, if we're just talking about a quick format by blanking the allocation table, then we're pretty much on the same page. That's not truly "formatting" the card, now is it. ;) Depending on what sort of filesystem implementation P2 runs off of (FAT32, NTFS, HFX, etc..) will make the difference as to how this quick format or mass-erase takes place. For NTFS and most ISO formats, a bulk-erase would be more efficient -- for FAT32, HFX, HPFS and the like, all file entries are stored in an allocation table (the FAT) and simply marking the FAT as void (for FAT16/32 it's simply writing a single WORD/DWORD to do the quick-format).

Anyway, I'm done picking nits.
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