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


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Old August 3rd, 2006, 10:10 PM   #16
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds
There seems to be a lot of contradictory info about this camera. What is the truth?
The truth is that I just ran this test, and posted my results.

Quote:
Can it focus during a zoom or not?
Undoubtedly, unquestionably, absolutely yes.

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Is autofocus good or lousy?
Depends on what frame rate you're shooting at. If you're shooting 60i or 60p, it's excellent. If you're shooting 24p it's so slow as to be only of marginal value.

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Is the viewfinder acceptable for focusing or not?
No viewfinder on any of the 1/3" HD cameras is acceptable for focusing. It's mathematically impossible to accurately represent a 2-million-pixel image on a 200,000-pixel display device. You can't do it, and trying will just lead to frustration (and out-of-focus shots.)

That's why JVC offers its b&w/colored-peaking "focus assist" mode, and user-dialable peaking. That's why Sony & Canon both have full-screen magnified focus assist. And why the HVX has peaking, a magnified focus assist window, and an accurate distance readout. Use the combination of tools and you'll do just fine.

But if you want to just gauge focus by using the LCD by itself, you'll be sorely disappointed by the results, with all of these cameras.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 10:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
That's why JVC offers its b&w/colored-peaking "focus assist" mode, and user-dialable peaking. That's why Sony & Canon both have full-screen magnified focus assist. And why the HVX has peaking, a magnified focus assist window, and an accurate distance readout. Use the combination of tools and you'll do just fine.

But if you want to just gauge focus by using the LCD by itself, you'll be sorely disappointed by the results, with all of these cameras.
I can appreciate what you're saying. It's just that I've heard these complaints regarding the HVX200's viewfinder and viewscreen quite a bit (a dangerous thing to listen to this type of thing I know), whereas I haven't heard these complaints nearly to the same degree with the Sony Z1u, et all. Are the HVX's screens at least as good as the Sony's?
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 11:27 PM   #18
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Location: Hollywood, CA
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I LOVE the manual zoom on this camera! For the price range, I think it's fantastic.

I've found that by turning off the auto-zoom and holding the lens barrel with my right hand by the microphone support, four fingers down the right side, thumb around the post and on the zoom ring, then the left hand thumb and forefinger on the zoom ring, I can get a very nice controlled fast or slow zoom. If I'm hand-held, I also steady the camera against my body, and also can focus nicely with the left hand.

It also helps to keep the fingers tightly on the zoom ring, to eliminate inadvertent muscle twitches.

With three fingers from both hands on the zoom ring, I can get nice, controlled, fast or slow and ramped zooms that fit the action and composition perfectly.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 11:28 PM   #19
Obstreperous Rex
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
HVX can focus and zoom at the same time, including using autofocus in combination with motorized servo zoom.
Thanks for the correction, Barry -- much appreciated,
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Old August 4th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #20
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds
Are the HVX's screens at least as good as the Sony's?
I don't believe it is. The Sony LCD is better, appears to have a wider viewing angle with the ability to hold contrast longer.

The question is -- is it enough to make a difference? No, not really, I've shot with 'em side-by-side and while the Sony's LCD is better in broad daylight, it's still nowhere near up to the task of being used by itself to determine proper focus.

It's like you need fifty bucks to buy something; the HVX's LCD gives you $10, the Sony gives you $12. Yes $12 is better than $10, but you still aren't anywhere near being able to afford the thing you want.

So you still need focus assist, you still need to check in with one-touch-autofocus, etc. You absolutely have to use peaking or you don't stand a chance. And that is true of all these cameras. Try the Canon's viewfinder for example. Or the JVC's. You'll quickly understand that it is simply not possible to work with these LCDs like we used to on standard-def. You have to use other focus assist tools, the LCDs by themselves are nowhere near adequate for the task.
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