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HPX-300 or EX1R?

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Kent Beeson
HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 20, 2009 at 5:41:33 pm

Trying to decide between HPX300 or buying the new SONY EX1R - Yes I know this is the Panny forum but thought I'd see if anyone has some thoughts on the better image overall? 1/3" vs 1/2" sensors may sell the SONY EX1R for me but the 4:2:2 and 10-bit Panny makes me think as well...

Any thoughts on why Panny HPX-300 is the way to go over the EX1R? Or maybe you don't think so...


Thanks

K
web.me.com/kbcv


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Dan Brockett
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 21, 2009 at 1:02:09 am

I have not shot with the EX1R, but have shot a lot with the EX1/EX3 and the HPX300 (as a matter of fact, I am shooting a regional PSA Monday with a 300).

Th 300 is undoubtedly a better camera from a handling and ergonomic standpoint. The EX1 and EX3 feel like a brick with a viewfinder and am unbalanced brick at that. The EX1 is antiseptically clean, too clean for my taste. The signal looks like really clean video to me ala Discovery Channel 60i nature shows, even when shooting in progressive. The 300 has more vibrant colors with that Panasonic look to it. You can tweak the EX1/EX3 colors but to me, they never look as good as the Panasonic colors. YMMV, this is all personal.

The 300 has less skew than the EX1/EX3 in 720 modes but more in skew in 1080 modes. Not sure if they changed the skew signature on the EX1R? The 300 must be moved like a cinema camera and it is fine. If you wave it around like a video camera, you will see skew in 1080 modes. It is not a great camera for extreme sports on long lenses and if shot red carpets or weddings for a living, even with the FBC fix, I would consider a CCD camera instead of the 300 or the EX1R.

Different strokes. I hate the Sony's ergonomics, every time I shoot with it handheld, I end up with a sore wrist, it is totally unbalanced and the look is nice but not as good looking as the 300 is for many situations. If you like the look of the HVX200 and the HPX170 (I have owned both), the 300 looks like a better and cleaner version with more detail and a better codec.

As far as codecs, no comparison. XDCAM EX is not a favorite of mine, it is an antiquated long GOP MPEG 2 structure while the AVC INTRA100 codec is the most modern and sophisticated camera codec on the market. Everyone I know who has shot AVC INTRA100 falls in love with it. XDCAM EX is serviceable but definitely more limited in post with its 4:2:0 35Mbps structure.

The Sony is a good camera, I am not slamming it, but it is not better than the 300. It is different than the 300. I would never spend this amount of money with shooting with both cameras before making a decision. FWIW, I could be happy with either if I was given but if I am writing the check, the 300 wins out for my needs.

Read about a project I shot in the Spring with the 300 here http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/production_diary_hpx300_brockett.html

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Kent Beeson
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 21, 2009 at 1:12:47 am

Very helpful reply - I'm still leaning towards the EX1R, but not completely sold so your comments were helpful...the Panny does seem to have a more vibrant color, but I really do like the 1/2" low light advantage of the Sony....

Still thinking it over.


Thanks

K
web.me.com/kbcv


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Martin Jordan
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 21, 2009 at 2:16:44 pm

One very important thing to remember when buying a camera is....you're not just buying a camera. You're getting married to a company. You're entering into a relationship. SO...you have to heavily weigh how they are going to treat you down the road. How's their tech support? Can you call someone easily and talk to them? Once you buy the camera AND ALL THE OTHER GEAR FOR THAT CAMERA is any of that gear going to be any good for when you upgrade later on? OR..are you going to be locked into that company (OR be married to them) because you're so heavily invested in their gear? Like for A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES "batteries", lenses".

I spent nearly 3 months looking at all the same pro's & cons as you are. I went to NAB this year and had a first hand look and feel. Talked to a ton of folks and after seeing all that and contemplating the best path for not only now but the future, there was no question that the 300 was the choice.

I came from a tape based HDV back ground and making this leap into P2 work flow had it's challenges and still does sometimes because I'm still learning, but now, as we grow and upgrade, my choices are far more that going with Sony.

The 300 camera is fabulous. All the talk about rolling shutter, EX1 having a larger sensor etc etc, is a bunch of nonsense. The 300 option vs option, quality, codecs, handling, upgradability, customer support, numerous options for lenses with a host of companies and on & on I could go...you can't go wrong with investing in a 300.




Quad Core, 2.93GHz, OS 10.6.2, 32GB Ram, 4TB RAID 5 Internal, RAID Card, ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB, 4TB External Raid, FCP Studio 7, AE 9.0.2, Squeeze for the Web, MacBook Pro (MBP) 2.6 GHz, Dual Core, 10.5.7, Panasonic HPX300 Camera.
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Kent Beeson
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 21, 2009 at 5:17:11 pm

Thanks Martin - helpful...I'm doing the same thing, having shot with SONY Z1U HDV fora while, I'm needing and wanting to move on - EX1R seems like a good camera, especially in low light but the 4.2.0 is bothersome and so is MPEG compression (to me)...

How many MB is the 300? EX1R is 35MB in HQ mode. Is the 24p completely fixed and fabulous now on the 300 - heard it's problematic but maybe there's a firmware update?

P2 cards - do they make a 64GB one yet? Are these stable, can you get the 32GB P2 card for under $800 now? Still trying to decide and get pro advice. And just curious - is the 300 a replacement for the HVX-200?




Thanks

K
web.me.com/kbcv


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Jeff Regan
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 21, 2009 at 9:09:29 pm

Kent,

32Gb P2 E series cards are $600 ea. 64Gb E cards are available for $925. The bit rate for AVC-Intra is 100Mbps in non-Native modes, as well as for DVCPRO HD. However, what really makes the 300 exemplary is the AVC-Intra 100 codec which is a Native codec for all frame rates except 1080/60i. That means that you get 2.5X more record time in 720/24PN, Native modes in 1080, 10-bit depth, which is 4X better than DVCPRO HD due to 1024 shades of gray vs. 256. It uses square pixels, full sample, instead of rectangular 3/4 sub-sampling pixels found in DVCPRO HD(1280 vs. 960 or 1920 vs 1280).

AVC-Intra is twice as efficient as most MPEG2 codecs, has Intra-Frame vs. Long GOP frame structure found in XDCAM EX, and 4:2:2 color space. P2 cards are used around the world for news and are very durable and reliable--proven since 2004. To get a 10-bit codec in a one-piece camera for the price of an HPX300 is pretty amazing.

Full disclosure, we rent the EX1, HPX170 and HPX2700. The EX1 is quiet and fast, not as fast as the 2700, but it's codec is not in the same league as AVC-Intra 100.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com



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Kent Beeson
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 21, 2009 at 11:31:55 pm

thanks for the replies...very helpful...I like the INTRA on the Panny, the 4.2.2 and 10 bit, even the form factor of the 300...I'm just leaning towards the 1/2" sensors on the EX1R...

I shoot 70% of my stuff in natural light both INT and EXT and wonder how the 300 will do with just 1/3" chips. I'm used to the SONY Z1U with 1/3", not so good...I need to move on certainly and need to decide between the Panny 300 or the SONY EX1R. So all your comments have been helpful...

I'll let everyone know what I went for and why...when I actually decide!


Thanks

K
web.me.com/kbcv


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Martin Jordan
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 22, 2009 at 2:26:34 am

One last word.

There are some things OR should I say—few things—that size doesn't matter. And this is certainly one of them.

Sensor that is.

You asked for our advice and that's what you received.

Good luck!

Quad-Core, 2.93GHz, OS 10.6.2, 32GB Ram, 4TB RAID 5 Internal, RAID Card, ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB, 4TB External Raid, FCP Studio 7, AE 9.0.2, Squeeze for the Web, MacBook Pro (MBP) 2.6 GHz, Dual Core, 10.5.7, Panasonic HPX300 Camera.
The entire Adobe Creative Suite 4, Design Premium.
Owner of Full Graphics Design Firm Houston, Tx 19 yrs.
Mac user since 1988.


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Dan Brockett
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 28, 2009 at 5:51:44 pm

Adam Wilt, who is a knowledgable video engineer, rates the EX1 "In 1080p, the EX1 came in at EI 500". The HPX170 is also rated at ISO 500 as is the HPX300. The Sony has a slight edge in 720p mode so I guess you have to ask yourself if you will shoot mostly in 1080?

Read what Adam had to say about the 300 http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/awilt/story/quick_look_panasonic_ag_...

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Kent Beeson
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 28, 2009 at 6:18:11 pm

Well, thanks to all for replies - I went for the EX1R...should receive it in a couple of days - 1/2" sensors, SONY $400 rebate, smaller form factor, good improvements over the EX1, used SONY in the past, SxS Pro cards as well as cheaper alternates.

I did strongly consider the Panny 300, but I think the $400 rebate, coupled with 1/2" sensors did it for me - and as someone said, major networks (Nat Geo, BBC {if with nanoflash} and others) feel the EX1 was good enough, now the EX1R is even better - perfect, NO, but very, very good for 720p or 1080p, plus DVcam (if needed).

Both the Panny 300 or the SONY EX1R are useful, but I went with the EX1R.


Thanks

K
web.me.com/kbcv


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Dan Brockett
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Nov 28, 2009 at 6:35:25 pm

I am sure you will dig the EX1R, it is a great camera. A producer friend of mine is shooting a green screen feature with that exact setup, EX1s with the NanoFlashes, he just asked me my opinion about doing so the other day.

I wrote an article in this month's HD Video Pro Magazine about outboard recording devices, the NanoFlash is a pretty impressive little box. I reviewed the NanoFlash, the AG-HPG20 P2 recorder, the Ki-Pro, the Focus Enhancements 200 and the S-Two OB-1. The Nano held it's own and can record a really clean signal.

Good luck,

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Maximilian Dandy
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:28:50 pm

Hi, How's the EX1R going on?

EX1R Resolution is awesome because of its 1/2"CMOS sensor.

Broadcast Standard is 4:2:2-50Mbps and EX3 only 4:2:0-35Mbps.
4:2:2 color reproduction is thick and 4:2:0 is thin.

Buy EX1R3: $400 rebate, unknown Megapixel 1/2" sensor, 8bit 4:2:0 35Mbps, add Nano Flash for 4:2:2-100Mbps and up, plastic look

Buy HPX300 : $800 rebate + March 2010 promo 2x 32GB E Series P2Card, 2,2 Megapixel Sensor, Great DOF, 1/3" 3MOS 10bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra 100Mbps, rigid full size ENG camcorder, DPX conversion Plugin to unleashed the Beast! :D


Cheers,

Dandy
HPX302, HVX202, DVX102
Letus Ultimate with Relay Lens
MacPro 3,2GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA 8800GT 512MB GDDR3.
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BlackMagic Design Multibridge Pro and Matrox MXO2


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Kent Beeson
Re: HPX-300 or EX1R?
on Mar 24, 2010 at 3:56:07 pm

Been shooting with the EX1R for about a month now - very nice...I do wish it was 4.2.2 and higher MB but it is a good camera.

Now if companies could only make a 1" censor with 20x lens and 100mbs or better for under $7000 I'd be very happy. And of course mega-life 64 or 120 GB solid state cards for under $100 each. But years from now obviously, if at all.

Thanks

K
http://www.effectivevideo.net


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