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Question about work flow from tape to P2.

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Ray PalmerQuestion about work flow from tape to P2.
by on May 27, 2010 at 6:41:50 pm

First off, I DID do a search and I didn't find an answer to my question.

We have one Varicam, and two HDX900 cameras, all tape based recorders. We are now looking to move into a 2700 P2 Varicam.

Question-
I would like to hear from other Varicam owners that have moved to P2 from tape. We tend to keep everything we shoot and it seems like a huge paradigm shift to move to a non-tape based camera.

What work flow works for you? Keep in mind that we have 5 different shooters that will share the same cameras.

Thanks in advance.



Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
Violence may not be the answer but it sure cuts down on the questions.


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Noah KadnerRe: Question about work flow from tape to P2.
by on May 27, 2010 at 6:47:06 pm

Yeah it's a pretty major shift- number one is having an assistant who acts as the data wrangler. Making sure P2 cards are treated carefully as original negative and carefully backed up and organized. Number 2 is having enough P2 cards to go around so that push doesn't come to shove in terms of recycling a P2 card that hasn't been reliably backed up yet. Number 3- long term storage. I highly recommend getting a networked LTO-4 drive for long term backups. Keeping things scattered on a bunch of hard drives is a recipe for trouble in the long run.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Ray PalmerRe: Question about work flow from tape to P2.
by on May 27, 2010 at 7:08:50 pm

I agree with everything you are saying.
I am interested in asking the Vaircam users if their life is better or worse since migrating to P2 from tape.

BTW Noah, I am enjoying your RED book. Nice job.




Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
Violence may not be the answer but it sure cuts down on the questions.


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.Re: Question about work flow from tape to P2.
by on May 31, 2010 at 4:32:57 pm

Hi Ray,

We went through that transition and had our share of challenges.(We are running 2700 and 3000's.) Most of the details dont matter as what we experienced in our earlier days or either not relevant or have been addressed with new technology.

-We cannot imagine going back to shooting with tape.
-We archive (almost) everything. We currently back up everything to a raid 1 drive and mirror that on to VXA system.
-With cheaper larger p2 cards we have not had to offload on site..
-We never lost a frame of footage in 4 years.

Hope this helps.





Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Ray PalmerAre P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 5:23:26 am

Thanks Emre.

The soon to expire trade in on the 2700 is pushing us towards P2 and I know that we don't want to buy another tape camera anyway.
I do appreciate any feedback regarding the 2700 and P2. We bought one of the very first Varicam tape based cameras many years ago and still have it.



Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
Violence may not be the answer but it sure cuts down on the questions.


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Jeff ReganRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 3, 2010 at 12:04:28 am

I traded in my HDX900 for an HPX2700 primarily to shed the tape transport. No moving parts, five P2 cards is like carrying a case of tape in the camera, superior codec that is progressive, Native, 10-bit, full sample with no compromises for legacy tape formats.

The whole archival tape thing really doesn't make sense to me because I have a wall full of tapes, representing nine different formats and only three working decks to play them out with. A typical program has many elements besides camera original footage, such as computer graphics and stock footage--these things, along with the edit session project files live on hard drives, not tapes, so tape doesn't usually make up 100% of a project for archival.

Two cloned hard drives or LTO tape are fine for archival, require less shelf space than cases of tapes, are easier to search for individual scenes and cost less than tape.

P2 is a mature, fully fleshed out platform. Discs are a half step, and tape based cameras are almost extinct. P2 Varicams are a big step forward from original Varicams and HDX900's from the front to the rear of the camera.



Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 3, 2010 at 3:18:22 am

Do you do your own post or do you usually hand off the cam originals?


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Jeff ReganRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 3, 2010 at 5:25:46 am

Jeremy,

If your question is to me, we normally rent our HPX2700 and HPX170 packages, do data transfer on set to client's drives or rent them ours. We use Shotput Pro and offload to two drives simultaneously. If the client only brings one drive, we do a clone onto one of our drives and keep it until the client has done the ingest into their editor's NLE.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 3, 2010 at 12:21:31 pm

It can be to anyone, but I was asking Ray if he edits the material he shoots or is it production only?


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Ray PalmerRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 5, 2010 at 4:33:25 pm

We do the whole production. We write, shoot, edit and archive.

We edit non-linear and have our six FCPs on a common server, so i feel that it is time to loose the tape decks.

I do appreciate the feedback and advice.


Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
Violence may not be the answer but it sure cuts down on the questions.


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Jeff ReganRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 6, 2010 at 1:12:32 am

Putting aside the advantages of file based recording onto memory cards vs. tape, the advantages of a 2700 vs. original Varicam 27H are:

10-bit, full sample, Native, progressive codec.

Film-Rec with 600% dynamic latitude for 11-stops.

DRS 1, 2, 3.

Better processing, better signal to noise ratio.

Three HD SDI outputs.

CAC for newer HD lenses.

Prerecord, loop record modes.

5 year warranty due to few moving parts.

Proxy record option.

Wireless mic. slot.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Ray PalmerRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 6, 2010 at 3:55:50 am

Jeff,
What a great list of the 2700 improvements over our original 27F.
It would have taken me while comparing spec sheets to come up with what you gave me.
Thank you.
Ray

Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
Violence may not be the answer but it sure cuts down on the questions.


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.Re: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 11:09:50 am

Ray,

We run a very similar system like your with 4 FCP edit bays connected to a main server. The archiving process is not too complicated but requires a little bit of getting used to. You should figure that out before you purchase your cameras as it is an essential part of the workflow.

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Jeremy GarchowRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 3:33:48 pm

[Ray Palmer] "We do the whole production. We write, shoot, edit and archive. "

OK, so do we. Then the shift from tape to P2 will be awesome for you.

I can outline our workflow a bit, and maybe it will be right for you, maybe not.

We shoot P2, we transfer to two drives in the field, we transfer that material to our raid once we are back in the studio.

From here, we use P2 Flow to edit the metadata on the native MXF files. From P2 Flow, we then fire over the MXF files to FCP, without log and transfer (but you can also use log and transfer with p2 flow if you want) with the MXF IMport plugin. This way, we are editing the native MXF files and don't have unnecessary redundancies of media (that being the MXF files AND log and transferred Quicktime files).

We edit, we master, it sits around for a while, then we archive. For archive we have an LTO4 machine from Cache-A. It's ironic that everything we do eventually goes back to tape, but the advantage is that it's not just the camera originals getting archived, it's the entire production (graphics, stills, project files, etc).

Here's a really down and dirty example of P2 Flow in action that I made for another post:

http://reels.creativecow.net/film/p2-flow-example

And here's how MXF Import works. I will say that I made this tutorial before FCP7 and P2 Flow existed, so some of the tools are now outdated, and AVC-Intra now works natively to the suite, but the general workflow is there. You will see the speed and ease:

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/garchow_jeremy/dvc_pro_hd.php

Also, the picture on the 2700 is really very nice. Write back with questions.

Jeremy



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John RossonRe: Are P2 Varicam users better off now than with tape based cameras?
by on Jun 10, 2010 at 7:51:49 pm

Ray,
I own an HDX900.
The camera takes beautiful pictures as you know, but I can count on one hand the times I've used the tape.
It's great to have as a backup -- but I use the FS 100 attached to the top (with a specially designed cable). I'm careful, have had none of the cable jiggle issues others have had to date -- and have in that respect been file-based since I started using the FS 100. I just drag the QT files to a hard drive, and then drag the reference files into FCP.
The one issue I have is weight. The 900, with an AB 140 on the back plus the FS, and a small light -- is hefty in the field.
Long story short - I'd like to move to the file-based 2700, get better pictures, and lose some weight.
It seems to me you have the best of all worlds. Why not get the 2700, move to file-based, but roll off finished product to tape (assuming you have either a 1200 or 1400 deck)? You could also keep a 'best of' raw tape master reel and add to it as you go along.
That might ease your concern?
Best,
JR, Allied Artists


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