01 Jul 2009

Hacking the Panasonic HVX200

Filming 3 Comments

Let me start off by saying, “I love this camera!”  I started out using the Panasonic DVX100, so upgrading to its High Definition big brother was a pleasure.  After scouring the internet and reading up about the HVX200, I came across an interesting hack that you may have heard about.  If you try it, don’t use the text file they provide, just hack one you save–I had trouble with theirs that I think might be due to spaces in the scene file names.

Out of the box, the camera can operate in film cam mode, giving you the ability to shoot in variable frame rates, anywhere between 12 and 60 frames per second.  Using the hack above, you can force the camera to shoot in lower frame rates – all the way down to 2 frames per second!  This technique is known as “undercranking”. You may be asking yourself, “Why would I want to do this?” And my answer is, the better things look coming off the camera, the better they will look in post production.  If you want the time-lapse, sped-up video look, better to shoot that way than try to mimic it in post.  Plus, you will save a lot of space on that P2 card and in turn, your hard drive. My recording time went from 80 minutes to over 1,000!  And one last tip, don’t shoot anything with your tripod on a suspension bridge – they don’t stay still.

Music is Vermillion by The Album Leaf

3 Responses to “Hacking the Panasonic HVX200”

  1. trent williams says:

    is the sd car really needed? or can this just be done straight to p2 card?

  2. Jim says:

    As far as I know, you can only read and write scene files to an SD card through the camera. I wouldn’t recommend changing the default directories and contents of a P2 card; they are a little pricey!

  3. Lynn Magnuson says:

    GREAT advice on hacking the frame rate. I shoot a lot of weather related and sports subjects. I could do some interesting things with my footage, especially the weather stuff. And as far as P2 cards. Definitely pricey. I now own three 16GB P2 cards at about eighty bucks each … but I may be on food stamps the rest of the month!!! Be careful with those cards. They use an oddball format that is easy to screw up … then you got to blow another 80 to 100 bucks for another one! 🙁 🙁 I’m storing all my hacks on an SD card. They’re only about ten or twenty bucks if I have to replace one …

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