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Old May 19th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #1
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Hpx500 Film out

In August I am shooting an Independant feature and I am considering the hpx500. The P2 workflow would be a lot less expensive than going HDCAM. I want to combine the Hpx500 with Fujinon's Super Cine primes and zooms. These Lenses are vary expensive but with a cheaper camera we could afford them. I would deffinitly shoot in 1080 24pA for this project. Does anyone have any thoughts on this camera and lens choice for a theatrical realase?
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Old May 19th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #2
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Scott: Any suggestions or opinions offered by anyone here (about film-out with the HPX500) are going to be based on experience with the 200 and/or reading specs and are going to be purely conjecture...

I've bought one but haven't even seen it yet... I've been contracted to shoot a feature length film and I want the option of film-out, so I chose this camera. But my film is a documentary, and to be honest, will probably never see celluloid no matter how successful it is (getting struck by lightening is higher on the probability list than a theatrical release)...

Right now it's all a crap shoot...
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Old May 20th, 2007, 11:27 AM   #3
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Although I can't post it on the forum, I can tell you that based on the demo footage I shot for Panny for the P2HD Roadshow this year the 500 will absolutely *pop* with good glass.

I shot the demo with the Canon CAC lens with the built-in 2x extender (the most expensive kit lens) and compared to similar Fuji glass I'd say it's a notch above the other kit lenses; I was especially impressed with it's macro capabilities. Once back-focus was set it had minimal to almost no breathing when zoomed and otherwise performed very well considering it's price-point and intended usage. Based on my experiences with similarly priced Fuji lenses - and if I wanted one of the kit lenses - I would purchase that Canon, hands down.

But, as I mentioned in my "HPX500 Teaser" thread, it was obvious that it was the lens that was holding back the true potential of the 500's image quality, not the chips.

In short, if you use primes, HD-spec zooms or even the Pro-35 adapter and quality 35mm glass you're going to be flat-out amazed at what the 500 can do, far beyond what the 200 is capable of. Just keep in mind using the best glass on the planet won't mean squat if you don't use good lighting and composition skills to backup what the equipment can deliver.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #4
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Thanks Steve and Robert for your insight. One other question is on my mind concerning slowmo with this camera. As I stated before; I would shoot 1080 24pA (60i). Now if I wanted to overcrank to 60p I could not do so in 1080i. I am wondering if it would be a bad decision to shoot only the a few slomo sequences in 720p, then upres the footage to 1080 for the tranfer to 35mm.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #5
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Robert - Boy are you making me nervous - as mentioned elsewhere, because of a time frame/delivery issue, I had to change my order from a Canon (although the one w/o the 2x, because I need it lighter) to a Fujinon.

I really hate have to spend cash sight unseen...
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Old May 20th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #6
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Lens

Robert, thanks for the info. what do you mean by "HD-spec zooms" I am looking at buying a used Fuji HA 22x7.8 Berm for my upcoming HD work and wanted to know how a lens like this would perform on the 500. Since this cam has CAC and the lens that pany is selling with the packages are CAC how will a non-CAC lens work? I would assume great but wanted to get some words from someone with experience working with the camera.

Thanks again for all your input....

Last edited by Derek Hoffmann; May 20th, 2007 at 02:58 PM. Reason: wrong info
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
In short, if you use primes, HD-spec zooms or even the Pro-35 adapter and quality 35mm glass you're going to be flat-out amazed at what the 500 can do, far beyond what the 200 is capable of. Just keep in mind using the best glass on the planet won't mean squat if you don't use good lighting and composition skills to backup what the equipment can deliver.
I saw "Facing the Giants" in a theater, the film was shot using the Pro-35 on a Varicam and the whole show seemed a little soft to me. If you're definitely going to get a film out, I'd try to keep the amount of contraptions in front of the camera to a bare minimum, especially with this camera.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Derek Hoffmann View Post
Robert, thanks for the info. what do you mean by "HD-spec zooms"...
The *kit* lenses that are offered with the 500 are not the ultra-high quality glass that you find in true HD-spec lenses, especially zooms. That's why they use the CAC circuitry to offset the chromatic abberation that they cause due to the lower-grade glass used.

A direct analogy would be when considering the difference between "APO" type lenses for 35mm cameras (Canon's "L" series or the ED and ED-IF series for Nikon) and non-APO glass. Normally lenses that have large apertures of 2.8 or brighter have low-dispersion elements, special color correcting coatings and special corrective lenses that limit or prevent chromatic abberations, vingetting and other maladies that generally occur in lesser glass.

The same distinction between low-grade and high-grade glass is true for video lenses although it's not always as obvious since they don't use the same monikers like APO, ED etc. and are more specific to the model and series type. A general rule of thumb, is that if the video lens costs less than $10k then it's not high-grade glass. There may be some lenses that fall outside that generality but I don't know of any, personally.
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Last edited by Robert Lane; May 22nd, 2007 at 08:32 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:38 AM   #9
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Promising Technology

In theory, the CAC technology is suposed to make a $10,000 lens, which is still not CHEAP, look and perform like a $35,000 lens. The premise is based on if your know the specific shortcomings of a given lens than we can electronicly compensate for them. How this proves out is yet to be seen, but the technology looks promising.

Who cares how we achieve the best image, particularly if you can do it for less money and less weight then typical high-end HD glass.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 08:21 AM   #10
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My fear, totally unsubstantiated by any fact, is that CAC may turn out to be like "sharpening" in Photoshop.. something everyone thought was great at first, then when they went back later and looked at their pix, discovered needed some tweaking - and some sublety - we shall see...
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Old May 30th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #11
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Oh, and before anyone jumps in and says CAC and Sharpening aren't the same thing at all.. I know they're different.. the point is that often techno-fixes in picture, or audio for that matter, are easily overdone at first in the blush of enthusiasm, and it takes backing off on the fix before it's right...

Since (I'm assuming) CAC isn't user dialable, we have to hope that Panasonic gets it right out of the box on this new 500...

And about lenses... I've owned lots of good to excellent lenses for 16mm and super16mm cameras.. I still own a Cooke 10.4-52mm that is one of the nicest zooms I've ever owned.. crystal sharp and very little breathing and holds t1.8 through the zoom range.. NOTE that it is a 5:1 zoom.. Why? It's easier to make a very good zoom lens if you keep the range shorter.. It's smaller and lighter too... and I paid about $6500 for it new (admittedly) 25 years ago...

I wish there was a comparable lens for video (actually there may be, the new RED - haven't heard about it's performance yet though)...

Last edited by Steve Rosen; May 31st, 2007 at 08:01 AM. Reason: made a stupid mistake
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Old May 30th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #12
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Canon CAC

Oh, Robert, forgot to mention - based on your recommendation here I changed my order back to the Canon lens (although the one without the 2x - i't lighter and focuses a foot closer).. Means I have to push my start date back a month, but I do prefer Canon lenses..
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Old May 30th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #13
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Steve,

Although you've already said you know the difference I'm taking the opportunity to further explain it for others who don't - Chromatic Aberration Correction isn't like sharpening in PS; it's electronically removing the blue/cyan/magenta fringing that occurs in almost all digital imagers especially around edges, backlit subjects, highly reflective objects such as chrome-plated metals and points of light but is worsened by low-end glass that is not "apochromatic" (APO).

You do have the option in the camera menu to choose whether or not to use CAC and to have the camera match itself to the lens. The Canon lens specifically has it's own menus on the hand-grip controller for further CAC control. I have not had time to determine if the CAC properties can be fine-tuned but the system is designed to "self-align" similar to what ABB does when activated.

When comparing same-scene images with CAC circuitry on and off there is significant and noticeable reduction in color fringing and in some cases almost completely removes it without any other changes to image appearance or quality. It is not affecting saturation, hue or overall chroma in any way and you wouldnt even notice the difference unless you were specifically looking at small edge details - which you would if you were doing a film-out.

You'll be very happy with the 2x Canon, especially it's macro capabilities which I used quite a bit during my demo shoot.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #14
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Steve,

Point well taken regarding the over processing of digital media; my understanding is this technology should treat specific known aberrations for specific lens and it is not an overall "image enhancement” algorithm. Like everything else the first ones out of the box will not be perfect but it does look promising.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:58 PM   #15
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HPX500 vs. Varicam

Since we are on the same subject I didn't want to start another thread.I am working on a feature for film out and I want to buy the camera.
My options are either HPX500 or Varicam.
My question is would it be wise to buy HPX instead of Varicam and rent the lenses?Or Varicam would be better?
I mainly work on features and I will probably won't buy another camera for a while.
Thanks.
Good day
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