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Old May 5th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #1
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Hpx500

If you hop from forum to forum, you may know that I have been using a Canon XL H1 for over a year, have made numerous films with it, and am generally happy with the H1..

I have ordered an HPX500 though.. mainly because of HDV, not the Canon camera, which is excellent.

I have been contracted to produce a long (90 minute) documentary, starting next month, and want to insure my ability to do a film out (if need be), or get broadcast - without a battle. I just had a shorter doc aired on PBS and it was a pain having to get past the HDV stigma - I don't know if I would have succeeded with a feature length show... Also, I'm getting a little concerned about the quality of the crunched audio in HDV.

More than you need to know - so, okay, here I am in the enemy's camp.

I will be editing in FCP v6... I have searched this forum and have gotten many informative tips.. but I'm still a little confused about current P2 work-flow w/ FCP, the best back-up techniques, and any warnings/advice there might be about trusting P2 technology -

Also, I'm thinking of shooting 720/24p, unless someone convinces me otherwise...

In 30 years I've shot in almost every film and tape format, even had a DVX100A for a while, which I really liked, but am (naturally) nervous about committing to totally tapeless... Any comments would be greatly appreciated... Steve Rosen
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Old May 5th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #2
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hvx200

ive had experience shooting with the HVX200 and let me tell you, if you wnt to go 720 24p that would defenitly be my choice. y guess the 500 would be a better camera, but i havent worked with it. The P2 sistem is very reliable, and actually pretty fast to work with... you only need a g4 to be able to upload your images quickly and change and format your cards to have them ready for an other go.

Now, i have a question for you...
A long time ago i used to work with the xl2 and absolutely loved it. But when it came time to upgrade to HD, i went with panasonic because the lack of 24p in the new canon HV1
is canon planing to fight back and put the 24p option back in the camera???

Thanks.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #3
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sample.

Also, here is a video i finished a couple of weeks ago. Shot in 720/24p

http://www.televisioncreativa.com/videoeternamente.html
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Old May 6th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #4
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Steve,

The only "enemy" here is fear & ignorance; you're going to be equally welcome on this forum as any other.

The stigma with HDV is mostly two-fold: First, in spite of what most think (or hope) HDV has not been accepted by any pro-post house, production facility or ENG facility as a broadcast or production standard, DVCPRO in all it's iterations is, just as DVCAM and HDCAM are. The second is the post/editing implication. If you read the various posts - and from your own experience - HDV takes far more computing resources and time even for simple renders. At issue is the Long-GOP format which unlike an "i"-frame codec is very CPU/RAM hungry and is not an efficient codec in post.

The truth is - and this is something I've repeated many times in various posts - is that any camera has the potential to create amazing imagery, it all comes down to the expertise of the shooter and his/her hardware/creative knowledge.

Here's something that should put your mind at ease with regard to the tapeless workflow: After my first 2 gigs shooting the HVX200 a year-and-a-half ago, I made the decision that all our productions were going to be shot on the P2 system. The amount of time we saved on those first two gigs - not having to ingest tape, deleting unwanted clips and working in an IT, file-based workflow forever changed the landscape of both our operations and our mindset on workflow.

I shot demo footage for NAB on the HPX500 of which I gave a brief review; I can say with 100% confidence that you've made the most perfect of choices from many aspects.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #5
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Angelo - thanks for your comments and clip, I like what I've seen of 720/24, it has a nice quality from the 200 - and I like the Panasonic's Cine Gamma better than the Canon's - and you can really crunch blacks too...

Robert - thanks also for yours. I want to be clear about something though - I personally have no problem with HDV - I've gotten stunning images from my H1 -

And with the G4 Quad and Black Magic DeckLink card I have been sailing along just like SD without an issue, and I haven't had a single drop out on either Canon camera (I have an A1 as well) - and I've made 17 documentaries of various length and numerous commercials with them, and almost all have been broadcast somewhere.

It is, as you point out, the fact that major post houses and networks have not opened their arms to HDV that concerns me.. If I was younger, I'd fight that battle - as I did with super16 for theatrical release in the 70's - but now I just want to do what I need to do to grease the wheels (affordably), and DVCPRO HD (or XDCAM, but I don't like the top-heavy camera) seems the best bet.

What are you guys outputting to, besides DVD? I don't want to spring for a $25,000 HD deck.. can I simply take a hard drive to a post house? Also, can you recommend a solid pro-oriented P2 turtorial?
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve Rosen View Post
(or XDCAM, but I don't like the top-heavy camera)
I'm not trying to sway your viewpoint, but 'top heavy camera' is a misnomer. The camera you just ordered is a full size, shoulder mount camera and it is likely to be just as heavy as my PDW-F350.

But it's good that you are willing to join the tapeless party. Both systems, P2 and XDCAM HD, offer many workflow advantages over tape based systems.

Good luck with the new camera!

-gb-
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #7
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Greg: I'm not bashing Sony, in fact I still own a DSR300 that I used daily for over 6 years.. and I still think the DSR200 was the best ergonomically designed video camera ever (similar to my Aaton 16mm camera).

I handhold most of the time - when I shot with a 350 recently, I noticed that because of the real estate needed for the disk drive, the camera is taller than I like - I can't see over it to the right, and I feel blind on one side...

It's a personal, ergonomic thing...

Although I haven't actually seen the 500 in the flesh, I can tell by taking comparison measurments from the brochure (using the lens size as the reference) that it will be more similar to the DSR300.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #8
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I handhold most of the time - when I shot with a 350 recently, I noticed that because of the real estate needed for the disk drive, the camera is taller than I like - I can't see over it to the right, and I feel blind on one side...

It's a personal, ergonomic thing...
I didn't feel you were bashing Sony. I misunderstood what you meant by top heavy. I thought you were comparing to to the beasts of yesteryear and that the HPX500 would be lighter on the shoulder than the XDCAM HD. Both cameras being newer designs, they're much lighter than their ancestors.

I know what you mean about the back of the camera being a bit taller than a tape based camera. I just never feel the need to see over the right side, so you're right, it's purely ergonomics.

-gb-
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve Rosen View Post

What are you guys outputting to, besides DVD? I don't want to spring for a $25,000 HD deck.. can I simply take a hard drive to a post house? Also, can you recommend a solid pro-oriented P2 turtorial?
HDD's are quickly replacing tape or any other media as the delivery method of choice. Obviously every post house has the ability to connect to an external FW or USB drive, and these days are so inexpensive it's easy to build that into your quote for your client. In some cases, it's becoming a similar situation to 15 years ago when I was giving clients my files on Zip or Jazz discs; the client or post house would simply copy the files off and return the disc - or keep it as a master copy.

I don't know of any P2 tutorial - yet - other than the presentation I give as part of the HD Roadshow for Panasonic. My company will be producing a DVD tutorial later this year that will cover both the 200 and 500 cameras and it will also include chapters heavy with archiving and workflow information.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen View Post
Greg: I'm not bashing Sony, in fact I still own a DSR300 that I used daily for over 6 years.. and I still think the DSR200 was the best ergonomically designed video camera ever (similar to my Aaton 16mm camera).

I handhold most of the time - when I shot with a 350 recently, I noticed that because of the real estate needed for the disk drive, the camera is taller than I like - I can't see over it to the right, and I feel blind on one side...

It's a personal, ergonomic thing...

Although I haven't actually seen the 500 in the flesh, I can tell by taking comparison measurments from the brochure (using the lens size as the reference) that it will be more similar to the DSR300.
Hello Steve,
I owned a DSR-300 and then went to the DVX100 and now the HVX200.
The HPX500 is similiar in size and weight to the 300. It is a bit wider.
As dealers get the 500 in they will let you demo the cameras.
The 500 packages will ship with 4-16 gig cards. As far a P2 workflow - MAC or PC? Do you want to/need to edit in the field? From my own experience -
I use a G4 laptop with has the PCI slot. The dual adapters are shipping if you want to use P2 with a MAcBookPro. Either way - it's pretty simple - card fills up - you transfer to an external hard drive connected to your computer.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #11
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Mike: Probably not very professional, but I've already ordered a 500 sight unseen with the Canon 7.7 16x lens (w/o extender) since I like the 16x on the Canon H1... I know I should probably fork over another 10 grand for a "better" lens, but with the kind of social issue docs I make, the 16x should do fine - I'm curious about the CAC thing too... I hope to be able to use my Hytron 50s for power (I have 4 of them).

I'm currently editing on a G5 Quad with a DeckLink card and a FirmTek external box w/ Seagate 300 SATA drives, which are hot swappable... I have not striped them as a RAID because I didn't need to with HDV - don't know about DVCPRO HD... One of the things I'll have to explore - I hate to give up the drive space though - I shoot lots of tape (oops, guess I can't say that anymore, or "lots of film" either - what will I say, I shoot lots of air?). I have ordered but not received FCP 6...

My plan is to shoot 720/24p because it looks pretty good and saves me some card space. I will have to buy a MacBook Pro, since I don't currently have one, for offloading files on the road, probably to an external 800 firewire drive...

Again, any suggestions are more than welcome...

Also, Robert, what are HHDs when they're at home?
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Old May 6th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #12
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The 500 is great.
You can PM me for recs on Firewire drives.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #13
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Angel: I never comented on your question about 24p in the Canon cameras... Many feel that 24f is fine and have been producing good things with it.. I've been shooting my films in 1080i exclusively and (personally) haven't been satisfied with my 24f tests...

The need for true 24p for this upcoming documentary is one of the factors that draws me back to Panasonic - I shot several films with the 100A in 2004-5 and really thought it looked more "film-like" than any other camera I've used, including the XL2, which I also owned.

So, although I was intending to buy a Prius this year, it will be yet another camera instead - the HPX500 - and I'll continue to pollute the environment... Skewed priorities I guess...
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:41 PM   #14
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So, although I was intending to buy a Prius this year, it will be yet another camera instead - the HPX500 - and I'll continue to pollute the environment... Skewed priorities I guess...
Just drive the HPX500 as it will still get better gas mileage than the Prius. (grin)

-gb-
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