HVX2000 or XL H1? Is it possible to make a documentary for broadcast on one of them?

112 replies [Last post]
Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Hello,

I’ve come for some advice for a potentially impossible question to answer. I’m looking to buy a video camera within the next year that will be able to cover four types of work: wedding videography, corporate work, documentary for broadcast (attempting to sell a pilot) and short films. The question may become even more impossible to answer when I say that my upper budget would be around the £5000 mark.

I’ll quickly go through the requirements for each type of work:

WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY WORK
Wide Angle Lens
T/C capable
Shooting continuously for up to an hour
Good in low lighting levels for discos

CORPORATE WORK
Much the same issues as documentary

DOCUMENTARY
16:9
Ability to shoot ideally in a 4:2:2 colour space for better grading
Avoid aliasing and noticeable compression
Shooting interviews (lit and potentially unlit), ext/int gvs and establishers, reconstructions etc.
Delivering to broadcaster with suitable technical specifications met, though of course I know that a lot of this will depend on how I shoot not necessarily what I shoot with.

SHORT FILM
I have a short film in mind, that will require a film look so perhaps need to be progressive and will require a variety of lenses. For example I need to be able to get a shot that starts on a person’s pupil filling the screen and then tracks out to reveal them in a wide shot. I’d probably hire the lenses at the time due to cost. I don’t know how a lens adaptor would perform on a fixed lens camera rather than interchangeable lenses?

I’ve worked in a machine room for a post house, which has a substantial HD workflow, and so have a fair technical knowledge of post, but have not worked in a broadcast environment with video cameras so my knowledge there is limited. I’d really appreciate some advice.

So those are my ideal requirements and the two cameras I’ve been looking at primarily are the Panasonic AG-HVX2000 DVCPro HD camera and the Canon XL H1. I’ve looked at a comparison of the cameras at http://kino-eye.com/docs/ProsumerHD-Comparison.html . The 2000 appeals because of its ability to record at 100 mb/s and at 4:2:2, plus being able to shoot off-speed is a bonus and I’ve been very impressed with DVC-Pro HD with the rushes I’ve seen, though they would have been shot on a broadcast camera. The downside seems to be the lack of interchangeable lenses and more importantly the inability to record HD to tape so I would probably buy the 100GB hard drive that records 1.5 hours of DVC Pro HD footage. The problem I’d have then would be finding a workflow where I can back the hard drive up. I could potentially have a laptop with me on location to download footage to, but ultimately I need to be backing it up to something with a large data capacity and I’m sure my budget won’t cover me for a DVCPro HD deck to put it back to tape. Any other ideas for backing it up in a cost effective way? I could shoot the weddings in DV mode to tape.

The other alternative is the XL H1. What confuses me about this camera is that it is capable of outputting 4:2:2 via the HD SDI output but presumably I’d have to be outputting at the time of filming to do this. Does that mean to take advantage of a 4:2:2 colour space you’d have to have a DVCPro HD or HDCAM recorder hooked up on location? Also am I right in thinking the camera can have a hard disk recorder attached, and would that record 4:2:2 or 4:2:0? Be interested to hear people’s opinions on the two cameras in comparison or if I’ve overlooked a better camera route for what I want to achieve. Most important to me is the ability to shoot weddings and the documentary(s).

From what I’ve been told, read and seen I have concerns over using HDV for anything other than weddings, because of aliasing and noticeable compression. If you think differently then please say. That’s why I suppose I’m interested in looking at alternatives such as DVC Pro HD and using the HD-SDI output on the XL H1. I know the proper advice should be to buy a broadcast camera, but due to my measly wages at the moment I really can’t justify spending that much. Apologies for writing such a long post. Any advice appreciated.

Thanks very much indeed,

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

tom hardwick
Offline
Joined: Apr 8 1999

I suppose the first thing to say Pete is that the professional carpenter has a selection of saws at his disposal. One's a band saw, one a circular saw, one a hack saw and so on. Same with the stills photographer, where a digi compact, a Hassleblad panorama and a DSLR will follow him everywhere.

If you're only going to buy one camcorder it needs to be the best and most expensive I guess, though trying to do weddings without s side screen and good low-light performance (Canon XL) won't calm you much.

The Panasonic HVX seems to cover most of the bases, but the P2 card costs have me slapping my forehead in disbelief when tape is so plentiful, cheap, reliable and good. Your 'measley wages' seem to knock this on the head.

The Z1 is the bargain but your 25p will have to be done in post. The versatility of the JVC's interchangeable lenses will have to be balanced against the loss of auto focus, and contrary to popular belief weddings happen *fast* and as a onemanband you do need auto sometimes.

I think the Panasonic wins looking at your wish list, but the hugely more expensive XL H1 has the interchangeable lens option on top, and it sounds to me as if you're going to need this facility.

tom.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

HVX200 counts as HD as far as DiscoveryHD and the BBC's concerned, but no HDV camera does. This is less to do with the MPEG compression than with the quality of the cameras on the front of the recorder, although the 4:2:0 subsampling makes for poorer keying, and keying's a vital feature of professional grading. HDV counts as the allowed proportion of non-HD material in any production.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Thanks very much for the reply Tom. As I suspected, my budget is too limited to achieve everything I want to. As I say, the weddings and the documentary are the priority since I'm unlikely to do a lot of corporate work till later on and the short film will probably be done at a later stage, by which point I would hope that I'd have made enough money to justify either upgrading to a better camera or being able to afford daily hire of one.

So with just weddings (no need for interchangeable lenses) and the documentary, do you think that I would still need interchangeable lenses? As I say, the footage I'll be shooting for the documentary will be primarily interviews, gvs, and int. and ext. establishers, reconstructions and I'll probably emulate rostrum shots by scanning stills from other sources at high res and using after effects to keyframe. Do you think that the HVX2000 would be up to doing all that with a 4.2mm to 55mm lens or am I being totally unrealistic?

Also, I've considered a workflow. It's cumbersome, but allows me to take advantage of the DVCPro HD feature. If I had the 100GB firestore hard drive (which I can afford to buy as it brings me roughly in budget) I can record 1.5 hours of HD material. When I'm on location, once I've filled the drive I could then back it up to my macbook pro hard drive, which I estimate would take about 35 minutes. I can then shoot for another 1.5 hours, giving me a total of 3 hours shooting a day. I could use an extrernal firewire drive plugged into the laptop for storage to give me more space, but my past experience of them is that they have a tendency to fall over when moved around too much. Once I'm back home I could down convert the HD footage from the computer to DV tape via Final Cut Pro and the HVX2000 for offline editing. I could then transfer the footage from the laptop onto a computer with a blu-ray burner (another thing to purchase) or some sort of data tape backup and backup the HD footage either to blu-ray disc or some sort of data tape. I'm able to build my own computers so would only need to buy the drive for this. Any better suggestions or again is this a crazy idea? I know it's time consuming, but I'd rather take the time and get better looking footage than having the ease of HDV tapes with footage that can never look as good.

So, using the HD feature for the documentary and the DV feature of the HVX2000 for the weddings with occasional bit of varicam for those cheesy moments of the bride and groom in slow mo, what do you think of the HVX2000 against the other prosumer cameras out there? Sorry again for waffling so much and asking so many questions!

Thanks in advance.

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Thanks Alan. That's a thumbs up for the HVX2000 in terms of HD broadcast suitability, compared to the other prosumer cameras. When you mentioned the 4:2:0 subsampling were you refering to HDV or is this something that the HVX2000 does?

Thanks,

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Sorry, one thing I forgot to mention in my work flow for backing up was that once I had picture locked my offline (at home on my copy of FCP) I would then conform from my HD backups, from data tape or blu-ray, on an external firewire drive. I'd then take the firewire drive and project into an HD Online in a post house (probably do most of the online at home) and then simply record the footage back to DVC Pro HD tape, ready for the grade. A roundabout way of avoiding buying or constantly hiring a DVCPro HD VTR and avoiding having to pay for the conform part of the online.

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

The-Video-Compa...
Offline
Joined: Mar 3 2004

I can't say too much about the Panasonic, as I haven't taken too much interest in it, but I can say the following about the Canon.

You can attach an external Wafian recorder which allows you to capture true 24p from the XL-H1. This costs about £10k to buy, but you could perhaps hire one when you need it and make do with what you have at all other times. It has interchangable lenses, and you can achieve some amazing DOF with lens attachment such as a Mini35.

The main problem with using the HD-SDI on the XL-H1 from what I can gather, is that the audio & TC isn't embeded. I supsect this will be updated in a future model, but there is no talk of one at present. The new JVC does this as standard, and even outputs 1080i over the HD-SDI as well as 720p. This looks quite nice, but I can't offer any more advice as I don't know much more about it.

Don't be put off with the lack of the lcd for weddings, as the flip down viewfinder provides a large enough screen for your requirements. I personally have been shooting with an XL1/XL1s for the last few years, and it hasn't really bothered me. In fact, I would go as far to say that you develop a better eye for composition and exposure.

I've heard of a few broadcast shows shot on the Canon, and I can only 'GUESS' that providing the work was of a professional standard and delivered in the correct format, you'd get away with it.

Same As It Ever Was! :(

The-Video-Compa...
Offline
Joined: Mar 3 2004

Forgot to metion that I'm in the market for new equipment at the moment, including a new camera. I'm looking at the XL-H1 too, providing I can pick one up for a good price. :)

Same As It Ever Was! :(

MattDavis
MattDavis's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 1 2005
Yes, of course it is.
Peter Barden wrote:
That's a thumbs up for the HVX2000 in terms of HD broadcast suitability, compared to the other prosumer cameras.

At least a few C4 high profile doccos have been done on the Z1, and they are remembered because they were good, not because of the Z1. If it's good, watchable and keeps the audience engaged, you could shoot it on a handycam. :)

Conforming to a broadcaster's spec is something a post house will do for you, so long as you knew the gist of it beforehand. Do the leg-work in pulling it all together. A teeny weeny bit of legalisation, a touch of audio magic, and a dump to digibeta, nobody knows it was a Z1 except for the DPs watching for DoF. Don't just hand over a cheap HDV tape...

A good friend of mine bought an HVX. I've edited his footage, and at SD it had more latitude than my Z1 stuff. The lens seemed better, but it didn't do gain like a Z1. Not a low-light camera. He's happy with it, but feels it needs a team of people around the HVX. The Z1 is a singleton and will just about shoot in candle-light with 18db gain and 25fps.

At your (our) price point, the lifespan of the camera is a few years max. A couple at best. Find one you enjoy working with. If you're having fun and enjoying it, the format is invisible.

Matt Davis - Director/Editor - Write, shoot, edit, publish - website & Blog
2x EX1R, FS100 & FS700 into FCPX & CS6

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

Just to clear this up, the HVX200 (I don't know of an HVX2000, although tghere are always new cameras coming onto market) records DVCProHD at 100Mb/s onto the P2 cards. Ths is chroma sub-sampled 4:2:2 just like HDCAM and Digibeta, so yoiu get full vertical resolution.

All HDV cameras, and all other MPEG2 systems, are 4:2:0. It's a fundamental of the compression as far as I can tell. So you only get half vertical resolution.

That's one of the main reasons why HDV is rejected at the high end. The second main reason is that the GoP length means that it always has to be decoded for editing, even for cuts-only. The other main reason is the quality of the cameras in HDV.

That final reason isn't rigid though, because the HDV cameras are getting better with every new model, the JVCs are lovely, and the Canon's are a big step ahead of the Sonys. That's my opinion, not a scientific fact.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

The-Video-Compa...
Offline
Joined: Mar 3 2004

I think that the JVC may be in favour with our European friends, as I read that the EBU have been adopting a 720 50p stance recently.

Can anyone expand on this?

Peter, here's a trailer for a feature that was shot on the XL-H1 with the Mini35:

http://www.slefilms.com/trailers/Q-Z/signal.wmv

It might give you an idea of what you can achieve, even though it's been compressed for the web.

Same As It Ever Was! :(

wmg
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2002

I too am looking to replace my old DSR 300 and the Canon is very high on my list.

This is the quality it can produce

http://media.dvinfo.net/xlh1/disjecta/Yellowstone_opening1.wmv

The new AI/G1 also look very good for those who like them small

Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Thanks all again for the advice. Sorry Alan, I meant the HVX200. I think I must have also had the Sony VX2000 at the back of my mind when I typed it. I'll take a look at those videos. Thanks.

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

tom hardwick
Offline
Joined: Apr 8 1999

Matt puts it well:
At your (our) price point, the lifespan of the camera is a few years max. A couple at best. Find one you enjoy working with. If you're having fun and enjoying it, the format is invisible.

Peter, you say 'weddings and documentary are the priority' and would you need interchangeable lenses? Well weddings are my field of expertise and I'd say that interchanging lenses is not something that you should find you have time to do. Every time I stop to fit the wide-angle converter to my Z1 I realise that I'm not capturing never2Brepeated footage of the day, so there'd better be damn good reason to do this.

Of course in the PD170 days you *had* to use the supplied wide-angle converter simply because the Sony 6 - 72 mm lens didn't start out wide enough, but most 12x zoomed cameras these days start at a much wider 4.5 mm (32.5 mm equiv). The HVX200 is even better starting out at 4.2 mm of course and having more zoom.

Many people I know shoot a wedding single-handedly with a Z1, feeling it's a finely balanced camera from all sorts of viewpoints - low light, zoom range, size, weight, cost and its ergonomics. Shot tapes are easily stored on your person (very important) and downloading to laptops is iffy. It's the cheapest of all the options you've mentioned so cannot be expected to compete in some areras.

tom.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

The EBU's stance on HD is to aim for 1080p/50. That's progressive at 50Hz, no interlace. The argument is over how to get there, since there's no commercial recording system and very few cameras that'll do it today. There are two choices:-

1: Start broadcasting 720p/50 and raise the resolution when it can be done. This is fine for those who buy HD panels with 720 or fewer lines but for those with better displays they'll find they can get better pictures from their HDV camcorders if they take care to set them up properly and shoot wisely. So the broadcasters will lag behind the home marker by several years, for several years. There's no doubt that progressive tv is easier to compress (i.e. you get the same quailty from a lower bit-rate) than is interlace, so 720p/50 can survive a lower bit-rate than can 1080i/25 despite their respective pixel-rates being near identical, but about 30%. So this is the way to get more HD channels out in the available space, today.

2: Start by broadcasting any mix of 720p/50 and 1080i/25 (which is actually 50Hz interlaced, I'm using the EBU's terminology) which this includes 1080psf/25 (the film-look used by virtually all drama and most documentaries). Move up to 1080p/50 when it can be done.

For me, the first option is downright silly. Most of the HD displays in the market are already capable of better than 720p, in fact, 720p is the official minimum resolution that can be claimed to the HDTV. So, this option aims for the absolute minimum than counts as HDTV. In Europe, we have least to gain from going to HD, because we already have wide-screen, and already have digits (albeit over-compressed). In the US, they went from 4:3 analogue NTSC straigth to 16:9 digital HD, and the improvement is universally obvious and sells well, not so here.

The Nordic countries are pretty universal in wanting to go progressive from Day 1 (to get more channels), but Sky have gone 1080i (because they're not short of bandwidth and can see what displays people have already bought), the BBC's tests are all 1080i (remember that 1080i/25 includes all the high profile, expensive, film-look productions that people are proud of).

I think the EBU's lost the plot, setting a standard that's easy to do today. But that's why the JVCs are selling well.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

StevenBagley
Offline
Joined: Aug 14 2000
Alan Roberts wrote:
The Nordic countries are pretty universal in wanting to go progressive from Day 1 (to get more channels), but Sky have gone 1080i (because they're not short of bandwidth and can see what displays people have already bought), the BBC's tests are all 1080i (remember that 1080i/25 includes all the high profile, expensive, film-look productions that people are proud of).

I've been told by a very reliable source that they intend to trial 720p50 on the DVB-T test channel at some point...

Steven

Unicorn
Offline
Joined: Apr 12 1999
Quote:
All HDV cameras, and all other MPEG2 systems, are 4:2:0. It's a fundamental of the compression as far as I can tell. So you only get half vertical resolution.

That's one of the main reasons why HDV is rejected at the high end. The second main reason is that the GoP length means that it always has to be decoded for editing, even for cuts-only.

But surely 4:2:0 GOP compression would also eliminate XDCAM HD?

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004

Theoretically yes. But obviously not for Discovery HD who have approved it for unrestricted acquisition (ie whole programmes can be made with it). The main reason HDV is rejected by the high end is more to do with the camera heads on the smaller cameras rather than the colour sampling. This is why Discovery only allow limited use of the HVX200 for footage acquisition, despite recording to DVCpro100.

Actually, I am quite surprised at the number of operations that are starting to use XDCAM HD, and the colour sampling hasn't raised its head once. Most seem more concerned about the sensor size.

That said, MPEG2 isn't solely limited to 4.2.0. There are advanced variations which use 4.2.2, which I would imagine any XDCAM HD 2/3" will use. IMX is an intraframe 4.2.2 MPEG 2 variation.

As far as HD broadcasting goes, I don't hold out much hope for anything really. I don't see why the compression squeeze should be any different to Freeview now. Ie loads of channels, crappy picture.

I saw a demo of BBC HD the other day on a Panasonic HD display and a Sony one. I can't say that I was too impressed to be honest. My eye was constantly drawn to dot crawl from compression.

Regarding the feature that was linked to above that was shot on an XL H1 with Mini35, it looked a bit too 28 Days Later for my liking. I find this more impressive;

http://www.kampfansage.com/downloads/index.php?act=tr&lang=en&PHPSESSID=5cb087ba9b480310582e20c358b19d00

Download trailer number 2.
It was shot on a SD Canon XL1 with Mini35, it looks a lot more cinematic to my mind, and is a clear indicator that its the talent, not the camera, that really counts.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

MPEG is seen as a delivery compression, best suited when the output is only to be viewed, jot further processed. As such, it works well enough. There are, indeed, high-end variants with 422 subsampling, but not enough of them in products to make it acceptable for acquistion.

None of that precludes us from working in HDV or in MPEG, it just affects who will accept the output. I'm perfectly happy to shoot on my A1 and edit either the elementary stream or any other conversion of it for my own use. But I don't expect to be able to sell the output to a broadcaster.

Personally, I think that all the broadcasters have got it wrong for this generation of HD. MPEG2 is too crude in it's compression, leaving rectangular blocks visible when it fails. JPEG2000 is rather better, as are several other codecs using wavelet compression or other combinations of compression (likie Dirac), because it goes soft when it fails rather than showing obvious blocks. But, wavelet compression is much harder to do and needs more grunt both in coding and decoding so is unpopular with manufacturers.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Hi,

When I mentioned about the interchangeable lenses I wasn't thinking for the weddings as I think I'd be quite happy with the range I'd get on most integrated lens 16:9 native cameras, as I'm previously used to shooting 4:3. It was really for the documentary, for shooting interviews, reconstructions, gvs, establishers etc. I'm not sure if there is likely to be some work in the documentary that would require different lenses or whether the lens on the HVX200 would be suitable for work of this nature.

If I bought the HVX200 I'd have to use the DV tape option to start with for weddings as I couldn't afford to go the P2 route initially and the Fire Store would only hold 1.5 hours of DVCPro HD. Anyone got any experience of the DV tape on this cam? From what Panasonic have suggested there will be 16GB, 32GB,64GB,128GB P2 cards due out over the next couple of years and I would assume the prices will start to come down on them. So once they did then I could eventually look at filming everything DVCPro HD. I wonder in that case, how the HVX200 would compare as a Mini DV camera against the other prosumer HDV cameras out there.

Thanks,

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

As a miniDV camera it's a scorcher. But, I suspect that the cost of HD Firestores will drop (or sizes go up) a lot faster than P2 will.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Thanks Alan. I'll think I'll either have to hire a hxv200 for the next wedding or get myself down to a showroom and try one out.

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

If I were you, I'd go to a hire company and ask for a test session. Get yourself a copy of my document on it (see my signhature), read that and ponder for a while, then try it for yourself.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

tom hardwick
Offline
Joined: Apr 8 1999

Thing is Peter that P2 has got to come down by gigantuan bounds of imeasurable disbelief (what did he say?). Lookie-here. An 8 GB P2 card is £1170 and a 13GB MiniDV tape is £1.40. Read that again. You've got to have someone else paying the bill to jump aboard the P2 wagon.

tom.

DVdoctor
Offline
Joined: Apr 1 1999

I think the whole p2 thing is an excellent example of the arrogance and total lack of interest in customer feedback on the part of customers of the manufacturers of these systems.

We think that despite all the comments to the contrary, that P2 and solid state storage is never going to come even close to matching Hard drive technology and more important VOLUMES, people forget that it is the massive number of units produced that keeps the price performance curve on track for Moore's law. This is the same argument we have as to why the REV disk also will not survive, despite all good intentions, just like Syquest/zip/jazz the advantages that are achieved at a single point in time fade away as the volume and Price/byte of Hard drives keeps on its exponential path.

We still say it is going to be small format, high density, shock resistant sata drives that are going to win this war. Remove it from your camera, plug it into your NLE system and you can start editing immediately. you are looking at a drive that could fit in the same space as a tape with 10 or 20 or more times the capacity.
Sharyn

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

Panasonic's take on this is that you change your workflow. The P2 isn't a programme store, it's a transfer medium, to be reused many thousands of times. Seen that way, as a bridge between the camera and the editor, it makes sense, because you then don't need a tape deck anywhere in the production route, and it's that saving that pays for the stock of cards. Of course, this won't work for many people, and that's why hard-drives will be popular for quite a while as the favourite alternative to tape.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Peter Barden
Offline
Joined: Sep 26 2001

Thanks again all. I don't think I would rely on using the P2 technology as things are cost wise, so I would almost certainly go the hard drive route to start with, eventually looking to buy a second higher capacity firstore so that I could shoot about five hours worth of footage in a day between the two drives. If I can achieve that then I'd be fairly happy, as once you're back to base at the end of the day you can just transfer and backup your media and then you're ready to go again. The only real advantage I could see with P2 then would be the fact that it is more lightweight, easily stored and more robust. I'm willing to work round these limitations in order to save a lot of money, but get high end results. If the 64GB or 128GB P2 cards, when they come, eventually sit at a price comparable to the current cards then I might think about the P2 card. Three 128GB cards would certainly be all I would need to buy, as I wouldn't dream of using P2 for backing up media due to costs. As things are, what are people's opinions on the best cheapest long-term storage method for DVCPro HD footage, without being able to afford a DVCPro HD VTR? Would blu-ray be the way to go or data backup via data tape storage or some other method?

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

For my money, either BluRay or HD-DVD would be a good way to archive material. But I'd use them as data sores not as video. If you put the video onto these discs you have to go through their coders for compression, and that introduces another layer of artefacts (which might or might not be a problem). But if you can just drop files onto them just like any other fata store, and if they're as reliable as other data stores, then you get transparent data storage, which is what we all want.

Incidentally, a BluRay deck goes on the UK market this week, and HD-DVD will appear on the UK market during November, so it;'s time to start thinking properly about this.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

paultv
Offline
Joined: May 16 2002

mmmmm,

I'm doubtful of using any writable disc medium CD BD or HD DVD as an archive medium,
too may discs become unreadable for one reason or another over relativley short periods of time.

RevPro maybe more expensive than hard drives per Mb but at least they are designed for archiving and have read write speeds close to firewire drives.

paul

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

But, beware of Iomega's reputation for supporting hardware. Remember Zip drives?

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001
Alan Roberts wrote:
But, beware of Iomega's reputation for supporting hardware. Remember Zip drives?

Not to mention Jazz drives. These were once touted as the solution to the film industry's requirement for a 35mm mag film replacement...

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Bruce
Offline
Joined: Apr 20 2001
P2 Costs - Workflow

Regards to P2. I need to shoot some pictures on a small camcorder for possible broadcast use and so want to avoid HDV compression to avoid any compliance problems at a later date. Had a close look at the DVCPro P2 HVX200 today at the IOV show. Have always discounted P2 as a choice because of card costs and recording duration.

It was pointed out today that the cost of the P2 cards can be reduced by copying to the portable hard disk store (60gb). The pain is having only 8 mins to shoot interviews with. Although thinking about it in the old days I had to work within the constraints of 400ft rolls (10mins) of 16mm film.

For drama or documentaries could it after all be a feasible work flow? Especially as Panasonic are about to bring out a 100gb dedicated firestore unit shortly which will give about 90mins of recording time for £1500. "Everyone will just down load to a big Lacie drive dedicated to a project" was given as an answer to P2 costs. Comments anyone?

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

No Help to you in your current dilemma but I share Sharyn's view. Removable hard drives are the way to go, driven by the IT industry. When and if flash becomes fast enough and cheap enough to supplant hard drives in notebooks etc. then we might see a change. For the present P2 is just too expensive, too limited (record time) and the workflow too complex. Firestore is a good kludge to get over the fact that the (removable) hard drive isn't built into the camera. But what a shame that Panasonic didn't do us all a favour and dump the tape drive in favour of a 2.5" removable HD. If your shooting circumstances are such that the extra hassle of Firestore can be accomodated then that may well be the way to go.

I'm in much the same position and gnashing my teeth over the stupidity of manufacturers.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

MattDavis
MattDavis's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 1 2005
Bruce wrote:
Panasonic are about to bring out a 100gb dedicated firestore unit shortly which will give about 90mins of recording time for £1500.

I've purchased a FireStore FS4 (SD) which now sits unused and unloved on a shelf because...

i) The batteries are expensive. It's a whole new battery system unless I go IDX or something, and they're expensive too. A bit overkill for a Z1.

ii) Mine broke after loaning it to someone - it certainly feels fragile

iii) It's quite a big brute with a little fan that mustn't be covered

iv) It's a FAT32 system which requires gluing long clips together and at 2 gig per file and 100 Mbps, that might be quite a bit of gluing. According to the Digital Heaven calculator 2 gigs of DVCPRO-HD is 2 mins 17 seconds of shot.

Yes, there are other HD systems about, but I'm not quite sure this is ready for prime time. I can carry batteries and media for a day's shoot in my pockets. Events are unpredictable, things happen fast and they don't happen again. Four hours of HDV in one pocket, two NP-970s in the other, and I don't need to worry all day. I'd have to carry two firestores and 4-6 additional long life batteries to do that, AND I woudn't have 4 full hours, AND I don't have the option of in-camera down-convert.

OTOH, give it another 12-18 months, who knows? :rolleyes: Tapless IS the way to go, but not quite yet?

Matt Davis - Director/Editor - Write, shoot, edit, publish - website & Blog
2x EX1R, FS100 & FS700 into FCPX & CS6

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

The nice thing about the HVX200 is that it has firewire output, so you can capture the DVCProHD externally. I haven't tried it personally, but Panasonic tyell me that this is the way they expect people to use it routinely, with P2 use kept to a minimum.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

StevenBagley
Offline
Joined: Aug 14 2000

Remember you can buy 8GB flash drives that work via USB for £169 now (and also happen to play music on the move) containing 24hours of battery power in a package smaller than a DVCam tape. How long before someone repackages the same technology as an offboard capture device for the Z1 etc.

With the laptop industry also looking at moving away from hard drives and switching to solid state -- mainly to give instant-on capabilities and to remove the drain on the laptop battery. I think it is safe to assume that the magnetic hard drive is a dying technology. And while you can't apply Moore's law to magnetic media (which just states that the number of transistors in use will double every 18months), you certainly can to flash ram... And because it is so flash ram is so much smaller than even a 1.8" hard disk, it'll be very easy to create 1TB flash 'drives' in very small packages.

Any technology other than solidstate is a stopgap technology that has a limited shelf life (less than 5 years max), but I'm not sure what form it'll take -- especially as next generation flash technology is starting to appear (e.g. HP's memory spot, which can store 0.5MB of data in a 2mm square area and transfer it wirelessly at 10mbit/s to or from the spot).

But why stop there, give it 10 years and we'll be recording directly to our edit suites at home via wireless internet links, and media just won't exist and the recorded files will be accompanied by metadata containing GPS data of where the material was filmed alongside the normal date and time stamp.

Steven

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001
Alan Roberts wrote:
The nice thing about the HVX200 is that it has firewire output, so you can capture the DVCProHD externally. I haven't tried it personally, but Panasonic tyell me that this is the way they expect people to use it routinely, with P2 use kept to a minimum.

I think this rather neatly illustrates the point. It is tantamount to an admission that the internal recording options are less than ideal. External recording is a pain in many situations for all the reasons listed in earlier posts. How long before we see a Mk 2 HVX 200 with no tape drive, SD slots as well as or instead of P2 (If Panasonic can bite the bullet and admit that proprietary technology is no longer the way to go) and a removable hard drive?

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

DVdoctor
Offline
Joined: Apr 1 1999

Most techno's in the US have applied Moore's law to Magnetic Media, Wikipedia decided to talk about Kryders law which was created looking backward (Mark Seagate's cto)

Back when John was at Novell he developed a product for the US navy called BatRam for battery ram for use in the Trident Subs, reason then was that the hard drives on the Novell servers in the subs were failing due to some of the g forces (John got to go on the trials of the Batram in the sub, and even being a pilot could not believe what the sub was capable of doing) The conclusion was that Magnetic had the upper hand for quite a whle since different recording methods would increase the storage capacity, sort of how now with using a blue lazer you can get more bits per square inch on optical media. Solid state was really dependant on increasing the size of the die reliablly, and at the same time decreasing the feature size. SO while the solid state could be a more continual process, the magnetic or optical would go thru major leaps

As bizarre as it sounds we are just getting engineers thinking of chemical dna type storage methods, which if you look at it from a computer stand point really is where in stead of just having 0's and 1's or on and off, you have four states, with its massive increase in coding capacity.

Anyway, the demise of Magnetic media have been predicted for a long long time, and the industry keeps pulling rabbits out of the hat. Notebooks are looking at solid state for the OS, with the idea that something under 8 gigs or so would do the trick, but at the same time, they are adding additional hard drives for storage.

Problem is like storing jumk in your house, Sharyn's law is the amount of stuff you want to store always is beyond the capacity of your storage ;-)

Sharyn

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

Steven, you're spot on there. The future's solid state, it's how we get there that's at issue. That's what I've been consistently saying for several years now. But I'm less convinced about wireless comms to the nle, the one thing that will never follow Moore's Law is the amount of spectrum space available, so either we have to find new ways of threading through it, or more efficient compressors.

Rob, I don't see it as an admission of failure, more as an opening of the doors to different ways of doing things. We can't complain about proprietary storage and then condemn them for offering alternatives, what they're doing is letting us chose our own preferred methods. It's called "letting the market decide".

Sharyn, I'm with you on bulk storage (there's never enough). But this isn't really about bulk storage, it's about temporary storage, it's about the transport medium from the camera to the editor. P2 is just that, temporary storage for capture, you don't keep your rushes on them. For archiving, tape is still the winner and probably will be for quite a while, but as the size:price ratio of hard-drives keep dropping, we can increasingly keep entire projects on the hard-drive rather than go out to tape. Hard drive prices in the UK now are between 2 and 3 G/£, another factor of 3 and it's the same price as decent DV tape (and cheaper than HDV tape). So I won't write hard-drives off for a while yet.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Unicorn
Offline
Joined: Apr 12 1999
Quote:
I think it is safe to assume that the magnetic hard drive is a dying technology.

I remember being told that in 1990 when I had a 128MB SCSI RAM drive on my work computer... solid state storage is like nuclear fusion, it's always been only a few years away from being viable, and still is today.

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004

Solid state is definitely the future at some point.

But I think people need to stop thinking of this future as being similar to P2 whereby it is only a temporary storage. Solid state will replace magnetic and disc media when it can be bought just as cheaply, and is just as disposable. There is no point in having a solid state future where things have to be backed up to other mediums. This is a long way off.

I should also add though that discs such as Blu-Ray and other emerging disc technologies have a big future still, especially for storage of sensitive information for Governments etc. Why? You can't destroy a plastic disc with an EMP!

Unicorn
Offline
Joined: Apr 12 1999
Quote:
Solid state will replace magnetic and disc media when it can be bought just as cheaply, and is just as disposable.

Which will be 'just a few years ago' from now until... well, quite a few years in the future :).

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004

Something else I'll add is that hard drives can often still have information recovered from them if they go wrong.

DVdoctor
Offline
Joined: Apr 1 1999

Solid state looks great for temp storage, but the professional market needs to either decide that compressed originated footage is the way to go, or go with uncompressed, and not keep increasing the required quality. My comment on storage was also that if on the capture side of things you want to keep increasing the quality, then the size requirements keep increasing massively. Is 8-10 gig really enought, or are we really looking at 80 to 100 gig for temp storage.

Second factor is the investment in the fab lines to produce these size of densities, the AMD's and Intels of the world want to sell products with the highest value per square inch so untill there is massive spare capacity on the fab lines, the large silicon, low price products don't get the priority. I think Panasonic was trying to test the water on a price point for solid state in the professional market, and I am not sure how successful it has been.

Sharyn

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004

It probably hasn't been quite as successful as they had hoped!

These things don't happen overnight, despite the impression that technology magazines give out. And it is quite amusing how many people obsess over it proclaiming systems like XDCAM are doomed now, even though solid state is absolutely nowehere near a point where it can replace tape.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

A lot depends on what people are prepared to pay. This is what marketing people are employed to discover regardless of production cost. In the case of P2 I think they got it badly wrong. The dedicated version of the Firestore is similarly unattractive due to price and lack of convenience etc. If the price was UKP500 for a 32GB P2 card they would fly off the shelves today. As it is, the economics of it just don't add up to the potential buyer (me). I want at least 30 minutes shooting time, I don't mind having just two cards and copying to hard drive. BUT I still don't understand why no-one is going down the removable hard drive route. It can't be that hard to engineer and the costs are dropping rapidly.

I can't help feeling that, if Panasonic expect "most people to use the Firewire output to record" they could have saved themselves a lot of grief and made the product far more desirable by simply including an HD. (even if it was a proprietary one at double the usual street price)

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

MattDavis
MattDavis's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 1 2005
SimonMW wrote:
And it is quite amusing how many people obsess over it proclaiming systems like XDCAM are doomed now
Rob James wrote:
If the price was UKP500 for a 32GB P2 card they would fly off the shelves today.

Just got back fromt the IoV bash, having successfully laid my grubby paws on the 330 XDCAM-HD. Talking through my options and workflow as an FCP editor, the costs involved in media and what stores what, plus bingo moments like learning of 2 hrs talking-head recording at HD, 35mbps VBR and so on, I feel it's worth a closer look than P2.

I've heard the jibe that it's disk based tape too. Fershure, MPEG2 Long GoP is a disappointment (I want to try cutting some footage), but isn't that a criticism of the compression rather than the mechanism? £20 for 23 Gb isn't far off client-side Pro tape!

OTOH, it didn't strike me as an appealing format for freelance Cameramen - a bunch of flopticals isn't quite what a Director likes to take home unless Sony make a XDCAM 'DSR-11'?

Matt Davis - Director/Editor - Write, shoot, edit, publish - website & Blog
2x EX1R, FS100 & FS700 into FCPX & CS6

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004

In the US more and more freelancers are using XD. I know of quite a number of independent companies in the UK that use it too. But freelancing with XD in the UK is not so good. We're a bit backward over here ;)

I do projects from shoot to completion of editing so I can use what I want. One guy, Alister Chapman, is using it to shoot his extreme weather footage, and is apparently loving the way that he can catalogue all the footage really easily, and make it easy for the networks to buy his footage of extreme weather events while he is on the road chasing storms. In other words, XDCAM is allowing him to get his footage to the US news networks when a serious storm, tornadoes etc occur, before everyone else. He can upload it to them while he is still on the road.

This is my angle. XDCAM is here and now, and is thoroughly proven inside out in all conditions since 2003. Infinity is still an unproven prototype that appears to be having all sorts of issues, P2 is too expensive, and there really doesn't seem to be any hugely viable alternatives on the very near horizon.

I'll shut up again and get my coat... ;)

Dave Jervis
Offline
Joined: Feb 21 2006
solid state v. disk

Back when hard drives were too slow and too small to cope with the demands of video, using a RAID system became the standard to increase perfomance and capacity. Several basic "state of the art" drives working in unison provided the necessary performance at an acceptable price and a flexible RAID controller allowed for various permutations of capacity, speed, security and even economy.

I am really quite surprised that there have been no similar developments for solid state memory. A "RAIM" using relatively low cost, proven and readily available SD cards seems a logical interim step. With the big fast SD cards retailing at less than £50 surely there is some mileage in it.

Come on Firestore.... what about a "Firestore 8xSD 32"... (OK, I know it's not that easy but............)

dave j

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001
Dave Jervis wrote:
A "RAIM" using relatively low cost, proven and readily available SD cards seems a logical interim step.
dave j

Which is pretty much what a P2 card is... It's just the price.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Dave Jervis
Offline
Joined: Feb 21 2006
Rob James wrote:
Which is pretty much what a P2 card is... It's just the price.

Point taken Rob. I think I was just hoping for a more "open" and generic system where the end user can really benefit from the reducing costs of high volume multi-purpose memory cards.

Possibly the P2 price situation will improve if there is a competitive "system".... but then you will probably get into all that VHS/Beta Digibeta/D3/D5 HD-DVD/Blu-Ray "guess the right horse to back" scenario..... again! It was for this reason I suggested a stand-alone recorder as an example (established market sector, standardised firewire interface etc. etc.).

dave j

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

As far as I can tell, P2 cards are already a RAID system inside; I seem to recall being told that data is 8-parallel, so it's already like an 8-disk array. That's why they're expensive.

But I like the idea of an external device like a Firestore that takes in/delivers the data at real speed (HDSDI would be nice), with a big array of lower speed/cheap cards doing the storage as a RAID array. That's a nice one.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

The-Video-Compa...
Offline
Joined: Mar 3 2004
Alan Roberts wrote:
The EBU's stance on HD is........

Just got round to reading this Alan. Thanks for the explanation.

Same As It Ever Was! :(

terminal3
Offline
Joined: May 29 2006
Alan Roberts wrote:
As far as I can tell, P2 cards are already a RAID system inside; I seem to recall being told that data is 8-parallel, so it's already like an 8-disk array. That's why they're expensive.

Yes, but the internal disk technology that's being RAID'ed so to speak, as far as I remember is more or less just Secure Digital (SD) card technology, just like one would use in their £99 digital camera.

So an 8GB P2 card, for example, would be made up of 8 x 1GB "SD" cards and the controller. 1GB SD cards can be bought for £15 at retail, so the price to Panasonic must be a fraction of that. The RAID controller for technology that size must be pricey, but can it account for a retail price of an 8GB P2 card being over £1k? I'm sure part of the massive price of these things is simply a healthy profit margin to pay off their R&D costs on the whole system, and that over time it will get cheaper, as everything does.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

What Panasonic have told me is that the high price is the result of low yield. They still hand test and select individual memory chips to go into P2. It's the time/effort of this manual part that keeps the cost high. As the yield gets better, the price drops only a little because the manual effort is still there, so they're concentrating on getting the size up rather than the price down.

It's not the cost of the parts that makes it expensive, it's having to pick and choose the fast ones from the production line.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

I cannot remember where, but I did read on a Panasonic website that the memory involved in the P2 cards is indeed SD. (Albeit selected for speed and reliability) Healthy is the word for the profit involved! I'll hazard a guess at a manufacturing cost (today) of under $50 for an 8GB card. Even allowing for the usual 10 times mark up on such things that should still mean a street price below $500. If Panny are serious about getting the P2 workflow adopted as a real standard they need to revisit the marketing strategy, drastically lower the price and increase the capacity of the cards.

I for one am more or less sold on the concept and I appreciate that the idea is to re-use cards and therefore the price needs to be considered in this context. However, I cannot help feeling the cards have been priced against the high-end members of the family which makes them look ludicrously expensive when compared with the price of an HVX-200

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

Sorry Alan,

Our posts crossed or mine would read a little differently. I think we are basically in agreement, at least about the technology. My quarrel is with the marketing strategy. I believe Panasonic would be wiser to base the end-user price on what the market will bear rather than on the manufacturing costs, even if that means that the cards are something of a 'loss-leader' for a while.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

I'm with you there, given the present penetration level of P2, they could easily sell it as a loss-leader. But, a marketing decision has been taken in Japan, and they rarely reverse them. So, P2 cards are sold a little above cost (that's the component cost plus the man-power needed), and then traded like anything else.

Trust me, Panasonic UK are well aware of the opinions on this, but powerless to do anything about it. Panasonic UK is run from Panasonic Europe in Germany, which has the contacts with Japan. I can't see the situation changing significantly.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Bruce
Offline
Joined: Apr 20 2001

I think that if the P2 card cost was sensible then sales would increase as there would not be any significant negatives to prevent a purchase. The system makes complete sense - the suggested workflow to negate the P2 card costs is impracticable. Why are we so much cleverer in seing this than the manufacturers?

Unicorn
Offline
Joined: Apr 12 1999
Quote:
Why are we so much cleverer in seing this than the manufacturers?

Because we're not the ones looking at making a big loss in order to sell the things :) ?

Also, wouldn't that be illegal in some parts of the world? I remember the American government making a big fuss about Japanese companies selling electronics below cost price a few years back.

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

I doubt it is any more illegal than the reverse situation, e.g. giving away razors in the hope of selling the blades. Come to that, a better analogy might be hybrid cars. These are deliberately priced well below cost for all sorts of reasons.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

tom hardwick
Offline
Joined: Apr 8 1999

Quite so. Any anyone who thinks buying a car fitted with two engines is going to save the planet needs a course in world economics.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

Bruce, look at it this way. The components of a Ferrari cost little different from those of, say, a Jaguar XK, yet the cost is different. Why might this be? Surely it's not just that they can charge more if they like? It's because the price charged for a commodity is not just the cost of components, it takes human effort as well, and that has to be paid for. We have no right to expect any manufacturer to offer us anything at below cost; they have a right to do so if the want, but it's certainly no duty.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Bruce
Offline
Joined: Apr 20 2001

Alan I agree with your reasoning. As a businessman who makes money I would never call for underpricing. I think my point was really that it becomes frustrating when potentially good kit almost always seems has a downside of some sort. But then I suppose that is life.

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003

I've been away for a couple of weeks and just come to this thread. Lots of interest here, from different angles, but there are a couple of points that really need emphasing I feel.

First off, Peter, is regarding the Firestore. I can't say I've used the HVX200 version, but I have used an FS4Pro a lot. My conclusions are fundamentally very good........ as an "as well as" to tape, but emphatically *NOT* as the sole means of recording. Used to clone a tape it saves me a great deal of time ingesting into an edit normally. but it is far from infallible, and I know other people have found the same. That also applies to certain fundamentals of the operation, such as the lengthy boot up time - it would be easy to miss half a dozen shots sometimes waiting for it to start! Used *AS WELL AS* tape, that's not too big an issue, but as the sole recording medium it is simply asking for trouble.

Yes, DVCProHD may be less compressed than HDV, but we are talking about 1/3" cameras here, and arguably here DVCProHD may (with all the P2 necessity it here involves) be more trouble than it's worth. Given 1/3" chips recorded DVCProHD, and 1/2" chips recorded as HD XDCAM, I'd put a fairly big bet which is the most satisfactory overall.

The quality of viewfinding and the LCD screen is not an area where the HVX has received much praise. Conceivably that could make for an overall worse result than higher compression on a camera which is more precise to use? I would strongly advise you to consider something like the JVC HD250 series - I feel it's more professional feel more than makes up for the higher compression.

Regarding P2, Panasonic have stated that it will be the recording medium in the forthcoming 2/3" HD P2 camera, the HPC2000. But they have not committed to saying that any future cameras will use it, (in spite of being asked) and the expectation seems to be that the HVX200 successor won't - the expectation is that that will use standard SD memory cards. If true, that puts a big question mark on what future 2/3" models will use, and also brings in to doubt the future roadmap for P2 - will the larger capacity cards ever find a market?

At the time of conception, such an approach (selecting chips, raid arrays etc) was the only way to record video to solid state. As Infinity now shows, that is no longer true. Professional Compact Flash has advanced to the stage where it can now also do the job, at a much lower price than P2 - and a 16GB CF card is now available for much less than the largest current P2 card (8GB)!!! I agree the future is solid state, but that is not the same as saying that it is P2.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
As Infinity now shows

Does it? ;)

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003
SimonMW wrote:
Does it? ;)

As regards the subject of that quote - ("such an approach (selecting chips, raid arrays etc) was the only way to record video to solid state........ that is no longer true") - then most definately yes. Until recently Panasonics approach was to say that if you want solid state recording, you need P2, and you need to pay for it. Technology advance means that is no longer true, and the expectation is that CF, SD etc performance is set to improve even more.

How Infinity performs in general still remains to be seen, but if nothing else it has shown that CF has enough performance to make P2 now seem a white elephant.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

Unless of course Panasonic decide to bite the bullet and seriously reduce the price of P2 storage. If the technology is now up to it without selection I can see no reason why memory technologies other than SD RAID should not be packaged in the same form factor (PCMCIA). I suspect the problem here is really corporate torpor or at any rate inertia.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004

Even if P2 was cheap, it still wouldn't solve all the other workflow issues with it.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

Maybe not. But I don't see those as any more insurmountable than any other solid state memory solution. In short, for the forseeable future, solid state memory needs to be viewed as a reusable resource. If you want a 'hard copy' do it after the event. I think the real issue is record time/cost. If this can be brought within reasonable limits then solid state will sell itself. For proof, look at 'normal' digital stills camera practice.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003
SimonMW wrote:
Even if P2 was cheap, it still wouldn't solve all the other workflow issues with it.

Depends how cheap! If a decent size card cost the same as a tape or XDCAM disc, then all the reservations about it go away.

I think Rob hits the nail on the head when he says that ".... the real issue is record time/cost". At the moment it's only a viable solution if virtual immediate download and freeing up of cards is realistic. I don't think the record time/cost will begin to approach such as XDCAM for a very long time, but what will bring about more general acceptance is when costs are such that enough cards can be in circulation within a user for the reuse to be on more like a weekly or fortnightly cycle.

A lot depends on the user, but I'd still say that is probably at least five years away the way things are going. That's why the whole subject of now being able to record pro quality video to Compact Flash so interests me. The cost is around 1/4 that of P2, (per GB) and seems to be getting cheaper at a faster rate than P2, hence making the comparable viability probably less than 3 years away (all else equal).

And Infinity has the option of RevPro as an alternative, especially valuable in the early life of such a camera. What will be really interesting is when another manufacturer starts to offer a solid state product (or hybrid). I suspect that will also be based on a cheap off the shelf product (Memory Stick for Sony?), and that's when P2 will really start to look the (very expensive) odd man out.

DVdoctor
Offline
Joined: Apr 1 1999

My understanding is that inorder to get the speed, the P2 is actually made up of multiple (8 I think) sd cards in a "raid" configuration. I just saw a mention of the new solid state 300 gig system for the viper, for ONLY 45,000 dollars US. and they recommend film makers get 3 of them.

Sharyn

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

I've played this game before with audio workstations.

In 1991 Magneto Optical appeared to be the "Holy Grail" based on the premise that the cost of an MO disk was the same as a roll of 35m magnetic fim. After many abortive attempts we decided to compromise and use removable hard drives with archiving to Exabyte tapes. Advantages: hard drive = quick access + reusable. Exabyte = cheap bulk storage with reasonably fast reloading to online use. We designed management systems to make this practical and so it proved to be for several years.

I think there is a clear analogy here. If P2 cards (or whatever solid state memory system) is affordable enough to allow a reasonable number to be in circulation then it is not beyond the wit of man to design systems which recycle them efficiently. In fact it is much easier now that hard drives are so cheap.

All this still begs the question, "Why not use removable hard disks in cameras?"

If you are going to have to use an archiving system because of the cost of the shooting medium then, since removable hard drives are considerably cheaper, (and likely to remain so) per gigabyte than solid state storage, (and likely to be ultimately more reliable than technologies like RevPro) this is surely a no-brainer.

Conversely, IF widely available, non-proprietary memory technologies begin to rival the removable hard disk in speed and cost per megabyte then they are the obvious choice.

In short, I suspect RevPro is just as flawed as the current incarnation of P2. No matter how much manufacturers would like to lock us into proprietary technologies the market ultimately rules and commodity storage will always win - eventually. Thanks to Moore's law this happens ever faster.

Manufacturers are faced with a stark choice: make their proprietary systems price compatible with commodity alternatives or watch them disappear. Sony have had to do this with their 'Memory Sticks'. I see no reason why Panasonic should be exempt from the same logic.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004

There's more to it than storage price and size. I tend to bring it down to this, taking into account initial recording, footage and clip management, archive, backup, restoring a project etc etc. The entire workflow picture. As such, if those factors are all taken into account, even if P2 cost $4 per card, both P2 and Infinity are just tapeless capture systems. They are not however tapeless workflow systems. XDCAM is. That is the big difference, and one which many who have not used tapeless capture outside of a Firestore device may have difficulty being able to grasp.

As such, there are other issues even with using RevPro. If you have a project that spans multiple discs for example. With XD, because it is integrated with many NLE's or through the PDZ-1 software, I only transfer the footage that I need (or all of it if I am in an inefficient mood). If I do this within an NLE that integrates XDCAM (which at the moment is most of them), when I come to restore a project after a system crash etc, the NLE will request I insert the right disc at the relevant time to re-transfer the footage again.

Now, this is possible with RevPro, but ONLY if the NLE's have their own Infinity import option. See, the trouble is that unless that is the case, you will not be able to edit directly from a Revpro disc if you have a project that spans several discs. Unless of course you have an array of RevPro drives. So all that footage, in all its large inefficient chunks, will have to be transferred to another hard drive anyway. Inefficient use of space, inefficient workflow.

That is not to say that a workflow system is restricted to an XDCAM disc. It is just as easily done with solid state storage. The trouble is that the current players in this game are not thinking that way. So we can talk about our dream storage and workflow system till the cows come home. But at present, with the exception of XD, the manufacturers seem fixated on footage capture devices rather than what to do with the footage, or rather what is possible with that footage afterwards in a tapeless environment.

It is all very well the BBC talking about tapeless footage servers etc. But that sort of stuff isn't relevant for the majority of independent production companies.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

I'm mostly with you there. For me, tapeless production is less about how the footage is handled in and after the edit than how it gets from the initial recording into the editor. From then on, it really doesn't matter how its handled, that's a matter of archiving and delivery. The crunch is to move away from tape capture into something that has random access and zero or minimal ingest time. Both P2 and RevPro (and any other solid state or hard-drive system) satisfy that condition, while MO doesn't quite because it still takes time to ingest, and access isn't fully random.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

I agree. However, perhaps we need to define desirable workflows for different circumstances. Simon is of course, quite correct that the more grandiose schemes of big broadcasters are unlikely to be directly transferrable or even relevant to smaller independent production houses. But, I can forsee a time really soon now where there will no longer be a requirement to deliver the end product on a transportable physical medium. The end product will just be a file transmitted to the client. What the client chooses to do with it, put it on a media server, archive it or transfer to their removable medium of choice will be up to them.
In any case, the output end is much less of a problem than ingest/production workflow. One of the reasons I've been pushing the case for removable hard drives in cameras is their obvious utility in this respect. Editing can be directly from them or the material can be transfered in whole or in part whenever it is first viewed after the shoot. Since none of the shooting media has the speed for mulitple 4.4.4 layers etc. any fancy editing is going to require copying to faster storage anyway. The key is designing systems to be as user transparent as possible. To use the audio analogy again, material is transferred to local storage as required and the system is programmed to recognise if material is missing from a project and to transfer only the missing material from network storage or to ask for the appropriate source disks/tapes.
It is also interesting to note that very similar discussions have taken place in the audio world about the most appropriate location recording medium. Removable hard drives and flash memory have pretty much won the argument against optical media for primary storage with optical relegated to confidence copies.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
and access isn't fully random.

Clip deletion isn't random. But the reason for that is the risk of data fragmentation. But in all other respects XDCAM is totally random access. Not sure where the idea that it isn't has come from. Remember, I use it day in, day out so I have a pretty good idea of how it is to use and operate! :) If XDCAM didn't have true non-linear access to its files then it would be absolutely impossible for it to seamlessly playback cliplists on the camera that take parts of clips from opposite ends of the disc structure. In reality cliplists play totally seamlessly and work flawlessly because it does have totally random access abilities.

The other systems do still require ingest time. Infinity with its Revpro if a project spans multiple discs, unless there is a bank of readers, or to copy footage into a server. Then there is the archive. So less time taken at one point is added to further down the line. The tapeless revolution is about the whole workflow IMHO right through to archive, not just acquisition.

In a traditional sense you are correct that further down the line is a separate matter for archiving and delivery. But the question that needs to be asked is, do things need to be that way? In my opinion, no it doesn't. It just adds extra steps, hence why, at least in its IMX50 form, XDCAM can go right through to archival and delivery. The current HD version is a slightly different beast though when it comes to delivery. For an organisation such as the BBC with its intended huge banks of servers designed for archival and cataloguing this may be less of an issue. But for smaller operations it is.

There are other issues such as efficient use of storage space and clip organisation that these other systems do not implement in any form.

Thinking of tapeless acquisition as merely a way to record footage is limiting the potential IMHO. As someone who shoots the footage and edits it and therefore has to deal with the entire workflow myself, I want a system that makes it as simple for me as possible. Only XD does that for me. The others are severely lacking.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
material is transferred to local storage as required and the system is programmed to recognise if material is missing from a project and to transfer only the missing material from network storage or to ask for the appropriate source disks/tapes.

I totally and utterly agree with you Rob. This is what I wanted to get across about XD. The trouble with the current systems that use hard drive recording etc is that the partial file transfers etc are not implemented. They just aren't thinking with that mindset. In order for things like that to work the entire workflow has to be thought out and implemented by someone.

I'll also add an extra note about backup and archive. We all know it is good practice to back up regularly. With the other systems that means backing up ALL of the footage on a regular basis. I can backup my XD discs easily, but I know that they are a rock solid archival medium anyway. So my backup procedure mainly consists of copying my NLE file onto an XD disc. A process that takes seconds. Contrast this with the time taken and space needed for a full standard backup of a project to tape or hard drive where large projects are concerned! Backup and archive isn't just something that is done at the end of a project.

Quote:
or the material can be transfered in whole or in part whenever it is first viewed after the shoot. Since none of the shooting media has the speed for mulitple 4.4.4 layers etc. any fancy editing is going to require copying to faster storage anyway.

Replace the harddrive with an XDCAM disc, and what you described above is pretty much exactly the methodology of the XDCAM system is and how it works.

Infinity has the potential to be like this, but it can't be unless GV actually decide to implement it this way, and work with NLE manufacturers for a full integration rather than just the simple ability to ingest Infinity MXF files.

I've put up my full rant of the day here ;) http://www.simonwyndham.co.uk/xdcam_case.html

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

Simon, just read your "rant of the day" and I find I have a lot of sympathy for your perspective. First, a question. How robust do you find the XDCAM disks?
Second, an observation. If Sony were to release an HD XDCAM equivalently specced to the HVX200 we might not be cluttering up the bandwidth in this way :-) Jumping back for a moment to the original purpose of this thread, if XDCAM disks are sufficiently robust, then the only advantage the Panasonic has is the price of the camera (and maybe the form factor too) If Sony were brave enough to sell a 1/3" HD XDCAM at the HVX200 price point with all the same slo and fast motion tricks then I'm sure it would sell by the container load. Assuming the cam would in effect be an HVR-Z1E with HD XDCAM recorder. It would have the advantages of this cam over the Panasonic as well. E.g. smoother zoom.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003
Alan Roberts wrote:
The crunch is to move away from tape capture into something that has random access and zero or minimal ingest time. Both P2 and RevPro (and any other solid state or hard-drive system) satisfy that condition, while MO doesn't quite .........

From my experiences with P2, it is far away from "zero ingest time", even with the fairly highly specced laptop I was trialling it with. I believe the P2 card wasn't the limiting factor, and also believe my experiences were fairly typical - 25Mbs material uploading in about 5x real time.

I've heard some interesting thoughts about what a typical broadcaster may be looking for in an upgrade to next generation technology, and the key point is that not all scenarios are the same. That's obvious enough for such as the BBC - what is best for news is not necessarily best for drama, and vice versa. But it also applies even within an all news channel, say.

In that case, there is a big difference between material edited on location, and back at base. Similarly a big difference between what is required (workflow wise) for a time critical breaking story, and a feature piece, maybe shot over a few weeks. The two extremes may be a feature piece edited at base, and a breaking story edited on a laptop on location.

Comparing XDCAM and P2, XDCAM is likely to be most suitable for the former case, material just left on the discs until close to final edit, but for the latter case the assumption is that ANY downloading time is undesirable. The ideal is that as media arrive, they are placed into the NLE and instantly available. As Simon says, that requires an array of RevPro or whatever drives, let's say 10 as a realistic number. And here is where XDCAM becomes at a disadvantage. Ten XDCAM drives is probably not viable, but ten Compact Flash readers most certainly is. (With RevPro and P2 somewhere in between.)

All of which is why Infinity is generating such interest amongst broadcasters, and why there is so much hope that it performs well in reality. For the feature type example RevPro should be as suitable as XDCAM (and both more suitable than P2), whilst for the rush breaking story CF should be even more suitable than P2 (and here both more suitable than XDCAM).

Of course, against this HD XDCAM is here now, albeit only so far in a 1/2" variant, whilst we're still waiting for Infinity and HD P2 (in a bigger than 1/3" version, anyway).

Regarding Simons comment about such as the BBCs plans not being "relevant for the majority of independent production companies", then well, maybe not directly. But if they decide that P2 or Infinity, say, best suit their purpose, then that will be a strong purchasing spur to freelance operators in the UK. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if you need to upgrade to budget pro HD now, then HD XDCAM is the only choice. But if you can afford to wait, there's a lot of sense in so doing, IMO.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
How robust do you find the XDCAM disks?

Hi Rob, thanks for reading the article. Some may think I might go over the top, but I felt I had to write it. As for robustness of the discs, thus far I haven't had a problem with them. And in all sorts of extreme environments neither has anyone else to my knowledge. The system has an extensive error correction and data recovery system in place too, so if part of a disc becomes unreadable, it will attempt to recover the rest. This can't be said for some of the other systems.

Quote:
If Sony were to release an HD XDCAM equivalently specced to the HVX200 we might not be cluttering up the bandwidth in this way :-)

Hehe! Point taken. But XDCAM was designed initially for ENG and that form factor. I am rather cynical and believe that Panny only introduced the HVX200 with P2 after it bombed in the professional arena.

It would be good for a small form factor XDCAM camera to be released (Sony did once intend for 8cm discs to be released). In general though, one difference in what I put across may come from the fact that the HVX style form factor and that market doesn't concern me as much. Cameras are being released onto the market with a small form factor that utilise a tapeless system. Just not XDCAM specifically.

Stills cameras have different requirements than video. But having said that it would be nice for a standard to be developed and used, that encompasses the entire workflow (not just acquisition). The whole workflow is where I believe the real future lies. Not in separate systems for each part of the production process.

This is what worries me somewhat about the direction that the BBC is taking. Whatever system they go for usually influences freelancers across the country, and therefore the acquisition landscape over here. Just as some people don't like Sony's propriety systems, I don't want to be forced into a system that doesn't do what I need it to do due to the BBC influence. As it stands, I think that due to the sheer take up of XD I think the BBC will have to accept it as an acquisition format in one form or the other even if it isn't their main system.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

In many ways, the amateur and semi-pro is already way ahead of the broadcasters. The broadcaster has a history of standards for programme interchange and archiving, always on tape. It will take a long time to change that. But for amateurs and semi-pro, weddings and such, final delivery is now almost exclusively on dvd, no tape involved. At that level, tapeless editing and delivery is already here. So it's only tapeless acquisition that's needed, and I'm not at all concerned which technology is used, as long as it works, that's fine.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
Regarding Simons comment about such as the BBCs plans not being "relevant for the majority of independent production companies", then well, maybe not directly. But if they decide that P2 or Infinity, say, best suit their purpose, then that will be a strong purchasing spur to freelance operators in the UK.

Absolutely. Which is why they must get it right instead of going for a thumb fisted decision influenced by company politics.

Quote:
For the feature type example RevPro should be as suitable as XDCAM

I definitely agree with you in principle. My main concern (which may turn out to be unfounded) is the workflow as a whole. If Infinity and Revpro is merely just another way to record data (ie a hard disc instead of tape) then that makes it an altogether less interesting proposition to me. However, if they have considered the whole workflow and built that into it as a system, then we are talking.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
So it's only tapeless acquisition that's needed, and I'm not at all concerned which technology is used, as long as it works, that's fine.

Okay Alan. But don't forget the rest of us that have to deal with the whole workflow :)

I want a system that not only works, but that takes things to a whole new level. Thats real progress.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

Absolutely right; most of my freelance work is with companies who deal with the whole workflow, and at present they are required to deliver on tape, but that will change soon enough. Quite recently, I was called in to trouble-shoot a programme that had problems, I found that they were in the process of dropping "cleaned" clips onto the tape that would be sent to the colourist; this programme was shot on tape, ingested into Avid, edited and printed back to a conform tape, the conform tape sent to colourist, colour-modified conform tape sent back to the editor for cloning and delivery (on tape). It's this multiple generations of tape that have to be eliminated. For most of us here, those have already long gone because we stay in the nle until final delivery.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
It's this multiple generations of tape that have to be eliminated. For most of us here, those have already long gone because we stay in the nle until final delivery.

Absolutely. Although many of the US stations have gone tapeless. A UK based guy that uses XDCAM HD was saying on another forum that when he does his storm chasing in the US he gives the broadcasters a copy of the PDZ-1 software. He can then ftp the proxy files to them and they can mark the in and out points, as well as create the cliplists of the footage they wish to purchase from him. Then he can just ftp the full res stuff to them. All by using the free PDZ-1 software. There is no way to do this with the other systems unless the broadcaster has the same NLE as you, and even then things are far more cumbersome.

The UK just seems to be a way behind other countries in this regard.

I just heard an interesting story about a broadcaster in the UK too, and I wonder if this relates to the 'official' BBC attitude to XDCAM. They had XDCAM demoed to them, but for some reason they had thought that XDCAM was just a linear way to record to disc instead of tape. Even though a Sony rep had demonstrated the system to them all day, they didn't cotton onto the fact that it was a totally file based non linear system! Judging by the BBC reps ill-informed comments in a recent article for TVB it wouldn't surprise me if this is what the BBC mistakenly thought too.

It still confuses me that you were describing XDCAM as being linear Alan?

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

No, I'm not describing it as linear, I'm reporting that the BBC opinion (the forming of which I had no part in) regards it as "flat tape". I still think that the greatest mark against XDCAM is that it's MPEG and has to be transcoded for editing, even though there are editors that will edit the transport stream (like the Edius that I use). The problem seems to be that the Beeb has a big infrastructure of systems that would find XDCAM hard to work with.

Even though XDCAM is file based, the files still have to be ingested and transcoded, neither DVCPro nor HDCAM need that, and HDCAM-SR's GoP is very short so isn't a problem, they tell me.

I still think that none of the current tape-less solutions is so much ahead of the others in any respect to make it a winner, they all have problems either of cost or usability. We need another generation of system to get there properly.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
Apparently Sony is getting pro-active trying to ditch their reputation for "cold" looking video.

It is still odd. Take the infrastructure for example. To work with P2 or any of the other systems, they still need a system that will accept P2 MXF's etc. Being able to handle a DVCpro codec isn't enough. The NLE has to be able to unwrap the MXF file to get at the video. So it isn't as if they can just suddenly start using any of the tapeless formats without making a huge change to their NLE infrastructure. And since 90% of NLE software in their current variations handle XDCAM in all flavours as well as P2, it isn't really an issue at all.

Regarding the transcoding, I'm not sure that it is an issue any more either. Programs like Vegas 7 can edit the streams without having to recompress or re-render anything, and they handle the footage almost as quickly as standard DV even without hardware assisted playback. FCP can do this too. And since the final output for mastering will be to something like HDCAM SR anyway I don't see a need to transcode at all. All that does it add another rendering step to no advantage. Transcoding won't help even during colour correction, unless the NLE is constantly re-rendering to the original codec every time a change is made. Which shouldn't be the case. The NLE shouldn't need to re-render or re-compress at all until it is time to make a final output to a master. And that will be to something like HDCAM SR, not MPEG2.

As for ingest, it is just file copying. Just like P2 etc. P2 still needs ingest time. And with the error correction turned on during transfer it is very slow indeed. No matter which format is used there will have to be some transfer time.

XDCAM is a workflow, and that is what separates it from the others. XDCAM could be on solid state or Revpro if Sony wanted it to be. The type of storage is neither here nor there. It is the workflow system that Sony devised for XDCAM and its capabilities that make it different from the others.

Quote:
I still think that none of the current tape-less solutions is so much ahead of the others in any respect to make it a winner, they all have problems either of cost or usability. We need another generation of system to get there properly.

Quite true. Although with current technology that may be a while off. I think that in some respects people may be chasing something that may not happen for a long while. The BBC are aiming to be tapeless by 2010? That is 4 years away, so I'm not sure why they are looking at systems now. If they are doing it to be set up in good time then they will end up setting their infrastructure up for current technology.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

As far as I can tell, and remember that I retired over 2 years ago and only have contact with the BBC when they want something, their aim is not to adopt one or other of the current offerings to the exclusion of others, but to get the manufacturers talking. From what I've overheard, Sony are intransigent but Panasonic and Thomson are willing to talk. The issue is much less about which of the current offerings is right, but which of the manufacturers is willing to talk about what the next generation should be, listening to the users. The phrase I've heard several times is "technology partners", and that, surely, has to be the way to go.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

StevenBagley
Offline
Joined: Aug 14 2000
SimonMW wrote:
So it isn't as if they can just suddenly start using any of the tapeless formats without making a huge change to their NLE infrastructure. And since 90% of NLE software in their current variations handle XDCAM in all flavours as well as P2, it isn't really an issue at all

I know when they did tests with XDCam on 'Trading Up' they basically had to use an XDCam deck and capture the footage as if it were tape because their Avid Unity setup couldn't handle the XDCam files and so XDCam wasn't used after the trial simply because it was more hassle than DVCam (even though the MPEG IMX stuff was higher quality).

Even with the BBC's FCP creative desktop, it's a lot cheaper to kit these all out with DSR11s than it would be with XDCam drives.

And as Alan says, the BBC's a big enough customer to be able to go to the manufacturers and say we want a system that works like this and integrates like this --who is going to make it for us. Why should they settle for a system that exists now but doesn't quite fit their needs?

Steven

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

Exactly.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001
Alan Roberts wrote:
As far as I can tell, their aim is not to adopt one or other of the current offerings to the exclusion of others, but to get the manufacturers talking. From what I've overheard, Sony are intransigent but Panasonic and Thomson are willing to talk. The issue is much less about which of the current offerings is right, but which of the manufacturers is willing to talk about what the next generation should be, listening to the users. The phrase I've heard several times is "technology partners", and that, surely, has to be the way to go.

This is certainly the way the BBC used to operate and I see no reason why it would not be doing so now. When we moved from linear audio post to non-linear we sat down with a blank piece of paper and worked out the workflow we wanted with a loose idea of the components to make that happen taking into account where we considered the technology would be by the time we took delivery. This document was then sent to a number of manufacturers we considered capable of realising our plans... And that is about as much as I can tell you. Suffice to say it wasn't easy, it didn't work first time but it set the agenda for the entire industry and the same principles are in use everywhere today.

I would like to believe that the BBC can do the same for "tapeless video".

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
I would like to believe that the BBC can do the same for "tapeless video".

Trouble is the wheels are already in motion. The BBC, while influential, is coming late to the party, in that it will be a long while before there is any standardised system. I can understand why Sony might be reluctant. After all, why would it? XDCAM is being sold all over the place. Even if they bring out a solid state version, or a hybrid one, both of which are likely in the future, they will still be based around the XDCAM core workflow ethic.

Panasonic on the other hand might have a way of moving away from P2. With the development of solid state systems P2 will be made redundant anyway. Grass Valley with its 3rd part storage doesn't have any reason to have to stick to any one system anyway. So I can see why both of them might be willing to talk.

Quote:
I know when they did tests with XDCam on 'Trading Up' they basically had to use an XDCam deck and capture the footage as if it were tape because their Avid Unity setup couldn't handle the XDCam files and so XDCam wasn't used after the trial simply because it was more hassle than DVCam

Hmm, that is a bit of a silly reason. Trading up did their test in 2004 when XDCAM was first released. Avid hadn't implemented XDCAM *or* P2 into their NLE's properly at that time. So to write off the system because at the time Avid wouldn't take the files is utterly absurd to be frank. Thats like me using a NLE from 2003 and complaining that it won't take an HDV stream, and then never using HDV ever again as a result.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

XDCAM wasn't written off then for that reason. The BBC was looking to find the next generation of camera to replace DVCAM. It knew that HD was just around the corner and that production would move to HD in the next 6 years (the next 3 years now), so a long-term SD solution was not really needed, just a stop-gap. The technology change to accommodate XDCAM would have been fairly major (in cost, because of the scale of it), so they stuck with DVCAM, knowing that HD would change everything and that changes in HD kit were already well in the pipe-line. Remember that the Z1 was just appearing then and formed a natural progression from DVCAM.

This game isn't about the best technology or the latest or the cheapest, it's about which one fits now, knowing that further changes are inevitable.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001
Alan Roberts wrote:
This game isn't about the best technology or the latest or the cheapest, it's about which one fits now, knowing that further changes are inevitable.

I agree, although I would go further.

Decisions which may appear incomprehensible to the onlooker are often pragmatic. Driven by the need for a temporary solution while waiting for technology to catch up with the workflow vision. The only way you would ever know is to look at the "statement of case" when the purchase is proposed. Sometimes it makes financial sense to spend what looks to us a large sum of money on technology that the purchaser is well aware will be redundant/obsolete in a very short time. (A year or so) Manufacturers, not unnaturally, try to make marketing capital out of these purchases and would love everyone to infer that the temorary fix is in fact the final solution.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

StevenBagley
Offline
Joined: Aug 14 2000
SimonMW wrote:
Hmm, that is a bit of a silly reason. Trading up did their test in 2004 when XDCAM was first released. Avid hadn't implemented XDCAM *or* P2 into their NLE's properly at that time. So to write off the system because at the time Avid wouldn't take the files is utterly absurd to be frank. Thats like me using a NLE from 2003 and complaining that it won't take an HDV stream, and then never using HDV ever again as a result.

No it isn't, there's no point in investing in a tapeless system that isn't supported by their edit suite unless you treat it as tape since you might as well use tape and save money on new equipment. I suspect that the BBC were looking at a 5 year lifespan on the Mailboxes edit suites (if not considerably longer!) and so buying into XDCam didn't make sense.

P2 on the other hand has the advantage that it is using a standard (DVCPro50/DVCProHD) codec, and so even though the MXF wrappers on the P2 card isn't compatible with Avid, it is trivial to write a computer program that will rewrap the data as it is copied. With XDCam, you have the additional problem of having to transcode from MPEG2 to an edit suite friendly codec -- not only dropping a generation of video footage but taking a significantly longer amount of time compared to P2 or the Infinity solution. And the cost of adopting P2 or RevPro will be much less.

If you read some of the recent BBC R&D whitepapers it becomes clear what the BBC are after -- as I read them, it seems they want systems that are based around open standards, and that can be driven using commodity hardware (hence, the Hard Disk recorder developed by BBC R&D and used on Bamzooki built around a high spec quad-core Athlon PC running linux). XDCam doesn't fit into that.

Steven

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001
StevenBagley wrote:
If you read some of the recent BBC R&D whitepapers it becomes clear what the BBC are after -- as I read them, it seems they want systems that are based around open standards, and that can be driven using commodity hardware (hence, the Hard Disk recorder developed by BBC R&D and used on Bamzooki built around a high spec quad-core Athlon PC running linux). XDCam doesn't fit into that.

Steven

This fits perfectly with everything I heard about the entire "Digital Project" before I left and also a subsequent conversation with an ex BBC person at Avid.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
it is trivial to write a computer program that will rewrap the data as it is copied.

Indeed it is, which is exactly what the MOG Solutions software does. It handles both XDCAM and P2, and always has. :D So still no excuse. Plus at the time of the XDCAM test both P2 and XDCAM were both standard definition only. So even with the most ardent of arguments the XDCAM footage would require absolutely zero transcoding anyway. The MPEG compression of IMX is intraframe, and the likes of FCP have supported it natively for a long time.

I buy Alans reasoning as being far more realistic and probable.

Quote:
With XDCam, you have the additional problem of having to transcode from MPEG2 to an edit suite friendly codec

Not with the latest software you don't. With Vegas 7 for example, which is software only with no hardware acceleration I can edit almost as quickly as DV. There simply isn't much advantage to doing it that way any more. You won't gain anything, since the final output will be rendered to whatever format you need. Besides, with this talk of tanscoding I should also mention that many people also transcode DVCpro rather than work with it natively.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

But Vegas 7 isn't installed in the hundreds of edit suites around the BBC, Avid and FCP is.

Steven's right about this.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

oddball
Offline
Joined: Jan 17 2004
Anyone heard of "City Disk"?

Adding something here brings to mind a sinario whereby adults are having a good conversation untill the kid with a melting icecream appears under the table... (I've been staring at a computer screen for too long) ;o)

I did a spot of filming for a charity with a firestore attached to my belt. Along with a substantial battery pack attached seperately but with the power cable running to it. (the battery that comes along with it doesn't last too long I gather) (Oh and that small fan!)

Apparently there is a new Hard drive like the fire store called "City Disk" that has no fan. (meaning I can film without fear), (phew), But I cant find any reference to it anywhere.

Has anyone heard about this said device?

With love - Odd ball.....(from the slightly odd part of town).......(where the tumble weeds blow between the cow shed and the Okay Corral)

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

Odd ball, loved the slightly surreal post!

YOu might find this helpful:

http://www.shining.com/products/totalsolution/citidisk_dv/

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

StevenBagley
Offline
Joined: Aug 14 2000
SimonMW wrote:
Indeed it is, which is exactly what the MOG Solutions software does. It handles both XDCAM and P2, and always has. :D So still no excuse. Plus at the time of the XDCAM test both P2 and XDCAM were both standard definition only. So even with the most ardent of arguments the XDCAM footage would require absolutely zero transcoding anyway. The MPEG compression of IMX is intraframe, and the likes of FCP have supported it natively for a long time.

But the BBC's Avid's suites didn't (and still don't -- it's the same machines in use as then) so while they liked XDCam cameras it didn't fit into their workflow and so they didn't buy in. They didn't buy into SD P2 either, probably because they knew that HD was around the corner.

Now that we are looking to the great HD future, the BBC have an agenda of where they want to go (one they have been researching since the late-90s I should add) which is centred around cheap commodity IT hardware. Unfortunately, XDCam isn't that -- yet.

Steven

Rob James
Offline
Joined: Jun 26 2001

Steven, Exactly! This relates to the policy that was being formulated in the early 90's.

As an aside, it was once at least partly a tax thing. Dedicated hardware attracted a lower rate of capital allowance to 'mainstream' IT. I.e. 40% in the first year as opposed to 100% Now the playing field is more level but the principle remains. Use commodity IT equipment wherever possible rather than dedicated hardware.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003
SimonMW wrote:
P2 still needs ingest time.

Not necessarily true. With the appropiate number of card slots, media could arrive at a mobile news or sport edit (say) from multiple cameras, all be inserted and editing start straightaway. No ingest, no proxies, no expensive drives, and not possible with XDCAM! Same is true in principle for CF and Infinity. This may not be a satisfactory workflow in many cases, but if a news story is needed on air 45 minutes after being shot...........

That may not be your requirement, Simon, but believe me it IS very important in many scenarios. Firestore describe their product as DTE - "Direct To Edit" - and this has already been picked up on successfully in some applications. But Firestore is far from perfect, and solid state acquisition is seen as the next logical step.

Quote:
XDCAM is a workflow, and that is what separates it from the others. XDCAM could be on solid state or Revpro if Sony wanted it to be.

Well, you said it! And I'm becoming surprised that Sony aren't at least now promising such as a hybrid solid state/XDCAM camera. Ideally with the ability to take 8 or 12 cm discs.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
Not necessarily true. With the appropriate number of card slots, media could arrive at a mobile news or sport edit (say) from multiple cameras, all be inserted and editing start straightaway. No ingest,

45 minutes for a 5 minute news piece? Piece of cake for either system IMO. In the real world you'd find little difference between the systems in that scenario if they were using them as they could be used. But as I keep saying that is only one very crude way of using a tapeless workflow. I would also argue (as the guys at the Winter Olympics found out!) that it can take longer due to having to sift through all those clips with meaningless names! In fact in many cases they found the P2 workflow a right royal pain in the backside! Multiple cameras, all using the same clip names! Yep, that'll help speed things up for editing ;)

I have also heard a few accounts from various quarters of what people inside the BBC really think. It seems that the people who have to use the systems have an altogether different view to those who make the political decisions and the press releases. I won't say anything publically as it may get someone into trouble, but you'll be pretty disappointed at some of the Infinity specs too.

It is all very well people who have never used any of these types of systems telling me how great they are, in theory. It is a different matter when you actually have to use them and discover their limitations. This is exactly what I have done, and is exactly why I have the opinions that I do. What you also forget is the number of organisations using XDCAM around the world for breaking news, particularly in the US, and who also looked seriously at P2 and Editcam etc but decided against it. Fact is that nobody to my knowledge is editing straight off the P2 cards for breaking news. Its a romantic idea, but the fact is that nobody is doing it this way. If there was no need for a deck, then why do Panasonic make a P2 deck? They are made for a reason. No news organisation is going to rely on consumer grade off the shelf cheapo card readers for their day-in-day-out work! In other words, you are looking at paper theory, and not what is actually happening with the organisations that are actually using these systems today, right now.

If you want a story on air quickly then you want those clips organised BEFORE they go into the NLE. This is all part of the possible speed, NOT having to go through the clips guessing what they are. It is no use having lightening fast clip uploading if you have to spend the next 15 minutes going through the clips to find out what they are! And that is the trouble. None of the other systems are workflow systems. They are merely storage with no consideration for organisation. You might not mind offloading a hundred clips with names like CLIP0001.MXF all into the same directory. But I can tell you that quite a number of editors quite patently don't. It makes their life *more* difficult, not less. With a custom list uploaded to the camera before shooting commences, I could name a clip with XDCAM in 2 seconds or less before a shot. So I don't have to manually type something out each time. That alone will make an editors time much easier. That pre-loading of a list ability, if you want to, is a tiny little thing, yet can make a world of difference. It is all in the details, and again that is something Sony have continuously done with XD that the others have not in any way or form. Any other manufacturer would have left it at the ability to type in a name manually each time, or left out the ability completely as they do currently.

Breaking news is only one use for such video. If a system is designed purely for breaking news with no consideration for any other use (ie ignoring all the organisational abilities just because a news guy wants to just dump everything at once for one type of work) it is never going to be any good for anything else.

The idea of direct to edit is a noble one. But IMHO is limiting, is a waste of storage space in many cases and only accounts for one part of the workflow. Using such a system completely glosses over all the possibilities there are with tapeless workflows. I believe that the tapeless revolution is about the workflow from beginning to end. Not just the acquisition of the footage. Doing just the latter is very simplistic and crude. All it is then is tape, but faster (solid state tape). Not very revolutionary. Time that might be saved during clip copying time is more than made up for later in the workflow when other projects could be worked on. There is no free lunch.

Ask anyone who has had a lot of experience of all these current systems and who has used them on a regular basis what they think.

Quote:
centred around cheap commodity IT hardware

Again, very noble. But I liken it to using a system for a different purpose than that for which it was designed. A tapeless workflow will never reach the peak of its possibilities by using systems that are only meant for general storage.

Quote:
Well, you said it! And I'm becoming surprised that Sony aren't at least now promising such as a hybrid solid state/XDCAM camera. Ideally with the ability to take 8 or 12 cm discs.

Because it isn't viable yet. Sony's reasoning is sound. Why release a technology before it is really ready? IMHO solid state video recording at the moment is a buzzword. It all sounds very nice until you get down to the nitty gritty ins and outs. It is all very well looking at the speed gains, but look at what you are missing as a result. I also think that the idea of a massive separate archive section to the workflow is totally and utterly archaic, and is a legacy to the old way of working. A tapeless workflow should make lengthy archive processes a thing of the past. But if you are going to back up to tape or blu-ray, you might as well have just shot on those sorts of media to begin with and saved all that archive time! Like I said, solid state gives with one hand and takes with the other. Speed gained earlier on is made up for later on. Don't know about you, but I'd rather be working on new projects and getting them done more quickly rather than delaying them in order to archive the current one, and in the process requiring the purchase of separate archive equipment. I thought non proprietary solid state didn't require extra hardware? ;)

With a new technology I just don't see the point of adding speed, while completely neglecting all the things that has made tape so successful. Direct to edit IMHO takes what tape does and makes things instantly editable, but completely ignores all the clip organisational abilities, and IT style functions that a tapeless workflow should offer.

Alan was right in saying that none of the existing systems have everything going for them. But there are systems with a better overall design consideration.

Quote:
But Vegas 7 isn't installed in the hundreds of edit suites around the BBC, Avid and FCP is.

I know they don't use Vegas 7. I never said that they did. I was just pointing out a capability of an existing piece of software that doesn't cost the earth. Ie, if that software can do it, then it isn't much to expect much more expensive software to cope with the same things equally well or better. I also mentioned FCP as being similarly capable. It has taken native IMX for a few years now, and now also takes both XDCAM and P2 very easily. So if they are using FCP there shouldn't be a problem. Unless they are still using a version from 4 years ago? ;)

StevenBagley
Offline
Joined: Aug 14 2000
Quote:
A tapeless workflow should make lengthy archive processes a thing of the past. But if you are going to back up to tape or blu-ray, you might as well have just shot on those sorts of media to begin with and saved all that archive time!

But that's why you have an Archive department to handle that, the BBC is already in the process of moving it's D3 archive from VT to an IT-based solution where programmes will be stored as MXF files on LTO3 tape -- with the goal in mind that the LTO3 tape is a short term solution until the files can be moved into a very big hard disk array and accessed over the BBC intranet.

And I suspect it is this approach that the BBC want to see applied to all programme making. You shoot, footage is moved into a 24/7 lights out datacenter where it is available for the program makers. Producer needs to review some footage, she copies it to her iPod Video (which is already happening I believe). Editor needs a particular shot, it's already logged and stored ready for access etc etc.

When the programme is finished it is copied directly from the edit suite to the transmission server (again, it's already been done at the BBC) and the files can be moved from the production RAID to archive over the network for them to deal with.

It's a data workflow solution the BBC is after not a tapeless solution, and in this respect XDCam is 'flat tape' because you'll still have hundreds of XDCam disks in a production that would be junked at the end instead of hundreds of DVCam, Digibeta and MiniDV tapes. Most of the time, only a small proportion of a shows footage will be archive (quite often only the completed show).

It isn't that XDCam isn't a viable workflow, it's just not the workflow the BBC sees as being the future (and had been moving towards for almost a decade).

Steven

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
It isn't that XDCam isn't a viable workflow, it's just not the workflow the BBC sees as being the future

And therein lies the problem, and the risk of the BBC being able to heavily influence a system that would have to be adopted by freelancers. The BBC influences the decision guys like that make when they purchase their equipment. Trouble is, freelancers do just that. They freelance. As well as making their own stuff. So if the BBC gets their way the BBC might have their dream workflow, but the freelancers will be more limited in what they can do with it as an independent and with other productions. Great :(

Quote:
because you'll still have hundreds of XDCam disks in a production that would be junked at the end instead

Why on earth would they have hundreds of XDCAM discs when they don't need to? They can reuse them. The data can be uploaded to a server automatically just like you suggested before the discs are reused. Some organisations are doing just this with it. Please read the XD whitepapers and learn about its full functionalities and workflows first. The difference is that with XDCAM you don't *have* to ditch the footage at the end if you don't want to, or need to. The choice is up to the user. They have a choice of workflow.

[url]http://www.sonybiz.net/images/product/X/Blue_order_XDCAM_Cart(brch).pdf[/url]
[url]http://www.sonybiz.net/images/product/X/IBIS_XDCAM_Cart(brch).pdf[/url]
[url]http://www.sonybiz.net/images/product/X/XDCAM_CART_JP(brch).pdf[/url]
http://www.sonybiz.net/images/editorial/E/Sonaps-WorkFlow.swf

Then there's HDXchange too.

The list goes on.

StevenBagley
Offline
Joined: Aug 14 2000
SimonMW wrote:
Why on earth would they have hundreds of XDCAM discs when they don't need to? They can reuse them.

The BBC can reuse tape too, but they don't -- not for capture anyway (old tape gets reused for temporary stuff -- such as edit dubs -- as I understand it, new stock would be used for recording and the final programme). I doubt they'd change that philosophy with XDCam tape :)

Quote:
The data can be uploaded to a server automatically just like you suggested before the discs are reused. Some organisations are doing just this with it. Please read the XD whitepapers and learn about its full functionalities and workflows first.

I have, I happen to quite like XDCam, and if I was hiring cameras to shoot an SD production would consider it. Having seen Sony's XDCamHD demo DVD though, I wouldn't be interested in the HD version.

However, I can also see the BBC's point of view and it is what I believe is the best for future TV production, both for Auntie and for the independents.

Steven

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003
SimonMW wrote:
Fact is that nobody to my knowledge is editing straight off the P2 cards for breaking news. Its a romantic idea, but the fact is that nobody is doing it this way.

But breaking news stories ARE being edited on location with the help of devices such as Firestore - now! And I'm reliably informed that the reduction in ingest time is seen as an extremely good thing. But it is very much seen as a short term stop gap, and with many deficiencies. What it has done is open eyes to what is possible, and the Holy Grail (for this type of work) is seen as cards or whatever arriving to the edit, placed into an empty slot, and being instantly available - something not possible with XDCAM.

But the Achilles heel of P2 is the impractability of being able to take a card from the camera and hand it over in the same way as a tape or disc, and I understand this is why XDCAM has had better take up than P2, not matters regarding edit integration. (Plus XDCAM is available in a pro HD flavour, whereas P2 isn't yet.)

Which brings us back to the Infinity principle. In theory at least, it could allow for the main benefits of XDCAM and P2 to be used on a case by case basis.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
The BBC can reuse tape too, but they don't -- not for capture anyway

XD isn't quite the same, in that it can be reused with no detrimental effect or risks.

Quote:
However, I can also see the BBC's point of view and it is what I believe is the best for future TV production, both for Auntie and for the independents.

I too can see their point of view. But I can also see how it may affect the rest of us. And given how Freeview turned out I'm not sure the so called 'people in the know' can be trusted much.

Quote:
But breaking news stories ARE being edited on location with the help of devices such as Firestore - now!

They may well be. I didn't say that they weren't. However I don't believe long lists of meaningless files make for the best clip organisation.

There is absolutely no such thing as 'instant to edit' footage unless you are extremely unorganised and like having files all over the place with no way of identifying them properly.

Quote:
Which brings us back to the Infinity principle. In theory at least, it could allow for the main benefits of XDCAM and P2 to be used on a case by case basis.

Indications are that it won't. As I keep saying over and over, if Infinity doesn't have decent clip organisational abilities then it will not in any way or form be an equivalent to XD. If Revpro just lays down file after file with no decent ID or filenaming if the operator desires it, along with any decent partial transfer abilities etc, etc, it will just be another recording medium. The point is that as I see it, if the XDCAM system was also on Revpro it would be a lot more versatile than what I am seeing announced by GV, simply because XD is a thought out workflow system, not just a data storage one.

Quote:
Having seen Sony's XDCamHD demo DVD though, I wouldn't be interested in the HD version.

Having used it a number of times, it is really good. Can't really judge from a standard def DVD on a programme that used creative grading to achieve its look. Good luck with Infinity :) ;)

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003
SimonMW wrote:
However I don't believe long lists of meaningless files make for the best clip organisation.

There is absolutely no such thing as 'instant to edit' footage unless you are extremely unorganised and like having files all over the place with no way of identifying them properly.

I'm reliably informed that for what is being talked about, "clip organisation" consists of using the thumbnail facility within Avid, and sometimes forming sequences of related shots. The key point here is seen as avoiding download time. I'm assured that for the sort of project here (relatively few clips, but needing doing in minimal time) that works quite well enough.

Quote:
If Revpro just lays down file after file with no decent ID or filenaming if the operator desires it, along with any decent partial transfer abilities etc, etc, it will just be another recording medium.

I believe it is expected to have some filenaming abilities - to be honest, I was more interested in other aspects when I was looking at it at IBC. In a month or two I expect it will all be a lot clearer.

SimonMW
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2004
Quote:
I expect it will all be a lot clearer.

Apart from its CCD ;)

jgeorgie33
Offline
Joined: Jul 27 2007

On ebay, the xlh1 is only about 3500 pounds. It's an excellent camera.