29 Replies Latest reply on Feb 20, 2008 11:07 AM by shooternz

    HD and "friendly" format


      I am one of these people that wants my cake and wants to eat it. I want a camcorder that doesn't use tape (we are not in the 1970's anymore) but want a HD format that is easily editable directly in Premiere Pro CS3. A Hard Disk Drive (HDD) based camcorder seems the best format for my needs, but all of them seem to use the evil ACVHD format. Does anyone know if there are any plans for any of the manufacturers to release a camcorder that uses the standard HD format but that uses a HDD rather than tape? Any one else got any other options I have not thought of?
        • 1. Re: HD and "friendly" format
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          Firestor on a HDV camera.
          • 2. Re: HD and "friendly" format
            Level 1
            Your reference to 1970 indicates that you are very young. The DV format was launched in 1996 and included both the coding and the tape format. For HDV the format was announced in 2003.

            While SD digital video has reached maturity (even then many formats still exists for varying quality) the HD arena is still in a state of flux. Technology still prevents affordable cameras with an easily editable format. For now HDV is still the only valid choice. However since it uses inerframe coding it is not ideal for editing.
            • 3. Re: HD and "friendly" format
              Level 1
              I'll give you a good reason why you WANT tape.

              #1. You will always have an original backup ! , so no matter what you do in-computer, you know you always have that original tape to go back to, in case you ever need it.

              If you go with a camcorder that records to a hard drive, what are you going to do with the original footage ? ... are you doing to keep buying hard drive after hard drive, if you want to keep that original footage ?, once you get your Hard drive camcorder, of course you'll always want your ORIGINAL footage, so keep in mind you will be spending big money on hard drives if you film quite a bit.

              At this point in time, tape is an excellent way to go. Flash SD cards to me, at this point are not. When SD flash cards are huge, for example 50 gigs or 100 gigs each, it will be the way to go, and eventhough this sounds crazy at this moment in time, it's coming.

              Everyone will tell you why they went a certain way. If you are on vacation, and away from a computer, buying a camcorder that records to SD cards is just not a good idea, unless you have money to buy many many cards. The same with a hard drive camcorder. Even if you bought a hard drive camcorder with 100 gigs of storage, that still doesn't give you oodles of space. However, tape on the other hand, - you now have hours and hours of video at your finger tips,, just buy inexpensive tapes and the world is yours.

              If however you are always around a computer, and have lots of hard disk space, and never intend on keeping your original footage, then perhaps this is the way to go.

              • 4. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                The main issue is that the makers of hard drive based cameras are using formats that are easy toi record but not easy enough to edit. They compress the heck out of it and uncompressing to edit is not lossless.

                Once a hard drive camera exists that has the same quality or higher than that available on tape, go for it. Until then, use tape.

                Or pay through the nose for P2 cards.
                • 5. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                  The solution being asked for is the HVX200 from Panasonic. It is a high def camera recording to a format easily edited in Premiere (possibly even easier than HDV, given the myriad HDV issues that crop up) and it does not use tape.
                  • 6. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    At $5,200 to $5,500 (I'm not sure I would trust any of the places claiming below $2k) I know that that camera is out of MY price range... but then again, I don't have a BluRay burner so my old DV tape camera is just fine for my hobbyist needs going to an 'old fashioned' DVD
                    • 7. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                      It ain't cheap, but the OP didn't post a price range. Right now, what he wants is available, and it's the HVX200.
                      • 8. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                        shooternz Level 6
                        But he stated he wanted a HDD based recorder... so Firestore is probably a could call.
                        • 9. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                          He said hard drive cameras SEEM the best for his needs, but what he WANTS is not to use tape. The HVX200 fits that desire. In fact, it's the only camera out there right now that does everything he wants - shoots in HD, doesn't use tape, easy to edit in Premiere.
                          • 10. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                            shooternz Level 6
                            sorry, my bad - I thought HDD meant Hard Disk Drive.

                            Learn something everyday.
                            • 11. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                              It does. But it can be confusing when you ask for an HD camera using an HDD for shooting.
                              • 12. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                shooternz Level 6
                                I didnt think Harm was confused and thats why he suggested a portable HDD Recorder (Firestore) to the guy.

                                P2 is a great/better suggestion if thats what the guy is after but I didnt think so. (He "wanted his cake and to eat it to")
                                • 13. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                  Harm's suggestion will work. But it's not a built-in solution. You buy the Firestore separately. And Harm's solution uses HDV, which is not as easy to edit as DVCPro HD.
                                  • 14. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                    shooternz Level 6
                                    I can record DVCProHD on my Firestore ?
                                    • 15. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                      I assume so, if you have an HVX200.
                                      • 16. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                        While I agree that a P2 solution may in some cases be feasible for a non tape approach, the major drawback is cost. On a single 16G P2 card you can record around 32 minutes and a single 16G card costs you around $ 900. I recently went on a sailing trip and did not have the opportunity to take a laptop along for transferring the contents of my shots to a laptop (stupid airline regulations and rather cramped space in a salt water environment) so in order to tape that week I would have needed around 24 P2 cards, an investment of around $ 21,5 K. That is just too much for a hobby.

                                        Recording to a Firestore is a lot cheaper and easier and allows for a range of camera choices.
                                        • 17. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                          Level 1
                                          Good morning,

                                          Can somebody explain what a P2 card is ?

                                          I understand CF, SD, etc, but I've never heard of a P2 card, nor have I seen any camera or camcorder that uses one.


                                          • 18. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                            Ruud Blauw Level 1
                                            • 19. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                              Level 1
                                              Hi Ruud,

                                              Thank you for the info, interesting, very interesting. I have never seen this before.

                                              I did a Google for this card, and saw an image. Gee, I guess I'm not so impressed. The thing looks huge !, and I'm sure it draws a lot of power , butas everything, this will all change, I'm sure in 5 years from now that P2 card will be the size of a CF card, and much more powerful.

                                              So this slides into these huge broadcast quality cameras that you see TV stations walking about with ? ( I was under the assumption that these cameras used TAPE and not memory cards )

                                              • 20. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                P2 cards will never change size, only capacity. Their physical dimensions are fixed and determined by a set of computer standards. And really, they're not all that big. I personally find things like SD cards too small and easy to lose.


                                                I've no argument against your cost analysis. But the reality is, at this point in time, the HVX200 is the only solution that meets Phillip's requirements. It is expensive, I agree. But that's the reality of life in this moment in time. What he wants IS expensive.

                                                Granted, with Firestore and HDV he can get cheaper. But then he doesn't have exactly what he was asking for. It's up to him to decide if it's a sufficient substitute.
                                                • 21. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                  Level 1

                                                  Thanks for the replies - I guess from a technical point of view the P2 card does meet my requirements from what I originally outlined, but there are two main issues for me:

                                                  1) Cost - I do like to splash out, but I think even for me this cost is prohibitive.

                                                  2) The cameras that the P2 work with are too big and bulky for my purposes.

                                                  I guess what I am after really doesn't exist at the moment. I want a prosumer (rather than professional) camera that uses a format of HD that is natively edited in Photoshop CS3 (and doesn't use nasty formats like AVCHD), that uses a Hard Disk Drive as it's storage medium. I don't know how big the market is for this type of solution but I would guess it would be sizeable - surely there must be more of us out there that want this? (or maybe not)....

                                                  Thanks again.
                                                  • 22. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    My guess you will not see any camera matching your requirements any time soon. That would require a whole new HD recording format.

                                                    What is more likely to happen is that editing programs will start to support AVCHD. Whether that comes in Premiere Elements or Premiere Pro, or both, remains to be seen. But even then, while the editing may be easier, you still have the 'nastiness' of a GOP format to deal with.
                                                    • 23. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                      Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                                      Hard Drive cameras are not very desirable, IMHO. Cameras take a lot of movement, motion and bumps during normal use. Stuff that kills harddrives. I dont see them developing much beyond the existing consumer hard drive cams that already exist.

                                                      The reason : Hard drives are very unreliable compared to other storage mediums such as flash mem, or tape. flash mem is obviously where it is going. There are already 12Gb SD cards hitting the market. Its just a matter of time.
                                                      • 24. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                        shooternz Level 6
                                                        @ Harm

                                                        A difficulty in your sailing adventure over a week might have been charging the Firestore Batteries. They sure suck thru' batteries. Big show stopper for me and I dont use them any more. I also found them noisy, fragile and weirdly ...they hold too much footage!

                                                        Takes along time to down load a full one and there is a lot at stake on one device (like an entire days shoot).

                                                        P2 suits me but thats maybe because I shoot commercials and I shoot as if I am shooting 35mm film - disciplined camera on/off.

                                                        My P2 2cards are used over and over again. One card is only the cost of about 5 rolls of 35mm film . Pay for themselves in no tme at all. (I would usually shoot 10 rolls+ per job)
                                                        • 25. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                          Level 1
                                                          Hi Craig,

                                                          I'm really confused here. A roll of 35mm film is about $3-$5 depending on the amount of shots. So even at $5 a roll x 5 films, that's only $25.

                                                          I thought the P2 cards are hundreds and hundreds of dollars each ??, just a bit confused here.


                                                          Craig said:
                                                          "My P2 2cards are used over and over again. One card is only the cost of about 5 rolls of 35mm film . Pay for themselves in no tme at all. (I would usually shoot 10 rolls+ per job)"
                                                          • 26. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                            You may be thinking of still picture film, David. Craig is talking about 35mm motion picture film, the stuff Hollywood uses. It's considerably more than $5.00 a roll. Hell, Super 8 goes for about $20/roll - without processing!
                                                            • 27. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                              Level 1
                                                              Hi Jim,

                                                              Thanks for the clarification,
                                                              yes, I was thinking of 35mm film ( reg. old camera film ) ok I feel a little embarrassed, can we delete my last post ? I guess not, it's there for the world to see. I guess I have lots to learn, and this forum is a great one, sorry for the confusion.

                                                              On this topic, is 35mm video film the stuff that the news people use in those huge cameras ? ( the ones that they carry on their shoulders, and shoot footage with around town ) ?

                                                              • 28. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                Those shoulder mounted cameras are video cameras, not film cameras. Many 35mm film cameras would probably break your back if you tried to hold it on your shoulder. Back in the old days, news crews shot on 16mm film. Not sure 35mm was ever a common news format.
                                                                • 29. Re: HD and "friendly" format
                                                                  shooternz Level 6
                                                                  A 400' roll of 35mm motion picture film is approx. $420 - 450 NZ Dollars each ( thats about $370 - $420 USD).

                                                                  To this cost is added processing at say $0.25 per foot and Telecine at maybe $400- $600 per hour.