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Denise Haskew
Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 12, 2008 at 2:31:57 pm

Cinematographer Graham Futerfas has recently used the yet to be released Panasonic HPX 2700 on a short and talks about his experience with the camera on the Reel Show - http://www.reel-show.tv - Graham goes into a lot of detail in this very informative report.

You have to register, but it's free to view.

All the best

Denise


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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 13, 2008 at 4:34:30 pm

HPX-2700- wow I've never even heard of that one. What are the specs?

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Dale West
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 13, 2008 at 5:33:39 pm

Was shown at NAB. Going to be 2 VariCams. The 2700 is in very general terms the VariCam on P2. 1-60 fps, flip out monitor, avc intra, 10 bit and a bunch of other stuff. 720 progressive.

The 3700 is 1080 1-30 frames p and 60i. 422 10 bit as well as dual link 444 and a host of other features. Dont quite have a grasp on why the 1080 camera does not do all of the frame rates but I assume the explanation would make my eyes galze over anyway. Both have 5 P2 slots.

The link Denise gave was very interesting. There is also a piece on the 3000 as well. Both pieces actually helped me understand the huge difference between 8 bit and 10 bit.

P2 still makes me itch a little but so did betacam when it first came out in 80-81. Time marches on as that grey headed stranger in the mirror tells me every morning.

best

Dale West Video
North Miami, FL
305-892-1201


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john sharaf
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 13, 2008 at 5:43:41 pm

Hi Dale,

Unfortunately the 3700 does not do 60 either i nor p. I was told at NAB that Panasonic could not make (or find) an imager of 1920x1080 spec that did not overheat at 60p. To exclude 60i is insanity, as it makes the camera useless for networks like CBS and NBC who use 60i at least for live shots and news footage. Furthermore, without 31-60fps the camera should not rightly be called a "Varicam".

Many other folks like myself who were disappointed that Panasonic did not make a 720/1080 switchable camera capable of 4-60fps registered out complaints with many of the Panasonic personnel there.

Again it seems like the marketing people are in charge of product development; for them to thing that loyal Varicam owners will replace their tape based units with two different cameras is crazy. First of all it's a hard sell for P2 right now, and secondly whichever camera (2700 or 3700) we buy, clients will inevitably ask for the other one. we're screwed either way.

I have my doubts that the 3700 will actual appear in the market place unless they can fix this 60i problem.

JS



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Dale West
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 14, 2008 at 6:09:16 pm

John,
Went back and re-read the stuff on the 3700 and I stand corrected. Apparently I ass-u-med it was 60i. How the camera builders come up with some of this stuff boggles my mind. At NAB I had dinner with one of Panasonic's VPs. Really hit him hard on the issues that owner operators who mostly hand over footage had with the P2 workflow. His words were we hear you but his solutions for dealing with it told me he wasn't hearing. It always seems to come to adding a person to deal with transfer. Thats not the world I live and work in. My clients want more for less. Can't recall the last time I got a raise.
Best

Dale West Video
North Miami, FL
305-892-1201


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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 14, 2008 at 7:19:21 pm

Thing is many of the Panasonic personnel in the US- i.e. the folks you met at NAB- have little influence over the actual camera engineering. All they can do is sell it and service it.

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Chris Bell
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 14, 2008 at 8:16:59 pm

I hope Panasonic realizes there are a large number of users who require tape based acquisition. P2 is great for local ENG, and in-house production. However, those of us in network and commercial production require media we can hand off to the client, immediately. They don't want P2, they want a tape. I think Panasonic would be well advised to continue development of a high-end tape based camera. I own 2 varicams, and I see no value in the new "varicam" models.

Chris Bell




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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 14, 2008 at 8:40:53 pm

I see what you're saying and I suspect there will continue to be tape-based offerings in Panasonic's lineup for the foreseeable future. But they've made little secret that their development efforts are focused on a tapeless workflow. I suspect everyone else will continue to catch up at some point in the future, however long it takes. Not that I speak for them of course just a logical observation.

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 14, 2008 at 10:10:57 pm

[john sharaf] "Unfortunately the 3700 does not do 60 either i nor p. I was told at NAB that Panasonic could not make (or find) an imager of 1920x1080 spec that did not overheat at 60p. To exclude 60i is insanity, as it makes the camera useless for networks like CBS and NBC who use 60i at least for live shots and news footage."

Hi John,

The AJ-HPX3700 will do 1080/60i(59.97), doesn't do 60P, but most definitely does 60i.

Hope this helps,

Jan



Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HVX200, DVX100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Dan Geller
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 14, 2008 at 11:31:05 pm

The funny thing is that "tapeless" winds up being taped to archival media such as LTO3, at the very least.

We just bought the HDX-900 because we needed the flexibility of tape, because shooting long-form documentaries on location is not P2 data wrangling territory, because some clients need a tape at the end of the day, because it's way less prone to on-location wrangling errors, because we don't want to pay for another person on location to handle data wrangling, because we don't want to spend tired nights ourselves wrangling data off P2 cards. If the HPX-3000 or the new Varicam 3700 had tape, we'd have bought it. I'm not thrilled with the 900's imager, but it's a trade-off we had to make versus the gotchas with P2.

--Dan



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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 1:24:12 am

But with 5 32GB P2 cards you can literally shoot for many many hours- way more than you could on a single tape. Someday in the near future tape will seem incredibly limited compared to tapeless. P2 cards will simply get more and more vast- 64GB is next.

http://dvinfo.net/articles/p2misc/p2cardcaps.php

Let's see- 5 x 32GB P2 cards loaded for 720p/24p=~ 6 hours 40 minutes continuous recording. I don't know of a tape that long...

Noah



My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Dan Geller
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 1:34:45 am

True, but you're still left with data wrangling at the end of the day. On client shoots, there's the issue of not having a tape to hand over at the end of the day. When flash-based storage becomes as cheap as tape, in other words when it is no longer necessary to wrangle data off the cards, then tape will no longer be so useful.

Data wrangling is a big issue. I need someone on set or someone fresh at the end of the day. It has to be copied to redundant drives - now we're talking about taking laptops, drives, power to location. Cases of tape are easier to deal with - especially having shot for 6 weeks in the Galapagos Islands - or more locally, having a producer who wants to catch a 6pm flight back home with a tape in hand.



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Ernie Santella
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 3:16:32 am

Tape still rules for most corporate production. It's not just the daily hassle of redundant backups, it's archiving. I use footage for years for my corporate clients. A day doesn't go by that I don't get a request for an old shot on file. I can't see a time when P2 will ever be my medium of choice. I have over 1000 tapes in my library right now. P2 is just not practical for corporate, period.

Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 12:09:29 pm

[Ernie Santella] "Tape still rules for most corporate production. It's not just the daily hassle of redundant backups, it's archiving. I use footage for years for my corporate clients. A day doesn't go by that I don't get a request for an old shot on file. I can't see a time when P2 will ever be my medium of choice. I have over 1000 tapes in my library right now. P2 is just not practical for corporate, period.

Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions
http://www.santellaproductions.com"


Would you say the same "never say never" thing about audio cassettes vs. CDs/iPod for your music? Think about it... :)

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 12:11:59 pm

Tape vs. solid-state it's all just digital data and there are ways to data wrangle if you work to create a sensible workflow. Is it as automated and no-brainer as working with tapes- no but so what. Of course if all of your clients demand tape that's what you go with. But it's not going to be that way forever if you have any sense of history. Or when was the last time you bought a movie on VHS vs. DVD?

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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John Cummings
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 1:15:01 pm

We get your point, Noah.

But I'm pretty sure Panasonic (Japan) doesn't get ours. If there were a "sensible workflow" for everybody, we would all be on board by now...instead of moaning about it here. It's not that we don't get it.

Solid state will happen for doc shooters like me, but a few more pieces have to fall into place before that happens. And by that time, there will be many viable options to Panasonic out there.

It would be very telling to see sales figures for HDX-900 cameras vs. full size P2 cams. I'm sure "robust" could probably be used to describe HDX unit sales.

I know many freelancers like Chris, and most have HDX's...but would rather have a newer generation of tape-based Varicams. I think Panasonic is missing a opportunity.

J Cummings
DP/Chicago
http://www.cameralogic.tv


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Ernie Santella
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 1:57:23 pm

The two analogies posted above are still apples and oranges. I'm not trying to be an 'old fogy", I live on the bleeding-edge with gear as much as anyone. (I just purchased some 500/1000w LED lights that just rock!)

"Would you say the same "never say never" thing about audio cassettes vs. CDs/iPod for your music? Think about it..."

All are still 'hard' items' that can be easily stored. You still have a physical CD to store on a shelf. As far as iPOD files, they can be easily lost (computer crash) and then you have to spend time restoring all those files. Time is money.

"Tape vs. solid-state it's all just digital data".
"But it's not going to be that way forever if you have any sense of history. Or when was the last time you bought a movie on VHS vs. DVD?"

Another apples/oranges. Sure, digital is different and better than analog, but it's still the same. You can easily store both VHS and DVD for easy retrieval.

Here's my reasons why P2 will not work. If anyone can explain how to 'cost effectively' use P2, I'm open to any suggestions?

1) Clients request tapes at the end of shoot. (Now, if they can make a P2 drive that can easily mount on the back of a tape-type camera, that would be ideal so you can shoot either!)

2) When I shoot an avg 7-8 tapes a day (without an assistant) who has time to copy files to redundant hard-drives?

3) Cost of overtime for that assistant (If you have one) to copy files. (I'm too damn tired at the end of a 12hr day to deal with file management) I have to still entertain clients with happy, fun customer service.

3) The danger of carrying multiple HD's. Not to mention, you have to hand-carry all these drives for safely, you can't possibly pack and ship them, right?
How many things can you carry on airlines? Camera, Briefcase, multiple HD's/cables? Starts to get pretty crazy.

4) The cost of extra baggage (if you are brave enough) for more cases for above HD's. (Extra baggage is not cheap anymore)

5) Solid State P2 Cards (5-6) are still pretty expensive (at least for the next couple of years)

6) Last and most importantly... Where do you guys store all those files for all your clients? I have about 1000 tapes in my library? That would be ton of HD's for storage (and redundant B/U drives)

Did I miss something? Sure, when the day comes that they have 500GB or 1TB P2 cards, then, it would be cost effective to copy files that large without supervision. You could just start the file copy and go to dinner or bed. And when the price of HD's or BD discs get super cheap, that will help too.

Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 4:16:13 pm

Right exactly- it's only the capacities that are the issue today not the concept. If DVD-Rs only held 1.44 MB we wouldn't be using them and yet 20 years ago that was the maximum we had with 3.5" floppy drives.

My point is this workflow is the future. So pushing it away now is just saving the trouble for later- when everyone else has mastered it and you're less competitive. Just a suggestion...

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Dan Geller
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 6:03:56 pm

Let's not forget that both floppies and DVDs are/were cheap enough to consider them formats not requiring erasure. The data could stay on them indefinitely - not requiring nightly transfers and scrubs. This is the key consideration - for now. Believe me, I know flash memory inside out - a client of ours makes the stuff. If flash gets cheap enough to be like a DVD so that we can record to it and not worry about making dupes to a laptop and sets of redundant drives at the end of each day - then there won't be the issues that have driven many of us to the HDX-900 or Sony's XDCam. I think Panasonic is surprised at how many 900s are selling and they're back-ordered at many resellers.



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John Cummings
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 7:07:24 pm

"My point is this workflow is the future."

Not quite correct. It's just one of many workflows of the future. P2 has many issues: capture capacity, media cost, field convenience, portability, distribution, system compatibility and archiving...all are potentially expensive issues that have to be dealt with. One quick scan of the P2 forum makes it very clear that many people are struggling with one of those issues or another. To a small owner-operator like myself...and most of my broadcast clients--the end users...those issues simply outweigh the benefits, right now.

"So pushing it away now is just saving the trouble for later-"

You mean the inevitable troubles that that all P2 users have to face?
Yes, I can wait on that.

"when everyone else has mastered it and you're less competitive. Just a suggestion..."

Sounds like something a bad Panasonic rep would say, Noah. And it immediately ticked me off.

The inference that any of our concerns with one particular aquisition format will determine our future in the industry is laughable and a just a little insulting. When you cease addressing issues and concerns and instead hurl vague insults at your peers, you start sounding less like a moderator and more like a shill.

Just a suggestion...



J Cummings
DP/Chicago
http://www.cameralogic.tv


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Noah Kadner
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 15, 2008 at 9:04:54 pm

Hi John,

I didn't see a particular need to go and make it personal there. I was speaking in general terms and you chose to respond by labeling me a shill and/or a Panasonic rep- I'm neither and so sticks and stones etc... :) I feel strongly about these issues too but I didn't take it down that road, especially with someone I've never even met face to face.

My intention, contrary to your inference, was that a tapeless workflow will ultimately be the standard in video whether you as a producer choose to explore it now or in the future. Not to say that's specifically going to be P2 just in general a tapeless acquisition and post-chain. I'm willing to agree that tape will still be around in some form or another into the near future. Though its prominence will continue to gradually diminish. (Just try to find tape decks in most modern digital post-production audio facilities if you don't believe it can happen.)

And again- that's not a slant towards you or an insult or a shill pitch for P2, XDCAM EX, Red, Phantom HD, Silicon Imaging, AVCHD or any of the other current and future tapeless formats and cameras currently in use.

I see your point and I guess there's nothing more I care to comment about it at this time. I apologize for how my post made you feel- it was not my intention. The good news is we can all revisit this thread in 5, 10 or 15 years and see where we are then in terms of technology and workflow.

Best,
Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Chris Bell
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 3:15:35 am

It's great to see Panasonic product managers reading this forum. I again would like encourage Panasonic to continue to develop high-end tape based cameras. I want to own the latest in camera technology, and I have the investment dollars to spend... if only an upgrade existed. I don't want to be like my network buddies still using their Sony BVW-600s/400s. P2 has its place, but it's not for everything. This is not about being afraid of tapeless production (I own a RED Camera too). In the 2/3" video world, my clients demand tape and will continue to demand tape. I'd love to see a tape based 1080p Varicam... i'd buy that camera today.

Chris Bell





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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 4:53:34 am

I think people are forgetting that with these higher end cameras, they will literally format a hard drive and do a verified copy of contents over to it that's plugged right in to the camera. No laptops or card readers. It's a click of a button or two and away you go. The data is copied just as it is on the cards. You as shooter won't have to worry. In the time it takes you to strike, the cards will be done. If you have a light setup that day, you can either arrange a fedex with the producer, or they wait. it is up to you you to set that expectation and educate your clients. The Producers that I know that understand the workflow will never go back to tape. If they are following the project through to the edit, they immediately see the benefit. Producers that don't understand the workflow are scared of it. Some producers just don't care as long as it all works.

Also, if you plan to work in the near future, you cannot run from a digital and tapeless domain. You can shoot to XDcam, but then you have to find someone with an XDcam deck or bluray drive. You can shoot HDCam, but then you need the deck (along with nay other tape format you shoot). The responsibility of caring and ingesting the media is falling out of the editors hands and on to the shooter. It's a changing of mind set and a change in ability. Better or worse, that's what it is. Instead of throwing your footage over the wall to an editor/post facility and have THEM take on the expense of renting or buying extremely expensive decks, or converting the footage to a standard that is appropriate, you are handing a format of footage that almost any computer can read and any NLE can ingest. It saves money in post and producers like that.

The handling of P2 metadata is another responsibility that can be handled by the shooter, if they so desire. If you're good at it the producer (and editor) won't be able to thank you enough. You will get jobs because of it.

If any of you cares about footage quality, there's nothing out there in this level of camera that really comes close to AVCIntra (full raster 10-bit recording). As you go in to higher quality, the quality of course is on par with and surpasses AVC-I, but you pay for it.

I understand people's tentativeness. It's natural. Change is scary or something. But for those denouncing the workflow fail to see it's benefits, haven't tried it or had something go wrong without studying the workflow and testing and obviously have never or rarely talked to an editor. Yes, tapeless workflows involve a bit of proactive effort, but that's what happens when you get a new format.

There are many opportunities to make tapeless a highly organized and efficient workflow. If you embrace that, you might surprise yourself and your clients at the possibilities. After all, this is a relationship based business, is it not?

Jeremy


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Ernie Santella
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 5:09:21 am

Jeremy,

I am not scared by tapeless. In fact, I'm 100% for it. Maybe I don't understand completely how much time is involved. That is what is keeping me from going that way... right now.

Please explain the workflow of transfer and backup on location for shooting for example, 5 hrs of raw footage? You seem pretty 'up' on the process. Maybe, I've got it wrong in my mind what's involved.

How do you transfer the files off the cards? Through the camera's Firewire into a computer or do you use a Card reader?

You have to change cards during the file x-fer (5-6 cards?)

And how long would it take to duplicate all these files for a safety copy? (That can be done unsupervised correct?)

And how do you archive all your raw footage?

Thanks in advance.




Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 2:44:41 pm

[Ernie Santella] "Maybe I don't understand completely how much time is involved."

There is now doubt that time has shifted in to the hands of a DP. Transferring cards is not an instantaneous process.

As far as how it's done, there's a myriad of ways. Mostly what I do (as I am the guy that transfers the cards on the shoot and then handles post) is transfer the cards using a verity of software. That's all well and good, but not really good for one man crews or crews that don't have a data wrangler.

So, if we do send one guy out to shoot and the shoot spans more than one card, you can actually put the camera in to USB host mode and the camera will format the drive to a fat32 partition, then start dumping off the cards and keeping the card structure. You can do this with a bus powered drive (i.e. laptop drive) with no extra power involved. The drives are small, light and relatively cheap. Much cheaper and less bulkier than 4 boxes of tape that you have to worry about. Download the HPX2000 manual and look up USB host mode. It tells you all about it and the different ways in can be done.

[Ernie Santella] "You have to change cards during the file x-fer (5-6 cards?) "

Not if you are going from the camera. The bigger body cameras have 5 card slots and it will handle it. If you shoot more than 5 cards in a day, you will have to switch cards, yes.


[Ernie Santella] "And how long would it take to duplicate all these files for a safety copy? (That can be done unsupervised correct?) "

Well, you can get tricky and use a bus powered raid1 drive array and have an automatic backup as it's copying. Yes, unsupervised. You just have to make sure that it gets all the way through.


[Ernie Santella] "And how do you archive all your raw footage? "

Right now we use redundant SATA drives. They are cheap, hold a LOT of info and are easily searchable. This becomes an archive and this is where metadata comes in to play. For those saying that you have 1000s of tapes of archival material that you access regularly, you have no idea how much easier this will be in a tapeless format. It is all searchable and as long as it's on a drive, it's almost always online. No logging, no capturing, no hunting for timecode.

We have been looking into a more permanent tape backup system for deep archive, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. We will be looking at a Quantum LTO system once we can get our hands on a demo.

Jeremy


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Neil Seiffer
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 1:33:15 am

Yes, I agree. As a DP and Post-production editor, I was one of the first to use the DVX100 and FS-4 portable hard disk drive when they were first introduced. Now I will feel comfortable using the FS-100
attached to the HVX-200 without the P2 cards. My point is...that
I invested in using the technology when it was expensive., and now I can save hundreds of hours of ingest (capture) time for editing and archiving footage.

Some DP's are not experienced using FS (Firestore) drives with instant playback capabilities, and limit their efficiency when working with clients. Firestore now has a 250GB, this will provide approx. 6-8 hours of full HD capture, without drop-frames. Some cameras can also capture to tape simultaneously, with some limitations to formats.
Neil Seiffer DP/Editor
nseiffer@optonline.net




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John Cummings
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 2:01:41 pm

I'll use my last project as an example.
10 days of doc shooting in the middle east earlier this month. We shot 5-6 hours of tape a day for 10 days. I have at least 9 more trips abroad scheduled for this project. It's a 10 hour HD documentary series.

What is DVCProHD's data rate ...about a gig a minute? That's well over 300 Gigs a day for a total of of just over 3 Terabytes of data for the trip. That's a lot of data and a lot of HD's, if you count protection backups...and I would double up.

How many P2 cards would I need a day (assuming we would only transfer at night) Lets say 2 sets of 32GB (10 cards @ $16,000)

How long would it have taken me to transfer that data and do a protection backup every night? (after a 10 hour day shooting in the heat)I have no idea...lets say 3 hours of OT per night. That would not make me happy, even though it's extra income.

How many HD's would I have had to take with me for the trip? (how many more cases and excess baggage charges for the P2 gear--P2 reader, HD's, AC converters/adapters, cables, laptops)

What if I brought a data wrangler...extra airfare, hotel, meals, and pay. (about $6K) or hire one for $3500 locally (if I could find a qualified one that speaks english.)

I won't ask about an HD not spinning up, a laptop that fails to boot (a macbook pro died on us last trip) corrupted files, bad cables, misdirected/lost luggage.

So how much extra did P2 cost me for the trip?

$16000 P2 cards (I know, a one time cost...out of my pocket)
$2475 Overtime hours for data transfers(or $4-6K for an extra body)
$600 Excess baggage
$5500 Hard drives, P2 reader, laptop and cables, travel cases.

Total $8575-$28,575 extra for P2

That will buy a lot of logging/digitizing and a boatload of tape. And how do you store 35 terabytes of raw data over the life of the project and then securely archive it for years? My mind boggles at that thought...but it's really not my problem.
As to the other posts: Metadata on a shoot like this? I doubt it. Running and gunning with a Firestore on a camera with a large brick and two wireless receivers? I don't think so.

Yes, someday soon we'll all be tapeless. That transition is not something I fear or don't understand. But right now there is some serious voodoo economics and omission of facts being employed by fans of tapeless workflow. The real fact is, the costs and the labor pretty much just shift from one place to another. Mostly from the post process to the field. Will I charge extra for that $16K of media, transfer labor and storage costs? You bet. Will I mark them up? You bet. Does my client want to trust a $100,000 trip to several HD's bought at Best Buy? Not so far.

I can assure you that my clients have run the numbers and the considered the "workflow." And for now, they all still prefer tape. And for now, so do I.







J Cummings
DP/Chicago
http://www.cameralogic.tv


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 4:21:22 pm

Hey John. What frame size and frame rate did you shoot?

Alight, let's go through it.

5-6 hours of tape is right about the load for 5 cards of 24pN footage for AVCInta 100mbps footage. (reminder this is full raster 10 bit footage, if you haven't seen it, you won't shoot DVCPro HD again unless you have to).


[John Cummings] "How many P2 cards would I need a day (assuming we would only transfer at night) Lets say 2 sets of 32GB (10 cards @ $16,000) "

No. I'd say you need 7 or 8 if you are planning 5-6 hours a day. You'd really only need 5, but it's good to have backups. In real world prices, that means 8 32Gb cards will be around $12,000 (how much have you spent in tape over the years?)

[John Cummings] "How long would it have taken me to transfer that data and do a protection backup every night? (after a 10 hour day shooting in the heat)I have no idea...lets say 3 hours of OT per night. That would not make me happy, even though it's extra income. "

Yeah, for 160 Gigs @ at a conservative estimate of 20 MB/sec via USB 2, you're looking at about 2 hours. This can all be done when you get back to the hotel or where ever you are staying. Once you learn the workflow, it's pretty easy and you won't have to watch the paint dry. if you use a laptop with firewire, the speeds will go up and your time will go down.

I don't think you'll need the access baggage if you start carrying bus powered laptop drives, or even full size drives. They take up way less space than the 120 tapes you brought with you for your 10 day 6 hours a day record time. To me that's a trade off. Also, those 120 tapes cost you...?...$3000?

As far as drives and cables, that won't add up to $5500. For your whole trip, you can get 6 1TB hard drives (that'd be 3TB of RAID1 drives) for $1200 (about $200 bucks a drive).

[John Cummings] "And how do you store 35 terabytes of raw data over the life of the project and then securely archive it for years?"

Well, if this data is captured off of tape, you will have the same problem in the edit. All of that data needs to be online.

[John Cummings] "As to the other posts: Metadata on a shoot like this? I doubt it. Running and gunning with a Firestore on a camera with a large brick and two wireless receivers? I don't think so. "

Yep, that's up to you whether you take that on or not. In this situation, you probably wouldn't.

[John Cummings] "But right now there is some serious voodoo economics and omission of facts being employed by fans of tapeless workflow."

I'm not a sales guy. Yes it's upfront cost, but it's cheaper all the way around, no voodoo about it. It's the change in workflow that people think will kill them, and that somehow relates to cost.

[John Cummings] "he real fact is, the costs and the labor pretty much just shift from one place to another. Mostly from the post process to the field."

That's exactly what I said. You don't want that money? I'd like it back.

[John Cummings] "Does my client want to trust a $100,000 trip to several HD's bought at Best Buy? "

I don't see your point here. If you do it correctly, you can minimize your risk. Traveling around with 120 shoot tapes has it's risks as well. For some reason, people seem to really fear that the information is stored on a hard drive rather than a tape.

So per your cost breakdown,

$16000 is really $12000, but you have to extend this over the lifetime of your camera, you will find that it's much cheaper than tape. Your 9 other jobs will pay for the P2 cards and then some in spades, You would have spent more on all the tape. 120 tapes per trip (roughly $3000) times 9 more trips is $27,000 in TAPE! That alone will pay for your p2 media system with room for improvement (such LTO backups drives) but we'll move on.

$2475 in OT. OK, take the money, still cheaper than paying $300 an hour in an edit suite to log and capture 60 hours of tape.

$600 in access baggage. I think we can say this is a wash.

$5500 in laptops/hard drives. again, not necessary to have a laptop, but perhaps you want one. Take that money from not buying all that tape and apply it to the laptop if you need it. Hard drives are cheap.

I just don't see the argument here. Yes, the cost to you is upfront, but over the life of the camera, it is cheaper. You are also saving your producers money in post. Seriously, there's nothing voodoo about this. It is the fear of taking the plunge that holds people back and not accounting for what they are spending in tape vs the upfront cost of data management.

Like I said, I'm not a sales guy. I use this stuff all day every day. No P2 is not for everyone, but once you (and your clients) see the benefit, it's hard going back to tape.

Jeremy




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Ernie Santella
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 17, 2008 at 2:09:21 am

Thank you Jeremy for taking the time to lay out so articulate.

How you get the files off the cards? Do you use your camera or is there a stand-alone card reader?

And, any talk about an outboard card system that we can use with Firewire or better yet, HD-SDI on our existing cameras like the HDX900?

Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 17, 2008 at 2:45:36 am

[Ernie Santella] "How you get the files off the cards? Do you use your camera or is there a stand-alone card reader? "

Me personally? I use a reader as I am not usually shooting and can take the time to do it. But if I were on my own and on location in a remote area, I'd use the camera.


[Ernie Santella] "And, any talk about an outboard card system that we can use with Firewire or better yet, HD-SDI on our existing cameras like the HDX900? "

On board? No. But there's this expensive beast that could be condsidered an upgrade to your camera as it will take your HDSDI straight out of the camera and record to AVC-I via the cards, remove pulldown, down convert, transfer to hard drives. Lots of stuff. I have not battle tested one in the field, but had a chance to play around with one for a look-see.

HPM110

I also use an ioHD and do live captures straight to ProRes. That works like a dream too. Makes keying a breeze, but it can't be used in every situation at all. It's more of a studio or outside with a generator type rig. We shoot 95% of the stuff we edit, so this fits our workflow very nicely as we work in FCP and usually have control over the entire pipeline.

I have great appreciation for DVCPro HD. It really launched my career in a lot of ways. It's like an old mentor of mine. Now, after working with AVC-Intra and also capturing straight to ProRes, I realize it's time to move on. This article highlights the D800RAID I have in edit suite, but you can see pictures of my mobile setup and my cheesy arse mug ;)

Sonnet stuff


Jeremy


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John Cummings
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 21, 2008 at 11:25:27 am


Sorry, I was off shooting "tape" for a few days.
Thanks for checking my math Jeremy, and I appreciate all the other insights from P2 users. I'll be one, eventually. You'll see my posts in the P2 forum with the header HELP!

Noah, I hereby publicly apologize to you for saying you sounded shillish. I actually think you're pretty smart, most of the time.

I'm not drinking the P2 koolaid yet, but I'm thirsty for a new Varicam to upgrade to from an HDX. I guess that's how I got embroiled in this thread.


J Cummings
DP/Chicago
http://www.cameralogic.tv


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Peter Corbett
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 18, 2008 at 12:59:38 pm

Noah, I just caught this thread. I can tell you if you were out there shooting two weeks for Discovery and you had to back up four to five hours of P2 footage every night back at your hotel, you'd see what some of these guys mean. Many docos and corportaes have just a producer, DOP and soundo. They don't have a data-monkey coming along for the ride. I use P2 for commercials but for many people it is and will always be a real problem.

Peter

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Peter Corbett
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 18, 2008 at 2:23:53 pm

[Peter Corbett] "I use P2 for commercials but for many people it is and will always be a real problem."

I thought I may have sounded a bit brusque there. There's no doubt we are moving to tapeless, but the path is a confusing, costly and emotional transition. ...of course when solid state becomes cheap enough these in-field work problems will vanish.

Thinking about it, even a portable media format like XDCAM HD has a similar problem. No you don't have to back up each day after shooting, but most clients don't have XD decks and probably have to get their files copied on hard drive, presumably by the Camera Op from his camera at some stage after the shoot.

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 18, 2008 at 2:41:38 pm

[Peter Corbett] "Thinking about it, even a portable media format like XDCAM HD has a similar problem. No you don't have to back up each day after shooting, but most clients don't have XD decks and probably have to get their files copied on hard drive, presumably by the Camera Op from his camera at some stage after the shoot."

Exactly.


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Shawn Alyasiri
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 2:05:56 pm

The 2700 is no doubt going to be a lovely camera - ironically, I already feel like I own 90% of it.

I own just about every current P2 device you can think of (HPM110 with intra, all the monitors, (10) 32gb cards and peripherals, 200a/800 cams & much more), including (2) HPX2000's - one that has the AVC-Intra card added.

As far as I'm concerned, my 2000 with the intra card is the same camera as the upcoming 2700, minus a 2-position filter wheel (which is ironically on the overseas 2100), another HDSDI spigot, and the under/overcrank firmware that they make available on the cheaper 200/500 models. Okay - Film-rec and CAC too... but again, software, right?

From a technical sense, it's the same front end, etc, correct?

So - pro-rate it. Where does the extra $10-$15K (conservative MSRP) come from? $15K list for firmware they put on $5k models, or the 2/3" 500 that you could get last month for 8K?

I'm always happy to hear where I'm wrong. Yes - of course, this is the superior imager to the 200/500 - still, the same one as the 2000 though, right? So - would I expect similar images side by side with my 2000 and a 2700 in 720p or 1080i - yes (non film-rec mode of course). Can I shoot 40p with my 2000 - no. Can I overcrank 60p into the 110 at 24pN and get sloMo with the 2000 in the field - yes. I feel like I'm a software build away.

Personally, I think it's nothing more than price/market protection of their tape-based varicams. As those still sell and eventually sunset, they can still keep the '40ish' price, and the stair-step in the product/pricing line. Panny was my first stop at NAB - I was really excited at first, thinking the 2700 was a 2.2 imager at the '45k' price point (a do everything cam). I've been trying to decipher the specifics since then, knowing quickly there after it's the 1.1 imager like mine.

I really hope this 2700 hits with a (somewhat) relative and pro-rated street price to the 2000 (somewhat of a final beg to Panny sales), all things considered of course. Add a couple bucks - sure. Add enough that you could almost buy another 2000 - hmmmmm? I'm in the market for a 3rd or 4th bigger camera this/next year - would love to continue giving you all of my money.

I haven't found a salesperson/dealer yet that disagrees with me once we get into the details.

Show me light...




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Dan Geller
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 4:20:21 pm

Things to note about tapeless. If I could keep the P2 cards as archives through an entire shoot of 6 weeks, then I'd be on board. But that's way too expensive. Point 2: either I hire a data wrangler for 6 weeks at huge expense on a remote location, or I risk making transfer mistakes when exhausted from a long day of shooting. Point 3: hard drives are in no way archival devices. They are fragile. They also will fail sitting on a shelf or in use. That's why we have a pricey Quantum Superloader3 LTO robot to archive to the government/financial industry standard archival medium. All our media is on RAID 50 Rorke HDX Galaxy systems and backed up to LTO3. We're pretty thorough about this stuff.

All to say, we've been in the digital domain since 1993 and have been on the bleeding edge of many technologies, helping to push the industry to more efficient and cost-effective tools. The tapeless workflow fits for productions with a data wrangler, or with limited nightly transfers, but is a bad fit for the many situations described in posts above. When the flash storage price drops to make it a commodity, then those of us in a huge portion of the industy will go tapeless. Red's CF approach, by the way, is appealing for the relatively generic media it can use from several vendors - competitive storage pricing pressures!



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 4:37:36 pm

Shawn, now this is a different arguement entirely. And I totally hear you.

I don't know, is it the same front end?

Jeremy


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Shawn Alyasiri
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 16, 2008 at 7:55:25 pm

I have seen nothing to suggest the imager will be any different/enhanced, etc, if not the very same.

I was able to bite my thumb last year when they stuck the under-overcrank capability in the 500 but not the 2000. From a marketing aspect, putting it in the 2000 (obviously a superior imager to the 500) would/could have been a direct competition to the tape based varicam sales. Fine - whatever... At least I got to spend the year with two beautiful native 720 P2 cameras, and they performed wonderfully... Great flexibility, popping colors, and impressive sensitivity.

To see the (potential and probable) price hike a year later on what is appearing to be math/software is bewildering. Fine then - $10k for math - but why then is it possible to put it in the 500?

I'm not trying to underestimate the components, production, engineering/programming for an unveiled product line/cycle, etc. Should it cost more? Most probably - especially $3K more MSRP for the intra card alone. Again, it's the other speculated/expected amount that I'm not completely 'getting'.

Maybe the logo is made of gold? The name is certainly worth something...


All unitentional bickering aside - I want 1 or 2 - solely for the name, and the occasional flexibility of anticipated/creative overcranking. Of course, I'll feel better if I know what I'm paying for, especially after the first $100K worth or devotion to the line.

Right now it feels like last year's car with a better logo, a racing stripe, and the affordable transmission mod that was available last fall. I think sometimes these things just happen in production, especially if someone doesn't say something. Doesn't mean it necessarily has to(?).

Throw your stones...



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James Mulryan
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Jul 19, 2008 at 6:07:14 am

Just finished two years of shooting with the HVX 200 that won the Sundance Audience
Award. Never lost a file. Did not download files all night. Downloaded as I was shooting using two drives, one for P2 files, one for FCP converted quick times. The producer was young, and wanted to save money with the HVX. Did all the transfers myself. As long as you are doing interviews and b roll, no problem. If you are shooting cinema verite, prepare yourself for night transfers.

Shooting with a Varicam this month, cinema verite, glad I am not transferring at night. Think it depends on the nature of the project. producers patience and mind set.



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Richard Boghosian
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Aug 14, 2008 at 1:03:04 am

OK, all the cost issues aside, help me with this: We shot 50 hours of DVCPRO HD on the road over 3 weeks with the HDX-900. Each tape has it's individual (tape # =hour) timecode. How do you make DVD reference disks for the client to view and make edit selects from P2 cards!!!?They are not going to buy P2 players, and they won't load proprietary software to view posted files. The actual injested material (mostly interviews) was a mere 20% of the running tape length, and the stuff on the "editing room floor" is actually safely kept on the camera original tapes-no back-up required. So the HD file off-load (the digitization)was really only a fraction of the storage needed compared to safely storing the whole shoot.

Richard Boghosian
Bogh AV Productions

FCP 6.03 Intel 2.8 8 Core Apple X-Raid and Atto SCSI UL5D Kona LHe


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James Mulryan
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Aug 14, 2008 at 3:04:40 am

On Firewire drive 1 in a folder marked 81308BushP2 Data transfer P2 cards as followed:
Reel 1 81308 President Bush Interview.
Reel 2 81308 President Bush Interview
Reel 3 81308 White House B roll

On a separate hard drive using FCP set your scratch disk to

81308Bush Capture


Save your FCP project to 81308Bush
Set Bins for the following
Reel 1 81308 Bush Interview
Reel 2 81308 Bush Interview
Reel 3 81308 White House B roll.

You will never loose track of your data, no matter what the clip is named. Every clip is linked to the date it was created.
I have used this system over a two year period without failure.






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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Aug 14, 2008 at 3:18:01 am

[Richard Boghosian] "So the HD file off-load (the digitization)was really only a fraction of the storage needed compared to safely storing the whole shoot."

Well, you will need to store all of the recorded for footage in the native MXF structure. Drives are cheap. Cheaper than tape on a per gig basis.

But for editing, you simply log and transfer only the footage you want (kind of like capturing only the footage you want off of tape). That will be your source footage and you can make tc reviews off of that. P2 still has time code. Each card (in a sense) becomes it's own roll so you can name the tc burn appropriately if you are using FCP to make your burns (i.e card 1, card 2). If not, just follow the timecode. 50 hours of tape, means roughly 100 tapes (assuming around 30 mins per tape). Timecode doesn't go to 100 hours.

Jeremy


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Anthony Violanto
Re: Test of the HPX 2700 now online
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:57:27 pm

Is Noah the only person looking forward to the future?

For those of you complaining about no tape option, the cameras all have a HDSDI output. with one single little BNC cable, you can hook the camera up to a portable deck and record to tape with audio embedded.

complaining about having to call up digital files of archived footage and wanting to sift through a library of 1000 tapes for a client sounds more like an episode of the show hoarders lol


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