OT Another Which camera post?

Posted by bj 
OT Another Which camera post?
July 22, 2008 07:25PM
Wondering which camera everyone would buy for $6000 or under. My Beta cam has bit the dust and i don't want to spend too much money.Or this post may be a poll on which camera you currently own.
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 22, 2008 10:26PM
HVX-200. It runs for $5400 or so, and comes with a 16GB P2 card. Another one will run you about $800.


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Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 22, 2008 10:51PM
another enthusiastic vote for the hvx200 - BUT be sure its a newer model hvx200A. it is WAY better in low light.

or - if you can wait until sept/oct AND you dont think you'll ever need to shoot to DV tape. panasonic has a new camera coming out (the hpx170) with a lot of handy new features and since it does away with the tape mechanism it as a 4x longer warranty and is much smaller and lighter.

IF however you think you'll at some point NEED to shoot SD to miniDV tape. the current HVX200A is said to have the same image quality as the upcoming hpx170

---- to elaborate.

youre really not going to find a better overall camera for this price than the panasonics mentioned. there are a number of people who might disagree. but the other competitive cameras by canon, jvc and sony all shoot in HDV. which i consider an inferior codec. (ive ranted about that WAY too much in the past. if you want to learn about that just search HDV and get settle back for a lot of reading).

from my experience the dvcproHD codec (the format the hvx and hpx cameras shoot) is such a pleasure to work with. not that it doesnt have its warts - as does any format, but overall its just such a painless and easy to work with format.

most folks find the p2 (tapeless) workflow a little unnerving at first, but once you get used to it its really a no brainer. AND the recent versions of FCP include a log and transfer feature that further eases the process.

i could go on, but im gushing.
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 23, 2008 01:02AM
I disagree but let stay positive , if the guy want the safety of tape but need the file base workflow the Sony HVR-Z7U fit the bill even if its HDV format.
If the guy want to go tapeless 100 % then the Sony PMW-EX1 who with is XDCAM EX format get a real good HD at 35 Mbs MPEG2 LongGop.

The tapeless workflow have also a cost to add , so often when tapeless is sold the mention of : you will never have to buy a tape again .... what a great saving but i must point out all thing have a cost. With a tapeless workflow there is a cost too in backup and sometime hiring an assistant.

I do long form videography and shoot mostly alone so if iwas to drop HDV the long recording time of the XDCAM EX at 35 Mbs will be by far my best option above the HVX-200 from Panasonic witch use the DVCPRO HD format.

There is no bad tools or formats we must just use what we need when it is needed.smileys with beer

Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 23, 2008 06:25AM
I'm gonna say something unpopular here.

I prefer HDV to DVCPRO HD.

I know, I know, I'm clearly dangerously insane, and should be locked up. But hear me out before calling the authorities.

I am not a cinematographer. I know which end of the camera to point at the talent, but beyond that, I'm strictly an amateur. I do a fair amount of shooting with a Canon XL H1 ? not a $6,000 camera, but I believe its little brother, the XL H1a, is ? and I've gotten to the point where I can get a pretty good look in-camera.

I recently had an opportunity to take a really up-close look at some footage off an HVX-200, while color-correcting it for a friend. And the DVCPRO HD footage just wasn't as sharp as what I get off my XL H1.

Now, there are many possible reasons for this. The footage I was working with was shot by a professional cinematographer, but maybe he was having an off day. But while DVCPRO HD is 4:2:2 and therefore has better chroma resolution, it's only 1280x1080, and I think in comparison to HDV it suffers for it.

DVCPRO HD will almost certainly be better if there's a lot of movement in the frame. I shoot almost exclusively documentary stuff ? talking heads and interviews ? so I rarely see noticeable compression artifacts in HDV.

And yes, if you're going back out to HDV tape after finishing, then god, the workflow just stinks. Having to re-conform your GOP structure before laying off is just unbearable. Fortunately I don't go back out to HDV; it's strictly an acquisition format for me. I edit native HDV and render to ProRes, and my workflow is fine.

I'm not arguing that HDV is superior to DVCPRO HD; clearly it isn't. I'm just saying that for my specific uses, I actually kinda prefer what I get off my XL H1 to what I saw off the HVX-200.

So check out the XL H1a ? the cheaper, no-HDSDI-output variant of the XL H1 ? before making your choice. Depending on how you shoot and what your post workflow is, you might find a reason to prefer it.
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 24, 2008 08:21AM
>But while DVCPRO HD is 4:2:2 and therefore has better chroma resolution, it's only

Now, here's another one of those PAL/NTSC frame size things.... It's 1440x1080 here in PAL.

Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 24, 2008 10:27AM
I, also, am insane, and this is why:

I know that I get sharper and better looking results with a XLH1 than the HVX200.

I know that I am wrong technically and therefore my opinion is only worthy of the deepest contempt.

It's simply that, when viewed side by side, I think that the image from the XLH1 is far more pleasing - sharper - I dunno, just looks nicer.

I've seen shots projected of identical subject matter done on both cameras.

Plus I simply will not shoot without going to tape and to a hard drive recorder so that I have backup. I use a Firestore FS-C.

What a pointless post. Oh dear. I'm dribbling again. Call the nurse.

Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 24, 2008 12:47PM
It's medication time, harry grinning smiley

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 24, 2008 01:30PM
No no no no noooooo.

I want to stand in this corner and giggle and urinate on myself ... please, nurse Ratchet.
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 24, 2008 03:35PM
how does the vx200a do in low lighting -- the vx100B does NOT do well

does the vx200a have automatic audio levels - handy when shooting live events

macro focus?
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 24, 2008 07:20PM
good suggestions.
I have been told to look at some other Sony models along with the PMW-EX1, the HVR-Z7U, and the lower end HDR-FXZ1. I'm not in a hurry and will have to look at these too.
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 24, 2008 10:50PM
If you're not in a hurry, think Scarlet! smiling smiley

That's where I'm leaning when that one comes out.

As for now, I've been shooting on an HVX200 and would like to try the hvx200a. (and maybe the 170 when it comes out.) I don't consider myself a camera man by any means, but the stuff I've been shooting looks really good, I feel. I have seen some demo reels of HVX200 footage over at EFILM as well, that covered many different settings on the HVX200 and they all looked great. Then again, the pros can make mini DV look great. Heck, I've seen Red One footage that looked like beginning film school projects too. So, what the hey, I think it's the shooter more than the camera. HVX is a great choice in my opinion. 200a, probably even better.

As far as what camera you use, it really depends on how you want to use it. If you're serious, serious, look into lenses for what you're going to buy too.

The HVX has a LOT of options. No macro that I know of, though.

I'm no fan of Long GOP. Then again, I haven't tried to edit any yet, either. But I hear a lot of gripe from respectable sources about it, so I've avoided it.

There's been some great projects featured here on the LAFCPUG newsletter shot on the HVX200.

Have you seen what they shot?

Eric Harnden
Quintessential Studios
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 26, 2008 02:19AM
Where does it it say "200A" on the HVX? Serial plate? I want to break the news gently to a friend who owns one, because it may be an older model.

Is it possible to order a firmware upgrade or something?

Trade in?


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Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 26, 2008 07:34AM
I'll take it off your friend's hands for a nominal processing fee, if he can't stand to be in the same room with it any more ?
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 26, 2008 09:04AM
Under the eyepiece. Flip that up and underneath is where it says what model it is.


Listen to THE EDIT BAY Podcast on iTunes
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 26, 2008 03:55PM
I have an HVX first model.

It is definitely has less resolution than the XLH1 or it's similarly priced competitors. So if resolution is the main thing you are after then go with the others. But the HVX has so many other great features that it's in a class of it's own.

There was a little company called Real Stream that was developing a mod kit for the HVX to increase the resolution. Although the chips are only 540 lines vertical, Real Stream was claiming that they could get nearly 2K out of the combined 3 chips via bypassing the camera's internal sampling and encoding system, using their own and feeding out through an ethernet cable. Real Stream was bought out and closed down by another unnamed company so the Hydra project never made it to market. But it's clear Panasonic reduced the resolution so that it would not compete with other cameras in the product line. They offset the lower res by adding many other features that make it a great little camera, just not the highest res in it's price range.

The new HVX is supposed to have the same resolution as the first model, but much better noise handling which is a problem in the first camera.

The HPX170 is supposed to have the same imaging block as the HVX so similar resolution although the new lens is supposed to be an improvement.

The old HVX cannot be upgraded to the new model by firmware.

So if you are looking for the sharpest camera you can get then probably look elsewhere, but if you are looking for a big bag of tricks then look at the HVX.


Here is some info on the 170.
No DV recording, P2 or some other card only.
Built in waveform/vectorscope
Sharper LCD screen
LCD flip for 35mm adapters
Delete last clip button
Frame rates have a button instead of being buried in menus
20 frame rates
HD-SDI out 10 bit 422
More metadata editing
Improved focus assist
Something new called Dynamic Range Stretching which supposed to be similar to HDR photography for expanding the dynamic range.

This info was gathered from hvxuser.com
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 26, 2008 05:47PM
Hah! Joey --

See -- I am not the only madman. Sproketz agrees with me.

Re: OT Another Which camera post?
July 28, 2008 08:19AM
"......I have been told to look at some other Sony models along with the PMW-EX1, the HVR-Z7U, and the lower end HDR-FXZ1 "

the EX1 is great, but I would not get the Z1U!!

doesn't handle low light as well as others (xl1, VX100B, or XL2)

OMG and the F&$#ng Iris is always in auto, no matter what you tell it to do!!! - you can KIND OF control it when it's in manual, but never fully!!! rrrg!
Re: OT Another Which camera post?
August 01, 2008 10:46AM
Hi -
does anyone know if the Panasonic HVX200A has Automatic audio controls?

Re: OT Another Which camera post?
September 25, 2008 08:04PM
Thanks for all your advice.
After many hours searching the net and talking to sales people I finally took the plunge.
I bought the Sony PMW-Ex1.
I took a serious look at the Sony HVR-Z7U and the formitable Panasonic HVX200A .
What swayed me over was when the Sony sales poeple told me they would give me a very good deal on the 200 so that they could get themselves the EX1.
Seriously there are some very good cameras on the market now.
My only regret with the EX1 is the small controls/ buttons.
There may be too many quality options, shutter angle features most people would never need..
The Sony file browser doesn't work on a PPC mac, while the XDcam transfer app does, go figure.
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