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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:15 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Jeff: it sounds like what you're saying is that P2 may save you a few bucks in the short run because you've already paid for your initial archiving capacity and will cease purchase of miniDV tapes. As an observation, you could purchase a Firestore drive for DV/HDV cameras and achieve the same basic result in those formats, so there's no inherent cost savings for you in using the HVX200. Just wanted to make sure other people are clear on that.
That's correct. My investment and hardware is/was already in place because of what I already do. The HVX200 will allow me to quit buying miniDV tape, and it may save me a few $$ in the end. But the overall convenience factor (other than long-form recording, obviously) is a huge improvement over capturing DV tape. IMO, the cost of P2 cards justify themselves right there in the amount of time spent capturing. I can read data off my 4GB P2 cards at a sustained 580Mbps... In other words, I can dump my 4GB P2 cards to my SAN and clear the card in about a minute. I'm expecting the 8GB cards to be a bit faster (although they may not be), but still the fact I can copy 21 minutes of 720pn24 from the P2 onto my drives for archive/edit in 2 minutes or less is huge.

Quote:
I suspect we'll be hearing more about solid state recording options in the coming years, and today's HVX200 users can enjoy being pioneers of that. But you might want to keep a few miniDV tapes handy in case you run out of storage capacity in the field and need to keep shooting.
Oh, I plan on that. :) Silly me, I keep a DV tape in the HVX200 just in case. I won't have to buy DV tapes for a while, I still have about 250 Panny DVM63MQ in a large box here. Besides, I'm using a Sony HVR-A1 for my underwater work. :) Considering the A1 + UW housing combo is cheaper than the housing alone for my HVX. By switching to the HVX as my main camera, that's another 250~300 tapes I don't have to buy this year.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 12:08 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
the fact I can copy 21 minutes of 720pn24 from the P2 onto my drives for archive/edit in 2 minutes or less is huge.
Jeff: have you tested that yet to confirm you do get transfer speeds like that? Just wondering. Also, any reason why you didn't bother to buy a DTE drive for your DV cameras to save on tape costs?
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 01:02 AM   #48
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Jeff - Forgive me if I missed it somewhere in your posts, but I would like to ask what your tape cost is, per gigabyte, with the tape system that you currently use for backup.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 05:55 AM   #49
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I won't try and predict what Panasonic will do, but if I remember my history properly I wouldn't want to be one of the 'never ever' posters here either --

Seems to me when DV hit the scene, Panasonic was a 'no way' -- no way to DV tape (ME) no way to no linear audio tracks, and no way to Firewire. Over time, and watching both the consumer DV market grow and the prosumer one get dominated by Sony ... Panasonic changed its tune. Firewire appeared on devices, VTRs accepted ME tape, and ultimately DVCPro was relegated to a niche market as DV became a dominant format.

Do I like the HVX? Yes. Am I ready for the P2 workflow? Yes. Do I wish that the HVX had the ability to record and play HDV if so requested ... Yes again. Will this feature seem even more desirable once Panasonic joins the consumer HD market (at this point, they offer nothing -- and a visit to my local Best Buy finds consumer HDV is the 'growth market') ... Yes yet again.

Panasonic has a best in field prosumer HD camcorder, IMHO. But the field is a tough one, and prosumer is a small market. HDV looks likely to be the next consumer DV -- which means we'll still be buying tapes for years to come.

Add HDV as an option to the HVX -- what has Panny got to lose?

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Old March 3rd, 2006, 09:52 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Jeff: have you tested that yet to confirm you do get transfer speeds like that? Just wondering. Also, any reason why you didn't bother to buy a DTE drive for your DV cameras to save on tape costs?
Yes, I have tested the transfer rates from P2 to my system. Reading directly from a PCMCIA slot on an AMD 2.4GHz dual-core workstation to our fiber-connected SAN. The limiting factor is the P2 card itself as the 4GB cards can only sustain about 520 to 570 Mbps (between 65 and 70 MB/sec usually). Pretty quick overall - Panasonic claims 640Mbps, but I've heard people reporting 4GB cards that are slower (perhaps older units using slower SD chips?). AFAIK, the 8GB cards all use 133X SD chips, which running the numbers, would yield the 640Mbps claim that Panasonic makes about P2 speed. The maximum speed limit of the 32bit Cardbus PCMCIA standard is 1052Mbps. I received my 8GB cards yesterday, but haven't had a chance to test them out.

For many people, the limiting factor will be the firewire or USB2 interface if they use the camera as the reader or a device like Panasonic's P2 Drive. For raw speed, the best is a PCMCIA interface connected directly to the PCI bus in a desktop workstation. I have the one from Spec-Comm ($80). The only drawback is that cards are inserted on the rear of the computer, but the system I have installed this in is a SFF 9"x10"x13" box and it now sits sideways on my desk. The speed of the storage system a person is copying too will also be a limiting factor.

I don't use DTE drives for DV because so far I haven't seen any that I have liked. Firestore has never impressed me, especially for the price and hopefully their offering for the HVX will be a huge advance over their previous products. But having a single 2.5" HDD to work with, it's not going to be a speed demon, it's only going to let me copy the video from it to my SAN at real-time or slightly better. For in-studio situations, I would capture direct to a workstation that has a direct connection to the LAN/SAN.

So far, DTE drives haven't been truly Direct To Edit. Sure, I can plug one in and start editing, but not before I make a master archive of the video. And the drives thus far have been little faster than capturing off tape. Tape was/is an established workflow, but IMO, it's time to move on.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:14 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
Jeff - Forgive me if I missed it somewhere in your posts, but I would like to ask what your tape cost is, per gigabyte, with the tape system that you currently use for backup.
The last crate of tapes I bought was about $2180 after tax/shipping. $2180 / 100 tapes = $21.80 per tape.
$21.80 / 240GB = $0.0908 per GB.

At < $0.1 per GB, it doesn't seem too bad. But admittedly, I have over $6K invested in the rack-mount tape archival system. Like anything else, it's just a tool for the job. While I know I'm not the normal guy around here, I'm not unusual compared to others doing the same work... In fact, I am the normal. For those with a more IT-centric workflow, handling large volumes of data, a comprehensive backup and archival system is a necessity. The majority of what I do is created entirely from scratch on the computer and a large-scale tape backup and archival system is currently the only solution that makes sense in terms of reliabilty and cost. It was a small investment in the scheme of things and once established is not a big deal or huge cost to operate. But as video professionals who deal mostly with just video, are increasingly faced with more IT issues, such systems will become more commonplace in their workflows. Tape is on the way out and other means of recording are on the way in -- and just as we have seen with photography and audio/music industries, the initial medium used for acquisition will more often than not only be a temporary means of transport and not intended or suitable for a master archive.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:17 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker
what has Panny got to lose?
...All the current pre-orders and sales to initial adopters. HDV? That's something to consider for the HVX200B. ;)

And maybe not even then, if P2 succeeds in this marketplace. There's several credible rumors out there saying that HVX200 pre-orders were on the order of 2 to 3 thousand units. That's a lot of P2 cards to go with those cameras.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:21 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
So far, DTE drives haven't been truly Direct To Edit. Sure, I can plug one in and start editing, but not before I make a master archive of the video.
But then aren't you proposing to do the same thing with your P2 data? Seems to me the only difference is a higher transfer speed at a significantly higher cost, at least from the perspective of anyone who doesn't already own all the equipment you have. Anyway, congrats to you for finding a way to work with the HVX200, and keep us posted on how that works out.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:26 AM   #54
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Doubtless there will be version B sometime -- buyers that are always waiting for the 'next' model will wait a long time!

I have no problem with the P2 workflow, and I don't doubt for a second that P2 prices will, by today's standards, plummet. The first HDD I bought cost me $5,000 ... and held 10MB, IIRC. In more recent memory, I paid $300 for a memory stick ... that held 32MB. Memory prices fall -- that's a fact.

But volumes in the thousands, or even tens of thousands are fine for a niche product, but will never make a real dent in the broader marketplace. Assuming that Panasonic wants into the consumer HD market, it is unlikely we are talking P2 -- HDV is selling orders of magnitude above these numbers.

Keep P2 -- I like it. But add/include whatever consumer HD format Panny comes to market with ... and the writing on the wall looks pretty clear, HDV on 6mm tape is the home consumer HD standard.

Won't stop me from buying an HVX200 -- I can make money from it now, and I like the way it handles. But absolutism in all things is a barrier, and I fear that in 'denying' HDV Panasonic may paint itself into a corner.

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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:29 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
And maybe not even then, if P2 succeeds in this marketplace.
One irony here is that Panasonic apparently miscalculated how quickly standard flash memory cards would reach a level of performance necessary to support a camera like the HVX200. SanDisk claims their Extreme III CompactFlash cards can sustain a minimum of 20 MB/sec read/write speed, which is the level Panasonic reps say they need for DVCProHD data. B&H just dropped their price on the 4 GB SanDisk cards to something like $216, compared to maybe three times that price for 4 GB of P2. Perhaps Panasonic can adjust their technology for the HVX200B to take advantage of more affordable memory options, which by then should be even bigger and cheaper. But then where would that leave all the P2 card owners?
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:32 AM   #56
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These HD camcorder prototypes were shown at CES by Panasonic but without any supporting information.
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/ces/p...pes-146633.php

Now that the GS400 has been phased out (and replaced by the lower priced/spec`d GS500) they might be the basis for their consumer HD camera. It is difficult to tell from the photos whether there is any provision for tape, but it doesn`t look like it. My impression is that they are card based. If so presumably their launch will depend on large enough SD cards being available to shoot DV and 720p.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 07:22 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
One irony here is that Panasonic apparently miscalculated how quickly standard flash memory cards would reach a level of performance necessary to support a camera like the HVX200. SanDisk claims their Extreme III CompactFlash cards can sustain a minimum of 20 MB/sec read/write speed, which is the level Panasonic reps say they need for DVCProHD data. B&H just dropped their price on the 4 GB SanDisk cards to something like $216, compared to maybe three times that price for 4 GB of P2. Perhaps Panasonic can adjust their technology for the HVX200B to take advantage of more affordable memory options, which by then should be even bigger and cheaper. But then where would that leave all the P2 card owners?
Actually, that's not how P2 works... P2 uses a multichannel, interleaved memory controller - at least the current P2 cards do. By using a quad-channel array in serial, interleaved fashion, each SD chip only needs to sustain 3.125MB/sec in order to accommodate DV100. Current 133X SD chips have a theoretical I/O rate of 14.9MB/sec - over 4X what is needed to handle DVCPROHD100 when used in an interleaved array. I don't think Panasonic miscalculated anything.... If anything, third-party memory card vendors miscalculated the demand for these cards and I'm surprised that we haven't at least seen announcements from Sandisk, Viking, Patriot, etc... announcing P2 cards coming soon. Panny is charging a premium for theirs and given current prices, I'd bet a third party manufacturer could beat Panny's prices by 30%. I'm soooo tempted to try it myself. The only reason I'm holding off is because I'm sure that if I do it, I will suddenly find myself with tons of competition and a lot of money invested into a product with a low profit margin. OTOH, if I don't, there's also a chance that nobody else will jump in either. I'm shocked that Spec-Comm hasn't announce P2 cards as well.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 07:38 PM   #58
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FWIW,

Street price on 133X 4GB SD chips with a zero-fault rating is about $280. I would say that a manufacturer like Sandisk could sell a 16GB P2 card through discount channels and keep it at $1500 or less. Panasonic is charging a 25% to 35% premium for P2 cards, but being the big name provider and sole-provider, it only makes sense. Look at what they charge for batteries vs. the DVXuser or Spec-Comm batteries.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 07:45 PM   #59
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But then aren't you proposing to do the same thing with your P2 data?
Yes.

But like you said, there is the better transfer rate. I would use DTE drives for DV if they provided a significant advantage over DV tape - they don't. Now some of the newer DTE units that can handle DV100 would offer 4X realtime transfer to a PC when shooting DV. That would be of interest to me... However, now that my HVX is up and running and doing great, I have no interest in going back to DV. It's HD only from here on out... I sold my DVX100 Original about a month ago. I still have my DVX100A, but I haven't decided if I want to sell it or ship it off for an Andromeda conversion. I'll wait for prices to die down a bit and supply to catch up, but I will probably be replacing the 100A with another HVX.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 01:14 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
Actually, that's not how P2 works... P2 uses a multichannel, interleaved memory controller - at least the current P2 cards do. By using a quad-channel array in serial, interleaved fashion, each SD chip only needs to sustain 3.125MB/sec in order to accommodate DV100. Current 133X SD chips have a theoretical I/O rate of 14.9MB/sec - over 4X what is needed to handle DVCPROHD100 when used in an interleaved array.
Right, my point is that the latest high-end standard flash cards wouldn't have to be interleaved to sustain the data rate required to capture DVCProHD data. In other words, it should be possible to build an HVX-like camera which uses off-the-shelf memory costing 1/3 or less per GB compared to P2 cards. If Panasonic had planned for this the HVX200 would be a more practical tool today and become mainstream a lot sooner than it will now by being tied to expensive memory. Ah well, hopefully we'll see more options along those lines in the next couple of years or so.
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