Was there a larger P2Store or alternative at NAB? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old May 14th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #16
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I took a look at the specifications for the new P2 Gear. I think it will definitely serve as a much better viable alternative to carrying a laptop around. Just bring a couple of 2.5" 160GB (the biggest capacity the last time I checked) hard-disks with their holder, connect the P2 Gear in and just transfer the information across.

Until that becomes available, P2Store is probably the best method to copy data across - even with 16GB P2 card, you can hold 4 x 16GB + 2 x 16GB inside the camera for a total of 6 x 16GB worth of data. Assuming recording at 720p, 16GB means about 30 minutes of video. 6 of that = 3 hours - that's plenty of video to edit ....

TS
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Old May 27th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #17
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I have to say, I don't think the P2 Store's usefulness has been outlived, and I think Panasonic has a big, gapping hole in their P2 workflow if they're not going to expand the P2 Store's capacity beyond a measily 60 gigs.

The P2 Store was a perfect solution because it was very light weight, very easy to use, and relatively affordable. I often shoot on my own, wearing a lot of hats, and I could easily manage the P2 Store transfers myself. I could also stuff the little thing in a pocket on my camera bag, and powered it with my HVX200's spare battery. Easy solution!!

No other alternative compares:

** Carry a laptop? It's bigger and significantly heavier than a P2 Store, and it's clumsier to set up and operate in the field.

** Bigger P2 cards? Even if I had 32 GB cards, a full day of shooting could easily burn through that capacity (especially in 1080), forcing me to offload the data at multiple points. I could always buy a ton of P2 cards, but that's an expensive proposition. The fact that Panasonic had to give *20* 8 gb cards to each of those Iditarod shooters (retail cost at the time? $22,000 per camera!!!) is incredibly glaring, and highlights the fact that Panasonic didn't have a reasonable data storage solution to offer.

** Plug a hard drive into the camera to do an offload? Well, that means you can't use the camera for while. Also, you need to make sure you have a hard drive enclose that's battery powered (if you're in the field), and very very few are.

** Get a P2 Gear? It's $4000, so it's pretty expensive (even with street price discounts). AND I heard a Panasonic rep at NAB say that it doesn't offer bus power to hard drives, so you'll also have to figure out how to power your drives if you're out in the field. How could they not offer bus power? That's just a ridiculous ommision!

NONE of these options are as simple, convenient or affordable as simply having a card reader with a hard drive built in!! Really: a 2-card reader with a 200 GB drive would be just perfect (and that storage capacity is available now at 7200 rpm...and it's only going to get bigger over time.)
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Old May 27th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #18
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Given the available alternatives for the immediate future, P2 Gear is too expensive anyway. I think the best thing is to purchase another P2Store if I have to be away from any computer for weeks on end. 2 P2Store = 4 hours of video data (at 720p) - more than enough.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 03:59 AM   #19
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Helmut,
I agree with every word you have posted here about P2 store.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #20
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Couldn't agree more Helmut. If you do a search on this forum you will find posts I have made months ago that are similar to yours. I think Panny figured they were giving a "free lunch" by selling the P2Store (letting us "get away" with fewer cards). I think they expect longform filmmakers or documentarians to either shell out for enough P2 cards to last a day, which, as you note, can get extremely expensive, or to somehow lug around a laptop and external HDD's, which is obviously ridiculous. I guess in a year or two these points will be moot, as P2 capacities will have increased and the prices will, hopefully, have come down. In the meantime, of course, there competitors coming out like Red and even the new Sony XDCam EX, which will hopefully give Panny a wake-up call that they need to come out with a better solution (namely, just putting a larger HDD in the P2Store) for filmmakers such as us.

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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #21
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I don't even have a camera yet, but I can see a huge advantage to a device like the P2 Store.. as I said before, it is an elegant simple design and, from what I'm reading - it works... Has anyone tried hotrodding one with a bigger drive?

I have settled on the reality of using a laptop and external drives - I'd need to do that anyway, but it would be nice if I didn't have to worry about it till I'm sipping martinis at the end of the second day of shooting..

I may buy one (or two) P2 Stores anyway instead of more 16g cards (which aren't readily available) ..

But 160g sure would be nice Ms Panasonic... Sounds like a seller's market to me...
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Old May 28th, 2007, 06:15 PM   #22
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I am happy to see here the list of reasons why I decided not buying the HVX. Ok, my cam is HDV with all the issues, but on the end of the day it gives quite acceptable results with no sweat every day and without my bank account being broken.
If you are on the move all the HVX related hassle is just something you would not do for long.

A humble note: XDCAM EX will be out later this year. If the rumors are correct, the cards will be way cheaper vs P2. So one can buy the amount that will serve a whole day shooting, leave the laptop and HDD-s at home (go to gym instead if muscles needed), no additional high $$$$ gadgets just for ingesting, etc.
And the format is accepted by the honchos of Discovery HD and National Geo... I am sold for it.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #23
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Zsolt: I too chose to not buy the HVX last year and opted for the Canon XL H1. I currently have the H1 body, three lenses and an A1 as a backup camera..

My main reason for not liking the HVX was ergonomics.. I handhold most of the time and a well set-up H1 is a nice camera on a long day... I became an HDV convert over the year, producing many short documentaries for non-profits and one 30 minute that was broadcast last week on public television affiliates.. I like the simplicity of HDV, and the GOP thing was never a problem - in fact, I've never had a dropout - excellent camera, I can't say enough good things about it...

So why am I buying an HPX500? I am currently funded by a client/backer (who will remain nameless) who has a prejudice against HDV.. He's in the "industry" and, unfortunately, believes what he reads instead of what he sees.. This is true of many industry types..

In my case I don't like the Sonys because, to allow space for the disk drive, they've created an ungainly sideways brick and a butt-ugly camera - and it's 1/2"...

The Panasonic is 2/3", user-friendly in design (it could be better, the shoulder mount center-of-gravity could easily be lowered on a camera without a drive system) and opens the door to solid-state tapeless workflow options.. Sure, right now it's kinda a pain-in-the-ass - but soon it will be cheaper and easier to work with those cards..

I mean, think about it, who uses film in still cameras or tape in audio recorders anymore? It's all cards. I'm betting that that's the way video will go too...

Probably won't be my last camera though...
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #24
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I was thinking about this P2Store issue tonight, in Bangkok (currently on an around the world shoot where we burn P2 cards to DVD's and Fedex to the editor, in addition to having mirrors of the data on two G-Raids in separate Pelican cases). The one advantage I can see to smaller P2Stores is that all your eggs aren't in one basket. Truthfully, even if there were 200GB P2Stores available, I might consider just getting two smaller ones (maybe let's say two 100Gb models). So, with the current situation, I think Panny should just lower the price on the 60GB model -- 1600 seems a little ridiculous now that the P2Store's been out for so long.

Peter
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Old May 29th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmut Kobler View Post
** Get a P2 Gear? It's $4000, so it's pretty expensive (even with street price discounts). AND I heard a Panasonic rep at NAB say that it doesn't offer bus power to hard drives, so you'll also have to figure out how to power your drives if you're out in the field. How could they not offer bus power? That's just a ridiculous ommision!
It is not an omission. The USB port does supply power for a little drive. And with verify on, it seems to take about 10 minutes to offload a 8 GB card. Pretty nifty device. It will also let you rename the folders, so that the 23 partitions don't all show up as NO NAME on the Mac Desktop, you can go in and rename them to something more useable. And yes while it is $3995, list price, it does do a long laundry list of things including the comforting ability to review your footage before offload, making sublclips of the big clip, and copying clips to another card. This last feature is more interesting for the news guys, but it might have its application elsewhere.

All in all the P2 Gear is a very nice alternative in August.

The P2 Store has its challenges is getting bigger, in that the drive has to go through a testing ground that most drives fail in. This is the problem. The larger drives have not passed the test. It isn't that we aren't looking, just not having success, yet.

Best,

Jan
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Old May 29th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #26
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More options, less tie-down

The other thing the P2 Gear will allow is that unlike the P2 Store which has a fixed, non-user replaceable drive the Gear will allow you to use off-the-shelf USB or FW drives to suit your needs. Rather than plunking down the money for a single P2 Store you could instead use that same amount of money and buy a handful of external drives - either the plug-n-play type, USBTG, or the enclosures that allow for easy drive removal/swap. All this without the need for a laptop or any other intermediary device.

From my perspective, the P2 Gear in concert with your own selection of drives completely eclipses what the P2 Store is capable of and provides for more versatility and options than you'd ever have otherwise.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:03 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jan Crittenden Livingston View Post
It is not an omission. The USB port does supply power for a little drive. And with verify on, it seems to take about 10 minutes to offload a 8 GB card. Pretty nifty device....
Hi Jan,

Thanks for pointing out that the P2 Gear DOES provide bus power on the USB port. I didn't want to spread false info--so my apologies!--but I did hear a Panasonic rep say there was no bus power in a FreshHDV.com interview (http://www.freshdv.com/2007/04/nab-v...-updates.html). But I'm glad that's not the case (although having Firewire bus power would have been preferable to USB, in my humble opinion!).

So with bus power, the P2 Gear obviously has more flexibility in the field, but it still costs $4K (not including street discounts), and has a more clumsy form factor for data transfer jobs (because you need to have a separate hard drive and a cable, which can be more tricky to set up in the field, not to mention the fact that it's harder to keep them together, to not forget them at home, etc. etc.)

I'm a big believer in simple, streamlined solutions, and while the P2 Gear can do a lot of things, most of them are things I don't need. I don't need to review footage in the field, because I'm busy shooting. I don't need to rename folders, etc. etc. Besides the air that I breath, all I really need is a big data bank to store my footage as I shoot throughout the day, and the P2 Store provides that.

One thing I can't understand is why the drives in the P2 Store are so hard to come by. You guys are obviously trusting people to provide their own hard drives for storage when using the P2 Gear, so if those generic hard drives are good enough for the P2 Gear, then why is it so hard to find drives that can work with the P2 Store? I guess I don't understand what kind of special tests the P2 Store drives can pass, that most others cannot. Honestly, the P2 Store will stop copying if it's moved much, especially vertically. So it's not like it's a high performance mechanism that can do a data copy in any condition. Basically, you have to just let it sit there undisturbed for it to do its job, and it seems like *any* hard drive can just sit there while doing a file copy.

Anyway, I don't mean to harp on this, so I won't keep doing so! I just hope that Panasonic keeps improving the P2 Store. A lot of videographers are increasingly working alone these days, or in very small crews, and the Store is currently the simplest and most affordable way to get data off your P2 cards when you're on the go. Thanks!
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:18 AM   #28
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Well I can certainly vouch for the effectiveness of a P2 Store. I used it aboard a tour bus and all day long on a fishing boat without any problems.

I like the portability and that it's totally self-contained. Putting it into a Portabrace case makes it a very nice unit that's well-suited to run-and-gun work. And it's very efficient with battery power.

Although larger P2 cards will eventually make this unit superfluous, it's still valid as a card reader and as additional capacity.

Aside from the hard drive not being upgraded my only other wish is a Firewire interface in addition to USB. But all things considered, it's a nice little unit that's served well so far.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 09:00 AM   #29
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Helmut,
you know I like very much the P2 store but after reading the last post by Robert Lane I have checked some of his P2 gear suggestions.
I'v seen that you can have a P2 gear plus, for example, a pair of very light and small 120g hard drives (160 euros each) for a total amount of circa 4500 euros. 240g are 8 hours of video at 720pN. To have the same amount of space you should have four P2 stores with you (more than 6.000 euros in Europe).
I'm starting to become conviced that P2 gear could be the best choice.

P.S. Thank you Robert Lane for your precious help.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 02:06 PM   #30
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Thanks Jan for being so candid about the hold-up on a larger P2Store -- very helpful (and a bit of a relief) to have more insight into Panny's motives. Is it possible to give us more info on what sort of tests or specs the HDD's have to pass, and in what ways the larger drives are not doing that?

In any case, I think there is certainly a lot of demand for a larger P2Store, so hopefully that is encouragement to keep trying for a larger capacity. While the P2Gear seems like a great product, it really doesn't compare to the P2Store in terms of practicality and ease of use for a documentary situation with a single shooter or any other single-person crew. I know that when I'm shooting, the P2Store's elegance is essential. I woudln't have the time nor would it work logistically to have a P2Gear with a cable running to an external drive. So I sincerely hope Panny keeps making the Store, and comes out with a larger one one of these days. I'm copying over today's footage from my P2Store to two G-Raid's now, and have to say it's a great product -- hasn't failed me yet (knock wood), and it has seen A LOT of use. Thanks again Jan for letting us know what's going on with the P2 Store.

Peter
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