Panasonic currently has a trade-in offer for the HPX301 which is a good offer.
In testing the HPX301 I have made a few observations which I want to share, while at the same time hoping to get feedback from other users experiences.
1. NOISE. The camera seems to generate some noise when encoding a moving image. This is especially noticeable in the AVCintra mode, but lowering the gain to -3dB did help some.
2. PROGRESSIVE STUTTER. When encoding to 25P the viewfinder stutters enormously during movement of the camera. Also the 25P footage looks more strobing than from other progressive cameras.
3. STANDARD LENS & CA. There is a vast amount of chromatic aberration with supplied standard lens and it tends to breath a lot during focusing.
4. FORMAT REBOOT. When changing recording format OR playing back clips through the camera, the system needs to reboot, which takes approx. 30 seconds.
5. BACK HEAVY. When tilting upwards in hand held mode, the camera seems to slip off my shoulder, but then again I am not a small Asian build.
Apart from this I find the camera quite surprisingly robust with almost every needed feature at hand. And though the viewfinder is color and NOT replaceable, it is OK for critical focusing.
Steady shots in AVC-intra mode do seem VERY sharp and well-defined.
- No Parking Production -
Finalcut Studio3, Dual G5 w. Kona 2, iMac i7 w. ioHD, X-Raid
I found the 300 to be almost feather light for a camera of it's structure, what cameras are you used to shooting with? I used the AB Dionic 90s and with that, the camera was barely over 10lbs. For a pro full shoulder mount camera, it is the lightest one on the market.
The noise issue, I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. In comparison to the antiseptically clean signal that the Sony EX1/EX3 record, yes, the Panasonic does have more noise, but in comparison to the HVX200 and the HPX170, the 300 is quite clean. To me, the Sonys are too clean, they look very 60i Discovery Channel HD even when shooting in progressive. The Panasonic looks very much like nicely shot S16 to me, some grain but it doesn't bother me in the least. Different strokes I guess?
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