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Best Camera options by years' end


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#1 Mark Allen

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 07:01 PM

I haven't been following the camera developments for a while and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what cameras are coming out in the HD realm that are more affordable to rent or buy than the F900 or the Genesis, but are delivering good quality PROGRESSIVE images.

I've seen some buzz about the Panasonic P2 - is that the thing?

I'm familiar with the Kinetta (on the CML for it but doesn't seem likely that will be seen this year).

Others?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Mike Brennan

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 06:51 AM

I haven't been following the camera developments for a while and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what cameras are coming out in the HD realm that are more affordable to rent or buy than the F900 or the Genesis, but are delivering good quality PROGRESSIVE images.

I've seen some buzz about the Panasonic P2 - is that the thing?

I'm familiar with the Kinetta (on the CML for it but doesn't seem likely that will be seen this year).

Others?

Thanks in advance.


My eye is on the 14bit HDC1500. At the moment it can only do 4:2:2 but 4:4:4 output is mooted.
At IBC I saw 1920x1080 60p sports pictures from it recorded onto SRW1.
Next to it was genesis playing back from SR, the Genesis which looked slightly sharper but on close inspection it was maybe that the subject popped more due to reduced depth of field.


It ain't a camcorder but 1920x1080 60p has possibilities.



Mike Brennan
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:46 AM

Hi,

If you want to own it, I think P2 is a good option because you don't need a $100k camera, then a $100k deck to read it.

However, I'm not convinced that P2 will, in the very long term, be what we're all using.

Phil
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#4 Tim J Durham

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:48 AM

My eye is on the 14bit HDC1500. At the moment it can only do 4:2:2 but 4:4:4 output is mooted.
At IBC I saw 1920x1080 60p sports pictures from it recorded onto SRW1.
Next to it was genesis playing back from SR, the Genesis which looked slightly sharper but on close inspection it was maybe that the subject popped more due to reduced depth of field.
It ain't a camcorder but 1920x1080 60p has possibilities.
Mike Brennan

Not quite "affordable" though:

http://bssc.sel.sony...yModel?id=80711

Ouch.
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 10:34 AM

Hi,

If you want to own it, I think P2 is a good option because you don't need a $100k camera, then a $100k deck to read it.

However, I'm not convinced that P2 will, in the very long term, be what we're all using.

Phil


Phil,

Have you got a new sponsership deal in the pipeline!

Stephen
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#6 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 01:59 PM

one thing about P2-- i saw a presentation by panasonic and it relieved by biggest qualm about the format (that it's proprietary and the cards will, for the forseeable future, only be available from panasonic). though the enclosure is purely proprietary, the soild state memory is made up of the standard components that are used for digital cameras, mp3 players, etc... meaning there's a gigantic consumer demand fueling R&D to make the P2's flash memory cheaper and better (maybe this was obvious to everyone else). so those big pricetags on P2 cards will undoubtedly drop. or at least the storage capacities will increase.

for small timers who can't budget in a day or two at a post house for digitizing from HD decks, P2 will make a huge difference.
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:22 PM

one thing about P2-- i saw a presentation by panasonic and it relieved by biggest qualm about the format (that it's proprietary and the cards will, for the forseeable future, only be available from panasonic). though the enclosure is purely proprietary, the soild state memory is made up of the standard components that are used for digital cameras, mp3 players, etc... meaning there's a gigantic consumer demand fueling R&D to make the P2's flash memory cheaper and better (maybe this was obvious to everyone else). so those big pricetags on P2 cards will undoubtedly drop. or at least the storage capacities will increase.

for small timers who can't budget in a day or two at a post house for digitizing from HD decks, P2 will make a huge difference.


Hi,

The big question is why a P2 card costs 4 times the cost of the enclosed memory.

Stephen
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 03:01 PM

Hi,

Panasonic claim that any SD card manufacturer could make a P2 card.

However, all that really says is that the only people who can make P2 cards are people who have an agreement with Panasonic, so make of it what you will.

Phil
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#9 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 06:20 PM

HVX200... Thats the one. I cant wait to see it in action!
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#10 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 07:00 PM

Hi,

The big question is why a P2 card costs 4 times the cost of the enclosed memory.

Stephen



at the same presentation, they said that the memory in the P2 cards are tested to make sure that they're operating at peak, something they said only a small percentage qualify for. also, the P2 enclosure is basically a raid device, so i can understand why there'd be some costs there.

as far as the "only panasonic making P2 cards" thing, their explanation sounded a little fishy... they said that from a business standpoint, no one else would ever want to because the market is relatively small, and that the quality control is a big issue with making them. they never specified whether they'd actually allow third party P2 cards. i have a feeling that they are looking to them as revenue and wanna keep the proft margin healthy on them. in addition, i can imagine they'd be pretty nervous about shoddy 3rd party P2 cards ruining the reputation of such a new format.

regardless, it's just awesome to have another option. and i saw some HVX200 footage-- looks pretty damn good, especially for the price.
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#11 Tim Tyler

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 07:45 PM

and i saw some HVX200 footage-- looks pretty damn good, especially for the price.


Where?
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 07:58 PM

Hi,

The data rate capability of a P2 card is quoted at 640mbps. That's pretty fast, given that an 80x CF card is supposed to be capable of something over 10Mbytes/sec and they're demanding something like twice that off each SD (640/8 divided by four).

However these numbers aren't particularly scary for floating-gate memory in general and Panasonic should not have such trouble manufacturing them that they have any technical excuse for these prices. Pretec make a 4Gb MMC which they claim is capable of 40Mb/sec - and let's face it, even ta pretty middling CF card should be able to record 4Mb/sec, which is fast enough for DV. Roll on a CF camera!

Phil
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#13 Nate Downes

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:35 PM

Hi,

The data rate capability of a P2 card is quoted at 640mbps. That's pretty fast, given that an 80x CF card is supposed to be capable of something over 10Mbytes/sec and they're demanding something like twice that off each SD (640/8 divided by four).

However these numbers aren't particularly scary for floating-gate memory in general and Panasonic should not have such trouble manufacturing them that they have any technical excuse for these prices. Pretec make a 4Gb MMC which they claim is capable of 40Mb/sec - and let's face it, even ta pretty middling CF card should be able to record 4Mb/sec, which is fast enough for DV. Roll on a CF camera!

Phil


Actually, most CF cards only push out 1.8Mb/sec, the high-speed will go 3.4Mb/sec or 6Mb/sec. The procards will get you 12Mb/sec or 20Mb/sec. DV needs 3.6Mbyte/sec for full quality, which means you'd need a CF card capable of 28Mb/sec, which noone manufactures at this time.
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#14 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 02:58 AM

Where?



resfest san francisco.

also, i think i remember them mentioning that data transfer to hardrive/computer from P2 is faster that realtime/runtime for all the formats, including the 100mbps HD... though not the full 640mbps (according to them, it's slowed down by today's computers, and not the P2 cards, meaning that the transfer rate should increase with new computers).

and a neat HVX200 feature is an optional -3 second delay on the record button. meaning you can hit the red button as the tennis ball is bouncing off the waterboy's head, and you'll end up getting the impact and the two seconds of him sitting there beforehand. is that feature on higher end cameras?.. because i've never heard of it.

Edited by jaan, 03 October 2005 - 03:07 AM.

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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:16 AM

Hi,

> DV needs 3.6Mbyte/sec for full quality, which means you'd need a CF card capable of 28Mb/sec, which noone
> manufactures at this time.

Sorry? If DV needs something under 4Mb/sec, then that's what you need out of the card. Where did you get 28 from?

To get a rough idea on the faster cards, usually marked 80x or something of that sort, be aware that "x" in this case is generally about 150Kbyte/sec. These faster cards usually have single level cell memory (faster, more expensive) and are theoretically capable of sustaining write speeds suitable for DV or DVCPRO50. I hasten to add that this is the theoretical speed of the interface not the rate at which it's possible to read (which is slower than write on flash memory) data from the memory itself. Most CF cards contain memory made by Samsung or Toshiba, whereas practically all SD cards contain Panasonic components - so yes, they do have a huge interest in the flash memory market.

It's slightly irritating that the P2 card reader you can buy for a desktop computer is a USB device, which means it's slower than the cards are capable of, particularly if you want to download several at once. Firewire 800 would have been a brighter choice.

Phil
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#16 Nate Downes

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:22 AM

Hi,

> DV needs 3.6Mbyte/sec for full quality, which means you'd need a CF card capable of 28Mb/sec, which noone
> manufactures at this time.

Sorry? If DV needs something under 4Mb/sec, then that's what you need out of the card. Where did you get 28 from?


You're getting confused. CF does 20 Mega-bits per second, DV needs 3.6 Mega-bytes per second, or in other words, 28 mega-bits per second. Big-B vs. small-b.

I worked in the computer field for awhile, it's easy to get confused by the abbreviations.
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:42 AM

Hi,

No, I'm not. I've got CF here that'll do 8Mbyte/sec sustained.

I habitually use the form "Mbit" and "Mbyte" to avoid exactly that kind of confusion.

Phil
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#18 Nate Downes

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:22 AM

Hi,

No, I'm not. I've got CF here that'll do 8Mbyte/sec sustained.

I habitually use the form "Mbit" and "Mbyte" to avoid exactly that kind of confusion.

Phil


*looks at his 80x card* Ok, my goof.

Well, then yes it is possible to record DV on a CF card providing you can find one large enough. We're still talking about maxing out a 1GB card in only a few minutes here.
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#19 Mark Allen

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 11:53 AM

Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I thought I'd post some follow up information after having gone to a res fest LA event about HDV. The seminar I was at compared the Sony Z1, the A1, The Canon XL HD1, The new JVC HD offering, and the Panasonic P2.

They demonstrated footage from every camera except the JVC because they had nothing to play it back. Of course, the footage was from totally different DP's at totally different locations for totally different purposes - so there is no true comparison.

I will say this though. The P2 is in it's own class I think. It's four times the bandwidth, it uses intraframe compression, and the silly engineer's test they were showing... well, it looked really good. I could totally see that playing with the colors and such in post I could be quite happy with the clarity and color reproduction.

The thing I will not be happy about is the 1/3" sensor! I like depth of field limits, I think it looks good and it's a fantastic tool for focusing the audience's attention on what you want - keeping them "in" with the actor and not on the passing by extra. This makes me sad because even as I'm seeing the latitude increase, I'm seeing the depth of field increase as well.

Guess I could shoot in zoom - that might help. But at 1/3" - not going to help a lot.

The other surprise was this. The A1 looked really good. Yes, I think it had more of classic video look than any of the other camera's shown, but it was really sharp.. It's cheap and tiny and I think it's going to rule the consumer world without question. It only shoots 1080i. And did I mention it's tiny?

They claim the P2 will do 24p in both 720 and 1080.

I had a chance to pick it up and it felt fine to me. Felt like the DVX100a which I used a few weeks back.

Didn't really pick up any other interesting information in the 90 or more minutes except that The estimated price of 8 gig P2 cards by the time the camera releases is $1,200 (not the current $2,000) and that internally the camera is doing something like 680 mb/s though it is only writing 100 to the card for the video. The presumption is that this is for future expansion. I can't explain it anymore than that as it wasn't discussed in depth.

Edited by Mark Douglas, 03 October 2005 - 11:54 AM.

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#20 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:20 AM

I'm 10 times more excitied about it already.... :o , I hope I can save up $10,000 in a few months :rolleyes: :blink: :o (Beg's for overtime ;) )
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