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Pricing out an HVX200a


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#1 JD Marlow

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 03:02 PM

Hi everyone,

I've been doing my research on pricing out an HVX200a (as well as a new Mac Pro system) -- all in all, between the HVX and the new Mac Pro I think I'm looking at a $19,000 - $20,000 investment (This Mac Pro I've priced out is superloaded with internal RAID drives and comes out at about $10,000). Anyway, the reason I'm posting is to ask about the most effective way to purchase a new HVX.

For anyone that has used the HVX with a FireStore (FS-100), how does this compare to the P2? I ask because I'm interested in doing one or the other -- either buying up a 32 GB P2 card or two, or just buying a 250 GB FS-100. It seems to me that buying the 32GB P2 would be around $1500, and the 5-slot card reader (which is the only quality reader within reasonable price) for another $1900 isn't all that worth it in terms of value versus the FireStore.

What have others done when purchasing an HVX on a budget? (I should add that the primary use of the camera would be for documentary shooting).

Any opinions? Thanks!
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:33 PM

I hope this isn't too salesman of me but I have a good friend who is looking to sell his HVX. He takes extremely good care of his equipment and it will be essentially new. If you want, PM me and I'll give you his phone number. He's in LA.

Edited by Chris Keth, 07 October 2008 - 07:34 PM.

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#3 Walter Graff

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:58 PM

FS 100 blows away P2. It holds far more data, plugs into your computer and you edit. Period. Or simply transfer files to another hard drive and edit. Period.
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#4 Gus Sacks

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:50 PM

I really dislike the Firestore when ACing. It's bulky and can be unreliable. I much prefer solid-state, when there's really no opportunity for there to be a hardware glitch (or software - ala the Firestore). It's just kinda fragile and I don't like it.

Plus, you do not need to spend 1900$ on a card reader. a Duel Adapter is 120$, but I guess if you're getting a desktop... well, you probably could get an Express Slot installed in it.
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:00 PM

It's bulky and can be unreliable.


I wonder if you say that from experience? I have recorded thousands of hours of video on my DTE and have yet to find anything not there. It is as reliable as SS as I use it. Best of all, it talks to a computer easier than SS. It holds far more video. Requires no dumping like SS. My vote from experience is it is a better method for recording than SS. Perhaps others have found something different. Guess it ocmes to personal taste.
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#6 JD Marlow

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:03 PM

I really dislike the Firestore when ACing. It's bulky and can be unreliable. I much prefer solid-state, when there's really no opportunity for there to be a hardware glitch (or software - ala the Firestore). It's just kinda fragile and I don't like it.

Plus, you do not need to spend 1900$ on a card reader. a Duel Adapter is 120$, but I guess if you're getting a desktop... well, you probably could get an Express Slot installed in it.



Gus, I haven't read anything about Express Slots or a Dual Adapter -- I'll look into it.

As for the bulky nature of the Firestore I have two questions for anyone who has had experience with it:

1) What is the failure rate of the Firestore in the field (or at the edit table for that matter)? Basically, how reliable are they? My only reservation about it really is the fact that it is a hard drive that I'm walking around with.
2) For run and gun documentary-style hand-held shooting, is the firestore really an impedence for the shooter (much less the AC, if there is one)?

Thanks guys.
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:17 PM

" What is the failure rate of the Firestore in the field (or at the edit table for that matter)?"

I've owned one for two years and haven't lost a piece of footage. When you become accustomed to simply pressing record without having to worry about changing tapes and/or cards, you realize what a gift to recording this is. I've dropped mine down steps, banged it, etc. Still ticking.

" For run and gun documentary-style hand-held shooting, is the firestore really an impedence for the shooter "

Could be more for a small form factor such as a HVX. Simple belt clip and you have it on your side. You can mount it easily on the camera but for hand held, this might not help balance the camera as well. The old version weighs a pound. The new version half that and far smaller.
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#8 JD Marlow

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:26 PM

" What is the failure rate of the Firestore in the field (or at the edit table for that matter)?"

I've owned one for two years and haven't lost a piece of footage. When you become accustomed to simply pressing record without having to worry about changing tapes and/or cards, you realize what a gift to recording this is. I've dropped mine down steps, banged it, etc. Still ticking.

" For run and gun documentary-style hand-held shooting, is the firestore really an impedence for the shooter "

Could be more for a small form factor such as a HVX. Simple belt clip and you have it on your side. You can mount it easily on the camera but for hand held, this might not help balance the camera as well. The old version weighs a pound. The new version half that and far smaller.


Walter,

Thanks for the info. I've been leaning toward the 250GB FS-100 because I simply can't afford P2 card AND a Firestore -- like you said, the Firestore simply holds more. I would want to use the 16GB P2 that it comes with as a backup in the field -- but it was simply a matter of cheaply being able to download that P2 footage.

Anyway thanks again -- if you have any additional HVX suggestions / experiences / anecdotes you're willing to offer I'm all ears (or eyes, I guess). I'm coming off being a longtime XL-2 user and am a little worried about not having shoulder mount with an HVX....

-JD
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#9 Christopher Santucci

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:32 PM

I have yet to us P2 cards in my A, and instead have relied on the FS-100 completely.

A few drawbacks about of the FS-100 are:

1) Cooling fan noise.

2) Limited clip duration (about 2 minutes max for 1080.)

3) Can be cumbersome to mount or be tethered to.

.

Edited by Christopher Santucci, 07 October 2008 - 09:34 PM.

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#10 Walter Graff

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:33 PM

Having the P2 as back up is great. It's better when it's tape though. on my HD200 I use tape as archive and HD as record. Take teh tapes out and put them on teh shelf when done. If down the road I need ot revisit the project I always have teh tape
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#11 Walter Graff

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:47 PM

I have yet to us P2 cards in my A, and instead have relied on the FS-100 completely.

A few drawbacks about of the FS-100 are:

1) Cooling fan noise.

2) Limited clip duration (about 2 minutes max for 1080.)

3) Can be cumbersome to mount or be tethered to.

.



Are you running version 4 software?
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#12 Gus Sacks

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 03:12 AM

Gus, I haven't read anything about Express Slots or a Dual Adapter -- I'll look into it.


I had a minute...

Duel can wait for now, Addonics makes this for desktop (and a cheaper adapter for P2 work with Express slots as well)

http://www.addonics....ia/aemk35cb.asp

Thatll do it for 95 bucks :)
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#13 JD Marlow

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 08:13 AM

I had a minute...

Duel can wait for now, Addonics makes this for desktop (and a cheaper adapter for P2 work with Express slots as well)

http://www.addonics....ia/aemk35cb.asp

Thatll do it for 95 bucks :)



Gus,

Thanks for that link -- that looks like just what one would need to cheaply download P2 material. I assume it will hook up to the newest Mac Pro's...

Didn't know about the 2 min. limit on 1080 clips. Does that have to do with the drive formatting (i.e. is it running as FAT32 w/ 4 GB file limit??) Based on everything I've read about P2 and FS-100, I'm guessing it will just overlap into a new clip for continuous recording? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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#14 JD Marlow

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 11:55 AM

Gus,

Thanks for that link -- that looks like just what one would need to cheaply download P2 material. I assume it will hook up to the newest Mac Pro's...

Didn't know about the 2 min. limit on 1080 clips. Does that have to do with the drive formatting (i.e. is it running as FAT32 w/ 4 GB file limit??) Based on everything I've read about P2 and FS-100, I'm guessing it will just overlap into a new clip for continuous recording? Please correct me if I'm wrong.



It seems I answered my own question:
http://www.focusinfo...alog.asp?id=150

Thanks for all the info guys.
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#15 Walter Graff

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:40 PM

It's a non issue. Both the FS-100 and P2 are FAT32 devices. THE FS-100 records in 2GB segments (2:18 of DVCPRO HD). So if you record longer the FS-100 simply makes a new clip but they go seamlessly on a timeline as you simply tell the FS100 to make a reference clip so it is not an issue. P2 makes 4GB segments at 4:55 then makes a new file to continue recording but the difference is seamless with spanning done by software too which is just like the reference thing the DTE does.
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#16 Walter Graff

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:45 PM

Also, you ought to save space and record in 720p mode. The HVX makes the same picture in both 720 and 1080 modes except in 1080 it records far more infomration that it outputs. It's really a waste and you gain little in 1080 mode.
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#17 JD Marlow

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 01:35 PM

Also, you ought to save space and record in 720p mode. The HVX makes the same picture in both 720 and 1080 modes except in 1080 it records far more infomration that it outputs. It's really a waste and you gain little in 1080 mode.


I've always been a little skeptical of recording 1080 on the HVX, both because of space consumption and because we're already shifting pixels to get to 720 from a 960x540 sensor.

However, I'm wondering how the actual images compare. Do you know of any screen grab comparisons between a 1080 and 720 image on the HVX?
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#18 Walter Graff

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 02:45 PM

I've always been a little skeptical of recording 1080 on the HVX, both because of space consumption and because we're already shifting pixels to get to 720 from a 960x540 sensor.

However, I'm wondering how the actual images compare. Do you know of any screen grab comparisons between a 1080 and 720 image on the HVX?


Not anymore but I did do extensive side by side comparisons when the hype for the HVX was being shoveled and I can tell you conclusively that the marketing of the HVX being a 1080 camera is nothing more than marketing. Don't waste your time. It records the same image either way.
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#19 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:08 AM

I was considering a new Mac system. It's my hope to begin authoring blu-ray versions of my reel and movies and getting more familiar with Adobe's Encore program. Mac is still a little behind in this area. They don't seem very interested in hard media at all and they may just skip the whole Blu-ray thing entirely. No one knows for sure.

For less then the cost of a Macbook Pro I could get an Alienware laptop with kick ass internals and a bluray drive and have the ability to cut 1080P and output 1080p BluRay disks. Premiere Pro CS3 is also a lot friendlier with .mxf files. Something to consider.
Alienware is a company dedicated to building systems for gamers. Gamers have the need for a lot of horsepower but the market isn't exactly big spenders. They're mostly targeted for teens. So you can get serious hardware at a decent price
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#20 JD Marlow

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:19 AM

Not anymore but I did do extensive side by side comparisons when the hype for the HVX was being shoveled and I can tell you conclusively that the marketing of the HVX being a 1080 camera is nothing more than marketing. Don't waste your time. It records the same image either way.



Thanks for all the insight Walter. Very helpful stuff.

Seems to me if one really wanted 1080p on the HVX it would make more sense to shoot 720p and go to a post house to uprez and output for a couple hundred bucks rather than waste the space and $$ on all the extra necesarry storage. You'd need a post house anyway to output to something like 1080p HDCAM or SR unless, for some reason, you own the deck hardware yourself.

Edited by JD Marlow, 09 October 2008 - 10:21 AM.

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