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Panasonic's HPG 20

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Thomas Kaufman
Panasonic's HPG 20
on Jun 3, 2009 at 12:12:44 pm

I just finished my second shoot with the HPG 20, or as my friend Mark Gunning calls it, the Lazarus.

Not a bad bit of kit, but a few suggestions for Panny:

1. This unit should be able to record in 24P native. Currently it records only at 60 fps, so all those producers out there with 16gb cards need much more media than if they shot with, say, a 2700. Intentional error?

2. There is currently no simple way to mount the unit on the camera for hand-held work. Someone is making a bracket, but you need to remove the Anton bauer battery plate - a pain -- in order to mount the HPG 20. Not practical for a short shoot. The alternative is to carry the dingus in a fanny pack, but that won't work either because...

3. There is no key inhibit switch. I'm shooting on the shoulder and my producer is holding the unit, trailing behind me with a BNC linking us. accidentally she press a button and the HPG 20 stops recording.

4. Unless you're rolling a tape while recording to P2, there's no way to remotely start and stop the HPG 20 from the camera. The producer and I both had a bit of trouble with the whole "who's gonna start and stop the take?" thing.

I think this unit is a good idea, especially for us Varicam and HDX900 owners who work with producers bit by the P2 bug. Whether P2 will, in fact, do them more harm than good remains to be seen...


Thomas Kaufman, DP
Washington, DC

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Ernie Santella
Re: Panasonic's HPG 20
on Jun 7, 2009 at 8:30:14 pm

Great idea, but what we really need is P2 unit that can record all formats, HD-SDI and Firewire in/out. Small and easy to mount on the back or hotshoe of Varicam or HDX900. I tried the FS100 and didn't like it. Too big and the cable input was flimsy and undependable.

Ernie Santella
Santella Productions Inc.

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