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Test Shots with HVX200

COW Forums : Panasonic HVX - HPX (P2)

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Chris ElleyTest Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 11:25:10 pm

Hello All,

I took delivery of my HVX 200 today. I spent the afternoon shooting. I'm pretty critical of cameras, but I have to say that this camera is an absolute winner.

For my purposes, my time base will mostly be 720P/24PN, so that's all I shot today. I shot at 24 fps and 60 fps. Both were great. The 60 fps had incredible results. I captured an Australian Shepherd tumbling over himself as he passed up a frisbee on the ground. The detail is stunning for such a fast motion event. I also got up close and personal with a snapping turtle. The detail was decidely better than anything I've seen from a handheld camcorder.

Additionally, I shot a flag violently waving in the wind. The results were very good. I have heard of people using this as an easy cracking point for HDV cameras. Only positive results to report for my test.

Overall, the camera is visually responsive and intelligent. I am looking forward to trying some low light scenarios. A couple days ago, I shot with an HVX 200 in DV mode in low light and the results were standard at best. However, a sunset on DV still turned out better than what I've seen from other DV cameras. (Note: We did not have cards at the time we were shooting DV to tape.)

If someone would like to volunteer an FTP site, I am happy to post some of this footage for you all to evaluate. In the past, I've seen people request certain test shots. Due to time constraints, I will only be able to share the footage I've already shot if anyone is interested.

Best regards,
Chris Elley
Austin, Texas

Electro-Fish Media LLC
bbqfilm.com


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David SaracenoRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 1:36:47 am

Thanks for the information.

These reports are interesting to me, and I guess others, because of what they do not say with respect to testing other cameras.

In other words, I would love to take a HVX200, a Sony Z1U and the Canon HDV and video the sherpherd with the frisbee, the flag, and all the other things you shot.

I don't want specs, and graphs, and monitors.

I just want a real world comparison footage shoot with someone like or me or Noah or Ned and any the mods here.

Same footage at the same time with journeyman shooters with the three camera. Throw a A1U in there for good measure. :-)

Jan, if you lend me the cam, I promise to return it. :-)



David S.


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BlubRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:10:22 am

I agree, did anyone notice the forest as we were inspecting the trees? I think we all appreciate the value of a deep technical analysis but there is a balance which I miss. Real world footage on several cameras would be extremely revealing. Speaking just for myself, there are many things that go into choosing one piece of equipment over another and the tech specs can easily be overwhelmed by non technical issues.

It is my guess that most of us have a feel for what will work for us best. For me, as an example, HDV has no place in my planning if a cable company like any of the Discovery networks refuse to allow it on any of their show, that solves the HDV conundrum for me.

I so wish I could see a CU of a persons face (a pretty woman) light to justify a table light etc, 10 seconds, that


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donatelloRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 6:04:01 am

you test the camera's with real clips and you'll find all the camera's have good images ... now you need to get to what you want/need and take into account projects and workflow .. in the end you'll find there is No ONE camera that does it all and there is no camera that knocks out the others ...
i assume you've all read the http://www.DV.com write up on the 4 hand size HD's, varicam, & cinealta ?? all good camera's .. allot of bang for your $$$$ on the hand size HD camera's.


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Mike SchrengohstRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 3:58:05 pm

Hello Chris,
Those are the kinds of things more potential fencesitters need to see.
Yesterday in Dallas, Gary Adcock gave a seminar showing a three-screen split
of a Z1, HVX200 and the JVC. Once motion gets into the equation then HDV is a thumbs down. It might serve a purpose if you are shooting test charts or a static vase of flowers. I am afraid that when I videotape events and such the people or the things I am taping usual move??!! I am working with a producer who shoots HDV but most of his stuff is corporate training and has no intention of producing for TV. So far all he is shooting is DV. My intention is to produce TV spots and docs that will hopefully get to the broadcast realm, I think the HVX is the most logical path I can find.


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donatelloRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:55:37 pm

"Once motion gets into the equation then HDV is a thumbs down"

you have to judge that yourself !! what is thumbs up/down to one person could be the opposite for another ... HDV camera's are being used already in broadcast ...

all the camera's have strengths- weakness .. you have to look at ALL area's of the camera that are important to you PLUS you have to look at the workflow of each camera TODAY not what might be out next year for it ...

when 24p 1st came out many were complaining about the not smooth ( strobbing) panning/tilting/motion of 24p ..WHY ? because most of the complainers had been shooting 60i and they compared 60i split screen with 24p = 60i is smoother .. now for the persons that came from a FILM background they said what strobbing??...


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David SaracenoRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 5:03:03 pm

[Mike Schrengohst] "Once motion gets into the equation then HDV is a thumbs down"

But Mike, that isn't my experience.

We shot a bunch of college basketball last weekend, and it wasn't there.

We do have problems with a fast pan of heavily wooded and leaved trees.

But you emphasize my point. I'd like to shoot my college basketball footage with a HVX200 and a Z1U and then compare.

David S.


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Chris ElleyRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 6:10:36 pm

Thanks for chiming in. Last night, I took the camera to the same places I went in full daylight. While the daylight shots awed me, the nighttime shots did not. We all know that shooting at night requires appropriate lighting, but I just wanted to try existing lighting one would find in downtown at night.

Where there was potential to capture at least some detail in peripherally lit shadows, it didn't really happen. However anything that had some significant light reflecting from it in some way was fairly detailed. The camera did perform much better than the JVC HD100, with which I also shot our state capitol at night (from the same positions) just after that camera came out. I was so disappointed with that camera that I ended up scrapping the tape and making it a scratch track audio tape, so I no longer have that test footage for comparison. Trust me, it was not acceptable. For me, the Panasonic isn't a miracle worker at night, but it is certainly much stronger than the JVC.

Ultimately, we all want the best picture and strive for the camera with best specs. That debate is endless and not one I wish to endure at the moment. I am now comparing my personal impressions of working with the aforementioned JVC, the Sony Z1U and now the HVX 200. In all situations I've encountered thus far, the HVX 200 works best for my purposes. I would also say that its usability is several steps above the other units.

The electronic controlled zoom on the Z1U does not work for me. The button placement on the Panasonic seems more intuitive to those of us who came from Beta SP and similar. The Panasonic's ability to review shots instantly, ditch junk and record at any moment is wonderful! At the end of the day, I used far less storage on the P2 cards than I thought I would, because I could shoot something 3 or 4 times and ditch 1 or 2 takes in a matter of seconds. It is not arduous at all. My real work, documentary, won't allow me to ditch as much (if anything), but I was still impressed with the ease and luxury of the process. Finally, one thing that really stood out last night was the power and detail in the optical zoom. I was able to clearly see the edges of signage at the top of a 40-story building. For my work, I don't rely much on far away zooms, but it's great to have in the arsenal if you need it.

I'm going to keep making mental notes as I go along and will share the wins and disappointments. I know this isn't a shoulder mount or a Varicam, but as for handhelds, I have never had a more positive experience. I have no question that with some care in shooting, I will be able to produce content that easily conforms to broadcast standards. I've done it with far less cameras than this; now, I feel like I'm regaining some much missed latitude in my shooting since my "big camera" days.

Chris Elley
Austin, Texas
bbqfilm.com


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David SaracenoRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 8:16:58 pm

Thanks for the update.

It sounds as if you do have a Z1U and the Panasonic.

Now if we could get 10 seconds of each as an athletic event from roughly the same angle.

Oh well.

David S.


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Leonard LevyRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 10:19:05 pm

Chris, what mode were you shooying in on the night exteriors, what was the shutter speed and did you use gain.
I know with the DVX at 24 P I always went down to 1/30th or 1/24 sec shutter speed for night ext.
Also could you not even get the exposure you needed with gain?

How well lit a city street was this?

Thanks for the posting your experience.
In your experience with the Z1, what kinds of images breakup the codec?

Thanks again.




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reel2reelRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 11:20:43 pm

What I've heard so far is that HDV actually holds together pretty nicely *UNTIL* you want to take it into post and start tweaking this and that, colour correcting, adding fx, etc.

That makes perfect sense to me. Just like taking a JPEG into PhotoShop and trying to make some changes. Forget it.

Has that been anyone's experience?



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Graeme NattressRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 11:28:18 pm

Yes, HDV cam react badly to colour correction, but then again, so can DVCproHD - they're both very compressed.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Steve ConnorRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 3:08:30 pm

[Mike Schrengohst] "Once motion gets into the equation then HDV is a thumbs down."

Ah yes, the urban myth, HDV can't film anything that moves!



Steve Connor
Cardinal HD

Please fill in your profile - it helps US to help YOU!


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David SaracenoRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 6:25:35 pm

[Steve Connor] "Ah yes, the urban myth, HDV can't film anything that moves!"

I still do not understand this statement on HDV. I keep looking for footage that supports it, and there some issues we've seen on heavily leaved trees on a very fast pan.

But everything else doesn't show it atleast over the last two months



David S.


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kenhRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 1:31:33 am

[Steve Connor] "Ah yes, the urban myth, HDV can't film anything that moves!"

[David Saraceno] I still do not understand this statement on HDV. I keep looking for footage that supports it, and there some issues we've seen on heavily leaved trees on a very fast pan.


Aloha Steve and David,

I'll tell you what made me think our footage from the FX-1 was breaking down under motion was viewing it on a Dell 2405 monitor. Now that I've seen a bit on a JVC CRT monitor, it is clear that the Dell monitor looks very blurry when displaying movement and has a fair amount of ghosting too. The HDV looked very nice on the JVC monitor and just attaching the camera to the Dell Monitor with no compression made the same smearing of the picture during movement. Turns out that Adam Wilt has already commented on these problems.

http://www.adamwilt.com/HDV/hp2335.html

However, anyone that has only an HDV camera and a Dell monitor might think that it is the HDV codec breaking down, but that sure doesn't appear to be the case.

Aloha,

Ken


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BlubRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 6:03:16 am

I have only seen HDV on a large LCD for the home type of monitor and a 30" Apple monitor. I guess I broke the golden rule, only look at the footage on a real monitor not a computer monitor. I will have to revisited HDV after your observation, maybe the obvious and constant motion issues I saw are not so bad on a real monitor, thanks for the reminder.

Chris


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Graeme NattressRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 12:31:02 pm

IMHO, a CRT HD monitor is the equivalent of Rose Tinted glasses. It makes everything look nice, even when in reality it isn't nice. Plasmas, on the other hand, can make even nice video look nasty. LCD, I find to be in the middle - quite neutral actually, but remember, I mostly use my APple 23" with the HD link to convert SDI to DVI.

You can, however, usually by panning over some trees, get artifacts in HDV that show up even on a CRT - they're so strong that the "nice looking" CRT can't mask them.

However, these are not the worst problems.... And DVCproHD and HDCAM have these problems too - it's the problem of over compression, especially in shadows or "flat" areas of the video, which don't show up too much until you try to pull detail out of shadows or do certain colour correction operations, when they really show up. It's really over compression combined with the limits of 8bit video, where the natural dither noise that would hide artifacts is compressed away to leave a blocky mess. All HD formats that are even half affordable have this issue.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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kenhRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 7:23:03 pm

Graeme,

I agree that the CRT's are probably giving us an image that nobody will ever see again since they are going the way of the dinosaur. The things I was seeing on the Dell monitor go beyond the types of artifacting that you are describing though (and I agree would smoothed out on the CRT). When most of the frame is in motion the entire image goes very soft on the Dell, almost defocussed or blurry while it stays sharp on the CRT. This also happened when we hooked up an FX-1 with component out to both monitors simultaneously and just did live pans around our studio (no record to tape, should be no MPEG compression from the camera). The Dell showed the same effects and even had some ghosting. Hard to know if this is a problem with A/D conversion in the monitor or how the Dell handles interlacing or maybe even our monitor is not working properly? Guess I should look into that as well. LCD's as a video display are pretty new to me and we don't have a lot of things to compare it against. But it really made me think that the higher motion footage from the FX-1 was trash and it certainly doesn't appear to be (though I won't quibble about the other kinds of artifacts you mentioned). We do have a new Mac Quad on order with a Kona board and a 23" display and will probably get a converter to use it to view video on. Do you have a preference between the lower priced AJA converter and the BlackMagic one (HDSDI-DVI)?



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Graeme NattressRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 12:28:16 pm

Thanks - sounds like the issue with the Dell is a very different problem again.

I've only used the HDLink, not the AJA box, and I like the picture on the HDlink very much, but even though it was my suggestion to BMD to include an interlace mode, I've still never managed to get the interlaced mode to work.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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kenhRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 4:55:29 pm

Thanks Graeme


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BobRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 6:19:57 pm

How was the feel of the manual zoom & focus? My biggest complaint of the mid-range cameras is poor manual functions.


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Chris ElleyRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 8:38:45 pm

As many of you know, the zoom is truly manual; the focus is not. However, both are good. What you do is what you get with the zoom. There's no lag; a characteristic missing from all the electronically controlled zooms out there.

Even though the focus is an infinitely spinning ring, it is better than any I've used. It also drops down into macro mode. The focus assist is exactly like the Z1U, except that it can be used during recording as well.

I know there were more questions about the night settings and my settings. In another string, Toke pointed to auto focus and image stabilizer as possible culprits for some of the strange issues I reported on the other string. Experimenting with shutter speeds will be next on my list for shooting at night. Daytime shooting will not require as much practice on my part, as it has had wonderful results.

I will check back in as I have progress to report. Even though I want to experiment continually and report to you guys, I'm caught up getting work out the door.

Thanks,
Chris

Austin, Texas
Electro-Fish Media LLC
bbqfilm.com


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toke lahtiRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 6:52:25 pm

[Chris Elley] "The 60 fps had incredible results."

Glad to hear. Sad to know that Panny decided that we Europeans do not need 60fps...


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Steve ConnorRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 7:22:10 pm

[toke lahti] "Sad to know that Panny decided that we Europeans do not need 60fps..."

....and to charge us a considerable price premium for not having it!


Steve Connor
Cardinal HD

Please fill in your profile - it helps US to help YOU!


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gary adcockRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 12:05:10 pm

[toke lahti] "Sad to know that Panny decided that we Europeans do not need 60fps..."

Blame the EU for topping your sync at 50....




Gary Adcock
Studio37
HD and Film Consultation
Chicago, IL USA


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toke lahtiRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 8:08:20 pm

[gary adcock] "Blame the EU for topping your sync at 50...."

Yeah, sure, big bad EU is forcing Panasonic Japan to cripple their product and to sell it with higher price in Europe...
You forgot the smiley...


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Steve ConnorRe: Test Shots with HVX200
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 10:19:13 pm

[toke lahti] "Yeah, sure, big bad EU is forcing Panasonic Japan to cripple their product and to sell it with higher price in Europe...
You forgot the smiley..."


Sensing some animosity here :) Are you listening Panasonic? I'm guessing the wait list won't be quite as long here in the UK.



Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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