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Jon Allen

Panasonic P2

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Hi,

 

> I thought the camera was supposed to do 1080 at 24p?

 

Yeah. So? It clearly isn't going to be such as good chip block as an F900 or a Varicam.

 

Well yeah but it also won't cost as much.

 

> Do we really know the lens will be cheap and nasty?

 

HD camera.

 

Six grand.

 

Think about it.

 

I guess if they were to spend 1000 grand on the lens and then put in a really cheap and nasty tape transport from a £300 camcorder, then it could be okay.

 

But you are right I am probably fantasising.

 

Still it's nice to dream.

 

> Maybe it will only be cheap and not nasty.

 

And on that day the devil will be riding to work on a snowplough.

 

I hear that every so often they turn the hellfires off in order to stop people getting too comfotable.

 

> I've heard people say the lens on the sony HDV camera is so poor that you would

> get higher overall resolution shooting on a high quality standard def camera with a

> good lens.

 

The lens on the Z1 is certainly nothing to write home about. Someone hacked the front off and replaced it with a C-mount, and even with an SD broadcast lens, the results were vastly better, especially in terms of chromatic aberration.

 

They took a hacksaw to a Z1! You know I actually admire that. :)

 

It's not a good sign however if the use of an SD broadcast lens made the image *that* much better.

 

I always hated the lens on the PD150, so I tend to assume Sony lenses will be bad, but I've never had any experience with Panasonic lenses, so I'm very curious,

 

I often find it ironic that Canon are the manufacturer that most often offer interchangeable lens mounts as they seem like the one company whose lens you might not be desperate to replace!

 

> For me this is a big question because if the lenses are really all that poor then all

> these lown end HiDef cameras are completely pointless for the most part.

 

That's my feeling. Let's see what this JVC thing's up to, eh?

 

Phil

 

Oh I'm just curious about all this vapourware, I'm not really planning to shoot with it anytime soon. I just want to keep an eye on things.

 

I must find out more about the JVC thing tho you are right.

 

love

 

Freya

Edited by Freya

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> For me this is a big question because if the lenses are really all that poor then all

> these lown end HiDef cameras are completely pointless for the most part.

 

That's my feeling. Let's see what this JVC thing's up to, eh?

 

Phil

 

 

Oooh! I just looked at the advert thing by JVC. Fuji Lenses! I like Fuji lenses.

It looks once again like a camera with interchangeable lenses on which you won't bother because the existing ones are nice!

 

I have to say the JVC camera looks really well thought out and straightforward. The Fuji lens alone puts it above Sonys offering for me.

 

Looks hopeful.

 

love

 

Freya

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Oh Jan, where are you???!!!!

 

Hi,

 

I am here but have been frightfully busy. As Chris said in 720P/24 you can get 20 minutes on an 8 GB card.

 

As far as having to work strictly to P2 cards, I know that Focus Enhancements is working on a Firestore type of device that would allow recording of the HD signal on an external type of battery powered Hard Drive.

 

There are solutions and frankly I was on a shoot a couple weeks back and we were shooting Varicam. We could have easily handled it on P2 and we would have so many absolutely wasted takes to wade through in the edit suite. There was one scene the guy just couldn't get his line straight and it took 27 takes. Because we were using tape, we got to save them all.

 

Anyhow, I think this is going to be a hot little camera, it will debut at IBC in Amsterdam and then head for the US for a tour at Res Fest, NYC, San Fran, LA, and Chicago. Check out the ResFest site for more info as to where, the schedule for the seminar is still in the making, but worst case scenario will be footage to be shown.

 

Best,

 

Jan

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Never used it. However, it is a magnetically coupled servo control, which is bad, even though the DVX has a fairly sensible repeatable-encoding approach.

 

Phil, Fortunately you are wrong about this, the lens is a cam-driven servo mechanism, unlike that which is in the Sony cameras. On this camera, just like on the DVX, when I want to do a manual zoom, it is engaged and it zooms.

 

Best regards,

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Crittenden

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Hi,

 

Congratulations, you managed to make a very expensive mechanism feel very much like a cheap one!

 

But I guess it let you do the repeatable encoding, which is good.

 

Phil

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Per a brainstorm sparked by a conversation with a co-worker, how can a P2 card be a practicality when dealing with HD footage?

Try these: immediate retrieval and playback of footage, no need for any kind of digitizing/capturing of footage, immidiate recording (even pre-recording with a continuously running buffer!), immunity from jams, dropouts, and accidental exposure, and better durability than any other format available. I'm not sure what else is more practical.

 

Their sheer expense aside, how could one justify using them for any sort of HD application?  From what I understand, HD footage is 100Mb/sec, which translates to approx. 12.5MB/s. And that means 750MB for ONE minute of HD.

I guess my question is what makes Panasonic think they can get away with only offering up to 8GB P2 cards? Even on their largest card one could only get 10 1/2 minutes of video!

It's been mentioned, but it depends on the format. The camera can hold two P2 cards, which would translate to 40 minutes of HD in one load - and that's only going to continue to grow as capacities increase and memory prices fall. Compare it to film; just one 8gb card alone will give almost as much runtime as a 1000' magazine of 35mm film - even in 1080 mode. And when you're shooting in 720/24p, you get more than double the recording time. That's continuous recording without any card switching. It's quite a viable medium.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but offering this camera as truly an option for HD shooters, they'll either have to come out with 50+GB cards, or offer some external recording drive.

Well, I've already shown that that's not the case, but either way, recording out to hard disk is also an option. The camera has both Firewire and USB 2.0 outputs, and you can stream to either a firestore drive or laptop computer and get virtually unlimited recording times.

 

Even though you're able to dump the cards quickly, that seems like a lot of extra work while you're shooting.

As opposed to having to unload a magazine of film (in total darkness, mind you) and reload a new mag? Or perhaps you'd rather compare it to video, where you have to spend immense amounts of time and work capturing and digitizing all of your footage. Every format has its quirks, but you're certainly not spending any more time than the others by going with P2.

 

Especially since this is supposed to be the more durable format; who's going to bring along a laptop/card adapter/HD bank in a situation where "superior resistance to impact, vibration and temperature change" is needed? (See HVX Brochure, page 5)

You're right, and that's why you have choices. If you're in a studio, or capturing a live event where the camera is stationary, you can use a laptop to increase recording times. If you're going hiking in the himalayas, go with the indestructable P2. They also offer an extremely rugged P2 Store portable drive - for offloading up to 60GB of footage in harsh conditions. The options are all there, you just have to allow yourself to be open to change.

 

You mean 4 minutes, right? Not 40. I'd LOVE to be able to shoot 40 minutes of HD without swapping a card!

You can. Two 8GB cards (which the camera holds and can record continuously on without swapping) can record over 40 minutes of 720 24p HD footage in a single run. Not too shabby, eh?

 

I think there's a reason us video people are freaking out- we're not used to reloading a magazine after 5 or 10 minutes. But such is the nature of video. Chances are with video is that you're working with a strictly limited budget and not a lot of time & manpower- which makes carrying a laptop, card reader, and swapping cards every 5 minutes a ludicrous idea.

Certainly the workflow will take more getting used to for video people than for filmmakers, but even so, the situation isn't as dire as you make it out to be. DVCPRO HD tape is quite expensive, not to mention that you can only use it once unless you want to record over your previous masters or risk running into dropouts and striping. You offload the footage from the P2 card onto hard disk and store it on much cheaper media, letting you use the P2 cards as many times as you want (and never having to pay for tapes or film again!) The initial expense of the cards can pay for itself in just a few productions. And like was mentioned earlier, the time it takes to swap/unload a card is more than made up in the editing room where you don't have to capture a single frame of footage. Don't forget that the camera also records standard DV footage, and you can fit over an hour's worth of DV / DVCPRO onto the 2 cards - more than would fit on a single DV tape. So it's a great tool of choice for the "video people," too.

 

I not really sure who Panasonic is targeting with this camera.  I work for a church and have used the PD150 for years for smaller shoots that are down and dirty, not warranting pulling out the SDX900.  So, we are looking to replace the PD150 and immediately looked a the DVX100... then this HVX-200 thing came out.  At first I thought it would be a good replacement/upgrade to the PD150, real HD and everything... but let's look at the logistics of it.  You're out in the field with this camera, two P2 cards, and a laptop.  You record to the P2 cards, then have to dump that into a laptop, which last I checked is a computer, that does run the chance of getting the blue screen of death and locking up on you.  Or, you are in a field somewhere where there is no power and the laptop battery runs out.  Your sunk.  What if the laptop gets a corrupted spot on the hard drive before you get a chance to dump it to your NLE?

You must have some pretty crummy laptops. :) It's a given that every piece of technology has quirks (even film cameras run the risk of jamming, getting dust in the gate, are suceptible to exposure leaks, etc.), so the "blue screen of death" theory doesn't really fly for me. Honestly, if you don't want to adjust your workflow to transferring footage at faster-than-realtime in the field (as opposed to having to sit down and capture everything in realtime afterward), then the camera probably isn't for you (and that may be the case). As a filmmaker who's shot plenty on film, I know that I'd much rather swap out a card and transfer the footage than have to unload and reload mags in between shooting (which takes just as long or longer). And you're right, the HVX probably won't prove to be the best camera on the market for long-running event shooting until P2 capacities increase. But their target market is more news gathering and independent filmmaking (as the brochure indicates).

 

I wish they could have figured out a way to record HD on miniDV.

It's called HDV. And it's extremely low-bitrate, highly-compressed, grouped-frame MPEG encoding. It's also an option. But it seems to me that those who are concerned about going HD right now would also be the same people concerned about the quality of their footage - and HDV is a poor choice in that case. MiniDV is just too bandwidth starved for the demands imposed by the resolution of HD, and that's precisely the reason P2 makes so much sense.

 

You're looking at a small chip, cheap lens camera recording to the lowest-res HD format out there.

You're talking about a camera that only costs $6,000. You can't expect it to have the same lens system and chipset of a $65,000 Varicam. Until the footage is released for review (which happens this week, by the way), you can't really complain about either one. And since when is DVCPRO HD the "lowest-res HD format out there?" At a constant 100mbps bitrate - not to mention intraframe compression - it's probably the best choice you've got.

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And it does seem to have escaped everyone's attention that when you're recording 24p DVCPRO-HD on a P2 card, no frame padding takes place, so you're only recording 40mbps of data. Yes, this is also essentially true with the  varicam, and it's particularly ironic that DVCPRO-HD at 24p actually records less data than DVCPRO-50.

You're probably talking about when recording in 720/24p, in which case the compression scheme is exactly the same as when recording 100mbps 1080i footage - except that you're only recording true 24 frames (instead of 60), so of course the bandwidth will be less. DVCPRO 50 is also laying down 60 fields, at high bitrate, so it stands to reason that it, too, will consume more bandwidth.

 

Hi,

Congratulations, you managed to make a very expensive mechanism feel very much like a cheap one!

And what a class act you are...

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Hi,

 

> You're probably talking about when recording in 720/24p, in which case the

> compression scheme is exactly the same as when recording 100mbps 1080i footage -

> except that you're only recording true 24 frames (instead of 60), so of course the

> bandwidth will be less.

 

Ergo the bandwidth of DVCPRO-HD is less than that of DVCPRO50 at the same framerate, and this is at least a bit strange.

 

> Try these: immediate retrieval and playback of footage, no need for any kind of

> digitizing/capturing of footage...

 

Actually the transfer off the cards onto a 2.5" hard disk (a laptop, the upcoming store drive) is fairly slow - faster than realtime, but not much more than twice as fast, during which time you have to power the laptop. Then you have to archive it, which at the moment is a laborious and time-consuming process, even if you adhere to Panasonic's "smart archive" philosophy, roughly translated as "leave stuff out". The great irony of P2 is that one of the backup media they mention is DLT - talk about irony.

 

I don't mean to completely criticise the format, but there are a few technical practicalities worth mentioning. Put the P2 drive bay item in a desktop PC with a decent RAID, and it'll be very nice.

 

> Compare it to film;

 

...which you can't realistically do...

 

> Well, I've already shown that that's not the case, but either way, recording out to

> hard disk is also an option. The camera has both Firewire and USB 2.0 outputs, and

> you can stream to either a firestore drive or laptop computer and get virtually

> unlimited recording times.

 

Not on the SPX-800, you can't. Plug into USB and the camera becomes a US$50k flash card reader. One can only hope software updates will realise USB hard disk recording.

 

It's probably possible to record from firewire to a laptop, almost certainly a Mac laptop, but you can do that with any such camera, P2 or not.

 

> Every format has its quirks, but you're certainly not spending any more time than

> the others by going with P2.

 

It's quicker than film but considerably more time consuming than conventional video. To shoot continuously, you do really need to have someone I'll call a loader, as it's appropriate, to keep the cards downloading.

 

> They also offer an extremely rugged P2 Store portable drive

 

Not yet, they don't - and it's a 2.5" laptop drive, there's a limit to its ruggedness.

 

It is surprisingly cheap. I wish they'd made the drives work as a plugin caddy, though.

 

> Certainly the workflow will take more getting used to for video people than for

> filmmakers,

 

That's a very Panasonic way of saying "you need one extra person and an extra piece of notoriously low-battery-life, delicate equipment".

 

> DVCPRO HD tape is quite expensive,

 

No, it isn't. And I believe they've stopped doing it, as it's fundamentally identical to other DVCPRO tape and everyone knew that.

 

> You offload the footage from the P2 card onto hard disk and store it on much

> cheaper media,

 

Hard disks are emphatically not cheaper than video tape. a 184-minute DVCAM tape with a data capacity of around 46Gb costs £15 here, or around £0.32 a gigabyte. The best value hard disks are £0.25 or so.

 

> letting you use the P2 cards as many times as you want (and never having to pay

> for tapes or film again!)

 

So what exactly are you going to do for long time storage, Quasimodo? This is the big unanswered question of P2 for me. We're not all CNN, we don't all have giant online storage servers.

 

Phil

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That's a very Panasonic way of saying "you need one extra person and an extra piece of notoriously low-battery-life, delicate equipment".

 

Have you noticed the HVX200 camera is nearly twice as efficient in terms of power consumption than JVC's HD100? I think power was an important design consideration, but maybe you're referring to the P2 Store (which doesn't appeal to me, anyway).

So what exactly are you going to do for long time storage, Quasimodo? This is the big unanswered question of P2 for me. We're not all CNN, we don't all have giant online storage servers.

If I do indeed purchase the new camera, I would look objectively at the rare instance when I needed hours and hours of record time and I can only think of interviews and perhaps drawn out political speeches. These are the two scenarios it would be practical to rent a DVCPro-HD deck, such as the HD-1200A. Before you scream at me saying the deck is out of my price range and this and that, mind you that I'm already aware of that. And, to say that renting is an obnoxious choice, also consider that, as has been said, if it were possible to squeeze the deck in the camera, they would have.

 

It's hard for me to picture the HVX200 as a "P2 Camera" For me, it's like a dockable ENG camera... Except, instead of docking to an expensive, esoteric, power hungry, vertically-marketed tape machine, it plugs into a cheap laptop recorder. Really, truthfully, it *seems* like a good idea.

 

I must get back to work. . .

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You're looking at a small chip, cheap lens camera recording to the lowest-res HD format out there.

 

The funny thing is, the same could be said about the DVX100 in SD. . .

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Ergo the bandwidth of DVCPRO-HD is less than that of DVCPRO50 at the same framerate, and this is at least a bit strange.

You're not really comparing apples to apples, here. There is no 24p-only recording format available for DVCPRO 50 in the camera, it lays down 60i and does 3:2 (or 3:2:2:3) pulldown, just like the DVX. The 720 HD footage, however, is only recording 24 individual frames. Therefore you're comparing a less-compressed format recording 60 fields to a more highly compressed format recording 24 frames, and logic would only tell you that the bitrate specifications make perfect sense.

 

Actually the transfer off the cards onto a 2.5" hard disk (a laptop, the upcoming store drive) is fairly slow - faster than realtime, but not much more than twice as fast, during which time you have to power the laptop.

When I said "immidate retrieval," I wasn't talking about transfering footage - I was talking about random access in camera right off the P2 cards. Say, for instance, you're shooting a scene at a diner. Ten shots later, you realized you missed a shot and have to go back to the scene at the bar. Uh oh, continuity problem alert - was the salt shaker on the left side or the right side of the actor? Well, if you're shooting film, unless your script supervisior remembers, you're pretty much screwed. If you're shooting video, you could rewind your tape to check - but that would break timecode and take a lot of unnecessary time. If you're shooting P2, you can just pull up one of the beginning takes instantly - review it in camera on the fly - and then resume shooting right away. You can't do that with any other format.

 

Then you have to archive it, which at the moment is a laborious and time-consuming process

It's certainly no more "laborious" or time-consuming than capturing digital video. In fact, all of the footage has already been transfered, so it's simply a matter of throwing a hard drive on a shelf or burning a DVD. If that's too labor-intensive for you, you might want to look at a different profession. Fortunately, a DVD-R DL disc holds just as much data as an 8 GB P2 card - meaning you don't have to split up footage or spend extra time organizing files. Each card backs up nicely to a single disc, for whatever retrieval you may need in the future.

 

> Compare it to film;

 

...which you can't realistically do...

I'm not sure why not. Over the last four months I've shot 2 16mm shorts and I can't wait for the HVX's arrival to liberate me from the constrictions of the medium.

 

> Well, I've already shown that that's not the case, but either way, recording out to

> hard disk is also an option. The camera has both Firewire and USB 2.0 outputs, and

> you can stream to either a firestore drive or laptop computer and get virtually

> unlimited recording times.

 

Not on the SPX-800, you can't. Plug into USB and the camera becomes a US$50k flash card reader. One can only hope software updates will realise USB hard disk recording.

Yes, you can. I mentioned using a FireStore drive, not an off-the-shelf external USB drive. Focus Enhancements makes external drives with the controllers built in specifically designed to capture footage to the drive as its being shot - with no need for capturing later. They are also a P2 partner and will be releasing a version that captures DVCPRO HD to coincide with the launch of the HVX.

 

It's probably possible to record from firewire to a laptop, almost certainly a Mac laptop, but you can do that with any such camera, P2 or not.

Exactly. Which means that you aren't constricted by the boundaries of P2 if you don't like them, and your recording time has become virtually unlimited. The choices are yours.

 

It's quicker than film but considerably more time consuming than conventional video. To shoot continuously, you do really need to have someone I'll call a loader, as it's appropriate, to keep the cards downloading.

Well I suppose that depends on your definition of "continuously." You can already shoot 40 minutes of HD in-camera on the P2 cards with no need for reloading (card swapping), and that time will only increase as capacities rise and memory prices fall (why do I feel like I'm repeating myself?) I also just gave you an example using a laptop that provides for virtually limitless recording. Moreover, you can be downloading the contents of one P2 card while the camera is shooting on the other. If you have three cards, then you never have to wait for files to transfer, meaning the times are, again, limitless. Perhaps it would be easier to have an assistant "unloading" the material for you, but that is no different than a camera loader in the real world. I also mentioned earlier that P2 is not best suited for extremely long "run-and-gun" type situations (yet), but it is certainly workable. You just have to adjust your workflow slightly.

 

Not yet, they don't - and it's a 2.5" laptop drive, there's a limit to its ruggedness.

 

It is surprisingly cheap. I wish they'd made the drives work as a plugin caddy, though.

Yes, they do - the model number is AJ-PCS060G. And the street price is roughly $2,000; I'm not sure why you think that's "surprisingly cheap" for a 60 GB hard drive (but it's certainly a usable option).

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> DVCPRO HD tape is quite expensive,

 

No, it isn't. And I believe they've stopped doing it, as it's fundamentally identical to other DVCPRO tape and everyone knew that.

Hm, that's funny. Because at over $100 a pop for an hour's worth of footage, I consider it pretty expensive - especially when a P2 card would pay for itself in 15 hours at that rate. And yes, they still sell them all over the place (click) (click) (click).

 

Hard disks are emphatically not cheaper than video tape. a 184-minute DVCAM tape with a data capacity of around 46Gb costs £15 here, or around £0.32 a gigabyte. The best value hard disks are £0.25 or so.

I never, ever said they were. I said, "You offload the footage from the P2 card onto hard disk and store it on much cheaper media." Cheaper media being removable media, like DVD-R. Don't twist my words.

 

So what exactly are you going to do for long time storage, Quasimodo? This is the big unanswered question of P2 for me. We're not all CNN, we don't all have giant online storage servers.

I love the name-calling. Really helps your case. There are plenty of options, as I've mentioned, as others have mentioned, and as I'm sure you know. Hard drive archival is still a valid choice - you can get an 80GB drive for less than the cost of one DVCPRO HD tape and store over an hour's worth of 1080 DVCPRO HD material on it - and it's much faster and easier to access than backing up on tape. Optical disc is also a superb choice, and even DLT works, like you mentioned yourself earlier. No one's making you buy into P2, and certainly it will need some time to prove itself. But the advantages are there for all who would like to take them.

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That definitely looks cool... I'm glad they've finally made some progress on the Blu-Ray front. Certainly helps out with the whole "archiving" aspect of P2.

 

I definitely don't work for Panasonic... I'm not even loyal to their products. I just see P2 as probably the most liberating development for filmmakers to come around in a very long time (it's, in my opinion, a far more important feature of the HVX than the HD capability is), and I want to make sure that those who are also seeking information are getting accurate answers and not misleading, angry rhetoric.

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  I wish they could have figured out a way to record HD on miniDV.

 

 

Sony has "figured it out" how to compress the hell out of an HD signal -- They were forced to come out with something new after sales of their PD150/170 plummeted (because people went to buy the popular DVX100/A)

 

So in a desperate attempt to get some of the lost market share back Sony adopted JVC's HDV -- Problem is, when JVC came out with it 2 years prior it was designed for poeple who have HD displays at home to be able to shoot their weddings in HD. If you want to edit it oh boy, does it look like CRAP! Once you ingest it, do some image manipulation (color correction) and then output again, the artifacts won't be pretty. And don't forget to instruct your DP NOT to move the camera or have any fast subjects move through the frame as the high 60:1 MPEG-2 compression can simply can't handle such increased data.

 

Bottom line: you can not fit HD onto MiniDV tape w.o major concessions.

 

So Panasonic, being the visionary company they are came out with P2, moving towards a fully solid-state future.

 

As for the apparent frustration some express with P2: be a little patient -- prices will go down and meanwhile there will also be 3rd party hard drive solutions available.

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I dont understand what everyone is so in the air about.... P2 cards can hold 40 minutes of 720 24p footage, thats more than most single camera feature films will shot in one day. To have to spend 20 minutes unloading a P2 card once a day wont kill anybody, as in filmmaking, you often take 20 minute breaks to setup lighting or move to a different room in the house, etc... Why not unload in this time...

 

Also understand that you dont have to unload both cards at once... If you buy 3 cards, you can take one out, put a fresh one in, and by the time the fresh one is used up the card you took out if fresh again.... so in a since your P2-Computer downloader geek will have to work harder, but yet it works well as a workflow.

 

As to archinving, its not that difficult to pull a take from the P2 card, name the file "Roll ?, Scene ?, Take?" and drag n drop it into a pre-made file folder.. you can deal with transfering all your files in the folder to your non-laptop computer at the end of the day, when you have time.

 

Now in the documentary / news arena, the P2 cards pose a problem, more so in Hd than SD.... The time limit will more than likly put a strain on the shot... However in Drama Filmmaking, the P2 solution is a perfect one. Record full 720 24p with none of that 25mb/s bull crape of HDV....

 

I think what has happend is video users have become so lazy and so use to working on a "Run n Gun, single person" film, that they are scared they might have to employ another person to download the footage from the P2 cards every 40 minutes....

 

Film guys have to change mags every 10 minutes, and thats if there running a 1000 mag, 400 foot mag is like 4 minutes... Changing film in a mag takes time, and in the long run no more time than it takes to download P2 information to a hardrive...

 

My advice: Get use to it people, this is the future...

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Hi,

 

> P2 cards can hold 40 minutes of 720 24p footage

 

No P2 card currently in existence can do that.

 

> as in filmmaking, you often take 20 minute breaks to setup lighting or move to a

> different room in the house, etc... Why not unload in this time...

 

You've never actually done this for real, have you?

 

> its not that difficult to pull a take from the P2 card, name the file "Roll ?, Scene ?,

> Take?" and drag n drop it into a pre-made file folder..

 

Here is a list of files generated by an SPX-800 camera:

 

00018G.MXF

0001A1.MXF

0001EK.MXF

0001GH.MXF

0001N3.MXF

0001SH.MXF

0001SS.MXF

0001UZ.MXF

 

Please tell me which one is scene two, take three. Better yet, tell me if they're video or audio, and if they're 25 or 50megabit DV.

 

> you can deal with transfering all your files in the folder to your non-laptop

> computer at the end of the day, when you have time.

 

That's not archiving. Archiving is putting it on a shelf for access later. When the big blue-ray discs become more available it'll be better, but it's still much more work than just taking a disc out of a camera.

 

> Now in the documentary / news arena, the P2 cards pose a problem,

 

Actually it's the only place where they will work well right now, given the prevalence of server-based post.

 

> However in Drama Filmmaking, the P2 solution is a perfect one. Record full 720

> 24p with none of that 25mb/s bull crape of HDV....

 

And instead, use that 40mb/s bull crape (sic) of DVCPRO-HD!

 

Phil

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Film guys have to change mags every 10 minutes, and thats if there running a 1000 mag, 400 foot mag is like 4 minutes... Changing film in a mag takes time, and in the long run no more time than it takes to download P2 information to a hardrive...

 

My advice: Get use to it people, this is the future...

 

Landon

 

Ever heard of 2000' mags, 3 perf, 2perf, or 16mm 800' loads! Somehow I get the feeling you have not spent much time on a film set.

 

Stephen

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I have yet to see a 2,000 foot mag... and most films (big ones anyway) are not shot in 3perf or 2perf... the majority of people will be dealing with 1,000 and 400 mags of 35mm 4 perf film... or better yet, 400 mags of 16mm, which is what? 10 minutes? again, same problem... No lets argue more.... how about 800' 16mm mags? thats, what 20 minutes of film? Still half that of a double P2 card setup... or, a 2,000' 35mm mag in 3 perf mode... 3 perf will give you about 15 minutes per 1,000 mag x 2 comes to 30 minutes of run-time... still 3/4 that of a double P2 card setup....

 

Lets face it, the P2 card may not hold as much as video tape or hard drives, but it sure as hell holds more than any film technology that I know of.... Correct me if Im wrong, or if overnight they started making 5,000 mags... 96% of 35mm productions are gonna be using a mixture of 1,000 and 400 mags, in 4 perf.

 

But Im up for a good argument....

 

> its not that difficult to pull a take from the P2 card, name the file "Roll ?, Scene ?,

> Take?" and drag n drop it into a pre-made file folder..

 

Here is a list of files generated by an SPX-800 camera:

 

00018G.MXF

0001A1.MXF

0001EK.MXF

0001GH.MXF

0001N3.MXF

0001SH.MXF

0001SS.MXF

0001UZ.MXF

Thats why you have a person set aside to figure that out.... And as I said, if you have enough P2 cards, you dont have to stop filming. When one is full, put in another clean one, 20 minutes later insert one you just cleaned off and you have another clean card.... repeat process... but 3 or 4 cards if needed. not that difficult.

 

PS) 40 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever... the CAMERA itself can record to 2 P2 cards at one time, which is 40 minutes in 720 24p mode (correct me if Im wrong)... If you buy 3 cards (or better yet 4) you should NEVER have to stop filming to unload a card... Now you can complain "But the cards are expensive!".. well, so is everything else in the filmmaking world....

 

Bottom line: Until someone comes up with a better way to get full 720p or 1080p video from a 6,000 dollar camera than a P2 card, spill the beans... Sure you can record direct to hardrive, but you still have the problem of being tired to a computer all day, or using a firestore device, which to my knowlege uses a DV codec (AKA you might as well use the built-in DV tape deck) ((Correct me if Im wrong on this...)) and even then youll have to unload your firestore device at some point... onto what? A computer of course.... volala, your Firestore Device just gave you the same problem as your P2 cards... theres no gettin around it folks, this is what we have... Panasonic offers us a camera with everything we could want from it and all people can find to do is gripe about its recorinf format.... pitty.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Lets face it, the P2 card may not hold as much as video tape or hard drives, but it sure as hell holds more than any film technology that I know of.... Correct me if Im wrong, or if overnight they started making 5,000 mags... 96% of 35mm productions are gonna be using a mixture of 1,000 and 400 mags, in 4 perf.

 

 

 

 

Hi,

 

You should remember that P2 is recording very highly compressed video data. You can't really compare it to 35mm.

 

You say 96% of 35mm productions are 4 perf! Well almost all 35mm TV shows are shot 3 perf, and quite a few films are 3 perf and a few low budget productions 2 perf. Assuming each production carries equal weight in the statistics I find 96% difficult to accept.

 

Stephen

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You should remember that P2 is recording very highly compressed

Isn't all DVC PRO HD compression the same? and if so, then it has the same compression as the Varicam in PRO HD mode... However, Given the fact that even the Varicam is still highly compressed (although nowere near as much as DV or HDV)... I wasnt comparing PROHD and 35mm on there technical and magical qualities, I was comparing them on there run-times.

 

PS) ARe you telling me that the HVX will record the sound and video to seperate files? so that they have to be synced up in post like in film?

 

And also what is it with the file extensions .MXF? Does this mean youll also have to convert these files into a readable format (quicktime, WINMED, etc?) or can editing systems like Vegas and Premiere read the .MFX files?

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Isn't all DVC PRO HD compression the same? and if so, then it has the same compression as the Varicam in PRO HD mode... However, Given the fact that even the Varicam is still highly compressed (although nowere near as much as DV or HDV)... I wasnt comparing PROHD and 35mm on there technical and magical qualities, I was comparing them on there run-times.

?

 

 

Hi,

 

Yes AFAIK all DVC PRO HD is compressed the same. To get the best out of a Varicam you need to record uncompressed to an external raid.

 

Stephen

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Hi,

 

Yes the compression is the same, ergo 40mbps at 720p/24. Which isn't that great. One would prefer that it maintained 100mpbs all the time, with variable compression, but I understand why that's difficult technically.

 

As it happens Panasonic compare P2 HD and 35mm all the time in their sales literature (and they also compare P2 HD and 16mm, nonsensically) but yes, it's not very realistic.

 

> ARe you telling me that the HVX will record the sound and video to seperate files?

 

P2 devices record many files per take - video, audio, proxy, XML, comment track and probably others I've forgotten about. I don't think there's any reason to do this - I think an expension on AVI, in the same way Broadcast Wave is an expansion on WAV, would have been a vastly better solution, and I think Panasonic's attachment to MXF is a rather fashion conscious, format-of-the-moment thing that we're all going to suffer for as long as it takes for P2 to become obsolete. And that could be awhile, considering it's so forward-looking anyway.

 

"Compatible" software - that is, very expensive software like Avid Newscutter that's had support badly hacked in - will read the files for you and relink the audio and video, but they don't read the metadata and you still get the meaningless filenames. Anything else, you're down to unwrapping the MXF and resyncing by hand, an arduous task.

 

Phil

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Why on gods green earth would panasonic pull that on us? Was there a problem with the way it was before? Just pull the clips from the camera and play them?

 

How can they say this will create a more stream-lined post process than HDV? HDV is just a "Plug n play" format like DV, HDCAM, etc, etc... You plug it into a video output course (computer, monitor) and it plays with sync sound and all, this sounds like its gonna be a headach in post, where someone is gonna have to sit down and sync all the fils together... How on earth are you even suppose to read a .MFX file? CAn you even tell the difference between a sound clip, video clip, etc? does it require some kind of software program to decode?

 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, so this is where they lay the trouble on us @...

 

PS) Is 40mbs the highest number the camera has? Or is it possible to get up to 100mbs at certain formats, speeds, etc?

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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