View Full Version : We just got our HVX200 Camera!

04-03-2006, 12:23 PM
We just got our Panasonic HVX200 camera today!:D
What a magnificent all in one camera. Everything from MiniDV to DVCPro HD. Not to mention all the variable fram rates.
For now I think we'll be mostly shooting DVCPro 50. But there are not too many jobs that I couldn't take with this camera! Much better then having 2 or 3 cameras on standby!!!!!!

Now if NewTek/VT can handle the files! :o

04-03-2006, 12:32 PM

Have fun with the new toy, I myself am waiting for my order of a Canon Xl-H1 to ship :)

04-03-2006, 01:44 PM
Ted, what is your workflow with it right now? Are you capturing .rtv files out of the component outputs?

I'm curious to see if the combination of the Snell & Wilcox .mxf plugin and the Pegasys DVCPro50 codec will allow VT-Edit to work with the DVCPro50 files the cmaera produces.

04-03-2006, 02:40 PM
Workflow? Well, I wouldn't call it that yet!:o
Right now we are using Ray Light to convert the footage to an .avi.
Then we can directly drag the clips into VT, either as 1080 X 1920 or let VT size it letterboxed. We then render the uncompressed .avi's to a .rtv.

We have a post session tomorrow that we MIGHT use our Beta footage on or we MIGHT post it from the HVX footage we shot. (Since it was only 6 shots, the client let us double shoot). We will then re-post it in HD on FCP and deliver to the theaters from there.

Ray Light does some interesting, (bad) stuff to the footage and you have to do some color correction to make it look good again. (mostly washes the footage color space).

This is still a workflow nightmare. All the processes and rules have changed with HD. Add to that the differences working directly with files and not tape.
I'm really excited about this new frontier, and scared at the same time. Mostly excited though! :thumbsup:

04-03-2006, 02:48 PM
Yeah, I imagine getting HD into the VT at this point is problematic at best.

What I was wondering about was if you have had a chance to work with the SD formats, specifically the DVCPro 50 version.

04-03-2006, 03:16 PM
Has anyone actually gotten DVCPRO 50 codecs to work with VT[4]?

04-03-2006, 04:02 PM
I installed the test version of the codec on my system at home but haven't had time to try it yet.

I'm hoping somebody will try it and let us all know whether it works or not so I don't have to :) !

04-05-2006, 04:35 PM
Hi, at Live Action Digital, we have a need to transfer DVCPRO HD footage into the computer. From there we are willing to export image sequences for use in effects and 3D animation. Native DVCPRO HD transfer would be great, but I imagine Panasonic charges big $$$ for the license to the DVCPRO HD codec. At least Premeire Pro can capture HDV. But what about DVCPRO HD? Here at Live Action Digital QB White needs DVCPRO HD so that QB White LAD3D can use the footage in Lightwave 3D as exported image sequences.

DVCPRO HD is a compressed format and we had a camera crew tell us we did not want to use HDV in a video shoot because it is compressed, so we used DVCPRO HD. Contradictory and dogmatic!!! Now I have to find a way to capture the DVCPRO HD footage and it seems like Avid mcXpress or Conopus Edius are the only options. I still support an intermediary if it means VT4 does not have to become twice as expensive to have the official Panasonic native DVCPRO HD codec. After all, I am not going to edit in a compressed format because compression introduces additional artifacts just like the camera guy who convinced us to use Panasonic DVCPRO HD for our video shoot told us.

I will capture in compression but never compress again after that. Under the same conditions, HDV is superior to dvcpro hd, because I can capture it through Premeire Pro here at the Live Action Digital animation studio.

04-05-2006, 09:48 PM
First off, I FOUND AND BOUGHT 2 8 GIG P2 CARDS TODAY! If you havn't been following them, only a small handful come in the country per month. AND I GOT 2 OF THEM!:thumbsup:

Now, as for the workflow:
Panasonic doesn't supply a DVCPro codec. They leave it up to the manufacturers of the edit systems and software programs.

AVID, FCP and Canopus are the only edit systems who currently work with the P2 card and MFX files directly. However, all are having some issues with specific "flavors" of framerates and video res.

Now, we had another breakthrough today! :thumbsup: (I haven't had time to tell NewTek yet), that we got the native P2 MFX DVCPro50 files to drop and play directly on our VT system. But our other VT system can't? We think we've narrowed it down, but haven't proven our theory of why one can't???

We are getting DVCPro 100 files to work by downloading "Ray Light". Now having said that, we can take the MFX files into After Effects as a Ray Light .avi. Then render out another .avi from After effects. Then render a .rtv from After Effects.

I am counting on NewTek to make this workflow practical. If they can't, I'll have to look into one of the systems that does.
Right now this works for 30 second spots, but no way for long form stuff.

At least we've mastered a workaround to use the DVCPro 50 files. That will be what we use most for the next couple months.
Come on NewTek! Until then, we are pioneering the workflow.

04-05-2006, 10:38 PM
Now, we had another breakthrough today! :thumbsup: (I haven't had time to tell NewTek yet), that we got the native P2 MFX DVCPro50 files to drop and play directly on our VT system. But our other VT system can't? We think we've narrowed it down, but haven't proven our theory of why one can't???

Interesting! Do you have the .mxf file thingy from S&W installed?

So, how are you transferring the files over to the VT? Are you just copying them from the camera by firewire or do you have a P2 deck or something?

Sorry to pester you with all these questions but I am intensely interested in seeing if this can all work!

Thanks again,

04-06-2006, 10:44 AM
No problem Chuck! We have been eating and sleeping with this process for a couple weeks now, (not to mention trying to serve our clients)! :hey:

My GFX guy who has done most of this will be writing a report today that we'll post here, and send to NewTek.
We are close to just grabbing the MFX Video and Audio file and dropping that on the timeline. Close I said! :) We are still trying to determine what codecs need to be installed for this. Right now it looks like S&W, Matrox and Ray Light.
HD has been a little more problematic then DVCPro50, but we/Todd have managed to get it done.

More to come later today hopefully.

04-06-2006, 11:46 AM
I'm interested in hearing your workflow, Ted.

But without question, Newtek has to provide their own workflow to cover this soon. You can't expect normal users to have to be using as complicated a workaround as you're describing. Especially when other NLEs, even something as affordable as EDIUS, don't have these issues.

MXF and the higher-end codecs are important to the future of the VT, IMHO.

Jim Capillo
04-06-2006, 12:09 PM
I'd love to hear a blow-by-blow description, Ted. :thumbsup:

04-06-2006, 01:01 PM
Final Cut Pro has a cool system for importing P2 files. Basically you just go to Import->Panasonic P2. It searchs the removable disks for P2 volumes or you can choose the "CONTENTS" folder on any drive. Then it gives you thumbnails and clip info on all the different clips and you can pick and choose which ones you import or import them all to quicktime movies very quickly. The only thing that stinks is that everything comes in with the goofy P2 filenames. Things like "00474K.mov" that aren't very helpful when you have tons of clips.


04-06-2006, 02:23 PM
Premiere Pro 2.0 doesn't do MXF support natively, they do it through third-party plug-ins. They have a very robust and standard third-party support structure that makes this possible and efficient.

I don't care if Newtek does it native or like that, but the problem is currently the S&W plug-in is just a "throw it over the wall and hope it works solution."

And that's simply not an acceptable solution compared to the competition.

04-21-2006, 11:46 PM
Our HVX has the option of recording up to 7 seconds BEFORE you hit record. How is the useful, for shooting lightning.
Guess what, tonight we had lightning and I was so excited. So I tok the camera out, set it in position, had 3 strikes but I had to adjust to get the area just right. After centering on the action...NO MORE LIGHTNING! Arrg.
Later we had more. So I got in position and NO MORE LIGHTNING.
What are the friggin odds???

We don't get cool lightning here in the central valley very often so it doesn't last long. But man, next time I'll be ready!

I did get 2 far off strikes way off center, but not what I was hoping for. :thumbsdow

04-22-2006, 06:42 AM
Diden't mamma ever tell you lightning never strikes twice?:D