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Considering a HVX200 purchase

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Justin Hawley
Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 13, 2008 at 8:22:54 pm

Hello,

I currently own a Sony DCR-VX2100 but I am thinking of entering the HD realm.

I do mostly multiple camera live events, and tv commercials. I want to do a lot more chroma key commercial in particular to take advantage of better sampling than mini-DV.

My question: What, in your educated opinions, are the best camera/recording options available to me?? I LOVE the idea of recording 2+ hour live performances directly to hard disk, but not so much if I have to spend an extra $2,000 per camera.

Any thoughts? I'm looking for basically those 2 things: Good HD quality with good Chroma sampling, and the ability to record (solid state, if possible, otherwise best advice) live shows that are frequently around 2 hours long.

Thank you SO MUCH for your advice!!

Justin Hawley.





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Lars Wikstrom
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 13, 2008 at 9:00:03 pm

Well if you got a 32 gig card and recorded DV25 to the card for your live events you could get around 2 hours I would think. I know 4 gigs gets you 16 minutes.

I like the camera because there are so many different formats to shoot with. DV 25/50/100 1080i/720p. You can select what is right format for your project. I don't know why people shoot HDV? Tape drop outs 4:1:1 and GOP compression. not to mention that HDV is the same bandwidth as mini-dv but it is way more compressed. I don't get it.

-Lars



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Nate Stephens
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 13, 2008 at 11:55:52 pm

Justin,

Get the HVX200, a 32 foot firewire cable from Granite Digital $85, a MacBookPro with 4gigs ram $2,500 and change, a sata express card from Addonics.com $65, and two sata drive, 2.5" 160gig sata x2 is about $260,, I am currently testing extra budget Calvary sata drives 500gigs at 110 each... and I also just got a Westinghouse 24" monitor from Best Buy $389,, to monitor the HVX and the computer, add a small cart to arrange the gear on, place next to tripod and your good to go... Plus you can edit the show before you leave the location.. .. I am recording everything to the mirrored sata drives... I love data back ups.. 160 gig mirrored is about 2.5 hours and the 500gig should be about 7 hours 1080i using Final Cut Pro... capture now.

I haven't done any location yet , but we did do a chromakey spot for a politician.. worked great..


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Jim Carswell
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 14, 2008 at 3:11:19 am

64gig cards are coming out in the fall. That's your two hours at 1080p or 1080i. A heck of a lot more than that at 720pn24.
Jim

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


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Lars Wikstrom
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 14, 2008 at 4:38:18 am

I wouldn't know where to store 64 gigs. They might reach a point where it is over kill for some people. I am very happy with 16.

-Lars



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Dave Neyman
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 15, 2008 at 2:43:16 am

I agree with the 16GB size. It about the length of a normal tape at 720P 24PN. That way you are forced to back up quickly. Imagine how bad it would be to have 160+ minutes on a 32GB card and have something go wrong. That's a lot of reshooting.



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Rennie Klymyk
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 15, 2008 at 6:55:14 am

[Jim Carswell] "64gig cards are coming out in the fall. That's your two hours at 1080p or 1080i"

You only get 64 min. at 1080/60i/30p and 720/60p on a 64gb card.

"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Jim Carswell
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 15, 2008 at 2:12:56 pm

The camera has two card slots which means two 64 gig cards hence the two hours of record time.
Jim

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


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Lars Wikstrom
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 15, 2008 at 6:04:28 pm

I got to say that I don't think I would buy a 64 gig card. People who are waiting for the Blue-Ray drives to use as back up will not hold 64 gigs.

I bought an exbyte tape drive just because the P2 footage was building in my computer. For me using more smaller cards is a better work flow then and back up system then a few large ones.
I could not image someone trying to segment a 64 gig file to back up on 4.2 gig dvd-r's.

You would have to keep your quicktimes and toss out the master fotoage.

-Lars



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Rennie Klymyk
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 15, 2008 at 9:15:27 pm

[Lars Wikstrom] "I got to say that I don't think I would buy a 64 gig card."

Agreed in many situations 64gb may be more than necessary but, Justin is shooting long form and multicam. Early on with P2 you could barely do that work with this system and then with a dedicated assistant running around swapping and dumping cards it became feasible. There is enough chaos and confusion going on on some sets that remembering which cards were off loaded and which ones weren't could be a hazard too. With 64gb cards this is a non issue. Even with 64gb or 128gb cards installed there is nothing stopping you from pulling and dumping the card at 16gb or 32gb capacity unless you need to continue shooting because your assistant hasn't shown up with your fresh card on time. Acquisition is #1 and Archiving is #2. Any tools that aid in trouble free acquisition are good things. Underwater, air to air, feature films, war zone shooting, or any other hostile environment will all benefit the bigger cards for acquisition. I have a long form multicam shoot coming up and I wish I had some 64Gb cards for it.

My 1st CF card was $450.00 and it was 96MB. Today I can get several super high performance 8GB cards for that money. Do I shoot till they are full? No, I dump the files off after the shoot and often don't bother re-formatting them unless I know I will need all the space for the next project. I'll probably do similar with the 64 and 128GB cards (we can actually set the cam to rewrite the earlier footage). I also have new uses for my CF cards. I transport files to labs or other workstations.

The cards are continually getting less and less expensive so hopefully someday 128gb cards will be a few hundred bucks. Maybe they will reach 1 TB and are so cheap we can use them for archiving. Don't forget the 1st 2 and 4gb P2 cards were $2500.00 ea.!

Your solution will work for backup in these capacities as will more solutions as they emerge. Many folks have been backing up to bluray for some time now and hopefully DL BE discs will come down in price to where DL dvd discs are now. I'm currently using HDD's.




"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Justin Hawley
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 17, 2008 at 4:31:43 pm

That makes a heck of a lot of sense. Thank you. For my multicam shoots that may be a better option seeing as how I don't have extra hands available to transfer footage during the shoot.

"Sorry, I misunderstood. You actually can get 2 hours per card with the AVC-I codec @ 50mbs so this whole capacity thing is getting confusing."

First, is that 2 hours per 32GB card? So I may only need 1 card? Second, what is the disadvantage of shooting AVC-I codec at 50 MBS?? My guess is it is slightly more compressed or something, but it will still be a huge step up from my current DCR-VX2100, right?

1 final question for everyone who owns these cameras...

I do a lot of zooms that slowly creep in from a standstill and ramp up smoothly and down smoothly in speed. This is the reason I chose a Sony over Panasonic last time... The zoom on the Panasonic AG-DVX100 and Canon XL1 seemed to "step up" speeds slightly rather than slowly increment in speed. Has the zoom been improved in the HVX-200 over the DVX series??? If so, I will probably buy one today. If not, I have to weigh the pros and cons of limiting my shooting style.

INCREDIBLY great answers to my question! Thank you all!

Justin.



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Rennie Klymyk
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 17, 2008 at 10:10:37 pm

[Justin Hawley] "irst, is that 2 hours per 32GB card? So I may only need 1 card? Second, what is the disadvantage of shooting AVC-I codec at 50 MBS?? My guess is it is slightly more compressed or something, but it will still be a huge step up from my current DCR-VX2100, right?
"


I'm sorry, the whole thread is getting off topic because of the discussion of the card capacity.
To clarify a few things:
The HVX200 doesn't record in the AVC-I codec. I referred to it just because Panasonic now uses it in their capacity charts but it is only available in the higher end more recent cameras at this time. Although the HVX200 records in 81 different formats AVC-I is not one of them. On the 32GB P2 cards available today you can record aprox:

32 minutes in DVCPRO HD
80 minutes in DVCPRO HD 720 24p native
64 minutes in DVCPRO 50
128 minutes in DVCPRO


[Justin Hawley] "I do a lot of zooms that slowly creep in from a standstill and ramp up smoothly and down smoothly in speed. "

I have barely ever used a DVX100 but I can tell you the HVX200 has a 3 position switch to give you 3 base speeds on the zoom rocker. This allows for very slow creeps. A lot of users still like the Bebob controllers for even more control.


[Justin Hawley] "If so, I will probably buy one today. If not, I have to weigh the pros and cons of limiting my shooting style. "

If you need the camera fast there is no time like the present to buy one and let it start earning you money. However if you can wait till April 15th you may see some announcements at nab for new offerings.

"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Rennie Klymyk
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 15, 2008 at 6:49:41 pm

Sorry, I misunderstood. You actually can get 2 hours per card with the AVC-I codec @ 50mbs so this whole capacity thing is getting confusing.

"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Jim Carswell
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 15, 2008 at 8:11:56 pm

Lars,
I look at it from the stand point of billing the client for a hard drive dedicated to archiving their material. The 64 gig limit really isn't an issue for me. My system is based on 11 terabytes dedicated to external video storage. And on top of that I dedicate 500GB or 1 terabyte external drives as storage for each clients project. So for me, 64 gig cards would be ideal and would serve me better than my 100 gig Firestore.
Jim

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


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Lars Wikstrom
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 16, 2008 at 2:50:11 am

I agree, for some people it will be great. Every one uses different work flows that best suits the style of recording. I was just speaking from my experience and my work flow. I purposely keep my system to 1 terabyte raid with a 1 terabyte FireWire back up drive that Retrospect backs up to automatically every morning at 4am. I keep a 160 gig partition for finished projects and when that fills up I write and Exabyte tape back up.

Do you give the clients the hard drive when finished or do you keep it?

-Lars



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Jim Carswell
Re: Considering a HVX200 purchase
on Mar 16, 2008 at 4:13:42 pm

Lars,
I offer the hard drives to the clients however I underscore why it makes more sense for me to keep them. I've never had a client take a hard drive at the end of a project. They know there's not much they can do with what's on the drive. This in turn will lead to more business for me down the road because they have to come to me to get access to the material again.
Jim

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


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