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Old February 3rd, 2008, 02:28 PM   #1
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HPX555 versus HPX500?

Hello All! This is my first post.

I have been doing some research on panasonic's AG-HPX500 and I ran into AG-HPX555. What's the difference?

I am really close to making the leap to P2 and I am really attracted to the HPX500. I also notice that there has been significant price drops on the HPX500 since I have been eyeing it. (6 months).

I am wondering if panasonic is releasing something else and are trying to move the HPX500 quickly. Or could it be because NAB is on the horizon.

It is my sense that I should wait until after NAB to move forward with my purchase. Your thoughts are welcome.

William
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 07:48 PM   #2
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Identical, 555 is for Japanese market.

I got a call from fellow who bought 555 in Japan and realized all of the documentation is in Japanese, so is all of the bundled software. Unless you know how to get around with Japanese or know what to do over the model differences, one shouldn't purchase that route.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by William Reliford View Post
Hello All! This is my first post.

I am really close to making the leap to P2 and I am really attracted to the HPX500. I also notice that there has been significant price drops on the HPX500 since I have been eyeing it. (6 months).

I am wondering if panasonic is releasing something else and are trying to move the HPX500 quickly. Or could it be because NAB is on the horizon.

It is my sense that I should wait until after NAB to move forward with my purchase. Your thoughts are welcome.

William
Hi William - and welcome to DVi!

As for the price drop, I think what you are seeing is a result of Panasonic removing the 16gb cards from the package price.

Mine came with the camera, and without those, I think the price actually was increased.

And I seriously doubt that the 500 will replaced anytime soon as it has only been available for a few months.

-Brad
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Old February 4th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for your information. I was wondering if I was missing something. I saw the price just for the camera body drop across the board by 1k. I have been doing some cross referencing. I was puzzled since this camera hasn't been out all that long.

William
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Old February 4th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #5
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I just checked out the same kit that I purchased back in September which came with the 4-16GB cards, the tripod adapter and the Fuji 17X7.6 BERM HD lens.

B&H price is $22,299.95 I got mine for $21,028.68, although from a different dealer. But I purchased 2 at the same time, so I may have gotten a break from that. So maybe they haven't gone up that much after all.

-Brad
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Old February 5th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by William Reliford View Post
Hello All! This is my first post.

I have been doing some research on panasonic's AG-HPX500 and I ran into AG-HPX555. What's the difference?

I am really close to making the leap to P2 and I am really attracted to the HPX500. I also notice that there has been significant price drops on the HPX500 since I have been eyeing it. (6 months).

I am wondering if panasonic is releasing something else and are trying to move the HPX500 quickly. Or could it be because NAB is on the horizon.

It is my sense that I should wait until after NAB to move forward with my purchase. Your thoughts are welcome.

William
We just purchased 2 HPX500's yesterday. We too thought about going the 555 route. The only company I have seen selling the 555's in the states is Big10 Media out of Florida, who are actually have offices in Japan, and are authorized dealers there.

The money that you would save is substantial, but if something goes wrong you must send it back to Japan for repair. Pani USA supposedly won't touch it. It will cost about $500 just for round trip shipping.

If you look around, you can find some good deals on the 500 here in the states. If you talk to Terry at Texas Media Systems (site sponsor), they have the body for $10,499 and you get a free 16GB P2 card included. The 555 from those other guys you don't. You could also call some of the dealers up and offer a price to them for the camera - they may take it, may not. The worst they can say is "NO".

My advice is to stick with the 500 here. Much better if something goes wrong.


Also keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to get one of the HD lenses. Get a nice SD lens for the camera (Canon "J' or Fujinon "A" seires) and you probably wont be able to tell much of a difference. I think the CAC is kind of a ploy just so they can cut costs on the quality of the HD lens.

My 2 cents...
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Old February 5th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #7
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I think the CAC is kind of a ploy just so they can cut costs on the quality of the HD lens.
Far from being a "ploy" the CAC circuitry has very real function and value.

Keep in mind the HPX500 was designed as the next step-up from the HVX200 into an ENG-style, removable lens system without breaking the bank. The CAC-specific lenses that were designed for this camera actually do perform better than low-cost SD lenses simply because the optics/electronics are matched to each other. The was proved in the testing I did with the camera before NAB last year.

If you have the budget to spend $17-30k or more on good glass - which is the price range of glass that will outperform CAC lenses - regardless if it's SD or HD then chances are you're not going to be using an HPX500 anyway, you'll be using a Varicam, HPX2000 or 3000 instead to really take advantage of the lenses.

If you're on a budget nothing beats the value of CAC lenses designed for the 500. However, if you do put high-quality glass on the 500 you won't be disappointed at all.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #8
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Far from being a "ploy" the CAC circuitry has very real function and value.

The CAC-specific lenses that were designed for this camera actually do perform better than low-cost SD lenses simply because the optics/electronics are matched to each other. The was proved in the testing I did with the camera before NAB last year.
Can you point me to examples of this test? Do you have comparison footage somewhere? ALL of the evidence I have seen has shown that Good quality SD lenses perform superbly on the 500 - I have yet to be proven otherwise. If you want to spend $6500 + for a "CAC" lens that breathes like a fat guy chasing a candy bar, then by all means, buy it. But the difference with used good quality SD glass and lower end HD glass looks to be pretty close to me. I will admit, if you put them up right against each other, and are looking at true resolution multi-thousand dollar production monitors, you'll probably see a little difference. But if you are going to display it on the average monitor not next to each other, I think most will admit that the SD glass looks great, and it can be had very cheap. I just purchased 2x Canon J15x9.5's for $125 each. They're almost in perfect condition. Is the difference in price for the HD lens worth the extra cost to most people? I doubt it. Not for us at least.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #9
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Yes, *quality* SD glass will look good, the pricing I quoted are what lenses cost new; it's impossible to tell what you can find used - or in exactly what condition it's in. If you found cheap glass that works for you, great, but that can't be considered the norm. I certainly wouldn't trust any lens for $125 that hasn't been checked for alignment and focus first. To each his own.

With respect to the test footage it was posted just before NAB last year and taken down this past December since it hardly had any views.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #10
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HPX555 versus HPX500

My personal opinion is stay with your American support.(No grey import 12 month warranty etc).
You,r prices in the U.S. are most reasonable .Here in Australia we pay sometimes 40-50% more for the same cameras.I imported my HVX-200 and saved over $3500 U.S. So it was worth taking a risk on a brand new camera.If anything went wrong I could spend a lot of money and I'd still be infront.But thats here.
We have numbers HVX202 for the Oz & N.Z market.Exactly the same as the Euro HVX200 50hz version.

We have a few Authorised dealers here and they charge like wounded bulls because they pretty much have a monopoly.You have hundreds of dealers and resellers all competing.In Australia it's like the Mafia they set the prices and no one crosses them.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #11
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We have a few Authorised dealers here and they charge like wounded bulls because they pretty much have a monopoly.You have hundreds of dealers and resellers all competing.In Australia it's like the Mafia they set the prices and no one crosses them.
Hello Rick,
if you want good deals in OZ , try Ambertech in Melbourne, - http://www.ambertech.com.au/professional.php
they sell Panasonic. I jumped ship from Sony, I could no longer afford the price of their gear, I kept my 3yo DSR570WSP as a second cutaway camera to my P2 Panasonic SPX800.
The Sony I bought as a grey import and has had given No problems since purchase, I believe that you need warranty backup only if the product you buy is dodgy in the first place or if you bash it about, most of us freelancers love our kit.
Cheers
Tom K
(also in OZ)
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