The first footage from the Panasonic HVX200 is out. For those of you who have practically moved over to the DVX forum site (sleeping, eating, etc.) this isn’t much of a news.
A production unit was showcased by Panasonic and Apple (their Final Cut Pro has built-in support for the DVCPRO-HD format).
One of the people attending the presentation commented on the amazing clarity of the outdoor footage that was shot at 720/60p. There wasn’t much of a difference between the footage coming out of the HVX200 and its $60,000 big brother, the “Varicam” (AJ-HDC27).
The indoors footage was a big DISAPPOINTMENT though. Reportedly, it was noisy and clearly not a match for the Varicam – even at 0db, the footage from the HVX was noisy. Naturally, there’s an intrinsic difference if you take a look at the HVX200 specs, the CCDs on the HVX are just 1/3″ so their low-light capabilities will be limited.
The presenter, David Craig explained that the camera is still a production version and will get additional firmware updates before it’s released. Hopefully the grainy indoors footage is just a software (firmware) issue and not a high S/N ratio of the electronics.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that. I’m so impressed by the frame rates supported by HVX200 so I’d hate to see the camera lose to the Canon XL H1 ($8,999) just because of a high signal-to-noise ratio.