What compares to Panasonic AG-HVX200?

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    • #43567
      Avatarbarood
      Participant

      barood,
      There are 2 desirable points about the HVX200:
      1. Using the memory cards instead of tape can be more convenient. It’s a different type of workflow, but magazine articles from those who’ve tried it say it’s an easier, more efficient workflow than tape.
      2. There is very little compression going to the cards. This helps preserve visual fidelity. And color encoding is done as 4:2:2, which is nice if you’re going to do any chromakey work. Most of the other hi-def camcorders in this price range record to HDV, which has 4:2:0 color encoding (not as good), and has heavy interframe compression (which can cause motion artifacts when most of the frame is showing motion). That said, many people seem quite happy with their HDV camcorders, so I guess for general use, HDV isn’t all that bad.

      There are 2 bad points about the HVX200:
      1. The memory cards are expensive, and don’t hold as much video as tape. But a 16 GB card was recently released, with a list price of $900. Or you can get the Firestore FS-100 recorder for about $1800, which will record up to 100 minutes. In the grand scheme of things, these seem like reasonable investments.
      2. The hi-def resolution of the HVX200 is not quite as good as the competing HDV camcorders. Yup, it’s true. Although magazine articles from those using the HVX200 in real-world productions say the resolution is still quite good. If you want everything the HVX200 offers, plus higher resolution, and you’ve got the extra bucks, take a look at the recently introduced Panasonic HPX500.

      Regarding the Sony V1U, it is a very good HDV camcorder with an HDMI output. The HDMI output can be routed to a Black Magic Intensity card (plugged in to the PCI-Express slot of your high powered computer), giving you a virtually uncompressed recording. Of course, to take advantage of the uncompressed recording, you have to lug your high-powered computer around when shooting. By the way, the V1U has the desirable 4:2:2 color encoding internally, but when you go to HDV tape, you just get 4:2:0. Expect more convenient ways to record from HDMI in the future.

      I should also mention the JVC GY-HD250, Canon XL-H1 and XH-G1, which are very professional HDV camcorders with HD-SDI output. HD-SDI is something like HDMI.

      BOTTOM LINE: If I had to buy the camcorder today, I’d go with the HVX200 (or the HPX500 if I could afford it). But if I could wait 6 months or more, I’d see if a small portable HDMI or HD-SDI recorder becomes available for those HDV camcorders which have HDMI or HD-SDI outputs.

      Hope this helped, πŸ™‚
      Ken Hull

    • #182737
      Avatarbarood
      Participant

      I was looking at the highly rated Panasonic AG-HVX200 as my next purchase, as it created quite a stirr last year when it was launched. Then noticed that CNET has retired it from editor’s choice due to "the changed competitive landscape". What precisely has changed in terms of what other cameras in the similar price range I should be thinking about comparing this camera with?

      My criteria: (1) similar price (2) the fidelity of image quality when blowed up to the 35 mm film

      Thanks for your insight!

    • #182738
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Sony HVR-V1U 1080P 24P – 1st prosumer of it’s kind

    • #182739
      Avatarbarood
      Participant

      Thanks for your elaborate reply, Ken! I agree -with HD prosumer camcorders, we are in a tricky situation as the models get better and cheaper, but you got to jump in at some point. While this is a trend in general for high tech products, the financial commitment required for a prosumer HD camcorder makes it a more involving decision.

      I want to buy something that is more towards professional than amateur. Now pardon me for using the CCD or CMOS size as a rough substitute for the image quality (I would like to get the "cinema-like" feel when projected on a big screen). Of the options you suggested, HPX500 has 2/3" while V1U has 1/4". JVC HD250, like HVX200, has 1/3" sensor. Interestingly enough, both SONY and JVC tag their camera as a "professional" one and list under "broadcast" quality. If they are comparable to HVX200 in image quality, it is worth noting that history channel etc. do not allow more than 25% footage shot through HVX200 in a submission.

      Panasonic link mentions they are about to launch HPX3000G with 2/3" size CCD, pricing not mentioned yet. May be cheaper than HPX500?

      http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelList?storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&catGroupId=14616&surfModel=AG-HPX500

      Workflow, the cost of media, ease of using and editing, these all are important factors and make comparisons that much complex. I will probably wait a while to see if I can see a sweet spot emerging…

    • #182740
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      barood Wrote:

      Now pardon me for using the CCD or CMOS size as a rough substitute for the image quality …. If they are comparable to HVX200 in image quality….

      Not all 1/3 inch camcorders are the same. If you can find a copy of the May 2006 issue of DV magazine, they compare several "pro" 1/3 inch HD camcorders. The Canon XL-H1 comes out King of the Hill for resolution, with the JVC GY-HD100 (cheaper brother of the HD250) not far behind. The Panasonic HVX200 brings up the rear.

      Interesting that the History Channel isn’t that fond of the HVX200, when it avoid the compressed HDV format. Does History Channel accept video from HDV units like the XL-H1 or HD250? πŸ˜•

      Ken Hull

    • #182741
      AvatarKevinShaw
      Participant

      barood Wrote:

      My criteria: (1) similar price (2) the fidelity of image quality when blowed up to the 35 mm film

      If you can wait a few more months to buy a camera, I’d say wait for the Sony XDCAM EX. This will be basically the same price as an HVX200 when you factor in the cost of recording memory, and will have a larger sensor plus other advantages which should be compelling compared to the HVX. The HVX was a good first attempt at an affordable solid-state HD camera but is hampered by a low-resolution sensor and the excessive cost of P2 memory cards. Memory for the XDCAM EX is expected to cost about $250-500 per hour of recording time at launch, compared to as much as $3000 per hour for P2 (depending on your recording mode). It may also be possible to archive and play full-quality XDCAM HD footage on Blu-ray discs, something you won’t get with DVCProHD.

      If you have to buy a camera now, the HVX200 isn’t a bad choice but presents challenges for any long-form recording projects. Buy a Sony HDV camera now for a few thousand and you could use that as a "B" camera with the EX once that’s available.

    • #182742
      Avatarbarood
      Participant

      I guess it is almost here: has variable frame rate and 3 sensors of 1/2" size – thanks!

      http://www.sony.ca/xdcamex/files/xdcamex.pdf

      Kevin Shaw Wrote:

      barood Wrote:

      My criteria: (1) similar price (2) the fidelity of image quality when blowed up to the 35 mm film

      If you can wait a few more months to buy a camera, I’d say wait for the Sony XDCAM EX. This will be basically the same price as an HVX200 when you factor in the cost of recording memory, and will have a larger sensor plus other advantages which should be compelling compared to the HVX. The HVX was a good first attempt at an affordable solid-state HD camera but is hampered by a low-resolution sensor and the excessive cost of P2 memory cards. Memory for the XDCAM EX is expected to cost about $250-500 per hour of recording time at launch, compared to as much as $3000 per hour for P2 (depending on your recording mode). It may also be possible to archive and play full-quality XDCAM HD footage on Blu-ray discs, something you won’t get with DVCProHD.

      If you have to buy a camera now, the HVX200 isn’t a bad choice but presents challenges for any long-form recording projects. Buy a Sony HDV camera now for a few thousand and you could use that as a "B" camera with the EX once that’s available.

    • #182743
      AvatarKevinShaw
      Participant

      I got an email from B&H today saying that they’re taking pre-orders for the Sony EX1 camera, but it’s not in stock yet. By the way, it looks like I was wrong about the cost of memory for the EX1, which will be basically the same as P2 at $900 for 16 GB – but you’ll get 50 minutes of recording time for that price instead of 15 minutes.

      Early reviews of the EX1 suggest that it’s the new camera to beat for under $10,000. The sensor has 4 times the resolution of the one in the HVX200 and it’s better in low light situations, plus it has a unique combination of auto-focus and manual focus features which should appeal to a wide range of users. The main drawback of the EX1 for some will be that it’s not a shoulder-mounted camera, but then neither is the HVX.

    • #182744
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Kevin,
      I’ve been researching info on the Sony PMW-EX1, since you mentioned it.
      Preliminary reviews say the image quality is fantastic. πŸ˜€
      It has 3 half-inch sensors. πŸ˜€
      The LCD is 3.5" . πŸ˜€
      The lens barrel has separate rings for zoom, focus, and iris. πŸ˜€
      Sony has designated this as a Cine-Alta model. πŸ˜€
      It cost only slightly more than the Panasonic HVX200. πŸ˜€
      I’m starting to reach for my checkbook (never mind that I don’t have the money). πŸ˜€

      It encodes to 4:2:0 and Long-GOP interframe compression. 😯
      WHAT?????
      See page 4 of the brouchure: "http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusiness/markets/10014/docs/xdcamEX_broch.pdf"

      Sony, how could you?!!! }:-@
      Well, I’m into special effects, with lots of chromakey shots. If you’re not, then maybe the PMW-EX1 would be the perfect camcorder.
      Hey Sony, how about coming out with an EX1a, modified to encode 4:2:2 ? PLEEEZE !!!!

      Anxiously awaiting the next version, πŸ˜‰
      Ken Hull

    • #182745
      AvatarKevinShaw
      Participant

      Ken Wrote:

      Well, I’m into special effects, with lots of chromakey shots. If you’re not, then maybe the PMW-EX1 would be the perfect camcorder.
      Hey Sony, how about coming out with an EX1a, modified to encode 4:2:2 ?

      A lot of people have been asking that, but if you take a closer look this isn’t necessarily a big deal. The EX1 has 1920×1080 pixel sensors which generate 960×540 color samples per frame after processing into 4:2:0 color, while the HVX200 only has 960×540 pixel sensors to start with and hence can’t generate any more color detail except by interpolation. The HVX may have a slight advantage due to using I-frame recording rather than GOP-based, but in practice the EX1 should hold its own for most purposes. We’ll see for sure once the EX1 is shipping, but I don’t think too many people will complain about its quality for chromakeying purposes.

      As far as price is concerned, the EX1 is potentially cheaper than the HVX200 if you need more than a few minutes worth of recording memory. The EX1 with three hours’ worth of SxS cards will cost less than $10K (using three 16GB cards plus the 8GB that comes with the camera), while an HVX200 with three hours worth of P2 cards currently costs as much as $15K depending on what recording mode you use.

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