Pros Affordable, Easy to Use, P2 Technology, DV tape back-up, 24pN allowing variable frame rates, Focus Assist, DVCPRO HD codec, Excellent Video Quality
Cons Menu Buttons on top of camera, LCD is a little small, On board Mic picks up zoom noise, Supplied Component Cable is a little short, Don't expect superior low-light capabilities
Summary I give the AG-HVX200 a 9! Having been in the video business for over 20 years I am very jealous of this new technology that the kids just starting out in the business have access to. I finally got a hold of this hot piece of metal, plastic and glass and have been blowing my old videos away! P2 is the greatest thing to happen to video and it's long overdue. The price of P2 will hopefully keep falling so that it won't be necessary to get a second mortgage on your home to afford them! But really, once you slide a P2 card into your Powerbook and import the videos faster than realtime...well digitizing from tape seems like the old horse & buggy days. You can get 10 minutes record time with a 4 GB card shooting in the 720p 24pN mode. N stands for native, meaning you are shooting 24 or really 23.976 frames per second. Less frames to record means more shooting time. Using Apple FCP Studio is a complete solution to get from the shoot to DVD or a High Def file. I don't work for Panasonic or Apple and just recently I have made the conversion from PC video editing to MAC editing. I should have done it sooner! At least now is the right time to give this combo a look. There are almost too many set-ups that you can do with the HVX200! I remember my old BetaCam had an on/off switch and a white balance button. Do a Google on the HVX-200 to find out more. My only gripe is that FCP does not handle the 1080p 24p or 24pA modes very well. I have tested the 1080p 30p mode and that looks very good. But most editng is going to 24p so I will concentrate on that for the tme being. Before you buy any camera in this price range - give the HVX200 a long, hard serious look!
Pros Image quality, supports 720p and 1080i HD resolutions, quick transfers by P2 PCMCIA cards, Good Leica wide lens
Cons P2 cards remain pricey and relatively small, fixed lens, does not support 1080p HD resolution
Summary I recently used this camera for a weekend shoot. It supports most HD formats and has outstanding image quality. The P2 system still has its quirks, but Panasonic has been doing a good job smoothing those out. Unfortunately the camera only accepts two P2 cards and they are fairly expensive and do not store 'enough' HD footage. The most youll be able to shoot at any given time in 1080i mode is about 25 min which won't suffice for many professionals. Many people think this camera is too expensive, however, compared to comparable HD cameras, the HVX is an absolute bargain. This camera does not and should not be compared to anything which uses HDV. The DVCPro HD footage is a truer HD image and preserves the color information better (i.e. green screen footage is outstanding). The P2 technology is relatively new and as it becomes better, the prices should drop and the card sizes should increase.
Pros P2 cards mean no digitizing and you can litterally start editing in minutes. Great color range and easy to use.
Cons P2 card are expensive and do not store that much footage. Did experience some corrupt pixel blocks in footage. Manual focusing could use improvements.
Summary For a prosumer camera this is a great bang for your buck camera. Considering if you have the P2 cards you can start editing in minutes. I used this camera for a 20 min short and had great experiences. Importing video into Final Cut Pro was quick and easy. I do hope that Panasonic fixes some of the pixel block issues it has when capturing to the P2 cards. I think this has something to do with the capture control card on the camera itself, and not the transfer via computer. I recomend using a DV tape in conjunction with using the P2 cards when filming important footage. If you want the latest new technology advanced camera but don't have 10,000+ to spend, then this is a good one to get. However if you can wait until the technology gets cheaper, and they work out the bugs, then I would wait until the next revision.
Pros * Does timecode controls
* Has two XLR inputs
* Phantom Power
* Functional shutter controls (takes a little getting used to)
* Recording to P2 is exceptional
* Delivers amazing crisp video that pops
Cons * Low-light performance isn't super awesome (just slightly below that of the AJ-D410AP)
* Menu buttons located a little inconveniently
Summary I'm at a student TV station, and I've worked with the HVX, in addition to the AJ-D410AP, and a little experience with the DVX-100, and I have to say that the HVX really is marvelous. Outside of some slightly inconveniently located buttons, the lack of BNC, and (apparently) not-so-great low-light performance (I can barely see it, and it's acceptable by my standards), I've found it to be great. We use the HVX in a professional environment, and we haven't had any problem a simple, cheap adapter couldn't fix. I can't say I see myself shooting with it for hours and hours, mostly because it's hand-held, but a good shoulder brace can mitigate that problem (As well as allowing the use of higher capacity batteries, like Anton Bauer Gold Mount batteries). Still, a fine camera that would knock the socks off of any consumer camera and has enough oomph to hang with the professional machines (just don't call it professional, or the real professionals will laugh at you).
Pros Portable, semi-HD quality
Cons heavy for alot of hand held shots.
Summary There is a movie starring Alexandra Holden called "A Dead Calling" that was shot entirely with this unit. You can get the movie from NetFlix. I don't own this camera but did watch that movie (kinda cheesy) and didn't realize it wasn't Panavision (the industry standard camera outfitters). I was re-watching with audio commentary (I'm into the tech side of movies) and the director said the movie wasn't shot on film or video but on P2 cards with a Panavision HVX200. Impressive...