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Old May 14th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #1
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HVX Workflow advice in the field.

My first post; sorry if it's in the wrong spot. Here's what I'm looking to do....I'm going to be shooting an instructional video in the middle of the summer. I'm stepping up from miniDV (XL1s) so I'm new to the HD wolrd and obviously completely lost. My proposed setup; HVX200, 2 8gig cards, Macbook Pro 17", G-Raid 1TB drive (FW800), and obviously some nice sticks, lighting and sound. I plan on doing the editing on a Dual 2.0 G5 with 3 gig ram, taking the video from the G-Raid. Anyone have experience with a similar setup? So a few questions;

1. Since it's instructional...and will be going to dvd for distribution, what settings should I set the camera? 1080i? 720p/24n? I plan on re-releasing in HD-DVD or Blu-Ray when all that jazz is settled, so I don't know if that'll change the answer, or ifit's even a good idea to think that far ahead.

2. Is 1TB going to be enough?

3. Without buying a P2 Store...I assume I'll have to dump the video to the computer from the camera, since the macbook doesn't have pcmcia, which will obviously take out of the shooting time. I'm not too secure about dumping straight from the camera to the external drive, or is that the best way? Data loss this way or pretty safe? See post: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=61414 (Derek, Barry and Robert all seem to have their own way, any better than the other? :) Loaded question, I know).


4. Where can you get an HVX??? Will they be available in the next month? I live in NYC, and B&H doesnt' seem to have any in stock.

5. Thanks again for all the help. Any additional input would be more than appreciated.


-James
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Old May 14th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #2
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Some "answers."

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Bart

1. Since it's instructional...and will be going to dvd for distribution, what settings should I set the camera? 1080i? 720p/24n? I plan on re-releasing in HD-DVD or Blu-Ray when all that jazz is settled, so I don't know if that'll change the answer, or ifit's even a good idea to think that far ahead.
James ... first of all, welcome! I use a similar setup and I'll try and give you some insight. 1.) "Settings" is a wide open field ... there's a lot to take into consideration, however, if you want to go HD in the future using an HD source you will at least want to go with 720p ... (I've found that editing 1080 footage on my dual 2 gig G5 is cumbersome, and I have 4 gigs of RAM) ... your look, needed frame rates, etc. will help determine which flavor of 720p to choose. I can tell you that you'll get close to 20 minutes of 720p/24n on an 8 Gig card ... that's not too shabby!

Quote:
2. Is 1TB going to be enough?
1 TB is the equivalent to more than 80 hours of 720p/24n footage. If it's your main drive for everything you'll have to weigh that against your shooting/editing needs.

Quote:
3. Without buying a P2 Store...I assume I'll have to dump the video to the computer from the camera, since the macbook doesn't have pcmcia, which will obviously take out of the shooting time. I'm not too secure about dumping straight from the camera to the external drive, or is that the best way? Data loss this way or pretty safe?
That's a bummer about the lack of the pcmcia, although I bet there's a reader out there or coming. As for data loss I was initially scared of it but have not had any troubles with dumping from a P2 (or the camera) directly to the hard drive. I made the decision that there were certain risks I'd have to accept with going tapeless ... that's one of them.

I can't help with finding an HVX ... best bet is to get on a wait list while you're searching ... I'm sure the guys around here may have some other ideas.

Hope this helps a little. Have fun!
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Old May 14th, 2006, 01:21 PM   #3
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Bad math ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Damkoehler

1 TB is the equivalent to more than 80 hours of 720p/24n footage. If it's your main drive for everything you'll have to weigh that against your shooting/editing needs.
Ooops ... divided wrong ... that's about 40 hours of footage ... not 80! :o)
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Old May 14th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #4
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Hi James,

Turns out we're doing the same type of project; shooting HVX with DVD as the final output. I'll address that first:

There's no benefit to shooting in 1080 since you'll be downconverting to SD-widescreen (letterboxed) for output. Although there is a visible resoultion difference between the two it's not night and day and something that won't be picked up with motion video. If you were shooting still for the print, then I'd say shoot the highest res possible. Besides, shooting in 1080 you'll lose about half the maximum record time per P2 card when compared to 720/24PN. A rough guide: 1 min @ 1080 = 1 GB of P2 space. Double that for 720/30/24.

With regard to re-releasing the project as HD or Blu-Ray, currently FC Studio is only HD-DVD compatible. Who knows what will happen with the format wars for High Def DVD's but for now count on HD-DVD being the path that FC/Apple is supporting.

Next, I remember that someone is now making a PCMCIA/Expresscard 34 adapter, just can't remember which manufacturer. A web search should turn that up. SIIG and others are making Express Card 34/Firewire adapters so at least that's half the battle.

With using the HOST mode and x-fering clips directly to an external drive, it's easy and so far for me has worked flawlessly. However, there is a limit as to how many times you can do that, which is 15 x-fers per HDD.

Each transfer creates a new partition on the HDD. One card = One transfer. Which means if you used your 1TB external for transfer, you'd run into the 15 partition limit waaay before you'd run out of HDD space.

I have (2) 80GB Firewire externals for just that task; I can transfer about 8 hours of footage (720/30PN) between the 2 HDD's before they'd both be at the 15 partition limit. Sounds confusing and it will take a little thinking to learn how to deal with this but, it is what it is.

If you have a MBP on hand and a 1TB external, why not shoot directly to the external via FireWire thru FCP as a "capture now" operation? That's what many have done - myself included - with the Powerbook and it worked flawlessly. The MBP should do it even better since it's so much faster and efficient. This of course isn't an easy task for location work, but it can be done. That would eliminate having to x-fer clips from P2 to Mac or HDD via HOST mode AND, would give you the ability to custom name your clips as they are shot. Which is a current limitation of the P2 system; you can't create your own naming convention with P2 clips like you can with a DSLR.

With respect to finding an HVX, try looking up the sponsors here on DVinfo.net; I'm sure somebody has stock of them.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 10:30 PM   #5
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I'm interested in workflow issues since I am just beginning an article on HVX field workflows for a national publication for which I write. I'm going to suggest that for field acquisition, in many ways a PB G4 is best since you can just pop the P2 card into the PC slot. Thus, with an assistant and a PB in the field, you can rotate P2 cards and do extensive uninterrupted shooting. Otherwise, if you can offload your P2 cards more "at your leisure" you just need either a hard drive to download from camera or in your Mac via FW and transfer the P2 contents to hard drive. That you can certainly accomplish with the MacBook Pro.

I would definitely echo the recommendation of shooting 720p. The only scenario in which I would consider shooting 1080i would be if you have a lot of fast-moving sports action.

Adding a Firestore is your other option. Remember, then, you would need to record 720 24p over 60i since you cannot stream 24pN out of firewire. This is not much of an issue since FCP 5.1 will remove the pulldown on ingest. If you have any variable frame rate footage, do not remove the pulldown but let the Panasonic Frame Rate Converter plug in for FCP do the removal.

Good luck and please keep everyone posted on your successes (and challenges).

Ned Soltz
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