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is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?

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ryan early
is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 24, 2008 at 5:10:35 am

I've been closely looking at the xdcamex in comparison to the hpx500, I think I've read every post on both cameras however the sticking point for me is the sd chips in the 500. Sure the 500 records in dvcprohd but if the camera head is sd can it really be classified as a hd camera. Are there any resolution charts that indicate the 500 can resolve that much detail ? I don't really care about the pixel shift technology, for me if it works and the camera can capture the same detail as the xdcamex can with its 1920 x 1080 sensors then great I'll get one.

Are there any comparisons on line regarding these two cameras ? As I have spent my career working with 2/3 inch shoulder mount cameras my preference is for the hpx 500 however I just need to be sure that the image the camera records is in fact hd. I can't even find any information on the native resolution of this camera. I think the xdcamex is 2 million pixels ?

Thanks in advance for any input

Ryan.





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Steve Wargo
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 24, 2008 at 5:21:33 am

Same chip as the HVX200 and those guys claim that the 200 is HD. key word is "claim". I have two in our rental department.

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
2-Sony EX-1.


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Peter Corbett
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 24, 2008 at 10:23:13 am

Isn't the HVX200 a 1/3" x 3 CD and whilst the 500 uses a 2/3" x 3 CCD derived from the SDX900? Maybe not "HD" but streets ahead of the HVX200.

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Bob Woodhead
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 24, 2008 at 12:21:52 pm

Peter's correct. NOT same sensors as 200. TONS of threads regarding quality, comparisons, etc over on DVXUser.com

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
http://www.CoolNewMedia.net
Quantel-Avid-FCP-3D-Crayola
Panasonic HPX500


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Michael Sacci
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 25, 2008 at 2:56:04 am

There is no way a HPX200 or 500 is going to live up to a highend HD camera, nor should anyone expect it to. After all, look at the cost of HD lenses that are being put on Varicams, F900 and now the HPX3000, they cost more than what most people are paying for an entire HPX500 setup, no way is it going to be as good. But the question is what can you afford and well that do well enough for your needs. Get the best camera you can afford that meets your needs.

I have the HPX200, love it, clients love it, have used the 500 a couple of times and it offers some much needed improvements, what better with low light, bigger lenses but that comes at a much higher price, when I can afford a 500 I plan to buy one.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 25, 2008 at 6:09:04 pm

[Michael Sacci] "There is no way a HPX200 or 500 is going to live up to a highend HD camera"

Are you talking the HVX200 or HPX2000?


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Michael Sacci
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 25, 2008 at 6:30:01 pm

Sorry, HVX200. Hard to keep everything straight.



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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 24, 2008 at 3:15:28 pm

Hi,

The HPX as well as the HVX indeed are HD cameras. The folks that claim that they are SD chips and thus are only capable of SD are totally ignoring the effect of the spatial offset technology whic brings both cameras CCDs to above a million pixels each.

The EX camera works using a CMOS imager, not the same as a CCD. Do a google search on the EX1 and Rolling Shutter. The CMOS imager with all of its pixel count does not come without a price. And then there is the wierd issue that it won't allow you to go into record from the playback mode. You have to switch the camera off and have it reboot to get to the recording side. This will take over 10 seconds.

Hope this helps,

Jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HVX200, DVX100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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ryan early
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 25, 2008 at 2:28:17 pm

I plan to demo both cameras however I would like to see a resolution chart shot by the 500. Does the spatial offset technology give the camera the same level of detail as a native 1920 x 1080 sensor ?

I have looked on dvx user but I haven't found a side by side comparison with the ex1. My preference is for the 500 over the ex1, but I want to be sure that it is in fact HD and not an SD camera made a little sharper. If it can resolve enough detail to qualify it as HD then I really don't care how it gets there.

Thanks



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Nate Stephens
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 25, 2008 at 6:48:01 pm

Thanks Jan,

I love my 200 even more after I googled CMOS/rolling shutter and read Barry Greens article
---- http://dvxuser.com/jason/CMOS-CCD/ ----

I have read all the great things about CMOS for the last five years and was waiting for them to show up in cameras.... Now I am very happy that I am waiting a while longer for the global shutter...

I know that I don't want smear in my images, but I don't want to start explaining wobble, skew, or partial exposure to a client.

Maybe out in the sunny west they are used to everything a little askew.....

but I am an Ohio type of guy ;-)



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Dean Sensui
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 26, 2008 at 7:48:40 pm

[Jan Crittenden Livingston] "And then there is the wierd issue that it won't allow you to go into record from the playback mode. You have to switch the camera off and have it reboot to get to the recording side. This will take over 10 seconds."

Sorry Jan. That's not correct.

... it takes 13 seconds. :-)

And another 10 to switch back. So flipping from shooting to review and back to shooting will eat up 23 seconds unless you use the "last clip" review button on the handle.

Another drawback is that you can't go immediately from any of the review modes to record mode. If you hit the clip review button you have to wait until the clip finishes the playback before you can continue shooting. So if the clip review is programmed for 10 seconds of playback, you're stuck for 10 seconds.

The EX1 has a lot of pros and cons. Anyone interested in it really should give it a try and see if it fits their workflow and shooting style.

That said, I have both cameras. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Both can do some very nice work in the right hands.

Dean Sensui -- Imagination Media Hawaii


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Mitch Ives
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 25, 2008 at 6:09:55 pm

As everyone has pointed out, the 500 and the 200 are not the same chips.

Comparing the EX-1 to the 200 is a difficult task... the EX-1 has a far superior camera head and lens, but records to a far inferior format... and of course there is the CMOS baggage and tradeoffs with the EX-1 as well. Comparing the EX-1 to the 500 is even more difficult.

You can chase down resolution charts, but in the end, I think you'll want to shoot with both and bring the footage into an editing system. Connecting the cameras to monitors is a completely meaningless exercise... unless of course you never have to actually record or edit anything.

Walk the footage through YOUR production chain and then decide. Personally, I think you'll do fine with either camera. My 200's have made me more money than any of the cameras I've ever owned... but then again (to quote my friend Bill) "it ain't the piano, it's the piano player... always has been".

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com

Apple Certified Trainer: Final Cut Pro


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Ron Shook
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 25, 2008 at 7:32:58 pm

Mitch,

[Mitch Ives] "the EX-1 has a far superior camera head and lens, but records to a far inferior format..."

A darned fine post of suggestions, be methinks you exaggerate a bit with the 2 "far"s, at least in terms of practical application. (g)

[Mitch Ives] "Comparing the EX-1 to the 500 is even more difficult."

Ain't it the truth, particularly since Ryan hasn't told us what sorts of things he typically shoots.

A few other considerations:

--In run and gun situations the 500 will be just that much quicker with more quick switches as apposed to a few fiddly switches and the menu mess on the EX.

--With time and deliberation, I'm not certain, but expect the EX Image to be certainly sharper, and probably somewhat more paintable than the 500.

--The EX cannot be handycam held for extended periods of time (as in over 5 minutes) with any success, necessitating 3rd party quasi shoulder mount rigs that can increase the time to go to and from tripod or other support options.

--Camcorders of the EX stripe, don't have the same quality control or ruggedness of a camcorder like the 500.

--No SD recording with the EX. Could be a major problem depending on how you work and who you work for.

--You could purchase 3 EX's for the cost of a 500 plus lens, or 2 EX's well outfitted.

--Because of its small size and weight the EX can ride on an under $5k steadycam rig rather than one costing $15-20k. The same goes for jib rigs, i.e. the EX's much lower starting costs and size makes it possible to turn it into an overall system with more flexibility than the 500 for the same $$$, but sometimes more flexibility equals less speed in specific circumstances.

--With HDSDI output, either camcorder could benefit from a camera mounted Flash XDR drive and record to much better quality than either's native recording format, but because of it's better camera head the EX would benefit the most.

Ron Shook
Shoulder-High Eye Productions
CreativeCOW Forum Host for Discreet edit*


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ryan early
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 26, 2008 at 2:15:36 am

Thanks for your post Ron, most of my work is corporate and training dvd's for national companies and government departments, we tend to light and stage everything so not a lot of run and gun. I think xdcamex would be difficult in an ENG environment. Being an older cameraman I much prefer the form factor of the 500 because it is what I am used to but what I am really after is an indication of image quality differences between the cameras. If I can get a camera for under 10k that produces images of a higher quality than one that costs 3 times more (fully kitted out) then the ergonomics of the higher priced camera are harder to justify. Especially if the camera that costs 3 times more is closer to SD than HD in resolution which means I might as well keep shooting with 2/3inch broadcast cams in SD.

I am planning to hire both and do my own test and compare the workflows but I would like to see a resolution chart comparison between the two, has any one seen a resolution chart for the 500 ?





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Ron Shook
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 26, 2008 at 5:00:49 am

Ryan,

[ryan early] "Especially if the camera that costs 3 times more is closer to SD than HD in resolution which means I might as well keep shooting with 2/3inch broadcast cams in SD.

I am planning to hire both and do my own test and compare the workflows"


No, the 500 isn't closer to SD than HD. It's just not the tackest sharp HD in the world, so if you're wondering whether you should do the tests and compare, yes, you definitely should. I doubt if you'll find direct comparison tests between the two cameras.

Ron Shook
Shoulder-High Eye Productions
CreativeCOW Forum Host for Discreet edit*


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Nate Stephens
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:53:39 pm

Ryan,

I have been concerned about the same issues. But I read Barrys article on the CMOS chips rolling shutter and I will not get close to a Sony CMOS now. I saw a "Black History" special on local broadcast (big Local Station) I felt sorry for the anchors who put the show together and the Nationwide Insurance CEO who sponsored it. It was shot HD and you could tell it was CMOS rolling shutter camera. ANd how did I tell, in Barrys article he describes how the rolling shutter will show it's hand every time you shoot that camera under old flourescent lights. The flicker in the old light ballast makes for bars to roll thru the image. And yep there it was thru most of the show... Every time they interviewed somebody in an old building. The sponsor CEO was standing there against a white wall with bars rolling down the screen. You have to be blind not to see it. It looks just like old 3/4 inch banding after tooo many edit passes. This was our major local broadcaster, doing their major yearly community service sponsored by their major advertiser.... I would be out of business, sued, bankrupted and probably laughed out of town if I tried to put that on local broadcast TV.

CMOS, rolling shutter, might be a pretty girl to look at...... but I gotta dance, give me the HPX500....


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Brad Neal
Re: is the hpx 500 really a hd camera ?
on Feb 26, 2008 at 3:54:47 pm

Hi Ryan,
I shoot pretty much the same gig as you - corporate, training, etc. We have 2-500's and I can assure you that they are true HD cameras.

For our type of work, they are truly the camera that we have been waiting for, and our clients, most of which are fortune 500 companies, love the output. Not to mention that we have the option to shoot DVCPRO 25, 50, and 100... and variable frame rates, SDI out, Gen lock in and out, and the list goes on.

One other thing to consider - their is a growing number of folks shooting with their existing SD lenses and forgoing the HD starter lenses all together. I have seen side by side stills compared, and I honestly can't pick the one shot with the HD lens.

So if you already have SD lenses to test, rent yourself a 500 with a HD lens and do your own comparison - you may be surprised, and save yourself 8-10g's to boot.

That said, the 500's can't be compared to the HPX2000 or 3000, as the more expensive cams clearly shoot superior images. But I'm not shooting for National Geographic channel anyway (not yet at least). And I am not convinced that one couldn't satisfy even their stringent requirements with 500.

Best,
Brad





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