I'm looking closely at the HPX 2700, especially with the trade in offer from Panasonic..... but there's one thing holding me back.... The lack of SD recording. I still have clients, including ABC News that want SD 16X9 footage. Has anyone heard of this option possibly being added via firmware or card option? Is anyone else dealing with this issue? I know the HPX500 will record SD, but I'm not sure my higher end clients will accept that camera down the road. The situation we all face is which cameras to buy. In the old days you bought a D600 or Digibeta and you were done... today it's a moving... expensive.. target.
I currently own a F900, two D600's and a HVX200 .... looking to buy a Panasonic camera thats somewhat future proof. The Varicam 2700 looks good to me since it's P2 based.... can deliver 1920X1080... over cranks at 720.... Nice Gamma control... etc... Anyone else have any thoughts on this? The Panasonic trade in deal ends at the end of the year, so I'm trying to make up my mind.... Any thoughts would be appreciated!
I highly recommend that you consider the Sony PDW700 or PDW800. This is a native 1920 camera that also does 720, whereas the 2700 is a native 720 camera that "upconverts" to 1080. In addition the 700/800 either comes with or offers the option of adding SD record and playback and is 100% compatible to ABC Net News standards. Please feel free to contact me off list at john at sharaf dot net to discuss further.
The decision really comes down to what format you are being asked for, whether you're willing to put up with the extra work of downloading and archiving PS (or SxS for that matter) and whether the 10 bit AVC-I codec is a requirement (which only seems to me to come into play in digital cinema applications and never for TV production.
I've replaced my four Varicams with four PDW700/800's and could not be more pleased, although I still keep the Varicams for clients (like ABC) who still prefer 720, but there are fewer and fewer of these and even ABC has bought some PDW700's, so I believe it will ultimately be their HD format camera.
The 2700 is an excellent choice, I have been a Sony user since 1993 and completely moved over to Panasonic in the last few years. We have been working tapeless for 4 years and with todays prices+technology+cost it is the easiest thing to implement into your workflow.
We have the 2700 and 3000 and could not be happier. I would not worry about the SD requirements, All major NLE's (Avid, FCP..etc) can mix or down/cross convert your content very easily and fast.
You could buy two HPX2700's for the price of a PDW800. You could buy a standard def. camera and a 2700 and still save a lot of money over an 800.
Personally, I think 10-bit codecs will become more prevalent in television production for commercials and episodic work. Basically where HDCAM SR is being used now--not just for feature films. AVC-Intra offers four times the quality of any 8-bit codec as far as tonality. It even gives an extra stop of latitude due to low noise with an HPX2700 or 3700.
Jeff, I see you have the 2700. I'm considering transitioning from my HPX3000 to a 2700 for frame rate issue, etc. How has acceptance been for your 2700 from Discovery, NGT, BBC etc.
Still have my tape based Varicam but post workflow for our projects is dialed in well for P2.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.