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NO p2 for me! Forget it!

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Serge Rodnunsky
NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:15:24 am

I'm sorry this move to P2 doesn't make any sense to me.

I produce features and commercials I NEED TAPE! I refuse to put my expensive show on a flash card. And I don't want to reuse it 100,000 times.

I understand the move from film to HD, I've shot 12 features in HD. But this is nutty.
I'm not going to be terrified my P2 card got zapped somehow.
I've been working with Hard Drives for 20 years from my experience drives are solid for maybe 3-5 years max. I love tape it works its rock. I don't want to have to take a P2 card transfer it and then bump back to a tape for backup - that's redundant when we can shoot on a much more reliable format TAPE. Its cheaper, much safer, and much more cost effective. You can't shoot a feature on 5 min per card recording time - silly, I have scenes that can run 7 minutes - nuts! I've easily shot 3-4 hours worth of tape in a day. I'm not going to put my show on 100 p2's and then put them in the computer and then erase them for the next days shoot. INSANE! If the computer goes down, if a card goes down. Give me DVCPRO HD TAPE, HDV TAPE, HDCAM TAPE!

I like to have a box full of SOURCE tapes that may last 30 years or more.
I like being able to record 30-40 minutes of tape and then labeling that tape never ever to be used for anything else but that show.

This isn't still photography. They can do flash cards it makes sense. Long form it doesn't make any sense.

I won't do it! I won't go there! You can't make me! I'll go back to film if I have to.


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Noah Kadner
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:34:34 am

No one's putting a gun to your head my friend. Vote with you wallet. Tape's not dead over at Sony and JVC just yet.


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 3:09:54 am

No I understand that and I love the Panasonic Varicam as well.

I'm just being a voice of reason against the numerous posts convinced its time for tape to go.

I would love for the new Panasonic competitor to the Z1 to be a tape camcorder. I'm very disappointed that they are going this direction. I would like to buy the new Panasonic low end 24p camera but not if its P2. I'll have to look at the Z1 and JVC.


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Noah Kadner
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 3:17:06 am

If you think about it though the JVC and the Z1 are both a few notches below the HVX200 in terms of capability. They're both shooting HDV which is 4x as compressed as DVCPROHD and with less color depth. If you think that level of MPEG-2 type compression is going to endure 30 years on a mini DV tape with no dropouts you could be in for an unpleasant surprise or two.

And neither shoots 24p at 1080 like the HVX. The Z1 only does 1080i with no 24p at all and the JVC maxes out its 24p at 720p again in the compressed space of HDV. The trade-off of course is you get the tape you're accostumed to shooting with. You'll have to figure out what's more important. And P2's prices can only go down while capacities go up. I think it's an exciting choice to make.

Noah


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Guy Barwood
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 12:01:40 pm

[Noah Kadner] "They're both shooting HDV which is 4x as compressed as DVCPROHD and with less color depth"
More efficient codec means less loss in the compression for the same data rate. Then, with a lower colour space you don't need the same data rate. I'm not here saying HDV is as good as DVCPRO HD at all, but I strongly argue agains a factor of 4x in the compression which is not so, as you are only basing your comparison on the pure bit rates.

Although probably correct, the JVC may shoot higher bit rate or colour space than HDV, it is after all discribed as also ProHD compatible, which is as yet not specifically defined.

[Noah Kadner] "If you think that level of MPEG-2 type compression is going to endure 30 years on a mini DV tape with no dropouts you could be in for an unpleasant surprise or two. "
So your planning on archiving your P2 recorded footage on P2 media are you?

[Noah Kadner] "And neither shoots 24p at 1080 like the HVX"
But you don't know how the HVX shoots 24p/1080 either. Is it a 1280x720p CCD block with a software upres (in which case it is really no more capable than the JVC anyway)? Who knows, don't assume you've got a 1920x1080p CCD block just yet.

All I am thinking here is the points you are making are pretty flawed at the moment. It's no time to can P2, but it also no time to sing the glory of P2.

[Noah Kadner] "And P2's prices can only go down while capacities go up."
Lucky for Panasonic of few of us could afford to even consider it. Then again who wants to spend a lot of money on a product that depreciates so quickly in price? "If I just wait a bit longer the price will drop some more"...



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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 12:54:52 pm

I don't think a 15 frame GOP MPEG2 is 4 times as efficient as, say, DV, never mind a 6 frame GOP. It might just reach sort of DV quality on images with less movement. If they really wanted to use an efficient codec, why did they not use MPEG4?? Because they want to keep the cheap cameras lower quality?? As for chroma sampling, 4:2:0 is just about acceptable on progressive video, but quite ghastly on interlaced.

Graeme

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


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Guy Barwood
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 12:00:35 am

[Graeme Nattress] "I don't think a 15 frame GOP MPEG2 is 4 times as efficient as, say, DV, never mind a 6 frame GOP. It might just reach sort of DV quality on images with less movement. If they really wanted to use an efficient codec, why did they not use MPEG4?? Because they want to keep the cheap cameras lower quality?? As for chroma sampling, 4:2:0 is just about acceptable on progressive video, but quite ghastly on interlaced. "

I never said it was 4 times as efficient, I just reminded people that its not 4x as bad. MPEG4 is a very demanding codec to encode, MPG2's got nothing on it. A real time MPG4 HD encoder would be much harder to develop (increasing costs) and consume much more power to run. Of the MPG4 HD videos I have seen (Microsoft's HD WMV showcase which are essentially MPG4), they also have some serious problems encoding gradients (such as skys) and I for one am very happy they avoided it.

As for 4:2:0, I'm not sure what makes you say that as I have seen the Z1's footage and when displayed properly it's so far from ghastly its not funny. HDV 1080i 4:2:0 would have about twice the amount of colour info as 4:2:2 SD, yet everyone always raves about how beautiful the colours are in 4:2:2 SD..... With the pixels being so much smaller, the visual difference between 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 will be significantly less with HD than SD unless projected on very large screens.



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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 12:12:07 am

All depends on what you mean "Displayed Properly" :-)

As for 4:2:0, and just about all other colour samplings, it's not what it looks like when it's displayed, as most displays don't have the rez for 4:2:2 never mind 4:4:4 colour to appear any different, and all good output devices will smooth the chroma anyway, it's what it's like to work with, doing effects and such.

4:2:0 on progressive makes 2x2 blocks of chroma, and that's not too bad at all. It's a very reasonable compromise.

On Interlace, however, you get 2x2 blocks on a field basis, so that 2x2 block gets stretched out over a 4x2 area, interlaced with another 2x2 block, and as you can imagine, this makes it hard to deal with for compositing etc. That's why I don't like it. Not because of how it looks on display, but that it's a right royal pain in the **** to deal with in post production.

As for MPEG4, it's what HDCAM SR is using, so it's not at all bad. And as for gradients - any codec at low data rates is going to do that. HDCAM uses 440mbitspersecond, so it's very, very lightly compressed with a highly efficient codec. And yes, it's also highly expensive.

MPEG2 has just about proven itself for delivery, but even today I get DVDs that are poorly compressed. There's very little room for manuever in it's SD DVD data rates, and HDV's data rate is very close to the edge also. A 50mbits MPEG2 for HD acquisition would make total sense, but I'd still want to edit it uncompressed.

Graeme

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


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Guy Barwood
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 5:08:09 pm

[Graeme Nattress] "HDCAM uses 440mbitspersecond"
That's quite a nice high data rate, especially for MPG4. The samples I have seen are the samples really to demo the concept of HD with MPG4 at low data rates (like 8Mbps), and from what I have seen that is just too much compression even for MPG4.

[Graeme Nattress] "A 50mbits MPEG2 for HD acquisition would make total sense, but I'd still want to edit it uncompressed. "
Can't argue with that, but I guess one of the the idea of 25Mbps was not just for compatibility with existing DV transports etc but also to seperate the HDV market from broadcast markets without killing it before it even starts by making it too low a bit rate altogether. Otherwise why wouldn't 720p use the full 25Mbps it has available to it?



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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 5:11:40 pm

Absolutely - protection of high end devices from the sales of cheaper consumer / pro-sumer products is a fine art, and one which mostly works. I think it failed with DV, but not by much (as DV was ever-so-slightly too good) but will the same mistake be seen to have been made with HDV? Who knows?

Graeme

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


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Guy Barwood
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 6, 2005 at 5:03:26 am

I think that while HDV has the potential to be the DV of HD (encoders will be optimised for even better performance with time), there seems to be a little war going on to provide a step up from HDV for the same HDV prosumer market. The only one so far not clearly playing this is Sony, but Panasonic and JVC seem intent in providing higher end options than HDV at around current HDV price points. That's where the waters are really doing to start to get fuzzy and it could become harder and harder to tell the difference between a $6000 camera and a $80,000 camera unless your watching it on a 20,000 projector ;-)


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Gabriel
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 3:27:16 am

Here's someone who doesn't understand a basic P2 workflow. Tape is not rock solid. Tape will not last for 30 years. Tape has dropouts. Tape can be chewed by the camera, deck or your dog. Tape is sensitive to all sorts of external conditions (weather, temperature, humidity etc). P2 is not. P2 is everything tape is not. The only thing you have to do is to think out of the square. Flash memory doesn't get "zapped" by some sort of voodoo magic. And if you are worried about the reliability of your associated hardware, you should buy quality stuff. After all you will save a great deal of money by not being forced to buy a new deck. And service it. Or the camera. And buy tape. As for archiving, who talked about tape? That's NOT the way of doing it. For more information you'll have to wait for NAB, you'll be very surprised. Anyway, we don't live in a perfect world, you can't make everyone happy, but if you plan to go to film, you should plan what direction you will take 5-10 years from now...

Gabriel Costache
Sales Engineer
Panasonic NZ Ltd


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 4:21:02 am

I'm sure they'll be plenty of tape around in 10years as I'm sure they'll be cars and film.

I've never had a problem with a tape in almost 50 films.
None of the things you mentioned. That's 100's of hours of recording.
I usually rent new cameras so I've never seen one eat a tape.
I've had a few tapes eaten by decks. But thats usually way downstream in post and rarely at the source tape level and even and eaten tape is usually 99% salvagable.

Not answering the basic question.

How do I conveniently, safely, and cost effectively record four hours a day of material on a P2 system.

I'm all for getting rid of the need for expensive decks, but $1700 4gig flashcards that record only 5min. aren't going to cut it. That's 20 per hour, if I'm out remote I would need 80 cards to be safe that's what $130k in p2 flashcards. Then I've got to get them back to the editor at the end of the day to be dumped over and then erase them all for the next days shoot?
This seems a very bizarre workflow to me.


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 4:29:37 am

"Solid state is OK for short pieces, but what happens when it's full and something big happens. It's expensive, so you don't carry lots of spares. And what about a documentary producer going abroad, and shooting 30 or 40 hours for an hour programme. What do they do with that material?," asks Olivier Bovis, XDCAM product marketing manager, Sony Business Europe. Also, if something goes wrong, how do you recover the information from solid state. "With tape or disc you can usually recover something," he maintains. "If you look at them from a business perspective, the difference is clear." Until memory reaches the same price as tape, he believes it will be too expensive.

I'm not alone.... Panasonic should have made this system tape.


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Noah Kadner
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 4:41:50 am

Well it's not going to be tape so it's sounds like it's going to be the cam for you. To each his/her own. From the response I've seen on this board and others there's hundreds if not thousands of folks who are planning to get an HVX and could not be happier about finally leaving tape behind. Choice is good thing.


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Noah Kadner
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 4:46:34 am

Should have said, "not going to be the cam for you" though that's pretty obvious at this point.


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 4:58:02 am

I'm now curious about this so I've been reading that they're planning to come out with a 128gig card that will record 90min in hd and 50hours or something in Dv. That makes more sense than 4gig /5min at $1700. But archiving issues still make me nervous.

I'll wait and see.... meanwhile I'll still shoot the Varicam with Tape.


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Noah Kadner
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 5:04:45 am

P2 is right at the bleeding edge. Yes of course the current capacities are not as practical as they could be but that's expected to shift radically as we get closer to the actual product launch. You can see the road map here:



And in the meantime we can expect a slew of third party products to help shoulder the burden. There will be alternatives to the actual P2 cards when shooting with this camera. Lots more info at NAB.

Noah


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Noah Kadner
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 5:06:30 am

PS- great in-depth analysis here:

http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/P2/

Noah


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 5:37:29 am

I read it its cool, but not yet there as far as long form for me.

SD Memory is about $100/gig. I'm not sure why p2 is $1700 for 4gigs.
And this is really far away from 128gigs. We're talking huge drop in price of flash memory to make 128gig cards logical.
To me that size card is the only logical competitor to tape at the moment, performance cost etc. 4 and 8gig are way too small.

Even at $100/gig that's $13k for a 128gig 90min hd card. It would have to drop into the $2k range to be competitive. Are SD memory prices going to drop from 13k to 2k in the next year or so? We'll see. I can't see buying a camera for $5k and paying $13k for a card to make it workable. When I can buy an HDV system with tape at $20/hr.
They write some sillyness on there about having a crew sit around while we download P2 cards, its like reloading film. Come on.
Film comes in 400ft 16mm or 1000ft 35mm loads 10min loads. And those of us who have been shooting HD for years now, don't expect or need to wait for load changes. You want my crew to wait around for a new P2 system, you know how much they eat.
I don't know about you but on a low end camcorder you're likely to do a lot of family/vacation stuff with it p2 doesn't work at all there. I have a book of SD cards for my digital camera and I'm always running out of space on holidays. Bye Grandma you're a little too out of focus in that shot. Bye cousins in law don't remember your names anyhow.


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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 5:52:41 am

Serge, it's wonderful to hear a strong, doubting voice in a product-specific forum! "Doubt breeds caution." And in this case, caution is a good thing.

Even though it'll take several years for P2 and other solid-state media to replace tape, in the meantime it'll be possible to use P2-style media successfully, cost-effectively and safely.

But only if P2-style media users, like all electronic/electromagnetic media users, execise appropriate caution.

When P2-style media becomes as inexpensive as videotape (how soon this occurs is subject to debate, but it'll happen), some of the following become moot. When P2-style media is inexpensive enough to not need to be erased after every use and considered an expendable like videotape, then only one backup (or "capture") needs to be made, verified, and secured -- just like videotape.

While we await that happy day, the following is one possible P2-style media production (as opposed to post-production) workflow. However, I'm sure there will be other approaches.

Every few or several minutes, as a P2-style media card fills up with video data, the user will make at least two backup copies of the data onto separate backup media such as a hard drive, optical disk, datatape, and so forth.

The transfer time is typically cumulative, with one transfer for each backup. A Qualified Person In Charge will perform, directly supervise or otherwise be responible for the backups, so this requires a certain amount of time away from this person's other responsibilities.

The backups will be "eyeball-verified" in _realtime_ in addition to being electronically verified during the backup/transfer. The eyeball verification should be done by a Qualified Person In Charge to insure data integrity. Don't entrust the quality of the only copies of your video to a computer system or a lowly production assistant. Since eyeballing the video is done in realtime, this task is somewhat time consuming but unavoidable.

As soon as possible, at least one of the backup copies should be moved off-site to prevent loss from disaster such as fire, theft, and other hazards. This task is not P2-style media specific, just a normal data backup practice.

And of course, _all_ of the above should occur _before_ a P2-style media card is erased.

In short: Backup (at least twice), eyeball verify (at least twice), and secure (at least once) before erasing an original recording.

As a result, a P2-style media workflow -- like any workflow which routinely requires destroying original data -- might not end up saving time or money compared to using videotape. This is not to say P2-style media is inherently unsustainable, but only that its advantages may lie elsewhere.

People once thought office computers would reduce paper use and save time. Neither claim has proven true. However, I'd be the last person to recommend against using computers, since there are so many good uses for them. Likewise, P2-style media is unlikely to reduce the use of consumables or save time.

It's important to note that "backup" is _not_ equal to "preservation".

This is not a matter of semantics. No matter what the subject of a particular video production, the recording is history and a cultural artifact. The issues raised by this are not a new phenom, but it's relatively new in the video world, at least in the sense of a P2-style workflow, because a P2-style workflow routinely requires destroying original recordings.

The tasks described above must be performed to insure that the only copies of the original recording are in fact 100% good. These tasks require supervision by highly-qualified humans, which means time, work, and money. Hardware & software can't magically make this expense go away.

When you shoot real film, you don't usually destroy the original film after production. Likewise with videotape, you don't typically destroy the original tape after production. Same with physical 2D artwork; it typically gets preserved. And with pure digital origination, like computer 3D animation or digital photography, you should follow a backup/verify/secure process as described above.

In _any_ situation where valuable original data is planned to be routinely destroyed, extra man-hours & money must be spent to insure that investment is not lost. In the case of P2-style media usage, we're talking about risking many thousands of dollars worth of data or more -- or non-repeatable events -- on each P2-style media card.

Sure, not everyone practices this level of data protection and preservation, but that doesn't excuse irresponsible business practice. And a big hardware vendor's marketing campaign can't make all this magically unneccessary.

It's the order of magnitude of this "shift" which gives me pause, and should give everyone pause. The simple fact of thousands of original recordings being erased every day worldwide is a big deal, any way you look at it, backups or no backups.

Therefore, I hope our much-vaunted backup systems really do work as well as we believe -- no lightning-strikes-twice backup hardware/software failures or device driver software conflicts or multi-vendor finger-pointing blame-games -- because worldwide these systems will need to be nearly 100% reliable for millions or billions of frames-worth of video every day.

Having said all this, for some reason I think P2-style media can be a great tool when used wisely. I guess that makes me an optimist?

Just my opinion; I could be wrong. However, I haven't heard a compelling case against what I've said yet.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 6:31:31 am

Say you backup the P2 media to tape. Why would you subject the process to much more stringent control and over-sight than what a cameraman would do shooting direct to tape?? If it were unreliable to dump a P2 to tape, surely it would be unreliable to shoot tape in the first place??

This all reminds me very much of the introlduction of the NLE, where nobody could afford the many gigabytes of hard disk space needed, and, of course, the NLE never took off as tape to tape is just so much cheaper, quicker, easier etc.

Also, what about CRT monitors? Sony, of all people, no longer manufacture CRTs. Think about it. What they've got left is stockpile only. Once they're gone, they're gone.

In the audio industry, Quantegy, the last tape manufacturer of analogue professional audio tape shut down. This gave the industry quite a fright until they managed to find someone new, but in the meantime they were worried. That's because the mainstream audio industry records direct to hard disk now.

And yes, stills photographers! They've moved to digital, recording on memory cards, no doubt backing up in the field to the hard drive of their laptop, burning a CD, wiping the memory card then starting again. I see that they've got their workflow sorted, and it won't be long before video people get their workflow sorted too.

Graeme

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


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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 7:15:54 am

[Graeme Nattress] "Say you backup the P2 media to tape. Why would you subject the process to much more stringent control and over-sight than what a cameraman would do shooting direct to tape?? If it were unreliable to dump a P2 to tape, surely it would be unreliable to shoot tape in the first place?? ..."

Hi Graeme: My point is, if you shoot on videotape or film, or draw with pen or pencil, or create with almost anything other than pure-digital origination (digital photography, computer graphics & animation, digital music, and so forth), you almost never destroy the original tape, film, drawing, what-have-you. And you'd almost never destroy the original artifact every day, time after time, hundreds of thousands or millions of images-worth as standard practice. Not even the busiest pro digital still photographer creates & deletes anywhere near that many images every day!

So, no, shooting on P2-style media is not like most other media. Because it'll remain so darn expensive for awhile, and so must _plan_ to reuse it, you must plan to stringently backup each recording at least twice, stringently verify the backups with your own eyes & ears, and insure (as in any good backup procedure) you secure at least one copy off-site.

It's not that P2-style media or backup systems are unreliable, it's that when the original recording is gone, it's gone, and the image volume is enormous! That's the whole issue. Our backup procedures must be near 100% reliable to insure any hope a good copy exists. This is different than a workflow where you preserve (meaning: don't erase/destroy) the original. An original is 100% perfect in the sense that it "don't get no better" than whatever got originally recorded, warts and all. A backup copy can't be guaranteed 100% perfect, but a human being can verify (by eye & by ear) that it's at least "acceptable". And that means man-hours.

I wouldn't be so concerned if it weren't for the scale of this inevitable change.

For some unknown period of time, millions and then billions of original motion picture frames will be routinely destroyed every day once P2-style production becomes popular. Backups or no backups, the magnitude of that fact is stunning.

But as long as people are extra-careful with their data, I guess we'll be OK.

All watched over by machines of loving grace, indeed!

All the best,

- Peter


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 12:34:20 pm

I still don't get you Peter. News crews regularly wipe over old tapes. You can see this in the increase in dropouts in news programmes.

Now, you say about backing up the video twice. This doesn't get done today as standard practise. The cameraguy tapes the event and at the end, might wind the tape back a bit to see if it's worked. Then you have a mastertape, that gets digitised to edit from, and the master either gets stuck on a shelf or wiped and re-used. Similarly, if you're an indie movie maker, documentarian, whatever, you shoot the master tape, wind it back to check a bit, and get it into your edit suite and stuff it on the shelf. At no point do you check the whole tape until it's too late to go back and shoot the once in a lifetime event again.

No what's different with P2? Well, shooting direct to memory has got to be more reliable than shooting direct to tape. Then you shove the P2 into your NLE, and then take that P2 and dump it's contents to tape, to disc, to hard drive, whatever. Yes, when you wipe that P2, the video is gone, but if you've made an unattended backup to tape, both that and your NLE would have to fail for you to loose anything, whereas in shooting direct to tape, which is not always reliable, you've lost your footage before you've even began!

With digital video, it's either 100% perfect or 0%. I don't see why dumping a P2 to tape is going to be any less reliable than the current standard, which is just shooting direct to tape. By keeping your deck in a nice, controlled, office environment, where you can lavish it with the care it needs, rather being bumped up and down on your shoulder in all environments, I can only think that shooting P2 and dumping to tape would be MORE reliable than the old way of doing things, rather than less. And yes, accidents will happen, but they happen now. I can only see this reducing accidents.

As for destroying the original - remember, when you're out videoing stuff, the "original" is the unique event you're video taping, and that can never be repeated, and in that sense, under no video capture mechanism do we get to keep the original event, only a copy of it on some ephemeral media, be it tape, disk, P2 or whatever. And if you count the "orginal" as the master recorded copy, with digital video, every dub is a clone dub and is as an equally valid master as the original.

Remember, when video tape first came out, it was re-used as it was so darn expensive. If they wanted to keep something, they did a tele-recording onto film. That didn't stop video tape taking off to become the norm, and the high price, initially of P2 won't stop that taking off either.

I guess what I'm looking forwards to is not having to wait for tape to get up to speed after hitting the record button!!

Graeme

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


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Jan Crittenden
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:44:46 pm

Hi Peter,

You said: The backups will be "eyeball-verified" in _realtime_ in addition to being electronically verified during the backup/transfer. The eyeball verification should be done by a Qualified Person In Charge to insure data integrity. Don't entrust the quality of the only copies of your video to a computer system or a lowly production assistant. Since eyeballing the video is done in realtime, this task is somewhat time consuming but unavoidable.

I find this odd. It might be that you are just unfamiliar with the practice of managing data. If a computer can check sum and verify data, like it does at the World Bank and NY Stock Exchange, where data going bad would mean millions and millions of dollars going astray, why can't you trust a computer to make a copy. You can even have it check sum and verify your data.

I mean every time you play your tape in DV you run the risk of introducing dropouts. This is a little less likely in DVCPRO but it is possible. I have seen guys tear their hair out because the copy they thought was good, really wasn't. Do you watch all the copies after they have been recorded?

When I back up my computer to the internal server, and frankly there are some papers I have written that have taken me weeks to write and it would be really bad to lose them, I don't check to see if every word was accurately copied. I check the data count and if it is the same I move on.

Anyhow, just a thought,

Jan


Jan M. Crittenden
Product Manager, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50, AG-DVX100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 5:43:47 pm

Jan: First, an aside: We're privelged to have you here; it's great that you (on a personal level) and Panasonic (on a professional & business level) consider we COW folk worthy of your time & attention. Seriously. My hope is that more manufacturers (especially S*ny) would do the same! I mean, wouldn't it be great if Jan's S*ny counterpart joined in this discussion, and in others here on the COW? I know we could keep the dialog civil, and maybe even I'd learn a thing or two.

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled program, "The Thread That Ate The New Jesrey Turnpike", Chapter Two: The Doubters Have At It Again!, where our heroine (fashionably attired, gazing at her computer screen with a look of composure, but also with some disapproval) was saying:

[Jan Crittenden] "I find this odd. It might be that you are just unfamiliar with the practice of managing data. If a computer can check sum and verify data, like it does at the World Bank and NY Stock Exchange, where data going bad would mean millions and millions of dollars going astray, why can't you trust a computer to make a copy. You can even have it check sum and verify your data. ..."

I hear you, but of course in most cases there won't be World Bank class data management -- or anything close to it -- on your typical low-to-medium budget video production set (which is where I currently live, so to speak). Serge and others can comment on the typical carry-on of a medium-to-high-end budget video production set, but I suspect even the "big boys" in video don't have on-set data management staffs, equipment, policies and procedures anything like the World Bank, let alone the Bank of NY, or even how Bank of America handles (in the fullest sense of the word) the ATM at my local bank's branch office.

As I said before, I don't trust a computer any farther than I can throw it. Well, maybe a few feet further, but that's my limit.

Sure, backup systems usually work wonderfully well most of the time. Let's say they work correctly 99.99% of the time ... actually, Panasonic might even publish a "9s" statistic for their new P2 hardware; if so, it would be interesting to see.

OK, so if the initial P2-based dataflow (transferring from a P2 card to another medium) is error-free 99.99% of the time, multiply that against about half of Panasonic's projected use of P2 over the course of the next year or so, just to come up with a ballpark number.

Multiply that further by the sheer volume of footage likely to be shot worldwide using P2. I have no doubt P2 will wildly succeed in the marketplace, and as a result Jan will be able to retire early!

1 hour @ 24 fps = 86,400 frames per hour. Times how many hours per shoot? Times how many productions per day wordwide? The result is a very, very large number of frames. It might not be a "World Bank" kinda number, but it's w-a-y big. And how many dollars worth of reasonably-priced P2 hardware -- and how much worth of pro data management staff time -- will be handling all that P2 data backup? Relatively speaking, not much, certainly not anything close to "World Bank" scope.

The result is potentially (yes: only potentially) a somewhat random scattering of a not insignificant number of irretrievably lost original recorded frames, all over the world. And that's just what's _automatically_ lost in the process of the _required_ step of backing-up the P2 cards. Further, after they're backed up, virtually _all_ of the P2 cards will be completely erased, at least for quite some time, until the happy day when P2 cards are way "cheap".

Whereas, if the original recording was done on videotape, all of the original frames -- good frames as well as dropouts, creases, warped cassettes, and so forth -- would be happily sitting on a shelf, waiting for an archivist to retrieve them. In practice, dropouts, etc. are fairly infrequent, so maybe videotape is 99.99% reliable? I don't know. BUT MOST PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS DON'T REQUIRE ERASING THE ORIGINAL FOOTAGE. (Sorry for shouting, but that's the main point.)

Sure, TV news organizations may erase videotapes willy-nilly, but most other video production workflows don't. And although I'm sure Panasonic will continue to succeed selling P2 into TV news, the new, additional market push is elsewhere -- everywhere else -- where almost no one routinely erases original work on videotape and film.

I think there's an order of magnitude difference between those two senarios, TV new vs. everything else.

[Jan Crittenden] "... When I back up my computer to the internal server, and frankly there are some papers I have written that have taken me weeks to write and it would be really bad to lose them, I don't check to see if every word was accurately copied. I check the data count and if it is the same I move on. ..."

Perhaps if we wrote 86,400 words per hour we might give it more thought. And care.

I'm not implying the Panasonic hasn't given P2 enough thought or care, but rather perhaps it's implications haven't been well thought out by most non-TV news shooters.

P2-style media (including other frequently-erased media, such as hard drive-based acquisition) is long overdue. Managing the transition to it and reliably managing its dataflow will require a "World Bank"-level of effort if we're to avoid losing irretrievable chunks of history and culture.

In any event, I've got my sunglasses and rubber boots ready, so bring on our P2 future! I'm looking forward to it. Really.

Thanks for being here, Jan!

All the best,

- Peter


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 5:56:41 pm

News people regularly re-use tapes. They don't seem to have a problem with it.

As for erasing your original footage - wiping P2 memory after making a backup is no more dangerous than hitting "save" in your word processor, backing up what was in memory to hard drive, and regularly making CD backups. Everyone does this all the time.

With the current tape process there is NO BACKUP. At least with P2 you have to consciously make one. The weakest link in the current tape process is shooting onto tape. There's no confidence record, you can't just plug your data into a laptop to see if it's all come out all-right. You don't know if you had a head clog, or some dirt got in, or whatever.

You seem to be trying to make P2 meet higher standards of data security than everyone already applies to tape.

Graeme

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


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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 8:17:16 pm

Hi Graeme,

[Graeme Nattress] "News people regularly re-use tapes. They don't seem to have a problem with it. ..."

Just because that makes economic sense for TV news managers & executives doesn't mean it's an appropriate model for everyone else. Starting this month, Panasonic begins marketing P2 to essentially all video shooters & their clients, everywhere. Worldwide TV news field production is significant, but it's a relatively small number of shooters compared to P2's new emerging market. Is it possible -- likley? -- "the rest of us" answer to a somewhat differernt economic model than TV news?

[Graeme Nattress] "... As for erasing your original footage - wiping P2 memory after making a backup is no more dangerous than hitting "save" in your word processor, backing up what was in memory to hard drive, and regularly making CD backups. Everyone does this all the time. ..."

However, most of us don't _originate_ hundreds of thousands of frames of _original_ video frames per hour on our PCs & Macs with anywhere near the frequency equal to the amount of P2 acquisition soon to begin (lord willing! so Jan can retire early!) There's a huge difference in quantities of original data we're discussing, word processing or what have you vs. digital video.

Video data volume accumulates much faster than most any other type of date we commonly deal with. In the face of that, do we know if typical "reasonably priced" P2 transfer & backup hardware & software (and multi-vendor operating systems and multiple device drivers) will prove reliable enough to handle the task? It might be all good -- that's the word so far from some TV news organizations -- but the jury is out concerning typical reliability AT THE SCALE OF emerging non-TV news P2 production.

[Graeme Nattress] "... With the current tape process there is NO BACKUP. At least with P2 you have to consciously make one. The weakest link in the current tape process is shooting onto tape. There's no confidence record, you can't just plug your data into a laptop to see if it's all come out all-right. You don't know if you had a head clog, or some dirt got in, or whatever. ..."

I agree with you that P2 and videotape acquisition are very similar in terms of the kinds of things which can go wrong, unnoticed, during recording. But they are utterly different -- in the case of non-TV news production -- in that we rarely plan to routinely erase original videotapes. That's a HUGE difference.

Also, my sympathies in advance to any videotape-based production executives (some of which are my clients!) and their staffs which do not follow data backup procedures such as I described earlier. It is at their peril if they don't backup their videotapes at least once, eyeball-verify them at least twice, and secure them off-site at least once.

But, notice how the videotape people have one less task than the P2 people? The tape people only have to make at least one backup, not the two the P2 people must make, because the original tape is one of at least two copies.

[Graeme Nattress] "... You seem to be trying to make P2 meet higher standards of data security than everyone already applies to tape. ..."

Tape, P2, hard drive, optical, paper & pencil, whatever: All require the same level of data management and data security, but with one big exception: The original recorded "object" is not preserved in the case of use-once tech such as P2 & hard-drive acquisition! So in almost all cases (except maybe TV news), videotape producers have one less worry concerning their data backup & security processes. And it's a big one!

"Backup" does not equal "preservation". Ask an archivist. It can come close, if people work really hard at it, but it's not the same. And it only comes close if people put time & effort & money into it.

None of this means P2 isn't worthy -- it is. But it isn't magic.

P2-style acquisition will work out fine, as long as people -- oh well, you know the drill by now ...

All the best,

- Peter


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Luis Caffesse
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 7:17:49 pm

[Peter DeCrescenzo] "The result is potentially (yes: only potentially) a somewhat random scattering of a not insignificant number of irretrievably lost original recorded frames, all over the world."[/i]

And as you mentioned, the same potential is there for videotape, in the form of dropped frames.

I don't know about most people, but I copy files very often on my system. I move them from one computer to another over a netowork. I back them up to DVD and erase them from the hard drive, only to copy them back onto the drive months later.

I have NEVER had a file become corrupted or damaged upon copying it.
On the other hand, I have had many many dropped frames over the years from a bad tape. I have also had tape transports die on me. I have had head clogs in the middle of a shoot, only to find that the last few takes were ruined, and had to stop to clean the heads on the camera.

So, P2 seems no less reliable than tape to me.
You may be right in your mathematics, the potential is there.
But from my experience, and I think that's what most people will judge by, I've had more problems with tape that I have ever had with digital files.

Just curious, how many times have you had a file corrupted by copying it?
And how many dropouts have you had over the years?

"Further, after they're backed up, virtually _all_ of the P2 cards will be completely erased"

If it's that big of a concern for you, check your files before you erase the card. There isn't anything you can do to recover dropped frames from tape, but at least with P2 you have the opportunity to recopy the files before erasing.


"BUT MOST PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS DON'T REQUIRE ERASING THE ORIGINAL FOOTAGE. "

We're talking about digital files here.
You're moving the orignal footage to a new source, and deleting the copy.
You still have your original footage, just not in the same place.
I view it as removing film from a film magazine, and reloading.
The original 'film' is still there, just like the same bit for bit copy of your files will be there, every bit the same as the files that were on the P2 card.




Luis Caffesse
Studio 3 Productions, Inc.
Austin, Texas


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Jan Crittenden
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 8:40:53 pm

Hi Peter,

You said: I know we could keep the dialog civil, and maybe even I'd learn a thing or two.

Ha! Ha! Ha! That is rich! No offense to you but I feel that this is probably wishful thinking. We can't even keep it civil and they aren't here. It is quite amazing to me that people can be so rude in their replies and I am not referring to anything you have said. I sometimes am tempted to ask, if they were standing in front of me would you address me that way?

>Now, back to our regularly-scheduled program, "The Thread That Ate The New Jersey Turnpike", Chapter Two: The Doubters Have At It Again!, where our heroine (fashionably attired, gazing at her computer screen with a look of composure, but also with some disapproval) was saying:

Now I see there here you read that into my words, given me a great wardrobe, so perhaps I am just as guilty and didn't put in enough melodrama, but if you were standing in front of me I would say pretty much the same thing, but you would see my face and know that I was just challenging you not dissing you. There is no way that I would sit and watch something frame for frame twice. I wouldn't do it and frankly I think it is a little unbelievable that you wouldn't find an easier way to do this.

>I hear you, but of course in most cases there won't be World Bank class data management --

Okay so maybe the World Bank was too high.

A>s I said before, I don't trust a computer any farther than I can throw it. Well, maybe a few feet further, but that's my limit.

But I do check on PowerPoint presentations and other documents that I find would be outstandingly inconvenient if they were lost. I check the file manager in Windows to see if they are the same size and move on. Perhaps that fact is really that you are just not looking at is as data. I do back up as it is important to understand the details of data world, but once we are there, boy life becomes much easier.

>Sure, backup systems usually work wonderfully well most of the time. Let's say they work correctly 99.99% of the time ... actually, Panasonic might even publish a "9s" statistic for their new P2 hardware; if so, it would be interesting to see.

So far I have found the only time my back up system didn't work was when I didn't do it.

>as a result Jan will be able to retire early!

In my wildest dreams! Please!

>The result is potentially (yes: only potentially) a somewhat random scattering of a not insignificant number of irretrievably lost original recorded frames, all over the world. And that's just what's _automatically_ lost in the process of the _required_ step of backing-up the P2 cards.

Hey the back up is either a tape or data. You can ask which is more reliable. Frankly I find my computer and its back to be the more reliable. And I always know where it is.

>Whereas, if the original recording was done on videotape, all of the original frames -- good frames as well as dropouts, creases, warped cassettes, and so forth -- would be happily sitting on a shelf, waiting for an archivist to retrieve them.

Or it is simply transferred to another source and the archivist can retrieve a lot more quickly as the archive can be interface to the database and the database can be funded by the metadata.

> In practice, dropouts, etc. are fairly infrequent, so maybe videotape is 99.99% reliable? I don't know. BUT MOST PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS DON'T REQUIRE ERASING THE ORIGINAL FOOTAGE. (Sorry for shouting, but that's the main point.)

I have seen more dropouts on tape that I have seen in my computer. And if you are going to shout, count to ten. This is supposed to be a civil conversation. Remember? ;-)

>Sure, TV news organizations may erase videotapes willy-nilly, but most other video production workflows don't. And although I'm sure Panasonic will continue to succeed selling P2 into TV news, the new, additional market push is elsewhere -- everywhere else -- where almost no one routinely erases original work on videotape and film.

You are not erasing your work; you are moving the work to elsewhere.

>I think there's an order of magnitude difference between those two scenarios, TV new vs. everything else.

I would say that you are correct, every arena has a workflow, but you keep looking at it from one view, and that is that you are erasing the work, no, you just moved it. Check it. Is it there? Yes? Then move on.

>Perhaps if we wrote 86,400 words per hour we might give it more thought. And care.

I do care and I do check.

>I'm not implying the Panasonic hasn't given P2 enough thought or care, but rather perhaps its implications haven't been well thought out by most non-TV news shooters.

Oh it has been given careful thought. The point is that you cannot approach it the same way as you do tape, or you will never leave tape behind. You have to do that paradigm shift thing. Think different! our friends at Apple say, I say think differently.

>P2-style media (including other frequently-erased media, such as hard drive-based acquisition) is long overdue. Managing the transition to it and reliably managing its dataflow will require a "World Bank"-level of effort if we're to avoid losing irretrievable chunks of history and culture.

Oh I think that is extreme. I think that anyone that is in the business of working the reality shows knows what they go through and how many times the stuff gets copied and dubbed and put into this computer and transferred to that one, it is a data management nightmare. Hey the point is that if we just look at it from the perspective, if I want to manage this, I will figure out a way. And I could be a small station in Illinois, and independent in NYC or a production company doing a 14 show reality series in LA. If I want to figure out how to manage my data I will. Just like if I want to find that PowerPoint that I was working on yesterday. Now where did I put it?...

Please understand, I am not saying that your feelings are illogical, I am only saying that you need to think about things differently or you will not be able to make the transition away from tape.

Best regards,

Jan



Jan M. Crittenden
Product Manager, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50, AG-DVX100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 8:54:27 pm

Jan, are Panasonic going to be producing any kind of automated P2 to optical media backup device (with bit checking verification to keep Peter happy)? I'd think that kind of device, if affordable (and why should it not be?) would be a great seller.

Graeme

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


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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 1:48:10 am

[Jan Crittenden] "Ha! Ha! Ha! That is rich! No offense to you but I feel that this is probably wishful thinking. We can't even keep it civil and they aren't here. It is quite amazing to me that people can be so rude in their replies and I am not referring to anything you have said. I sometimes am tempted to ask, if they were standing in front of me would you address me that way?"

Thank goodness it's civil here most of the time. The COW is a great place! And yes, people "say" the oddest things online, compared to "real" life. Ahem, my comments excluded of course. >cough<

[Jan Crittenden] "... if you were standing in front of me I would say pretty much the same thing, but you would see my face and know that I was just challenging you not dissing you. ..."

No offense taken, and I hope none was perceived. I was just imagining you reading my rant, with a _look_ on your face, you know, that subtle "Are you out of your mind?" look? :)

[Jan Crittenden] "... There is no way that I would sit and watch something frame for frame twice. I wouldn't do it and frankly I think it is a little unbelievable that you wouldn't find an easier way to do this. ..."

Well, I might watch every frame in a backup copy (in addition to electronically verifying it) if a recording was important -- and which ones aren't? -- and I was about to erase the only other copy -- the original -- and one of the copies wasn't "off site" yet. Even if I made two backups, I'd watch all of at least one of the backups before I erased the original recording. Darn straight. I'd like to believe other shooters would do the same, but I could be wrong.

I'd like to believe a client would pay me or someone to do it, but, damn, now I know I'm wrong ... ;-)

The "easier way to do this" would be my using a backup system I believe to be essentially 100% reliable, but I'm not a believer yet. It could happen. Heck, I might even buy an iPod one of these days. :)

[Jan Crittenden] "... You are not erasing your work; you are moving the work to elsewhere. ..."

If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck ... it is a duck. Of course, to quote "my" President, "I suppose that may depend on what one's definition of "is" is?"

So you may be right. Or should I say, "You is right."?

[Jan Crittenden] "... you keep looking at it from one view, and that is that you are erasing the work, no, you just moved it. Check it. Is it there? Yes? Then move on. ..."

Well, yes, when I look at it one way it's like looking down over the edge of a high cliff (!), but of course I could instead simply adjust my gaze ever so slightly upward, and instead see nothing but a beautiful bright blue sky, and then walk forward, into the future, if only but for a little while ... ;-)

OK, so I made my backup (or 2 or 3), and I see there's a little icon thingee that indicates the backup is All Good(TM). But later, me and several thousand users (out of a total of 30,000 times that number) later discover to our horror that 500 megs or 5 gigs or 100 gigs worth of backup is for some reason unknown to us Not All Good(TM) due to some software glitch in version 1.0b or whatever.

I worked in technical support at major software vendors for several years, and I've seen worse happen in terms of frequency -- but thank goodness none of my customers were dealing with 100s of gigs worth of data each! I definitely don't want that TS job, thank you.

But the preceeding senario won't be as big a problem if people follow my backup procedure, because they'd know their video backups were good, because they watched the _video_ (not some smiling icon or a flashing "OK") before they erased the original recording.

[Jan Crittenden] "I do care and I do check. ... Oh it has been given careful thought. The point is that you cannot approach it the same way as you do tape, or you will never leave tape behind. You have to do that paradigm shift thing. Think different! our friends at Apple say, I say think differently. ..."

I know you care or you wouldn't be here, and I appreciate that.

The dawning of the P2 Age does not herald-in a change in the laws of physics or norms of good table manners. It does however offer cool new ways to do old things. It also creates new opportunities for bad things to happen to good people -- especially if they're not careful how they use this shiny new cool tool.

Myself, I look forward to the day -- perhaps soon -- when someone will approach me with the remark: "Is that a P2 card in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?" 8)

All the best,

- Peter


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 6:51:01 am

As a stills photographer gone digital - does the memory "go wrong" and loose your pictures? It's certainly not happened here. As for XDCAM - it's neither tape nor solid state. It's an optical disc that would be quite fragile out of it's little carrier. It's nearly as mechanical as tape, and to me, looks reasonably suited for standard definition archiving, as it doesn't have the data rate for HD archiving. But why put one in a camera over tape?? It's advantages are slim at best. It's just a new way for Sony to sell a new "tape". It's not a format designed for aquisition, but a distribution format (blu ray) turned into something else by putting it in a caddy.

Carrying 30 or 40 of this XDCAM disks with you is hardly trivial. They only store, what is it, how many gigabytes? Hard drives are more compact, tape is more compact. Hard drives are faster, tape slower. XDCAM is not one thing or another, but a small stepping stone to "tapeless" acquisition. Why not go the whole way instead of putting your toe in the water??

Graeme

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


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 8:59:13 am

I want my Panasonic 24p HD camcorder under $10k hopefully under $5k and I want it to record on TAPE.... If its on 4gig P2 cards its just a toy to me, not a functioning real world device - too bad.

Let the ishuffle, and digital camera guys drive the price of SD flashcards down and then come out with 128gig P2's for under $2k. I'd still be terrified about zapping the card to put new data on it.

All this confidence in Hard Drives as an archive format is nutty too. Has anyone had a hard drive sitting on their shelf for ten years and then tried to boot it up again. I mean what was I using ten years ago SCSI, I don't even have SCSI cards and connections anymore. I have a 3/4 inch tape from 1980 that I just put in a deck and it was fine. That tape is 25 years old. Getting over to optical makes sense but so little data on a DVD. At the end of a show I easily have a terabyte or more of material, that's what a million DVD's. Currently I have tape source, my final output is to tape, I archive the drives hoping that maybe I'll be able to access them again in the future, but not with a lot of confidence. There's so many moving parts in a drive. Tape is so smart,cheap and simple.

If I have to take all the P2's and put them on tape... well that's just dumb, you're making 10 times more work.

I wish panasonic would make a workable camcorder and not a toy... I think its a big error.... unfortunate.



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Gabriel
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 10:27:20 am

Serge, I must point out several mistakes you make: a 4 GB card will hold more than 5 minutes of DVCPROHD. For that matter, 8GB cards will be availble very soon. Downloading the data from a 8GB card to a P2 store will be faster than real time, so You don't have any downtime. All your footage is ready to be edited - no capturing time. Archiving - you can use DVD discs where you put the raw data (not dvd compression, to make it clear). because it's a fast and nonlinear process, you can archive only the useful stuff, not everything. Major savings there - instead of puttting a $20 tape on the shelf, you put 4-5 discs worth 75c each. They are far more reliable and small and archiving can be done with a laptop these days - no need for expensive decks. Also, I don't think a statement from Sony is a valid argument - WHAT would you expect them to say, that P2 is a serious threat for their new round tape format?.. Blu-ray is an archiving/delivery format, not an aquisition one. Other than being non linear, there are no other advantages - you still have to capture, you can't free up space other than by erasing the whole disc, it's slow when you want to access anything ele than the proxy, no IT integration, expensive peripherials (players/decks). With P2 all you need is a laptop in the field and maybe a raid1 firewire/usb2 external hdd box, if you don't trust the p2 store. What you really need is to try and think out of the square and forget that the P2 card is your media. It deservs the same consideration as the memory in your PC - things come and go through there, it only happens that we take it out sometimes (NOT every 5 minutes).

Gabriel Costache
Sales Engineer
Panasonic NZ Ltd


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Simon Wyndham
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 23, 2005 at 9:00:38 am

Gabriel, you are very misinformed.

You can delete no-good takes from the disc just after they have been recorded, although you cannot delete a clip halfway through the disc. But in reality you would normally delete a no-good take right away anyway.

Also, the XDCAM disc CAN be accessed and copied to just like a hard drive. XDCAM saves as MXF files which are handled like any other file on the computer. XDCAM uses FAM file transfer and behaves in exactly the same way as P2 does when it is hooked up to the computer. I can copy the mxf files to the PC hard drive in exactly the same way as P2. In fact once the camera is hooked up to the computer there is NO difference between the P2 workflow and the xdcam workflow. XDCAM has slower access times, but that is offset by the fact that I can hold much more data on an XDCAM disc.

This is a case of horses for courses. I have the choice between swapping cards and dumping footage to a laptop often, but having very fast access times with P2, or I can record much longer with hardly any need to dump footage, but have slightly longer access times with XDCAM. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

Lastly I do not need a deck, I can just use the camera.

I use xdcam every day as I own a PDW510. I have to say it gets old real fast when people spread misinformation about the xdcam format. I like the idea of P2, and I think the two formats can exist side by side giving people the choice depending on their market.

Please get your facts straight.


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NICK B
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 10:51:20 am

There is no doubt in my mind that solid state recording is the future, the only debate is at what point you get on the train for the journey.
serge may join us at the last stop !

Serge you moan about the cost of P2 yet your shooting on a Varicam, need a deck in the edit and need to pay for digitizing costs.




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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 12:48:34 pm

Maybe Serge is still editing tape to tape in a linear suite :-) That would certainly explain why he likes tape.

Hey, I like tape, I have shelves full of the stuff. But just as I remember adopting NLE early on, and just as I made the mistake of not getting into digital video earlier, I'm ready to embrace solid state recording ahead of time!

Graeme

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


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karl
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
by
on Apr 4, 2005 at 12:10:14 pm

I think the key issue here Serge is that Panasonic would not have been able to deliver a 24p DVCPROHD cam if they had gone for a tape option. I've read several times that the tape transport in the Varicam is what makes it so expensive. getting 100mbps to tape is not a cheap thing. So the ONLY way you can have this cam cheap is if it records without a tape mechanism. Go and spend $40K or whatever on the varicam if you like tape but we cant expect that same set-up for $6K.

Panasonic have an opportunity to deliver an uncompromised HD image (i.e not HDV) to a wider audience. I think it is a bit ahead of it's time, workflow may be difficult - but it's just going to get easier as the years go on and it's going to be the best image qualitly you'll get from any cam in this price range.

For what it's worth I have the same reservations as you. I can film conferences all day - 10 hours, on my own. I have no time to be backing up data every 5/10 mintues. It's me in the field having to film everything as and when it happens, unexpectidly. I can't 'plan' for downtime to transfer.... This cam would NOT work in that situation. Especailly if I shot DVCPROHD and then the client wanted all the tapes - which happens. No, this is a real problem.

However the benefits of the cam, 1080p 4:2:2 colour space make me really think about using it for the short films I make. It isnt perfect. You think I want to stop every 5 mins to back-up my P2 card? No. But I could do it. Is it worth it for the quality of the footage I'm going to get compared to any other offering out there???? We'll see at NAB.

Who knows, some third party may come up with a portable device/ HDD to record direct to. For me that would be a great option.

Serge, I do not disagree with you at all. When I first heard about the workflow I thought Panasonic had gone mad. It isn't very practical right now, and it isnt for everyone. Yes it's expensive even if I buy 2 4GB cards with the camera. But am I prepared to accept this inconvenience to get affordable HD? If I could afford it I'd buy Varicam, but I cant!

I'm waiting to hear the NAB reports as the price of P2 is going to be a MAJOR factor in buying this camera. Who knows what Panasonic have planned. We know SD cards are very cheap, so I'm sure Panasonic could manufacture them for much much less than they are currently selling. 4 1GB cards will cost you less than $350 so $1700 to sandwich them up is some mark-up. Panasonic may cut this price enormously just to get people buying into P2. The DVX100 was a runaway success and you can be sure they will want the same thing from this camera.

If I had 30 mins of DVCPROHD 1080p for a reasonable price then thats a workable soltuion. Lets see what they offer and how long we have to wait.

For clarification how many minutes of DVCPROHD 1080p 24/25fps would you get on the 4GB/8GB card?


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Gabriel
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 12:22:00 pm

Karl,

As Jan said in another post, sorry, NAB.


Gabriel Costache
Sales Engineer
Panasonic NZ Ltd


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 12:43:17 pm

1TB = 217 DVDs, not 1 million, or about 83 miniDV tapes.

The hard drive stuff is all about getting the video into your NLE as fast and as easily as possible. It's not about long term storage.

If tape is so smart, cheap and simple, why do the BBC, of all people, have bother playing back D1 dubs of old quad recordings as the D1 decks are giving up the ghost. Come on - tape always has been iffy, and sure, an 80s Umatic might play back today, but the tape was so big, and the quality of the video on it so low, the tape would have to practically deteriorate to dust before you'd notice anyway.

Graeme

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


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Steve Connor
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 1:14:44 pm

Fact is tape will die at some point, P2 is the start of it, but it's going to be a long and painful death. For almost all the work we do at our company (Longform doccos, event programs etc) P2 workflow doesn't add up. I love the idea of it, and we'll probably get one, but it will take a while before it ticks all the right boxes for us.

Steve Connor
Cardinal HD


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 1:17:42 pm

Steve, that's a very wise response! Let's hope some of the as yet unnanounced things that Panasonic will announce at NAB will help all our P2 workflow dilemmas.

Graeme

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


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NICK B
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:29:39 pm

Am i missing something ?

At less than $10k you will get your money back so quick on a few paying jobs, i cannot see how you can go wrong.

When i bought my FCP Uncompressed HD set up it paid for itself in a few weeks doing SD work, if i had bought the Avid Nitris HD i would still be working for the bank !




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Luis Caffesse
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:36:43 pm

[NICK B] "At less than $10k you will get your money back so quick on a few paying jobs, i cannot see how you can go wrong. "

I completely agree Nick.
As I mentioned in another thread, I think we need to keep in mind that to shoot the same format right now would cost us roughly $85,000 (Varicam and Deck).

DVCProHD at under $10K is fantastic, and while the workflow may not be ideal for some productions, I think it's obvious that this is a groundbreaking offering from Panasonic.

I look forward to hearing all the details in few days.

Luis Caffesse
Studio 3 Productions, Inc.
Austin, Texas


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:39:22 pm

Varicam is $65l, Deck about $22k with options, and then you need a lens. I think you'll be spending more than $87k before you shoot a single frame! But boy do those pictures look nice :-)

Graeme

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


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Luis Caffesse
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:44:32 pm

[Graeme Nattress] "Varicam is $65l, Deck about $22k with options, and then you need a lens. I think you'll be spending more than $87k before you shoot a single frame! But boy do those pictures look nice :-) "

Alright, alright.
:)
I was just throwing out a rough price, but you're right, it would be over $85K.

The point is, this new camera will cost roughly 1/10th of the price of a current DVCProHD 24P setup, and I'm sure it will look better than 1/10th of the quality.

Luis Caffesse
Studio 3 Productions, Inc.
Austin, Texas


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 4:25:14 pm

You are indeed right that under $10k for a DV, DVCpro50 and DVCproHD camera is an absolutely awesome advance forwards, and it's probably $10k less than it should be by dropping tape.

Graeme

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


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Ron Shook
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 4:19:47 pm

Serge,

[Serge Rodnunsky] "All this confidence in Hard Drives as an archive format is nutty too. Has anyone had a hard drive sitting on their shelf for ten years and then tried to boot it up again. I mean what was I using ten years ago SCSI, I don't even have SCSI cards and connections anymore. I have a 3/4 inch tape from 1980 that I just put in a deck and it was fine. That tape is 25 years old. Getting over to optical makes sense but so little data on a DVD."

I see where you are coming from, but you just aren't keeping up with recent developments. Hard drives aren't for archiving. They are for initial recording and short term storage. You can take it to the bank that there will be hard drive recording options for this camera either from Pana or 3rd parties that'll take care of any long form recording issues. By the time this Camera delivers, or shortly thereafter, there will be holographic worm optical drives that can hold 200 gigs, transfer at 20MB/sec, cost $50 for the media ($.25/gigabyte,) that takes care of any long term archiving needs. There will be folks using this camera that don't purchase a P2 card for a year or 2 until the prices drop considerably, but in the meantime, the stage is set. Check out the Maxell booth at NAB about Holographic Optical. Other than the fact that it's not rewritable, it blows BlueRay or HDVD out of the water as a video post-pro workflow tool.

This is a brilliant move by Panasonic to get P2 moving and the prices for the media dropping and it's aimed just as much, if not more, at XD-Cam as it is at 1/3" palmcorder competitors.

Ron Shook



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Derek Antonio Serra
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 7:11:27 pm

I agree that something like P2 may well be the future - but in the here and now it's going to be a hard sell with XDCAM already established and XDCAM-HD in the offing. These format wars are really exhausting. I remember attending a Panasonic pre-release promo on DV. They said that DV would be standard for all manufacturers - then they went and produced DVCPro! Wouldn't it be great for consumers if manufacturers attempted to work together for a change to produce a format which suits the end-users needs? Year after year we have to endure the hype surrounding the next "amazing" format. Some of us buy in, with decks, camera's, accessories. A year or so down the line the stuffs obsolete. Time to buy again...


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 7:31:40 pm

DVCpro is much more robust than DVCAM though. Codec is the same, and that's all that really matters. As for format wars - XDCAM doesn't fit in camcorders. It's too big and bulky. If people are buying XDCAM, it's because of one thing only, and that's the name Sony on the front of it. You may as well shoot tape as XDCAM.

Graeme

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


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NICK B
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 7:40:44 pm

You could say P2 is not a format !

No need to buy a deck either !!


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 12:32:43 am

I left for 10 minutes and all hell broke lose, its like we're talking about religion here.

I work on a healthy mix of peanut productions and cumcumber sandwich productions.

I don't buy any gear generally. I rent the Varicam for a week and I rent the deck for a couple days to digitize the tapes.

If there's some great long form Hard Drive docking system going to be apart of this camera, well then I guess I'll wait and see.

Cutting film out of the movie and still industry makes sense, Film beautiful but very expensive and scary stuff. Its prone to scratches and dirt and damage and weave and flicker and bad processing or handling etc. etc. etc.
I think HD tape has shown to be cheap and less dangerous. Flash Cards work for still guys because they're doing very little data acquition in comparison.
I don't do it anymore but for awhile people were using tape backups of their harddrives, is that "tape" bad too?

I don't have a "data management" staff, although I could go on and on about nimrods erasing drives and data or crashing systems that lose hundreds of hours of work. Or people BLOWING over files because they "Thought" or "they were told" the stuff was backed up already. We've all been there. Productions are always sleepless environments.

Paranoia Squared = P2

There's a lot of toys you can have on a show, cool lenses, cool cranes, cool locations, but you've got to have your basics covered first.

I'm sure in time I'll relook at the issue, but I hope these type of threads help get us better workable gear, cheaper.





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T Mathai
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 5:19:28 am


>>>>>>Cutting film out of the movie and still industry makes sense, Film beautiful but very expensive and scary stuff. Its prone to scratches and dirt and damage and weave and flicker and bad processing or handling etc. etc. etc. <<<<


Oh please, film has been used for 100 years, used on thousands of productions. It still have a superior image and will outlast any tape format as an archival format. Sure it's fragile and accidents happen, but anyone with any experience knows how to handle it.

Film won't be around forever, but what replaces it won't be HD, it'll be something higher than 2k, have the same or greater dynamic range and will be the new high end format to covet.


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jeremiah black
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 5:16:10 am

(serge) I want my Panasonic 24p HD camcorder under $10k hopefully under $5k and I want it to record on TAPE.... If its on 4gig P2 cards its just a toy to me, not a functioning real world device - too bad.

So, let me get this straight- you want a professional HD camcorder that records to tape for 5k? Well, I want a Ferrari for 5K, but it's not going to happen, because it's too expensive of an item to sell at that low of a price. The 8 pairs of record heads in the varicam's tape transport cost $800 a pair- that's $6400. And that's what it costs PANASONIC to build, not what they charge us for it. So, your infanitle tantrum about demanding an HD camera for 5k reveals a tremendous disconnect with reality on your part. It's not so much that the new P2 camera is just recording to P2 for fun, it's that it HAS to record to P2, otherwise there's no way we could get an HD signal on a palmcorder. In order to record to tape you need an entire tape transport and record heads and a camera twice the size, and it isn't possible to MAKE this camera for 5k, much less SELL it for one. Look at it this way: If you want DVCPRO HD/24p for under 10k, it HAS to be a P2 camera. So either buy one or don't, but quit crying in forums.

Plus, I thought you were a big, big professional with dozens of feature films under your belt, and you're telling your max budget is 5k for an HD camera? You say you're concerned about shooting on a "toy", but yet you want your "professional" camera to come in at 5k? Is this a joke? Just remeber that the P2 was invented by the same company that invented the Varicam you love so much, so let's just wait and see, and in the meantime let's all assume they know what they're doing.



jeremiah black
dual 2 gig G5
2.5 gigs of RAM
Decklink Extreme capture card


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 12:05:54 pm

Valid points Jeremiah, but you're getting a little personal and heated. Fully understand, as some comments on the forum do sound as iif they're almost designed to provoke reaction.

Respectfully,

Graeme

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


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tony salgado
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 6:53:52 pm

Gramme,


Your point on news outlets having no problem rerecording over source tapes really means nothing due to the fact news stories are temporary.

P2 is the ideal recording format for news outlets where re-using the original source media is a requirement. An average 90 sec daily piece does not require more than a maximum of 40 minutes of source footage.

In the world of commercia,features and broadcast long form programming the current expectations for a producer are for the camera masters to be an asset which can be used long term.

When the price of P2 drops to match tape stock I can foresee many tape based producers considering a switch. Ultimately it will be the clients and producers who must live with the perils of any new technology that will make the final decision regardless of any marketing hype that attempts to convince them to switch their current workflow.


Tony Salgado



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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 7:13:48 pm

I see it purely as a workflow issues, not a cost issue of P2. It just makes total sense to me, to be shooting with a lightweight, low power, no moving parts format. And It also makes sense to store footage for the long term on some kind of magneto-optical / optical storage, and all that I can see that's missing, is the workflow between them. Digital Photographers have this workflow sorted, but I'm sure they were sceptical at first. P2 is very much ahead of it's time and it may take a few years for the workflow to catch up, but it will. In the meantime, it means a camera that is probably about $10,000 less in price than the equivalent camera with tape drive would be, and we don't need to spend another $20,000+ on a deck, assuming we're happy backing up to optical media. To me, that's over $30,000 I don't need to spend to be up and editing high qualilty (assuming the camera and optics are as good as we hope) high definition video.

Graeme

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


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toke lahti
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 5, 2005 at 9:06:40 pm

I think choosing the media is just about expenses.
Card reader is cheaper than optical drive which is cheaper than tape drive.

Using solid state for acquisition might be a bit more reliable than optical
disk, but then you have one more workstage for dumping the memory card to
optical disk.

In couple of years price for a 50 GB bluray disk will be something like $2,
so hd or solid state can't compete as an archival format for at least a
decade or so. I'm not sure even if hd will ever be reliable enough for
archiving.

My bet it that summer 2006 one TB of bd costs $50, hd $500 and p2 $64,000.
So the question is do you acquire straight to disk or through the cards.

PD-disk might be a bit big in the camera, but think about 72 Mbps of
1080p24 for 40 minutes and not with 60% of it as a total waste.
And that's 80 minutes with double layer.

Why is that, lots of people are telling that you can have only one bitrate
with tape system (dvcproHD) and that's why you have to dump that 60% of
recorded data, but when card based system arrives, it just keep on dumping?
At the same time sony can record with 5 different tape speeds and bitrates
with hdcam...

Btw, sony has had a dvcam deck many years that can transfer data with 4x speed.
So they could easily release quite cheap dvcamHD camera with 45 minutes of
recording time. But they won't because they will be getting better profits
out of selling PD-disks than tapes.

Anyway, I'm happy to get anything progressive 16:9 above 25 Mbps under $30k.

And then if we could bet more color depth out of these cameras than 8 bits.
That's sooo 80s'...
Getting signal out of dsp before compression would practically just be installing
the hd-sdi-socket, but of course not, we need something like Reel-Stream to do that.

It's nice to have great improvements with video cameras, but if you are not an ENG-shooter,
we are still so far away from optimal digital cinema cameras.
Maybe there are only big enough markets for cameras that have these "full auto" buttons...


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Serge Rodnunsky
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 6, 2005 at 1:50:27 am

I shot a couple of films on Varicam Panasonic HD that are going to be at upcoming festivals.

Indigo Hearts - Beverly Hills Film Festival.
http://www.beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com April 16th, 10pm. Clarity Theater.

Shattered Day - Dances with Films Festival.
http://www.danceswithfilms.com in early May.

Check them out at my site http://www.rojakfilms.com. Just to show that I do all kinds of productions. Zero and up, mostly zero.

I really enjoy the Varicam, there is already low end competition in tape HDV it may not be there yet, but its dangerously close to the untrained eye. The argument that I have unrealistic expectations about tape in Panasonic may be valid, but HDV is doing it, maybe not as high end, but its HD. A lot of people I know are shooting DVX100a and are very happy and its not HD.


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Christopher DeAngelus
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 15, 2005 at 3:45:51 am

I'm going to apologize up-front for not reading every post; if what I say here has been stated already, it's because I stopped around the 30s, to share my insights with you.

My biggest fear with P2 is the same fear that realizes itself every few months or so in my Final Cut Pro workflow. Corrupt files and disks. There was quite a bit of talk about checksums and whatnot; what happens if the checksum comes back stating there IS a problem in the file? It's been my experience, that, unlike tape, I can't isolate that problem and save the rest of the media. In tape, a dropped frame at worst ruins a shot. Even a tear in the tape can be repaired. In digital format, a glitch in the file (or storage medium) usually kills all of it. That's a high price to pay for a single error, and I've paid it quite a few times. The saving grace in all of it has been that I had the original tape to go back to and redigitize the material. However, with P2, I have to make a successful transfer to tape in order to have that assurance. Otherwise, I'm still working with a digital copy where simple corruption can be both irreversible and catastrophic.

Someone made the analogy to photography, and Office documents. There is a difference here as well. If, say, 3 blocks of data are corrupted amongst 12000 photos (totally random numbers here) you lose the individual photos that were corrupt, but the rest is salvagable, accepting that the rest of the storage medium is fine. With a video file, in today's world, you lose any video that had part of it's file in that corrupted area, even if 90% of the data (frames of footage) are not corrupt. While I won't say you can't get these back, have fun doing it. Basically, with digital files, your collateral damage potential jumps signifigantly.

As a final note, there is a lot of talk in this thread about backing up your data. I'd like to point out that the #1 method for backing up data in the corporate world is to back it up to tape, because of the cost + reliability of tape. For now, those two factors seem to outweigh, at least to me, the P2 benefits.


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 15, 2005 at 1:01:37 pm

Tape is certainly used to back up large amounts of data, but only large business use tape, Small businesses use optical disc based solutions, and as optical discs become cheaper and larger, this is the force that will drive your video backup solutions.

And sure the digital photographer might take many thousands of photos, but that's to get the 20 or so that count, and loosing one of them is like you loosing a footage tape worth of video that has a key shot on it, surrounded by outtakes. Sure, it's not a direct analogy, but don't dismiss it either - to each individual there is data you cannot bare to loose, whether it be video, images or words.

To me, the weakest part of the "tape" solution is the very moment of capture to tape in camera itself, where a dropout could clog your heads for minutes and you could not be recording anything useful at all, or the tape could get scratched by a piece of dirt on a roller or part of the mechanism. I think we've all had something like that happen. That's the first key point of danger with tape that P2 eliminates, and after that, backups are in your own hands, just as they are with tape.

Graeme

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


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Christopher DeAngelus
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 15, 2005 at 2:27:39 pm

Working for a company with four employees, I don't consider this a large corporation, and I use tape to back up. I know other small companies that use tape to back up as well. It is not just limited to large corporations.

As for P2 eliminating tape clogs: as with most technology, it is not eliminating a problem, it is replacing a problem with other problems. You use an example of head clogs, which is specific to the tape mechanism. Going to solid state may eliminate head clogs, but now you've added, say, static shock of the P2 card (which can kill the card and/or erase the contents) as a potential hazard, something I'm sure we in the northeast get quite a bit with our cold, dry winters. You've also added failure to the solid state memory inside as another problem. Where a clogged head can be repaired, try to repair a fused/shorted/physically damaged memory chip. The effect of that is the same as a clogged head: downtime.

Both systems have weaknesses. Neither is perfect. P2 is an interesting solution, but thinking it will eliminate all your problems is shortsighted. You are simply trading one set of advantages/disadvantages for another. As of right now, with the cost/size what it is, I can't see it being an answer.


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Graeme Nattress
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 15, 2005 at 2:33:15 pm

I would think that any danger to memory cards is a couple of orders magnitude less than with tape. I've used the same kind of chips that are in P2 with my digital camera, and never had the slightest bit bother with them. They're a much more reliable technology than tape will ever be. So yes, you are trading one set of problems for another, but in that trade the new problems are over 100 times less likely to happen - fair trade it would seem!

Graeme

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


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