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Re: Why no midrange camera that meets MY specs?

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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Why no midrange camera that meets MY specs?
on Mar 21, 2011 at 1:19:23 am

What we really need is an AF100 with HPX170 technology. I'm talking the AF100 with P2 recording, 4:2:2 color, varicam frame rates and straight up reliable.

I love my HPX170 but as far as the quality goes, I am not getting the low light or the DOF that I really want in a camera. As a doc style cam it's fantastic but I am mainly shooting narrative. I don't want to shoot a DSLR because it's simply not a video camera. It doesn't record quality sound, the ergonomics don't work and the workflow is a pain.

Above all, I've invested in P2 with the HPX170 and I don't want to have to retire my cards/card reader. It just seems silly to me that the 170 was a well priced camera with a strong codec and now its market replacement has a great imager but is lacking the recording quality to take advantage of it. With AVC-intra and the near mythical AVC-ultra coming down the pipe (sometime soon maybe?), why is this great sensor recording 4:2:0? Even the SDI out is only 8bit.

But realistically, I'm waiting on Panasonic's answer to the Sony F3. But even the Sony only records 4:2:0 and you're paying 13K for the body alone. To get 4:2:2 you need to go through SDI into an external recorder. Something about that just doesn't make sense.

Long story short... at $5,000 the HPX170 offered pro quality recording at an extremely affordable price but it came out when people had just begun to notice DSLR shooting and ditched docu style cameras and 35mm adapters. Now to get that recording quality you need to get the 1/3 HPX370 which still lacks the DOF, the lens options and the low light. Basically, I'm waiting on Panasonic, or even Sony, to fill that void. Full frame sensor or at least 4/3, 4:2:2 color, quality recording media, interchangeable lens system. Looking at the AF100 and the F3, I don't think it's too much to ask.

I remember reading that Panasonic was against making a P2 version of the AF100 because it would require the camera to cost about $4,000 more after development/manufacturing costs. But honestly, keep it under 10K, and we'll be happy to pay for it.

Panasonic HPX170 P
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