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Old April 13th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #1
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Don't shoot..... HVX200 for home video....

Hi,

I am about to walk into the local Panasonic professional outlet to pickup the HVX200E. But I think before I do so I should seek professional advise (may be I really should get it from a psychiatrist :-)

I have a 8-months old baby, and my 6 year old MX300 is about to give up on me. So I am looking for a HD cam to do home video which will still look good 10 years from now. Having seen the Sony FX1 footage, and Cassidy Bisher's awesome snow footage w/ HVX200, I am almost dead set on the Panasonic, except I am not good at video even by amateur standard. But just thinking about capturing my baby learning to walk and making his first steps in slow mo is enough for me to justify the expense of the cam itself.

My questions are

a) if my goal is to be able to capture these moments, and in some form of slow motion and in HD, do I really have another (cheaper and saner) choice aside from the HVX200?
b) Assuming most of the time the cam will be used indoor (well lid by natural sun light, but the beige walls will give a color cast), will this cause a problem ? I am not going to even attempt to set up lighting given the intended use.....
c) Assuming once I have the footages captured, I will engage a professional to do some post-processing a few years from now, is there any other glaring got-cha for I should be worried about? (too many?)

Thanks for bearing with me.... and apologies for the long post.....

-- Matthew
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Old April 13th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #2
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Matthew, not to be rude, but I think the HVX200 is one of the worst cameras to pick for home videos...
Because of the high cost of archiving, and to be honest: these cameras just aren't made for home videos...
They are made for people who know what they are doing, setting up a shot...

For your work, I think it's better to look at HDV camcorders, maybe the FX1 or the cheaper models from Sony...
If you aren't good, even by amateur standards, then you will have nothing at the extra features or some image quality pluspoints of the panasonic, because if you don't take the time to really get to know them, you won't benefit from it.

Best regards,
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Old April 13th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #3
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Go SD man, get a dvx100b, or go HDV sony stuff. But i also think that the hvx is not appropriate for your needs.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 01:00 PM   #4
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Maybe you should look at the Sony HC1 or A1 if you really want to go with HD. I agree with the above comments that the HVX is waaaay overkill for home video. The archiving costs alone would be enough to drive me away. Besides, if you shoot how most home video shooters do with new kids, you'll be burning through tapes like crazy. With the HVX, you'd need a bunch of cards, or a P2 Store, or Firestore, and a laptop, and.... Better to just go with HDV tapes, IMO.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #5
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Having actually shot a lot of home video while figuring out my HVX200, I will say that it's horribly awkward and cumbersome in that role. I would definitely suggest the Sony AVR-HC1 or AVR-A1 -- they're the same camcorder, but the A1 has XLR inputs and whatnot. I don't know if it's still available, but there were some good rebates on the A1 the last few months. Anyway, I use the A1 myself for home movies and I also bought an underwater housing for it to use as my main camera for that sort of thing. I love it. Great size and easy to use and the video is pretty darn good.

The HVX200 is a beast. I will probably drag it out for a home video task if I can mount it on its tripod and have the room to work with it. But I would never buy an HVX200 just for shooting home movies.

All just my opinion, but it seems to reflect what others are saying here as well. And yes, archiving/backup costs are much higher than HDV as there's sizeable investments to be made for drives and storage media. Unless you shoot a lot of video, you'll never recover that initial investment.

Anyway take a good look at the HC1/A1 and I think you'll be pleased.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 06:16 PM   #6
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I Have to agree with everyone here,
If i were you get the Sony HDR-HC3 - you can still do slow mo shots with it.
It's very easy to use and handle, picture quality is amazing for such a small camera and it's only $1500.
here's a long link to it:

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...efinitionVideo

e.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 07:49 PM   #7
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HC-3 seems promising!

Thanks everyone for the valuable input. My fear was that the HVX will be so complicated to get it going that I won't even be able to get any usable shots. If the pros think it's complicated, I won't attepmt it. Thou I am not too concerned about archiving yet (1TB Lacie is only about 600USD, and I can stage the footage on Lacie till writable blue-ray next year or so?)

I will give the HC3 a try (didn't know it has high frame rate for slo mo, thanks Eric!!!) Exactly what I am looking for in terms of features. Hopefully the color won't be toooooo bad.... buf if HVX is no go, Sony will have to do....I hate the Sony color though...... sob.

I am kinda fanatical about color, using Hasselblad/Rollei 6x6 to take snaps, just because I hate the canon/Nikon rendition of color. Even if I use digital SLR, I mount Contax or Hassy lens.

I did think about 100A or 100B. The HK showroom is selling the display 100A's for a tad ove 2K USD. I love the panny look, but no slo mo, and SD.

My requirements are very simple, just four a) awesome color b) HD c) can do slow mo and d) simple and usable. But alas, apparently I need to give up either color or usability in this case..... Grrrr.......
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Old April 13th, 2006, 10:22 PM   #8
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You'd have to do a search, but can't you, in the US at least do some sort of slow mo with 60i to 24 on the DVX? I vaguely remember something over on DVXUser about this. Maybe someone can chime in here with the info.

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Old April 18th, 2006, 07:47 AM   #9
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No HC3 yet....

Alas, the sony HC3 won't be in HK for a while.....

Went to the Panasonic showroom today to see the HVX, and saw some footage via a projector. Jaw dropping...... and the projector wasn't even high-end.

Also digged out the spec of the P2 store.... transfer time is approximate real-time (i.e. ~4min for 4G card......) It's available now though. Hmm.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Cheong
I am about to walk into the local Panasonic professional outlet to pickup the HVX200E.

I have a 8-months old baby, and my 6 year old MX300 is about to give up on me. So I am looking for a HD cam to do home video which will still look good 10 years from now.

c) Assuming once I have the footages captured, I will engage a professional to do some post-processing a few years from now, is there any other glaring got-cha .......
Taking the last paragraph first, I'd say that an HDV based solution makes far more sense for your individual case. Buy tape, shoot, put on shelf (well labelled) and take down in years to come. Simple. The P2 workflow may have merit in some applications, but frankly in your case I'd say it would simply give unnecessary extra work.

For what you describe the main use to be, High Definition and widescreen should now be seen as essential, if not to be seen as very dated in the future (when eventually HD will be as normal as colour is today). But equally your camera should be portable, easily hand held, and not something that is a chore to take out for the day or on holiday (together with all the other things one would normally take, especially with a baby/small child).

I'm afraid that the size of any of the four main 1/3" Hd cameras is such that they will become a chore to carry along with everything else on a family day out, and whilst it may be OK on a tripod the HVX200 is not nice to use handheld for long periods.

I second everything Jeff Kilgroe says. The HVX200 has a few features that make it uniquely suited for certain uses and workflows, but for home movies "beast" aptly describes it - did nobody try and use it handheld for a long period when it was being developed? I'll also second his recommendation of the A1 for your usage. Far cheaper, quality on a comparable level, but most importantly you're FAR, far more likely to have it to hand when you most want it.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #11
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The plan is.....

David,

A1 or HC3 is a done deal (i.e. I will be getting either one). No way my wife will use the HVX. Though Sony in HK is saying PAL HC3 in HK around May, but some shops tell me otherwise (July?) So it's a toss-up between the A1 and HC3. Will have to mail order A1 though, as the local price is ridiculous (quoted almost double the HC1 here).

I handled the HVX a bit today, I can see it being useful for now as the baby is mostly home, and *may* be useful for my elder son's concert etc. Still no easy way around the P2 capacity limit though..... and it is some sort of a beast, though not that much bigger than the Sony Z1.....

Still undecided........
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Old April 18th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Cheong
David,

A1 or HC3 is a done deal (i.e. I will be getting either one). No way my wife will use the HVX. Though Sony in HK is saying PAL HC3 in HK around May, but some shops tell me otherwise (July?) So it's a toss-up between the A1 and HC3. Will have to mail order A1 though, as the local price is ridiculous (quoted almost double the HC1 here).

I handled the HVX a bit today, I can see it being useful for now as the baby is mostly home, and *may* be useful for my elder son's concert etc. Still no easy way around the P2 capacity limit though..... and it is some sort of a beast, though not that much bigger than the Sony Z1.....

Still undecided........
Mathew, go to Wing Ching. The A1 has a good price there, and they are reliable. The Store is in Mong Kok. And don't feel ripped off. Compare the A1 price with the american price, and you see that you are getting a good deal. I'm actually planning on getting an A1 as a B camera for my HVX200 (for those stickypod shots, and extreme shots where I wouldn't want to risk the HVX...)
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Old April 18th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #13
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Thanks Sergio, will definitely check that out. The HC3 is also cute and reportedly has faster startup time too. But if the A1 is priced ok, I will pick one up today.

And saw your Macau shot. I used to lived in Macau for 12 years when I was a teeanager. I went to school there. I saw you footage, and I was "determined" to have the HVX :-) But the darn workflow have me thinking twice. Can you imagine a bald fat guy fumbling w/ a HVX and a P2 store chasing his running kids? That's just ridiculous. But looking at footages of my first one learning to walk, and looking at him now, I am almost dead set on the HVX :-) Plus the A1 or HC3 can't do both PAL/NTSC frame rates, and we travel fairly frequently to Japan.... so that's another excuse :-)
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Old April 18th, 2006, 09:38 PM   #14
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The only camera that can do 50i and 60i is the Z1, somewhat stupidly Sony 'lost' that feature on the A1.
As I've discovered shooting 50i in a 60Hz country can be a problem with discharge lighting causing major amounts of flicker. You can avoid this with the right shutter speed (I think) but one more thing to have to worry about.
Apart from that I think the A1 is good choice for your needs. It doesn't look too much like a pro piece of gear and that can be a real plus.
Ever so many touristy places today get seriously heavy when you pull out what looks like pro kit.
The good thing with the A1 is you can remove the audio bridge to further cut down size and weight. And as others have noted it's easy enough for anyone to use. Give yourself some time to enjoy your children. Having great videos of them to look back on in the years to come is great but not at the expense of being an active participant in their lives. Same goes for holidays, remember to enjoy the event without having to wait for the movie of it.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 10:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Cheong
Thanks Sergio, will definitely check that out. The HC3 is also cute and reportedly has faster startup time too. But if the A1 is priced ok, I will pick one up today.

And saw your Macau shot. I used to lived in Macau for 12 years when I was a teeanager. I went to school there. I saw you footage, and I was "determined" to have the HVX :-) But the darn workflow have me thinking twice. Can you imagine a bald fat guy fumbling w/ a HVX and a P2 store chasing his running kids? That's just ridiculous. But looking at footages of my first one learning to walk, and looking at him now, I am almost dead set on the HVX :-) Plus the A1 or HC3 can't do both PAL/NTSC frame rates, and we travel fairly frequently to Japan.... so that's another excuse :-)
Mathew, good to see someone who was from around here! Things are different with all this "new development", but "that" Macau is still here... Come visit us sometime!

Anyway, I started shooting with the Sony TRV 900 back in 1998- that's a long time ago. I learned a lot from that camera, and it produced solid results. ( Broadcasted !)

The A1 seems like the evolution of the trv900 series. It seems to work in a very similar fashion. If it performs as well as my old trv900 did, than I would certainly recommend it.

After knowing all the nuances there is HD, and the "tricks of the trade" on camera operation, than I would certainly suggest you to go for the HVX. Its in a class of its own- but has a completely new workflow that, currently, works better on Mac.

EDIT- Also, with the A1, you are getting a camera that's marketed as "professional equipment", vs the consumer HC3 or Hc1. Better Quality control and support for professional gear, always (people earn a living with those!)
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