Panasonic AG-HPX 170 - Official Press Release - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 16th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #16
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I too was really disappointed that Panny didn't upgrade the flip-out monitor. But I will be picking up a 170 when they are available to compliment my 2 HPX500's. I need a hand-held and this one really seems like the right choice for us.

-Brad
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Old April 16th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #17
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It is strange to me that Sony is acting like the more consumer friendly company than Panasonic these days.

The lack of great monitoring on these HD cameras is quite rude to the purchaser given how critical focus is with HD.

Quite frankly this makes the cameras less of an effective tool.

This even applies to the HPX-500 with an SD only feed to the viewfinder.

Then add in the price of P2 cards @ $50 per gigabyte (hard drives are $0.20 a gig) and it makes one think twice about your investment in a new camera family.

I have been lurking around for about a year wanting to find a way to move from the DVC-200 class cameras, but I have been disappointed by lack of critical features and price so far.

The NAB show this year has done little to change my opinions.

Last edited by Tim Polster; April 16th, 2008 at 09:27 AM.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #18
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I agree with you Robert.

Disappointing move from Panasonic. I regarded them higher than this.

I guess IBC (but more likely NAB 2009) will bring something new.

I think that will be a crazy year, as everyone wants to stop the Scarlet.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #19
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I too was really disappointed that Panny didn't upgrade the flip-out monitor. But I will be picking up a 170 when they are available to compliment my 2 HPX500's. I need a hand-held and this one really seems like the right choice for us.

-Brad
As a "B" camera the 170 is a good choice and in your case, the 170 would be a near-match for the 500's output since the 170 has much better noise/color characteristics than the original 200 did. Now, here's something that will really tease you:

If you're going to do any commercial production or indie-film work, the upcoming Letus Ultimate will allow you to use 35mm lenses on BOTH the HPX170 and the HPX500! Imagine, for far less than the cost of (1) Pro35 P+S adapter (currently the only 2/3" inch adapter - which would be required for the 500) you could have a true film-like output from both cameras. Now *that's* something to be excited about.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #20
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While I completely agree that the lack of an upgraded LCD is a serious oversight on Panasonic's part when it comes to the new HPX170, I think it's a bit of a jump to say that Panasonic isn't listening to their customers.

Every single one of the features on the 170 that have been added from the 200 is something that users have asked for. All in all there are about 15 or so new small additions I have to believe were done because users specifically asked for them as improvements over the 200 design.

Improved light sensitivity
Increased S/N ratio
HD/SD- SDI output
Increaded Frame rate choices
Frame rate changes mapped to user buttons
LCD Flip option
6-pin FireWire port
Last Clip Delete button
PAL/NTSC switchable option
3 types of focus assist (addition of 2 new focus functions)
Focus Assist toggle On/Off as opposed to timed
Focus ring can be toggled to control Iris
No DV Tape Deck, making for a lighter smaller camera.
Additional built in ND filter position
Playback of all clips regardless of format/framerate

So granted, each of those things in and of themselves may not be large, but as a package I think it makes for a much nicer camera overall. Sure, it's not a revolutionary upgrade, but it is a significantly improved and streamlined HVX. And, more to my point, I think it shows that they are listening to the customers and taking the feedback they've gotten on the HVX seriously.

On top of the small tweaks that were done - there are a couple of (what I would call) 'big' additions - namely the HD-SDI output and the addition on an on camera waveform and vectorscope. The waveform specifically is something that I at least have wanted to see included on these smaller cameras for a long time.

So yeah, I would have loved to have seen a new LCD and EVF.
That would have seriously bumped this camera up in value quite a bit.
But - let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
I think the 170 is going to prove to be a great tool for a lot of people.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #21
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It's almost certain to use pixel shifting. Just how much is the question.
As far as I know the 170 and the 200a are using the same res chips as the 200 (960 x 540). I don't think there is any reason to believe the chips are any higher res.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #22
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Luis, ya beat me to it... :)

I'll add that Barry Green listed a fourth focus-assist option; the horizontal bar but didn't know how useful it would turn out to be. Also, it seems you can use the focus-assist functions simultaneously together. Those along with waveform and vectorscopes = NICE...

Looks to be a pretty promising unit and I'm looking forward to it's release; it will at least hold a few of us off until the Scarlet becomes a reality.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #23
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I'll add that Barry Green listed a fourth focus-assist option; the horizontal bar but didn't know how useful it would turn out to be. Also, it seems you can use the focus-assist functions simultaneously together...
Well Barry lists the 'peaking' of the EVF as a focus assist feature - which I suppose he's right to do. It does assist in focus.

I didn't include it in the list because I was just going off Panasonic's specs, and they list three focus assist functions - the magnification box, the historgram (exactly like the one offered on the HPX500), adn the horizontal bar you mentioned.

That last one I'm a bit suspect of.
Honestly - I would have preferred forgoing ALL the focus assist features in exchange for the 'focus in red' assist of the Panasonic LCD monitor (whose model number escapes me at the moment).

But - the addition of the HPX500 style histogram should be very nice indeed.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #24
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Honestly - I would have preferred forgoing ALL the focus assist features in exchange for the 'focus in red' assist of the Panasonic LCD monitor (whose model number escapes me at the moment).

But - the addition of the HPX500 style histogram should be very nice indeed.
BT-LH80W. And I fully agree but, with the money you save over buying the next viable options (EX1/EX3), you could potentially buy one and have the best of all worlds. And actually, that's probably the route I'll end up going as I need a high-quality external monitor anyway.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #25
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PAL/NTSC switchable option
Has this been confirmed? If so my 202's going up for sale when the 170's come out..
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #26
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Has this been confirmed? If so my 202's going up for sale when the 170's come out..
The only thing that's confirmed is that it may be an option.
How's that for marketing speak?
I should be a politician.
:)

It's been said by Panasonic that it's being considered - either as standard or as an upgrade option at an extra cost. So it's possible that it could be included, or discarded at this point. They still have 8 months or so to finalize before release so we probably won't know for certain until a few months from now.

EDITED TO ADD:
I should note that that is the only thing on that list, as far as I know, that is still a bit up in the air.
The others are all confirmed.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #27
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Price point?

Has anyone heard if the HPX170 will be priced below the HVX200?

Seems like it should, given that there's no tape drive. But then Panasonic has added some things, like HD-SDI, better sensitivity, better S/N.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Caffesse View Post
While I completely agree that the lack of an upgraded LCD is a serious oversight on Panasonic's part when it comes to the new HPX170, I think it's a bit of a jump to say that Panasonic isn't listening to their customers....

So yeah, I would have loved to have seen a new LCD and EVF.
That would have seriously bumped this camera up in value quite a bit.
But - let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
I think the 170 is going to prove to be a great tool for a lot of people.
Here's my point about the LCD/EVF:

Since no video camera has an optical finder that means the ease of focus and indeed the ability to read a scene properly is based solely on what we can see - or not see - in the cameras viewfinder; the better the finder the better we can compose and focus a shot. Right? Although myself and other commercial shooters like Barry, Ed and others have proven that you *can* use just the low-res LCD, if the shot is critical especially for focus then an external monitor is required because you can't always trust that low-res screen to provide a quick reference, that is unless you turn on Focus Assist - which requires moving your eyes away from the finder to activate, but more importantly wouldn't even be required if the screen had more resolution to begin with.

Regardless what technological features any camera has, at the end of the day what endears any camera to it's operator and creates well-rounded usability is the human interface, which is primarily it's viewfinder and lens controls. What good is an HD-SDI out if you can't clearly see what you're shooting to begin with?

The HSC1U, HMC70 are both consumer/pro-sumer grade cameras and they both have far superior LCD's to anything in the P2 lineup. Why would Panny purposely choose to put high-res LCD's on consumer-grade cameras but not professional - which are being used by people who really need critical viewing capabilities? That's what makes no sense and why so many are going to really shy away from either the 170 or even the 200A.

Last edited by Robert Lane; April 17th, 2008 at 11:54 AM.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #29
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Has anyone heard if the HPX170 will be priced below the HVX200?

Seems like it should, given that there's no tape drive. But then Panasonic has added some things, like HD-SDI, better sensitivity, better S/N.
I was told at the show that "the HPX170 will have a similar price to the HVX200 when it first came out." I would have preferred no HD SDI and a lower price.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #30
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I think the LCD/viewfinder is the major shortcoming of every camera in the $3,000 to $10,000 camcorder market. When you shoot with a 35mm film camera, you don't believe what you see. With HD, being able to properly focus and expose your image is the most important and you have to get it right. I have a Canon XL-H1 and I find it very hard to use the viewfinder. The resolution is low and once things start moving you also get some smearing. This makes it almost impossible to get subjects in focus. As far as I know, the Sony PMW-EX1 is the only camera with a proper LCD. I wonder how long we have to wait for Panasonic and Canon to come up with one. If you see how good the external Panasonic monitors are I can't believe how they dare to put something so inferior on their high-end camcorders. I would have no problem when they add $500 to the price of the camera and put a decent LCD and viewfinder on their cameras. Definitely a deal breaker for me.

I might as well just buy the external Panasonic monitor for my XL-H1.
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