First Impressions: HPX500 at
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 12:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 25
First Impressions: HPX500

I spent a couple of hours with the 500 w/ Fuji 2x yesterday. I have to say that I was very pleased with the build quality of the camera, it felt solid an had a nice weight to it. It is a little heavier than the Panny 410s (1/2" DVCPRO25 camera) I currently own. The only piece that does not seem as rugged as the rest of the cam is the viewfinder. It is a plastic piece, but it does provide a nice little image and does it's job properly. I personally would not spend the money to upgrade the VF, unless the original was damaged or broken.

For those of you familiar with the full size, shoulder mount cams I think you feel right at home, I sure did. The buttons and controls were all right where you would want them to be. For me it virtually elements the learning curve.

The menu structure was very easy to navigate for myself, with the click wheel and menu button just like my existing camera. I know I have heard people say that the menu is just like the HVX200 (although I have never used one), but I think it is very similar to 410 as well.

OK, now on to the picture. All I have to say is that from what I saw I was impressed with the clarity of the images produced. I do not have as keen an eye as some of the more "heavy hitters" on here, but I sure know a good picture when I see one. They had it hooked up the new Panasonic 17" HD monitor (the BT-LH1700W I believe) running the SDI out of the camera.

My time was limited on viewing some footage shot with the cam around the dealership and shooting a little myself, but I liked what I saw. The Fuji with CAC appears to do a good job because I did not see any signs of CA on the monitor. I was very careful to be mindful of the corners of the screen checking for those nasty little buggers. I saw shots in HD off the exterior of the brick building with a pan across I also got some shots of a wicker planter in the office, foliage, etc. All came through great and without any signs of CA in the "contrasty" high detail shots.

The motion was also very pretty and smooth (shooting 60i), no artifacting was visible from my limited experience with the camera.

DOF was also a big improvement from my 1/2" camera, so I was really excited to see that. There would be no need for an 35mm adapter, at least for my purposes. Most of the effect I would need could be achieved just by knocking the light down with some filters or by controlling the lighting and opening that iris up.

I am arranging to get a few days with the camera to demo it, when I do I will be sure to make some footage available, if anyone is still interested in it. If I missed something or if you have any questions feel free to ask, I will do my best to answer your questions.

Sorry for going on so long!
Jeremey Shelton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2007, 01:17 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Lake Mary, FL. USA
Posts: 4

I posted this at
I used the Included B&W VF, (I know...I'm not good at focusing)

This is some footage I shot right after I got my camera (Two days ago), excuse the shakiness ( didn't have a tripod with me), I'm getting use to the body of the camera and recorded this in a hurry (i'm not a cameraman).

I will try to post better footage later (hopefully better material that do justice to the camera). One thing, the Fuji 17x is actually quite good for the price (I had my doubts but I went with fuji because of price and availability, so far I'm a happy with it). I do recommend an external hd monitor for focusing.
The file is heavily compressed (mpeg4 using compressor). Lense is Fuji 17X CAC. Cinelike V, all natural light (around 7pm in Olrando Fl.). Mostly done @ f2 (using Nd filter 3 & 4) and using the 2X in the lense.

With care and more time one can get fantastic footage out of this camera.


Gustavo Torres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2007, 03:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 25
I forgot to mention that I found the focus assist to be very, very helpful! I have not shot HD and I was a little nervous about the difficulties of focusing. I found once I turned on the focus assist and saw how it functioned that it made focusing a snap. Granted I was focusing mostly on stationary objects, but I could see this function taking a lot of guess work out. For me and types of shoots I typically work on, it is sometimes difficult to impossible to have a large HD monitor there to assist with focusing. With a little time and experience with both the focus assist and monitor (when possible), I could see becoming very comfortable relying on the focus assist when HD monitoring is not a possibility.

Also, the flip out LCD was a nice piece. Again, not using the HVX200 or similar cam with an onboard LCD, I think that it is/will be very useful. It makes navigating the thumbnails a snap and viewing colors within any given shot. The way it flips and flops the image based on the LCD position is great. I am used to using the VF, in most situations, so I would not be using it for focus or framing most of the time. It would be very handy for the setup recommended by Panasonic, where the audio person is viewing while shoulder/tripod mounted.

Man, I cannot wait to get some time with this camera to really see what it is capable of!
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