Joe Simon Takes BMX Videos to HDTV

Scroll down to get to the 3 HD BMX samples Joe sent our way.  

Joe Simon is known for being an amazing rider and video maker, and now he’s taken a big step forward in the filming department. Joe invested in a new Panasonic HD camera, and the footage he’s been gathering is unlike anything you’ve seen in BMX videos before. Keep in mind that the videos we have here are compressed for quick loading on the web, but when you see these on your TV screen you will be blown away. We asked Joe a few questions about whey he made the jump to HD, and what it means for making BMX videos. Scroll down to get to the 3 HD BMX samples Joe sent our way.  


What made you move up to the HD camera in the first place? Isn't it a pretty serious investment?
I bought the HD camera for shooting commercials, short films, and documentaries. I figured while I'm at it, why not use it for BMX? HD cameras are expensive, and with the Panasonic you also have to buy the P2 cards so you can record in HD. Along with the camera you have to make sure that your computer and editing software can handle the HD footage, and you have a way to backup everything. But the footage looks amazing and what you have seen is only on the web and not on an HD TV, so you can only imagine.

How did you decide which camera to go with, Panasonic or Sony?
The Panasonic shoots true HD. It’s not HDV like everything else—it records straight to a drive at 100Mbits instead of 25Mbits that HDV does. It also shoots in 24p,30p for the film like look, and shoots in real slo-mo. It’s an amazing camera and shoots in DV, DVCPRO50, and DVCPROHD at 720 or 1080. It’s like the jack of all trades! The Sony’s a toy compared to the Panasonic.

Was there much of a learning curve, or were you up and running right away?
If you are coming from a DVX then you will have a jump-start; it has tons of menu options that take a while to learn. You also have to have the settings right or the picture won't be up to par. You can't just pull this camera out of the bag and press record. I took a class to learn all about the HVX-200 and also read a few books.

How much harder or more time consuming is the HD setup for you? While shooting, logging, editing, etc?
I have two 8-gig cards; they work good for a single day of riding. I have a 120-gig self-powered drive that I take with my laptop so I can transfer footage while on the road. Since you're recording to a drive the transfer to your computer is very fast. All the clips are already separated and you can mark the good ones and erase the rest. As long as you have a fast computer the basic editing is real time, but if your system is a few years old you might spend days rendering.

Are there times when that camera isn't ideal for BMX, or is that your go-to camera now?
This camera is bad in low light, and you have to have a generator setup for nighttime shooting. This is the camera I use for all my BMX shooting now. When I watch stuff off my VX it just doesn't look good anymore.

The quality of the promos from that camera are amazing. With technology moving so fast, what's coming next?
I think the prices on everything will drop in the next few years and new cameras will be coming out that will be unbelievable. They already have a camera coming out for $20,000 that is supposed to be better then all the $100,000-up HD cameras. I can't wait! Also, the new Mutiny video coming out in the Spring will be shot in HD using this camera. It will be available in SD DVDs as well as HD-DVDs.

 Joe Simon Takes BMX Videos to HDTV 9th Street Halloween Jam (Rated PG-13)
 Photo Joe Simon Shadow commercial
 Photo Joe Simon Mutiny commercial

Watch the Mutiny website for more HD videos—Joe is not messing around. 

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