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iMan
Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 19, 2006 at 7:09:05 pm

Panasonic HVX200 workflow with FireStore

I am about to buy a Panasonic HVX2000 camera, but I would like some advice on the workflow I have in mind.

I'm working in PAL in the UK.

Question 1: P2 cards are still a bit pricey, so can I buy a Focus Firestore and record in the best quality DVCPRO50HD mode direct to it, or do you need P2 cards for the highest HD recording quality?

Question 2: Depending on the answer to the above, I intend editing in my Final Cut Pro 5HD suite, which is made up of a Dual 2 Ghz G5 Powermac with an extra internal 500GB hard drive and two 250GB external LaCie FireWire 400 hard drives. RAM is 1 gig. Can this computer handle it or will I have to buy extra hardware? if so, what?

From the Firestore (if question 1 is answered yes), can I import that footage straight into Final Cut Pro with a timeline sequence set up as DVCPRO50HD at 1080x1920?

Finaly, I need to author in DVD Studio Pro (latest one as part of Final Cut Studio) and burn out a master DVD that can be sent off and replicated so the DVD can go on general sale. I assume this stage will have to be Standard Def?

I've been used to a DVCAM workflow with Final Cut for about 5 years now, so I'm clued up on all that stuff, it is just this new HD workflow that is a bit daunting and scary.

To wrap up this question, should I just use the HVX200 to shoot in standard def mini-dv mode and wait for the HD workflow to get easier, or is it easy now?

Thanks a lot guys, but I really do need advice on this as I have a very important commercial production that I'm shooting in 6 weeks and I need to work out my workflow before then. I can't shoot this on my old Sony DSR390 as it is not even Widescreen.


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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 19, 2006 at 7:16:15 pm

Sorry, forgot to also mention this little fact. There is a little glitch to this, there is going to be another camera used for this shoot as a second camera. It is a JVC GY-HD101E, which shoots HDV progressive or standard dv interlace only. No HD.


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 20, 2006 at 1:00:32 pm

[iMan] "It is a JVC GY-HD101E, which shoots HDV progressive or standard dv interlace only. No HD."

iMan,

The JVC GY-HD101E will in fact be shooting pictures that are more 'HD' when shooting in HDV mode than the HVX 200 you'll be using - it records with CCD's that are 1280x720 pixels, whereas the Panasonic has CCD's that are only 960x540 (not that much greater than Standard Definition!!!). I've seen side-by-side tests with both cameras and the JVC definitely produces sharper looking pictures than the Panasonic. Also with such small sized CCD's in the Panasonic, the degree of up-sampling of the chroma information means there is probably not that much difference between the colour held in the JVC's 4:2:0 recorded image compared to the Panasonic's 4:2:2 recorded image. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with either camera, it's just that I get tired of people saying HDV is not HD - I'm sure the HDV consortium did a disservice to the format by putting a DV in it's name. HDV is definitely HD because it produces pictures that are larger in dimension than standard def. Standard def is 720x576 for PAL and 720x480 for NTSC. The 1080i HDV spec is 1440x1080 (which incidentally is the same as HDCam) and the 720p HDV spec is 1280x720 (compare this to Panasonic's high-end VariCam that has a native resolution of only 960x720!!). Both JVC's HDV camera and Panasonic's DVCProHD P2 camera are most definitely HD. The difference lies merely in the algorithms used to compress the material - and by the way, there is no uncompressed HD tape format on the planet!

Stephen Downes


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 20, 2006 at 1:39:16 pm

[Stephen Downes] "The JVC GY-HD101E will in fact be shooting pictures that are more 'HD' when shooting in HDV mode than the HVX 200 you'll be using - it records with CCD's that are 1280x720 pixels, whereas the Panasonic has CCD's that are only 960x540 (not that much greater than Standard Definition!!!). I've seen side-by-side tests with both cameras and the JVC definitely produces sharper looking pictures than the Panasonic. Also with such small sized CCD's in the Panasonic, the degree of up-sampling of the chroma information means there is probably not that much difference between the colour held in the JVC's 4:2:0 recorded image compared to the Panasonic's 4:2:2 recorded image."

Stephen, you are very mistaken in the fact that if you just look at the chip size, you think you know how it all works out. Frankly you have to look at each of these cameras as a complete system and thus when you record the JVC to tape and then start to make the comparisons to the HVX's recordings, the JVC definitely starts to fall down. You cannot say that the color is not hampered by 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2, 19mbs vs 100mbs, frame independent capture vs long GOP, and yes I know the GOP on the JVC is only 6, but trust me when I say you can cause it some heartburn, just like you can when you try to chromakey the stuff. No you can say you have looked, but there are just as many tests out there that say more of the resolution in the JVC is not resolution but more sharpening.

The fact they you say that there is upsampling in the Panasonic camera says that you are not very clear on how CCDs work. They are an analog device. The signal that comes off of them is an analog signal. What comes off of the HVX chipset is offset spatially to gain additional resolution and only then does it get captured and moved into the digital domain. There is not pixel for pixel relationship to the output on any manufacturer's camera. Doesn't work that way. To see read how the HVX CCDs are handled, take a read on http://www.defperception.com. There is an article there that discusses how the signals are sampled off of the HVX CCD set. And it really doesn't matter with manufacturer, the ccd is an analog device.

Frankly presenting HDV with too much information can come back to hurt you as well, once the camera starts to move. You cannot look at live camera output and sy I know these cameras. You have to look at them in total with the recording system working.

[Stephen Downes] "I'm not saying there is anything wrong with either camera, it's just that I get tired of people saying HDV is not HD - I'm sure the HDV consortium did a disservice to the format by putting a DV in it's name. "

I don't think that anyone really means that it it really isn't HD but I do feel that what they are really talking about is that it is a very difficult codec to work with in production and maintain image quality. It virtualy demands that you work in an intermediate codec during the edit process. This is not true of the DVCPRO HD codec, which was designed for professional use. The difference between it and HDV is night and day. Even the 25Mbs HDV has a struggle against the DVCPRO HD at 100Mbs.

[Stephen Downes] "HDV is definitely HD because it produces pictures that are larger in dimension than standard def. Standard def is 720x576 for PAL and 720x480 for NTSC. The 1080i HDV spec is 1440x1080 (which incidentally is the same as HDCam) and the 720p HDV spec is 1280x720 (compare this to Panasonic's high-end VariCam that has a native resolution of only 960x720!!). Both JVC's HDV camera and Panasonic's DVCProHD P2 camera are most definitely HD. The difference lies merely in the algorithms used to compress the material - and by the way, there is no uncompressed HD tape format on the planet!"

And on another forum I mentioned to Iman that the problem he will have here in bringing these two formats together on the same project and having them work well will require that he work virtually from the get go in uncompressed on the the edit domain. The fact is that the two algorithms are so different you will need to move out of them completely to acheive anything of value.

Best,

Jan



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



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donatello
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 20, 2006 at 4:20:20 pm

bottom line is a real image at 24fps/30fps not a resolution chart at 1 frame per 3 min.
moving away form the HVX .. take a look at the higher end camera's varicam 720p against the other 1080p camera's ..
varicam has lowest res , and lets just say ( don't know if it does) it comes in last on all technical test - does that mean it has the worst image ?
well you will see that on just about every test/comparison between hi end HD camera's the Varicam is always mentioned as the most film like , the preferred image, the best image when viewing clips at running speeds ..

so lets just say the HVX has the lowest res of the hand size camera's. and lets just say it has the most noise and comes it last on all test - what you don't hear test/comparision say is it has worst image - infact you hear just the opposite .. very good to excellent image and ALWAYS it is said most film like !!!

so you want to show a audience ressolution/technical test charts or real images?

now some will prefer one camera image over another image - IMO look at the test but decide by real image clips at running speed !!





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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 20, 2006 at 10:30:44 pm

Jan,

I think you misinterpret the purpose of my post. It certainly was not to dish the HVX 200, it was merely out of the frustration of others unfairly stating that HDV is not HD, when it patently is (it produces images that are larger than standard def so it has to be hi def!). I think the HVX 200 is another fantastic tool to add to our burgeoning HD filming toolkit, as I think are some of the HDV cameras - each has it's place. If you need variable frame-rate in a small form factor then the HVX is the one for you, however the P2 workflow has serious limitations for long-form documentary and maybe an HDV camera is the way to go here (note: Discovery Channel International are not encouraging their co-producers to shoot with the HVX 200 due to archiving and storage implications but encourage the use of the Canon XL H1 and the Sony Z1 and are saying DV is no longer acceptable for SD production).

I would never advocate choosing a camera on it's CCD dimensions alone and totally agree with you that one must judge the camera as a whole and look at the quality of results. This is in fact the challenge I'd put to many who suggest that HDV is not HD - just look at properly shot material on the appropriate high-end HD monitor and then judge for yourself, don't listen to here-say. I've done exactly that and the HDV material looked stunning as did the HVX material. My dissertation on camera pixel dimensions was merely to make my point that HDV cameras are in fact true HD. And by-the-way, the comparison tests were performed with both cameras set to their minimum detail settings - the JVC could resolve around 700 TV lines in both the vertical and horizontal, whereas the HVX was resolving about 550 TV lines in both dimensions.

I do understand CCD's are analogue devices and that there isn't a 1:1 pixel relationship. I also happen to know that pixel shift technology acts to up the luminance resolution but does little to the chrominance information. Therefore take the analogy of another analogue source. If you were to record a VHS signal to DVCProHD would it improve the picture quality - no. But would it improve the image's robustness through the multi-generation edit process - yes.

This brings me to my last point. To get the most out of HDV it must be thought of as an acquisition format only. To post in HDV beyond mere cuts is mad. Everyone I know who is shooting HDV, is either cutting as uncompressed if they've got fast enough disk arrays, or as another intra-frame codec, if not. Many are cutting HDV acquired footage as DVCProHD due to the codec's high image quality and low data footprint - the quality of the end results look stunning. Indeed, HDV shooters owe a debt of gratitude to Panasonic for their DVCProHD codec, for it allows them to achieve fantastic image quality at very low cost of entry.

And just for the record, when I'm shooting high-end HD productions I usually shoot VariCam.

Best,

Stephen Downes


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 21, 2006 at 1:20:49 am

[Stephen Downes] "I think you misinterpret the purpose of my post. It certainly was not to dish the HVX 200, it was merely out of the frustration of others unfairly stating that HDV is not HD, when it patently is (it produces images that are larger than standard def so it has to be hi def!).

I understood that part, but you did go on to try and diss the HVX by saying the the 4:20 of the HDV in the JVC would be equal to the 4:2:2 of the HVX, which frankly is patently untrue.

>I think the HVX 200 is another fantastic tool to add to our burgeoning HD filming toolkit, as I think are some of the HDV cameras - each has it's place. If you need variable frame-rate in a small form factor then the HVX is the one for you, however the P2 workflow has serious limitations for long-form documentary and maybe an HDV camera is the way to go here

Well again you may not realize how many long form docus are currently in the making using the HVX, but there are a good number with one of the leading contenders being done by Marc Singer, Award winning filmmaker, (Dark Days Sundance 2000). In fact he has taken the camera where no other camera has succeeded into a field of explosions and bullets, and even with a richocet bullet wound it is still recording. And yest he is strictly using P2 cards and the P2 Store. It is an 18 month Documentary that will move to Afghanistan in about a month or so.

>(note: Discovery Channel International are not encouraging their co-producers to shoot with the HVX 200 due to archiving and storage implications but encourage the use of the Canon XL H1 and the Sony Z1 and are saying DV is no longer acceptable for SD production).

Actually that was not the reason for their stipulation at all. Their rationale was that the image quality was not up to their standards of 2/3" cameras. Here is where the guidelines for the HVX actually match those for the HDV product at Discovery. They do not prefer HDV over the HVX at all. It has the same 15% clause.

>This is in fact the challenge I'd put to many who suggest that HDV is not HD - just look at properly shot material on the appropriate high-end HD monitor and then judge for yourself, don't listen to here-say. I've done exactly that and the HDV material looked stunning as did the HVX material.

Well your experience is different than others that I have seen, but it is definitaely something that can be attributed to content dependent recordings. Shoot your test on what you want to record and if it works for you, fine. If not, not amount of resolution chart recording will make it so.

>My dissertation on camera pixel dimensions was merely to make my point that HDV cameras are in fact true HD. And by-the-way, the comparison tests were performed with both cameras set to their minimum detail settings - the JVC could resolve around 700 TV lines in both the vertical and horizontal, whereas the HVX was resolving about 550 TV lines in both dimensions.

This is because there is excessive sharpening in the camera that is not present in the HVX. There are numerous catfights about the resolution on these cameras and frankly no one gets paid for resolution, they get paid for pictures and this is where the HDV products get the bad rap. That is, when you least expect it, there is a problem in the algorithm and boom, you have footage that is unusable and you don't know it unless you review the footage.

>I do understand CCD's are analogue devices and that there isn't a 1:1 pixel relationship. I also happen to know that pixel shift technology acts to up the luminance resolution but does little to the chrominance information. Therefore take the analogy of another analogue source. If you were to record a VHS signal to DVCProHD would it improve the picture quality - no. But would it improve the image's robustness through the multi-generation edit process - yes.

This is ridiculous but in essence if the camera has a low resolution it would be enhanced greatly in its stability and newly found color depth, all coming out of the 4:2:2 and frame based algorithm. Given that same VHS level of resolution to HDV, it would fare as well as any HDV signal does.

>This brings me to my last point. To get the most out of HDV it must be thought of as an acquisition format only. To post in HDV beyond mere cuts is mad. Everyone I know who is shooting HDV, is either cutting as uncompressed if they've got fast enough disk arrays, or as another intra-frame codec, if not. Many are cutting HDV acquired footage as DVCProHD due to the codec's high image quality and low data footprint - the quality of the end results look stunning.

And that is the whole point of the HVX, shoot in DVCPRO HD to begin with.

>Indeed, HDV shooters owe a debt of gratitude to Panasonic for their DVCProHD codec, for it allows them to achieve fantastic image quality at very low cost of entry."


However, I think that one needs to be concerned with the fact that if starting in HDV and making a cross concatenation to another compressed format is not the best way to go and many engineers would argue that this sets you up for problems that may crop up in further generations. Be assured though 4:2:0 does not turn into richer color when trancoded to DVCPRO HD. The color that is present in that original signal becomes 4:2:2. This is very different than being there in the first place as with the HVX.

Best regards,

Jan



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



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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 21, 2006 at 4:49:16 am

Jan,

I refuse to continue this dialogue because with words such as 'patently untrue' and 'ridiculous' to some of my statements, you obviously already have your mind made up and no amount of discussion will change your view. I'm one of the people who uses the equipment you sell, to make films. I have no brand loyalty (as I stated earlier, I use VariCam much of the time) and all I can relate are mine and my colleagues findings using the equipment in the field and how we manage to make it work for us. I also know there are many people on these web threads who've commented on and found the same things as I.

The one thing I will comment on is Discovery policy since it effects the company I work for greatly. The following is an internal memo at Discovery - you make up your own mind whether they have problems with the P2 workflow at present:

The document was written by Josh Derby who is Discovery's Manager of Technical Standards and Operations.

The memo is as follows:

Panasonic P2 technology represents the next generation of acquisition formats, cameras that record files to re-usable media and enable truly tapeless production and post production. The day for that technology is certainly coming but there are questions as to whether its time has tryly arrived. P2 cards are expensive and are in no way disposable, nor are they intended to be stored as camera masters. As DCI requires producers to deliver original camera masters for all original and comissioned projects, the concept of fixed media poses a challenge. There may be a time in the future where DCI will be prepared to handle digital file-based delivery from its producers but until that time P2 will be governed by the following restrictions.

1. Material captured using P2 for commissions and original productions must be cloned to an approved tape format for final delivery to DCI. Tapes should be cloned in such a way as to ensure that they are properly referenced in the program's final EDL or NLE project with proper timecode and tape name.

2. The program producer must demonstrate that workflow cost savings achieved by using the P2 format will cancel the expense of the transfer to tape.

3.Material for standard definition must be captured on P2 in the DVCPRO 50 codec. Material for high definition programs must be captured in the DVCPRO 100 codec.

4. The Panasonic HVX200 camera, which can record video in HD standards onto P2 media, has not been approved for unrestricted HD acquisition. While this camera records HD video onto the recording media the optical performance of the camera is closer to the performance of an HDV than to a oprofessional 2/3" camera system. Consequently, HD media captured using this camera will be governed by the HDV guidelines. The HVX200 may be used in the DVCPRO format for unrestricted Standard Definition capture.



I also have a Discovery document that recommends the use of the Canon XL H1 and Sony Z1 in Standard Def production and how HDV should be handled in post - it's exactly what I outlined in my earlier post (cutting preferably uncompressed).

Also, the company I work for has just purchased a number of HVX 200's. The intention of my original post was not to flame the HVX but was merely to state how sick and tired I was of people incorrectly implying that HDV wasn't really HD. Enough said.

Stephen Downes


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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 21, 2006 at 12:09:39 pm

Thanks everyone for the great input. One more question I've thought of. Regarding shooting in SD mode on both cameras. If I shoot using the HVX200's best quality SD mode, think that is DVCPRO50? and use the JVC in SD Mini-DV mode, am I right in assuming that I can mix these two lots of footage in the same Final Cut Pro sequence as they are both 720x576 right? or will the DVCPRO50 standard def codec not work as it is different from the JVC standard def mini-dv codec?

Thanks again people.


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 21, 2006 at 2:04:58 pm

iMan,

Final Cut can't mix codecs within the same timeline, so material brought in digitally over firewire or directly from P2 would leave you in the situation of choosing a codec (probably the DVCPro50 codec for its higher 4:2:2 quality and lower compression) and then having to forever render the other material. The only way around this is to have either a third party video card or an AJA IO and capture all material through one of these via component (both cameras have component output) to a common high quality codec - the best would be 10 bit uncompressed.

Hope this helps,

Stephen Downes


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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 21, 2006 at 4:19:58 pm

That helps a lot. I assume I bring in the SD DVCPRO50 footage from my P2 card, then bring in the SD footage from JVC in Mini-DV mode, then with a sequence set up to higher quality one i.e. the Panny Standard def DVCPRO50, I bring the DVCPRO50 clips to the timeline, then as I drop the JVC standard def mini-dv footage onto the timeline, it will be red-lined indicating that I will need to render it?
Then I simply render it and away I go?

If I chose to use an AJA IO card in 10 bit uncompressed and brining in via component, won't their be a loss of quality as component is not as good as FireWire?
Also, with 10 bit uncompressed, won't I need to upgrade my hardware i.e. raid aray etc or will my exsisting internal 7200 hard drive do the job.


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 23, 2006 at 2:59:04 am

[iMan] "That helps a lot. I assume I bring in the SD DVCPRO50 footage from my P2 card, then bring in the SD footage from JVC in Mini-DV mode, then with a sequence set up to higher quality one i.e. the Panny Standard def DVCPRO50, I bring the DVCPRO50 clips to the timeline, then as I drop the JVC standard def mini-dv footage onto the timeline, it will be red-lined indicating that I will need to render it?
Then I simply render it and away I go?"

Yes that's correct.

[iMan] "If I chose to use an AJA IO card in 10 bit uncompressed and brining in via component, won't their be a loss of quality as component is not as good as FireWire?
Also, with 10 bit uncompressed, won't I need to upgrade my hardware i.e. raid aray etc or will my exsisting internal 7200 hard drive do the job."

The component capture will look very good and any small lose in quality going through this analogue stage would be more than compensated for by getting the material into a robust codec - multiple renders and particularly graphics can look terrible in the DV codec.
To go 10 bit uncompressed SD you'd probably need a raid array, but a single 7200 rpm SATA drive may just do it (two raided together definitely will) but if not 10 bit you could do 8 bit uncompressed or even Photo-JPEG at 75% gives online quality if you've got older IDE/ATA drives.

But iMan I'm wondering, why limit your quality to SD acquisition? Why not shoot DVCProHD on the HVX and HDV on the JVC. It sounds as though you've got a firewire-based system, so If you've got Final Cut 5 import the P2 DVCProHD as you normally would, then capture the HDV material and do a batch transcode to DVCProHD. Then cut everything in DVCProHD, which your 7200 rpm drive should handle as the maximum data rate is only 14 MB/s. If you don't have Final Cut 5 you can use the free apps DVHSCap or VirtualDVHS to capture the HDV material and then transcode it to DVCProHD using the free Squared 5 MPEG Slipstream. When you finish the cut you can do a final convertion/output to whatever format you require. Even if the final requirement is Standard Def, the image quality you get by acquiring in Hi Def and eventually down-converting will look fantastic - more like it was originally shot on a format like DigiBeta.

Hope this helps,

Stephen Downes




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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 23, 2006 at 8:55:47 am

[Steve]But iMan I'm wondering, why limit your quality to SD acquisition? Why not shoot DVCProHD on the HVX and HDV on the JVC. It sounds as though you've got a firewire-based system, so If you've got Final Cut 5 import the P2 DVCProHD as you normally would, then capture the HDV material and do a batch transcode to DVCProHD. Then cut everything in DVCProHD, which your 7200 rpm drive should handle as the maximum data rate is only 14 MB/s. If you don't have Final Cut 5 you can use the free apps DVHSCap or VirtualDVHS to capture the HDV material and then transcode it to DVCProHD using the free Squared 5 MPEG Slipstream. When you finish the cut you can do a final convertion/output to whatever format you require. Even if the final requirement is Standard Def, the image quality you get by acquiring in Hi Def and eventually down-converting will look fantastic - more like it was originally shot on a format like DigiBeta.

Steve, your above quote sounds ideal. I think I want to go down this route. Will this definitely work? I have Final Cut Pro 5 HD suite.

You say the DVCProHD material is only 14MB/s, I thought it was 100?

Can I transcode JVC HDV720P footage to the DVCProHD codec within Final Cut Pro?

What about the frame size difference as I


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 23, 2006 at 1:12:51 pm

[iMan] "Steve, your above quote sounds ideal. I think I want to go down this route. Will this definitely work? I have Final Cut Pro 5 HD suite.

Yes, it will definitely work.

[iMan] You say the DVCProHD material is only 14MB/s, I thought it was 100?

DVCProHD is approximately 100 Mbits/s, to get the data-rate in MBytes you must divide the Mbit figure by 8.

[iMan] Can I transcode JVC HDV720P footage to the DVCProHD codec within Final Cut Pro?

You can do the transcode in Quicktime Pro, Final Cut or Compressor. Probably best to do in Compressor because it's easier to set up a batch transcode and not waste so much of your time.

[iMan] What about the frame size difference as I


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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 23, 2006 at 4:23:21 pm

Stephen, that is brilliant. It never occured to me to shoot in 720p from the HVX, of course, then both lots of footage will match up perfectly.

So just to confirm, I should record 720P on the HVX and the JVC, which equates to the same frame size. The only difference between the two in this case is the JVC uses the MPEG2 codec due to the HDV compression - but the transcode using QuickTime Pro will turn this into the HVX uncompressed (well, not HDV) HD codec so they match perfectly on the timeline right?

I'm assuming the P in 720P is the Progressive shooting part. Due to this flicker/judder of 720p maybe I should get a bit of training/schooling on how to shoot like a cinematographer, as opposed to a videographer as you have to do things differently when shooting in progressive right, such as following the motion, not having a moving car fly across the frame of a locked off shot etc?

Thanks again Stephen, almost there.


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 23, 2006 at 7:44:41 pm

[iMan] "So just to confirm, I should record 720P on the HVX and the JVC, which equates to the same frame size. The only difference between the two in this case is the JVC uses the MPEG2 codec due to the HDV compression - but the transcode using QuickTime Pro will turn this into the HVX uncompressed (well, not HDV) HD codec so they match perfectly on the timeline right?

Right

[iMan] I'm assuming the P in 720P is the Progressive shooting part. Due to this flicker/judder of 720p maybe I should get a bit of training/schooling on how to shoot like a cinematographer, as opposed to a videographer as you have to do things differently when shooting in progressive right, such as following the motion, not having a moving car fly across the frame of a locked off shot etc?"

Correct, your pan speeds have to be very slow to reduce motion judder.


Stephen Downes





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Dan Powers
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 25, 2006 at 6:33:21 pm

iman wrote: " When the HVX records DVCProHD as 720p the frame size is 1280x720 which just so happens to be the same frame size as the JVC recording in HDV mode."

Problem is that the 720p Varicam files are actually 960 X 720. The instruction set in the code tells the application that it is 1280. Not all applications look for this instruction. Specifically Final Touch. When rendering to DVCPro HD 720 in Final Touch, there is a scale that occurs and if you look at the final compared with the original (by fading between the two in FCP5) you will see that the Final Touch version has been zoomed in by about 10%. They (FT) says that the QuickTime file set has a language that is passing along this artificial size and some applications dont/cant know the artificial size and must know the native size. Also the DVCpro HD 720 Codec has a quicktime handler problem that keeps you from being able to render pixel to pixel (the 10% zoom problem) apparantly the instruction set includes outside frame video pixels and not just active video pixels. FCP has been patched to handle the problem. So if QuickTime fixes the problem, it will then be unfixed in FCP... It's a pain in the arse!


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 25, 2006 at 7:48:03 pm

Dan,

You're right when talking about VariCam because it's native pixel dimension is indeed 960x720, however iMan is shooting with the HVX 200 and it uses pixel shift technology so it's 720p frames really are 1280x720.

Stephen Downes


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sk880user
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 26, 2006 at 12:30:19 am

"While this camera records HD video onto the recording media the optical performance of the camera is closer to the performance of an HDV than to a professional 2/3" camera system."

This statement by itself suggests that the optical performance of the HVX is at least better than HDV-based Cameras. Yes, it is closer to HDV than 2/3" camera but at least it is better.

So if we construct a scale from 1 to 10 representing the difference between the optical performance of HD 2/3" cameras and HDV Cameras, where HD 2/3" cameras are at 10 while HDV 1/3" Cameras are at 1, the HVX will probably be rated at most less than 5 and at least more than 1. Probably 2, maybe 3.

This makes lot of sense if we take Barry Green's test comparing the HVX with the JVC. I have seen still images for that test and the color performance of the HVX is clearly superior.

I would say if one desires true 24P 1/3" HD Camera, HVX is probably the best choice.

Cheers



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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 26, 2006 at 2:42:21 pm

[sk880user] "This statement by itself suggests that the optical performance of the HVX is at least better than HDV-based Cameras. Yes, it is closer to HDV than 2/3" camera but at least it is better.

Independent testing by Adam Wilt and co. doesn't back you up here. Of all the third inch chip HD cameras tested, they said the HVX 200 produced the least sharp images of the lot (around 550 lines). Certainly in comparisons I've seen between HVX and VariCam footage, the HVX footage looked noticeably softer. But then again sharpness isn't everything!

[sk880user] So if we construct a scale from 1 to 10 representing the difference between the optical performance of HD 2/3" cameras and HDV Cameras, where HD 2/3" cameras are at 10 while HDV 1/3" Cameras are at 1, the HVX will probably be rated at most less than 5 and at least more than 1. Probably 2, maybe 3.

How on earth did you arrive at this sliding scale of quality? By empirical testing? Or perhaps it's simply a mental exercise?

[sk880user] This makes lot of sense if we take Barry Green's test comparing the HVX with the JVC. I have seen still images for that test and the color performance of the HVX is clearly superior.

We all know how much Barry Green enjoys his HVX 200 and tends toward being a Panasonic sycophant. You'll have to do better than that!

[sk880user] I would say if one desires true 24P 1/3" HD Camera, HVX is probably the best choice."

I'd say the jury is still out on that one. Lets see some real-world user tests, not just a whole bunch of SPEC-ulation!


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sk880user
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 26, 2006 at 6:00:18 pm

[sk880user] "This statement by itself suggests that the optical performance of the HVX is at least better than HDV-based Cameras. Yes, it is closer to HDV than 2/3" camera but at least it is better.

[Stephen reply]
Independent testing by Adam Wilt and co. doesn't back you up here. Of all the third inch chip HD cameras tested, they said the HVX 200 produced the least sharp images of the lot (around 550 lines). Certainly in comparisons I've seen between HVX and VariCam footage, the HVX footage looked noticeably softer. But then again sharpness isn't everything!

My post was referring directly to your quotation:

"While this camera records HD video onto the recording media the optical performance of the camera is closer to the performance of an HDV than to a professional 2/3" camera system."

Remember, I did not quote this, You quoted it. I was simply commenting on it.

2) I have read the result of Adam Wilt and co, which included Barry Green by the way, and their conclusion was not the way you are putting it. The way you are putting is you are making HVX to be the worst. However, Adam Wilt testing made them all almost equal. However, most of the testers ended up choosing HVX over all.

[sk880user] So if we construct a scale from 1 to 10 representing the difference between the optical performance of HD 2/3" cameras and HDV Cameras, where HD 2/3" cameras are at 10 while HDV 1/3" Cameras are at 1, the HVX will probably be rated at most less than 5 and at least more than 1. Probably 2, maybe 3.

[stephen]
How on earth did you arrive at this sliding scale of quality? By empirical testing? Or perhaps it's simply a mental exercise?

Simple: Your own quotation that you used in your post:

"While this camera records HD video onto the recording media the optical performance of the camera is closer to the performance of an HDV than to a professional 2/3" camera system."

So is it ok for you to use such quotation only when it serves your purpose? You need to be willing to accept ALL CONCLUSIONS and not just the ones that serve your purpose. The above quotation, which you used, demonstrate the above fact.

[sk880user] This makes lot of sense if we take Barry Green's test comparing the HVX with the JVC. I have seen still images for that test and the color performance of the HVX is clearly superior.

[stephen]
We all know how much Barry Green enjoys his HVX 200 and tends toward being a Panasonic sycophant. You'll have to do better than that!

I have seen the images and they confirm that HVX is superior. Now, do you believe that maybe Barry intentionally took bad footage from JVC to make it look bad? Maybe he manipulated the images in post? Or maybe he did not know how to utilize the JVC correctly? I am very curious about this.

[sk880user] I would say if one desires true 24P 1/3" HD Camera, HVX is probably the best choice."

[stephen] I'd say the jury is still out on that one. Lets see some real-world user tests, not just a whole bunch of SPEC-ulation!

based on your quotations, Adam Wilt testing, and Barry Green testing, I would say if one desires true 24P 1/3" HD Camera, HVX is probably the best choice



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Barry Green
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 27, 2006 at 3:59:59 am

[sk880user] "Now, do you believe that maybe Barry intentionally took bad footage from JVC to make it look bad? Maybe he manipulated the images in post? Or maybe he did not know how to utilize the JVC correctly? I am very curious about this."
I know quite well how to use the JVC, as I bought one of the first models in the US (which I subsequently sent back).

Absolutely every aspect of the comparison was thoroughly documented and anyone, anywhere, is free to duplicate the results and they will find that there was NO post manipulation, NO attempt to make one look better or worse than the other. The methodology is out there, you can see exactly what I did, and I posted the raw original m2t file straight from the HD100.





-----------------
Get the most from your DVX camera. The DVX Book and DVX DVD are now available on ebay and at Amazon (http://www.fiftv.com/db)


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Barry Green
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 27, 2006 at 4:01:41 am

[Stephen Downes] " and tends toward being a Panasonic sycophant."

I'm standing right here, Stephen. You don't have to go calling me names behind my back, I can hear you loud and clear.


-----------------
Get the most from your DVX camera. The DVX Book and DVX DVD are now available on ebay and at Amazon (http://www.fiftv.com/db)


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on May 1, 2006 at 10:05:00 am

[Barry Green] "I'm standing right here, Stephen. You don't have to go calling me names behind my back, I can hear you loud and clear."

Barry,

All meant with the best of intentions. I thought you might even take pride in being associated with a company like Panasonic. But perhaps my language was a bit strong/colourful and if I offended you, I apologise - I was merely trying to make the point that people have their natural leanings, and what is one person's wine is another's vinegar. I hope you'll hold no grudges.

Best,

Stephen Downes


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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 23, 2006 at 6:40:07 pm

Somebody just told me it appears that FCP does not support 720p in 24p mode?

I'm in the UK so would I use 24P or 25P?


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 23, 2006 at 7:55:53 pm

[iMan] "Somebody just told me it appears that FCP does not support 720p in 24p mode?

I'm in the UK so would I use 24P or 25P?"


Uhgg! Another complication! It's worse than that, Final Cut doesn't support 720/25p either! However, this situation is likely to change over the next week at NAB when Final Cut 6 is announced. But that doesn't help you now. At present you can make Final Cut 5 handle 720/24p and 720/25p by buying and using the Lumiere plug-in - found @ http://www.lumierehd.com/. This plug-in also handles the transcode to DVCProHD.

Hope this solves the problem for you,

Stephen Downes


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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 23, 2006 at 8:39:06 pm

That helps a lot. Okay, the NAB update will be fine, I'm looking at shooting this over an 8 week period starting in 3 weeks time, so by the time I'm finished FCP6 should be around for me to edit it on.

Finally, I promise ;) I know 24P is closer to the film look due to film movies being shot at 24 fps, but would I shoot on 24 or 25P if I only intend it to be distributed on DVD in the UK and Europe and possibly a few sales in the USA?

I never could totally understand the difference between 24p and 25p?

This should totaly wrap this up, and thanks gain Stephen.



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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 24, 2006 at 3:02:21 pm

[iMan] "That helps a lot. Okay, the NAB update will be fine, I'm looking at shooting this over an 8 week period starting in 3 weeks time, so by the time I'm finished FCP6 should be around for me to edit it on.

We're all hoping for 720/24p and 720/25p support in Final Cut 6 and it probably will come, but certainly don't take anything for granted!

[iMan] Finally, I promise ;) I know 24P is closer to the film look due to film movies being shot at 24 fps, but would I shoot on 24 or 25P if I only intend it to be distributed on DVD in the UK and Europe and possibly a few sales in the USA?

I never could totally understand the difference between 24p and 25p?

24p and 25p are so close there is next to no difference in the look of the temporal nature of the motion - one won't look more or less filmic (some would argue this, but you can shoot high-speed film and it will still look like film - there's a lot more going on than mere frame-rate to give the 'film' look). Because your market is mainly PAL DVD, I think I'd play it safe and shoot 25p. Once you've produced a Standard Def master of your film you could either go to a production house to get it standards converted or do it yourself in software using Compressor or Graeme Nattress's filter to produce an NTSC file to burn the few NTSC DVD's you expect to sell to the US.

Best,

Stephen Downes



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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 24, 2006 at 3:35:23 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer this little lot Stephen, you've been a great help.

Thanks again.


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Stephen Downes
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
on Apr 24, 2006 at 9:32:51 pm

iMan,

One favour you could do for me, is to report back on this forum how you get on with all this. You could give your impressions on the relative pros and cons of the two cameras in this workflow, as well as any perceived quality differences that exist - I'm sure there'd be more than a few people on this forum very interested in your results.

Go well,

Stephen Downes


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iMan
Re: Panasonic HVX200 workflow questions (used to DVCAM).
by
on Apr 24, 2006 at 10:52:04 pm

Will do, in about a week after I've done tests with cams and fcp.


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