Panasonic HDC- SD7 - coming to the UK?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by avevers, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. avevers

    avevers
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    I'm interested in this Panasonic HD camcorder but have not found any reports about whether it is coming to the UK. Can anyone shed any light? If so, dates and prices?

    Cheers

    Andrew
     
  2. rhubarbe

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    No, it isn't.

    If you want one you'll have to import it from Japan. Or buy from an importer. It'll be NTSC (though that doesn't matter too much if you have an HDTV and source that'll play it), the buttons will be labelled in Japanese and the instruction manual will also be only in Japanese. It'll have a one year warranty, just so long as you can get it back to Japan to be serviced.

    Oh, it's frame rate will be 1920 x 1080 x 60i, not the 1920 x 1080 x 50i that you'd get with European PAL camcorders. Again, that shouldn't matter too much.
     
  3. DarkKnight

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    Just wanted to enquire further about the SD7

    Does the NTSC issue only apply if you play back directly from the AV Cables supplied with the Camcorder ? So does NTSC as a concept matter if playing back the SD media from PC or burning to drive ?

    And with regards to the 60 Interlaced scan - does this imply the video would have to be re-encoded at 50 to play back without flicker ? Just wondering if the 60Hz could be overriden to be 50Hz.

    Thanks
     
  4. redsox_mark

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    The High Def footage will be 60i; regardless of if viewed from the camcorder or on a PC. But that is not really an issue; any HDTV can display 60i; and on the PC it's also no issue ot play it.

    Sure, you could convert it to 50i in software if you wanted, though any issue with light flicker wouldn't be changed by this. I've seen indoor footage from a 60i camcorder in our 50Hz world and not seen any flicker; I'm not convinced this is a real issue anyway.
     
  5. rhubarbe

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    With a bit of luck mine should be here tomorrow, so I'll be able to report back on it.

    Have to hide it from the wife. :eek:
     
  6. rhubarbe

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    Mine has now arrived. :thumbsup:

    OBSERVATIONS:

    Manual only in Japanese, but I knew that.

    Bit more plasticky feel to it compared to SDR-S150 but this may be because I chose the black one this time.

    4GB SDHC card included.

    VW-AD21-K charger included. This is a big plus because most cams these days make you charge the batteries in-cam and the VW-AD21-K costs $85 on the only ebay site I can see that sells it. There is one aftermarket supplier but he thinks that the world finishes at Atlantic City, NJ.

    I can't tell you any more about it until the battery is charged.
     
  7. rhubarbe

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    Battery took two and a half hours to charge. Slipped in the supplied 4GB (Class 4) Panasonic SDHC card and went to a wander over to the window where I usually test camcorders when stuck in the office and am unable to escape.

    I believe that the usual utterance is, "Wow!"

    Colour accuracy is as good if not better than the HV10; really bright but in no way oversaturated.

    It's a bit bigger than my SDR-S150 but only a tiny bit.

    Nero Showtime plays the MTS files at proper frame rate (on my E6600 C2D PC).

    OIS is the very best I have ever seen.

    AF is faster than the HV10. The HV10 apparently (according to its blurb) used a method whereby it jumped from one focal length plane to another, resulting in jumps in AF steps as you panned. I never did observe this but with the SD7 you can actually see it doing it.

    Very early days yet but I am well-chuffed. :thumbsup:

    I bought it from this chap:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=270166360452&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:VRI

    And I cannot speak highly enough of him. Excellent in every way. :smashin:

    Er, no, it's not my ebay name, if that's what you were wondering. :nono:
     
  8. redsox_mark

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    Sounds great - congrats.
    :thumbsup:
     
  9. rhubarbe

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    Thanks mark. It's early days, as I said, but I'm happy so far.

    I had read that all of the controls would be in Japanese, but they aren't they are in English, which tends to make me think that SD7 or its immediate successor (that will share the same chassis) will be made available in the USA, even if not in the UK.
     
  10. rhubarbe

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    On an SDHC card formatted in cam you get 85 minutes at full HD (1920x1080x60i) rising to about two hours at 1440x1080x60i at the lowest quality.

    I have tried it with:

    Transcend 8Gb Class 6 - OK
    Integral 8GB Class 6 - OK
    Panasonic 4GB Class 4 (supplied) - OK

    Here's where the good news ends.

    Anybody who tells you that the Canon HV10 has poor low light performance needs to be shown some footage from an SD7. It really is a box of frogs. Noise noise noise noise noise, as Vivian might say.

    I might tweak the settings to see if I can get a better performance at low light levels. If I knew how I might.....

    Anybody read Japanese? :eek: :rolleyes:

    EDIT: I do like the battery meter. It tells me exactly how many minutes I have left, rather like the Info-Lithium Sony batteries. I get 95 minutes reported when I insert a newly charged battery in camera mode.
     
  11. rhubarbe

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    If I edit my SD7's 1920x1080x60i AVCHD, and save it as HDV, and I had an HV20 (also 1920x1080x60i NTSC), with DV-in, could I archive my footage on DV tape, and play it back via the HV20?

    Answer: no, because HDV is only 1440x1080 anamorphic.

    But I could do it if I film in 1440x1080x60i, couldn't I?
     
  12. redsox_mark

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    You could do it even filming in 1920x1080. Just render out the result of your edits as 1440x1080 HDV. The editor will take care of changing the Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR).

    In fact you can shoot anything and save it as HDV. Whilst the bulk of what I edit is original HDV footage, I've put stills of all sizes; also SD video clips on the timeline as part of the project. At the end I render out to HDV format and save a copy back to tape.
     
  13. rhubarbe

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    OK, thanks Mark. :)

    Let's broaden this discussion then.

    I'd like to be able to archive the stuff I shoot with the SD7, and one and all and myself have convinced me that tape is much less of a worry.

    I'd like to be able to take video in low light conditions and I'd love a cam with a viewfinder, because I struggle to see an LCD and don't want to wear reading glasses to walk about in (I trip over things).

    I'd like a cam with AV-in.

    For all these reasons and more I'm thinking it might be a good idea to buy a cheap NTSC HDV cam and the only two that fit the bill are the HV20 and the HC7.

    To match my SD7 I need an NTSC cam (because of the 60i framerate)

    Given that I can buy an HV20 for £450 (new and tax paid) and the best I can find an HC7e at is a hundred quid more and would attract VAT, can anybody think of a reason I would want an HC7e over an HV20?

    At £450, I'd get an alternative cam for situations when my SD7 doesn't cut it (to replace lurcher's HC1 that I couldn't get to connect); an AV deck, an analogue to digital converter and an archival system. I'd even be able to playback the edited HDV via the HDMI out of the HV20 and maybe not need the hugely expensive HTPC I have built for the purpose of storing AVCHD.

    Do you think that £450 is too much to spend to get this? OK, I know I don't need it, but a new HV20 for £450 is a tempter.
     
  14. felix2

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    Great, glad to hear you're getting on well with it! I look forward to watching a couple of (very short) clips (I've still got a monthly download allowance!).

    Just to point out, the HC7 doesn't have AV-in. And the HC7 won't get the same lowlight performance that the HV20 does in its 25p mode, so if you're basically looking for a deck + additional lowlight cam, the HC7 I guess would actually be the worse option. How many cams have been through your hands now?!!! :D
     
  15. redsox_mark

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    Whilst the HC7 and HV20 are both good; no, I can’t see a strong reason to pay £100 more for a HC7; especially if you can make use of the AV-in analogue/digital converter aspect of the HV20.

    £450 is a very good price for the HV20. Only you can decide if it is worth it (or if you can get budget approval); but having that pair of camcorders sounds ideal.

    Of course you’ll need software which can edit the Panny AVCHD. (but you need that anyway).

    One thing you might want to do before you decide is to take some clips from the SD7 and convert them to HDV format, and play them both from your PC. You shouldn’t see any visible loss, but best to check for yourself. You could also experiment and see if shooting 1440 from the start rather than 1920 makes any difference in the quality of the original clip and the conversion.

    I’ll do a test render of an 60i AVCHD clip I recently downloaded (happens to be from a new Canon HG10) to HDV and post the results.
     
  16. rhubarbe

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    I have had two SDR-S150s, a DCR-SR90e (can't get it back off my dad), an HDR-HC1e an HV10 and an SD7. Six, then. :)

    @ Mark: this are good suggestions, thanks. I have very little AVCHD yet, just some I took out of the window yesterday and some inside our office, and the stuff in my lounge last night which was horrid.

    If I get some time later on I might go for a walk; see if anybody notices I have gone.

    I'll put up some SD7 on megaupload but it'll probably not be for a couple of days because I have to finish all my current jobs before I go on hol. :clap:

    I suppose what I want is one of these:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CGA-S303-Batt...ryZ43436QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    that takes good video in low light. :D

    Seriously, if I use the HV20 tape transport for showing HDV on my HDTV, is the motor going to be up to the job? I know that I'd be justifying the investment in the HV20 partly because it'll archive and act as a VCR deck, but will I kill it if I use it as a VCR?
     
  17. redsox_mark

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    Hard to say. I don't think I'd want to use it to do daily recordings (like a VCR). But for archiving and the occasional showing of your home movies it should hold up fine.
     
  18. rhubarbe

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    Think I'll do a Google on HV20 + motor noise. ;)
     
  19. redsox_mark

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    I put 2 clips of identical content; the AVCHD one is an original clip from a Canon HG10; the HDV one converted in Sony Vegas.
    The filenames will tell you which is which
    http://www.mbryant.aquiss.com/video/

    The HDV clip is about twice the size (must be a 12 MB bitrate setting used on the HV10).

    Funny I can edit and play them within Vegas no problem, but playing them from a media player I have problems... especially the AVCHD one.

    HDV clip:
    - plays fine (with sound) on VLC.
    - plays fine with Nero showtime
    - crashes WMP!

    AVCHD clip:
    - hangs VLC
    - plays on Nero showtime but without audio
    - plays on WMP without audio
     
  20. rhubarbe

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    Think I am going to pass:

    http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=92143

    Out of the frying pan....

    Sorry, Mark. I didn't see your post.... just eating your bandwidth now. :)
     
  21. rhubarbe

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    I can play both of your clips Mark in Nero and get both video and audio.

    I was reading about HV20 motor noise and came upon a suggestion to plug a tieclip microphone into the HV20 - problem solved, according to the poster.

    Does anybody know anything about such things, and preferably can one get a cheap wireless one?
     
  22. redsox_mark

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    Ugh, the famous Canon motor noise...

    Don't know a lot about tie clip mics, but do know that they need to be close to the person speaking. The whole idea is to pick up the voice of the speaker and not much else. That's useful for say shooting an interview, but not for the kids playing at the park. It's not really a general purpose workaround to the motor noise problem.
     
  23. rhubarbe

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    And of course, if go for the Sony I lose the AV in, and about another 200 quid. :(

    Anything else I lose if I go for the Sony? NTSC model?
     
  24. felix2

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    Just the 24p mode... which is the main lowlight pro of the HV20. Did your HV10 have a problem with motor noise, can't remember?

    With the SD7 so small, why not just carry around a separate honking great light with you when you need it? It would surely give better results than any cam's lowlight ability*?
     
  25. rhubarbe

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    Yes, the HV10 was noisy, and it cost as much as I can get the HV20 for, but it isn't just the lowlight I wanted the HV20 for. It was to use as a deck, to use when I needed a viewfinder, to render AVCHD as HDV and store on tapes, to be able to play back to HDTV over HDMI. If it weren't for the motor noise (alleged) I'd have jumped at it, but now I am not so sure.
     
  26. felix2

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    Ah, of course DV in will record your exported HDV won't it? (I was getting confused with the AV in.)

    Do you need the manual controls & mic input of the HC7, or would the HC5 do the job (with viewfinder, DV in and HDMI out)? And how cheap is that in NTSC import land?

    You can certainly plug an external mic into the HV20 - as Mark said a tie-clip mic is really only useful to hear one presenter, but you can get vocal mics and probably most useful rifle video mics too. But there are even some complaints I've read of nice video mics still picking up the HV20's motor noise in a quiet room, unless the mic's on a stand several feet away...
     
  27. rhubarbe

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    I'll check out the HC5.....
     
  28. rhubarbe

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    OK, I found the manual controls of the SD7 after reading a review of the SD5 (same technically).

    The manual controls do make a very big difference to the low light ability of the SD7. With full iris you can actually see what you are recording, at least in 1/30.

    I do feel that the PAL version of the SD5 with a shutter speed of 1/25 will have better low light ability than the NTSC only SD7 with a shutter speed of 1/30.

    Stands to reason, dunnit?
     
  29. redsox_mark

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    Yes.... though I'm not sure how noticable it will be in practice.
     
  30. rhubarbe

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    Just missed out on an NTSC HV10 last night $516. :thumbsdow

    Let's just clarify this for me.

    In order to send my AVCHD edited and output as HDV from my NTSC SD7 back along the firewire to say an HV10, or an HV20 to archive on tape, I need an NTSC HV10 or HV20 because of the 60i framerate?

    Just to make absolutely sure.
     

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