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Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       05-29-2006, 9:48 AM Reply   
After helping Buff and Sean with DS2 I had sold my DVX100 last fall. Ended up getting only $500 less then I originally paid for which isn't bad for a 3 year old camcorder. Anyhow got the itch again recently after reading up on the new HVX (and them actually becoming available) plus the company I'm with now wants some stuff for our new website.

Anyhow I thought I'd post my initial impressions after using the cam for exactly 1 day and throw up a little footage.

My impressions generally are in comparison to the DVX which I'm way more familar with so here they are:

Size / handling:

Well this thing is heavier and more bulky then the DVX. (My right hand still hurts LOL) It just doesn't balance like the DVX as it's side heavy. This thing really begs to be shot off a tripod as just shooting some basic pans and zooms handheld for me looked terrible.

AF & MF: One touch AF is very slow and not very accurate when shooting from a boat. The unit has a feature that blows up the image to help you MF but really what worked best for me was using the distance readout (as far as shooting from the towboat.) Focus is critical when shooting HD so this will take some practice.

HD/SD shooting modes: Well there are a bunch of them. 1080 is sharper to my eye then the 720p modes but uses more card space and doesn't give you the variable frame rates (which I haven't tested yet either)

DVCPro 50 is absolutely beautiful and may be worth the "cost of admission" alone if you're doing a lot of SD work. The 24 and 30 frame progresssive modes as available in it as well as 60i.

Of course all the gamma curves, knee, pedastel, detail etc settings are still there, (never paid much attention to them on the DVX) but they really have a major influence on the look when shooting HD so I'm going to have to learn them now as well.

P2:
I got 2 4gig cards and a P2 store. There is no way to import footage into a MacbookPro short of tethering the camera (which I can't stand) as there are no cheap card readers out yet. Transfering the footage into the P2 Store works pretty well and it acts as a card reader as well. Once 16gb cards are available (and cheap) this won't be an issue but for those who are shooting hours of footage at a time it's a different workflow for sure. There is no real logging option on the Mac right now other then a $700 piece of software so I had to edit my captures from the viewer rather then the log and capture window. Anyhow FCP 5.1 imports (ingests as they call it) the files just fine and they play back perfectly with all the RT effects on my MBP with 2ghz Intel dual core (both from the internal 5400 or my firewire drives). As I posted previously the DVCPRO HD codec is not as bandwidth intensive as HDV but you do need lots of drive space.

Here's a couple of clips shot in 720p60 yesterday and compressed into h264. Pardon the framing I'm still getting used to the widescreen aspect. I'm not sure it looks that much better then good DV but I think it will get better as I learn the cam. I have seen some beautiful footage posted by some of the Pros who use this camera on a daily basis. I hear it makes for a beautiful SD DVD when transcoded as well.

Here's the link:

http://homepage.mac.com/rd4tile/FileSharing7.html

(go easy Toolfan, I'm not a pro like you!)

Upload
Old    Travis V (cali_rider)      Join Date: Feb 2004       05-29-2006, 11:29 PM Reply   
Lets see the 60p . . .
Old    Jean-Philippe Bray (jpbray)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-31-2006, 5:03 AM Reply   
why do you said : Lets see 60P isn't it already 60P?

Here's a couple of clips shot in 720p60 yesterday and compressed into h264.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       05-31-2006, 5:49 AM Reply   
I think what Travis wants to see is the overcrank feature where the cam records 60 fps but plays back at a 24 or 30 fps rate giving one film like slo-mo. I think they call that 24p over 60p.

As I mentioned above I haven't tried that yet. The footage I did the QT mov with was shot at 720/60p which records as well as plays back 60 progressive fps. All the 720p modes on this cam use true progressive frame recording and I believe the 1080 are interlaced with pulldown to get to 30 or 24p. I'll do a slo-mo test on that in FCP and see how that looks. For regular motion 60fps should give one the smoothest look in my mind.
Old    Travis M (travis_m)      Join Date: Aug 2005       06-03-2006, 9:42 PM Reply   
So you cant pull out the p2 and put it into a MBP like you could on a PowerBook?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-04-2006, 7:41 AM Reply   
Nope the P2 card is basically a PCMCIA card which the MBP doesn't have.
Old    toolfan (toolfan)      Join Date: Jul 2003       06-04-2006, 8:08 AM Reply   
looks good. just no color compared to the Z1. and im speaking from experience.

Aquisition will always be a problem when dealing with these new technologies.
if you cant easily get the media into your machine, then whats the use. its like having a sports car, but not having gas or oil.

Once again, i will preach to the choir on this one...FORGET about the 24 and 30 frame bs. if you want a filmic look. do it in post. all the "like film" settings are gimmicks to get newbs to buy cameras. its like seeing "700x zoom on a camcorder".

not to mention, with digital cameras, frame rate is synthetically done. its really not much more than an aperture setting.

in my eyes, and most professionals as well, 24p and "cineframe" are junk. both are full of artifacting and suffer at high motion shots.

shoot at 60 for best results with HDV.

All in all, I guess it depends who you are trying to impress. If you are trying to impress fellow media buffs, then you will be in trouble. If you are trying to impress a regular Joe that doesnt know much about video production, he would probably say "wow, that does look like film".

Good, clean, in-focus video will never go out of style.

Keep up the good work Rich. Avid is now releasing their MediaComposer software that will run without the breakout box. ;) Also my friend in Tewksbury(an Avid employee) said they have a quad core HP box that is so fast that it can render 99% of effects on HD, HDV, and SD as fast as you can drop the effect on the clip!
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-04-2006, 6:24 PM Reply   
Trust me the color is there I just wiped it out when I compressed it with the h264 codec. There are a million settings on this cam and they all seem to have a greater effect then they did on the DVX so I've just got to practice with it.

I have to say I'm very impressed with the speed of the UB version of FCP on my MacBook Pro 2 gig dual core. This thing renders and plays back way faster then any other Mac I've owned (dual core G5 2.3 tower included) and this is with the DVCPRO HD codec and 1080 footage. I'll bet Apple catches up quickly speedwise to the PC boxes now that they're using Intel chips. I will receive my copy of Windows XP (yes I actually paid for it) tomorrow and I'm going to set the MBP to boot up in windows as well. There's some PC only photography software I've always wanted to try. Very cool!
Old    toolfan (toolfan)      Join Date: Jul 2003       06-05-2006, 7:46 AM Reply   
are you using any enhancing filters?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-05-2006, 9:06 AM Reply   
Not yet - I have a CP coming. I used an 81 a or b (can't remember which) on the DVX which worked out well for outdoor stuff, may revisit that. Any suggestions?
Old    toolfan (toolfan)      Join Date: Jul 2003       06-05-2006, 12:56 PM Reply   
this is what I use:
http://www.tiffen.com/displayproduct.html?tablename=filters&itemnum=105C 812
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-05-2006, 2:44 PM Reply   
That's actually the one I used on the DVX myself before. When I saw your link I went thru my stuff and found it - I just didn't recall the actual number properly. I'll have to get an 82mm in that now as well as I had good luck with it on the DVX with the ATW feature.
Old    Mike McLin (mike_mclin)      Join Date: Oct 2004       06-09-2006, 9:33 AM Reply   
I own this camera. It rocks. I had a Sony VX2100 prior to this camera. That is the camera we used to shoot "The Book Instructionals". Our next DVD will be shot exclusively with the HVX200 (thank god).

Toolfan,
I think you are overlooking several of the advantages of the HVX200 over the Canon. First off, Panasonic uses 4:2:2 color compression, where the Z1 doesn't. In other words, I can get beautiful greenscreen footage from my Panny, that just isn't possible with the Z1.

I have switched to this camera. Also, Justin Stephens and Sean Kilgus who have been shooting their wake videos exclusivley in 16mm are starting to integrate this camera into their films (Justin is already, and Sean will be on his next year project).

Each camera in this price range does something great. It all depends on what you want to use it for. So if ChromaKey and Variable Frame Rates are important to you, then there is only one choice.
Old    Travis V (cali_rider)      Join Date: Feb 2004       06-09-2006, 12:10 PM Reply   
Thank you, i second that. 60p heck yes! but it still doesnt compare to film at 150 fps, with the Arri SR-3, but its $$$$
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-09-2006, 9:27 PM Reply   
Check out this guy's stuff from a post on the HVX forum. This cam has so many settings, it 's a lot like shooting a new DSLR: test-test-test!

http://www.theadagio.com/demovideo/quadhead.mov

When I see something like this I know I made the right decision! (Look how tight the reds are!)
Old    Mike McLin (mike_mclin)      Join Date: Oct 2004       06-16-2006, 6:50 AM Reply   
In my post above I was referring to the Canon H1 camera, but the same applies for the Sony HVR-Z1U which I think is what you were referencing earlier.

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