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DVCPRO straight to disk?


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#1 sean mcveigh

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 11:11 PM

Just curious...
I'm pretty sure Panasonic only wants people using P2 cards with the HVX200, but has anyone thought to try any other PCMCIA form-factor devices with this camera?
PCMCIA hard disks do exist, though I don't think there have been any new ones released in years. There are PCMCIA-to-SATA adapters out there though.
Anyhow... As a hardware project, it'd be interesting to know whether it's currently do-able off-the-shelf.
Cheers,
Sean
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#2 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 12:13 AM

Just curious...
I'm pretty sure Panasonic only wants people using P2 cards with the HVX200, but has anyone thought to try any other PCMCIA form-factor devices with this camera?
PCMCIA hard disks do exist, though I don't think there have been any new ones released in years. There are PCMCIA-to-SATA adapters out there though.
Anyhow... As a hardware project, it'd be interesting to know whether it's currently do-able off-the-shelf.
Cheers,
Sean



Hi, i don't know if there is other options like PCMCIA as you say...But I can tell you using Firestore FS-100 it is a great option and cheaper than P2 cards 1.8 K (100GB) vs 1.3K (16GB) :P , don't you think???
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#3 Scott Bullock

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 01:02 AM

Can somebody please shed some light on using the HVX200 with a non-linear editing system?

What does the workflow consist of and what would one need in terms of "basic system requirements" to edit with material captured with the HVX200? At present, I have an iMac that has a 2.16 GHz Intel Duo processor, 2 GBs of SDRAM, a 256MB graphics card, and 250 GB of storage. For software I only have Final Cut Express, which has been excellent for my needs to date, but doesn't have a codec for DVCPRO HD. Is there a way of getting that specific codec without upgrading to Final Cut Pro? And, if not, and I have to upgrade to Final Cut Pro, does my system meet the minimum requirements for editing with the HVX200?

Many thanks in advance.
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#4 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 01:40 AM

First of all, even though the P2 card looks like a pcmcia card, and indeed has the same form factor, it's not. The P2 card is a sophisticated linkage of SD cards in a RAID array. It even has it's own firmware. There is no "clone" version of it. At least until year's end, when Hoodman comes out with their own "H2" card. For now, a genuine Panny P2 card is all the HVX will take.

As far as workflow on set, it's different from most other media. When I shot film, I had a loader. Now I use the same guy to take a full P2 card out of the camera and dump it to a laptop. Panasonic makes P2 viewing software. You can view the clips on the laptop with that software, or directly on the camera. The P2 card will fit into a pcmcia slot on a laptop if you still have one.

Final Cut imports .mxf files from the P2 natively. Sony Vegas, which I use, uses a plugin ($199) called raylight. With this software I simply drag the clip from the card onto the timeline and I'm done. Scenes and takes are not numbered. You must do this. I personally do not need it because one 16gb P2 card holds about 16 minutes of 1080 24p. I fill it, dump it, label the folder as scenes such and such, and just take my chances in the edit that I'll find what I need. So far, so good.

I'm a pc guy so I can't really assess your system, but it does seem on fairly adequate for what you're thinking of doing. I think Sony has a deal with apple, so I wouldn't be surprised if you could get the DVCPRO HD codec for a mac. Unless they want you to upgrade to FCP pro...

As far as something like the Firestore FS-100 - it's days are numbered. Falling prices on the P2 card have already killed the cineporter (a firestore like device that was going to come to market). A 16GB P2 is about 950 bucks now and falling fast. By year's end, 32GB cards will be out. And you don't have to deal with the firestore's inherent issues that generally plague hard drives. I've heard stories of firestores acting up and deleting clips when the camera was used on a swinging jib arm. PLus who needs the extra weight. Go solid state. It's the future.
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#5 sean mcveigh

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 04:06 AM

First of all, even though the P2 card looks like a pcmcia card, and indeed has the same form factor, it's not. The P2 card is a sophisticated linkage of SD cards in a RAID array. It even has it's own firmware.


Correct.. but this is about the same sort of stuff you'd find in a hard disk -- microcontroller, storage media, etc. I don't have any P2 cards, but for all intents and purposes, I'd assume they follow the PCMCIA disk specs. Hence, it should be possible to design a device that presents the same front-end interface to the camera. Would be nice to have 10x the storage for 1/10th the cost. I have a feeling Panasonic would have a problem with that though :)
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#6 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 12:12 PM

Sean - there's no way in hell. That's why P2 cards cost what they do. And hoodman, the only other manufacturer that's coming out with a clone card, is doing so without an internal RAID array. A much simpler device but at the cost of reliability.

After all, it's only ALL your footage. So in the context of price - how much are all your actors, rentals, crew and locations worth compared to the price of a lousy P2 card?
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#7 sean mcveigh

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 02:13 PM

Sean - there's no way in hell. That's why P2 cards cost what they do. And hoodman, the only other manufacturer that's coming out with a clone card, is doing so without an internal RAID array. A much simpler device but at the cost of reliability.

After all, it's only ALL your footage. So in the context of price - how much are all your actors, rentals, crew and locations worth compared to the price of a lousy P2 card?


This is kind of what I figured... they're following the Razor + Blades model :)
Of course, as a hardware designer, this is still an interesting problem.
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#8 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:09 PM

Oh, I agree. I'm sure the bulk of the tech in the card is done so no one can make it cheaper. Such is life.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:39 PM

> A much simpler device but at the cost of reliability.

Ah - no. Where'd you get that from? The RAID in a P2 card is not about reliability, it's just about ganging all the SD cards together. Whether it's a RAID-0 or a JBOD or whatever Panasonic have cooked up, there's no redundancy involved.

It is not a standard PCMCIA device (although clearly, obviously, it should be).

Phil
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