Seeking thoughts on the AG-HVX200A Camera

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    • #49465

      Hello –

      I’m still working in standard definition. During the next couple of months, I hope to “upgrade” to high definition. There are so many choice of cameras. However, I’m most familiar with Canon’s GL2 and Panasonic’s AG-DVX100B (on the SD side). So, I’m thinking about purchasing a HD camera from either Canon or Panasonic that’s comparable to what I have on the SD side. For Panasonic, this would be it’s AG-HVX200A HD camera. It still uses tape, but it can also use it P2 card.

      So. . . for anyone who has used the HVX200A camera, how do you like it? Please share any experience you have regarding its strengths and weaknesses.

      I see that the camera has a firewire port out. I have two external recording devices (both from Focus Info) which can record video via the firewire port. Would such a device work with the HVX200A??

      Thank you for your time in reading this post and sharing any information.

      Ted

    • #202495
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      ” So. . . for anyone who has used the HVX200A camera, how do you like it? Please share any experience you have regarding its strengths and weaknesses. “

      Four years ago I struggled with the choice bewteen the DVX-100B and the HVX-200A. At that time I reasoned that HiDef was too much for me and I bought the DVX which is a very nice camera. More recently I felt the need for a second camera. After much soul searching I decided that the HVX would be a good choice in that it also could shoot standard def, and to DV tape. One of the attractions for the HVX was the ” closeout ” price of $ 3000!! Many folks feel the cost of P-2 cards is prohibitive ( necessary to shoot HiDef ) and prefer to go AVCHD ( much higher compression than the HVX )with other cameras using cheaper memory cards. I have a perhaps unreasonable prejudice against AVCHD. The 32G P-2 cards cost about $ 400 and give only about 30 min shooting max res HD . . . . OR at 480i, the 32G card will give ya 140 minutes! With two 32G P-2 cards, you can download one while shooting with the other. The Panasonic singlecard reader ( with a laptop )is the cheapest way to do this.

      The HVX shoots very high quality video, both in HD and standard def. It’s maybe a little bit bigger than other cameras, it has waaaay too many set-up bells and whistle options, making it a bit of a challenge before it becomes second nature to operate.

      I suspect that they’re not making any more of them, andthe ones for sale are close-outs ( original price was $ 6000 ). If I couldn’t find one for sale, I’d be reasonably happy with the HPX170.

      Rick Crampton

    • #202496

      I was thinking about purchasing a used HVX200A on eBay. (I purchased my DVX100B from a reputable eBay seller and would not hesitate to purchase another one from his eBay store.). Used, they’re going for around $2800, many with only a few dozen hours used on the heads. This leaves me with the financial investment in recording media. A couple of years ago (when I purchased the DVX100B), I purchased a new FS-H200 Pro (made by Focus Enhancements) video recording device. It cost about $900. The FS-H200 Pro can be used to record both SD and HD via the Firewire Port. I wonder if it would work with the HVX200A??? Any ideas on this??

      If not. . . I see that BHPhotovideo has 64 GB P2 cards for sale for around $600 each. They’re not cheap. However, I tend to record greater than 1 hour educational in-services (where I work) and need the extra GBs for the longer recording time. If I remember correctly, the HVX200A has two P2 slots. If so, can it successfully record on two 64 GB P2 cards without having to switch out any of the cards??? (This should give me roughly 2 hour of uninterrupted recording time in HD. Yes? No?)

      Thank you for your very thoughtful and informative reply, Rick. πŸ™‚

    • #202497
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      “. . . I purchased a new FS-H200 Pro (made by Focus Enhancements) video recording device. It cost about $900. The FS-H200 Pro can be used to record both SD and HD via the Firewire Port. I wonder if it would work with the HVX200A??? Any ideas on this?? “

      I don’t know anything about said device. Max resolution on the HVX creates a 100mb stream. I seem to recall something being said in the manual about being able to record directly via Firewire . . . not sure.

      ” . . . If I remember correctly, the HVX200A has two P2 slots. If so, can it successfully record on two 64 GB P2 cards without having to switch out any of the cards???”

      Yes, given that apair of clean, formatted P-2 cards are inserted into the camera, it will fill one card and then automatically switch to the other.

      Rick Crampton

    • #202498

      Thank you, Mr. Crampton, for your very thoughtful and informative reply. πŸ™‚

      Ted

    • #202499
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      One of those Firestore devices can be used to record video from the Firewire connection (i think).

      Personally, I would go with the HPX170. If you go on a shoot and are recording SD because your other cameras are SD, just record SD to the P2 cards. The HPX170 also has HD-SDI output. So if you want REALLY nice HD (or even SD), connect something like the Nano Flash or AJA Ki Pro Mini to bypass in-camera compression.

    • #202500
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Ted – since you indicated that you were also open to Canon, let me suggest the XF100 rather than the HPX170. CF cards instead of P2 (a little less expensive), and much better in low light

      No HD-SDI and no Firewire, though.

      Good side-by-side comparison on Slashcam here:http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/compare-what-i-cmp-u-cmd-i-view-u-mode-i-docompare-u-lang-i-en-u-id-i-80-y-180-u-name-i-Canon%20XF100-u-bname-i-Panasonic%20AG-HPX170-u-cmd-i-vergleich.html

      Hope this is helpful,

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #202501

      So many choices. . .

      The thing about purchasing a camera with a firewire port is that I already have a device capable of recording video content (that connect to the firewire port). This helps me during the initial investment. No need to purchase anything except the camera until I have more $$$$ to buy other recording media. EXCEPT. . . the FS-H200Pro (the external recording device) uses a Compact Flash card for its storage media. This make purchasing a XF100 a serious option.

      Choices, choices. . . .

      Thank you Bill Bruner and robGRUAERT for your very thoughtful input.

    • #202502

      Bill Bruner –

      Just checked out that “camcorder-test” web site. It seems like it would be very helpful in making out my choice of cameras. According to this web site, the XF100 seems to do better in low light. How trust-worthy is this web site and its comparisons?

      Ted

    • #202503
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      ” . . the FS-H200Pro (the external recording device) uses a Compact Flash card for its storage media. “

      This suggests to me that your FS-H200PRO will only work with more highly compressed video streams than the HVX200A. One of the reasons I chose the HVX was to avoid the higher videocompressions such as AVCHD which requires more computer horsepower for editingor necessitates converting your files after ingest into a friendlier format. Adobe Premier Pro NLE software handles most native video files w/o having toconvert them.

      Rick Crampton

    • #202504

      To be honest, I get a bit confused with the different codecs that are used by the different video cameras and video editing programs.

      Here’s a here a web-link to the FS-H200PRO that provides useful information about this device:

      http://www.focusinfo.com/fsh200pro.asp

      It seems to be able to record less compressed video data, but it’s hard for me to tell. Just exactly HOW compressed the video data is beyond my understanding. Hope this link helps provides clarification to this device’s capabilities.

      Ted

    • #202505
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      Your recording device looks to be able to handle ” HDV ” which is a moderately ( as opposed to ” mildly ” ) compressed format. Below is from Wikipedia:

      <span class=”mw” id=”Video_and_audio_coding”>> Video and audio coding</span>

      > HDV video and audio are encoded in digital form, using lossy compression. Video is encoded with the H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2 compression scheme, using 8-bit chroma and luma samples with 4:2:0 chroma subsampling. Stereo audio is encoded with the MPEG-1 Layer 2 compression scheme. The compressed audio and video are multiplexed into a MPEG-2 transport stream, which is typically recorded onto magnetic tape, but can also be stored in a computer file.

      > The data rate for both the audio and video is constant and is roughly the same as DV data rate. The relatively low video data rate can cause bit rate starvation in scenes that have lots of fine detail, rapid movement or other complex activity like flashing lights, and may result in visible artifacts, such as blockiness and blurring. In contrast to the video, HDV audio bitrate is relatively generous. At the coded bitrate of 384kbit/s, MPEG-1 Layer 2 audio is regarded as perceptually lossless.

      Your recorder devicewould be more applicable to Sony, Canon, or JVC camcorders. Panasonic does make some cameras lesser to the HVX200A and HPX170 which use CMOS sensor chips and more datacompression which appeals to many because of the greater amount of recording time on ( slower )compact flash cards.

      Rick Crampton

    • #202506
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Ted – sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. “Camcorder test” is actually slashcam – a well-respected German camcorder review site. I trust them as much or more than camcorderinfo.

      Cheers,

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #211879
      Avataramywong
      Member

      Superb HD video, a raft of frame-rate choices, support solid-state P2 media as well as tape, terrific and relatively wide-angle lens are all advantages of Panasonic HVX200A camcorder.

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