Panasonic HVX200

I don't know for a fact (haven't used it) but if it's the HD version of the DVX100a, it can't be that bad... I know someone who's going to use it to shoot a doc.
 
What I know is that it shoots a variety of formats DVCProHD (which is 720i as opposed to 1080), it also offers DVCPro50 and DVCPro25 and regular DV. It can offer all of these because it stores onto cards instead of tape, which also means faster digitisation.

For the money, £5K, that's a pretty impressive set of options. What I like about it is that it's a cheap camcorder that offers am range of pro options other than HDV; as I'm a real fan of DVCPro50 and DVCProHD it's a camera that I'm really keen to test out.

The HVX100 was an excellent camera, that is well loved amongst indie film-makers. The only concern that I have is that the P2 is a brand new technology that is as yet untested by film-makers. I know that tape is on the way out, but if you go for the first version of any new camera system the price you invaribly pay is working out the bugs for the manufacturer. If you look at any new camera product launch after nine months there is a new version of that camera and the various notice boards warn people not to buy the first version because it had "insert description of annoying post production problem."

I'm keen to try this camera, but I'd have to hire it and get it through the complete workflow before making a decision.
 
I think the cards is a cool thing but the cost is great for backups. I'd rather use tape or an attached harddrive. The cost would be less and there would be physical backup of the media.
 
Some people love the cards other hate them for the price. A lot feel both ways =).

The footage form the camera is very nice. I really like the DVCpro50! Looks GREAT.

I've decided against buying one for myself though. I'm going to go with a mod of my DVX100 by reel-stream. This isn't something for everyone - especially those who do events and documentary work but for my purposes (I do a lot of compositing) it is the better option. Here's why:

- Uncompressed footage! 4:4:4 SD and 4:2:2 HD; 8bit or 10bit
- Creates a 1540x984 HD image via the horizontal and diagonal pixel shift in the CCD block
- Has the same or slightly more real world resolution than the HVX200!

The downsides:

- Will have to get a mac-mini for capture
- Not portable
- No variable frame rates
 

Loud Orange Cat

Pro Member
indiePRO
Copied from the Panasonic website:

AG-HVX200 + one 4GB P2 card - U.S. List Price $6,645.00
AG-HVX200 + two 4GB P2 cards - U.S. List Price $7,295.00
AG-HVX200 + five 4GB P2 cards - U.S. List Price $9,245.00
AG-HVX200 + two 8GB P2 cards - Special Package Price $9,995.00. Save $400!

For a 1080 handheld that can do 60i or 24p, I'd say that's worth the price. If I had the cash, I'd buy one in a second. Where's my lottery tickets?
 
I think the cards is a cool thing but the cost is great for backups. I'd rather use tape or an attached harddrive. The cost would be less and there would be physical backup of the media.
Actually, it's OK providing you don't back up to tape but back up to DVD saving the files as data. If you think about it you can get 4GB of data on one DVD, so you could make mulitple copies quickly and cheaply.

The one thing I will agree with is that it's the untested workflow that makes me nervous with this system.

The footage form the camera is very nice. I really like the DVCpro50! Looks GREAT.
I agree; it's pretty much my favorite video format and given the choice would be top of the list for my next feature, regardless of budget.
 
clive said:
What I know is that it shoots a variety of formats DVCProHD (which is 720i as opposed to 1080), it also offers DVCPro50 and DVCPro25 and regular DV. It can offer all of these because it stores onto cards instead of tape, which also means faster digitisation.
I'm planning on buying an HVX200 myself for my next project. The camera actually does shoot in 1080p and 1080i. The variable frame rates can only be shot in the 720 modes though.

I'm not even bothering with the damn P2 cards. I'll probably be buying a Cineporter or Firestore instead.
 
As always thanks for the good advice. I think for us this seems the best option. And we'll get 2!!! 2 nice new cameras... I cant wait!

All I need to find then is someone who knows how to use them!!!!
 
From what I've seen, the only downside, if you want to call it that, to the HVX is the card system. It looks to outclass every other consumer HD/HDV camera on the market or that has been announced.

But dont forget, with this better picture, you will need a Kong computer to edit with. Make sure thats in the budget too.
 
Its true, beyond the lack of changable lenses, I'd say the HVX beats everything down. The HDV format is disgusting. 100% compromise. You have to have a locked off shot unless you want MPEG2 compression artifact squares filling up the image. It looks horrible. I've wondered why that cared so damn much about putting everything on miniDV tapes. Why the hell didn't they just invent a new tape format? I'm not a huge techie, only know surface knowledge, so there might be a reason why this isn't possible, but really.... like Star Wars/Sin City and other were filmed onto tapes.
 
Why the hell didn't they just invent a new tape format?
The last thing this industry needs is another tape format. But I know what you're saying, if they'd not tried to compress HD onto a minidv tape and gone with say digibeta instead then the mosquito noise wouldn't be such and issue.

I think this is where the HVX200 will win out, because it's by passed the whole HDV compression issue and put pro formats into a camcorder.
 
Exactly, I find the HDV compression unacceptable. And it's more then mosquito noise. At times it's like watching a poorly made quicktime file. Can't stand it, blocks everywhere.

I find the tapeless P2 technology interesting... if expensive for the time being. And like I said earlier, I'll just get one of the Firestore or Cineporter harddrives instead. You're right about the pro formats, this camera might do some great things in the hands of skilled filmmakers.
 
Primarily I’ve used the Sony Z1U. and the JVC GY-HD100U. My brother and I are kind of sticklers for image. At least for our purposes HDV falls apart upon close inspection. In our shorts, as well in future projects, we tend to have a lot of handheld running and dolly type movement. Fast, chaotic movement at times. I’ve used those camera’s for a couple fashion shoots and they’ve been wonderful. The images have been relatively stable and no super fast pans, jerking around crazyness. But we’ve been waiting for the HVX though before buying for ourselves. =)
We find the expensive P2 annoying... but will survive with the Cineporter/Firestore drives for a while. At least until the P2 prices drop, and then it will be great.
 
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