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Old November 30th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #1
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Panasonic AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD Camcorder

Panasonic AJ-HPX2000.

- Scheduled for release January 2007 with an estimated price of US$27,000.
- Avid & Apple will both be supporting the AVC-Intra format.
- 100 Mbps is 10-bit, 4:2:2, 1920x1080i/p, 1280x720p
- 50 Mbps halves the amount of storage space needed.
- Supports 720/60p and 1080/30p
- Five P2 slots
- The AVC-Intra feature comes as an add-in board for the camcorder, scheduled for Summer 2007
- The AVC Intra board can also be installed in the AJ-HPM100 P2 HD mobile field recorder & editing bay.


Thank you once again to Chris Hurd, and to Pat Lamb, Stacy Moore and Panasonic for hosting a great presentation here in NYC.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #2
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So what's the quick-and-dirty on why this is $8,000 better than the SPX800?
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Old December 1st, 2006, 12:33 AM   #3
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Mainly, the AVC-Intra format in HD 1080/720

Panasonic is promoting the 100 Mbps AVC-Intra mode as comparable to D-5 HD video quality, which is their higher end HD format. One of the senior Panasonic people at the press event today pointed out that at 100 Mbps the cam was pushing the limits of the glass and chips. My understanding is that 50 Mbps competes more directly with XDCam.

Panasonic also pointed out that Intra frame formats were much more robust than MPEG-2/Long GOP formats, I believe the phrase was "Too Da Loo" MPEG-2! They had a side by side example showing the the degradation of 50 Mbps AVC-Intra over 35 Mbps MPEG-2 after 5 generations. The main difference I saw was higher degradation of the MPEG-2 motion artifacts and detailed subject matter.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 12:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
They had a side by side example showing the the degradation of 50 Mbps AVC-Intra over 35 Mbps MPEG-2 after 5 generations. The main difference I saw was higher degradation of the MPEG-2 motion artifacts and detailed subject matter.
One of the forgone conclusions of investing in XDCAM HD for me personally, was that I'd never be able to deliver twice compressed XDCAM HD.

First generation looks great. Second I can tell. Third is not something I'd want to put out. The lay viewer probably wouldn't know, but sharp eyes would see it pretty quick.

The good news is that it doesn't matter. It's easy enough to work native until output, then re-render everything to uncompressed.

So the comparison of 50mbs Intra and XDCAM HD sounds pretty reasonable, and that 100 would be superior sounds about right also.

As long as HDCAM and D5 remain the HD delivery formats of choice, it's all good.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 05:58 AM   #5
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In the first generation, how did the 1080i compare at 50mbs/s viewed and a big screen cinema field of view (equivalent 60inch at 3 - 6 feet)?

I fear that the HVX200 replacement will be restricted to 50MB/s and will suffer under noise and complex scenes.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 10:16 AM   #6
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They didn't specify the format of the 1st generation footage they displayed, nor did they have a side by side comparison for it. But as usual at these presentations the footage was near perfect. My personal opinion is that the audience would have been hard pressed to tell the difference between 1st generation footage at this level of camera without the proper signal monitoring equipment. My nose was already right up against the HD monitor in order to appreciate the differences between the 50 Mbps / 35 Mbps footage at 5 generations.

But I was impressed with the type footage they showed us. Panasonic Broadcast was not shy about sending this camera out into New York City and letting the ENG camera operator put it through it's paces. They were more interested in showing us how well this camera shines under the worst conditions they could throw at it. They boldly displayed night&day, indoor&outdoor NYC footage with lots of handheld camera moves and detailed subect movement typical of ENG work.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 10:23 AM   #7
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One thing of note, Panasonic and Apple pointed out that the AVC-I/H.264 format is very scalable from iPods up to the HD applications. To showcase this, they had 1st generation native 50 Mbps footage running very, very smoothly on an inexpensive US$1,000 laptop computer.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
I fear that the HVX200 replacement will be restricted to 50MB/s and will suffer under noise and complex scenes.
From the low light/heavy movement footage I saw I don't think this is a major concern even at 50 Mbps. The types of imaging chips and glass Panasonic decides to use will probably have a much more significant impact on the final image.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Gribble
So what's the quick-and-dirty on why this is $8,000 better than the SPX800?
SPX is standard-def, DVCPRO50 and DV only. HPX is high-def at 1080 and 720.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 11:24 AM   #10
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System cost

This is all good info - thank you Michael!

What I think is worth pointing out, especially for those who aren't familiar with HD-spec 2/3" inch equipment, is that while this body may be just under $30k a fully configured camera with 1 lens, batts etc puts this system cost around $60 or more depending on the lens you start out with.

For example: A good HD-spec lens (Canon, Fujinon) starts out at around $18k and can climb to around $70k for an ultra-long telephoto.

The good news is, that if you're already shooting with Varicam equipment you can take those super HD lenses and mount them to either this or the upcoming HPX500 (model?) and make a very cost-effective migration to the P2 format.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
From the low light/heavy movement footage I saw I don't think this is a major concern even at 50 Mbps. The types of imaging chips and glass Panasonic decides to use will probably have a much more significant impact on the final image.
I think the HVX200 replacement will have more noise and worse standard glass compared to this camera. If they can pull it off great, if it is only the quality of DVCPROHD at 50mb/s, it is not what I am looking for.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 08:35 PM   #12
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It’s good that Panasonic is offering 100MBPS that a lot of people were hoping for but why wouldn’t they use a sampling rate of 4:4:4? I thought it can easily be done using at least 80MBPS of AVC intra. Would it make the camcorder a lot more expensive?
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 09:45 PM   #13
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Hmmm, $10k more than RED...
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 10:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira
... why wouldn’t they use a sampling rate of 4:4:4? I thought it can easily be done using at least 80MBPS of AVC intra. Would it make the camcorder a lot more expensive?
My guess is that Panasonic Broadcast designed the HPX2000 for the ENG market and made a compromise to give them ease of use, speed, and compatibility over exceptional image quality in post. Obviously you could use this camcorder for anything you want, but the HPX2000 is a different animal from a filmmaking camera like RED or even the Panasonic Varicam. Though who knows what the future holds, the Varicam dropped in price from US$65,000 to US$45,000, so they're relatively close for their price ranges. Though I think most ENG camera people would pick the the HPX2000 over a camera designed for filmmaking, and vice versa for filmmaking folks.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:20 AM   #15
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Check out www.p2info.net for some additional info.

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