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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #1
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HPX-2000 vs. HPX-500

I tried to search past threads on this but I couldn't find anything devoted to these two cameras. However, I'd like to start the thread because I personally would like to see which way people are leaning, why, and what each camera has to offer. Is the 2000 worth the healthy price difference? The Panasonic/broadcast page doesn't answer all the specs questions I would like to see. With that said... can someone clarify the difference between 1080/24p (500), and 1080/23.98 (2000)? Lastly... I see package prices on the 500 but not the 2000. Any listings on packages (lens, 2x extender, 16GB cards)?

I'd like to hear your thoughts, Please compare the two... Not necessarily which has the better specs, but which you believe is to be the better bang for the buck and anything else you know. Thanks.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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...also, has anyone seen the difference in video quality with these:
HPX-2000 shot on Intra vs. HPX-500 at full DVC PRO-HD?
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Old August 9th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #3
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Dan,

The two cameras, while both P2 based, are really designed to two different markets and shooting strategies. The 500 is the "big brother" to the HVX200 in that it's the "little Varicam" in both functionality and output.

The 2000 is more of an ENG rig, it has a wireless receiver built-in, Digital Super-Zoom and Super-Gain that the 500 does not and is a native HD 1MP imager, whereas the 500 is an SD chipset using spatial-offset to get HD resolution, just like the HVX200 does. That also means that the 500 has more visible noise than the 2000.

In short, the 500 is the perfect camera for commercial production, indie-film and similar types of projects whereas the 2000 would be more at home in the ENG market, which is was originally intended for.

We are and will be using the 500 exclusively for all our projects going forward unless the project requires film or the functionality that only the *real* Varicam still has.

If you need native HD resolution and ultra-clean imagery than the 2000 is the rig for you, but you won't have VFR, controls over all 4 audio channels and a few other things. But, you'll have Digital Super-Zoom and Super-Gain and a few other image-enhancing technologies that the 500 doesn't have.

One other major difference: The 500 viewfinder is SD only, you cannot mount an HD finder to it. The 2000's finder is HD; for some that one feature alone is the deal-maker/breaker.

If possible, visit one of the P2HD Road-show clinics where we'll be demonstrating the 200, 500 and 2000 cameras. We'll be in St. Louis next week and many other cities from now until mid October. Here's the link to the road-show schedule:

ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/pub/Panasoni...c_Schedule.pdf
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #4
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...well, we're kind of in the middle, in that our bread and butter is producing VNR's for news, but we do quite a bit of production. More production these days. We do corporate videos, commercials, etc. So I need a versatile camera to do it all. Cover spot news... as well as, produce beauty shots for corporate/commercial clients.

Given the info you just gave me, why is the 500 sexier to you in the indie/production game? You said the 2000 has better image, less visible noise, HD viewfinder, super gain, super zoom, etc. I'm just curious... am I to understand that production folks, like yourself, are leaning towards the 500? Or if your budget allowed... would you too go with the 2000?
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Old August 13th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #5
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...well, we're kind of in the middle, in that our bread and butter is producing VNR's for news, but we do quite a bit of production. More production these days. We do corporate videos, commercials, etc. So I need a versatile camera to do it all. Cover spot news... as well as, produce beauty shots for corporate/commercial clients.

Given the info you just gave me, why is the 500 sexier to you in the indie/production game? You said the 2000 has better image, less visible noise, HD viewfinder, super gain, super zoom, etc. I'm just curious... am I to understand that production folks, like yourself, are leaning towards the 500? Or if your budget allowed... would you too go with the 2000?
The 500 is the only P2-based 2/3" inch camera that does VFR; can't live without that because in-camera slo-mo always looks better than in post. Also, super-zoom/gain isn't something I'd ever use for production work, just like I'd never purposely raise gain unless it was the absolute last option. Also, based on the footage I just shot (which I'll post when Chris get's me space on the servers) using the Pro-35 this camera has far greater film-like output capabilities, way beyond what the 200 is capable of, which is what you'd expect from a larger imager.

In good lighting the cleaner image from the 2000 is mostly noticeable in 60i; in 24p the two cams have very similar output, the noise difference between the two isn't night-and-day, but noticeable nonetheless.

It's really not about price at this point, it's about in-camera capabilities. If the 2000 did VFR and gave me 4-channel audio controls I'd be all over it but so far the only 2/3" inch cams that give me what I need are either the 500 or the Varicam. If I were an ENG shooter the 2000 would win hands down simply because I'd never have to worry about being too far away or the lighting being too dark. So until the *real* P2-based Varicam comes around I've built all our productions (that don't require film or deep Varicam functionality) around the 500.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #6
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Robert I appreciate your information. With what we do... I don't think VFR will be an issue. If we were to ever need to slo-mo anything or speed up things, we'd probably just do it in post. I know... doesn't look near as good, but our clients don't know the difference and they aren't dropping insane cash either. So, "in-post" will have to do.

But by weighing out the pros and cons for my application... here is what I figure:

I like the fact that it has the HD viewfinder. I like the fact that I will be able to see a crisp image through the viewfinder. A lot of videographers have complained about focusing troubles with shooting HD... and that a lot of cameras even come with focus assist button to help with the difficulty of focusing. (Do these cameras have focus assist?) I don't know anything about the SD chipset conversion, but it kind of scares me... (is it a big deal?) The Super Gain/Super Zoom for low light and uncontrolable news shooting situations will come in handy. Wireless receiver built in... major bonus!

I guess it all comes down to... do I need variable frame rates? As long as it shoots at variable fps, I will get different looks for different clients. 1080/60i for news delivery, and 1080/24p for our production clients.

If you were me, would you go with the 2000?
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Old August 13th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #7
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If you were me, would you go with the 2000?
That's impossible to say because there are too many other variables; budget requirements, what lenses you intend to purchase etc. Unless the wealth of what you shoot is ENG in nature I'd be hard-pressed to recommend the 2000 vs. the 500.

Remember that the 2000 will require good glass to get decent results; the 500 really comes alive with HD-spec zooms or primes so you could use the extra $$ required to get the 2000 body and instead use it for some nice lenses. However, the 500 has the lesser-expensive CAC lenses built for it which results in amazingly good imagery considering the price of the glass.

Unfortunately you're too much on the edge between both cameras for me to make a solid recommendation either way. I'd say it should come down to your own comfort level with the features and, whether or not you've really got the budget to support what the 2000 will require in good glass.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #8
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As for glass, we won't be shooting anything at the level of needing any prime film-style lenses. But a great lens... none the less will be mandatory.

Any recommendations on HD lenses for the 2000? Prices? I know that the 500 comes with a few package options... how about the 2000?
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Old August 13th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #9
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...by the way, will the P2 HD Clinics be coming to Florida? I would love to come check it out.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 07:14 PM   #10
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I don't have any recommendations unfortunately since all the glass I own is either film or digi-primes. I don't own and generally don't use any ENG-style zooms.

As far as road-shows, check the link I posted earlier to the Panny schedule. I'm at the locations west of the Mississippi and other consultants are handling the east coast.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #11
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I'm curious about the noise difference. The biggest weakness of the HVX is noise and light sensitivity.
Is the HPX any better in these regards than the HVX?
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Old August 13th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #12
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I'm curious about the noise difference. The biggest weakness of the HVX is noise and light sensitivity.
Is the HPX any better in these regards than the HVX?
Far better.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #13
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Robert, I should have been more specific as the 2000 and 500 are both HPX's -
Is the HPX500 quieter and more sensitive than the HVX? How does it compare to the 2000 on those fronts?

- Lenny
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:00 AM   #14
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It's impossible to relate the differences succinctly without direct-scene comparisons to show; suffice it to say the 500 is less noisy, is about 2-2 1/2 stops more sensitive and has more detail/color information than the 200; the 2000 is better still than the 500.

Until someone does a direct-scene comparo with screen grabs (I might be able to do this in the near future) it's going to be difficult to make any substantial comparisons.

Think of it this way; the 500 is a significant jump in quality over the 200; jump again with the 2000.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #15
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I tested the 500 at 1.5 to 2 stops faster than the HVX200. It's about the same sensitivity as the 2000.

As far as noise, it's a little better but not dramatically so. The 2000 is a lot quieter than the 500.
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