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6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap

COW Forums : Panasonic HVX - HPX (P2)

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shawn Bockoven6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on May 15, 2012 at 8:38:13 pm

We have six of the 370 cameras on our remote truck driven by Telecast Copperheads. The cameras are ok if the subject is close, but if they is over 25' away, the picture just sucks. Zoom in, set a focus, start to zoom out and the image goes soft. This IS NOT a back focus issue. Cameras are beautiful under controlled lighting conditions, but they are almost useless at sports venues and outdoor IMAG. Met with Panasonic at NAB, while describing the issue to one of their engineers the gentleman from Intel standing next to me stated he was having the same problem with his 370. Anybody else seeing this?


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Tom MatthiesRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on May 16, 2012 at 3:05:53 pm

I'm running 5 HPX-370's on a remote truck with no focus/image issues at all. I have found that the camera will go soft if the iris is set to a very small opening. Diffraction off of the iris blades and the small MOS sensors? Use the ND filters, especially outdoors to keep the iris at f-8 or larger. Under what shooting conditions do you see the problem? What lenses do you use?

E=MC2+/-2db


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shawn BockovenRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on May 16, 2012 at 6:57:12 pm

Stock lenses. Had to remove the doublers, they only made things worse. I'm running into trouble outdoors when the cameras have to change shots quickly. These f'n things are just way to sensitive for us to keep up with in variable lighting conditions. There is no way I can reset the camera fast enough to keep the image sharp when the camera whips a 180. If everything is controlled, and static, things are great. Using all the glass on a tight zoom also creates an entirely new set of problems. The depth of field is like two inches at times.


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shawn BockovenRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on May 16, 2012 at 7:00:48 pm

I just had Panasonic over to test what we are seeing. The engineer is aware that these cameras have focus issues under variable lighting conditions. I am very disappointed to say the least.


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Tom MatthiesRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on May 17, 2012 at 1:03:00 am

Hmmm.
If they come up with anything definitive, post back here.

E=MC2+/-2db


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Gary SnyderRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on May 22, 2012 at 12:48:14 pm

Hello..

we're putting together a list of smaller HD truck resources nationwide..

Please send us info on your trucks and gear compliment to.

GaryS@clarkmedia.com

Gary C. Snyder
President / Engineer
Clark Media
610-694-9800
HD rentals in New York and Philadelphia
Panasonic, Sony and Arri Alexa


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Mark WallemanRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Jun 2, 2012 at 8:31:35 pm

We have 3 HPX-370 cameras. I like them "in general" due to their price point. Likewise, that's also the main negative aspect of these cameras.

The age-old quote: "You get what you pay for". An $8,000 camera will not work like a $30,000 camera. Period.

Everyone here is correct. Yes... These cameras have significant limitations. Obviously, using these cameras in SD is pointless. They look awesome in HD. However:

They will NOT work well with extreme lighting conditions.
They will NOT work well with a bright background and a dark focus point.

They WILL work great with controlled lighting conditions.
They WILL work great with a bright focus point and a darker background.

This camera is nothing more than the HPX-250 guts with a 1/3" lens mount, in a ENG sized camera shell. Same software. Same image sensor. Same $5 downconverter for the composite output. Nothing more.

We use these for news and switched shows, and they work great... As long as we take these cameras' limitations into consideration.

We purchased these when they first came out. I knew exactly what we were buying. I knew the limitations. How? ... The specs told me everything I needed to know.

Did you really think that these cameras were going to look like a 2/3" camera? At the price you paid for these? On top of that, these have what I'd call a "cheap" CMOS image sensor. Panasonic compensates for this with software - Which makes it look great - Again... For the price.

Have high-end clients? Got hired for a high-end show? ... Use high-end cameras. I'm sorry guys... You can't sell a $8,000 camera for a $30,000 camera show. If you could... Why make $30,000 cameras at all?

Mark D. Walleman
Relay House Inc.


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Wolf AustadRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:29:14 pm

1/3" cameras combined with a cheaper stock lens have the problem that diffraction starts around f2.8 or f4 or thereabout. While the lens is optimal around F5.6. Hence you get a rather limited range of f-stops where that combo will look decent.

Also: There really isn't any zoom lens priced to match the HPX370 that will resolve 1080 lines vertically across a 1/3" chip. So you will get a somewhat soft image. If you want 1080 resolved optically across a 1/3" chip you would need something like a DigiPrime or similar.

Aasulv Wolf Austad, fnf
Director of Photography
Los Angeles based


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shawn BockovenRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:49:45 pm

Wolf,

Thank you for the information. We purchased these camera without the ability to test them last year on the recommendation of Panasonic and our dealer. We were pressed to purchase do to the flooding in Japan. We also have a few JVC GY-HM100U 1/4" CCD cameras making better images at full zoom. The 370's are very difficult to manage at a live event. Our dealer was able to supply us with a $16k Fuji test lens last week. The image is better, but still showed all of the artifacts and softness you mentioned. We are a smaller station and I have dealing with cost-effective professional camera for decades. The 370's have been the biggest headache of all the cameras. In a controlled environment, the 370 makes a nice image when the subject is less than 20' away, but on our truck they are almost useless under variable light. By the time we change the filter, white balance, check the f-stop and scopes, the shot is gone.

Buyer beware.


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Jan Crittenden LivingstonRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Jun 4, 2012 at 7:11:35 pm

Hi,

Just came across this thread, and am finding that in contrast to all the happy customers out there, you obviously are not so happy. Sorry to hear that. I do know that 1/3" imagers will have diffraction issues outside of the sweet spot on the lens, which on the 17X is like F4.8 to about F8, and this may account for some of your issues but not all that I can imagine.

So it occurs to me that I would like to check your scene file and user file loaded onto a camera here in NJ. If you would, please save both to an SD Card and zip that folder. Send that zipped folder to me at jan.crittenden@us.panasonic.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, AVCCAM, AG-3DA1, AG-AF100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Larry ZapotockyRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:10:57 pm

Hi Shawn,

I'm looking for some new cameras for sports and I was considering the HPX370 because we are a local origination station and price is a factor. Were any of the issues you mentioned with the camera resolved?

Thanks,
Larry


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shawn BockovenRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:08:36 pm

We are still working with Panasonic, but I do not believe that there will a resolution other than different cameras. One of our cameras is being shipped to Panasonic this week and Jan asked to review the scene files. There are times when I have to ride the iris in the truck when a camera is zooming in or out to hold focus. They make a beautiful image in a controlled environment, but not when employed for IMAG and sports. It seems the camera likes to be close to the subject. We are seeing most of the problems at high contrast events, are far away from the action and zoomed in. Our vendor tested with the best Fuji glass available for the 370, image was a bit better, but the focus issue was still present.

We tested the JVC 1/3" chip cameras and didn't experience any of the problems we are having with the 370's.


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Larry ZapotockyRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:45:45 pm

Thanks for the update Shawn. If you get a resolve to the issue, please post here again.

Larry


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Ian Liuzzi-FedunRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 2:01:09 am

I hate to agree with manufactures but Jan is right - these cameras are freaking awesome as many people will attest to. I have had them in some pretty uncontrolled lighting situations and they perform so well. Would I like something better....yes. Do I need it...no - these cameras, at least the pair I have (plus a 250) do not have the limitations you describe - or at least are not as bad.



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shawn BockovenRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Oct 15, 2012 at 5:14:35 pm

We are seeing the problem in the last 1/3 of the glass. We can't get any detail at the end of a zoom with the stock 17x, however, we do see a little improvement using the 20x. Sample images shows little detail in either lens when at max zoom. Note the chromatic aberration on the right when employing the stock lens. In studio and when close to the subject these cameras ROCK! We are having trouble outdoors, at IMAG events and sports venues when needing the last part of the glass.

http://www.metv.ws/bb/370Lens_test.png.

Regards


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David KahnRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Oct 27, 2012 at 2:13:12 pm

I'm thinking of getting 3 of these for our church services. The services will be inside a cinema. Distance between Cam 1 (center) to stage is about 40-50 feet. Cams 2 and 3 will be about 20 feet away from the stage.

Will these cams fair well inside?


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jim jimRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:52:54 pm

Use HD LENS


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Donald PollockRe: 6 Panasonic AG HPX370 Cameras Look Like Crap
by on Sep 12, 2014 at 3:38:30 pm

We have four AG HPX cameras with our remote truck using stock lenses. We want to move to bigger/longer lenses for sports. Any recommendations?


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