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Old August 29th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #1
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HVX on a Vinten Vision5

The company I work for has migrated to the HVX-200 from our old Sony DSR-500/300's and we're trying to figure out how to use the Vinten Vision5 series heads with this camera. Anyone know of a solution for this? My internet searching hasn't come up with anything as of yet.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #2
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Is there a problem with the mounting plate, or is the camera too light for the head or what?
How are you liking the camera versus the DSR500?
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:24 AM   #3
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Don't they make plates with smaller screws for smaller cameras?
You might try visiting your local camera shop for smaller screws.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #4
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Oh, the ol' 1/4" screw issue. I think it's a 1/4-20. You can find flat head brass screws like that at a good hardware store (not the big box stores). I've run into that before with my friend's XL2. I thought all non-consumer video cameras had the standard 3/8" threads and ended up on a shoot with no way to mount the camera to the tripod. We found a flathead short screw, but it was still too long for the really shallow recepticle the Canon has. I ended up gaffertaping a couple of quarters to the underside of the camera to make up some thickness. Not your ideal solution but it got me through the shoot. There should be a law that for a camera to be considered professional, it ought to have standard 3/8" tripod threads.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #5
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The problem we are having is that I just don't like the solution we've come up with and I'm loooking for a better one. For now we're screwing the wedge straight into the bottom of the camera (as someone already suggested) as opposed to having a proper quick release plate for this camera. I found out today that Vinten makes a part# 3330-29 that is a pin adapter to screw your HVX directly onto the wedge, but this still isnt what I'm after.
I guess what I'm looking for is a quick release plate system that will fit on both the HVX and the vinten head. I'm a bit new to this whole prosumer camera rig setup and feel unprepared with it. We're still geared to shoot with the larger Sony cameras.

As to the question about how I like the HVX compared to the DSR-500:
I wanted to like the HVX more than I do. This little camera can be impressive at times, but you have to work a little harder with it to get the images you want. It's not an idea run and gun camera as focus tends to be difficult. The flip out lcd and viewfinder leave a lot to be desired. It requires a good bit more light to produce a clean, properly exposed image, and shallow depth of field is hard to get as well. It also tends to be a bit noisy in the image even without gain.

Don't get me wrong, the camera produces a look that the DSR-500 simply can't achieve. The true 24p film-like images are to my eye more pleasing than what I can get out of my trusty old DSR-500. Only once or twice have I wished the image on the HVX was sharper/crisper and slightly more "videoish". The variable frame rates produce some beautiful slow motion, and being able to edit native in DVCProHD is a godsend compared to HDV.

The problem is that we've shot mostly Varicam stuff all year (rented varicams) and I think that's spoiled me a bit. A Varicam the HVX is not.
But just when I want to talk bad about my little HVX I remember it's 10 grand price tag (with cards, p2 store and whatnot) compared to the Varicam's 80+ (with lens).

I'm not going to say much about it being tapeless. Just know that I'm a tech geek and the whole tapeless thing sounded great to me until we lost a card's worth of footage on our first real shoot. And this was in a controlled environment where we had a laptop setup with an external HD as well as the P2 store for a backup. Bad things happen when someone (me) forgets to copy a card near the end of the day. Tapeless is scary.

All things considered it's not a bad little camera, but if you're used to larger ENG style camera there will be times when you find yourself frustrated with it.


Anything specific you want to know about how it compares to the DSR-500?
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Old August 29th, 2006, 01:07 PM   #6
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Thanks. I was just interested because I shoot mostly with a DSR500. I saw the HVX200 in Chicago recently and watched a music video that had been shot with one. It looked great. The P2 thing worries me more than the difficulty of using a prosumer camera. So far XDCAM HD looks better to me as a move away from tapeless, but I do like the HVX for lots of things. I'm not necessarily interested in moving away from tape, but there are some things about the XDCAM workflow that make sense to me--storing proxy files on a drive for an easy way to find old footage, for example, and ability to access the footage via our network.

P2 could do the same thing, but the hassles of dealing with it are, as you noted, very dangerous to the well being of your original footage. Eventually that could change if card prices drop and capacities go up so you wouldn't have to worry about downloading and deleting until after a shoot is over. This is happening already in the audio world with CF cards. The capacities have doubled and the prices dropped in the past year--you now get a 2 gig card for less money than a 1 gig card cost a year ago. So you can have enough to record all day and then deal with your stuff back in the studio. If that same capacity/price logic applied to P2, today's 8 gig card would cost less than last year's 4 gig, but it doesn't. Maybe someday.

I think I see your issue with the quick release. With a shoulder mount camera, the tripod head's quick release plate goes onto the mount because the camera doesn't have a base plate. But with other cameras it has to screw to the camera itself. Seems to me the thing to do is get additonal wedge plates for the tripod. Leave on on the camera and one on the Sony quick release. I have 3 wedges for my O'Connor 50--one on the DSR500 quick release, one on the DSR250 quick release and one the steadycam.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
you now get a 2 gig card for less money than a 1 gig card cost a year ago. So you can have enough to record all day and then deal with your stuff back in the studio. If that same capacity/price logic applied to P2, today's 8 gig card would cost less than last year's 4 gig, but it doesn't.
Keep it apples to apples, and it will. The 8gb hasn't even been out 9 months yet, and it's already fallen over 50% in price. It was announced (but not shipped) last November for $2750, today it's $1200 retail and a bit less on the street. The 4gb has fallen to almost half what it was 9 months ago; 9 months ago it was $900 and today it's $550 (about $500 street). By the time the year is over the 8gb should be selling for less than the 4gb did a year ago. The exact same price/capacity logic that applies to other memory cards should apply to the P2 cards too: double in size every year or, put another way, twice the gigs per buck every year.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 06:28 PM   #8
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HVX on Vinten

I use my HVX on a Vision 3 head most of the time, using the Vinten plate as that gives the room for adjusting the balance. If i need to swap with a shoulder support, I mount the HVX on the Linhof quick release plate and adaptor, with another adaptor on the shoulder mount. I've used the Linhof for stills photography for years, and the smaller Linhof (comes in two sizes - one for medium-format cameras) is sufficiently tough for the HVX provided it does not have too much in the way of matte box etc. attached. You will need to drill (accurately) a locating hole in the Linhof adaptor to mate with the pin on the Vinten plate. The Linhof is quite expensive but lasts forever. May be worth looking at others from Gitzo, Manfrotto, Giotto, and others.
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