Moving To HD

We’re moving our production to HighDef. We’re still displaying in Church Def. So I’ll have to decide wether I want to display in 720p and live with the letter box or create at Church Def of 960×720 (720p cropped 4:3).

Here’s what I ordered this week and it should be in next week:

Pannasonic HVX200a: The other cameras I considered were the Sony PMW-EX1 and the Sony HVR-Z7U. Both Sony cams have awesome lenses on them but I went with the HVX200a for these reasons:
-More robust format that holds up better under heavy compositing and green screen 4:2:2 color space
-Records to an intra-frame condec which means no conform process on exporting (in HDV or XDCam even if your edits are just cuts, you have to conform your edits to the long-GOP which can be 4 to 10 times longer than real time depending on your system.
-P2 has been around and there is an established workflow with the HVX200
-It was the best bang for the buck. I get more flexability in the formats and frame rates I can shoot and it was the cheapest. About $500 cheaper than the HVR-Z7U and $1500 cheaper than the EX1
-I would have like HD-SDI outputs for the future but I can live without it, especially since I can shoot tethered via FW to a computer.

G-Speed eS 2 TB RAID 5 on a eSata card. Since I’ll be shooting on P2 card and in a format that can take up to 20GB per hour I needed more storage and redundancy if a drive fails. This drive should get me about 150MB/sec for 11 streams in real time. I’ll be archiving my older projects onto 2 1TB drives when I’m done with my work.

503HDV/351MVB2K Tripod and sticks. It seems like a step in the right direction. I would have liked to get a Cartoni setup but I just couldn’t justify the extra cost right now. And it’s something I can upgrade later and move this tripod to our PDX-10 DVCAM that the youth and other ministries will still be using.

I also got a nice bag to go with the camera and I’m upgrading FCP to Studio 2. I ordered everything through Jake at VideoTexSystems here in Dallas. They had great prices (better than B&H) and good service.

I’m just going to be monitoring my video on my current setup. I know it’s not ideal but I have a SD production monitor and I’ll use the Cinema Display in FCP. Down the road I might add a Kona card or a Matrox MXO or MXO2

Hopefully everything will be in next week. I’m sure I’ll take some pics and will be putting up footage as I learn the new camera and workflow.


May 23, 2008. Video.


  1. Mike Sessler replied:

    Hi Dave,
    Sounds like a great setup. I just got that same tripod last week, and so far it seems solid. It’s not a Vinten or Cartoni, but it’s not bad. The head is pretty good, but the first thing I did was pull the spreader off the sticks. It’s a pain to use.

    You’ll really like FCP2. They’ve made great strides with it, and it’s really fast. The P2 should integrate very well into that workflow. I was hoping to be able to get a new cam this year, but we didn’t have the budget. Oh well…one day!

  2. Dave replied:

    Thanks for the good words about the tripod. I’ve read so many reviews on the web it’s hard to see things straight. A lot of those reviews were coming from “tripod snobs”. But I admit I can be a snob when it comes to other areas of media. I’m looking forward to getting everything in this week.

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