Looking to buy a HPX-500 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders

Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders
All AG-HPX and AJ-PX Series camcorders and P2 / P2HD hardware.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 13th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Palm Harbor, Florida
Posts: 102
Looking to buy a HPX-500

I'm thinking of purchasing an HPX-500 to use in place of my Sony EX-1. I miss working with a full size camera. Are there any problems with this camera? Anyone care to talk me out of it? Thanks for the counsel.
Michael Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 03:15 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Yeah, it's not very sharp!
I tried one on a job a few years back and in 1080 up-scaled mode it was sort of OK, but in 720 it was quite mushy.
As usual with Pannys it had nice colours and a gentle feel to it, but there's no getting away from the poor resolution. A lot of people would say that 1280x720 is only semi-HD anyway, but the 500 is far short even of that.
The other really scary thing was how bad the viewfinder was, it was near impossible to judge critical focus, and apparently it's not possible to swap it with a Varicam one for example.
Plus points - it handles just like any other full-size camera, variable frame rates work easily, CCDs so no rolling shutter issues, P2 system works nicely, cheap.
Just my 2p worth.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornsay Durham UK
Posts: 1,940
Check out the HPX-300 I have the 301E and I am finding it superb, OK 1/3" chips and lenses but the pictures are fantastic and the viewfinder very good.

There is a firmware update coming to help with the rolling shutter and as said the P2 system is superb

It also does full HD at 1920x1080i at up to 100mbs and the native progressive is also very good.
__________________
Over 15 minutes in Broadcast Film and TV production: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1044352/
Gary Nattrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 06:01 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
at up to 100mbs
And that's 100 mb/sec AVC-Intra so performs as if it's got an even higher bitrate. So much disappointment that a camera with this codec only has 1/3" chips. Personally I think it's a marketing thing again, as if it had even 1/2" chips it'd eat too much into Varicam terrain.

Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 09:53 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,267
I recently bought a 500 instead of the 300 although the 300 is an easier package to buy. As far as the viewfinder you can put the 2 inch SDX-900 viewfinder on the 500 ( I happen to have one) and it is much nicer than the standard one. The 2/3 inch option is very nice. I have a couple of SD lenses which work okay and I am looking around for an HD lens I feel like buying. I think the sensitivity of the camera is much better than the 300 so to me the trade offs balanced slightly in the 500's favor. I also like the fact the camera can shoot both NTSC and Pal with the flick of a switch.
Daniel Epstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
All good points. Didn't know you could put the SDX viewfinder on it, glad it works better, but that tells its own story, the fact that you can put an SD viewfinder on an "HD" camera!

Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 149
I've had the Hpx500 for over a year now, I've shot many projects with it. I think it is a superb camera, and I have to disagree with Steve... You're saying that it's pretty much a sub-HD camera, the images are very sharp if you know how to use the focus assist features, but I do agree that the viewfinder could be better, but you can always replace it with a sharper one. I don't really see the need to replace mine as it works fine for me! I also think that wide shots with alot of detail look soft, I think the viewfinder and focus assist features don't help much when trying to focus on high detail wide shots. The medium and close up shots are not that far off from the other cameras. Some other pluses not mentioned are the amazing dynamic range, great low light performance, four channels of audio, 2/3" DoF, rich colors, great motion rendition. I'm not defending my camera I'm just showing my perspective after having used the camera in many different situations. If I had the burden of trying to choose a camera today with all the options available.... I'd probably still choose the 500 or perhaps a rigged out hpx170 with steadicam vest etc... I just think all the nonsense over which camera has the highest rez is a waste of time, all the pro-HD cameras available today are very usable and produce HD images no matter which way the camera processes it internally! My personal preference is with the rich vibrant color and the awesome motion rendition of the Panasonic P2 cameras... Others may see it differently and I respect that! Choose your tool wisely, based on the preference of you and your clients, and go out and produce some awesome engaging material!

Here's an example of some nice sharp Hpx500 images http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfxSdPEKp_s&fmt=22

Last edited by Brian Ladue; June 14th, 2009 at 01:31 PM. Reason: added a link
Brian Ladue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
All good points well made. Agree about colour rendition, dynamic range and all the other stuff, you are right, it's got a lot of good points.
The thing about the viewfinder being exchangeable with a sharper one I'm not aware of, I did ask at the time I used one and was told that you couldn't put an HD one on it, and for long lens, critical focussing I found it virtually useless.
I just found it objectionably soft on a largish HD screeen, and I know many people even say the same about a lot of full 720 line cameras, and it's one reason the EX1 and 3 have so many fans as the pictures are just so hi res and sharp. It's hard to get away from the fact that the 500 is a 600,000 pixel camera, and that's a long way short of even 720 let alone 1080 HD.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 149
Yeah, I think its 610,000 pixels per chip... I don't know much about the spec details, I just know that it produces a nice subtle but pleasing image!

Cheers,
Brian Ladue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Palm Harbor, Florida
Posts: 102
Thank you all for your keen insights. After more thought this weekend, I think I'm going to just be patient and wait to take a look at the Nano Flash when it becomes available.
Michael Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 191
I've owned a Hpx500 for a little over a month now and are quite impressed with what you get for the price, I got a very good deal though so it was just over 1500$ more than the 300 kit would be.

Last year i shot an event video with the ex1 and last weekend I did the same shoot with hpx500. The only place where the Hpx lacks a bit are in large overviewing lanscapes when it comes to detail, but in challenging light conditions it will beat the Ex1 with the dynamic range the 2/3" chips offer.

The standard VF are not very good but will get the job done, also as others pointed out you can a add a better SD one.

All in all at this price you will be compromising. The 300 got HD chips, but it's 1/3" and cmos, Ex1 are cmos, mpeg2 with horrible ergonomics and hpx500 are basicly SD chips to sum up the most evident "problems".

If you want almost no compromises you'll end up in the Hpx3000 and 2700 with a good HD lens in almost 70 grand area...
Christian Magnussen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2009, 03:30 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 439
Michael - call Abel Cine in LA, I heard today they have an HPX500 w/ lens for a ridiculous price (the best I've ever heard). G'luck!
Jaron Berman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2009, 04:54 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Palm Harbor, Florida
Posts: 102
Thanks, Jaron. I called and they are sending a proposal for both the 500 and the 300.
Michael Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #14
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,593
I've had my 500 for about 6 months now, and it's a great camera. I love the P2 workflow. I use a very good SD lens, and the images are more than satisfactory. I have no problem with the viewfinder - everything I shoot is in focus. DVCPRO HD, 1080i, 720P, DVCPRO 50, DV, whatever, it does all the formats, all the frame rates. The preset white balance is yellow-ish, so be careful there.
If it's good enough for Discovery HD (Silver), it's good enough for me. But most importantly, my clients love the images. The colors are beautiful.
Perhaps the Sony EX line does make sharper images, but I'll take the 2/3" chip depth of field, no jello-cam, low-light sensitivity and large form factor over that any day. I sold my JVC HD200 for it, and I never looked back.
Glen Vandermolen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 191
Just bumped into this article on DV.com. Would love to see those images in NGC HD...!
'Expedition Grizzly': National Geographic Goes on Location with Panasonic and Fujinon
I want one of those, not the grizzly, but the 42x fujinon lens paired with the Hpx500. Also notice the stock VF on the hpx500. I'll guess the Hpx3000 they mention for closeups will produce better images detail wise, but at the moment there are no good alternatives to the 500 if you prefer 2/3" at its price point.
Christian Magnussen is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:12 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network