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Old April 20th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #1
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P2 NAB 2007 Wrap-up

Before I go into all the cool stuff I first want to personally thank all the other Panny consultants who I worked with this year; Lou, Tom, Art, Barry G., Barry B., David, CR, Mike S., Hal and a few others whose names escape me right now. You'll never find a more knowledgeable, professional and friendly team of individuals in any organization and it was my distinct pleasure and an honor to be included in such a distinctive group.

And of course Jan, the epitome of an over-worked one-hand paper-hanger who in spite of it all was smiling the entire time and reigned over us consultants with an iron fist and flogged us every chance she got (maybe that's why she was smiling so much?). OK, I'm kidding, the truth is Jan is a great person to work for and with and is both a consummate professional and and tireless PR person all in one. Thanks for the opportunity, Jan!

For a quick overview of all the equipment that was at the massive 4-section booth here's the link: http://panasonic.net/exhibition/nab2007/. God help me, somebody took a photo of my fat-ass showing off the HPX500 - yep, that's me the Panasonic guppy-man. Good grief I need to get back in the gym.

So, the new stuff - actually there was a ton of new things but I'll drop the list of items most relevant to this forum:

Of course the HPX500 was there and we had a ton of demo footage from the Iditarod and a few short clips I shot. All these clips were shot from hand-built engineering models and not production so those clips can't be posted on the web because they are considered engineering samples - but we showed them on the plasmas all day everyday and people were flat out amazed.

The next big item is the P2 Gear, which is basically the HVX200 minus the camera section but with the addition of HD-SDI out, USB Host Mode and a Wave-form Monitor on the screen. Like the HVX the P2 Gear has a flip-out LCD, (2) P2 card slots and all the record/playback functions of the HVX.

Also announced and shown was the HPX3000, similar to the HPX2000 but with with 2.2Mpx imagers.

Of course this was already public; 16GB cards are $900, 8GB cards are $700 and the 4GB cards are no longer in production and none are in inventory. The 32GB card is due by end-of-year with an $1800 list. As I understood it, the first round of 16GB cards will be allocated to the HPX500 packages with remaining inventory to be shipped individually to the Flagship dealers. Which means if you want either the 500 or 16GB cards you'd better put your order in with your local Flagship dealer now or, one of the DVinfo.net forum sponsors.

NOTE: There is a caveat about the 16GB cards; HVX owners will need to upgrade the firmware in the camera before it will recognize the new cards - the firmware will be available next month when the cards are released. HVX cameras with newer serial numbers (I believe Jan said serials starting with "E7") will already have the new firmware installed. One reason is that starting with the 16GB cards and going forward they are using the faster SDHC ram modules rather than the "old" SD-type, which is how they are getting both bigger and faster. The newer cards also get the "R" logo on the front indicating the newer P2 technology.

The other big item was the new BT-LH80W monitor, a smaller, lighter more power-efficient cousin to the LH900; this monitor is about the same size as the Marshall but very color accurate and two modes of focus assist! Unlike the LH900 the control unit is fixed in the lower position. Because of it's size, low weight and better power handling it makes for the perfect mate to the HVX for both a focusing and exposure monitor.

One other piece of good news is that HDLog and P2 Log Pro now have an updated version "4" which I should be getting to test very soon, which is slated to be far faster at producing QT's from the MXF files along with having greater features for clip repair and CARD naming functions! More on that when it's tested.

And lastly, also in the Panny booth was the latest thing from the guys at RedRock, an adapter for the M2 which *finally* flips the image upright into the camera!! Yes, we finally have a cost effective option to the Mini-35! I don't remember the slated pricing but the new unit is supposed to be available late summer. We had the beta unit connected to an HVX200 with a Zeiss ZF series 85mm f/1.4 lens pointed at a scene with slot-cars racing on a table and it looks just as good as you'd think it should. Yes, of course there is light loss as expected with any adapter but with proper lighting this little adapter really - and finally - turns the HVX into a full-fledged 35mm film simulator without the image-flip headache. Now if we can only convince the RR guys to create a 2/3" inch mount...

All in all it was a great show - and my first time at NAB. After being on my feet for 7 days non-stop (the first 3 days were setup) I can't remember being this tired, in fact I think I need about 2 hours of a professional foot massage just to feel human again, but it was all worth it.
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Last edited by Robert Lane; April 21st, 2007 at 11:17 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #2
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Thanks for this excellent report, Robert. It was great to see you again even if only for a few minutes. Here's hoping that we're both fully recovered from NAB by this weekend.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 10:44 PM   #3
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Hello guys, I was so over whelmed that I probably saw you there and never even said hello.
I am still at the Las Vegas airport, I took an extra day to share some time with my wife walking the strip.
I don't feel my legs; I have being carrying the HVX with an old Cavision bellow hood for 5 days now.

I think that Panasonic and Apple had the most informative and friendly people working for them.

Congratulations
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Old April 21st, 2007, 12:17 AM   #4
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Hello Robert,
Thanks for the wrap-up report. I will send everyone with questions to this page. It was a pleasure to meet and work with you and the rest of the crew!
Thanks
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Old April 21st, 2007, 12:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
The other big item was the new BT-LH80W monitor, a smaller, lighter more power-efficient cousin to the LH900; this monitor is about the same size as the Marshall but very color accurate and two modes of focus assist! Unlike the LH900 it does not have a waveform and the control unit is fixed in the lower position. Because of it's size, low weight and better power handling it makes for the perfect mate to the HVX for both a focusing and exposure monitor.
Not only does Panasonic list that the BT-LH80W does have waveform, but I saw it with my own eyes at NAB. With pixel-to-pixel, waveform, focus-in-red, etc... it's the ideal field monitor. I'm getting one asap.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jon Wolding View Post
Not only does Panasonic list that the BT-LH80W does have waveform, but I saw it with my own eyes at NAB. With pixel-to-pixel, waveform, focus-in-red, etc... it's the ideal field monitor. I'm getting one asap.
Yes, you're right it does. After such an intense week I'm surprised I can still remember my name much less all the tech details of every piece of equipment!
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Old April 21st, 2007, 11:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba View Post
Hello guys, I was so over whelmed that I probably saw you there and never even said hello.
I am still at the Las Vegas airport, I took an extra day to share some time with my wife walking the strip.
I don't feel my legs; I have being carrying the HVX with an old Cavision bellow hood for 5 days now.

I think that Panasonic and Apple had the most informative and friendly people working for them.

Congratulations
I'm almost sure I saw yours and several other names that I recognized from this forum but with the constant flow of people it was impossible to stop mid-demonstration and yell out a "hello". Maybe next time I call pull together a demo specifically for the DVinfo.net forum members, wouldn't that be fun!?
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Old April 21st, 2007, 11:45 AM   #8
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Robert was the BOMB. A take-charge, get-things-done kind of guy.

Now, in addition to getting my feet back into working order, and adjusting to the idea of actually being able to take real meal breaks again, I still have to get back on east coast time . . . should be right as rain within, oh, a week or so . . .

Agreed that the HPX500 was the star of the show in so many ways. A brilliant camera, giving us everything we love about the HVX200 and adding those things we wish it had. Never so so many jaws dropped as when people found out how little it costs (except maybe when Robert whacked the P2 cards against the counter to demonstrate their robustness).

I wouldn't sweat the photo, Rob -- at least you're doing something interesting and relevant in yours . . .
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Old April 21st, 2007, 12:38 PM   #9
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Not only does Panasonic list that the BT-LH80W does have waveform, but I saw it with my own eyes at NAB.
I agree that was a really nice looking monitor, and would probably be my first choice of all the small screens I looked at (see: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=91877) although the $2,700 pricetag is a little higher than I will probably want to go.

The image looked great on this little screen, but I was sort of surprised to look at the specs and see that it's only 800x450 like a number of the screens from other companies.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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The image looked great on this little screen, but I was sort of surprised to look at the specs and see that it's only 800x450 like a number of the screens from other companies.
But with focus-in-red and pixel-to-pixel, there really isn't much need for a higher native resolution.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 10:06 AM   #11
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One last detail

There is one last but important detail about this year's NAB that I forgot to mention:

One of our forum members got quite of bit of his footage showcased throughout the display area and, at the "HD Theatre" which had no less than 6 of the large 103" inch plasmas - Kevin Railsback. Kevin is one of those rare individuals who decided that studio shooting and "normal" location work is just too easy, and instead takes himself and his HVX into remote areas capturing wildlife in all kinds of inclement weather. I think he shoots in bright, sunny days too but so far I haven't seen it. (laughs)

Kevin's footage of wolves running around and literally tearing up another animal was flat out amazing. But here's the most amazing part: in the HD
Theatre was an 12-minute video presentation about the P2 system with clips from just about every P2HD camera and, even some Varicam. Kevins' footage was intercut with all the other 2/3" inch cameras and on that 103" inch plasma nobody could tell what was from the HVX and what wasn't. I knew right away only because I'm familiar with Kevins' footage - and trust me, on that big plasma and knowing it was HVX clips I was being very critical of it's presentation. I'm here to tell you, it looked amazing.

Just more proof that if you know how to use the equipment and understand lighting and composition regardless what the subject is, you'll get stunning pro-level results.

Kevin: I can't wait to see what you can do with the 500, brother!
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 10:31 AM   #12
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Robert was the BOMB. A take-charge, get-things-done kind of guy.
Hey Guys!

Mr. Robert "Robust Card" Lane was a most amazing partner in a whole group of booths filled with fantastic P2 fanatics! There are so many new products that support the P2 line that people were amazed at how easily the workflow could, well, flow!

That 500 is a small giant among the big boys and it's exceptional pictures and "robustness" should turn heads for quite a while.

Later!
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 10:41 AM   #13
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Tom, I see that you are new to DVINFO. Just a word of warning. I removed your statement referring to the other manufacturer's format. We don't engage in that type of behavior here. No platform wars, religion, politics, flames, etc. You get the idea. We're here to educate and inform one another without attacks on opposing viewpoints/methods/technicalities.

Thanks for your understanding.

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Old April 22nd, 2007, 10:58 AM   #14
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Sorry! New poster to the forum......my bad! Wouldn't want to be a bigger rebel than Robert! ;-) Thanks!
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 11:05 AM   #15
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Sorry! New poster to the forum......my bad! Wouldn't want to be a bigger rebel than Robert! ;-) Thanks!
No problem, Tom. It's just the nature of the beast. Other forums are full of that kind of stuff. Chris wanted DVINFO to be high signal and low noise. And don't forget, it works both ways. Nobody will be allowed to attack your choice of camera, computer, workflow, etc. This policy also encourages folks to ask questions they might not ask otherwise because they won't get flamed for it.

Just relax and enjoy the breath of fresh air in cyberspace. ;-)

-gb-
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