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test footage of Sony EX-1 and Panasonic HPX-3000

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Joe Incardona
test footage of Sony EX-1 and Panasonic HPX-3000
on Dec 23, 2007 at 7:04:59 pm

I've been following posts for the past few months about the Sony EX-1 CineAlta XDCAM EX and the Panasonic AJ-HPX3000 P2 HD camera. We had the good fortune this past week of having our Panasonic regional reps bring the camera to us for evaluation purposes, and we also got our hands on the EX-1.

I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to test the cameras under different shooting conditions, but we did get to shoot in our studio and edit some test footage. I'd like to share this footage with everybody, so it's available for download on our FTP site:

To log in to our FTP site, the user name is hpx3000, password is hpx3000.

I was able to test the EX1 the day after the Panasonic reps were here in Memphis. We shot similar footage to what we captured from the HPX3000, for comparison purposes.

With both cameras, which are native 1920x1080 HD, we shot some footage at 1080 24p, and some at 1080 60i. The Panasonic camera only shoots at 1080, while the Sony will also shoot at 720, in addition to 1080. We didn't have time to shoot anything at 720, though, on the EX-1.

If you log in to our FTP site using the instructions above, you'll see a single folder called hpx3000. Inside it, there are two subfolders: hpx3000clips, and ex1clips.

We used FCP 6.0.2 to edit all the test footage, and Compressor's H.264 settings to make the MOV files. We kept them at the cameras' full 1920x1080 resolution, so they are somewhat large, ranging from 3.4 MB (for one of the brief close-up shots) to 304 MB (for one of several narratives I did on-camera).

I had a lav mic on my narratives for the HPX3000, but we used the on-board camera mic on the EX-1, due to time constraints.

If you download some of the clips for evaluation, please post your feedback, as I would greatly appreciate opinions on these two cameras. You're also welcome to send me an e-mail with your thoughts, to

Thanks for all the great information that has been shared here, and happy holidays!

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Mark Palmos
Re: test footage of Sony EX-1 and Panasonic HPX-3000
on Dec 24, 2007 at 9:53:38 am

hi there
Just curious because theset two cameras are in such a different price range -

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Steve Wargo
It is heavy
on Dec 24, 2007 at 10:51:46 am

It is a bit heavy for actual hand held work. I've been looking at shoulder braces.

Varizoom and Frezzi both make shoulder units, among others. In the instruction manual, it says that when the camera is being used in the HH position that you need to take your left hand and support the underside of the camera. Good thing they told us.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.

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Mark Palmos
Re: It is heavy
on Dec 24, 2007 at 12:56:08 pm

[Steve Wargo] "you need to take your left hand and support the underside of the camera. Good thing they told us."

yes, the thougth of using the other hand had completely escaped me. thank goodness for manuals.

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Joe Incardona
Re: test footage of Sony EX-1 and Panasonic HPX-3000
on Dec 24, 2007 at 7:43:36 pm

Mark, the reason we were evaluating the HPX-3000 and the EX-1 together is that I'm trying to decide on an "A" camera and a "B" camera that will complement each other well in our corporate and broadcast production operation.
The HPX-3000 is clearly a good choice for an "A" camera due to the 4:2:2 color sampling. When we put our test footage from both cameras in Final Cut and put the shots "under the microscope," we could see that the 4:2:0 color sampling of the EX-1 caused a noticeable dark edge when keying the footage over certain backgrounds (obviously the lighter the background color, the more noticeable the dark edge around the detail of the flower petals in the test shots).
This means the EX-1 probably isn't your best choice if you plan to do a lot of chromakey work.
However, due to the fact the EX-1 is native 1920x1080, it looks really good compared to the HPX-3000 footage (also native 1920x1080) when using the EX-1 as a wide-shot camera in multi-camera situations.
We do a lot of multi-camera shoots, so I was trying to find an affordable "B" camera to use with the HPX-3000.
Originally, I was considering the Panasonic HPX-500 as a possible "B" camera to the HPX-3000, but it is not a 1920x1080 native resolution camera. Also, given you can get two EX-1s for the price of one HPX-500 with a good lens, the EX-1 is looking very attractive as a "B" camera to the HPX-3000. And, for those doing multi-camera, switched-live shoots, the fact Panasonic now has a sub-$8000 HD-SDI switcher will make it possible for us to do three-camera shoots with the HPX-3000 as our primary camera, and two EX-1's as the secondary, wide-shot cameras. The EX-1 has HD-SDI out, while Panasonic's entry-level solid state camera, the HVX-200, does not (you have to jump up to the much more expensive HPX-500 to get HD-SDI).
I hope to have the HPX-3000 in house by some time in January, and the two EX-1s by February (our dealer here in Memphis has quite a backlog of orders for that camera).
Thanks for your interest!

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Mark Palmos
Re: test footage of Sony EX-1 and Panasonic HPX-3000
on Dec 24, 2007 at 11:39:58 pm

Hi Joe, ok, gotcha.
About the backlog, its odd, most shops here (london) say they have a backlog and that i could get a camera by end of january, but one of them said i could get the camera in three days (the day after he was receiving a bunch) - so if you do want one, id phone every shop in town, and the nearby town too...

All the best, have a great xmas

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