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HD200 WOW!!!

Walter Graff

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These places will call you and tell you oops we made a misaket that's the price of the camera with out the lens.. or tell you need to buy these other goodies a $25 tripod for $300 bucks...


Hey Gary,


wow these bad places spread on the net like the worst kind of virus. I know some sell the HVX for a ridiculous low price around $2500! They definitely have bad reputations. I call them "accessory bombers" since that is what they do or just simply collect credit card info.

However this store on the ebay in my previous post has great ebay feedbacks although I am a bit always cautious with ebay sellers.



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> but with busy backgrounds and lots of movement that's got to be tough for the codec


Yes, very very tough. I've no issue with the idea that HDV does have problems, I just don't want people to assume that since DVCPRO-HD runs at twice the bandwidth, it's automatically twice as good. It winds me up no end when everyone assumes it's 100 megabit all the time.


Certainly the SDI recording tests I did made it very clear that the I-frames of HDV are extremely visible on certain subjects, especially at 60p, and since DVCPRO-HD is an I-frame only codec it won't have those problems. If I get a chance I'll look them out.


But P2 is such a complete bear...



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Definitely the HVX200 manages a smoother softer touch to the pictures yet somehow still capable to give the impression of sharpness. And that is "film" isn't it?!


However isn't it possible to create a more film like smoothness in post production with the sharper JVC material?


That "film look" is subjective. It's not that the softness of the HVX images makes it look like film, it's just that it doesn't make it look like video. The JVC renders color, contrast, and detail in a way that doesn't look quite like film usually does, and instead looks more video-ish to me. You can tweak some color and contrast parameters internally in the JVC to customize that look a bit, but the HVX has a naturally softer gamma and more film-like color built in as presets. No amount of tweaking in the JVC gets that same look, although you can certainly get a good useable look that you might like.


And of course you can color-correct any image in post, but as a DP I'm interested in getting the look as close to "right" in-camera as much of the time as possible. I'd rather use post correction as a polish, not as a requirement!


But again, this is my personal preference and point of view. Others may feel differently and not be wrong.

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The illusion of "film" comes from the blur that 24p creates and simulates the blending of images that we interpret as film. Outside of that they are just video cameras. The same type of blur can be accomplished easily in post with a number of film style plug ins. In fact the holder of the patent on 24p is not a camera manufatuer but Rob Farber who owns filmlook, a company that creates the same type of effect as these cameras simuate in camera and who has been doing it for twenty years.


Both cameras have the abillity to make a good picture. Technically you will always gain a bit more information and clarity in a picture with a filmout when the image you create is higher resolution. But the reality is that 99.9% of people who use these camera will never do a filmout although believing they will seems to satisfy some sort of need or validation as a filmmaker.

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Sorry, just don't beleive you really can. I know I can't. And if I can't neither can anyone else. I'll have to do some blind examples and let you show me how you can see the differnce. It will be fun.


I'm sorry Walter, I like you, but I believe your wrong here. I own a DVX100A and a JVC 110U, and have shot on a HVX200 and a Varicam. On the 100A and 110U I will get artifacts on the edge of red objects/clothes/etc. With the HVX200 and Varicam, I have never gotten those artifacts. When the 100A and 110U are downcoverting the uncompressed data to 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 it has to throw away too much of the data (very crucial data!) to get it down to size. One way I've found to limit the artifacts is to turn the red channel down in those cameras--when the red is too saturated that's when it's the worst.


If you took raw footage from a couple of different cameras, I bet there are many of us here who could tell you what cameras they came from.



PS. If anyone wants to see food greenscreen footage from a JVC110U (the 200 series should greenscreen MUCH better) then go to http://www.macvilleproductions.com/portfolio/portfolio.html and look at the "Petros" spots.

Edited by Matthew Rogers
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Perhaps you can post some examples and show me. I've done the comparison blind taste tests many times before and no one ever got it right other than guessing. Is never the camera but the person behind it. With a qualifiied shooter and a properly adjusted camera, no one knows the difference except on the most extreme conditions and even then it takes a qualified eye.

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I gotta agree with Walter here. I'm an HVX owner, and I love my HVX but I've seen footage that I though was great from the JVC/Canon XHA (hell the HV20 also), and would have never guessed it was footage from any of the three. Really and truly I didn't even care. I would have bought the JVC but at the time of consideration it had something going on with the image intermittently (like half of the screen was gone...someone correct me its been awhile). Then thow on one of the several lens adapters and the picture is really mucked up so to speak. I love the P2 workflow, but would'nt mind tape. But after color correction and such I think they look comparable and complimentary. And no one but us geeks in these forums give a rat's ass anywho.

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I've shot a fair number of projects on the HVX including quite a bit of documentary-style TV, and boring corporate, but the P2 thing has never been a problem. I really like it.


I've owned two HVX 200 cine-style packages since June 2006. The most challenging project was a 35 day, two unit, 20 city, Miami to Anahiem HD project for Planet Hollywood's new casino tower here in Las Vegas. First, thank the heavens for Barry Green; I hired him as a private consultant and flew him to Florida to work with the DPs and media manager. The media management was a bear for the PH project and with Barry's guidance it was bearable.


Agreed, it's not a low-light camera. However, the results were and are impressive if (like everything else) you pay attention to your light, lighting, filtration and workflow.


The Planet Hollywood piece is currently being projected ten times a day here in Las Vegas onto a 16 ft screen using an extraordinarily sharp and high lumen custom 1080 projection system. The HVX imagery was blowing us away on our in-house monitors but I have to say, it is absolutely stunning in this presentation. In fairness, the entire movie, the theater, the projector and sound system were all designed and built for this single purpose from day one and we put almost 12 months of work into a piece that is not quite eleven minutes long. We all know how projects start to get stale after you've lived with them for awhile, but it was such a great reward to hear and see the client gasp (in delight) when they finally saw the projected movie. You could probably see the relief on my face too when they handed over the final payment and we could finally put the project to bed.


Credit goes where credit is due; I was simply the Producer, Co-writer, Creative Director and Aerial Cinematographer from start to finish. My DP's, Steve Fraasa and Tahlee Booher were given 100% complete creative control of their work. Both had different styles and both delivered exceptional work using the HVX 200. Our Gaffer, Jim Wise made magic hour light when there was no light at all and our Editor, Joe Campanele attained Jedi status on this one.


On a project of this scope and budget, the cost of the camera packages end up being somewhat insignificant when you think about payroll, transportion, feeding and lodging for twenty plus crew members traveling across the country for 35 days. I was vexed whether to use the tried and true Varicam or F900 systems or give the HVX a go. Prior to the PH project we only had about two months experience on various commercial projects with the HVX and the P2 workflow. At that time not too many people had tried such an ambitious project with it. Panasonic and our dealer Video Technical Services in Albuquerque stepped up to the plate every single time we needed them.


Since then, the cameras have been out almost every week either on my own projects or out on rental. So far... no problems and always great service from Panasonic.


I sincerely hope this doesn't sound too much like I'm patting our own backs or pitching the camera too much. I'm very proud of the crew and the work they did, but I'm also amazed at the "little camera who could".


Cameras, lenses and lights are just the tools we use to express ourselves and tell a story; whether its a dramatic / narrative or a commercial story such as this. Panavision, ARRI, RED, BLUE, HVX, Varicam, Ziess, Cooke...whatever are only tools of our art; no one tool is the magic bullet for EVERY situation. You can spend an aweful lot of time and money trying to make the wrong tool, do what only the right tool will do for you. In this situation the HVX worked but being such a new workflow at the time, we worked just as hard to make sure it worked for us.


Respectufully submitted,


Robert Starling, SOC

Steadicam Owner Operator

Las Vegas

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  • 1 month later...

I do have to say that I do agree with Walter about all the jibba jabba that goes on with these cameras about technical details can be not very productive. Simple concepts that could help us to acquire the best images possible in specific situations get lost in endless arguing about specs. I remember researching my first DV camera (PD100) in the late 1990's and all the rigamarole that I read which would seem laughable to us today.


I'd be very interested in hearing about any experience anyone has had with bypassing HDV compression, including the workflow, in the JVC camera and the results. Walter, I am hoping that you will include the details of workflow in your discussion of HDV quality. I'd like to not have to reinvent the wheel, if possible.

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