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HVX-200


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#1 Erwin Landau

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:10 AM

This are some pix (Pictures by Karlo David) from a commercial shoot that I did a couple of weeks ago... Good rate... but the camera...

HVX-200 with the mini-35, canon Lenses, 2 wireless receivers and a Firewire drive (Everytime it got a little warmer the fan kicked in, loud). If the component and the Digital out wouldn't have canceled each other out, I would had to run wired...

If that's the future I don't want a part of it...

Erwin

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#2 Lukas Franz

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:32 AM

Hi Erwin,

By my own experience with the hvx, I find it an amazing little camera. The recording procedure with the external firewire drive is still unstable and not as comfortable it could be. As long you're recording onto P2 everything is fast and stable, no noises, except from the P+S adapter.

Sorry for bad experience, Erwin.

Greets from Switzerland.
Lukas
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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:48 AM

Hi Lukas,

I didn't have a bad experience... just... I'm starting a feature in 2 weeks with the Arricam ST... Big: Yes! Heavy: Yes! I'll take it any day over "that" thing... And the result looks way better...

We used the P2 cards and the Firewire... both failed over the 2 day shoot... A LOT!!!


Anyhow... makes for a very odd set up.


Erwin



Hello from LA. Unfortunately I will miss the Fasnacht this year again. But my daughter will play the Picolo in the Giftschnaigge Jungi Garde...
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#4 Lukas Franz

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:48 PM

Erwin,

actually I miss the Fasnacht every year 'cause I'm from Züri. As you know, Zürcher don't "celebrate" those Basel ghost stories stuff ;-)

Take care.

Lukas
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#5 Matt Burton

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:35 PM

We used the P2 cards and the Firewire... both failed over the 2 day shoot... A LOT!!!


What problems did you have with P2 cards Erwin ? :o
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#6 Erwin Landau

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:02 AM

Lukas... shall we really pull the whole ZH versus BS out of the bag... (For LA guys it's about as serious as the whole UCLA vs. USC thingy... just fun). Fasnacht... It's great for the kids and all the people that never grew up... or pretend they never did... pretty much everybody in BS for about 2 weeks a year.

Ghoststories... you are missing out... Look at Halloween... Hollywood is crazy for a good or not so good story... I'm renting some equipment to Boogyman2 right now... (I don't know why they are making another one...)

Matt... P2 was not recognized by Camera... Camera was displaying that the just inserted empty card was full... no image on the card... stuff like that... a pain.


Erwin
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#7 Matt Burton

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:17 AM

Matt... P2 was not recognized by Camera... Camera was displaying that the just inserted empty card was full... no image on the card... stuff like that... a pain.


P2 is the most solid format i've ever worked with, i'm shocked you guys had problems as would anybody be who works with P2 regular. Empty cards showing full is un herd of ( although ejecting a card and dumping it off then putting the card back in without deleting the card is quite common) as with cards having no image i'd have to know more about your workflow before commenting.
Sounds like you had a rough time but are you sure it was the cards that were at fault ?
I've had the HVX since it's release and know hundreds of others (online and in person) who use this camera and P2 every day with zero problems what so ever.
Please don't take this the wrong way Erwin I have massive respect for you and your experience i'm just quite honestly shocked by your findings.
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#8 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:43 PM

I flew this camera for a week on a doc. and had zero problems. We had several of them and they all worked fine. Used P2 cards as recording media. I am curious why they chose to use a fire wire drive on the Steadicam when you had P2 cards? Surely the length of a take was short enough on a commercial to justify not having to fly the troubleing drive, no?
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#9 mattmarek

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 02:21 PM

i've worked with the p2 on a few jobs for maybe 15 days worth. only problem we encountered was a loose firewire connection that needed to be tightened by the dealer. other than that, was a very stable outfit.

i'd take the film rig any days as well, but in my opinion, the p2 is a stable piece of gear that has its place.
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#10 Erwin Landau

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 02:36 PM

Hey Guys,

I'm foremost a Film guy and I'm pointing and shooting. Film Camera trouble, I used to be quite good to get them rolling again... Video... I have no clue. I'm trying not to be ignorant about video but you have to be a video engineer for some of the menus... and quite frankly i leave that up to the AC or DIT. I just don't have the time on set to deal with that stuff.

When there is a problem, I leave the camera with the techs and check with the Director about the next shot. We used the fire drive as a back up because the company had problems in the past with the P2 cards. I used the HVX in the past, actually again later today, most of the time it was fine. On this production, pretty much everything went wrong. It's this ,one in a thousand thing, i guess i was this guy...

And when I hear "oh we have to do it again we had trouble with the card", or the camera just stops recording ... what am I suppose to think? The fire drive had permanent problems, didn't record, stopped recording mid take, battery died, at one point i had to power it from the sled... (I have an ancient Watec video cable that fit the drive!!!).

It was a little bit of a Mickey Mouse Production to begin with...

Oh yeah I had one time ghosting and artifacts problems on the P2 card that came from my video transmitter... we where doing 4 minute oners with rain and wind machines etc. Wasn't really in the mood on a night shoot to do 10 additional takes because the Video Tech didn't mention that that could be a problem... as said at the beginning, I'm a Film guy. (It's not an excuse, but it works for this story...)

I'm a camera operator, you shouldn't have to need a degree in engineering to operate a camera... right or am I wrong? I'm not really a dufus when it comes to technical aspects, but video leaves my constantly shaking my head. Why is video again better then Film??? Just spend time with the Genesis on Will's prep... I'm just flabbergasted and baffled... makes no sense to me...


Just my 2 cents,

Erwin
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:57 PM

Well, I think we all know the answer to this one...it's a mature medium against an immature one that is improving rapidly. 5 years from now we'll be looking back on this interim period as the "bad old days" of digital acquisition, and not long after that we'll look back at film and wonder why we liked it so much. Flash drives shouldn't be dumping during takes of course, but then again there's always film jams, perf damage, flashing, scratches, static electricity and any number of other things that can screw up a perfectly operated take on film (ironically, much of which can now be fixed when the film is scanned to digital).

As far as how much we are expected to know or learn about each system that comes along, that's a personal choice just like many others that we all make in the aim of being "valuable". Some operators like to make suggestions on set, others like to keep their mouth shut and do what they are told (and most of us tailor it to different jobs and working styles of the director and DP).

There are many things that are less than desirable about digital acquisition at present. Certainly having to redo a take because of a capture issue is one of them (undoubtedly the future lies in simultaneous redundant recording). Awkward ergonomics, cables, interference issues etc. abound. The end game is that before too long we will be seeing cameras that will make even the smallest 35mm camera seem bloated, with capacities that not only meet but exceed the "status quo". The Steadicam of the future is more likely to resemble a Flyer than an Ultra (PRO/Ultimate/etc), although there will likely be "large format" work that will require the big rig (3D, IMAX-sized sensor etc). Who knows, maybe GB's 70's-era vision that the Steadicam will be replaced by some sort of black box may finally come to pass, as one imagines a camera that largely consists of lens and battery with next-generation image stabilization that can smooth out a human being's motion at full run.

Remember that just a few years ago there were many folks in our industry who fully believed that HD would "never happen in my lifetime". Obviously it's here to stay, and Moore's Law will see to it that in the length of time that the average film camera had its run before being replaced by the next model, digital motion picture acquisition will improve many times over.
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#12 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 10:08 PM

I bought an HVX, only to return it a few months later, after experiencing similar problems... I'm not a big fan of that camera. I've had a Sony HDV camera since May of 05, and it has had no problems... I'm of the opinion that Panasonic wasted the DVCPRO HD codec on this camera. It's all fine and great that it's not as compressed as HDV, but the image from the camera isn't really any better than that of the other prosumer HD cameras... The P2 is really expensive, and should be reserved for a camera capable of producing a better image...

Just my little opinion.
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#13 Matt Burton

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 04:20 PM

I'm of the opinion that Panasonic wasted the DVCPRO HD codec on this camera.


i'm sorry you got a faulty camera but i'm dam glad pana wasted their codec on the mini varicam.
Variable frame rates (2-60 fps) combined with any shutter angle you like make the HVX a winner alone.
I could rant all day about the amazing benifits of tapless workflow but if you aint got it you don't know what your missing.
You can keep your flimsy 25mbps mpeg codec and i'll keep my 100mbps "wasted" DVCproHD bomb proof codec. :P
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#14 Erwin Landau

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:14 PM

This camera is chasing me...

As said I got a last minute call for a TV show pilot... they had luckily 3 bodies... the pictures will explain...

They wanted Teleprompter, 2 wireless receiver, Wideangle adapter... I pushed the build rig over a door jam and the camera went flying... I caught the camera mid air. We had to rebuild and I ended up with 4 cables running to the camera (minus wide angle, minus wireless... plus 4 cables...)

Atr least no P2 CARD ISSUES.

Anyhow...

So much for that camera... actually i just got of the phone for another show next week with the same Camera... for the weekend when I'm off my feature... we'll see.


Erwin

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#15 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:19 PM

if you aint got it you don't know what your missing.
You can keep your flimsy 25mbps mpeg codec and i'll keep my 100mbps "wasted" DVCproHD bomb proof codec. :P


I did in fact have it, and I'm cool without changing the card every 10 minutes...

I say wasted because the image just didn't look any better than that from the other prosumer cameras on the market. I don't care about any of the info out there, I have access the best HD monitoring equipment on the market, and I was never able to definitively prove that amongst themselves, any of the cameras with the exception of Canon XL H1 had a better, sharper, less noisy image. Make the data rate a full HD 400 Mb/S, it still looks prosumer... That's my point. I personally just didn't like it... I have plenty of friends that would die for the Panasonic, it seems... They argue with me about it all of the time, but I just didn't like it... The small cameras have their place, but there's no chance they're replacing the big guys any time soon...
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