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Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H

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Ethan Sigman
Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 3, 2009 at 2:48:40 pm

Gregger Jones from Abel Cine just posted this announcement from Panasonic........

http://www.varicamuser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16

The torch has been passed........


http://www.EZSproductions.com
http://www.productionmeeting.com/profile/EthanSigman


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John Cummings
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 3, 2009 at 5:45:16 pm

RIP.

Funny that it took TWO new Varicams to kill it off...

J Cummings
DP/Chicago
http://www.cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Ernie Santella
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 3, 2009 at 10:34:34 pm

They better not kill the HDX900. I'm sticking with tape for a while.

Ernie Santella
Santella Productions Inc.
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Chris Cardno
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:24:56 pm

I agree, the HDX is the most popular camera we have and I'm not seeing a massive tidal wave of change towards tapeless yet although we're getting more clients that are interested. If they discontinue the HDX they'll be making the same mistake they did with the SDX900, which is still working, still in-demand and still a fantastic SD camera.

Gone too soon...

Chris Cardno
Visual Edge Productions
Bethesda, MD



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Helmut Kobler
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 4, 2009 at 7:28:01 am

Jeez, I'm not sure what to think of this. I'm working for a major production company that has been producing about 50 shows a year for networks like Discovery and The History Channel. They still shoot tape off Varicams and HDX900s, and seem far away from making the leap to tapeless. I know of a bunch of other production companies that are the same way.

As much as I love P2 (other than the stubbornly high price...why no price cut on 32GB cards after 15 months?), I wonder how the format is doing outside of the news networks that have adopted it. Seems like a slow adoption rate, which makes killing off the traditional Varicam all the more interesting.

Maybe it wasn't' selling very well anyway, given the popularity of the HDX900...





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Ethan Sigman
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 4, 2009 at 12:05:37 pm

I heard today that panny wants small p2 off the market and is taking a couple hundred trade in on 4's and 8's toward 32's.....

i was also told by a rental tech recently that when they send out hvx's with 4 16's instead of 2 32's, their customers are annoyed. color me an early p2 adopter but i guess i don't really see the big deal anymore when 750gig drives are $100, it is $200 redundant. I know drives are less than ideal, but tape cost, camera repair, and decks are much further from ideal. I think a 32g gives me like 84 minutes per card in the 2700 in intra, i would prefer to offload to my sonnet f2 drives a couple times (bus powered field raid) than carry enough tape to shoot 420 minutes. I leave my drives in the hotel room, and travel lighter. tapes cost money and take up space, decks cost money, tape carriages break. i would rather take on the democratization of video into the IT world than pay for another proprietary deck that will be outdated in a few years exactly like the long line of predecessors- fool me a thousand times...shame on me.....

incidentally, i bought an 8 gig flash stick at the "rat shack" the other day for 12.99. that's half the cost of a blu-ray disc, and you don't need a burner. if you could buy a few hundred of 32's at the same price in bulk, you could back up to flash sticks soon almost as cheap as blu ray, slow transfer but no spinning disc........

neither tape nor sxs cards are raided inside, so your data is safer and more portable on p2. if you ammortized the deck cost into p2 cards, you come out ahead, and someday, the cards will be both better and cheaper than tape.

lastly: one word: INTRA

http://www.EZSproductions.com
http://www.productionmeeting.com/profile/EthanSigman


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Robin Probyn
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 5, 2009 at 4:18:15 am


and someday, the cards will be both better and cheaper than tape.

Yes then I,ll sell/use as door stop.. my HDX900... until then like everyone else I wont.. Wasnt it Gilet that gave away the razor blades to make people buy the actual razor..







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Ernie Santella
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 5, 2009 at 4:12:20 pm

Just a question. Is there a P2 card reader for down-loading into your computer? Or do you guys use the camera with Firewire/SDI out?

Seems like it would cool if there was a standalone card-reader unit with an eSata/FW800 port to quickly down-load to a hard-drive. Maybe this is my Million-dollar idea!!!



Ernie Santella
Santella Productions Inc.
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Jim Carswell
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 5, 2009 at 9:47:15 pm

Duel Adapater is what you are looking for.

Jim Carswell
Spyhop Productions, Inc.
Savannah, GA
http://www.spyhopproductions.com


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Ernie Santella
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 5, 2009 at 9:58:20 pm

"Duel Adapater is what you are looking for."

I was thinking of some sort of lightweight, portable box that has a couple of P2 slots and an eSATA/FW800 output. That would be great for travel/location work where you don't have to drag around a fragile laptop to dusty environments to download cards.

Even offer an option of an internal HD drive. Now, that might make me consider getting into P2.

Ernie Santella
Santella Productions Inc.
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Chris Cardno
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 6, 2009 at 3:10:24 am

Ernie, the new P2 Gear, the HPG20, will:

* Take an HD-SDI input.
* Have 2 P2 card slots for recording.
* Convert your footage from ANY HD camera into whatever Panasonic HD flavor you'd like in real time as you shoot.
* Allow you to dump to a hard drive AND verify the date on the drive with real time playback.

We ordered ours the minute it was announced, it should extend the life of our tape based HD cameras and also gives us the ability to give a client a tape archive and digitized footage at the end of the day. Effectively, it turns our F900R into a 3700, our H series Varicam into a 2700 and our HDX900s into HPX2000s.

Oh, and Jan promised a bracket to attach this box onto the back of your camera, enabling hand-held work, albeit at a 5lb weight cost.

What's funny is that this box actually makes the discontinuation of the tape based Varicam a bit of a mistake -- Panasonic has created a way to extend the life of the product and allow us to placate clients with both a digital and "hard" copy of their footage at the end of the day. Plus, like I said above, our H series is now a 2700 so we're not in the market for that anymore. Ummm...oops?

:-)

Chris Cardno
Visual Edge Productions
Bethesda, MD


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Ernie Santella
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 6, 2009 at 3:40:04 am

Whoa! The HPG20 sounds amazing. Exactly what I was thinking and more. Killer!

Anyone know what kinda' price this thing will go for?

Ernie Santella
Santella Productions Inc.
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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John Cummings
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 6, 2009 at 4:02:44 am

Yea, it's a great unit...if you don't mind having something the size of a lunchbox hanging off your camera.

I saw one in action recently. Holy Cow, that thing is huge! I figure it must have vacuum tubes in it...or perhaps a small nuclear reactor.



J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Chris Cardno
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 6, 2009 at 4:11:01 am

Yeah, it's not small or particularly light but what it offers makes up for that in my opinion.

Ernie, list is $5,295 and I believe it's due out now. If it were a Sony product, that would mean first quarter of 2010...

It's not listed on B&H yet, but my guess would be around $4,700-$5,000 street price. Of course, you then need some P2 cards so all in you're probably looking at $8,000 for (2) 32GB cards and the unit. Still, it beats shelling out $25,000 for an HPX2000 and it gives you a LOT of options for your clients.

Here's a link to the page on Panasonic.com:

http://tinyurl.com/b8noa8

Cheers,

Chris Cardno
Visual Edge Productions
Bethesda, MD



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joe hedge
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 6, 2009 at 7:43:34 am

If you're going HD SDI out, why not go the Aja IO HD ProRes422 HQ route for half the cost (not counting P2 cards) of the HPG20? Surely ProResHQ is just as good as Intra 100, it's Apple native, and the IO HD does way more than the P2 gear except run on batteries?


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 6, 2009 at 11:51:43 am

[joe hedge] "If you're going HD SDI out, why not go the Aja IO HD ProRes422 HQ route for half the cost (not counting P2 cards) of the HPG20? Surely ProResHQ is just as good as Intra 100, it's Apple native, and the IO HD does way more than the P2 gear except run on batteries?"

This method would get you the recorded material, but would not help a great deal when it comes to the archive of that material. One of the things that we all need to think about as we move to a tapeless, data-based wrkflow is how are you going to find your shots later and the answer is in the metadata. There is a Metadata workflow paper on our website http://www.panaosnic.com/p2hd under the resources area.

As far as the rest of the discussion in discontinuing the tape-based Varicam, I know from the user perspective it seems odd to discontinue because it has become a defacto standard in the production arena. Having the manufacture discontinue something does not mean that the product is dead. Look at the SDX900, it is still one of the most popular standard definition rentals out there.

And as Chris pointed out, the P2 Portable, AG-HPG20, does allow owners to extend the life of their Varicam and get a taste of what it is like to work in File-based workflow. I actually have a customer that is doing this with his HDX900 and is hooked on handing the client the tape and doing the edit that evening off the P2. Client needs the tapes for thier archive as they have not figured out a file-based archive yet.

Hope this helps,

Jan



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



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Ethan Sigman
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 6, 2009 at 12:44:13 pm

I think Jan, despite her infinite wisdom, has under emphasized the power of the meta data. I also think tape to clients completely depends on your clients. If you have broadcast clients, then they may have a deck and some future use for that tape. The rest of the world goes back to an office full of computers and no decks.

I pre-fab all my meta data into the sd card with titles that are instantly loaded to my clips when i hit record. they then show up in my edit bin with the names thanks to raylight. new fcp studio 2 plugin will take mxf also, so if you hand a client pre-tagged meta files on a drive and put all p2 viewer software and p2cms on there, i think they are better off, and more capable. Web based companies take to this quickly. everyone sees the time savings immediately, and while my clients seemingly understand little most of the time, they understand less time, which makes it easy to sell.

another power of the gear is to create a "DIT Station" at a multicam shoot where you can now use five kinds of cameras and run them back to a desk where one guy can swap and offload footage for all the cams whithout ever a pause in recording and no stock cost.

the last under emphasized part of the p2 gear is as an archive tool. you can play old footage back through the gear to convert an old tape library from any format to mxf, which carries its meta via extensible markup language, xml- univerally availablet to other IT equipment, and therefore, searchable.

oh, and it verifies your offloads to the byte, tape what? tape who? tape why?

http://www.EZSproductions.com
http://www.productionmeeting.com/profile/EthanSigman


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Rod Paul
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 11, 2009 at 12:46:59 am

I have a Varicam and an HPX 3000, and as I intercut their material I am struck by how very good the Varicam (F) looks.

The P2 system is great, but we still lack a pure data input process that looks as good as HDSDI. Perhaps AVID and Apple will have solved this by NAB, but a for now scene to scene test shows the noise and resolution difference very clearly.



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David Linstrom
Re: Old Varicam Is DEAD!!!!! RIP 27H
on Feb 11, 2009 at 11:48:43 pm

the P2 Portable, AG-HPG20, does allow owners to extend the life of their Varicam and get a taste of what it is like to work in File-based workflow.

Does it record in 720/25p? I need to shoot for domestic/international distribution simultaneously.

dlinstrom


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