Anyone try the Panasonic HPX300? at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old March 9th, 2010, 12:31 PM   #1
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Anyone try the Panasonic HPX300?

I've had my eye on the EX1R for a little while, and recently a friend mentioned he may be able to obtain a couple of AG-HPX300 cameras that may be coming on market.

Although impressive with 10-bit 4:2:2 capabilities and native ProRes importing direct to FCP, I am having a hard time with the smaller chipset (1/3 inch CMOS) and what that means for depth of field and low light operating.

Can anyone comment on these cameras?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #2
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If you don't need 1080x24p/25p these cameras create great looking video with lots of built in features. But at 1080p, serious rolling shutter issues in even slight movement.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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I'd say the biggest positive for the HPX300 is the form factor and all the implications around that. The ability to use pro accessories such as radio mic receivers easily, to hand hold easily for extended periods etc. It also undeniably has a fully approved native codec (AVC-Intra 100) - though external boxes can be used with an EX.

Against that is the HPX300 being more expensive, the 1/3" chip factor, and yes, it does seem to be noticeably noisier than the EX and worse in low light. 10 bit might seem a big positive - but only for a camera with a very low noise threshold, only when the noise level is below the lowest quantisation level of the codec bitdepth. I gather that is not true with the HPX300, so the 8/10 bit issue is irrelevant.

It will vary form user to user, but I'd say a big advantage to the EX is the media options. The choice of using SxS, or Memory Stick or SDHC. And the latter have become far more realistic now that Sony have approved their use, albeit with minor caveats. Even if you shoot to SxS, it's possible to very quickly dub to SDHC in camera. which many are starting to find an appealing option.

Regardless of whichever you may prefer at the moment, if possible it seems extremely sensible to wait at least until NAB, see if anything better than either of them gets released there.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:59 PM   #4
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If your footage could be destined for broadcast the 1/3" chip is going to limit your options when it comes to submitting material.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #5
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one thing i noticed was panasonic doesnt have the gain/grain cleanup curcuit that sony often applies, and just when that was a factor, they output a "firmware update" for the panny that uses more cleanup than before. I think they were trying to address customer issues of how gainey it seemed to them.
its a nice cam, with a great size/shape close to the same price, and that is why i was looking.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Marty Welk
panasonic doesnt have the gain/grain cleanup curcuit that sony often applies, and just when that was a factor, they output a "firmware update" for the panny that uses more cleanup than before.
It's normal to only really get that sort of processing on lower end cameras. They can reduce the apparent noise level to a point, but it tends to come at the expense of other factors - often trading off resolution for noise performance. They can sometimes do frame to frame averaging as well. I wouldn't expect to find that on cameras at this price point.
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I think they were trying to address customer issues of how gainey it seemed to them.
I've not had the chance to check the noise on an HPX300 myself, but I've now heard complaints about that from several sources. If it's true they are releasing "fixes" for the problem, it seems to say the complaints are well founded, and if the "fix" is only a bit of processing of the sort I'd expect to find on much cheaper cameras, I'm not impressed.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #7
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That is one reason i did not purchace a Cannon long ago, it had that wonderfull "Film Grain" look to it, i prefer a clean video signal beings i dont do film.
proper temporal filtering of moving grain noise from offset diode triggering, that isnt represented in real life but comes out on the video as little changes that dont exist, is what i prefer. and its nice to have that without having to spend real time all over again to do that in post.

for those looking to put nasty little grain all over thier pictures to represent what high-speed film would look like 50 years ago , they should pay extra for it indeed.

todays digital is sufferring a whole lot more from its cleanups and compressions, and cleanups FOR compressions (take broadcast for example) i totally agree. But :-( as long as i am looking at a deep compression, having a bunch of moving noise in there using bits is a waste of bits.

I am not wearing rose colored sand blasted glasses to view in real life, so having a cleaner looking signal is helpfull untill i want to look like a old film. give me clean clear and in focus, because my eyes are still clear clean and in focus. Give me frame Rate , because my brain can process real life frame rates. give me real uncompressed colors, because my eyes can still see the colors in a blended gradient. Dont give me flaws in all that, and convince me they are features i should enjoy.

if they could perfect the light collection so it represented reality, instead of triggering of the particals on film, or triggering the diodes on a sencor chip, it would probably cost a bundle, so the next worst :-) thing to do to it, is try and make it look a bit more like it really did using Cheap Trix.
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