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Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders
All AG-HPX and AJ-PX Series camcorders and P2 / P2HD hardware.


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Old September 27th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #1
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P2 questions....

i'm new to this thread. untill recently, i have been planning on purchasing the new canon xh a1, upon its release next month. however, after recent suggestions from colleagues of mine, i am looking into the p2 a bit more carefully.

i have a few basic questions, so if anyone can help, i would greatly appreciate it...

- i understand the quality on the p2 card is excellent. how is the dv footage as compared to other top models?

- the top response in camera inquiries so far has been, "it all depends on what your needs are." with that, i am an independant filmmaker looking for the highest combination of versitility and quality. fiction short films, documentaries, music video, etc. will be included. the word is that the hvx-200 tops the rest. do you agree?

thanks for checking out the post.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 10:10 PM   #2
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I cannot answer for the HDV cams, but the HVX has its pros and cons.

DV
DV is DV. It's an exellent DV camera, but you will most probably find yourself never using it as such as you have the (digibeta) comparable DVCPRO 50 SD format as an option.

Cons:
You need P2 cards in addition to camera
You should buy a Firestore FS-100 if you need more flexibility/longer recording times

Cons for all small format HD cameras
You really need an external monitor for critical focus in HD

Pros:
Formats accepted by most broadcasting facilities as an recordingformat
(Many does not accept HDV as an aquisition format, though DV is cool)
DVCPRO 50 for SD
Tweakability
Easy and quick post workflow on a i-frame compressed format with good colorspace.

I've used the tape side of the HVX for less than an hour since it arrived...

Gunleik
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Old September 28th, 2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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Joseph - I'm not an expert, but I am just now ordering my HVX-200 after reading and participating in this forum for over a year. My reasons for going with the HVX are : broadcast-quality video (DVCPRO HD and DVCPRO 50), rich color space compared to HDV, intra-frame compression compared to GOP multi-frame compression for HDV, and the rugged P2 recording system with no tape to work with. I do mostly sports and outdoor work, noncommercial, but could envision doing some commercial work in the future. If you get the HVX, I agree that you will probably give up DV in favor of DVCPRO 50 due to its much higher quality.
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Old September 28th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #4
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We have been completing projects shot in 720 24pN.....
Most end up as SD-DVD but some clients will
go to HD-DVD in short order, just waiting for some more price
reductions. But we have been most impressed with the HVX200...
Working with P2 is great and now FCP 5.1.2 made the whole process
even that much better! I have shot 3/4" then BetaSP and then DV with the DVX-100, even if Pana comes out with a new improved HVX in the future I would still join the HVX club today and run away from tape as fast as you can!
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Old September 28th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #5
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Mike, how many cards do you have, and how do you deal with the data in the field, say on an all day shoot? And also what do you use for archiving your footage after you've dumped it off the cards?
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Old September 28th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Mike, how many cards do you have, and how do you deal with the data in the field, say on an all day shoot? And also what do you use for archiving your footage after you've dumped it off the cards?
Here is a good example...shot a little video on Tuesday. 720 24pN
I have 2 -4 gig cards. 17" PB that has the slot for P2. In the field I also
carry 2-80 gig self powered USB drives.
The 4 gigs cards will get you 10 min at 720 24pN.
So you start shooting and when the first card is getting filled up I
dump right to the laptop internal.....takes 4 min......
When I get a few minutes I take out the card and then copy
the CONTENTS & LASTCLIP.txt to the external drive as a back-up.
That takes 8 min per card but with set-up and waiting for models/actors/clients...you know...
I keep shooting with the other card. Once it gets close to being full
I do the same thing and just keep swapping cards. So I can dump a card
and even if my next shot is a 10 min take I can still get the other card back and keep shooting.....I will check shots along the way with P2 log, still a good
tool because you can check full-screen playback..FCP 5.1.2 has an enhanced P2 import which is really nice.....
I check the files on the external drives....I try to keep the internal dump if I can but sometimes the internal gets to full.....
Upon return to the office I dump all the P2 cards to another drive and dump each one to a DVD-R as well.
The HVX200 and P2 is great for most of what I shoot.....
But I would not try to shoot 3 hours of talking heads with this process....
You can still shoot DV tape for that....Perhaps the new H.264 HD cameras can supplement the HVX in that situation....
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Old September 29th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #7
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Seems to me that an AC would work well in this workflow to take care of the "mags"!
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Old September 29th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Willinger
Seems to me that an AC would work well in this workflow to take care of the "mags"!
Yes, we were training someone to do just that....
The clients liked the instant access to any clip,
in the past with tape it would take far longer
to review and check a specific take.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #9
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Do the cards only work with macbook pro's/powerbooks or also with other notebooks? My problem is that I really like everything of this camera, but the p2 cards are so freaking expensive.

What will be the shooting time on a 8GB card (i read it somewhere, but the recording time differs with different recording formats, and i am not sure which is the recording format used in common situations).

I am planning to do wedding/event photography. And if I can only shoot 16 minutes, I really need to figure something out. Maybe I will just shoot DV the first year, and wait for 16GB cards to arrive... which will most likely lower the prices of the 8GB cards quite a bit.

I read something about connecting an external harddrive directly to the HVX-200 through firewire which allow you to copy the content of the p2 card to the external harddrive. Is this true?
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Old October 7th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck
What will be the shooting time on a 8GB card
Please use the links at the top of any forum page... see the "P2 Info Net / Articles" link in the middle of the blue bar at the top of this page. From there, go to "Recording Capacities of H-Series P2 Cards" located at
http://www.p2info.net/articles/misc/p2cardcaps.php -- hope this helps.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 01:54 PM   #11
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I've also got a couple of more P2 questions. My HVX-200 is being shipped, and I just read the on-line manual cover-to-cover.
1) As I understand it, the recording time of DCVPRO is the same for 720p/60p or 720p/30p or 720p/24p, basically 1 GB per minute for any of these three modes. Greater recording time can be obtained by using the pn native modes at 24p or 30p. Is this correct ?
2) If you do not have a compatible NLE for DVCPRO HD, can you still download the P2 .mxf files to a PC ? I believe that these files can be viewed using the free P2 viewer software from Panasonic. Can you then delete some of the .mxf files on your computer, re-order them, and load them back onto a P2 card without editing them, or do you need a compatible NLE to rewrite them to the P2 card ?
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Old October 7th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Donnell
1) As I understand it, the recording time of DCVPRO is the same for 720p/60p or 720p/30p or 720p/24p, basically 1 GB per minute for any of these three modes. Greater recording time can be obtained by using the pn native modes at 24p or 30p. Is this correct ?
Yep.

Quote:
2) If you do not have a compatible NLE for DVCPRO HD, can you still download the P2 .mxf files to a PC ? I believe that these files can be viewed using the free P2 viewer software from Panasonic.
Correct.

Quote:
Can you then delete some of the .mxf files on your computer, re-order them, and load them back onto a P2 card without editing them, or do you need a compatible NLE to rewrite them to the P2 card ?
On the PC you can do this all you want. On the Mac, not so easy, but on the PC you can use the P2 Viewer to copy MXF files onto other cards, into "virtual cards" on your hard disc, to delete clips, etc. It's easy on the PC.
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