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Old August 13th, 2013, 09:31 AM   #106
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Re: Hpx 600

Agreed and for me I shoot a lot of racing which 90% of the time is in day light except for an occasional 24 race in which my AF or F3 just dominate in those arenas.

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Old September 9th, 2013, 02:40 PM   #107
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Re: Hpx 600

Myles, the night stuff looks really nice. I do have one question though, since I shoot overnight news. It would seem from the Panasonic specs, that the HPX600's MAXIMUM gain setting is 18db, and that to enable this, you must program a user button, as it is not assignable to the H/M/L switch like a normal camera. Does anyone know if this is true? If so, it would be sad that an ancient f10@2000 rig could best this brand new f12@2000 one at night.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 03:08 PM   #108
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Re: Hpx 600

Yes you are correct. When programmed you have use of 18db.

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Old September 9th, 2013, 03:41 PM   #109
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Re: Hpx 600

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Yes you are correct. When programmed you have use of 18db.

Myles
Sigh and no doubt all the complaints of noise will all start again like they did with the hpx301/371.from people who think these cameras can see in the dark!

I set my 301/371 at -3, +3 and +6 and no more as noise can then be a problem.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #110
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Re: Hpx 600

yup. And by saying that I'm not saying I ever use 18db, just answering the past question.

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Old September 10th, 2013, 04:03 AM   #111
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Re: Hpx 600

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yup. And by saying that I'm not saying I ever use 18db, just answering the past question.

Myles
I know that Myles and sorry if I offended you but sadly there are those out there that think you can just dial in +18db and shoot at night then wonder why there is too much noise, it can damage a good cameras initial launch as does the old skew and flash banding complaints.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 02:25 PM   #112
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Re: Hpx 600

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......sadly there are those out there that think you can just dial in +18db and shoot at night then wonder why there is too much noise, it can damage a good cameras initial launch ......
But the N in "ENG" means news, and there are occasions in such work where it's a case of either put the camera away, have very dark pictures, or put in 18db of gain. Noise is then something you have to accept, but obviously the better the camera, the less objectionable it is.

Which is why if a camera is being marketed for news, performance at 18dB is highly significant, as is low light performance generally. If it's not good, it can't be anything other than a negative against the camera - if it's being marketed towards a news market.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 07:52 PM   #113
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Re: Hpx 600

I shoot with an old SPX800 P2 camera. It's SD, but it's also f13@2000 and 65db s/n ration. My standard gain settings are +6, +12, and +21, with a user button giving me +30 and +36 if needed in pitch black conditions. Anything above 36db is unusable, as it turns darkness into bright grey static.

The SPX800 is amazing.......with 1/30 sec shutter, and +12db gain, I can shoot a relatively well lit mountainside with my 100 watt light, and you would be hard pressed to make out any grain.

I wish camera manufacturers would make things "cleaner" and "more sensitive" before pressing on to the next generation 4k cams, which will probably be f8@2000 and 45db s/n. :)

That being said, the 600 seems to do very well within it's available gain values.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 08:40 PM   #114
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Re: Hpx 600

To get the same low-light, low-grain performance with any of Pana's older 2/3" (SDX900, SPX800) on their newer 1080p cams (HPX600, HPX3100, HPX3700), you'll have to lit your scene up quite a bit. This means bringing a PA with 1x1' LED light on top of your on-cam LED. Try to shoot any dark interior hotel w/ its natural light. It cannot see the nuances w/ out ugly grain noise (3-9 dB). The legacy SPX800 & SDX900 blow away any of the newer 2/3" 1080p camera in low-light performance. I actually have to resort on the good old SDX900 for low-light, non-HD docs. It's extremely clean (low-noise). It's almost like 1.5 to 2-stops more sensitive even at 9 dB w/ equivalent grain of 0 dB on the 2/3" 1080p. But the trade off is 8-bit DV50@480p. Good thing I didn't get rid of the SDX900. Still useful to keep it around for such occasion.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 02:49 AM   #115
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Re: Hpx 600

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But the N in "ENG" means news, and there are occasions in such work where it's a case of either put the camera away, have very dark pictures, or put in 18db of gain. Noise is then something you have to accept, but obviously the better the camera, the less objectionable it is.

Which is why if a camera is being marketed for news, performance at 18dB is highly significant, as is low light performance generally. If it's not good, it can't be anything other than a negative against the camera - if it's being marketed towards a news market.
Did I mention NEWS? NO I don't think I did but I shoot news a lot and would dial in such gain if needed but I doubt if the guys back at base would bother if it was noisy at all as it's NEWS! Besides I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to go beyond +6db in the past five years and would have to scratch my head and go into the menu system to select it. I've even just had to go and check how much I actually have on my cameras as it is used so infrequently.

To base a cameras suitability on such criteria is just silly and I leave that to the internet Trolls who think it is the be all and end all for a camera spec.

Most of the sky news guys here use the 3100 anyway and the 301/371 and I know that most of them including me based their choice on +12 or +18db performance and I doubt if the sony users did the same, it may be useful to have but not the total reason for choosing a camera as most news desks will take anything if it has newsworthy footage on it including portrait i-fone footage!

But I think there are certain people who have a mind set that thinks that if a camera can shoot in the dark then it is better and I think it blurs a lot of sensible discussion regarding new camera kit, I do take your point David but I was highlighting how high gain tests can blur peoples opinions on new cameras and it ends up being a feature priority that is seldom used in the field along with overcranking and off speed shooting etc.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 03:03 PM   #116
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Re: Hpx 600

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Did I mention NEWS? NO I don't think I did .............
But you mentioned the 301/371 and they were heavily promoted towards news. Same is true of the HPX600. To quote from the UK website - "The AG-HPX600 is an interchangeable lens lightweight ENG camera system, remarkable for its IT connectivity and future-ready technology. It is an easy to use solution for news gathering, image production and other applications."
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To base a cameras suitability on such criteria is just silly .......... I think there are certain people who have a mind set that thinks that if a camera can shoot in the dark then it is better and I think it blurs a lot of sensible discussion regarding new camera kit,
Nobody is suggesting lowlight abilities are the sole criteria for whether any camera from any manufacturer is the best. But I will maintain that it is significant, highly significant for some types of work and it's wrong to simply dismiss it as a "by the way" point.

It's also wrong to try to dismiss the issue with "sadly there are those out there that think you can just dial in +18db and shoot at night then wonder why there is too much noise". Nobody is being that na´ve and thinking they can see in the dark (are they? :-) ), but for some work, improved sensitivity of a stop or two can make all the difference - and that's likely to be even more the case in news. From what I've seen, a comparable 3 chip 2/3" camera will have an advantage of over two stops over something like an HPX301 with it's 1/3" chips. That means if the 301 has to be at +18dB to get exposure, the 2/3" will get it at +6dB.

How can you say that is anything other than a significant criteria?
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I do take your point David but I was highlighting how high gain tests can blur peoples opinions on new cameras and it ends up being a feature priority that is seldom used in the field along with overcranking and off speed shooting etc.
Well, it depends on the work you do, but I disagree that in general it is "seldom used". A colleague of mine recently spent several weeks with the emergency services at night, when any extra lighting was in general forbidden. Fortunately, he had a modern 3 chip 2/3" camera..... News cameramen in war zones? Riots? Even something like a major incident a long way away at night? More mundanely, putting gain in to expose a nighttime background, then lighting foreground to match?

Sure, most cameras are likely to spend most of their lives around the 0dB setting, but on the occasions where you do want a camera that's still fairly clean with high gain, that's when the ability may be most crucial.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 04:27 PM   #117
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Re: Hpx 600

Something to keep in mind. Almost all professional cameras have a sensitivity rating at f1.4.

HPX2700 f10@2000 f1.4
HPX370 f10@2000 f1.4

You can get an f1.4 lens with a 1/3 sensor camera, only new and only 2 expensive models, but you will get the listed sensitivity.

You cannot get an f1.4 lens with a 2/3 sensor camera, not an off the shelf one at least, so figure it will typically be f1.8.

Please correct me if I am wrong about this, I just remember seeing these f1.4 figures everytime I have ever researched a camera for the past several decades........never could figure out why they have an f1.4 figure on systems that can't get an f1.4 lens.

That being said, the HPX370 does surprisingly well in low light, and it looks pretty clean up to 12-18db actually. If you want to see some raw night HPX370 footage, check out sandiegonewsvideo.com a local stringer with an HPX370 and 100 watt Lowel ID Light.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #118
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Re: Hpx 600

Clarification.......f1.4 prism, limited by lens maximum aperture, meaning the 1/3 cameras can open up to the full aperture of the optical block......I hope that made sense and I am not spouting nonsense!
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Old September 18th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #119
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Re: Hpx 600

As a very general point, then nowadays you have to take such figures with a big pinch of salt, as it's common to use forms of electronic noise reduction. Such can give a much cleaner looking image - but it comes at a cost, and it's completely wrong to ever think it can ever be as good as any camera which has a better lower basic noise figure.

The problem is that whilst such systems may give an image which looks superficially better, they may typically strip out subtle detail along with the noise, such that any processing of the image is far less satisfactory than on a camera which is inherently less noisy. The problem with the HPX371 was that they "solved" the noisiness of the 301 by such a method, which used a form of interframe averaging. In many ways an improvement, but gave rise to "noise ghosts", such that moving objects against plain backgrounds left a noisy trail behind them. Most of the time it may be barely noticeable, but I saw a test where chromakey was attempted and the noise ghosting then became far more objectionable. (Read: unusable!)

Please don't take this as implying that I therefore think the HPX301/371 a "bad" camera. I'd probably have got one myself, if the PMW320 hadn't come out in the meantime. You have to consider the price, and it does represent a lot of value for money. But in no way will electronic noise reduction ever make up for better basic performance through bigger chips, even 1/2" and certainly 2/3". But if you want a 3 chip 2/3" camera, expect to pay more for it.
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Old September 21st, 2013, 11:13 AM   #120
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Re: Hpx 600

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Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
I shoot with an old SPX800 P2 camera. It's SD, but it's also f13@2000 and 65db s/n ration. My standard gain settings are +6, +12, and +21, with a user button giving me +30 and +36 if needed in pitch black conditions. Anything above 36db is unusable, as it turns darkness into bright grey static.

The SPX800 is amazing.......with 1/30 sec shutter, and +12db gain, I can shoot a relatively well lit mountainside with my 100 watt light, and you would be hard pressed to make out any grain.

I wish camera manufacturers would make things "cleaner" and "more sensitive" before pressing on to the next generation 4k cams, which will probably be f8@2000 and 45db s/n. :)

That being said, the 600 seems to do very well within it's available gain values.
Paul, I agree with this sentiment. The SPX 800/900 cameras represented the best of what the "DV era" had to offer. Since resolution was sort of fixed, the camera makers focused on image and feature improvements over a long period of time. It seems that in the "HD era" resolution is this ever changing spec that in itself can be an entire reason for a new camera. This has been seen in the still world a lot.

I am not saying HD cameras are in desparate need of image quality improvements, not at all but I do wish the focus on resolution could be slowed down so we might be able to get to the SPX800 level of refinement with normal HD (720/1080) resolutions. Light sensitivity and CMOS movement have been a tradeoff for resolution with HD cameras. As the resolution goes up, one can only expect this to continue with more noise reduction in the mix...

My main hope is that we get one more round of 1080p cameras that reach a higher level of operational refinement, 1/3" through 2/3" from all of the makers. 4k is fine and will have uses but the majority of folks would befefit from improved 1080p cameras. The PX270 might be the start of that wave. Lets hope.
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