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Old December 18th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #1
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DOF in HPX370

Would the HPX370 offer any substantial advantage in getting shallow DOF compared to my Canon XL-H1? Bundled zoom lenses in both cases. My guess is that it would not.

Thanks.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #2
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Philip,
Pretty good guess they have the same or similar DOF characteristics as both cameras use 1/3 inch chips.
I will say operationally the 370 is much more like a traditional ENG camera which I prefer over the XLH1 design. Also the recording on P2 is much better than HDV. I am betting you know all this.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #3
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Yes, I'm wrestling with my choices. Major project starting before long. I'd like to do in a higher quality format than HDV.

370's form factor appeals to me, but shallow DOF would be missed because I do a lot of interviews.
AF100 holds promise (with DOF as well) but I don't want to gamble with a 1.0 product.
I could attach a Nanoflash to my H1's HD-SDI terminals and get the better file quality, but it would be a total expense. Whereas I could pay part of the cost of a new camera by selling the old one.

Or I could do nothing.

All choices are neither totally appealing nor totally unappealing.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #4
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The 370 has the same DOF characteristics as any other 1/3" sensor camera. If you have a long room, you could zoom in all of the way for your interviews to obtain relatively shallow DOF but your camera would probably be 20-30' away from the subject in order to soften the BG to any appreciable level.

You won't be able to get your hands on an AF-100 anyway if you are not on a list already, I am predicting very limited availability through Spring of next year. So the AF-100, unless you got really lucky in getting your hands on one, is moot point anyway.

The AVC-INTRA100 that the 370 records is in a whole other league from HDV. No comparison.

Dan
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Old December 18th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Fass View Post
Yes, I'm wrestling with my choices. Major project starting before long. I'd like to do in a higher quality format than HDV.

370's form factor appeals to me, but shallow DOF would be missed because I do a lot of interviews.
AF100 holds promise (with DOF as well) but I don't want to gamble with a 1.0 product.
I could attach a Nanoflash to my H1's HD-SDI terminals and get the better file quality, but it would be a total expense. Whereas I could pay part of the cost of a new camera by selling the old one.

Or I could do nothing.

All choices are neither totally appealing nor totally unappealing.
As someone who has a Nanoflash with my Canon XL H1S, I can tell you that it is a fantastic system.

If you are comfortable with your current camera and its image, then the Nano takes it quite a few steps further. 220mb+ I-Frame recording with my XLH1S yields fantastic results! I think you'll be very impressed.

But as mentioned, there will be no difference in DOF between these cameras as they both share the same chip size.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 07:59 PM   #6
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Philip, have you considered the Sony Ex 1R /3? They have 1/2" chips and will give better DoF than any 1/3" cam. Both can be had for less than the 370. Of course, they won't have an AVC-i codec, but they'll still be better than any HDV format. If you can spend a little more, there's the Sony PMW 320 with its shoulder form factor.

Personally, I'm looking at the EX line or the Canon Xf305 for my next camera.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 12:39 PM   #7
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Glen, I hadn't thought about those EX Sonys. Now that I do think about them, I realize that the form factor of my XL H1 has really been bothering me, and having a real shoulder-mount camera would be a luxury for me. The higher-end Sony is quite a bit more than the 370, as B&H have the 370 on sale now. (There's also a trade-in offer, but I think selling the old one would gain me about an extra $1K.

I realize that with my budget, anything will be a compromise. I'll be lucky to get half the improvements that are on my wish list.

BTW, anyone have comments about how the 370's OIS would compare to the one in the XL H1?
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Old December 20th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #8
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You can get shallow DOF with the 370 but like all 1/3" chip camera's you need to be quite far back and fully open on the long end of the lens.

I did these tests a few years ago and I love my HPX301 as I am used to shoulder mount camera's. If I was wanting to do big cinematic shallow DOF I would chose a different camera such as the 3700 or RED but that is a different story altogether.

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Old December 20th, 2010, 07:52 AM   #9
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Gary, your results would be fine for me, even with the limitations you mention.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #10
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I find the 301 to be fine for me but there again I don't like too much shallow DOF, I also have the MTF nikon adaptor although that is different and not really shallow DOF just extreme tele.

I did get some good results with a 60mm macro lens though more for close up work.

I am very old skool film so tend to choose the lens for what is required and most of my work has been with 16mm cut-off for TV so it is fairly similar to the 1/3" chipset.

It is interesting that shallow DOF is a big subject these days but I am sure it is more to do with the availability of DSLR's that can do it all the time rather than any great need for it within content creation for mainstream media, besides most actors and presenters struggle to hit their marks anyway so limiting them to a few inches is a no no for most of my work.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #11
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I'd like it for location interviews, where the background would be a lot less distracting if it were somewhat unfocused.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 04:41 AM   #12
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You just need to be back a bit further than a 1/2" or 2/3" camera and try and keep the aperture wide open at f1.7 the 1/3" lenses are better wide open anyway and I never go above f5.6.

My ex BBC guru Alan Roberts made this very interesting comment on another board regarding shallow DOF on large chip cameras:

"And that's one of the oddnesses about this trend for large format cameras. You get short DoF only if you use wide apertures, so why get a large format camera (say, the 101, 4/3 inch) and then fit an F/5.6 lens to it? You'll get the same DoF as, say a 2/3 camera with an F/2.8 lens, which would be a lot cheaper anyway, or even a 1/2" camera with a F/2 would give the same DoF"
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Old December 21st, 2010, 08:20 AM   #13
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You could add a Redrock Micro system to it. But the problem is, you'll first have to remove the v-wedge at the bottom of the hpx370, and that's nearly impossible!
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Old December 21st, 2010, 08:34 AM   #14
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Gary, a very memorable and sensible quote!

Ralph, was the lack of a regular threaded mounting hole just based on Panny's desire to sell plates? (At least there's a less expensive but identical version by JVC.)
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Old December 21st, 2010, 02:35 PM   #15
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My HPX301 has a regular threaded hole in the V-wedge plate but I don't think I would like to use anything other than a proper quick release plate, I have two sony ones that cost me 50 each.
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