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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #1
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What would be the Fstop value before the image gets bad?<HPX>

I was told by members here before to keep the f-stop value not more than 8, might have been lower, but what kind of setting would be ideal to have deeper depth of field so that the focus range would be not so critical?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #2
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The f/t stop range isn't as critical with a 2/3" camera as it is with a 1/3".. and probably most of those comments you've read in this forum relate to the HVX. You can shoot at 11 and 16 if you want - it's basically the same as shooting 16mm - That said, it also depends on the lens' quality (all zooms come apart to some degree when stopped down)... I'd guess that 5.6 - 8 would be optimum, but I haven't had the chance to test it.

I do know that I've been shooting (with the HPX/Fujinon) all week at f2 and 2.8 and it sure is nice to have that separation from the background again, I'm happy to not have depth of field for a change...

BTW-I originally ordered the Canon (w/o 2x), but because of the delivery delay opted for the Fujinon (also w/o 2x) - and I'm not at all disappointed so far...
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Old June 20th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #3
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Thanks Steve,

I'm testing and trying to tune into with Canon HD lens that I borrowed.
I read your comment about Fujinon with CA issue even with the CAC on.
The lens I'm trying is the real x11 HD lens (HDxs grade) but I see the CA here and there.

Also, is it true that DVCPRO HD is less forgiven when over/under exposed than HDV? I had better control with XH G1 than HPX/HVX and also it was more fixable on the post.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 12:39 PM   #4
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Kaku: Yeah, I've noticed that too.. even though the HPX/DVCPRO HD are supposed to deliver an expanded dymamic range compared to HDV, I'm not seeing evidence of it... I've said it before and I'll say it again, considering all the bad-mouthing HDV gets, it's really pretty amazing that you can get that good a picture with so much compression (I've had an XL H1 for a year and a half)...

I have experimented with the Auto Knee some, but haven't noticed much difference..

I do have to say that I love the feel of this camera (HPX500) though.. It feels right on my shoulder and the lens feels very smooth and I like the B&W finder.. Oh, and I got the CAC and shading down, and the picture from the lens looks very good now...
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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #5
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Couldn't agree more

After the initial frustration with getting the color to balance, I have to say that everything Steve said is right on.

The lens shading setup on the menu can be figured out, but it is not completely intuitive, and very poorly documented. Anyone having problems with color coming out of their camera should look here first.

With that said, I also have to say that I'm very happy with the Fujinon lens. It has a great build quality and is very versitile. Since the shading characteristics for the Fujinon w/extender come as part of the camera's firmware, setup is very straightforward.

As with all digital cameras, if the highlights or details in the shadows are critical, you have to protect them either with a ped setting, or gamma choice regardless of the codec you choose. Better safe with more work in post than losing your details.

Happily, you can test the extremes without burning film or tape. Once you understand where the limits of the camera are for your type of shooting, it's a joy to use.

Also, thanks Steve for your previous posts on your experience with this camera. You saved me countless hours.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #6
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Bryan: I'm glad if any of my blunders helped... personally I'm amazed when I see posts from people that have pulled this camera out of the box and started shooting the same day.. It takes a lot of setup and understanding, even though the menu options aren't as extensive as those in some other cameras like the Canons..

I have a graduate degree in film from UCLA and over 30 years professional experience as a director/DP and I freely admit that this camera has taken the longest of any to dial in... and I've shot with non-reflex 35 Mitchells and the old Panavision R200s...
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Old June 20th, 2007, 10:08 PM   #7
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Steve,

I think the reason people just unpack it and shoot is the lack documentation for the controls and an incoherent approach to the grouping of the image settings. You are correct. This thing looks simple, but it takes a long time to make sense of how the settings and controls work together. As it is, the controls are presented to the new owner as JABOC. (just a bunch of controls)

If I were looking over someoneís shoulder who was unpacking this camera for the first time, Iíd advise them to follow these steps.

Get a proper white or gray card. It will cost you a couple of bucks, but itís the best money youíll spend this month.

Set the lens shading correctly. If your lens is not one of the listed lenses in the firmware, the procedure for using the USER settings are on pages 92-94 of the manual.

Choose your film stock: by this I mean, dial in how the camera deals with colors and how strongly to represent them. For each MATRIX setting, dial the CHROMA LEVEL up and down to get a general look that makes sense to you and your project. For instance, if you want that pastel 70ís look, you might try cinema-like MATRIX with a CHROMA LEVEL of -6. If you want it to look like news footage, perhaps a MATRIX of normal 1 with a level of -1 or 0. In any case, these two controls allow you to determine how the camera deals with the relationships between colors and how much saturation is recorded. This will give you the basic ďlookĒ.

Next pick your filters: Since color influences emotion, you may want to warm your image up or present the image with cool tones. With film, you had a standard set of filters that were placed in front of the lens to influence this. These were either amber, blue or slightly green or magenta. The warmth or coolness is determined by Color Temp Ach or Color Temp Bch, depending on how you white balanced the camera. Dial this up or down to get the emotional feel you desire or that is required. The CHROMA PHASE will slightly adjust the Green/Magenta balance, just like putting on up to a 1/8 green or magenta physical filter. Steve posted his observation that a CHROMA PHASE of +2 actually got his camera to a neutral point on the Green/Magenta scale.

If you follow these steps, in this order, you will have the color dialed in. All the other controls are for something else.

Many of the other controls are for coping with the limitation of dynamic range that are inherent in all digital imaging equipment.

If you are shooting in a controlled environment (interview, narrative film that is lit), you probably donít have to worry too much about protecting detail in the shadow or highlights, so you can use a Normal or Cinema gamma, with or without knee adjustment. Gamma and knee are there to help with extremes of latitude within a scene or in a run-and-gun situation where you may be shooting in the sun and shade at the same time. Bumping up the PED level also helps to protect detail in the shadows. All of these type of adjustments are for protecting your image. Naturally, if you use them, you will probably be doing work in post to adjust the luma levels at the extremes back to something that looks optimal.

Low light with noise? Use coring to smooth things out a bit.

If someone had grouped these controls together for me in the manual, it could have been a much shorter learning curve. There are more controls, but I think this gets you 90% there in a short period of time.

I hope this helps some new user. If I got something wrong, or you disagree wit this approach, Iíd love to hear it. I know Iím a long way from mastering the image on this camera.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 08:52 AM   #8
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Excellent post, Bryan-
The HVX camera allows saving fave scene files/user setting to the SD card . I assume the 500 camera can do the same. I assume the 500 can save shading info as well which would be especially helpful when calibrating non-CAC lenses.
It seems the 500 comes loaded with pre -set shading adjustments for each particular Canon/Fuji CAC lens, is this right? And it's up to the camera operator to set shading for all other lenses? It seems Panny could offer a more expanded list of non-CAC lens pre-sets, just like all the different battery pre-sets in the menu to indicate indiv. batt. life in the VF.
Is the 500 manual available in pdf? I haven't been able to locate one on Panny website.
Awaiting Barry's supplemental book on the HPX cameras.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 10:15 AM   #9
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Bryan: One thing I noticed which can really confuse the issue is that custom settings for color correction in the Scene File Menus do not seem to have any effect on the built-in 5600 and 3200k presets... So, if you're using quartz lights, for instance, to do your evaluating, and use the 3200 camera preset, you're not going to see much diference as you play with the color... You need to do a manual white balance on A or B using, as you suggest, a good white or 18% grey card..

Problem for me is that when shooting fast I often rely on presets so I don't have to fumble around with a manual white balance.. So what I've done is set the B (top) preset to a manually determined 5600 (since that's the one I'd most likely need quickly) and use A for other manually balanced situations... If anyone has another suggestion I'd sure appreciate it - like, for instance, how can I alter the camera's built in presets?
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Old June 21st, 2007, 10:15 AM   #10
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Hi Chris-

I believe the two cameras are identical in terms of scene files and saving additional files to an SD card. I do not own an HVX, but that is my understanding.

The HPX does come with some CAC lens profiles loaded as part of the firmware. On the Fujinon side, the lens profile available is for the 17x lens with extender. Because of the wording in the manual concerning shading, Iím unclear whether the profile for the non-extender lens would be the same. I think it is, but Iím just not sure. I havenít had time to test this, Iím simply using the Fujinon profile with the extender, and it appears to be working well. In my rush and excitement with the new camera, I set the shading up incorrectly, and struggled with the other controls for several days afterward, not realizing this one mistake would ďcolorĒ everything else.

I found a preliminary manual about ten days before the camera was released. It is here:

http://panasonic-broadcast.com/downl...nual-11873.pdf

Itís not exactly the same as the released manual, but close enoughÖ.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 01:35 PM   #11
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I went for shooting, after few testing sessions

To me, adopting HPX was maybe easier because I have experiences with HVX200. I just had to learn extra things on the lens parameters.

Anyhow, with your inputs here, I went out for shooting today.

Here's some photos from the session.
http://web.mac.com/kakuito/iWeb/Kaku...AG-HPX555.html

I'm still waiting for the 16GB P2 card, so I have only one 4GB P2 card, and I didn't want to rent P2 cards to save money for the 16GB cards, then I took my Mac Book Pro for longer recording. It worked really well.
I will post the footage later, but my RAID is rebuilding due to a hard disk drive failure....so, it will be tomorrow night.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 02:18 PM   #12
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Kaku: One of my RAID drives died today too... I have everything backed up on a conventional 500g drive, but that is what will make me nervous about not having a tape backup for a long time _ I don't have time or tools for the BR option...
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Old June 21st, 2007, 08:00 PM   #13
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Steve, I feel ya.

I'm giving up little disk space and the speed for the RAID5 this time.
I don't know if my Blu-ray concept will work good, but at least I can go back to the original footage archive when I need, too, aside from what has copied to the hard disk RAID.

I might even save footage on HDV tapes for the very last option when other data fails. I'm thinking as long as the shots are within what HDV can take, then it should keep most of the shots fine. If I find some motions that cause blocky compression artifacts, then what I can do is brake the shot to 24frame (save it as slomo) and speed it up back when I need to use it (this will be mostly 720/60p footage).

For Blu-ray, I'm thinking 25GB disc make more sense since saving 50GB takes too long. Panasonic sells 10 pack 25GB discs for around $100. Which is 250GB fro $100. You can buy 500GB hard disk drive for little more, but with Blu-ray disc, you can easily get another Blu-ray drive when drive goes bad, but it is more hassle to have hard disk plates transplanted to and there's no guarranty that I would have the same model at that time (unless you are saving everything on redundunt RAID which won't matter if one fales and you can get whatever the same size drive), but RAID system will add a lot more costs and space.

I heard about a news on boosted speed on tape technology soon. Until that technology is used and makes the tape drive transferring rate faster, I think I'm going to stick to blu-ray for now. I had some lost clips because of hard disk failure, that can't happen again.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 12:56 AM   #14
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Quietly posting the quick shooting we did yesterday.

QuickTime DVCPRO HD format, about 1.85GB zipped. Edited with minimal color correction.

Please do not distribute the link otherwise our company connection will be overwhelmed.

Chris, if it is worthwhile to post it, please do so, so I can turn off our download. I can also post the short originals, so please people tell me what part you want to see.

Please excuse my bad focusing.

http://www.musetex.co.jp/dmdocuments/soccorsession.zip
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 09:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen View Post
One thing I noticed which can really confuse the issue is that custom settings for color correction in the Scene File Menus do not seem to have any effect on the built-in 5600 and 3200k presets...
That's correct, the COLOR TEMP settings don't work on the presets. The presets are fixed 3200k or 5600k, regardless of what the color temp settings are set to. You'd have to be in manual (or auto) white balance in order for the color temp settings to have any effect. HVX200 is the same way.
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