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Old October 5th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #1
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Need advice with regard to HVX-200E purchase

I am about to purchase a new camcorder. Currently, I own a HDR-HC1... so I am going to make a big step-up. I really like to have manual control, and as much options as possible. I did one year of photo academy, and my dream lies with motion picture. In the near future, I want to shoot short films, documentary and weddings/events to earn some cash while doing that.

The HVX-200 looks like a good all-around options. The only thing I am worried about is the P2 media. It is quite expensive, and for like a wedding, I am not sure if the P2 cards will do. The same goes for documentary. I also read about the Firestore 100, which looks like a good alternative. And then we have the P2 store, which also is a nice option.

So for my purpose, does the HVX-200 have the right recording formats, and what will be the costs I am looking at with enough recording media in which format it may be. I am considering a few other cams: the Sony V1 (progressive, but I think it is too small) or Z1, the Canon XH-A1 or XL-H1.

As you can see, the other camcorders are tape-based. That's why I am a bit concearned if this P2 media is suited for my needs.

I hope you can help me with some advice.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #2
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The questions you have asked have been covered many times in the forum. The short answer is, that unless you use an external device such as the Firestore or the equivalent product from Nnovia (which would be my preference) the HVX is not an ideal platform for anything long-form. Not yet anyway.

The Firestore has always had mixed reviews; it's not exactly a completely reliable platform and has strange bugs and glitches that are always being worked on. Dig deeper into this forum and you'll see many posts both pro and con for the Firestore.

The Cineporter is another alternative but it is still not yet available.

The only other long-form recording options are either being tethered to a Powerbook/MacBook Pro or waiting until the spring when 16gb P2 cards become available.

If most of your work is long-form in nature, which would be weddings/events or documentary work where you need constant, long record times and you dont' want to invest in an external device as mentioned above then any of the HDV cameras would do just fine.

In point of fact, I just helped a friend shoot a wedding this past weekend with the Z1/FX1 combination. Either of those cameras is perfect for weddings/events: It's light, the flip-out LCD is the best in the industry - better than any other DV-type camera I've seen - and the control layout/menu options are easily accessed and logical. And contrary to what others have said, it is very easy to get sharp focus manually with the Sony flip-out LCD on either of those cameras. The upcoming V1 will not have this big, sharp LCD, unfortunately.

In the near future when more long-form recording options become available for the HVX then it will be the best mini-HD camera, period. But if you need a long-form workflow camera now and can't wait for the other HVX options then I'd use any tape-based HDV system you prefer. I would not recommend the JVC because it is an ENG-type body and does not offer AUTOFOCUS which can be invaluable in an event situation.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:04 AM   #3
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What nNova would you recommend for HVX200E?

Hi,
I'm just going to buy HDD-recorder, and you seem to know your stuff, Robert. Could you recommend what version of the nNova 120GB that is appropriate for the HVX200e?
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Old October 9th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #4
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I'd be curious about this, too. I don't see anything but DV/HDV (25 mb/s) on their site, and have never heard them mentioned as a DVCPRO HD option.

Gunleik
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Old October 9th, 2006, 08:31 AM   #5
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Still, many of the pro people jumped to the JVC from this HVX-200 while others say 720p compared to 576p (PAL) does not justify all the extra money you will spend on this cam. The only thing they all agree on is that the over and under cranking through variable framerates is really valuable.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #6
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That's some bait .;)

The key point to me is DVCPRO HD vs HDV

Ease of editing
Accepted format by broadcasters
Good keying performance
Better colorspace
i-frame...

And then of course you have the over- and undercranking as an extra bonus.
That is limited to 720p, though. I don't like 720 too much.
(In other words: Stay close...)

You can do timelapses and stopmotion at 1080p, which is cool.

That said

The cheapest way to do longform recordings (for most) is to hook up a laptop and record dirctly to your NLE, be it FCP or Vegas or whatever. This method has its strict limitations as of mobility, though. If you're on a crane or jib, you'll have to gaff your valuable computer to the rig -;) With electrical extensions for your extra HD and all. Not Nice.

I do find the Firestore very convenient, though.

Citidisk has only bad reports AFAIK

Cineporter will rock, when it comes out

And I'm curious about the nNova mentioned here. Can it really handle DVCPRO HD?

Gunleik
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Old October 11th, 2006, 05:03 AM   #7
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http://www.nnovia.com/

Doesn't do HD just DV as of now, does anybody know if it will support the codecs in the future?
I wouldn't imagine this, but you never know, Robert might have some insider :)
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Old October 13th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck
Still, many of the pro people jumped to the JVC from this HVX-200 while others say 720p compared to 576p (PAL) does not justify all the extra money you will spend on this cam. The only thing they all agree on is that the over and under cranking through variable framerates is really valuable.
Also, don't forget about the archival process of your P2 media.
If you're mostly shooting long form content, like weddings and events, you have to be able to keep all the master once done.This can be pricey if you're using drives.
I'm a big fan of the HVX and own 2 of them but I have to admit on some projects, like long interviews or live concerts, I do miss the tapes.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #9
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Buying the HVX equals buying the P2 workflow, and that's something that is going to cost. But it also means buying into dvcpro hd, which is a huge advantage over HDV. Sincerely, I'm an HVX owner and operator, and I work in the publicity industry. I love it. But in your case, I would suggest going for either the upcoming JVC HD 250 or the Canon XL-H1, for the tape workflow. Lot less archiving problems, same manual control (Except for the true manual zoom on the Canon, which is fake). Poorer colors and less dinamic range in both of these cameras compared to the HVX, but capable of creating great broadcast quality content. Buy a Mac with a Kona or a Deckling card and capture the footage to the DVCPRO HD codec for editing. Do NOT edit natively on the HDV codec. It serves its purpose as a recording codec, but certainly not for editing.

Now if you want the best quality, independent of costs... Than go HVX.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 12:41 AM   #10
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The problem is that I have ready many (like a dozen) comments of many industry people who do not believe that the HVX-200 is that good. Many of them traded it in for the JVC GY-HD100/110. That combined with the high costs of the P2 cards make me think twice before buying this camera.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 03:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck
The problem is that I have ready many (like a dozen) comments of many industry people who do not believe that the HVX-200 is that good. Many of them traded it in for the JVC GY-HD100/110. That combined with the high costs of the P2 cards make me think twice before buying this camera.
Well... Once again, the old formula applies. Try them, and then get the one you like most. For event shooting, like weddings, I would still go for a JVC 250. You'll learn a LOT with that camera. Maybe the Canon H1 is another option to consider. But having seen the results from the OLD JVC 100, the XL-h1 and the HVX, I still like the HVX most- and in grading, the native dvcpro HD footage has more color information than the HDV competition. There's no doubt about it.
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