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Old October 26th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #1
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Moving from the HVX200 to the HPX170?

Hi all:

I wrote a little article for my friend Ken Stone on my experience in moving from the HVX200 to the HPX170. If you are contemplating the move or just want to learn more about the HPX170, take a read

Panasonic's HPX170

All my best,

Dan
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Old October 26th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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Thank you Dan for this really great (and helpful) work.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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Thank you Dan for this really great (and helpful) work.
Hi Francesco:

Glad to hear that you found it helpful. The HPX170 is a great camera and it was quite fun to put down my experience into something that might be helpful to others contemplating buying one.

Best,

Dan
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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #4
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I'd just like to add my two cents of appreciations for a very well done review. I'm still bouncing around on a decision HPX170 or HMC 150.

The real struggle for me, and others I presume, is really sorting out what tradeoffs are the best for each person - and there are a lot of them to consider.

Oh - the decision process goes back and forth and back and forth and....
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rick Bolton View Post
I'd just like to add my two cents of appreciations for a very well done review. I'm still bouncing around on a decision HPX170 or HMC 150.

The real struggle for me, and others I presume, is really sorting out what tradeoffs are the best for each person - and there are a lot of them to consider.

Oh - the decision process goes back and forth and back and forth and....
Hi Rick:

I find the choice amazingly easy and straightforward although we all want what we can't have, right?

For the biggies:

1. Cost (overall) - Of course, if you buy an HPX170, you get a free 16GB P2 card, good for 42 minutes of 720/24pN shooting. However, if you need a lot of card space, it costs a significant amount of money with the HPX. HMC is for event shooters who think it is normal to shoot 8 or 9 hours of footage in a day. Weirdos ;-)

2. Variable Frame rates - easy, HPX has 'em, HMC doesn't. Personally I can't live without them, I use them on every shoot and love them too much to ever own another camera that doesn't have them.

3. Codec - From all accounts, the HMC's implementation of the AVCHD codec is superb, I have heard some raves from Barry Green and a few others about how good this codec can look. But for me, an FCS user, forget it. Having to transcode every frame (whoops, group of pictures) to another codec to use it. Bleh! No thanks.

Those are really the biggest factors. SDI on the HPX is sweet but realistically, I bet that no more than 3% of HPX buyers will ever use it. At all. It's the feature that everybody wanted but the fact is that if you can afford SDI monitors, and or SDI portable decks and recorders, you can afford a lot better camera than the HPX170. A lot of whiners in our community begin to make feature requests sound disproportionately large by the sound of their whinging and a lot of people screamed, begged and pleaded for SDI output. Hardly anyone will actually use it.

So it's simple. If you are poor, or an event guy who shoots stupid amounts of footage, get the 150.

If you are not as poor but too poor to buy a broadcast camera, but are a pro who does not shoot insanely long events, buy the 170.

If you have to have VFR as I do, you buy the 170

If you are one of the 3% of users who must have SDI for your imaginary 1400 video deck or more realistically, have an SDI monitor, get the 170.

If you hate Panasonic and want a camcorder with insane resolution, a mediocre codec, rolling shutter artifacts and a nice picture, buy the EX1.

Questions?

Dan
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Old October 28th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #6
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Dan,

Thanks so much for that helpful inforamtion. And if you could keep this thread updated on your experiences.

I was considering, and still am, the XH A1, but I really liked the idea of the tapeless workflow that the 200 had to offer, but I figured that I'd never use a tape in it. Coming from and enjoying the workflow of pro digital photography, I saw the card method to be a shoe-in.

Now the 170. This certainly closes the gap. The problem now is an A1 is mid- 3K and the new 170 is close to 6K, but does include one card.

Two things I was wondering: with the new lens configuration, will rails, follow-focus, matte boxes be widely available for this? I'm not familiar with the 100 or it's available accessories.

Would shooting in 720/24PN on the 170 look as good as shooting 1080/60i shot on the A1? Obviously you'd need both to compare, but just what your thoughts would be. Also is there a 720/30PN setting?

The above questions are from a pro still photog. turned film maker overnight ;-} newb really trying to learn, so apologies in advance.

Thanks again.

Jonathan
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Old October 28th, 2008, 10:41 AM   #7
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kudos

Dan,
Best review/tutorial of the HPX170 I've read. Comparisons of all 3 camcorders really demonstrate the evolutionary development of the 170. Each camera is a marked improvement over the previous model.
Thanks for doing all the work!

chris
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #8
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Hi Jonathan:

Once you go tapeless, going back to tape is quite a step backwards. I still shoot with my DVX and when I do, I always freak out at how long the pre-roll is, I miss a lot of shots. With P2, you are recording the millisecond you hit the record button.

Yes, the A1 is much less than the 170. You could always get the HMC150 if you want a camera closer in price to the Canon.

I am already using my matte box, rails and Letus Extreme on my 170 with no problem. The only thing that is not available yet are the bayonet mount extra add-on fisheye, telephoto and wide-angle lenses from Century and 16X9 but I am sure they will surface momentarily.

You can't really compare 720/24pN to 1080/60i. The progressive will look film-like and the interlaced will look like video. FWIW, the A1 is capable of creating good looking footage, but I prefer the motion signature of the true progressive chipset and DSP on the 170. To me, the HPX and the A1 each have a pretty distinctive look, it just depends on which look appeals to you the most.

Yes, the 170 features 720/30pN.

Best of luck,

Dan



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Levin View Post
Dan,

Thanks so much for that helpful inforamtion. And if you could keep this thread updated on your experiences.

I was considering, and still am, the XH A1, but I really liked the idea of the tapeless workflow that the 200 had to offer, but I figured that I'd never use a tape in it. Coming from and enjoying the workflow of pro digital photography, I saw the card method to be a shoe-in.

Now the 170. This certainly closes the gap. The problem now is an A1 is mid- 3K and the new 170 is close to 6K, but does include one card.

Two things I was wondering: with the new lens configuration, will rails, follow-focus, matte boxes be widely available for this? I'm not familiar with the 100 or it's available accessories.

Would shooting in 720/24PN on the 170 look as good as shooting 1080/60i shot on the A1? Obviously you'd need both to compare, but just what your thoughts would be. Also is there a 720/30PN setting?

The above questions are from a pro still photog. turned film maker overnight ;-} newb really trying to learn, so apologies in advance.

Thanks again.

Jonathan
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Li View Post
Dan,
Best review/tutorial of the HPX170 I've read. Comparisons of all 3 camcorders really demonstrate the evolutionary development of the 170. Each camera is a marked improvement over the previous model.
Thanks for doing all the work!

chris
Hi Chris:

I am happy that you liked the article. I saw an angle that I hadn't seen covered yet in the media about the lineup of cameras and thought that it was interesting.

Take care!

Dan
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Old October 31st, 2008, 06:07 PM   #10
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Having used tape based video cameras before (Canon XL1 and now, XL2) - and now using HVX202 for more than 2 years - I put forth my little 2 cents worth here ...

a) If you have to film in extreme weather places (like Nepal Himalaya) - which I did ... in Everest Base Camp - 5,500m (Canon XL1) and more recently, Nepal Rara Lake (HVX202) - the HVX202 wins hands down here. The HVX202 has ZERO problems coping with 4,000m elevation and negative 10 deg C temperatures. I just have to keep the Panny battery warm and toasty. Just plug in the battery, turn on the camera, and it just goes ... Compared with tape based cameras - I have 3 occasions up at Everest Base Camp where the capstan ate the DV tape up - and needless to say, 3 tapes totally gone.

b) P2 recording mechanism is excellent. Review clips - no problems ... instant. With tape based - you have rewind the tape - then forward it ... it is so slow. AND - sometimes, the END SEARCH does not really work properly and you end recording over the previously recorded scene ....

Right now, I am evaluating replacing my HVX202 with a much lighter HPX170 !!!

Cheers,
TS
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Old October 31st, 2008, 07:01 PM   #11
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Hi TingSern:

Thank you so much for your unique experience with the HVX. I am sure that the HPX would do as well, if not better.

The next time I climb Everest, I am definitely bringing my HPX. ;-)

Dan
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Old November 7th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #12
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Dan, remember that DVCPRO HD rarely runs at 100 Mbps when comparing codecs. If you get 42 mins on a 16Gb card that works out at less than 50 Mbps, and that's with an I frame codec. How can you claim that a 50 Mbps down sampled I frame codec is so much better than a more efficient (typically 2.5x) full raster long GOP codec? XDCAM is far from mediocre. As for insane resolution, well I guess that depends on whether you like the clarity of full raster 1920x1080 HD or something just a little better than SD PAL, (920x720 compared to 720x576).
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