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Old February 4th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #1
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will we see 16gig and 32gig cards this year

Do you think Pani will announce at NAB that 16gig and 32gig cards will be available this year
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Old February 4th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #2
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Do you think Pani will announce at NAB that 16gig and 32gig cards will be available this year
Just my opinion, but I don't think that the P2 card system is going to last. I don't think it is catching on and that will limit the development of more and bigger cards. It is because of the cost of course. If they can't sell tons of them, they can't afford to put money into development.

I was at an acting class/lecture a couple of weeks ago. A local filmmaker and commercial videographer was there. He had his Pani there and set up to record the class. I brought in my XLH1 and set up too. It was a kind of last minute thing and had not been planed out in advance. Did not have anyone miked or anything.

My Pani friend was switching P2 cards and trying to keep up, then he just finally GAVE up. I ended up shooting over 5 hours of HDV. At the next class a week later, we set up my XLH1 only. He and another filmmaker and instructor used my wireless gear and a mixer and kept everyone miked and shot 6 more hours of HDV. It just made more sense to do that.

For the next class, I planned to use my FireStore to record it to disk also, to save capturing time. That class was cancelled, so never got the chance.

I think it would be a good thing to look into a FireStore system for yourself. Don't know if they can record exactly the same, 4:2:2 or whatever, as I have never looked into it, but it sure looks like it could simplify your lives.

I'm just trying to show how difficult it is to use the P2 card system. And, unless someone else picks up the system, it will eventually go away maybe. Some other system will take its place.

I do hope you get bigger cards, and I hope that the prices come way down.

Good luck---Mike
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Old February 4th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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Paul,

If you read earlier threads on this forum you'll see that in fact 16gb cards are just around the corner; the exact date hasn't been reset (they were originally scheduled to be released with the now-shipping HPX2000) however by summer they will be out. No word has been given on the 32gb cards yet.

As to Mike's assertion that P2 is difficult and won't last, nothing could be further from the truth. Panasonic's investment in the system isn't a light-hearted test market, they have in point of fact dedicated to moving away from tape-based cameras as shown by the recent and aggressive announcement of 2 new P2 HD bodies.

With only 8gb cards available currently, long form recording has always been a challenge only for the HVX (the ENG bodies have 5 P2 slots) and nobody has disputed that fact, and as such there are alternatives to working with only 2 cards in the camera, many of which are reviewed here on the forum. When the 16 gb cards come out that will change drastically for the HVX.

Let's be clear on what P2 really is: It is intelligent storage, not a codec or format, in fact P2 is format agnostic meaning, it can take whatever format the camera shoots which is anything from DV to DVCPRO-HD - and soon AVC-Intra (on the ENG cameras). HDV on the other hand IS a format/codec and whatever form the camera shoots, you're stuck with.

P2 is here to stay and will become more robust even in the very near future.

I will be giving a presentation on P2 workflows - and a brief overview of the P2 system - at Abel Cine in LA this coming Thursday, Feb 8th. It's an open-house event and all are welcome to attend as it will clarify the facts of P2 and dispel the myths.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane
Paul,

If you read earlier threads on this forum you'll see that in fact 16gb cards are just around the corner; the exact date hasn't been reset (they were originally scheduled to be released with the now-shipping HPX2000) however by summer they will be out. No word has been given on the 32gb cards yet.

As to Mike's assertion that P2 is difficult and won't last, nothing could be further from the truth. Panasonic's investment in the system isn't a light-hearted test market, they have in point of fact dedicated to moving away from tape-based cameras as shown by the recent and aggressive announcement of 2 new P2 HD bodies.

With only 8gb cards available currently, long form recording has always been a challenge only for the HVX (the ENG bodies have 5 P2 slots) and nobody has disputed that fact, and as such there are alternatives to working with only 2 cards in the camera, many of which are reviewed here on the forum. When the 16 gb cards come out that will change drastically for the HVX.

Let's be clear on what P2 really is: It is intelligent storage, not a codec or format, in fact P2 is format agnostic meaning, it can take whatever format the camera shoots which is anything from DV to DVCPRO-HD - and soon AVC-Intra (on the ENG cameras). HDV on the other hand IS a format/codec and whatever form the camera shoots, you're stuck with.

P2 is here to stay and will become more robust even in the very near future.

I will be giving a presentation on P2 workflows - and a brief overview of the P2 system - at Abel Cine in LA this coming Thursday, Feb 8th. It's an open-house event and all are welcome to attend as it will clarify the facts of P2 and dispel the myths.

I take it all back then! P2 is NOT difficult to work with. Never said it was a codec or anything of that nature. Didn't mean to p*** you off, just to tell a simple story about what I have witnessed myself.

I prefaced my post with the words, "just my opinion," but maybe I should have put them at the end also.

Sorry-----Mike
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Old February 4th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #5
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Relax, Mike, nobody's miffed. This forum exists so that people can express opinion or, share facts. And the facts don't agree with some of your opinions.

Nobody is going to squelch your opinions, but be prepared to have them challenged when they're not fact-based.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 11:58 AM   #6
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Relax, Mike, nobody's miffed. This forum exists so that people can express opinion or, share facts. And the facts don't agree with some of your opinions.

Nobody is going to squelch your opinions, but be prepared to have them challenged when they're not fact-based.
Robert,

The only "fact," that I have been able to find in your post is, "Panasonic's investment in the system isn't a light-hearted test market, and they have in point of fact dedicated to moving away from tape-based cameras as shown by the recent and aggressive announcement of 2 new P2 HD bodies."

The rest "is" your opinion and I do respect it as such. You do seem to be heavily invested in this system, if you are using it and teaching classes etc.. I generally find where there is a need to "clarify the facts of P2 and dispel the myths," that myths tend to originate from some truths.

I just wanted to tell a story for the benefit of some and give my all too humble opinion. I do, in fact, hope that I'm wrong, because I like the system concept, just not the current practicality of it. The fact, that you are still using 8gig P2 cards one and a half years after the cameras introduction is telling to me. I would have thought that if it were cost effective and practical, we would have seen 16gig and 32gig cards already. The fact that ENG cameras have 5 slots only means to me that youíll be paying big money to fill them.

Maybe I should just edit my other post and keep my opinions to myself. It is still an option for now

Best of luck to you and I hope you get the big cards for a low price very very soon.

Iím out----Mike
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Old February 4th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #7
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Actually, the ensuing debate is one of this forums greatest assets. And there is a difference between debate and back-and-forth ranting, which I can thankfully say this is not. So let me share some facts about P2 - and some of my own history on why I selected it and have become one of it's most vigorous proponents - and hopefully shed some light on the not-so-obvious. First some history:

About 3 years ago when I realized I had to self-publish/produce "Photos in a Flash" it became painfully obvious I was going to have to do my own research & testing and endure a strong learning curve with HD. At that time the HVX had not yet been released and was still "vaporware" although I had been given a lot of technical data from a local retailer who proposed carrying the system. I had my years of commercial print and being a DP on a few films to provide the background for creating visuals but the handheld HD market was still in it's infancy and for the most part an unknown entity in my locale; the HD100 was just about to release, Sony had the Z1 for a few months and both Canon & Panny had not yet joined the fray.

The larger ENG P2 cam had already been out for a little while and gained limited favor with ENG crews and a few production houses. At first P2 didn't make sense to me; there were only 2gb cards (can you imagine trying to use those on an HVX?) and the idea of a $30k+ body with a $15k lens for SD-widescreen just didn't add up, not on my limited budget.

So I trained my sights on HDV and as the cameras came out I tested them all. What became quickly apparent to me was that having to do most all the shooting and editing myself a tapeless workflow was going to be tantamount for quick turnaround edits and an easier archiving methodology. At that time the HD-versioned Firestore was buggier than a poodle in a Florida swamp (it's still not 100%) and with the Z1 wasn't a truly tapeless system (then) since it was only designed to record along with the tape run, so that eliminated it as an option. So that meant that if I really wanted a truly tapeless workflow I only had 2 options: XDCAM or the (then) upcoming HVX and P2.

Initially on paper both P2 and XDCAM seemed near-identical in potential and then realized how limiting - and expensive - XDCAM was going to be. For example: XDCAM is like tape in that you only have 2 options for ingest; either dub out from the camera body or, use a deck - an expensive one. However with P2 I could do those plus use a laptop, a P2 drive or the (then) upcoming P2 Store. And, I could hot-swap during recording and keep things rolling non-stop if recording to a laptop directly wasn't an option.

Then there was the issue of XDCAM being a rotational, spinning media and not solid state; Sony's own published whitepapers address the fact that in non-studio environments (location work) the robustness of the XDCAM media was compromised to a certain degree where it's reusable lifespan was significantly reduced and, head alignment would be required on a regular basis to prevent read/write errors. That from a body starting price of (then) about $20k. So XDCAM started to not make sense.

All of a sudden P2 started to make a lot of sense; tapeless, solid-state, the ability to repair clips, instant access, multiple ingest options, no reduction in reusability etc. etc... Add that to the DVCPRO codec all the cameras shoot and I realized I had a diamond-in-the-rough with the HVX and P2.

Although currently limited to the 8gb cards P2 presents the greatest flexibility and stability of any media type available today whether it's tape, XDCAM or SD/CF-flash based. Yes, long-form projects do present a special challenge for HVX shooters and in many instances the HVX is not best suited to that kind of work - as you pointed out in your story. But not every camera is a good fit for every type of job. I often help out a friend shoot weddings on his duo of Z1's; there's no way we could pull that off as easily with just 2 8gb cards per camera - unless we shot in DV mode which would be pointless.

As mentioned earlier - and in other posts - the 16gb cards were *supposed* to be out now but Panny delayed their release to address some stabiilty issues that arose.

Lastly, don't be put off or defensive about any commentary I may make to rebut anything you - or anyone else - shares on this forum. If we didn't have people challenging us for accurate information this forum would be useless.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #8
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The Firestore has been updated so that you can record in Native modes.
Plus it can record direct to DVCPRO HD if you want.
This box now looks like a good deal. I think most HVX owners will get the Firestore as opposed to 16 gig cards.....
P2 cards are still necessary for some work.
Plus the RED is said to be developing a 320 gig Raid drive for $1000
isn't that cheaper than an 8 gig card?
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Old February 4th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #9
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The Firestore isn't a replacement for P2; it's still spinning media which means it can't handle shock and it doesn't offer "repair clip" and a few other P2-specific functions because it's recording through the Firestore software conversion. I have not tested the latest version of the FS4 ProHD but on paper it looks to be a stop-gap between the larger cards. Even the upcoming Cineporter won't be a P2 replacement since it is also spinning media although it looks to be much more robust than the Firestore and because it is designed as a true P2 device it *should* allow for the added P2 functions - time will tell.

The RED concept and it's accessories are a whole new ballgame unto itself and can't be compared to P2, XDCAM - or any other system for that matter. I don't doubt that RED can provide their drive as planned but any "drive" means spinning media with it's issues.

Here's how to put P2 in perspective from both a usability and cost perspective:

Imagine if your PC or Mac replaced all it's internal HDD space with RAM, how costly would that be based on current RAM pricing? Now imagine just how much more stable and robust your computer would be: No spinning platters or heads to worry about, no issues about how fast the platters spin, a greater tempurature variable environment, near-zero latency access times, I/O speeds that would be astronomical by todays standards, and no worries about accidentally bumping the desktop or laptop. Now what if all that RAM were in a RAID array? And what if it had the ability to self-heal as in the "repair clip" function?

P2 currently has a maximum I/O of 640M/bs which surpasses any single drive or even RAID HDD array by far. I have a 12-disk Fibre array for my edit suite; the best I/O speed I can push is about half that of P2.

Here's another perspective: Take a Firestore, RED Drive/Array, XDCAM disk and a P2 card and hold them at shoulder height - then "accidentally" drop them onto the floor - as if you were handing them off to someone else and they missed their grip. Which one do you think is still going to work when you pick it up?

That said, the frustration (and one I share) is that the current 8gb limit hurts only the HVX in it's 2-card acquisition capabilities; the shoulder-mount bodies have 4-5 P2 slots so they don't suffer from this limitation, and until the 16 cards do finally arrive anyone doing long-form on the HVX will be scrambling for alternatives - of which there are, it's up to the individual production needs to decide which one is best suited.

Quite simply, P2 is the most forward-thinking and future-proof media type available today; as RAM pricing falls and the manufacturing process becomes refined P2 will mature into greater capacities for lower costs.
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Last edited by Robert Lane; February 4th, 2007 at 08:45 PM.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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"Just my opinion, but I don't think that the P2 card system is going to last. I don't think it is catching on and that will limit the development of more and bigger cards. It is because of the cost of course. If they can't sell tons of them, they can't afford to put money into development"

well.. umm.. sorry to say, but here in Aus, the ABC just invested $2.5m in a P2 HD system, from cards to cameras to NLE's
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Old February 4th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane
P2 currently has a maximum I/O of 640M/bs which surpasses any single drive or even RAID HDD array by far. I have a 12-disk Fibre array for my edit suite; the best I/O speed I can push is about half that of P2.
That's 640 Mbps = 80 MBps, or less than the speed of a decent two-drive HDD RAID. It's impressive but increasingly irrelevant now that good off-the-shelf flash memory cards have consistent write speeds of 20 MBps (160 Mbps), the speed Panasonic engineers say they need to record DVCProHD reliably. So P2 may continue to have a place for the most demanding applications, but that's it.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 09:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
"Just my opinion, but I don't think that the P2 card system is going to last. I don't think it is catching on and that will limit the development of more and bigger cards. It is because of the cost of course. If they can't sell tons of them, they can't afford to put money into development"
Fortunately that is just your opinion and not the reality. Stay tuned for larger cards and actually ABC Australia is not the only customer. ;-) Take a look at Fox Network in the US. P2 is doing very well. This year is the year of P2.

And Robert since you were mentioning the robustness of no moving parts, I was at a show last week where I threw (hard) the card on the floor, I then stomped on it and then put it back in the camera and it played. ;) I would say, cool. Customers were in disbelief.

All the best,

Jan
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Old February 4th, 2007, 09:30 PM   #13
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Hello Jan,
Good to see you here again.
Robert - of course the Hard drive systems cannot replace P2 100%.
The updated firestore is interesting for interviews etc...
Where the camera is not moving around multiple set-ups.
I do not like recording with a computer...More bad than good can happen there. I know many shooters who would get on with P2 if bigger capacity cards were available. 16 gigs is what 40 min of 720 24pN? That would be great and make the HVX200 really attractive to tape shooters who are not convinced? I still make it fine with only 2 4 gig cards....but I really could have used larger cards last week. The client was getting confused because they have only shot with tape.....I would dump the cards to the hard drive, check and then re-format the card, shoot some new material and then the client would want to see the previous material. I would walk back to the computer and show them the clips. Their heads were spinning because he did not realize that the clips were in essence digitized. And at lunch I edited the good takes together and compressed an H.264 clip that we uploaded to the remote client. That would have been much harder and taken more time if we were tape based.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 09:40 PM   #14
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Just so everyone is clear, the quote in Jan's post actually came from Mike T, not Peter.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 09:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mike Schrengohst
...That would have been much harder and taken more time if we were tape based.
My point exactly.

Seriously, anyone who isn't 100% sure of what P2 is, how it works or why it's better than the options should attend the Abel Cine presentation. For those who can't attend I can offer a modified (self-playing) version of the Keynote presentation I created for this session (requires the latest version of iWork '06 - Mac only, sorry).
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