FORUMS: list search recent posts

HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII

COW Forums : Panasonic Cameras

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Matthew Sonnenfeld
HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 22, 2010 at 8:59:16 pm

I go to school at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and I thought, "How cool would it be to take advantage of Colonial Williamsburg's local folklore and make a ghost film?"

So now I'm beginning to plan this film, and I thought I would put the question out there for debate... would it be wiser to use my HXP170, which I already own, and rent a Letus or Redrock Micro cinema adapter and some PL mount lenses, or should I rent a Canon 5D mark II and some L glass?

I've already got the Redrock matte box, the Rode NTG-3 shotgun mic, access to either a Zoom H4n or Marantz audio recorder, and I will be getting a tripod capable of more weight (I have the manfrotto 501 and it flops forward with the mattebox on it), so I'll be able to put up a reasonably impressive rig. I also will be backed financially from the school and from indipendant investing which I will be starting to gather over the upcoming months as the script takes on more of a full body. Please let me know any thoughts that you may have, particularly on the camera but anything else on the production in general. You never know who's been to Williamsburg!

Thanks!
Matt

Panasonic HPX170 P
2008 Unibody Macbook Pro 15 inch, 2.8 Ghz, 4GB RAM
CalDigit VR
Final Cut Pro Studio 3
Avid Media Composer
The College of WIlliam and Mary


Return to posts index

Noah Kadner
Re: HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 23, 2010 at 12:33:08 am

Kinda depends what's most important. The HPX is a solid workhorse and will never let you down with excessive skew, bad audio or overly compressed looking imagery. On the other hand it will never achieve the depth of field shallow look that's all the rage these days of the 5D M2. Personally I'd really think it over. A lot of folks are using both a proper HD camera for their main shoot and rolling in the 5D for b-roll and trick shots to leverage the strengths of both cameras. Until a hybrid camera with a DSLR sensor and a proper camcorder body hits- and it's coming later this year- there's no simple answer to your question.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


Return to posts index

Dan Brockett
Re: HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 24, 2010 at 4:02:32 pm

I own the HPX170, a Letus Extreme and the Canon 5D MKII. I shot a project yesterday with both of them. The HPX170 will have a cleaner, sharper picture but with the addition of a 35mm adapter, sharpness will somewhat go out the window. The HPX170 with the Letus requires a ton of light to make great images, the 5D MKII, not so much, although you do need to light it to make it look good.

Between the two, I find it a difficult choice on which to use at times, although either can make great images. The recorded signal off of the HPX170 will be much more robust and not as compressed. It is also 4:2:2 if you are doing any keying or compositing.

By the time you outfit the 5D MKII with lenses, Z-Finder, etc. you will be in the same cost range as the 170 with a 35mm adapter.

Tough choice. I like them both, use them both but if I had to choose only one, it would be my 170, it is a much better video camera. But I don't shoot narrative, I shoot mostly docs, BTS, EPK type of stuff.

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


Return to posts index


Michael Sacci
Re: HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 24, 2010 at 6:31:14 pm

Well said Dan, when buy gear in the production world it never boils down to a either or decision, it is normally I need both.

A good question to ask when faced with this choice is "Do you have control over the lighting." If not the DSLR will be more versatile. You can get shots with it that there is no way a camera like the 170 can get, with or without lens adapter.

I have a HVX and I have friends telling me to sell it it is not worth keeping. Well until I need to record 30 minutes straight outside in the 95 degree heat. My T2i will last for about 10 minutes before the HOT light comes on and about 20 minutes where the camera needs a break.

I also agree about the cost but the advantage is a DSLR can be a gradual purchase, buying good used lenses and the needed gear as you go. The HPX is an all in one (or all in 2 step purchase) No matter how "cheap" the camera get this is still an expensive system to fulling put together.


Return to posts index

Dan Brockett
Re: HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 24, 2010 at 6:50:26 pm

Good points all Michael.

I find that my 5D MKII is a lousy video camera, but a great stills and motion picture camera. If I have to handhold it, do moves like following someone walking or follow something moving quickly, the CMOS rolling shutter artifacts can be quite a hindrance. The awkward ergonomics make it challenging to hold and work with while obtaining smooth and professional level movement.

In the end, if I think of my 5D MKII like a S16 camera, it works well. If I am on sticks or my jib, with a monitor, in a controlled situation, it is great. Most of my shooting though is becoming more and more run and gun.

The piece I shot yesterday was an available light interview I shot with my 170 and stills all over the place with my 5D MKII to support the video. Also shot b-roll with the 170. The combination of the two worked very well. I could have shot the interview with the 5D MKII but it was a reticent interviewee and we were talking about some really sensitive subject matter so having to interrupt them every 12 minutes to shut the 5D MKII off and on would not have worked.

Yes, tough choice. I would not want to give up either, they are both great tools in their own right, but so different.

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


Return to posts index

Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 24, 2010 at 9:12:56 pm

Thank you everyone for all of your help and ideas!

As far as lighting goes, I will have access to the lights that I will need. My biggest concerns would be the locations letting me use them and how to get the powere that I need. Colonial Williamsburg is a very strange place in that way.

I really want to be able to have the most versatile rig that I can get a hold of. I love not having to worry about sound synching, having multiple frame rates, and all of the other advantages of the HPX. However, if I have a cinema adapter on it, then ergonomics goes out the window anyway so that levels out the playing field a bit more. Mostly I will be shooting on a tripod anyway though. I'll probably be getting the Miller Compass 20.

Truthfully, my biggest concerns are these... flexibility of the HPX in low light, and flexibility of the codec in a post workflow. The nature of the film (ghost / sci-fi) lends itself to generally darker scenes. For that, the 5D seems like the way to go. However, I expect to do some fairly significant color grading in post and more likely than not, some keying and greenscreen effects. For that, DVCPRO HD far beats out the 5D.

I will be doing my color grading in Apple's Color and rendering out to ProRes422 for the 10 bit environment. (Thank you Noah and Shane from a previous thread).

Of course, no camera is perfect except the Alexa, but given these two concerns, where do you think I need to cut my losses? I'm pretty willing to try some new things too and I have time to experiment so all ideas are welcome!

Thanks again!

Panasonic HPX170 P
2008 Unibody Macbook Pro 15 inch, 2.8 Ghz, 4GB RAM
CalDigit VR
Final Cut Pro Studio 3
Avid Media Composer
The College of WIlliam and Mary


Return to posts index


Dan Brockett
Re: HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 24, 2010 at 9:22:19 pm

If low light is your main concern, you have to go with the 5D MKII. The HPX170 with most adapters is going to be rated at ISO 200 or thereabouts whereas you can easily shoot the 5D MKII with fast lenses at ISO 2500 and still have a very usable and nice image. I know what it can be like to shoot the 170 without enough light and it looks terrible. The recorded signal is more robust but if you will always be fighting underexposing the 170, go for the 5D MKII without a doubt, it has been proven numerous times in very low light.

As far as post, I have seen 5D MKII projected and as long as you are careful and know your post workflow or have an editor who is good at that, the 5D MKII image can look great even on a bigger screen. But you have to be aware of the moire and aliasing issues, that can really kill you when projected. Test, test, test. Check the wardrobe, be careful with repetitive patterns on buildings, water, lots of foliage, etc. It is a severe limitation of the 5D MKII but there are ways around it with careful composition, using a monitor and using filtration.

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


Return to posts index

Michael Sacci
Re: HPX170+35mm Adapter, or 5D mkII
on Jun 25, 2010 at 5:51:20 am

There is a lot of new lighting options out there also. With florescence and LED figures the worries about power can be reduced. Take a look at the Zacuto.com video shootout. You will be blown away with what you can do with a DSLR and just a little light.

Also think about renting if you can.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]