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Old November 2nd, 2007, 10:13 PM   #1
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Why save $10,000 by getting the HPX500?

So a Panasonic HPX500 with lens and P2 cards comes out to be about $25,000 on B&H, but a RED camera with everything comes out to be $35,000.

If you are going to be throwing down that much cash for a camera, why wouldn't you just go all out and get the end-all-be-all camera that shoots 4K and does 4:4:4?

I want to be practical by considering the HPX500, but with that much money going toward just ONE camera, it doesn't make sense to me that we shouldn't spend that money on something that will be around for a LONG time. In 10 years, we may be using 2K or even 4K stuff and not even want to fool with 1080HD.

Am I missing something?
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 11:24 PM   #2
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In 10 years, we may be using 2K or even 4K stuff and not even want to fool with 1080HD.

Am I missing something?
I would worry about what formats you might be using in 10 years, "In 10 years". The Red will be replaced long before that.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 12:31 AM   #3
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For one, you can get your hands on an HPX-500. :)

Seriously, there are lots of reasons why the HPX-500 might be the better choice. In 10 years, everyone will be using a different camera - video cameras don't have that long of a serviceable life. I still think that the manufacturing delays which have plagued the Red One's widespread release with all the promised features working was pretty predictable. It's a great proof-of-concept camera, way ahead of its time. Maybe not the right camera decision for all business, though.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 08:36 AM   #4
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Do you need a red? Have you thought about the cost associated with editing and putting the work flow together?

If you have work and need a camera now then the obvious choice would be the 500. You can buy one today, shoot, edit, and hand the finished project over. Can you do that right this moment with a Red? Eventually yes, but if you need it now that is not going to help you.

BTW, stop figuring in the cost of the glass as you look forward. Buy good glass, it is an investment. You will be able to put it on your next camera. Look at the cameras and make your choice from there.

K
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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Well the HPX500, indeed, you can buy it NOW if you need it NOW.
And it has more deph of field, and has a very ENG-look - I mean the camera, not the images, so very good for people who want to shoot ENG...

But with RED you indeed have a 4K, 35mm DOF, more future proof, probably more dynamic range, more options,...
And I don't think it's so difficult workflow for RED...
You can edit in 1080p or DV proxies, output to DV, 1080p, 2K, 4K,... options!
Cheaper media options too...

And it seems the RED glass is pretty good...

Everybody knows the price of a RED is a revolution in itself.
But if you reserve one now, you'll probably have it around the summer of 2008...
But then all the postproduction bugs will be mostly gone, full support in FCP, ...

I think you have to make your decision based on your NEEDS, your budget, and what do you intent to do with the camera...
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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$35K includes zoom glass? Glass that's good enough not to require CAC? Can't do all my work with primes....
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 05:46 PM   #7
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$35K includes zoom glass? Glass that's good enough not to require CAC? Can't do all my work with primes....
I may be wrong, but I thought CMOS chips like the one in the RED do not require CAC.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 06:05 PM   #8
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I may be wrong, but I thought CMOS chips like the one in the RED do not require CAC.
Of course they'd need it. CAC relates the Chromatic Aberration of the lens (not the type of sensor they use). CA is not an even problem across the picture. To correct it various complex calculations have to be made, depending on the particular model lens.

You can bet RED won't be able to do that straight away. They will have so many other problems to address. The Panasonic is a comparatively very mature product from a very experienced manufacturer.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 06:58 PM   #9
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The main reason to get a 500 over a Red would be: if you need a video camera. The Red isn't a video camera. It's a digital cinema camera, which shoots its own special digital files. It doesn't record NTSC, or PAL, or ATSC video.

(of course, you can post-process your footage to create an NTSC-compatible or ATSC-compatible video file, but that's not quite the same thing). It's a different mindset and a different workflow.

You wouldn't shoot a football game on a Red One. You wouldn't shoot news on a Red One. You wouldn't shoot a wedding on a Red One. You would shoot a feature film or a high-buck television commercial on a Red One. The Red One is a replacement for a motion picture film camera.

In the early days of the Red there was a lot of talk and speculation about how it would shoot every format including 1080 and 720, but as the project developed those things kind of disappeared and it became more focused and honed in on its target market, digital cinema. Of course, there are those of us who believe that it was always, always intended for that market, hence the name of the company (The Red Digital Cinema Camera Company)! :)

So evaluate what your needs are and what you intend to shoot. Comparing the Red against the HPX500 is like comparing a Lamborghini against an SUV. They do different jobs.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #10
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Like everyone else said: The HPX is an ENG camera. It has a lot of features so you can use it for films as well, but its main purpose is to be the first reasonably priced, professional HD ENG camera. Panasonic aims at the ENG (and industrial film) market with its P2 products, they have a whole line of products for P2 so you can use it in a studio environment (like the 19" P2 recorder with jog-shuttle, certainly intended for live-broadcast).
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #11
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The new Panasonic AJ-HPX3000 is anything but industrial or ENG, but it does use P2 for its recording media. It's a veritable Varicam replacement, since it does 1080P along with most everything else the Varicam does.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #12
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The new Panasonic AJ-HPX3000 is anything but industrial or ENG, but it does use P2 for its recording media.
Depends on the kind of industrial film company or type of broadcast work. I know an industrial film company that has been working with DigiBeta for years - something our local tv station could never afford. And our tax-sponsored public television is also very eager to always get the hottest equipment...
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Old November 5th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #13
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It's a veritable Varicam replacement, since it does 1080P along with most everything else the Varicam does.
Except the variable frame rates, which is the Varicam's key claim to fame... the HPX3000 isn't the new Varicam. Someday there'll be a new Varicam, but the 3000 isn't it. The 3000 is more like Panasonic's answer to the Sony F950.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 04:42 PM   #14
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That's one of the truly "Thank You Panasonic" things about the 500.... vari frame rates, in an affordable 2/3" HD cam.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #15
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You wouldn't shoot a football game on a Red One. You wouldn't shoot news on a Red One. You wouldn't shoot a wedding on a Red One. You would shoot a feature film or a high-buck television commercial on a Red One. The Red One is a replacement for a motion picture film camera.

...

So evaluate what your needs are and what you intend to shoot. Comparing the Red against the HPX500 is like comparing a Lamborghini against an SUV. They do different jobs.

This is what I needed to hear. Thank you.
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