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All AG-HPX and AJ-PX Series camcorders and P2 / P2HD hardware.


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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #1
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Help before purchasing an HVX200 + Accessories

I am planning on ordering from B&H the AG-HVX200.

Some questions, though (please answer with the # of question you are answering to help keep it organized). Thanks so much for your help! I know it is a lot of questions, so even if you can answer 1 or 2 hopefully they will all eventually get covered.

I really appreciate it.


1.) Recommend camera bag? What do you think of $150 Petol Camcorder Bag w/Rain cover (PCCB-1N Compact Camcorder Bag) + (PRC-PA (DVX)-N Rain Cover)

2.) Should I get $7/ea “Panasonic Mini DV Professional Digital Video” miniDV tapes? Or $8.50 80 minute tapes? Or should I stay with $3/each “Panasonic Consumer 60min miniDV tapes”? Or should I go with a different brand altogether? What differences will I see between Professional MiniDV tapes & Consumer based?

3.) What is a good UV filter (just for protecting the lens) to get? How much should I plan to spend on one of these?

4.) Any filters I should definetly get? (I see filter starter kits, is this a good idea to pick one of these up)? Also, I plan on shooting some outdoor night scenes and indoor low-light scenes. Any filters that will help with this (ie that will enable me to use brighter lighting and then the filter will make it look darker)...?

5.) What is a good cleaning kit to get?

6.) BATTERIES... how how actual life should I plan to get out of the battery that comes with the kit? Looking at accessories, all I saw was another 5400amh battery, which looks to be the same as the stock battery? Are there any higher capacity batteries? What would you recommend?

7.) Related to batteries, how is the Anton Bauer battery equipment? I see the ElipZ Under-camera mounted battery kit, which says it can power the camera for a full day of shooting. How is this? Also I see an Anton Bauer - DIONIC-90 Lithium-Ion Battery and Anton Bauer - TITAN-70 On-Camera AC Power/Charger... and other accessories. Any info or recommendations here? I am not sure if I should get some of their stuff.

(I plan on some long, all day shoots. LCD screen open).

8.) I am overwhelmed by the amount of tripods to choose from. I don't need to spend an arm and a leg on a tripod. What would you recommend as very good tripod that won't break the bank? I hear you don't really need to spend more than $300 here, but I don't know a ton about this.

9.) The 4-year extended MACK warranty? Can I get this to cover all equipment? Also Is there a longer warranty, ie 6 year? And/or, can I get insurance for the camera to cover damage or theft?
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Old January 17th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #2
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2) Panasonic recommends DVM63PQ or MQ tapes. I use those with no problems.

8) I got the Manfrotto w/503 head - a very nice rig and I would recommend it.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 09:13 PM   #3
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These are my opinions on your questions. Take it for what it is worth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
I am planning on ordering from B&H the AG-HVX200.
not knocking B&H as they are a great company, but you might also look at spec-comm, or videotex systems in Dallas, TX My sales rep was Charlie Holland. Videotex gave me a great deal and the service after the sale is amazing. In my opinion the service after the sale is much more important than the price. The users on dvxuser.com love spec-comm and there is nothing but rave reviews of them as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
1.) Recommend camera bag? What do you think of $150 Petol Camcorder Bag w/Rain cover (PCCB-1N Compact Camcorder Bag) + (PRC-PA (DVX)-N Rain Cover)
I use a portabrace 2550 Hard case, and my experiences with soft bags have been horrible as I am somewhat rough on my bags. My portabrace cases seem just as well built as a pelican, but are somewhat cheaper and as an added bonus they are blue. As for a camera cover, I would reccommend KATA or Portabrace.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
2.) Should I get $7/ea “Panasonic Mini DV Professional Digital Video” miniDV tapes? Or $8.50 80 minute tapes? Or should I stay with $3/each “Panasonic Consumer 60min miniDV tapes”? Or should I go with a different brand altogether? What differences will I see between Professional MiniDV tapes & Consumer based?
I order my tapes from videotapestock.com. the price they have on 63 minute professional quality tapes are 3.99 each, with price breaks based on quantity. Panasonic does not reccommend 80 minute tapes. the reason for this is that the longer the tape the thinner the tape, which could make the camera eat the tape or record bad spots on it. I reccommend Panasonic tapes over any other brand, also once you start with one brand of tape, stick with the brand you choose. 7 dollars a tape in my opinion is a total rip off, look elsewhere!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
3.) What is a good UV filter (just for protecting the lens) to get? How much should I plan to spend on one of these?
82mm UV Filter, brand in my opinion does not matter at all, the main reason for a UV filter is to protect the camera lens from an accidental drop. Expect to pay between 50 and 80 for the filter. 80 bucks for a filter is a lot cheaper than a new camera. Buy one immediately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
5.) What is a good cleaning kit to get?
get a spud, this is a microfiber cleaning cloth that attaches to the camera strap or to the camera so its always with you. for the most part this is all I use in my day to day operations. When the uv filter gets scratched I just replace it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
6.) BATTERIES... how how actual life should I plan to get out of the battery that comes with the kit? Looking at accessories, all I saw was another 5400amh battery, which looks to be the same as the stock battery? Are there any higher capacity batteries? What would you recommend?
5600 amh batteries are available from dvxuser.com. I have 2 of them and they work better than the stock battery and have lasted many of the users on the forum a long time. get them and other DVX/HVX gear here: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?f=73


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
8.) I am overwhelmed by the amount of tripods to choose from. I don't need to spend an arm and a leg on a tripod. What would you recommend as very good tripod that won't break the bank? I hear you don't really need to spend more than $300 here, but I don't know a ton about this.
I have a bogan/manfrotto 501 video head on 745B tripod. It came in a kit from videotex systems. I am about to order another one for my other camera. I paid around 400 for it and it was the best purchase I have ever made for my camera. Spend the bucks on a tripod, you wont regret spending even 5-600 on a tripod. you may also want to look at a zoom controller from varizoom like the VZ RockPZF1 (http://www.varizoom.com/products/con...zrockpzfi.html)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
9.) The 4-year extended MACK warranty? Can I get this to cover all equipment? Also Is there a longer warranty, ie 6 year? And/or, can I get insurance for the camera to cover damage or theft?
Your insurance agent for you house or car would be a good place to look for insurance for your camera. My cameras are specifically listed on my renters insurance. As for camera warranty, mack gives a good one, and 4 year is their max.



Hope this helps, I have had my HVX for 2 months now and love it! I am really looking forward to getting my P2 card. You might also look at a firestore, or if you have time to wait until the summer look at the cineporter from spec-comm.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #4
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I bought a custom Pelican case from Abel-CineTech and it is simply amazing. . . absolutely solid as a rock. . . and custom cut for the HVX and some accessories, to boot! That is one killer case. . . think "the football" with the nuclear button that follows the president around everywhere. It holds the camera (perfectly cut, by the way), two batteries, my P2 Store, my fisheye and wide angle lenses, my P2 cards (two slots for those) and a strange opening that was probably intended for a mattebox but mine (Cavision) doesn't fit inside it.

As for batteries, Ebay is the way to go here. I bought genuine Panasonic brand 5400MWh batteries (the exact same ones that come with the camera) for $25 each plus shipping.

Good luck!

Stephen
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Old January 18th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Cegla
I
3.) What is a good UV filter (just for protecting the lens) to get? How much should I plan to spend on one of these?

4.) Any filters I should definetly get? (I see filter starter kits, is this a good idea to pick one of these up)?
I suggest getting the Best Filters you can afford. A hands-on test, if possible, is to hold the filter up to a light or daylight and look through it. If you see your own reflection it's not good. You want to be able to See Through the filter clearly.

Consider that you paid all this money for a fine camera, etc. it would be the worst mistake possible, to me, than stick a cheap, cloudy or distorted filter in front of it all.

There can be good filter deals but normally 'filter starter kits' are questionable.

Besides the quality of the glass there are other factors: the material it's made of, how thick it is (no good for wide angle, causes vignetting), how easy to use, how durable, etc.

There are also filters designed especially for digital cameras. I own
1. A Hoya Pro1 circular Digital filter (and had to wait/backordered for it)
2. A B+W UV filter (for protection as well as helping with haze)

Check the net for the best deals. I got these two filters together, as a package and they cost, together, about $189.95 (prices vary according to size).

I think these two filters are the most common and essential. I don't know how valuable color filters or special effects would be in these days where color and special effects can be added when editing.
If I wanted a color effect I'd put a gel or something over the lights.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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Wow, thanks for all the great info/advice so far guys. I really appreciate it!

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Anyone else have more opinions/recommendations regarding specific brands, and/or further useful information in any of these areas? There are a lot of people here and I'd love to hear from as many as possible.

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Also, I was wondering about the ANON BAUER equipment. For example the $425+ Anton Bauer ElipZ (an under-camera mounted battery + charger + Adaptor Cable). Supposedly this thing can last a whole day of shooting? Anyone experienced with this? Any disadvantages to this, ie, what is it like having this strapped under the camera the whole time?

Do you think if I plan long on location shoots without ability to power this would be worthwhile, or should I stick with multiple batteries?

----------------------

On the MACK warranty: does this cover just the camera or everything? Can I set this up to cover all my equipment that I purchase?

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Any more thoughts advice on filters?

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Am I forgetting any essential equipment? My shopping list to start out looks like this:

- HVX200
- Free 8gb P2 card
- MACK Warranty
- Contact Insurance about insuring my equipment
- 0.6x WA Lens Adaptor (Schneider/Century Optics)
- Additional batteries and/or Anon Bauer Under-camera battery (advice here?)
- Tripod
- Cleaning Kit
- UV Filter
- Professional Tapes - spend about $4/ea
- Basic Filters (any more recommendations/advice here)?
- Hard-cover case

Is there anything else I should definetly add to this list for starting out?
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Old January 20th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #7
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is B&H the only store in the world

http://www.armatosvideo.com/ these guys are great

just got my HVX200 from Specialized Communications Corp. Smithsburg, MD
301-790-0103 ask for Jasmine tell her that martin from PPS PRODUCTIONS Recommended them, they can actually get them...had mine in one day...i'de rather tell people how much i saved than how much i spent...i even got 2 6000mAh batteries with the deal

www.ppsproductions.biz
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Old January 20th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #8
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For the filter, Barry Green recommends. . .

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=120958&is=REG

The Mack warranty has been more or less discounted on these forums as worthless, but YMMV.

As far as batteries, these. .

http://cgi.ebay.com/FOR-PANASONIC-CG...QQcmdZViewItem

work for me with no problems, work actually better than the battery that came with the camera.

B&H is great, especially if you are buying other goodies there. .
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Old January 20th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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Daniel,
I have always had problems with every off brand type of power I have had for any camera I have ever bought. Most of the time they just die very quickly 2-4 months after purchase. this is because they are made of inferior parts. It is this reason that I will never order a camera or accessories off of ebay. I had a friend in school that had a cheap battery damage his GL1 and canon would not cover the GL1 because the battery that damaged the camera was not a canon brand battery. Anton Bauer has a very respected name in the ENG community and I would say that they have one of the best batteries on the market today, however unless you are running a ton of accessories off of your HVX like a marshal moniter, and lighting, I would save my money. I did a shoot on my HVX the other day where one of my DVXuser.com batteries lasted me almost 6 hours. I was very impressed. Also the camera is heavy enough without adding extra batteries to it without a shoulder mount rig of some kind.

I did have a mack cam warranty for my XL1, and never once used it. For cleaning of my XL1 i would only send it to the canon warranty center which cost money, but I knew it was done right. A good insurance policy could cover the same type of stuff thta the mack cam warranty will cover. As far as I know the Mack Cam warranty only covers the camera and accessories that come in the cameras box.
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