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Barry_Green
02-11-2009, 10:27 PM
Click here to read the full article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/22)

Kholi
02-11-2009, 10:35 PM
Whoa! Can't wait to read this... TONIGHT.

There's a bit of a problem with the playback, though. Maybe it's not all uploaded yet

Luis Caffesse
02-11-2009, 10:44 PM
Nice writeup, Barry.
Of course I still feel like I've barely broken in my 170
Can't wait to get my hands on this one.

:)

Kholi
02-11-2009, 10:54 PM
And done reading... twice. Video works as well. I'll reserve my excitement for a hands-on but I can ALREADY see the difference even in that compressed footage. I swear the HPX170 would've missed so much detail in the Elephant and Rhino skin.

Not to mention all the foliage, etc.

To Kevin: Nice footages already. The first clip was pretty awesome. Especially all that detail in the fur!!!

Barry, I noticed you said something about street price well-under 10K. =P I guess that was a typo?

Regardless, it's pretty much a given that you should expect to pay about 10 ~ 12K after P2 cards and batteries.

Thanks so much for this!

Barry_Green
02-11-2009, 10:59 PM
My understanding is that with an MSRP of $10,700 the street price should be well under $10K. Maybe under $9K.

Kholi
02-11-2009, 11:03 PM
This might be the new "HVX200A" for me... Oh Boy. I know you've done a hefty amount, any chance of finding a high-res version of that footage for playback?

AVC-Intra kicks so much ass! And the colors look really spot on.

Barry_Green
02-11-2009, 11:06 PM
Those are high-res clips, or at least they're supposed to be. They were authored at 1920x1080x23.976 and 1280x720x23.976. Be sure to click the "play in high def" button. And click the "fullscreen" button in the lower right corner.

Kholi
02-11-2009, 11:20 PM
Oh! I see it now. Thanks!

Were those stills of the female both at 720p or both at 1080? -3dB on the HPX300? It reminds me of the difference between the HPX500 and HVX200 tests you did. Although, this time the image looks a bit cleaner where the HPX300 is concerned.

Sweet.

Barry_Green
02-11-2009, 11:25 PM
Those were shots of the DSC Labs CamBelles. Both were 1080p, and I don't remember the gain but I'm pretty sure they were both done at 0dB.

I think a lot of the cleanliness we're seeing is due to the 10-bit codec; 1024 shades of skintone vs. 256.

Sumfun
02-11-2009, 11:36 PM
Thanks for the detailed review, Barry.

A couple of questions for you:

1. In your EX1 review, you mentioned that the picture softened a little while panning. Did you see the same from the HPX300?

2. Did you get a chance to compare the AVC-Intra 50Mbps vs 100Mbps? If so, how much quality difference is there?

Sumfun
02-11-2009, 11:43 PM
Oh, and not related to the HPX, but could you please describe your hard drive setup and workflow? Were they RAIDed? Did you download through the HPG20 or through Cardbus reader and Mac? Were the drives bus powered USB or eSATA? Etc...

SPZ
02-12-2009, 02:37 AM
Barry, excelent article! So, the HPX300 was really "real"... You knew it all this time, didn't you? :)

Anyway, concerning this cam, I have a few questions:

1- Codec- Its obvioulsy superior to XDCAM EX, the question is: In a Octo Core 2.8 computer (2008) (With 8gb ram), is AVC Intra editable real time, or do we have the edit the offline way (proxies)?

2- Concerning DOF: with the Interchangeable lenses available, do we get any advantage in DOF, or are we stuck to Fixed Lens DOF? EDIT, ok, this question doesn't seem to make much sense, but let me explain :). I know the 1/3 CCD's should SEE the same, independently of fixed or interchangeable lens design. What I mean is are there in the market any 1/3 Lens that could give me the equivalent of Primes in both 2/3 and S35 formats? Something comparable to a wide 24mm 1.8 Nikkor AI, or a 50 1.4 in therms of DOF? Or are we stuck to Heavy zooming to get shallow DOF? What image performance boost can we get from the other 1/3 glass, excluding zoom range?

3- With the 2/3 ring to use 2/3 glass, won't the 2/3 glass have a different range on the camera? A wide angle becomes not wide, for example?

4- When can we expect this one? Also, how much does it weight? (For support gear use)

4- This one is for Dennis, from Cinevate: Does the new B4 Relay option for the brevis works with 1/3 interchangeable cameras like this one?

Cheers, Barry, and thanks for the time!

Panasonic gear has worked for me troughout my professional career. Unfortunately, competition is fierce, and with the DSLR revolution (Canon 5d mark II, for example) and RED Scarlet (yes, its still nowhere to be seen), this seems like a camera that could suit, for example, event shooting, but for Indie Filmmaking, TVC's and Medium end work, not that much of a challenger. If This was 2/3 Cmos, however, or even Panasonic's own mini 4/3 DSLR format (the revolutionary no mirror format) this could very well be "it". At least, at first glance, this is what I think.

EDIT- If this was 2/3 at bellow 9k, I would buy it without a second tought!

Everts
02-12-2009, 05:31 AM
The picture of the girl of the HPX 170 is flat and looks like it was shot with the F1 scenefile setting .
The hpx300 looks tweaked.
With that said this looks like a very impressive camera.

The videos are sweet Barry but look abit oversaturated.
I would really love to see this documentary training DVD.
But why doesnt hpx 300 ( US version ) have NTSC /PAL capabilities ?

vcfilms
02-12-2009, 06:34 AM
Seems like a good camera thanks for the review. Shame about a 1/3" chip set though be nice if they could have at least gone 1/2"

For my money I think I'd still go with the EX1/EX3 but def a cool review!

Barry_Green
02-12-2009, 07:33 AM
1. In your EX1 review, you mentioned that the picture softened a little while panning. Did you see the same from the HPX300?
That was a firestorm that was caused by two factors: CMOS skew, and long-GOP. The CMOS skew issue was eventually settled by Mikko Wilson's article where he demonstrated that using a waveform monitor to measure resolution wasn't a valid technique with a CMOS camera, specifically because the skew causes the waveform monitor's representation of the signal to become... well... skewed.

As for long-GOP, that's just what it is, and the HPX300 doesn't have long-GOP so that wouldn't apply.


2. Did you get a chance to compare the AVC-Intra 50Mbps vs 100Mbps? If so, how much quality difference is there?
I didn't bother. AVC-I 100 is full-raster, whereas AVC-I 50 is prefiltered down (either 1440x1080, or 960x720). The whole point of the 300, as far as I was concerned, is to see how the additional pixels on the chip would translate to the additional pixels in the recording format. Prefiltering it down would just toss out the additional res advantage the chips were supposed to be supplying. Then you go to 4:2:0 color on top of it, and -- naw, we wanted the best.

I think the 50mbps mode is mainly made for news or other longform shooters who want to archive tons of footage. I guess in fairness I should have spent some time with both formats, but -- we were focusing on making the most of our trip, so no, I didn't use AVC-I 50.

Jan_Crittenden
02-12-2009, 07:33 AM
Seems like a good camera thanks for the review. Shame about a 1/3" chip set though be nice if they could have at least gone 1/2"
For my money I think I'd still go with the EX1/EX3 but def a cool review!

Not that you need to but if I were you, I would check out the camera against that EX3 before purchse. The !/2 vs 1/3 isn't that huge but the AVC-Intra- vs longGOP is really huge. The ergonomics of the camera is also another huge consideration. Now if you are htinking EX-1, well that is a different price point.

Best,

Jan

SPZ
02-12-2009, 07:41 AM
Not that you need to but if I were you, I would check out the camera against that EX3 before purchse. The !/2 vs 1/3 isn't that huge but the AVC-Intra- vs longGOP is really huge. The ergonomics of the camera is also another huge consideration. Now if you are htinking EX-1, well that is a different price point.

Best,

Jan

So, Jan, are we talking a very competitive 8k street price point for this camera? Any chance for a non bundled P2 one for cheaper price? Also, does the package comes with Baseplate and an Anton Bauer battery, or do we need to purchase separatelly?

EDIT- also, what is the signal to noise ratio in this camera? Light sensibility, compared to the 170?

Barry_Green
02-12-2009, 07:41 AM
You knew it all this time, didn't you? :)
Not the whole time, no.


1- Codec- Its obvioulsy superior to XDCAM EX, the question is: In a Octo Core 2.8 computer (2008) (With 8gb ram), is AVC Intra editable real time, or do we have the edit the offline way (proxies)?
My dual-core 2.4GHz laptop is fast enough (with EDIUS 5) to handle 1080/24p and 720/24p in realtime. It struggles with 1080/60i, but it does 24p and 720p in realtime. So while I'm not a Mac user and don't have access to an OctoMac to test, I can't imagine you'd get anything less than multiple streams of realtime footage on that hardware.


2- Concerning DOF: with the Interchangeable lenses available, do we get any advantage in DOF, or are we stuck to Fixed Lens DOF?
The laws of optics do not change simply because the lens is removable. :thumbsup:


What I mean is are there in the market any 1/3 Lens that could give me the equivalent of Primes in both 2/3 and S35 formats? Something comparable to a wide 24mm 1.8 Nikkor AI, or a 50 1.4 in therms of DOF?
A millimeter is a millimeter, and the DOF will be the same regardless of the lens design. There are no 1/3" primes that I know of; you could use a 1/3" to 2/3" adapter and use the DigiPrimes or EJ primes or Fujinon cinema primes. But their focal lengths won't be wide enough to give you true wide-angle performance.


Or are we stuck to Heavy zooming to get shallow DOF?
All 1/3" imagers are going to perform the same, given the FOV restrictions of 1/3". You either have to open the lens way up, or zoom way in, or (preferably) both, or use a 35mm adapter like a Letus or Brevis. Otherwise, you'll have 1/3" DOF...


What image performance boost can we get from the other 1/3 glass, excluding zoom range?
Sharper lenses should result in sharper pictures; better glass should exhibit better sharpness and contrast.


3- With the 2/3 ring to use 2/3 glass, won't the 2/3 glass have a different range on the camera? A wide angle becomes not wide, for example?
A millimeter is a millimeter. A 4.5mm lens will have the same field of view on a 1/3" camera regardless of whether that 4.5mm lens was designed for 1/3" or 2/3". It will not, however, have the same FOV as it would have on a 2/3" camera.


4- When can we expect this one? Also, how much does it weight? (For support gear use)
I don't know about availability. With lens & battery it weighs about 14 pounds.

Barry_Green
02-12-2009, 07:43 AM
The picture of the girl of the HPX 170 is flat and looks like it was shot with the F1 scenefile setting .
The hpx300 looks tweaked.
With that said this looks like a very impressive camera.
They were shot with the exact same settings on both, white-balanced the same. However, both sides of that picture was auto-level, auto-contrast, and auto-color'd in photoshop to minimize the imaging variables between them so as to show the sharpness and tonality differences. That's what I was trying to illustrate. This was a prototype, and should not necessarily be considered final video quality; as such, I didn't want the discussion to get sidetracked off with whether one looked slightly greener than the other or whatever, because that would be totally irrelevant to the discussion. The chips aren't changing and the codec isn't changing, and those are what contributed to the image I showed. The actual image processing (gamma, color, etc) may or may not change, so I didn't want to get us distracted on that based on a prototype vs. a production model.


The videos are sweet Barry but look abit oversaturated.
Kevin has a formula for how he makes his fooage look the way he does, and he likes a lot of saturation.


I would really love to see this documentary training DVD.
It's coming... :)


But why doesnt hpx 300 ( US version ) have NTSC /PAL capabilities ?
That is a very good question and hopefully one that Panasonic will answer for us.

SPZ
02-12-2009, 07:55 AM
Thanks for the answers, Barry! Just a couple more! :)

How does in compare in low light vs the hpx170? I assume better signal to noise ratio, mainly due to the superior codec, which could theoretically mean that one could gain up a bit for similar results... Any chance for some of your excelent tests? :)

Last one: I assume that using the HPX300 with my Manfrotto 519 head and glidecam 4000+smooth shooter is out of the question, right?

Following my very first impression, I'm actually considering this: Since it flips the image on camera (not only the lcd), this means that, if Cinevate are to adapt the Brevis relay for this, and we do not need the flip module, we could have 35mm shoulder mount camera that could be really handhealdable...

Barry_Green
02-12-2009, 07:58 AM
Oh, and not related to the HPX, but could you please describe your hard drive setup and workflow? Were they RAIDed? Did you download through the HPG20 or through Cardbus reader and Mac? Were the drives bus powered USB or eSATA? Etc...

I don't use the Mac; Kevin did though. Kevin can fill you in on what he did; as far as I understand he used either the camera or the P2 Portable as the slot reader, through USB, and copied footage using ShotPut Pro onto two separate USB drives.

For my workflow, I used either the Windows laptop to copy to a single USB drive, or I used the P2 Portable to bus-power and offload to a single USB drive. Every few days I executed a backup onto another drive. I came back with three drives' worth of footage, about 1.25 terabytes, and a second copy (another 1.25 terabytes).

No RAID involved, just $90 drives from Best Buy, I used Seagate FreeAgent drives, three 500's and three 320's. Kevin used WD drives, I believe they were USB.

Kevin would offload footage during the down time between drives. I would offload footage right in the van, using the P2 Portable or the laptop, right in the field. Every few days we'd "reconcile" footage, so that footage he had that I didn't, he'd copy to my drive; footage I had that he didn't, he'd copy off my drive. So we both left there each with a copy of the footage, and I actually had two copies.

Really, P2 management was almost nonexistent. I'd say that probably 80% of the time we didn't even offload in the van at all; we'd shoot all morning and then Kevin would offload during naptime. Occasionally we'd find so much good stuff to shoot that we'd start to make progress into our second 32GB card, and at times like that I'd pop out the first card and let the P2 Portable offload it. It took about 10 seconds of my attention: "Here, can you offload this card? Sure, hold on... press copy... okay, hey, look at that warthog!" So we'd shoot the footage of the warthog for 10 or 20 minutes and then I'd hand him the card back. It really was no big deal, and I don't think I ever had to offload more than one card per game drive.

But at night, we'd both have instant immediate access to all the dozens or hundreds of gigabytes of footage. I used EDIUS 4.6 (since upgraded to EDIUS 5!) and P2 Viewer. He used Calibrated's MXF plug-in for Mac, and also Raylight. We both had instantaneous access to the footage. He spent some time cutting a highlights reel as we went, during the downtime.

I didn't do any editing during the safari, but when we got back I used P2 Viewer to scan through all the footage and mark text memos on the in/out points of footage that I wanted to keep. I also marked the "shot mark" on those clips. Then I used P2 Viewer to filter all my virtual clips down to only show those with shot marks, and copied them all to a P2 card (one click). Then I put that P2 card in the P2 Portable and used the "view text memo clips" option to show where the text memos were. On each clip I would export the text-memo'd portion to the second card slot. The results were that I got a seamless, frame-accurate, first-generation copy of only the in/out bits that I wanted, all in the original codec. No rendering, no computer involved, just exporting subsets of the clips. I then sent that card on to Jan so she could show footage in the original raw codec at the press conference, and I used a few of the clips of that footage to make the clips you saw here.

Workflow was easier than any P2 project I've been on yet. The cards were large enough (and 1080/24pN mode gives you 25% more recording time!) ShotPut Pro makes offloading effortless, including verification, as does the P2 Portable (especially because it bus-powers huge drives). And EDIUS supports the native AVC-I footage, as does FCP with Calibrated.

Al MacLeod
02-12-2009, 08:15 AM
Very nice addition to the Pany line !!
That big lens on that mount scares me though...

Barry_Green
02-12-2009, 08:17 AM
I was wondering about that too when we started, but it proved to be plenty robust.

mcgeedigital
02-12-2009, 08:31 AM
I remember sitting next to you Barry, at last year's NAB when they showed the Africa footage shot on the HPX-3000.

I just remember you saying "Oh my God, oh my God!" (I was too).

Good to see that spurred you and Kevin to take this little adventure of your own.

Kudos!

Erik Olson
02-12-2009, 09:46 AM
I can't believe I wasn't invited!! Aside from the rolling shutter issues on a long lens, this sounds like an amazing piece of kit for the money. For wildlife photography - something I've done a bit of - moving on a long lens is a necessity. Much work is done on the doubler and to have rolling shutter is a real liability.

Still, full HD by 3MOS at $10k or somewhat less is still fantastic. As it is with CAC lens alternatives, this puts better quality HD into the hands of more and more producers for much less.

e

DC
02-12-2009, 10:57 AM
Barry, nice review! The HPX300 sure looks sweet. Not sure I'd trade in my HPX170 for it though. I may, however, invest in it as a second camera at some point. Different tools for different needs.

On a side note, I shot lots of Massai and wildlife footage in Kenya with Richard Branson over this past summer. We ran two HVX200 cams. I didn't have the luxury of viewing a "Wildlife Training DVD" so I had to sorta figure it out quickly! LOL! And I got some GREAT shots! Nothing in the world like being about 20 feet from a pride of wild lions I tell ya! :thumbsup: Like walking around in a zoo without cages! :shocked: So I can very much relate to the amazing experience I know you had in South Africa! I really love shooting wildlife and tribal people - I'm totally itching to do more of it! :)

markyf
02-12-2009, 11:51 AM
Thanks for all the hard work. When can we get some AVC-Intra files so we can view uncompressed? Like you did with the 150.

zeke
02-12-2009, 02:30 PM
If Panasonic added image flip before actual release, people could use the JVC PL lens adaptor. Just a thought.
If the images hold up, this camera is actually cheaper to use than an EX3 if you want 10bit 4:2:2 files.

markyf
02-12-2009, 03:10 PM
If Panasonic added image flip before actual release, people could use the JVC PL lens adaptor.

What does this mean? Scan reverse is in the specs... it records the image upside down if you want.

n8ture
02-12-2009, 03:33 PM
I'm sure a lot of people will think the footage is oversaturated but it's the look I've done ever since I shots stills.

From Kodachrome 64 to E-100SW I always tried to really pop the color. It's what I like. Some people may not care for it but it's how I learned to shoot.

I used ShotPut Pro to dump the footage to my internal hard drive as well as an external drive at the same time. We'd come back and while every one else was taking a nap, I'd charge batteries and dump the footage.

Never ran out of P2 space with two 32 gig cards. We sort of did once but it's because I had a killer sunrise on the card and didn't want to delete the footage until Barry had a copy of it. So, I kept that card full and we had a big run of nice situations on the afternoon drive so the camera was rolling quite a bit.

I was in Kruger a couple days before Barry arrived so I put together some clips in FCP so he could see what we'd been finding before he arrived.

It also gave us a couple days to figure out how best to shoot with the camera.

If you saw the rinky dink setup we used to film out of the van, you'd be amazed that we even got a single frame that was sharp. I know I was. :)

The phrase "Ok, I'm shooting, nobody breathe" was our battle cry the entire trip.

It was incredible to have a camera that had plenty of reach. Even the stock lens got us in nice and close. We were in the middle of a herd of buffalo and you could count pores on their noses with the stock lens.

With the big Canon lens we were shooting elephant herds across the river. It was an insane distance. We were shooting hippos at Sunset Dam and the Canon was picking up birds across the water that we couldn't even see.

The camera is a tank. If it survived "Hippo Gulch" It'll survive just about anything.

I'd tell ya about it but what happens in Africa stays in Africa.

I don't think you can beat the camera and lens for the price. The new LCD is awesome. Wish I could upgrade my 170 to it!

I'd be happy to add one to my stable any day.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9485/1234480391.jpg

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9485/1234485864.jpg

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9485/1234486265.jpg

Lumiere
02-12-2009, 03:49 PM
If this still is from hpx300, then i have to confess its gorgeous.Cause since its still 1/3, but what lens is not matter..then i am sorry ..this is something else which i cant put it into words:)

ChipG
02-12-2009, 03:56 PM
That looks really nice! If Panny made an avc intra hand held that looks that good I'd buy 6-8 of them tomorrow. Soon I hope. Soon I hope.

Kholi
02-12-2009, 04:02 PM
Finally... Stills from a Pana "Sub 10K" camera worth posting as far as resolution is concerned. I've always been severly jealous of the EX1 and XH-A1 camp when they post stills.

Very nice, Kevin.

n8ture
02-12-2009, 04:11 PM
Yeah that's from some 300 footage.
Like I said a little heavy on the saturation but that's just my style.

Lumiere
02-12-2009, 04:14 PM
Yeah that's from some 300 footage.
Like I said a little heavy on the saturation but that's just my style.

n8ture

Then i liked your style:)

Is there anyway to see more stills somehow?

Kholi
02-12-2009, 04:22 PM
I'm with Lumiere. Some large PNG's or JPG's would be awesome. I like the saturation. It works with the wildlife footage. I'm also not a fan of lots of color saturation usually.

Uli Mors
02-13-2009, 02:29 AM
Hi,

thanks for that interesting story!!!

Is there (or ANYwhere) a small bit of AVC intra file (100 or 50mbits) to download and import / test compatibility / speed of my nle?

Thanks

ULI

Lumiere
02-13-2009, 02:40 AM
Does any NLE system working with acv-intra codec?Especially cs4 applicvations?Or are we going to wait just like mxf updates?

philip bloom
02-13-2009, 03:37 AM
am sold and saving up

zeke
02-13-2009, 08:53 AM
What does this mean? Scan reverse is in the specs... it records the image upside down if you want.

thanks, this is getting interesting.

zeke
02-13-2009, 08:58 AM
Question about AVC-I. Is it an industry standard or another Panasonic proprietary codec?

Barry_Green
02-13-2009, 08:59 AM
Does any NLE system working with acv-intra codec?Especially cs4 applicvations?Or are we going to wait just like mxf updates?

I use EDIUS 5 and it has perfect integrated native support. Avid and qantel and other NLEs work as well. FCP supports it through log & transfer.

Jim Carswell
02-13-2009, 09:04 AM
I posted this question in the HVX200 forum in the rumors discussion but didn't get a response. So I am reposting here in hopes that Barry or someone might be able to respond.

Will the 1/3" lenses that are touted as being built specifically for the JVC line of cameras work on the HPX300. I'm specifically referring to the Fujinon HTs18x4.2Berm-M48. It's a bayonet mount. It must be a higher quality lens than the stock lens on the HPX300 since it sells for more than $13 thousand at B&H.

Any thoughts or knowledge?

Again, sorry for the double post.

Thanks,
Jim

Barry_Green
02-13-2009, 09:20 AM
Question about AVC-I. Is it an industry standard or another Panasonic proprietary codec?
It is my understanding that AVC is an open standard. AVC-Intra is an optimized implementation of AVC in the same way XDCAM EX is optimized MPEG2.

Kenn Christenson
02-13-2009, 01:40 PM
Anyone know if there's a manufacturer that'll be making a 35mm adapter for the 1/3" mount?

Barry_Green
02-13-2009, 01:54 PM
Yes, all the lenses that work with the JVc will also work with the HPX300.

I posted this question in the HVX200 forum in the rumors discussion but didn't get a response. So I am reposting here in hopes that Barry or someone might be able to respond.

Will the 1/3" lenses that are touted as being built specifically for the JVC line of cameras work on the HPX300. I'm specifically referring to the Fujinon HTs18x4.2Berm-M48. It's a bayonet mount. It must be a higher quality lens than the stock lens on the HPX300 since it sells for more than $13 thousand at B&H.

Any thoughts or knowledge?

Again, sorry for the double post.

Thanks,
Jim

ChipG
02-13-2009, 02:52 PM
Kevin or Barry,

In your frame grabs of the bird, zebra and alligator was that a 180 degree shutter or was it set faster? Looks sweet! When will your dvd be out I want to buy a copy.

zeke
02-13-2009, 03:04 PM
It is my understanding that AVC is an open standard. AVC-Intra is an optimized implementation of AVC in the same way XDCAM EX is optimized MPEG2.

I guess the better question is...Do 3rd party NLE vendors need to get a license from Panasonic, or can they implement it without the need to get one? (AVC Intra). I currently use Vegas and them and Panasonic have a long standing dispute about licensing issues. (Not picking sides, just stating what I k now).

n8ture
02-13-2009, 03:07 PM
Unless Barry changed it, the camera was always set to 180 degree shutter.

Course, I was always changing things up to try and get a decent exposure with the iris around 5.6 so I'd put in ND filters or jack the shutter up a bit to try and hit the sweet spot.

Course, it never failed I'd be focused on one hippo and Barry would be "Did you get that one yawning? Holy smokes did you get that?" And I'd be "No, I was focused on this one over here." So, I'd move over to another one and just as I did, the one I was just on yawned.

It was the same story with the zebra, buffalo, giraffes. You name it Barry would say "Did you get that zebra kicking the other one?" And I'd say " No, I was focused on this one over here."

First lesson in the DVD never have someone tell you all the fantastic stuff that you're missing! :)

ChipG
02-13-2009, 03:38 PM
LOL :)

I shoot extreme severe weather / tornado stuff so if you guys ever have the desire to go out on a tornado safari let me know, seasons not to far away.

Bassman2003
02-13-2009, 06:05 PM
Barry,

How does the 10 bit AVC-Intra translate into an 8 bit editing environment?

10 bit sounds great, but if the NLE (like Edius) is only 8 bit, how does this help the image quality in the delivered product?

Jan_Crittenden
02-13-2009, 06:21 PM
Edius is not 8 bit on the timeline or processing, only on the play out.

Best,

Jan

Bassman2003
02-13-2009, 08:33 PM
So in the end, how much does 10bit aquisition and post production help when delivering in 8bit?

Compared to 8bit aquisition, post & delivery?

Outside of keying or resurrecting footage, how much better will it look in the delivery stage?

Sounds similar to recording audio in 24bit only to deliver in 16bit on CD.

The 24bit sounds great when editing, but looses that sparkle when downsampled to 16bit.

AwakenedFilms
02-13-2009, 09:31 PM
Wow. I am impressed. Great review and beautiful pictures, Kevin and Barry.

For a while I thought the 300 was a figment of someone's imagination. Not a fan of wobbly footage, but there are so many positive features that I am nearly sold on upgrading - NTSC/PAL switchable would seal the deal for me.

I just can't believe technology has come so far this quickly!


Jason

joe 1008
02-14-2009, 05:00 AM
Barry, to what extend can you use gain on this camera and still get a decent image? 6-9 db like on the 170 or the EX?

Barry_Green
02-14-2009, 11:28 AM
Kevin or Barry,

In your frame grabs of the bird, zebra and alligator was that a 180 degree shutter or was it set faster? Looks sweet! When will your dvd be out I want to buy a copy.
Kevin will have to try to remember on the specifics; he frequently used faster shutter speeds.

DVD is in the queue but we have another one that will probably be released first, so give us a few months... :thumbsup:

Barry_Green
02-14-2009, 11:31 AM
I guess the better question is...Do 3rd party NLE vendors need to get a license from Panasonic, or can they implement it without the need to get one? (AVC Intra). I currently use Vegas and them and Panasonic have a long standing dispute about licensing issues. (Not picking sides, just stating what I k now).
That licensing thing is way overblown. Serious Magic used DVCPRO-HD, and they didn't pay a licensing fee. Canopus made their own version of the DVCPRO-HD codec, and they didn't pay a licensing fee. DVFilm made their own DVCPRO-HD codec, and they didn't pay a licensing fee. At least, that's how I understand it.

Sony owning Vegas has almost unquestionably complicated matters, as Sony and Panasonic aren't exactly the best of friends...

The AVC-Intra codec is a free download from the Panasonic site for both P2 Viewer and for Apple FCP (and it's not just FCP that works with it; Kevin and Shane have both shown me footage playing directly off the cards on their Macs, by just double-clicking the MXF file it brings up the QT player. It just works, thanks to the Calibrated MXF plug-in).

I don't know whether there needs to be a license paid or not. But I sure doubt it, since the codec is freely downloadable from the Panasonic site.

Barry_Green
02-14-2009, 11:32 AM
Barry,

How does the 10 bit AVC-Intra translate into an 8 bit editing environment?

10 bit sounds great, but if the NLE (like Edius) is only 8 bit, how does this help the image quality in the delivered product?
It's my understanding that EDIUS is 10-bit internal, but the EDIUS hardware cards only support 8-bit. I could be wrong on that.

My delivered footage was all done in the raw codec, not in an editor, so I used the P2 Portable to export subclips. Kevin edited his stuff in ProRes.

I should test whether EDIUS is limiting the performance to 8-bit on uncompressed output... I don't know the answer to that one offhand.

Barry_Green
02-14-2009, 11:36 AM
Barry, to what extend can you use gain on this camera and still get a decent image? 6-9 db like on the 170 or the EX?
I became a fan of negative gain, actually. It cleans up the image very nicely. I've seen 24dB of gain and I don't recommend it for normal use (hah!)

But normally I don't worry too much about parameters like that on a preview, because everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) is subject to change in the processing. On our unit DRS didn't even work, so I didn't mention it in the article, although DRS can be very cool (when used under judicious conditions).

The noise on this camera is very different from the noise on any other Panasonic, owing to CMOS vs. CCD, so my tactic was to figure that we were shooting in daylight and noise wasn't desired, so we went to -3dB, coring +5, detail -2, and we toggled between BPRESS and CINE-D. I didn't spend any time playing with gained-up footage because it was a preview/prototype.

Frankly, what I'm saying is: if you like the footage you see now, I expect that the released version will only be better.

TwistedLincoln
02-14-2009, 05:05 PM
I don't know whether there needs to be a license paid or not. But I sure doubt it, since the codec is freely downloadable from the Panasonic site.

Just because the format is available via an openly documented spec and codecs can be downloaded for free from the vendor doesn't mean no license fees must be paid. It is almost certainly patented, and in order to implement it commercially you'd have to pay some kind of royalty.

Every Mpeg related format so far has been patented and heavily protected by Mpeg-LA, so I would imagine AVC-Intra would be no different. As for DVCPRO-HD, I'm not as sure, but it would be very suprising to me if it wasn't patented.

Software patents on multimedia codecs is one of the main reasons that most legal GNU/Linux distributions can't play back most standard multimedia file formats out of the box -- just becasue an implimentation exists and is written using freely distributable code doesn't mean those who created it and hold the patents aren't going to sue you for using and/or implimenting them.

Kholi
02-14-2009, 06:19 PM
-3dB gain, man. I've been waiting for a "No gain" setting on one of my Pana cameras for a while. I'm excited to see it here.

Daylight shooting should look nice on this sucker.

Bassman2003
02-14-2009, 08:50 PM
It's my understanding that EDIUS is 10-bit internal, but the EDIUS hardware cards only support 8-bit. I could be wrong on that.

My delivered footage was all done in the raw codec, not in an editor, so I used the P2 Portable to export subclips. Kevin edited his stuff in ProRes.

I should test whether EDIUS is limiting the performance to 8-bit on uncompressed output... I don't know the answer to that one offhand.

From what I understand, Edius can import a 10 bit file, but any effects will be in 8 bit and all output is limited to 8 bit.

Jan_Crittenden
02-15-2009, 04:00 AM
From what I understand, Edius can import a 10 bit file, but any effects will be in 8 bit and all output is limited to 8 bit.

This is not true. Edius is 10 bit processing in the program, the output is 8 bit. So during all of the processing and color/image manipulation it is 10 bit. When it sends a signal to the 8 bit recorders it is 8 bit.

Best,

Jan

Noel Evans
02-15-2009, 04:59 AM
Some bug ass full res still please :)

timbook2
02-15-2009, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the test Barry and Kevin. The stills sold me already. If I ever shop for an ENG sized cam this would be my prime choice of the moment! I just came back from shooting in India with my HVX and loved the small size. While I was shooting with a self made cine saddle, in the same spot a Belgian team was shooting with an ENG sized Sony and sticks on the road and immediately had 2 cops ask for the official papers......when they walked over to me, they smiled and said "very clever" and left me alone....

n8ture
02-15-2009, 09:56 AM
Yeah, that's the only thing that scares me about the 300 is that it attracts way more attention the my 170 does.

jpbankesmercer
02-15-2009, 05:32 PM
WOW.
Thanks guys :beer:

SimonMW
02-17-2009, 03:31 AM
I became a fan of negative gain, actually. It cleans up the image very nicely. I've seen 24dB of gain and I don't recommend it for normal use (hah!)

Barry, have you been able to check on a waveform whether the camera applies gain at the end of the chain or not?

Apparently the EX cameras apply gain after gamma. So for example if you use Cine2 which at 0db gain tops out at around 100ire and then select -3db gain, it then tops out at around 96ire. Obviously not a good thing as this restricts dynamic and tonal range even more.

Barry_Green
02-17-2009, 06:45 AM
I don't know at which point of the processing the gain is applied.

Negative gain (-3dB) pretty much always robs you of half a stop of dynamic range. That's the tradeoff: you get cleaner images with less overall range, versus noisier images with more range. Works that way with all cameras. Heck, positive gain robs you of dynamic range too, but you typically don't notice it because when you're using positive gain you don't usually have anything bright enough to peak the meters. But if you did, positive gain would take away dynamic range at the top end of the scale, by increasing the brightness and causing formerly resolved detail at the top end to now bloom and clip. Happens on all cameras, by the way, not just a Panasonic thing.

There basically is no such thing as truly zero gain, anyway... zero is a predetermined point at which the engineers have decided offers (usually) the best balance of sensitivity, noise, and dynamic range.

It's pretty much a zero sum game, but the end result is flexible to the point where the engineers have to decide. And even then, it's never truly "over", I mean, look at the DRS function - you can extract significantly different imagery out of a scene, if you're willing to accept the increased noise and potential shading issues that can come from the DRS function.

Bertholt4
02-17-2009, 08:09 AM
Hello Barry, could you test the DVCproHD on the HPX300? It would be interesting how it performed in comparison to the HVX - I mean especially the resolution.

Barry_Green
02-17-2009, 10:18 AM
I have a comparison shot where I shot the same image (CamBelles) on the HPX170 and in DVCPRO-HD on the HPX300. It's from a prototype so I don't know how valid the comparison truly is; you're never on fully safe ground when comparing a prototype against a production unit, and usually the prototype will only get better.

I can't conduct any more tests because I no longer have the HPX300 prototype. :(

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/31/1234894801.jpg

kevinM
02-17-2009, 04:52 PM
Nice!

Smoother skin tones, smoother transitions from the highlights. The overall sharpness / resolution difference is less apparent in these images until you see the UPC code.

AVC-I should be even better.

Barry's always reliable evaluation has helped me make the decision to buy this camera.

markyf
02-17-2009, 08:49 PM
Let's not just make this camera look good, though. I have no doubt that's easy to do. I think Barry should put it through one of those torture tests he always talks about. I'm more interested in how bad this camera can look under less than ideal scenarios.

n8ture
02-18-2009, 03:51 AM
Let's not just make this camera look good, though. I have no doubt that's easy to do. I think Barry should put it through one of those torture tests he always talks about. I'm more interested in how bad this camera can look under less than ideal scenarios.

Trust me, Africa was about as less than ideal as youo can get.

Barry will tell you I was near a nuclear meltdown more than once trying to figure out how we could get even semi-usable footage.

I should say that it has nothing to do with the camera before people start freaking out. :)

You can't get out of the vehicles in Kruger. That little window you see in the pictures of the van was the only shooting angle I had. So we had to move the van to point at the subject.

I arrived a few days earlier than Barry and I tried shooting off of beanbags and anything else I could find to get a stable shot. I was SOL every step of the way.

So finally I put the camera on a rinky dink tripod and a 503 head and wedged the legs inside the van to point the camera out the window.

So, any movement inside the van rocked the camera. With the lens sticking outside the van the wind would catch it and rock the camera.

The tripod and head weren't designed to hold that much weight so that was a cluster in itself.

Believe me, I would never wish that situation on anyone in a million years.

I want to go back and shoot some more but not until I figure out a better way to shoot from the vehicle.

Yet, Barry is still happy with the footage I shot. So go figure.

So yeah, I shot the camera in way less than idea situations and it still performed.

markyf
02-18-2009, 07:43 AM
That's fine but I think a lot of people would want to SEE the bad footage. An honest evaluation of this camera shows both the good and the bad. These motion box files have almost no movement in them. They're more like photography then film. Sure, they look gorgeous. But if these sorts of reviews are going to be more useful, we need to see under what conditions the camera falls apart. We need someone on these forums that's going to be brutal but honest.

Barry_Green
02-18-2009, 09:56 AM
The "torture tests" were always about the places where something could fail - the long-GOP codec, and the rolling shutter. This camera doesn't have a long-GOP codec, so there's nothing to test there - instead, it has the best codec you can get in a camcorder. And the rolling shutter is exactly the same as it is on the Sonys and everything else, and the situations it will fail in are the exact same situations that I've been trumpeting for YEARS: flashes, off-sync fluorescent/HMI/ballasted light sources, and telephoto skew/wobble. You want brutal honesty? I've been crucified enough for pointing out the emperor's new clothes (CMOS) and people still seem to accept CMOS, so -- CMOS is coming and that's just the way it is. Should I go and repeat everything I've been saying? Just read this article (http://dvxuser.com/jason/CMOS-CCD/), it'll tell you everything you need to know about potential shortcomings in the HPX300 (and also the EX1, the EX3, the V7U, the S270, the Red, the Scarlet, the Epic, the Infinity, the V1U, the FX7, the HV20/HV30/HV40, the Canon AVC-HD lineup, and every other rolling-shutter CMOS camera on the market).

Point is, if people find the EX1/EX3 acceptable, they should love the HPX300 -- it gives them the same CMOS issues but removes the long-GOP issues. And if people find the EX1/EX3 unacceptable, they'll find the HPX300 unacceptable too.

markyf
02-18-2009, 11:10 AM
But there's different CMOS technology, is there not? The HV20 gets more flack then the EX1. There not all exactly the same. We don't know how limiting these chips are on the HPX300. Panasonic and P2 people want to know about the CMOS shortcomings on the HPX300 because P2 technology is what they're invested in. Saying it's equal to the Sony isn't really providing value in terms of a review, especially since many Panasonic people won't really know the shortcomings of an EX1, other than hearsay.

RandomHero
02-18-2009, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the great review!
A very worthwhile read, I'll probably read through it a few more times. Thanks for takign the time to write this up!

Barry_Green
02-18-2009, 12:09 PM
But there's different CMOS technology, is there not?
No there is not. It's all the same rolling shutter technology. The difference is that some have optimized the read/reset speed, but that only changes the matter of degree, not the kind. It's the same kind of thing and subject to the same kind of issues, just perhaps less so.

Some day there might be commercially available global shutter technology, and when that happens then yes, that's a horse of an entirely different color and will deserve to be treated very differently. Until then, it's all rolling shutter and it all performs similarly.


The HV20 gets more flack then the EX1. There not all exactly the same.
The HV20 has a very slow read/reset time and makes itself more prone to exaggerated wobble. But the EX1 still wobbles, and they are fairly equal when it comes to partial exposure/flash/rolling bars, in that they will all show the same basic effect.


We don't know how limiting these chips are on the HPX300. Panasonic and P2 people want to know about the CMOS shortcomings on the HPX300 because P2 technology is what they're invested in. Saying it's equal to the Sony isn't really providing value in terms of a review, especially since many Panasonic people won't really know the shortcomings of an EX1, other than hearsay.
There's amateur cameras like the HV20, which have a slower read/reset than the more pro cameras like the EX1/Red/HPX300. But (and this is the big, huge, massive "but" that I end up fighting left and right) somehow people think that the faster read/reset is "fixing" the rolling shutter issues, and it most emphatically does not. It might make the wobble less, but there's still wobble, etc.

An illustrative test might be a wobble-off, where we get an EX1, Red, and HPX300 all together and show how they perform under various rolling shutter circumstances. Expose them all to flash and strobelights, set them all to the same field of view and pan simultaneously, put 'em under magnetic HMI lighting, etc., and show how they all perform. I don't have access to any of the three at this time, but that's something I'll put on my wish list for when production HPX300's are available.

Thing is, they're all going to have issues. I've tested a Red (Build 17) under magnetic HMI, and an EX1, and an HPX300. They all have scrolling bars. Whether one's is slightly less than another is irrelevant, the shot is ruined under all of them, know what I mean? They all catch partial exposure under flash circumstances. Whether one obscures 50% of the frame and another obscures 60% of the frame, they're both subject to the issue and it's going to cause a problem in any footage shot. The only area where there might could be a difference would be in a wobble-off, and there we'd put them under the same field of view and try them. If there's a significant difference from one to the next, well, that'd be valuable information to know.

Bokes
02-18-2009, 12:16 PM
This camera looks very nice.
I currently shoot with the EX1 and look forward to checking this out and maybe getting back with Panasonic. But;
I keep reading broad statements about AVC-intra being a superior format.
What makes it so special over the XDcam format?

Barry_Green
02-18-2009, 12:29 PM
Seriously?

XDCAM-EX is based on 20-year-old MPEG-2 technology. It uses a long-GOP frame structure. It uses 8-bit color depth. And it uses 4:2:0 color sampling. It's a beefed-up version of HDV.

AVC-Intra is vastly superior in every conceivable way. It's based on the very latest codec technology in existence, H.264/AVC. It uses intraframe compression, the same as every professional format ever developed. It uses 10-bit color depth, for 4x as many shades of gray or color (1024 vs. 256). And it uses 4:2:2 color sampling, so there's twice as much color resolution.

Let's put it this way, there's a ladder of HD format quality. Sony ranks their formats like this, from lowest to highest:
HDV (long-GOP 25mbps 4:2:0, prefiltered to 1440x1080)
XDCAM-HD (long-GOP 35mbps 4:2:0, prefiltered to 1440x1080)
XDCAM-EX (long-GOP 35mbps 4:2:0, full-raster 1920x1080)

(Panasonic's equivalent format to all the above would be AVC-HD)
None of these formats are accepted by Discovery for editing or mastering, as far as I know.

Then, the next level up include:
XDCAM-422 (long-GOP 50mbps 4:2:2,full-raster 1920x1080)
HDCAM (intraframe 140mbps 3:1:1, prefiltered to 1440x1080)

Panasonic's equivalent format here would be either DVCPRO-HD, or AVC-Intra50.
HDCAM and DVCPRO-HD are certified for post and mastering by Discovery.

Then, the premium level of codecs, the best in the world, the ones that Hollywood uses to master major feature films, include:
HDCAM-SR (440mbps intraframe H.264)
HD-D5 (270mbps intraframe)
and
AVC-Intra 100 (100mbps intraframe AVC)

AVC-Intra has been certified Gold by Discovery, and received a technical achievement award from the Hollywood Post Alliance. There's never been a codec of AVC-I quality available in a camcorder before; the closest you could get was an HDCAM-SR deck chained to a camera head. But now you can get it built-in on any camera in Panasonic's AJ lineup, and also in the HPX300.

Noel Evans
02-18-2009, 01:04 PM
Seriously?

XDCAM-EX is based on 20-year-old MPEG-2 technology. It uses a long-GOP frame structure. It uses 8-bit color depth. And it uses 4:2:0 color sampling. It's a beefed-up version of HDV.



Get your point here Barry, but in my experience the EX codec is very solid indeed. Again understand what youre saying, but I dont think its quite that bad. That is until you edit with it. Anything, and I mean anything, takes a lot longer than on an I-Frame codec. Interestingly though, the HDV from the Canon A1 was faster to work with, not sure if thats because the A1's HDV is less complex.


Seriously?

AVC-Intra is vastly superior in every conceivable way. It's based on the very latest codec technology in existence, H.264/AVC. It uses intraframe compression, the same as every professional format ever developed. It uses 10-bit color depth, for 4x as many shades of gray or color (1024 vs. 256). And it uses 4:2:2 color sampling, so there's twice as much color resolution.



Ive had limited experience with this codec, but what I have seen really is gold. And there is no argument that its better than anything else out there. The truth in Barrys statement here is that (referencing the 300), you really are getting twice as much color resolution - its full raster.

Id rather work from DVCProHD any day of the week over XDCam-EX codec not because I really think the end output is better, just because its damn faster, and at the end of the day in most cases you can just hand over your edited / non edited DVCProHD footage with having to mess about. But, the argument remains that DVCProHD doesnt record full raster and thus what you make up for in color resolution evens out as you end up negating that somewhat in overall resolution. Bring in AVCI on full raster and that argument is gone.

Not sure what the point of this post was - just stating an opinion.

Barry_Green
02-18-2009, 02:17 PM
Get your point here Barry, but in my experience the EX codec is very solid indeed. Again understand what youre saying, but I dont think its quite that bad.
It's way better than HDV, that's for sure. I'm just saying that it's not in the same class, league, or ballfield as Intra.


Interestingly though, the HDV from the Canon A1 was faster to work with, not sure if thats because the A1's HDV is less complex.
60i? Or 24F? I would expect 24F to be a lot less complex for the computer to work with, 24 progressive-encoded frames have to be a lot easier to manipulate than 60 interlaced fields.

joe hedge
02-20-2009, 01:26 PM
Just had my hands on an hpx300 and could not find advanced pulldown in the menus, does this camera offer it or am I confused about what it is for (actually the answer to that last one is yes)...

Kenn Christenson
02-20-2009, 01:51 PM
Barry, how does this camera compare with other interchangeable lens HD cameras as far as the need to adjust back focus for different environments?

Barry_Green
02-20-2009, 02:05 PM
Just had my hands on an hpx300 and could not find advanced pulldown in the menus, does this camera offer it or am I confused about what it is for (actually the answer to that last one is yes)...
The menus are different, and the way it operates is different. If you were using AVC-Intra, there is *no* pulldown. The whole concept of pulldown doesn't exist, it only records the active frames, so 1080/24P is recorded as 1080/24pN, for example.

If you set the recording format to DVCPRO-HD or standard-def, then yes you can select advanced pulldown (or normal pulldown).

Barry_Green
02-20-2009, 02:05 PM
Barry, how does this camera compare with other interchangeable lens HD cameras as far as the need to adjust back focus for different environments?
Exactly the same as all other 1/3" cameras. I had to re-do the backfocus a few times.

Noel Evans
02-20-2009, 02:07 PM
Barry, how does this camera compare with other interchangeable lens HD cameras as far as the need to adjust back focus for different environments?

I know you asked Barry...but, the back focus control is in the lens and Im assuming regardless of the chip size, will work like any ENG lens.

Jan_Crittenden
02-20-2009, 02:14 PM
I know you asked Barry...but, the back focus control is in the lens and Im assuming regardless of the chip size, will work like any ENG lens.
That is correct Noel.

Best,

jan

Kenn Christenson
02-20-2009, 02:16 PM
I know you asked Barry...but, the back focus control is in the lens and Im assuming regardless of the chip size, will work like any ENG lens.

Right. Just wanted to know if there was any more or less need to adjust back focus, compared to, say a HDW-900.

G.P.
04-15-2009, 03:17 AM
I know im not the first one to ask this, but can we pleaseeeee get some HD files of this shoot? maybe some 720p quicktimes or even some 1080p quicktimes....

this could really help people in decisions of buying.

n8ture
04-15-2009, 05:54 AM
I don't have any way of exporting AVC-Intra files out of FCP. I can bring them in but I would have to convert them to something else on the way out which I think would degrade them some.

Barry has a copy of all the footage I shot so maybe he can export something.

n8ture
04-15-2009, 05:55 AM
Pretty much everything was shot in 1080p/24p

Barry_Green
04-15-2009, 08:52 AM
We shot some 720/60p slow-mo stuff, and some occasional 1080/60i things, but yeah, mostly it was 1080/24p.

I think Kevin exported everything as DVCPRO-HD. I do have lots of snippets of clips in raw AVC-Intra format. I used the P2 Portable to extract little portions of clips. But it would still be massive to host any files of any length; we're talking about something like 14 megabytes per second for the source footage...

n8ture
04-15-2009, 09:52 AM
Yep, FCP won't export AVC-Intra. Hopefully they'll make an announcement soon on a new version that will.
So, my only option is to export it as ProRes422HQ or DVCProHD.

afarinas01
04-17-2009, 06:44 AM
Just read the entire thread and can't help but saying this is the best forum out there.
Thank you Barry and the rest for the excellent writeup and all the comments.
You are the best!

Steffo
08-05-2009, 12:10 PM
Weren´t you ever afraid of the lions?

Barry_Green
08-05-2009, 12:24 PM
I think Kevin Railsback could handle any lion. I'd bet on Kevin in that fight. :thumbsup:

But -- no, I was far more worried about the elephants and the rhinos. The lions seemed very content to do absolutely flat nothin'. They were just like housecats, content to laze around. Now, I wouldn't get out of the van and go hootin' and hollerin' at 'em, but they weren't much of a worry.

A herd of Rhino blocking the road, and one that was spooked -- that seemed like a lot more worrisome situation. And, of course, when a huge bull elephant flat-out charged our second van, and another huge bull elephant was walking around behind us, kind of making a sandwich -- yes, we were concerned at that point. :)

Steffo
08-10-2009, 06:11 AM
I belive you

Is i true that lions smell stink?