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John Rosson
hdx900 edit system
on Oct 8, 2009 at 3:43:05 pm

Folks,
Just bought an hdx900 in very good condition.
Before this move to HD -- have been editing SD with a G-5 Quad -- (not Intel) and it's been plenty.
I'm assuming I'll need more 'oomph' to edit HD -- so am considering a new or reconditioned Mac -- and am also assuming I'll need an Intel-based Mac and a newer version of FCP (currently still using 5.1.4) to do so.
I've followed the 900 users on this forum for some time before purchase -- any advice based on your experience would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
JR


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john sharaf
Re: hdx900 edit system
on Oct 8, 2009 at 3:56:07 pm

Hi John,

The HVX900 uses the DVCPRO100 codec just as the Varicam does. At 24p it only consumes 40Mb so is only a bit bigger than standard def DVCAM. As a result it is not that demanding on processing power or storage space. You'll probably find that your current system and software are fine; if anything you might want to upgrade to FCP6. Of course if you want to spend money, nock yourself out, the newest Intel G5 and FCP7 ar4e very robust and certainly worth the money. I notice them to be much more stable than previous hardware and software. You'll have the choice of staying in DVCPRO100 or using one of the many flavors of ProRes.

JS





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John Rosson
Re: hdx900 edit system
on Oct 8, 2009 at 4:21:55 pm

john,
i also bought the fs 100 in the deal -- and have shot a few times with it.
in trying to use the 720 - 24p -- i've erred. what i end up with is the 720 - 60 somehow.
anyway -- i'll figure that out. good to know it's a space saver.
i'll likely buy a new computer anyway -- need a second work station -- and want to buy a powerful-enough setup -- but also would like to save where i can.
re: dvc pro 100 -- if it's native, what would be the advantage of using pro res?
thanks for quick response,
jr


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john sharaf
Re: hdx900 edit system
on Oct 8, 2009 at 5:10:34 pm

John,

The main advantage is that ProRes is a 10-bit on-line quality codec and it will survive color correction better than DVCPRO100 does because it's 8 bit.

Of course it uses more storage space. Alternately, if you have a project with many, many source tapes and need to conserve space, you can use ProRes Proxy and essentially double your capacity without much loss of quality. Of course in this case you'll need/want to go back at the end and do an on-line.

JS





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Noah Kadner
Re: hdx900 edit system
on Oct 8, 2009 at 8:20:34 pm

[john sharaf] "the newest Intel G5 and FCP7 ar4e very robust and certainly worth the money"

Watch those terms. :) G5 and Intel are mutually exclusive.

Noah

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Ernie Santella
Re: hdx900 edit system
on Oct 10, 2009 at 10:00:31 pm

I would stick with Intel over anything older. With the new OS being Intel only, everything else is fading fast. Stay safe with an Intel machine.

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


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John Rosson
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 13, 2009 at 6:55:55 pm

Ernie --
That's what i'm thinking regarding Intel as well.
Thank you all for your posts.
Has anyone noticed odd audio levels on the 900?
My shotgun mic seems low -- I've turned up the Front audio level wheel all the way to 10 -- and searched inside the menus for any other controls -- but see none.
And on the contrary, the wireless I've attached is extraordinarily hot.
Is this the way of the 900 -- or am I missing some obvious adjustment?
Thank you,
JR


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Ernie Santella
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 13, 2009 at 8:03:35 pm

JR,
There are settings in the VTR menu area that let you adjust input levels. They are: Main Menu - VTR - Mic/Audio 1 & 2. Inside both of those are settings for limiter as well as dB pads for mics and line inputs.

Hope that helps.

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


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John Rosson
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 14, 2009 at 8:53:21 pm

Hi Ernie --

Thank you for that -- I've seen the levels inside and have been experimenting.

As well, I just read all the owner's manual had to say about boosting audio levels (which wasn't a great deal).

Then I tested a corded mic, wireless mic, and the shotgun.

My conclusion: my shotgun's a piece of junk.

It's actually cobbled onto the camera via an XLR 3 pin adapter -- which is all well and good -- except that the mic seems below par.

The reason I suspect this is because swapping around the two other mics gives good levels and performance, changing channels, levels etc.
When this particular mic is directed to channel one it gives a low audio level. When swapped to ch 2 it does the same. Each of the others does the job -- produces a higher level, etc.

Anyway, I'm looking for a good shotgun. Recommendations?

Thanks again,
JR


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Ernie Santella
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 14, 2009 at 9:33:09 pm

The industry standard is the Sennheiser 416. But, I actually have a fairly inexpensive Azden for my small HDV camera that sounds darn good. The Azden SGM1x. It's very reasonable, but I actually use it a lot for interviews with great results. It lacks a little bottom end, but that sometimes helps in noisy enviroments. And it's $200 vs. $1K.

http://www.videomaker.com/article/8744/

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


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John Rosson
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 16, 2009 at 6:52:11 pm

Ernie --
Thank you for your help.
Also read the above posts with Robyn and found them clarifying.
I'm in the first stages of working with the 900 -- and really like the 720 24p.
However, I've a sports shoot coming up (football game) -- and space issues aside -- am wondering if there would be a discernable difference in the picture between shooting 720 60p and 720 24p? (I'd planned to shoot a half in each mode).
Also, and I'm almost embarrassed to ask this question -- but it's never stopped me before, so ... when shooting games in the past, I've always used a lower end camera on auto-focus. With the 900, would it be best to set the focus at the farthest point (for instance opposite sideline) to assure a clear picture even when the action gets close? Or is focusing a constant issue as the action ranges near and far?
Thank you,
JR


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Ernie Santella
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 16, 2009 at 7:16:11 pm

John,

Shooting 60p vs. 24p is a creative choice. 24p (with half shutter) will blur similar to film. But, with fast motion, it might not be the best choice for sports. If you are looking for that film-matic look, then great. The other thing to consider with 60p is the excellent slo-mo you can get in post that you don't get with 24p. You might also consider using the shutter even at 60p to add even more crispness to the slow-mo.

As far as focus, HD is extremely demanding on focus. You really can't just set a 'hyperfocal distance' and shoot. (Now, there's a word I haven't used in a long time.) The short explanation is, the setting on the lens where you set a certain zoom setting, focus and f/stop and get everything in focus. (Note: that only works with a fixed zoom setting) It would also depend on your lens, but with most video lens, it might not be possible. I would just set the f/stop as closed as possible using the ND filters. That will give you the max focus and the least focus adjustment. But, I would definitely adjust as you go.



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


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John Rosson
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 16, 2009 at 7:43:32 pm

Ernie,
I'm so new to this camera I'm figuring it out as I go. The clarity of image is what is most important to me in the sports shoot -- so 60p is the way i'll shoot (I hadn't thought about the slo-mo -- that's a nice benefit in post).
How do I set the shutter 'as closed as possible' using the ND filters (the wheel correct?) to get that wide depth of field you're talking about?
An aside that relates to this -- I shot some video the other day of people walking single file from a distance of about six feet (I was backpedaling). The first person in line was in perfect focus. But the second less so -- third, even more out of focus etc. To be adequate, that shot needed all of them in focus.
Thank you for your help,
JR


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Ernie Santella
Re: hdx900 edit system -- AUDIO QUESTION
on Oct 16, 2009 at 7:57:44 pm

Shooting 60p will give you the clearest images. For maximum focus you need to have the lens closed or iris'd down are far as possible. (That depends on your lens, it could be f16, f22 etc) To achieve that, you will need to find a compromise between filter setting, shutter and available light to get there. Most likely, you will not be able to use the highest/fastest setting on the shutter.

Start with the lens iris'd down as far as you can. Just be careful and not go all the way to extreme closed end of the iris as most lens get a bit funky. You can see what happens when you do. Back off a little which will also give you a little adjustment range while shooting. Then, set the camera's ND filter to 1 (Clear, no filter), Switch on the Shutter and switch it until you get a nice exposure. Depending on light, you may have to adjust the iris a tiny bit to get a prefect exposure. That's the way to get to the max depth-of-field.

Now, saying that, using the shutter at 60p is also a creative decision. The image will look a tiny bit stroby when on. I personally don't like that and only use the shutter for slo-mo scenes and when shooting at 24p or 30p. So, that is your call.



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


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