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Old April 11th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #1
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new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

Today Panasonic announced a series of new cameras. Among them is the successor to the outdated HPX170 - the HPX250.

Here is the press release:

LAS VEGAS, NV (April 10, 2011) – Panasonic Solutions Company today sets a new standard for video quality in mobile HD acquisition with the introduction of the AG-HPX250, a P2 HD handheld camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, full 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording.

“The AVC-Intra codec is highly prized for the stunning, master-quality 10-bit, 4:2:2 sampled, independent frame images it produces,” said Joseph Facchini, Vice President of Sales and Product Management, Panasonic Solutions Company. ”Now for the first time with the HPX250, Panasonic offers an ultra-portable handheld camera with full-resolution, 10-bit, intra-frame recording in a one-piece unit without the need for an add-on recorder. This is an unprecedented level of image quality in a lightweight camera.”

Weighing 5.5 pounds, the HPX250 incorporates high-sensitivity 1/3”, full-HD 2.2 megapixel 3-MOS imagers and a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor to acquire native 1920 x 1080 resolution images.

Offering a wide 28mm to 588mm (35mm equivalent) 21X HD lens with 3 independent adjustable rings, the HPX250 covers most shooting situations without the need for a wide-angle conversion lens. The 21X lens also features an Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) function that ensures stable images during shooting.

The HPX250 offers variable frame rate capability in 1080p up to 30fps as well as 720p up to 60fps for undercranking/overcranking to create fast or slow-motion effects.

In addition to AVC-Intra 100/50 recording, the HPX250 records in DVCPRO HD, as well as standard definition recording in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV. The HPX250 supports international HD and SD standards, an added benefit to producers with global clients. In AVC-Intra 100/50 and DVCPRO HD, it records in 1080 at 59.94i, 29.97pN, 23.98pN, 50i and 25pN and in 720p at 23.98pN, 29.97pN, 59.94p, 50p and 25pN. In DVCPRO50/25 and DV, it records in 480 at 59.94i, 29.97p, 23.98p, 23.98pA, and in 576 at 50i and 25p over 50i.

The HPX250 offers Genlock/timecode input for multi-camera operation, as well as an HD-SDI output, an HDMI output, and an IEEE 1394 in/out. The camcorder is equipped with a Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS)* function to help compensate for wide variations in lighting, a waveform monitor and vector scope display, and two focus assist functions – a picture expanding function and a focus bar.

Equipped with two P2 card slots, the HPX250 can record for up to 320 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 at 720/24pN, 160 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 1080/24pN and 128 minutes in other AVC-Intra 100 or

DVCPRO HD formats on two 64GB cards. In AVC-Intra 50, the recording time is twice that as AVC-Intra 100.

The P2 HD handheld offers all the benefits of a faster, file-based P2 HD workflow including such recording features as instant recording startup, clip thumbnail view for immediate access to video content on all cards, and a host of time-saving recording modes including continuous recording, card slot selection, hot swapping, loop, pre-record (three seconds in HD and seven seconds in SD), one-shot and interval recording. The camcorder also features an SD memory card slot for saving or loading scene files and user settings.

For easy HD viewing, the camera is equipped with a widescreen 1,226,000-pixel LCOS color viewfinder and a widescreen 921,000-pixel 3.45-inch LCD color monitor. Its power consumption is low at only 17 watts.

The HPX250 will be available in Fall 2011 at a suggested list price of less than $6,500. It is backed by a five-year limited warranty program (1 year + 4 additional years with registration).
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Old April 11th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #2
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

Panasonic NAB 2011 Show - Professional Video Solutions for the Real World
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Old April 11th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #3
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

Lots of new announcements on that link Les! This bit interests me (but I have not heard what Apple's are going to say about the new FCS yet)...

Panasonic Solutions Company is introducing AVCCAM Importer software, a QuickTime plug-in that eliminates the need to convert AVCHD files to ProRES422 files before editing in Final Cut Pro.
AVCCAM Importer is a software plug-in for Apple Final Cut Pro to enable direct editing of an AVCHD “.mts” file without conversion. Since AVCCAM Importer is a plug-in component for Apple QuickTime, QuickTime Player can play an “.mts” file directly after installation of AVCCAM Importer on a MAC.
The AVCCAM Importer will be available this summer as a free download from the Panasonic web site.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #4
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

It's the 370, except more compact.

Still, same rolling shutter issue is going to plague this camera carried over from the 370. Wouldn't be surprised to see extreme skewing in 1080p24N.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

I think rolling shutter is something everybody is just going to have to get used to unless you want to be behind the times in terms of gear. CCD seems to quickly be becoming a thing of the past and many high end cameras now use CMOS including Red. Most of us complain about CMOS while some of the world's highest productions are being shot on CMOS. Yes I know it isn't perfect and it has it's limitations but I just don't see many companies using CCD very much anymore. In fact I would be really surprised if anybody makes a CCD camera anymore.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

Thx for the link, the AG-AC130/160 certainly look like hmc151 replacements, very interesting.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

"Weighing 5.5 pounds, the HPX250 incorporates high-sensitivity 1/3”, full-HD 2.2 megapixel 3-MOS imagers and a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor to acquire native 1920 x 1080 resolution images."

Well, I'm a bit surprised that this camera - or any new semipro cam - would still have a 1/3" chipset.... 4:2:2 is nice though.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
CCD seems to quickly be becoming a thing of the past and many high end cameras now use CMOS including Red.....In fact I would be really surprised if anybody makes a CCD camera anymore.
What about the new HPX3100 or the also new PDW500!? There is nothing wrong with CCDs. They are more expensive to produce that's all. They also generate more heat and consume more power. Don't compare old CCD cameras to new CMOS cameras. Rather compare new CCDs with new CMOS cameras.

Anyway I to think that CCDs are slowly moving away from the market. The only cams that will be using CCDs in the foreseeable future in my opinion are ENG type cameras. As far as I understand it: 1/3 is to small for 1080p and 4/3 and up are to expensive to make (for a competitive product) and would probably produce lots and lots of heat and consume lots of power. 2/3 seems to hit the spot with CCDs...
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Old April 11th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post
Well, I'm a bit surprised that this camera - or any new semipro cam - would still have a 1/3" chipset.... 4:2:2 is nice though.
Why not? Bigger chip means a bigger camera - if you want to have a nice long zoom lens attached to it that is... And there's also the SDOF with the bigger chips. SDOF isn't welcomed always.

I don't know...can a handy-cam stile camera even be made with a large sensor (4/3 and up)?
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Old April 11th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

I was happy to read this announcement. It looks like Panasonic will continue to offer one of the better cameras (if not the best camera) for hand-held / verite-style documentary shooting in this price range. The HPX250 looks like a worthy replacement for the HPX170 (which I love both in terms of ergonomics and image quality) with welcome upgrades like full HD imaging and the AVCHD-Intra codec. The aperture ring on the lens is a welcome improvement too! For hand-held shooting (especially since I like to pan and move in my shots) I welcome the added depth of field of the 1/3" chips and the lack of rolling shutter-effect thanks to the use of CCD technology. D-SLR and large chip cameras have their place, I love shallow depth of field for many things, but when it comes to hand-held documentary work I like what the 3-1/3" CCD HPX170 provides me (and soon the HPX250) as a very capable tool in the toolkit.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #11
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

David, sorry if I have mis-read your message but the HPX-250 has CMOS chips, not CCD chips.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #12
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

[QUOTE=Sanjin Svajger;1637627I don't know...can a handy-cam stile camera even be made with a large sensor (4/3 and up)?[/QUOTE]

Yes. 4/3 and Super 35 chips. But they are only single chip camcorders. Do we really need 3 chips? Way back when, 3 chip cameras delivered very obvious color and image quality advantages over single chip cameras. Is that still the case now? I know my latest single chip DSLR delivers amazing color and IQ.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #13
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

Yes but it won't deliver very high resolution like a 3 chip cam can...
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Old April 11th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #14
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

... but the RED MX and EPIC deliver very high resolution with a single chip. The dSLRs can't because they have optical filters designed for still and video, both. A compromise follows on video. A single chip camera optimized for video could shine.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #15
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Re: new camera: Panasonic AG-HPX250

I saw this camera in the display case today. It has a noticable lower profile. Especially compared to the tall XF300.
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