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Is That All There Is?

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Dale West
Is That All There Is?
on Mar 19, 2009 at 11:39:10 am

Has the clock run down? Has the thread pulled off the spool? Whats the deal? Today marks one month since a new thread was started on this forum. I'm stunned, I'm heart broken, I'm still stupid! This is one of my first stops in the morning while my coffee is still hot. I always learned something here and miss Gary and John and Noah's input. And good discussion points by Robin and Ernie and Joseph and everyone. I've learned a lot here. I've had questions answered and contributed a couple of times. Mostly I just enjoyed the information and the sometimes lively discussions. I will still check but now I suppose I will have to move on over to the (gag) XDCAM forum and sniff around the (shiver) P2 posts. So little time so many formats....
Can someone throw a guy a bone here!?!?!



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


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Ernie Santella
Re: Is That All There Is?
on Mar 19, 2009 at 4:19:23 pm

Thanks for the nice words. I too check in everyday too. Yeah, it's been quiet.

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


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john sharaf
Re: Is That All There Is?
on Mar 19, 2009 at 5:12:48 pm

Hi Dale and All,

It's funny, I was thinking the same thing the other day and checked to see how long it had been since there was posting on this forum and was a little suprised! I think Panasonic's pricing agenda vis-a-vis the HDX900 and their misguided abandonment of the Varicam concept with the new P2 models has effectively taken the wind out of the original Varicamers like us.

It's not to deny the effect of evolution that is naturally taking place both technologically and economicly; obviously 10 bit is great and sub $10K cameras are now very attractive, but there is much to be said about the early adopters and the cameras that we've been using for many years now.

I also think the general state of the economy has put a pale on everybody's life and desire to "upgrade" their cameras and business plan. I'm in the middle of the slowest month I've had since 9/11 and I don't foresee much change ahead. My network clients are cutting staff and frozen most freelance calls and those queries that do come in are all looking for low ball deals, and I suspect that these lower standards will prevail even after the inevitable recovery.

I do still plan to go to NAB next month and I'll be very interested to see what kind of turnout there is and to take the temperature of the crowd, but I expect more lookie-loos than ever and less buyers, which is actually quite ironic, because it's likely that the dollar will continue to loose its value against the yen and euro and all the gear we want and need will become more and more expensive.

Even if you were prepared to sell your Varicam(s) presumably to upgrade to a newer, better(?) more versatile cameras (like 1080 and 720) the going prices are about $10-12K and I find that really depressing. Unlike my Betacams, which I've almost sold all off, I can't bring myself to part with Varicams at that price (until off course ABC bails out on them). Most of my other Varicam clients I think I could switch over to the PDW700's.

So there, there a posting! Dale, don't choke on your coffee.

Regards to all,

JS



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Robin Probyn
Re: Is That All There Is?
on Mar 21, 2009 at 1:20:36 am

Yeah was also wondering.. its my first stop forum with coffee too!! although I only have the HDX900.

Just got the panasonic BT 900A monitor.. another item I,d been renting way too long!! and quite a niffty bag from Petrol for it.. has a protect screen built in...always wished there was some protective screen for that monitor.





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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Is That All There Is?
on Mar 21, 2009 at 10:10:23 am

Hadn't noticed that this forum was running slow, but you could go over to the HVX-HPX forum, they at least talk Panasonic there. But if you want to talk tape, this is probably the forum to hang out in.

Best,

Jan

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



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Chris Cardno
Re: Is That All There Is?
on Mar 23, 2009 at 3:38:28 am

I suppose this forum got quiet because the tape cameras don't cause kernel errors, the FireWire cable has never dropped out while recording to an external hard drive and the client's never called in a panic having deleted the MXF files...

:-)

The HDX900s and Varicam are still going strong for us even though we have bought into the whole tapeless revolution with the HPX2000 and (hopefully this week) the HPG20 P2 Portable. And, all kidding aside, I think it's a testament to the quality of the tape cameras that these forums ARE so quiet. To take a quote from an ad campaign in the UK: it just does what it says on the tin. Job done.

Chris Cardno
Visual Edge Productions
http://www.visualedge.tv


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Peter Corbett
Re: Is That All There Is? Should I buy a used Varicam?
on Mar 25, 2009 at 8:04:52 pm

Just considering a second-hand "F" Varicam to support my SDX900. The price is very reasonable, but I'm concerned about the 720P thing. How do HD broadcasters like their material these days? How does the 720 Varicam fit in a 1080i situation?

I'm just quoting for a broadcast doco at the moment. They specified that they want to shoot on DVCPROHD or XDCAM HD. I'm assuming if they go DVCPROHD they will want a HDX900 which shoots 1080i. Can I sell them on my possible Varicam as a viable alternative, or is the up-convert going to look hideous?

Cheers,
Peter

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


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john sharaf
Re: Is That All There Is? Should I buy a used Varicam?
on Mar 25, 2009 at 8:10:21 pm

Varicams are widely accepted in documentary and low budget feature world and used units are readily available at very reasonable entry prices. Remember that you'll have to invest in HD glass too or else the picture will suffer noticeably. Be prepared to spend as much or more on the glass (even used) than on the camera.

As far as 1080, the DVCPRO100 at 720 "transcodes" on playback from the 1200A/1400/1700/1800 decks to 1080 so it should not be an issue.

JS



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Peter Corbett
Re: Is That All There Is? Should I buy a used Varicam?
on Mar 25, 2009 at 8:15:38 pm

Hi John,

I've got a $35K Canon HD HJ21x7.5B (the big heavy one with the 120mm front element) so I'm okay for glass. I wouldn't have a deck for a while, so besides giving these tapes to my client, I'd have to play out of the camera into my suite for my own productions. I still like tape!

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


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john sharaf
Re: Is That All There Is? Should I buy a used Varicam?
on Mar 25, 2009 at 8:23:05 pm

Yes, you could play out of camera through HD-SDI spigot, but you'd need capture card like AJA Kona or Blackmagic. Since you already have lens this is a very economical path to an HD future. An HD monitor would also be nice!

JS



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Peter Corbett
Re: Is That All There Is? Should I buy a used Varicam?
on Mar 25, 2009 at 9:11:51 pm

Yep, I've got a full-blown HD NLE with Decklink HD Extreme. A used Varicam/HD1200 combo seems a good option at the moment. Even though it's good value, I worry about a possible short useful life for this gear in a 1920 x 1080 world.

Peter

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


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Tim Kolb
Re: Is That All There Is? Should I buy a used Varicam?
on Mar 25, 2009 at 10:14:50 pm

720p footage will typically upres to create a superior product than say, attempting to downres interlaced...

I don't know about the Black Magic Products, but I've been dealing with AJA products for a number of years and you can do on-the-fly picture conversion on the way in on the Xena 2K/Kona 3 products.

They do a really solid job.




TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Jim Watt
Re: Is That All There Is? Should I buy a used Varicam?
on Apr 13, 2009 at 2:00:23 am

We're basically "screwed" with a camera that's not all that popular for clients these days.

Our "H" model sits on the shelf while the Sony XDCAM's go crazy, as do we, working them. Sure the $2,200 days are gone, but $1,500 for an XDCAM EX-3 package is decent and business is good.

No, No, I say no network business for any format in the northwest for us. I'm sure there are a few guys doing OK, but we took ourselves out of that market when we started the Discoveries...America series in 2003.

Still "had" to buy a Varicam for a few ABC gigs, and a couple of movie attempts, but what a waste of money, and they dropped the price 10K just a few months after we bought it. it has a very safe place on the shelf.

Considering we bought the very first HD camera these "clowns" sold in the world, you'd hope, like Rodney Dangerfield, "for a little respect" or at least consideration anyway.

Anyway to make a very, very, long story short, the business model is fluid and we all need to adapt, though for me, a very old dog" ,it's getting harder to learn new tricks.

Please, please don't let me work with another "12 year old" producer that forms a square whith thier hands to show me what I'm supposed to be shooting.

Fortunately, away from the news business our producers seem to be getting better and more mature. Of course many of them are the same vintage or a tad younger that we wer working with in the 'halcyon days" of the news biz.

Life's great and they'll bury me with a camera in my hand or at least a mouse and keyboard attached.

Jim & Kelly

Producer/DP, HD series, "Discoveries...America", "Discoveries...Ireland", "Discoveries...Spain",
"Discoveries...Argentina"


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