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Jarred Land
04-21-2006, 02:51 AM
Click Here to read the article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/p2store/)

k2director
04-21-2006, 03:15 AM
Click Here to read the article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/p2store/)

Thanks for the review, Jarred!

One question: did you notice if the P2 Store was very sensitive regarding physical movement while doing a copy? In other words, could you pick up and carry the unit while it was copying a card, or would that result in a copy error, and require you to start over again? I've heard from some users that any movement at all would result in an error, and was wondering if that was your experience as well...

mikkowilson
04-21-2006, 03:20 AM
yes in deed a good review, thanks Jarred.

...and to ad to the previous and the end of the review, maybe the reason there are no straps or mounts on this thing is becuase they want you to set it somewhere to do it thing, and not have it trying to copy while slung over your shoulder as you run down the sidelines. - Of course there's still the transposrting issue, but me me that forced aditional security would at least be justified, if not desirable by some.

- Mikko

eLeventy
04-21-2006, 07:35 AM
Isn't it so that it doesn't matter how full the card is( 10% or 100%), it always takes the same amount of time to copy? Like it copies a whole disk-image( ok, 'card'-image') byte for byte, instead of a file-based copy, even if a part of the card only contains a lot of zero's?

This would explain the slighty slower time for a nearly full card using the Store instead of a laptop. It would also mean that it is best to get the P2-cards as full as possible before copying to minimize waste: After copying 15 cards with only 1 minute of footage, the disk is full.

Jarred Land
04-21-2006, 04:38 PM
yes in deed a good review, thanks Jarred.

...and to ad to the previous and the end of the review, maybe the reason there are no straps or mounts on this thing is becuase they want you to set it somewhere to do it thing, and not have it trying to copy while slung over your shoulder as you run down the sidelines. - Of course there's still the transposrting issue, but me me that forced aditional security would at least be justified, if not desirable by some.

- Mikko

the motion sensor block would suggest that you probally are more on the money then you may know.

pkendall
04-22-2006, 10:42 AM
two of the little rubber feet have already came off mine... kind of ridiculas to have a 1600 dollar device with 25 cent feet.

monolith
04-22-2006, 01:52 PM
Gracias for overview, Jarred.

Q: How does the P2 Store let you know that you've already copied the card? A cascade of angry flashing lights? (I know I could find out for myself but it's on loan and I'm impatient).


Isn't it so that it doesn't matter how full the card is( 10% or 100%), it always takes the same amount of time to copy? Like it copies a whole disk-image( ok, 'card'-image') byte for byte, instead of a file-based copy, even if a part of the card only contains a lot of zero's?

This would explain the slighty slower time for a nearly full card using the Store instead of a laptop. It would also mean that it is best to get the P2-cards as full as possible before copying to minimize waste: After copying 15 cards with only 1 minute of footage, the disk is full.

Is it then safe to assume that the capacity of the P2 Store is not actually 60Gb, but rather 15 x 4Gb cards (regardless of how full they are when copied over)? In which case every Gb of card space counts?

lpcvideo1
04-22-2006, 08:21 PM
This is such a helpful review, and well timed. I am trying to figure out what to get. My laptop has produced some "user error"--I copied the same card twice, and missed copying the third. Ouch--lost that footage forever.


. . . when the 16gb cards do come out the P2store will only be able to hold 3 of them.

Good observation, although that's still alot of actual footage.

But, would three 16GB cards, each with one minute on them leave me with only three minutes of footage on the P2 Store?

Thanks, Jarred, for the review.

Erik Olson
04-22-2006, 08:40 PM
The P2Store simply cannot be moved while copying data without interrupting the disk plater. I think Panasonic might've struggled with how to case this device as it is indeed surrounded on all sides by a heat sink - that makes a hard or soft case solution somewhat troublesome.

Tabs for suspending the unit might "suggest" that you should put a nice PortaBrace style strap on it. I don't think that Panasonic wants the interrupt mode disabled, so any hanging mechanism is effectively out.

I like the operation of the P2Store, but was really frustrated with having to eject the cards prior to formatting them after each copy. The power button trick has aleviated this annoyance.

I think two P2Stores set to Verify and three 4GB cards constitutes the perfect shooting package for almost any situation. Fill one Store and then continue shooting to the second until the end of the day.

Otherwise, you'll need a clapper-loader position created for each camera under almost any serious shooting scenario. For documentary and reality, the "creation" of this unique camera crew position is a necessity.

e

DCERVENKA
04-24-2006, 03:16 PM
great review.

but why only 60 GB...? With the current rinky dink storage size of the P2 cards it would be nice to have at least 120+GB..

rgbuser
05-06-2006, 09:21 AM
This is my first posting (ever), so forgive if I blunder into any ethical bushes. Thanks to all contributors to this forum: I've found it very helpful, so wish to return thanks with some info.

Thanks to Jarred for a well-rounded review of the P2 Store. I've just taken delivery of my unit and offer some comments particularly for Forum members who are Mac users, but some general pointers too. I’ve only just received it, so these are pretty much first impressions but I hope you find them useful.

Firstly, it is true that the numerous safety features get in the way of smooth operation, but Panasonic’s attention to safety and prevention of inadvertent error in a production environment is the right priority, IHM. For example, I too was disappointed to discover there is no way to carry the P2 Store over the shoulder but on reflection I see it makes sense to force us to do the copying on a stable surface - even if it's only the ground. So not only does the motion sensor cut in to prevent copying on the move, the lack of attachment for a shoulder sling doesn’t even let us go there.

This production-centred conservatism also explains (to me) why we have only a 60GB platter: it is far more reliable than the 100GB, 120GB platters out there.

A little whine to Panasonic from me: it is laughable for the instruction book to suggest that a battery for the P2 Store is ‘optional’. For an expensive production tool to ship without a battery or even power adaptor is plain mean-minded whichever way I look at it. I humbly suggest to Panasonic that it should always ship a small battery with the unit. It is safe to assume that a buyer will have a battery charger, but no reason at all to assume that we’d use one of our camera batteries for the unit – especially as it needs only the smaller ones, 2800 mAh or so.

Another request to Panasonic: let’s have a Mac OS version of P2 Store Manager, please? Not everyone can afford HDLog Gold ($799), and even then, we still can’t access the disk utilities.

Back to business. The P2 Store to computer interface is USB 2.0, not plain USB. For Mac users, as Jarred points out, it must be hard-set to be Mac compliant. (Hold those three buttons – Cancel, Battery Level + HD capacity for at least 5 sec: Cancel is hard to press deep enough). But that is not all. You need to install the P2 reader utility which comes with the unit. If you try to mount the P2 Store before installing the utility, the volume will show up as unreadable, and you are invited to initialize or eject. DO NOT INITIALIZE, whatever you do. (This destroys the partitioning which helps to keep the unit working rapidly, as it minimises fragmentation.)

Even after installing the P2 reader the P2 Store does not mount on Mac OS 10 in the normal way. As it is write-protected, you cannot copy anything to it. So if there is no data on the P2 Store, it will not mount on the desk-top at all: your OS will warn you of an unreadable disc and invite you to ignore or eject. (Notice the warning is not the standard OS warning panel – and that it does not offer you to initialize.) When you have data on the P2 Store, the unit mounts as a volume. You can then copy - drag the folder – which carries not only the video but the sound, key frame and other stuff – to your hard disk. I found it was a little picky at first about copying to a non-boot disk, but after a few tries there has been no repetition of the problem. Speeds are up to what I’d expect for USB 2.0. It’s worth noting the drive will mount and copy to USB too (my old G4) – though of course that takes many times longer.

Back to the production-centred safety features: almost every feature needs you to press a button for two or more seconds. This slows down operation, but you can see the sense of it. Naturally, formatting the card is rather involved: hold the P2C button down until the LEDs respond, then press another within 2 secs - and I mean 2 sec, if any longer, you have to start over again.

Strictly speaking the drive is not formatted (even though the instruction book calls it that) because you do not touch a hair of the partitions, but during 'formatting', data is removed from the disk. You start to get the idea that the P2 Store is no ordinary hard-disk but has a lot of hard-wired or firmware features intervening you and that spinning platter – which, after all, is probably only a soak-tested 60GB HDD costing Panasonic less than a hundred dollars.

I’m looking forward to using the P2 Store on a shoot next week – I’m sure it’ll pay for itself in the long run – if only in saved time - no more digitizing, rewinding, loading tape (whoopee!). And it’s a revelation to have near-instant start up when filming. So, what will happen when directors lose that little moment of communion with the DP when one shouts ‘Camera!’ and waits for the reply ‘Speed!’ before ordering ‘Action!’?

Have fun!
rgbUSER

Jarred Land
05-18-2006, 09:20 AM
welcome Robuser, thats one hell of a first post :)

lpcvideo1
05-18-2006, 10:28 AM
(I think it's "rgbuser"--the underline blots out the tail of the "g".) Great post!

Jarred Land
05-18-2006, 10:31 AM
I like Robuser better :) ha ha ha

workaholic
05-20-2006, 10:57 PM
This production-centred conservatism also explains (to me) why we have only a 60GB platter: it is far more reliable than the 100GB, 120GB platters out there.

I don't understand. Why is a 60GB far more reliable than a 100GB drive?

Jarred Land
05-23-2006, 02:26 AM
because 60gb are only one platter.

Inventive_Dave
05-23-2006, 11:17 PM
Hi everyone. Thanks for the review (month later, sorry). And thanks for all the thoughtful responses. I just got my Store today and l o v e the way it's built. Everything should be built like that. Operationally I haven't had much time to play with it yet, but all the info here will help soften my learning curve. Right off the bat, though, I have to second rgbuser's plea: PLEASE Panasonic, offer some Mac software support.
--Dave

KS_Rockstar
05-28-2006, 01:27 AM
errrr...... i thought i made a post here reviewing the p2.... did it get moved or deleted??

Drew599
06-03-2006, 02:10 AM
Jarred, how did you find out about the MAC to PC or vice versa steps. I ask because they aren't in the manule.

Jarred Land
06-03-2006, 02:15 AM
I am a ninja :)

cinemakinoeye
06-03-2006, 07:14 AM
[...] MAC to PC or vice versa steps [...] aren't in the manule. The Mac/PC thing is documented in a separate "addendum" that Panasonic printed after the manual went to press that your rental house (or dealer you purchase it from) should have given you if they are on the ball. It's also documented here: https://eww.pavc.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/support/cs/csregistp2m/ep2main/faq/p2store_operation_guide.pdf

monolith
06-03-2006, 11:08 AM
Dumping the store after a shoot, my director made a good point about P2 Store offloading vs. digitising - at least you get to walk away from digitising, whereas partition by partition P2 Store offload requires 30 seconds of work every 12 minutes.

Don't get me wrong - I will never voluntarily work with tape again. However I had hoped that basically the files would be ready to cut with as soon as I stopped recording them (which has gotta be coming, yeah? FCP vs .xmf? No contest....)

So Panasonic, Apple, Anders, FCP people - whoever! Please, for the love of all that's good - give me some tool, some program, some ingeniously spun code with which to automate my P2 Store offload! (And I second, third and fourth every single post on this forum begging for a Mac-happy P2 viewer.)

Otherwise, it's pretty tip-top.

Drew599
06-03-2006, 02:15 PM
Cinemakinoeye, thanks for the PDF. B&H didn't send this with the P2 Store.

meddesigner
06-05-2006, 10:30 AM
I am unable to get my P2 Store to go into Mac Mode as show in the above mentioned book. Could it need a Firmware update?

meddesigner
06-05-2006, 11:01 AM
Figured it out. Working now.

I tried to change modes without it being plugged into the Mac. Also it appears a Orange USB light means it is set to work with the Mac

rergam
06-28-2006, 12:02 PM
After checking many sources I followed this procedure and the p2 capture worked, Other sources say that the third button is the start which is wrong.

Jarred got it right: the third button is "cancel"

thanks
Rergam

Jarred Land
06-28-2006, 09:34 PM
yeah.. i found it out by trial and error.. the other instructions were wrong.

lpcvideo1
06-29-2006, 09:30 AM
So Panasonic, Apple, Anders, FCP people - whoever! Please, for the love of all that's good - give me some tool, some program, some ingeniously spun code with which to automate my P2 Store offload! (And I second, third and fourth every single post on this forum begging for a Mac-happy P2 viewer.)

Otherwise, it's pretty tip-top.


Amen, and amen. I love it, but look forward to loving it more!

rfxs
07-07-2006, 11:20 PM
So I have a question. My P2 store just showed up in the mail and there is some documentation about how to keep it happy (i.e. P2 store manager checks) once a week.
I was wondering if I could just use a disk utlity program to do a surface scan while it is connected to my mac. You can see all the partitions using the disk utlity and while they won't mount unless there is info. on them, a utlity like Tech Tools can at least see if all is well.

sarah staar
09-14-2006, 02:15 PM
Porta Brace C-P2STOR Hard Disc Drive Carrying Case

an easy way to Cary it on location
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=details_accessories&A=details&Q=&sku=427133&is=REG&addedTroughType=accessory_detail&addedTroughValue=413447_REG

anyone tyred to upgrade the p2 stors hard drive to a bigger one....

meat
11-28-2006, 08:44 AM
This is great and all ... but what about us guys who thought we were smart waiting for the Intel Macbook Pro? We don't have the slot for the P2 cards, and the P2 Store doesn't work with the new hardware (you can see the P2 card in the slot of the P2 Store but you can't access the hard drive).

What about us?

I went to the DV Expo in L.A. and talked to the Panasonic guys, and they didn't have a clue (but they did want to sell me a new $27K camera!), neither did the tech guy who helped design the P2 Store software.

Your pal,
Meat.

Patrick Forestell
01-09-2007, 10:29 AM
I got my P2 AJ-pcs060 used and it came of course without any battery or power-supply.. I guess that is because Panasonic figured the user of this HD would be using a DVX that uses th same battery and charger and the P2 Store adaptor would allow the P2 Store to run of the DVX battery charger.

But I don't have a DVX camera.

so I have been checking Ebay and they are a few dealers selling non OEM batteries that they claim will work with the DVX. I am curious, has anyone used any of these Ebay batteries for the P2 Store HD ?

Thanks,

Patrick

David Cape
01-16-2007, 11:03 AM
I read your review with great interest. I have checked the offload etc, times pretty carefully and the following is what I found and may be of interest:

Redording format: DVC PROHD 720P/24PN
P2 Card: 8 Gb
Verify switch: on

Offload time to P2 Store: 13 minutes
P2 Store Capacity: 7 Cards
HVX Recording time 8 Gb card: 20 minutes

Comments
1) With 20 minurtes shooting time and 13 minutes offload time you have to move a little too fast.
2) Steps 2 & 3 in the Operating Manual seem straight forward enough, but I fail to execute a format in 2/5 cases - it has to be repeated a few times! - not great.

Thank you for your interesting article.

David.

francis2
04-21-2008, 12:24 AM
Thanks, Jarred and All! Very helpful and timely thread, review, pdf addendum et al.

OK, here's a live event scenario to sort for our 60gb hero. Going to a MAC probably several times daily for a quick 10-day turnaround in FCP for editorial and delivery..

Wondering if 4 HVX-200s shooting a three-day event will be possible on a single P2 store, shooting Standard Def 30P anamorphic, or whether I'll need to go with a 2nd or 3rd P2 Store. Will try to go without the verify step, and will be looking for that P2 reader utility for a MAC Pro ingest (dual-quad, 4 GB RAM). Shooting a minimum of 4 hours each per cam daily is about 1000 minutes - looks like a lot of dumping for one P2 Store tech, cam assistant.

Two P2 Stores and two techs maybe? Still sorting it all. Any tips much appreciated.

Thanks again.

M620Dark
04-26-2008, 05:25 AM
With 64gig P2 cards on the way, it pretty much makes P2store unusable then?

Paul Hudson
04-26-2008, 06:06 AM
Thanks Jared for the article. Now my 2 cents on the p2 store.

It is overpriced, under capacity, average quality, slow, and does not play well with a Mac.

I mean, come on people maybe I'm wrong, but this thing is a $1300 card reader and harddrive! I have had one for a year now and it collects while I use an older Power Book and a portable firewire 800 drive to download my media. I find this solution to be a far better solution to downloading in the field.

Anyone want to buy a slightly used and much loved P2 store (LOL)?

TimurCivan
04-26-2008, 07:35 AM
umm yes!

i'll take it....



Thanks Jared for the article. Now my 2 cents on the p2 store.

It is overpriced, under capacity, average quality, slow, and does not play well with a Mac.

I mean, come on people maybe I'm wrong, but this thing is a $1300 card reader and harddrive! I have had one for a year now and it collects while I use an older Power Book and a portable firewire 800 drive to download my media. I find this solution to be a far better solution to downloading in the field.

Anyone want to buy a slightly used and much loved P2 store (LOL)?

n8ture
04-26-2008, 07:15 PM
I love my P2 Store.
Much better to take it in my camera bag for long hikes than lugging my laptop and potable hard drives.

Jan_Crittenden
04-27-2008, 06:18 AM
Thanks, Jarred and All! Very helpful and timely thread, review, pdf addendum et al.

OK, here's a live event scenario to sort for our 60gb hero. Going to a MAC probably several times daily for a quick 10-day turnaround in FCP for editorial and delivery..


I would recommend a single P2 Gear and USB pocet drives. Will cost you about the same as the 2 P2 Stores and your capacity will be whatever you can hold on the USB Drives. If you have electricity available during your shoot you may even want to consider a Weibetech Silver Sata II, Make it into a Raid 1 Mirror and then you have your back up and the copy done in the same amount of time. The P2 Gear will host this set of drives but cnnot power it like it does the smaller pocket drives. However it s pretty slick that when all done, you can then hook to the computer via Firewire 800 or... Ready to edit. Add Raylight for the ingest and edit to the timeline and if you have done any metadata to presort the hours of footage you can actually start your edit being totally organized as to which footage is which.

Hope this helps,

Jan

Erik Olson
04-27-2008, 08:06 AM
Jan,

There isn't really anything that has taken the place of the P2Store. While there are plenty of viewer and editor products, like the HPM110, there hasn't been a straight reader/HDD product since the P2Store. And no upgrades.

There is no upgrade path for the P2Store, yet Panasonic continues to market it as a field recording solution. How does this make sense when card sizes have nearly surpassed the total capacity of the P2Store? Perhaps we should get a lower cost per GB 8GB card - say $200 a piece? That's $25/GB instead of the ~$50GB we're paying for 16 and 32.

Conversely, I would love to see a P2Store size device with hot-swappable 2.5" drives.

e

d.w.vaughn
04-27-2008, 08:08 AM
I had not used my P2 Store for a few months and used it yesterday. I am unable to copy files from the Store to my PC. Details: I reformated the P2 Store before shooting video with my HVX-200. For three 8GB cards I placed each in the Store and pushed the START button for a few seconds. It took some time (maybe 10 minutes) as the progress bars moved to include 100% and stopped flashing. I then ejected the card, reinserted the card and formatted the P2 card. The P2 Store was switched to verify. It all seemed to go per usual. Connected to my PC, the USB light is green and 8 drives appear in Windows Explore (though pop up windows asking what I wanted to do for each drive do not appear as they have in the past; this seems important). When I select each drive in Windows Explore, I get a window that asks me if I want to format the drive. If I place a P2 card in the Store, that card is recognized and I was able to copy those files to my PC. Windows Disk Management recognizes the drives but says there is 3.71GB of free space on each of the 8 drives. There should be 3 cards worth of files on the P2 Store. If not, what did I do wrong? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks. David.

d.w.vaughn
04-27-2008, 08:19 AM
Nevermind. In Windows Disk Management I just noticed 3 unlabeled volumes with 7.25GB on each. I assigned a drive letter to the first and I am now copying those files to my PC hard drive. Perhaps it is related to already having drives through "Z" on my computer. I don't know but I feel better. David.

Jan_Crittenden
04-27-2008, 03:16 PM
There isn't really anything that has taken the place of the P2Store.

Well in a way there is, it is the P2 Gear which can also step in as the P2 Drive, on-location playback and in general a device the has a lot of different applications. And with the P2 Gear, you do get to choose the dirve size you wish and you can had that drive off to a client. To me it only makes sense when looking at the size of the cards and they continue to grow. Shoot I can buy a 160GB Pocket Drive for $110. And when the cards get bigger the pocket dirves will too, so maybe the next one I get is the 250GB drive.


There is no upgrade path for the P2Store, yet Panasonic continues to market it as a field recording solution. How does this make sense when card sizes have nearly surpassed the total capacity of the P2Store? Perhaps we should get a lower cost per GB 8GB card - say $200 a piece? That's $25/GB instead of the ~$50GB we're paying for 16 and 32.

Well it is a field archive solution for those folks that are working with smaller cards, say 8GBs and lower and a lot of news crews are working this way. The initial price for the P2 Card is not relative to the cost per GB equation unless you only record on them once and put them on the shelf. Every time you use them the price per GB goes down. And unlike tape you can lease the cards as they are equipment. That said the 8GB card is coming back but am not sure of the pricing as yet.



Conversely, I would love to see a P2Store size device with hot-swappable 2.5" drives.

I really do not see this happening, but perhaps the engineers have something they are not sharing.


Best regards,

Jan

Barry_Green
04-27-2008, 11:03 PM
That's what the P2 Gear is meant to be. A field offloading solution with interchangeable swappable drives. But instead of being mounted internally, they're mounted externally via USB.

The P2 Gear is what they make, it's the successor to the P2 Store. It's not the same thing, but it is what they offer and it's the direction they've taken. Look at it again. It does everything the P2 Store does, but with cheap interchangeable external hard disks instead of a fixed-capacty size or a risky handling of bare drives (which may be a risk you're comfortable with, but as a manufacturer I bet they're not).