opinions on Panasonic HVX202

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Bernie Dwyer, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Bernie Dwyer

    Bernie Dwyer Guest

    Hi - I'm producing a short independent drama/fantasy and I've managed to
    get a grant to cover some of the production costs. One item in the grant
    is the hire of a high-definition camera for the shoot.

    I've asked my preferred DoP to provide a quote, and he's offered a
    couple of options:

    1. Sony camera + selection of lenses + high-def monitor ~AUD$1800/day.
    The budget just won't cover this.

    2. Panasonic HVX202 + high-def monitor - only records high-def to a P2
    card, but it's achievable within the budget.

    3. HDV camera - Sony or Canon - only as a last resort.

    I want a high-def camera for a couple of reasons - aesthetic/artistic (I
    want to make a visually stunning film, and a HD camera is part of that),
    and also to offer a number of people that I respect the opportunity to
    get their names on a high-def film.

    Using the HVX202 will mean someone will have to sit there and dump each
    card to disk (PC) as it fills up. If I manage approx 1 hour of footage
    per day, that works out to about 32GB of disk storage (according to the
    HVX202 brochure) per day, plus four dual-layer DVDs or eight
    single-layer DVDs for backup (or twice that many for redundancy). I'd
    rather have it all on mini-DV tapes because I don't trust burnt DVDs for
    archival purposes but I'm prepared to live with it for now. I can always
    export it to tape at some stage during post-production.

    My questions are:

    Has anyone used this camera, and do you have stories or opinions (good
    and bad) to tell?
    Bernie Dwyer, Nov 30, 2006
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  2. Bernie Dwyer

    Steve King Guest

    I was cast as an actor in an independent short shot with an HVX200. The
    on-set playbacks of both exteriors and rich, warmly lit interiors surprised
    me; they were pretty impressive. The director did have to dump the video
    from the card to a laptop several times a day. He'd do the transfer during
    re-lights. It did not seem to slow up production. If I had shot this
    independent I would be proud to show the images.

    Steve King
    Steve King, Nov 30, 2006
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  3. On Thu, 30 Nov 2006 00:18:42 -0600, "Steve King"

    The HVX makes nice pictures, but it's not true HD (image-sensor is only
    half the resolution). It has however the better codec of all the camera's
    in this category. Do take in mind that editing is still quite a pain, and
    currently the only program which can handle P2-footage well is Final Cut


    Martin Heffels, Nov 30, 2006
  4. Bernie Dwyer

    Steve King Guest

    True. Is there a camera in the HVX price range that does 'true HD'? My
    impressions was that budget was the issue with the original poster.

    Steve King
    Steve King, Nov 30, 2006
  5. Bernie Dwyer

    mmaker Guest

    The XLH1 might count if you can record the HD SDI output: the
    resolution of the sensors seems pretty good and you'll avoid the MPEG-2
    compression that way. I'm not sure exactly what output you'll get that
    way though.

    mmaker, Nov 30, 2006
  6. Bernie Dwyer

    Bernie Dwyer Guest

    Thanks for your responses - what I want is the best option that fits
    within the budget. The Panasonic appears to be the lowest cost of all
    the options that are "just under" full-spec HD. This will free up some
    $$$ to spend on a high-def field monitor, a better microphone, etc.

    I was worried about the P2 system when I first heard about it, but after
    reading the product brochure, it seems to be OK. I use Adobe Premiere
    Pro, and it doesn't appear to support the "MXF" file format that comes
    from the camera, but things seem to be underway to make it happen.
    Bernie Dwyer, Dec 1, 2006
  7. Bernie Dwyer

    EricS Guest

    Try this address as an alternative:

    (Google: Infinite Systems (Australia)

    Their prices are very reasonable; I found it yesterday while looking
    for something else.
    Of course they are in Brisbane, but may have counterparts in lesser
    parts of Australia.
    At least it will be good as a guide to what you should pay.

    Eric J
    EricS, Dec 1, 2006
  8. Bernie Dwyer

    Bernie Dwyer Guest

    Will do, thanks. Brisbane is only an hour away.
    Bernie Dwyer, Dec 1, 2006
  9. It depends on how you want to record :) If you record to tape, the image
    is downsized to 1440pixels horizontal, and then even more compression is
    added. One option is to record live from the HD-SDI (like on the Canon
    XLH1, Mark mentioned) or with Blackmagic Intensity, record from the
    HDMI-output. The latest Sony's (the AVCHD models), seem to have a true full
    HD-sensor and have HDMI.

    But, you made up your mind already for the Panasonic :-D


    Martin Heffels, Dec 1, 2006
  10. Bernie Dwyer

    EricS Guest

    TOPIC: opinions on Panasonic HVX202

    == 6 of 7 ==
    Date: Fri, Dec 1 2006 1:45 pm
    From: Bernie Dwyer
    Try this address as an alternative:
    Will do, thanks. Brisbane is only an hour away.

    Hmmm. . . . .

    I am also just an hour from Brisbane, (Southport), and I have a Z1,
    perhaps I can help ?
    If you want, email me with details; what you need, when, how long, etc

    (without the line spaces)

    Eric J
    EricS, Dec 1, 2006
  11. Bernie Dwyer

    Spex Guest

    Which was the wrong move IMO.

    The mythology surrounding this camera is quite amazing. How a camera
    that can only resolve 540ish tvl can be considered HD is utterly beyond me.

    The canon XL-H1, XH-A1/G1 and the Sony V1 all come in at 700+ tvl. All
    sport cleaner images of startling clarity than the HVX202.

    Panasonic really did a fantastic job of spreading fear, uncertainty and
    doubt about the HDV format compared to the unbelievably inefficient
    DVCPRO HD codec.

    If you want a SD camera that records noisy images in a bloated HD format
    to ridiculously expensive and impractical media then the HVX202 is for

    I am just about to purchase (next week) either the Canon XH-A1 or the
    Sony V1e. Money is no object and I could easily afford the HVX200 if I
    wanted it. But I don't...

    I urge the original poster to have a look at the alternatives as you'll
    save money and get a better camera. Take it from someone who has had to
    work with footage from the HVX.
    Spex, Dec 1, 2006
  12. Bernie Dwyer

    Toby Guest

    Martin, my company has been editing P2 on the Avid for several years now.
    AFAIK it works just fine.

    Toby, Dec 2, 2006
  13. What are you using? I was reading in a few other forums where a lot of
    people complained about P2 and Avid's. Mind you, it's hearsay for me, but I
    trust the people who wrote it, hence I passed it on.

    Martin Heffels, Dec 2, 2006
  14. Bernie Dwyer

    Bernie Dwyer Guest

    Will do, thanks - but it's mainly a matter of budget - I'll have to take
    the best that I can afford.
    Bernie Dwyer, Dec 4, 2006
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