Leaning heavily towards the AG HPX500.... - Page 3 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 February 23rd, 2010, 08:50 PM   #31
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
Robert,

On another thread in this forum, "Sony PMW-350 or Panasonic HPX2700?", David and Alister Chapman sided with the 350. This despite the 10-bit(4 times better than any 8-bit format in gray scale), 4:2:2, I-Frame, 100Mbps AVC-Intra Native frame rate codec, the proven Film-Rec gamma from the Varicam, improved to 600% dynamic range, 32 bit A-D processing, CCD's vs. CMOS, Panasonic colorimetry, five card capacity, 1/2 price deal at the time($19,950 plus VF w/camcorder trade-in), 3 HD SDI outputs--so it's no surprise that David would talk down the HPX500.

Don't get me wrong--the 350 is worth looking at. It's super sharp(too sharp for my taste), super quiet, super sensitive. I don't like the color, I don't think the codec holds a candle to AVC-Intra 100, I don't think it has the tonality and film like look that all Varicams are known for, but I'm not a pixel counter, I just know what I like when I see a pleasing image.

I stated in that thread that if somebody has to have native 1080X1920 sensors, then my choice would be a used HPX3000 for $20K. The 350 is a more flexible camera, however, offering DVCAM(no 24P), 720P with variable frame rates and 1080P from a native, full raster CMOS sensor. For my client's needs, I believe the HPX2700 is the right camera, a bigger step above the HDX900 than I expected.

A used HPX2000 w/Intra board is my first choice in an under $14K camera. But this might take some time to find on the used market.

Overall, I find the look of Sony cameras to be unacceptable out of the box and to possess a "clinical, videoish" image that Panasonic cameras don't have. Panasonic cameras look more like Super 16 cameras/stock to me from a colorimetry and tonality standpoint--and yes, they are noisier as well, which adds to the organic, filmic feel, to my eye.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video

Last edited by Jeff Regan; February 24th, 2010 at 10:14 AM.
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #32
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,069
"Overall, I find the look of Sony cameras to be unacceptable out of the box and to possess a "clinical, videoish" image that Panasonic cameras don't have. Panasonic cameras look more like Super 16 cameras/stock to me from a colorimetry and tonality standpoint--and yes, they are noisier as well, which adds to the organic, filmic feel, to my eye."

Well said Jeff, I totally agree. I have compared a lot of my own S16 footage I shot in the 90s with footage from my HVX200, 170 and the 300 as well as HDX900 footage I have shot on rentals and I see the same thing, it is a Panasonic thing. Sure the Sonys can look better if you tweak them but I always get the distinct impression with the EX1 and EX3 footage I have shot that even though it was shot in 24p, it looks more like 60i because the camera is just too clean. It's a look that Sony fanatics seem to revel in and Panasonic fanatics seem to find wanting. I have not shot with the new 350, but according to Adam Wilt, that camera possesses a similar basic look to the EX1/EX3.

Dan
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #33
DVCreators.Net
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 888
The HPX500 is a great camera, as others have mentioned, it is getting a bit long in the tooth and there may now be better options depending on the type of projects you're producing. BTW, Doug Jensen of Vortex Media (Sony EX1 / EX3 training video creator) is selling a 350 in the classifieds.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/private-...lens-sale.html

If you're looking at the HPX500, here's a little video I tossed together to give a quick overview.


Shot with the "clinical" Sony S270U. If I still had the HPX500, I'd have our Ki Pro mounted under it. Phew, that would look amazing as we used to shoot HDSDI direct to ProRes through a Kona LHe in the studio. Works great for green screen.
__________________
Guy Cochran
DVinfo Sponsor, Cool Gear - DVeStore!
Guy Cochran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #34
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane
......those are exactly "measurbator" statements. If your prime concerns about any camera are the pixel-count and absolute sharpness then you're only getting half the picture.
Did you look at the link? Have you seen the results of the British Society of Cinematographers test? If not, and if you get the chance, you really should. Conducted by some of the best DOPs in the British film industry, and the link ( BSC Film & Digital Image Evaluation 09 ) gives an idea of the level the test was conducted to. I never said that pixel-count or absolute sharpness are the prime concerns anyway (certainly not for their own sakes) - rather "......wasn't just being sharper, it was being EFFORTLESSLY sharper, more natural.....". I put it down to the higher res chips meaning that it's possible to get away with a far lower level of detail correction in the EX3 - effortless detail, more film like.

But I can only recommend anyone who gets the chance to look at the tests for themselves and make up their own minds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane
Putting even the new PDW350 against the "older" HPX500 is a no-contest win for the Panny. Why? Color. All XDCAM cameras (excepting the ultra-high-end) shoot the 4:2:0 color space exactly the same as HDV (albeit at a higher bitrate); DVCPRO50 and 100 (SD and HD) are 4:2:2. That may not sound like much when comparing "raw" numbers but the implications in post are huge, as I noted earlier. What do you think happens to that "0" in the XDCAM codec? Once color is deleted from the profile you can't somehow magically make it reappear in post, once it's gone, it's really gone, period.
Interesting. Pointing out the difference in chip resolutions is me "measurebating", yet the above isn't. Why?

The above is also ignoring that colour space numbers are ratios, not absolute numbers. They refer to the ratio of chroma to luma samples. Hence, the number of actual chroma samples depends on both colour space AND luminance resolution. So, for the PMW350, it's 1920x1080 for luminance, and a quarter as many for each of U &V - that's 960x540 or 518,400. For the HPX500 and DVCProHD, the recording resolution is only 1280x1080, so the 4:2:2 means half of that for chrominance - 640x1080 or 691,200. Yes, OK, more - but nowhere near twice as many as the 4:2:0/4:2:2 arguments would have you first think.

As far as implications in post, don't let's forget the number of luminance samples. 1920x1080 (2,073,600) for the PMW350, 1280x1080 (1,382,400) for the HPX500. If you haven't recorded the extra 691,200 luminance pixels, you can't make those magically reappear in post either. (And I'll happily trade 172,800 chrominance pixels for 691,200 luminance pixels....... :-) )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan
On another thread in this forum, "Sony PMW-350 or Panasonic HPX2700?", David and Alister Chapman sided with the 350. This despite the 10-bit(4 times better than any 8-bit format in gray scale), 4:2:2, I-Frame, 100Mbps AVC-Intra Native frame rate codec, the proven Film-Rec gamma from the Varicam, improved to 600% dynamic range, 32 bit A-D processing, CCD's vs. CMOS, Panasonic colorimetry, five card capacity, 1/2 price deal at the time($19,950 plus VF w/camcorder trade-in), 3 HD SDI outputs--so it's no surprise that David would talk down the HPX500.
Well, I think you'll find that I initially put them somewhat on a par - the 2700 lost marks by me for 1 megapixel chips, the 350 lost them for the 35 Mbs codec, not 50Mbs. I did go on to say that at least you could bring the 350 up to full spec with an external recorder, you couldn't put external chips on a 2700! I also think the PMW350 wins in having a wider choice of media options.

At the start, I assumed the 2700 price reduction would be permanent, hence a reasonably like for like comparison price wise. It turned out not to be, the 2700 price went way back up, so it's then two comparable cameras for quality, but one far more expensive than the other.

But this thread is not about the 2700, it's about the HPX500. And from the main dealer I looked up, the street prices of the HPX500 and Sonys PMW350 are very similar - certainly when you take into account that a given recording time will cost more for P2, to say nothing of wanting to upgrade the 500's viewfinder. And for the same money, I would go for a PMW350 over an HPX500 any day. That's not to say the 500 is bad - it's to say the 350 is a whole lot better.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #35
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
"And from the main dealer I looked up, the street prices of the HPX500 and Sonys PMW350 are very similar - certainly when you take into account that a given recording time will cost more for P2, to say nothing of wanting to upgrade the 500's viewfinder. And for the same money, I would go for a PMW350 over an HPX500 any day. That's not to say the 500 is bad - it's to say the 350 is a whole lot better."

David,

They are not the same price. 350 is $18,900 at every dealer I've seen in the US. 2)32Gb SxS cards are $1,200, for a total of $20,100.

HPX500 is $9,900, XA17X7.6BRM is $6,500, 2)64Gb P2 cards are $1,800, for a total of $18,200. This is from B&H Photo, the largest online dealer. I know of at least three dealers I could get a better deal from, for a total more like $17,200.

Put the same lens on the 350 and the price is more like $25,200, a big price difference over an HPX500, $6,900. Add an external recorder and that's another few grand to get 4:2:2 and higher bit rate, now it's more like $10,000.

Again, I wouldn't buy a 500 without looking at a 350, because the final decision should be based on aesthetic image preference, work flow and budget and other priorities the OP might have that we wouldn't.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #36
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
My words about pricing were "very similar" - not "the same price". And the inclusive prices you quote - $20,100 for the 350, $18,200 for the 500 - are within 10% of each other. That's not making any allowance for needing to upgrade the v/f on the 500, or that a 500 may need extra batteries owing to somewhat higher power consumption. (About 23w v about 15w.)

You're also budgeting for 2x64GB cards on the 500 (2 hours) and 2x32GB on the 350 (well over 3 hours at 35Mbs)

Allowing for dealer variations, let alone country to country, I think to call their street prices "very similar" is justifiable, and bourne out by your figures. I suspect better deals are possible on both cameras, and they'll change week by week anyway.

Yes, I take your point about the extra recorder, but with these cameras we're natively comparing 35Mbs XDCAM-HD with DVCProHD - not AVC-Intra 100. The codec in neither the 350 or the 500 is fully approved according to the latest recommendations, unlike XDCAM 422 50Mbs or AVC-Intra 100.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #37
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
David,

Until dealers start to discount the 350, which won't take too long, undoubtedly, the real price difference in the US is $3,000. This assumes the owner is happy with the stock $1500 lens on the 350.

Also, if shooting 720/24P Native on a 500, that would be over 5 hours of record time with two 64Gb P2 cards, but yes, 2 hours in 1080.

In this country, DVCPRO HD is considered a high-end broadcast format, with no restrictions on its use by any broadcast or cable network that I'm aware of. P2 DVCPRO HD is the official recording format of the 2010 Winter Olympics--50 HPX2000 and 3000 P2 cameras, 160 P2 Mobile decks.

On paper, it would seem that the HPX300 is the camera of choice for the money--full raster, AVC-Intra 100 in an ENG camera form factor with ENG zoom lens for $7,000. But as we know, specs on paper don't tell the whole tale.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #38
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 10
If the thread starter may jump in here...

Again, I appreciate the thoughts and perspectives of the many who have weighed in. The thread has taken a couple of side roads, but all in all I think the info has been great.

I've read everything thoroughly and even tried to understand some of the more technical...bordering on engineering speak (for me anyway).

I've also continued to speak with others about the "workability" of the camera. I think everyone will agree that the camera is only as good as it's sellability and from those I speak to about booking the camera (and me), clients and producers are asking for media format and not so much a specific camera. Only a portion of that info has been helpful as most people are still asking for digi-beta, sx and yes...even sp.

So, it is still left to use gamblers ...the guys making these purchases to guess and a lot of it falls to gut feelings.

For the record, I'm still leaning heavily towards the 500 and this is why. 2/3 chips! Even though it pixel shifts, if I fall out of love with the 500 I think I can upgrade to a 2000 in less than a year and I will only need the camera body to make the entire transition. Bargains will certainly abound before the economy rebounds.

I've owned a Z1U for 3 years. I've worked it extensively and it has paid for itself many times over. I've shot with the EX-3 for one of my clients. It's clunky and I'm just not happy with the picture quality. Sony continues to move everything around on that caliber of camera and things that I reach for on my Z are not there on the EX3 and it pisses me off.

What I've seen shot with the 500 really looks outstanding. The P2 workflow makes a lot of sense to me because of my business model.

And as I am 90% certain of my decision, I'll still wait for NAB and look at the Sony products very closely. I may also look at Ikegami products and see if JVC has anything in the hopper worth looking at.

Yes, the age of the 500 does scare me a bit, but perception being what it is, just showing up on a shoot with a full size camera with a 2/3 lens in a porta brace bag will cure a lot of ills and put a lot of my clients at ease. If I record in DVCProHD, they'll be happy with the results.
Mike Peacock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #39
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,267
Different markets seem to have changed over technologically at different times so I had to laugh when you said people where still mostly asking for digibeta, sx and beta sp as it sounds like a particular network which is keeping the old war horses going. Funny thing I remember coming to Dallas for a shoot and the local company (can't remember who) was all over P2 with HVX-200 so I guess it depends on who you know. We have found that some people are very comfortable with P2 workflow while others are still committed to tape. I also dislike the EX-3 ergonomics compared to the HPX500 which is one of the reasons I bought the 500 but that was in May. Unfortunately it doesn't mean I don't have to deal with XDCAM EX as many people have adopted it for projects. Given the new rage for DSLR's I would think hard and long about what the clients think they need now and what they think they will end up using 6 months from now. Since you are going to wait until NAB it sounds like you don't have a job to motivate the purchase as of yet so I would not be surprised if something is announced at NAB which will make the decision harder for you. Good Luck
Daniel Epstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #40
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post
In this country, DVCPRO HD is considered a high-end broadcast format, with no restrictions on its use by any broadcast or cable network that I'm aware of.
I suspect that for HD use that's similar the world over. For the last few years, HD has meant DVCProHD, HDCAM or XDCAM HD. But the latest recommendations aim to look forward, and apply to considerations of what to buy when the older equipment needs natural replacement - they're not meant to ban any existing equipment overnight.

So DVCProHD and XDCAM HD are indeed well used at the moment. But there's better now around - XDCAM 422 50Mbs and AVC-Intra 100 are the two most obvious.

For the point of this discussion, neither camera gives the more advanced codec natively.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Peacock
For the record, I'm still leaning heavily towards the 500 and this is why. 2/3 chips! ......... perception being what it is, just showing up on a shoot with a full size camera with a 2/3 lens in a porta brace bag will cure a lot of ills and put a lot of my clients at ease.
Mike, I share your views towards 2/3" cameras in general, and not just because of perception - with all else equal, they give better results than smaller chipped cameras.

But it sounds as if you believe the PMW350 isn't 2/3"? It most definitely is, and in general shape, size etc in a porta brace will outwardly look very similar to a 500 or any similar 2/3" camera.

If you've any doubts - http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/view/ShowP...DCAMCamcorders .
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #41
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
"But it sounds as if you believe the PMW350 isn't 2/3"? It most definitely is, and in general shape, size etc in a porta brace will outwardly look very similar to a 500 or any similar 2/3" camera."

I can see how one might get confused--there's the Sony PDW-F350 1/2" XDCAM HD disc based camera and now the PMW-350 2/3" XDCAM EX camera. You can't accuse Sony of being very original! Kind of like Panasonic coming out with a couple of camera models that ended in a "900"--I think they did that on purpose to confuse those interested in a Sony F900!

One thing we all know is that there will never be another universally adopted format standard again in this file based codec world we live in. The good news is that we don't have to buy expensive decks anymore, unless we want to shoot HDCAM SR.

I know of a regional cable sports network who had bought a bunch of XDCAM 422 decks that were less than a year old. They were receiving discs from the other side of the country that were shot in 24P for a series and the almost brand new decks couldn't play them back. They had to ship a deck along with the discs just to get them to play out.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #42
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 10
This still looks apples to oranges to me. The 350 is 3k more in price than the 500 and will require an external recorded for 4:2:2? It also looks like it will require anton bauer conversion for my existing power? Where does it out perform the 500?
Mike Peacock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #43
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Where it will outperform the 500, no question whatever, is in resolution. It's got about 3 times the number of pixels on the chip. This is indisputable.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #44
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
The 350 is also the fastest, quietest 2/3" camera I've seen due to the CMOS sensors. Very fast ISO rating, very high SN ratio.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #45
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Peacock View Post
This still looks apples to oranges to me. The 350 is 3k more in price than the 500 and will require an external recorded for 4:2:2? It also looks like it will require anton bauer conversion for my existing power? Where does it out perform the 500?
As far as 4:2:2 v 4:2:0 goes, then let's try an analogy.

If I offered you a quarter of my bank account or a half of my bank account, which would you choose? Easy - a half.

But let's say I had two accounts, imaginatively called "A" and "B". Now I offer you half of A, or a quarter of B, what then? The first thing you'd want to know is how much is in each - it's obviously better to have a quarter of $100,000 than a half of $10,000, isn't it?

And it's exactly the same here. The colour space numbers show how many chroma samples there are *AS A FRACTION OF THE NO OF LUMINANCE SAMPLES*. The PMW350 records many more luminance samples per frame than the HPX500, which greatly lessens the impact of the 4:2:0 v 4:2:2 factor on chroma resolution compared to what you'd first think. As well as meaning it's much sharper in luminance, which will have far more influence on what the overall picture looks like than chroma.

Still not convinced? I gave the figures in post 34 above:
Quote:
.......colour space numbers are ratios, not absolute numbers. They refer to the ratio of chroma to luma samples. Hence, the number of actual chroma samples depends on both colour space AND luminance resolution. So, for the PMW350, it's 1920x1080 for luminance, and a quarter as many for each of U &V - that's 960x540 or 518,400. For the HPX500 and DVCProHD, the recording resolution is only 1280x1080, so the 4:2:2 means half of that for chrominance - 640x1080 or 691,200. Yes, OK, more - but nowhere near twice as many as the 4:2:0/4:2:2 arguments would have you first think.

As far as implications in post, don't let's forget the number of luminance samples. 1920x1080 (2,073,600) for the PMW350, 1280x1080 (1,382,400) for the HPX500. If you haven't recorded the extra 691,200 luminance pixels, you can't make those magically reappear in post either. (And I'll happily trade 172,800 chrominance pixels for 691,200 luminance pixels....... :-) )
It's actually even more complicated than that. 4:2:2 means recording the same no of chroma/luma samples vertically, so in this case implies being able to record 1080 chroma samples vertically. That is vastly more than the HPX500 can resolve. Pixel shifting only improves luminance resolution, not chrominance, so the best chroma resolution 960x540 chips can resolve vertically is 540. it's half of what the recording system can manage - so the 4:2:2 ability gains nothing over 4:2:0 at all here. It's like pouring one litre of water into a two litre bottle, you'll still only have one litre of water. (Whereas with the EX cameras you start off with the full 2 litres and pour into a one litre container. You end up with onlyone litre either way!)

As far as power goes, it has the industry standard V-lock mount for batteries. Adaptors are available to use other types such as Anton Bauer or PAG.
David Heath 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 05:02 PM.


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