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puredrifting
03-22-2009, 12:22 AM
Hi all:

I have just put together a few clips from my first shoot with the HPX300 yesterday. I am in the midst of some shooting with an HPX300 prototype, much like the one that Barry Green shot in Africa. This camera does have the latest software build I think.

Posted 1280 x 720 H.264 24fps on Vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/3798041

This is mostly 720 24pN AVC Intra 100 with a few clips of 720 AVC Intra 50 and one or two that were 1080 24pN AVC Intra 100.

A few small observations...

1. It was really dull and gray in Ventura yesterday when I shot this. Despite that, the footage looks nice and the color did pop.

2. No color correction, effects other than a few dissolves, this is Pro Res 422 (not HQ), I edited on my laptop, I don't think it has the horsepower for Pro Res HQ but did okay with Pro Res

3. Camera is a joy to shoot with, it is the real deal, a pro level camera in the sense of the word. Stock lens is very sharp, breathes a lot but is very nice considering it is basically free. If you want better, you have to pony up some serious money or rent.

4. The LCOS LCD and the new viewfinder are absolutely amazing. I can actually pull focus with just the LCD screen in broad daylight it is as sharp if not sharper than the EX1/EX3 LCD. Viewfinder is better than any sub-20k camera I have shot with, although the LCD screen/VF combo thingy on the EX3 is pretty nice as well. The 300 VF is sharp, clear and easy to use.

5. Anton Bauer Dionic 90 giving me about 3-4 hours of recording and pause time. Nice batteries and pretty small and light.

6. Rolling shutter artifacts. Ah, yes, the $64,000 question. Well, what I observe seems to concur with Barry's skew test. The skewing is really not too noticeable in 720 24pN AVC Intra 100 or 50. It is pretty noticeable on 1080 24pN AVC Intra 100. I have not had a chance to shoot any 1080 60i or 1080 30p yet. I would normally shoot in 720 anyway most of the time but I do understand that most of you have 1080 24pN on the brain. I would agree, less skewing in 720 than the Sonys and more in 1080 24pN. Hopefully Panasonic's engineering wizards can improve the 1080. The clip I posted is a mixture of mostly 720 24pN AVC 100 mixed with some AVC 50 shots and a couple of 1080 24pN AVC 100 shots. If there is enough interest, I will post another version next week that identifies which clip was which, but for now, you have to guess.

7. Most of the shots in the clip were shot at full zoom length on purpose, I wanted to really try to bring out any skewing. I was pleasantly surprised in 720, I noticed very little skewing, but in 1080, I did see some. If you want that resolution, you have to use CMOS.

8. Low light levels and noise levels seem a bit cleaner overall than the HPX170, but not drastically so.

I will be shooting a large project next week with this camera, this clip and shoot was my first time using the camera so I made few mistakes in not using manual iris on a few panning shots, etc. Oh and I setup the camera with a very simple setup, B-press and CineLike Matrix and then stock factory levels on everything else. Did not enhance chroma or detail as I usually do on my 170. The new menu system is nice and makes using the different AVC Intra codecs a breeze. Setting TC is more like on a traditional shoulder mount, you use the thumbnail menu controls, rather than than the front menu button and wheel.

Overall, I am very impressed. There are a few things I really did not care for. Now keep in mind that this camera I am shooting with is a prototype, not a shipped retail camera so some of these issues may have been changed or resolved.

No focus enahncement while camera is recording? I thought we gave this up years ago, we used to make fun of how lame the focus enahncement was on the Sony Z1U since it functioned in the same way, only in pause or standby. Fortunately the new screen and VF are so good, I rarely needed the focus enahncement feature but still, make it so that you can use it while rolling as you can on the 170.

The LCOS screen is outstanding but in daylight, the finish is mirror-like and shiny. I wish that a matte finish while keeping the ultra sharpness and resolution were possible. Not sure if it is possible to have a matte finish and to keep up the shrpness.

Rotating the eyepiece up and down on the VF is extremely stiff but this is a prototype so perhaps the shipping units are not so tight or perhaps it will loosen with use?

I must say that this camera is in a whole other league than the HPX170, HVX200, EX1 and EX3. It feels like a real camera, is very solidly built, operationally it is very good. There is still the nagging issue of the amount of skew when shooting in 1080 24pN. I would suspect that Panasonic will be able to improve this, at least i hope that they do. The AVC Intra codec is really smooth, sharp and looks great, although I have not really done anything with it other than to edit this little clip together.

More soon,

Dan

SPZ
03-22-2009, 01:17 AM
Dan, thanks for taking the time to do this! I'm probably going to try the Asian version of the camera tomorrow. Can I ask for a particular sequence?

Please post a clip with all your 1080p 24 footage, including pans and tilts- the ones that worked best and the ones that didn't. Also do the same for the 720p stuff. Actually, if the 1280x720 stuff is fairly good, this mode could be enough for the big screen. If someone could host Dan's full resolution 720p clip as well as the 1080p footage, that would really be appreciated!

(I would love to see this on my 50" HDTV)

EDIT- Having watched the clip, I see some nice pans that don't show skewing. Thinks seem very acceptable. The Slow motion "following the subject" shots seem good enough even for sports! Will really try to get a chance tomorrow the test...

Spartacus
03-22-2009, 02:35 AM
Thanks Dan!
Was this a "best clips" or "worst clips" edit, condidering the 300s "shortcomings"?
Did you edit out a lot of skew?

Looking forward to seeing more from you and the 300!:beer:

hotchkiss
03-22-2009, 08:20 AM
Dan,

I'm looking forward to seeing which shots were 1080 24P next week....;-) At that point in time, I'd like to see some long lens pans with the 1080 if you can swing it. One of my clients is the in the aviation industry- lots of taxi shots on the run way and take-off's and landings = long lens pans.

Can you quantify/characterize the resolution improvement over a 170 when shooting intra-100 ?

Thanks for taking the time to post this stuff.

DavidNJ
03-22-2009, 09:57 AM
I liked it...thought it looked as detailed but yet less sharpened than an EX1/3.

jmarkham
03-22-2009, 10:28 AM
I liked it...thought it looked as detailed but yet less sharpened than an EX1/3.

probably due to the default detail level(s) of the Panasonic
scene settings.

mcgeedigital
03-22-2009, 11:22 AM
Nice stuff Dan.

Lez
03-22-2009, 12:04 PM
Cool... good to see the camera in action...

alexdias
03-22-2009, 12:10 PM
Good to see a real life situation test.

Also appreciate the Bloom's Style ;-)

Thanks Dan.

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 12:18 PM
Please post a clip with all your 1080p 24 footage, including pans and tilts- the ones that worked best and the ones that didn't. Also do the same for the 720p stuff. Actually, if the 1280x720 stuff is fairly good, this mode could be enough for the big screen.

Sorry, this is the only clip I have time to cut for now. I only have the camera for a few more days so I want to mazimize my shooting time, rather than editing and messing around with posting more clips.

I will be shooting a lot more stuff this week and will able to post a lot more the week after next when I ship the camera back. Also prepping for our big production that begins Thursday and goes into the weekend.

Stay tuned, will post a lot more eventually but I need more time.

Dan

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 12:27 PM
Thanks Dan!
Was this a "best clips" or "worst clips" edit, condidering the 300s "shortcomings"?
Did you edit out a lot of skew?

This was a best clips cut, I didn't really cut it with regard to skew. I purposely shot almost every shot at the longest lens setting the lens could manage, I could have moved the camera much closer to the subjects in most cases. 80% of the shots were at 77mm (full telephoto) on the stock Fujinon lens.

I was easily able to induce skew by wildly waving the camera around rapidly but that was the same thing I did with the EX1 first test shots I did and everyone had a cow saying, "oh I would never be whipping the camera around like that in the real world" so I didn't bother including those shots because they just looked like me frantically waving the camera around. Honestly, you can do that with any CMOS camera, RED included, and you will see some artifacting.

About the only things I would really like to see improved on the camera would be the enhanced focus being made usable while the camera is rolling and a 60-70% reduction in the amount of skewing in 1080 24pN. I would agree that 1080 24pN is really mostly usable on lockoffs or on wide angle shots with movement, for long lens, I concur with what Barry observed in Africa.

Dan

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 12:31 PM
Dan, can you quantify/characterize the resolution improvement over a 170 when shooting intra-100 ?

Well, it is just my opinion, I have not shot any resolution charts but it feels considerably clearer and crisper than the 170. To me, it feels much more like the calrity and sharpness of the EX1/EX3 when I shoot with those cameras, but in looking at the pictures, I live the colors and feel of the images a lot more than anything I have ever shot with the EX1/EX3. Not sure how much of that is due to the codec and how much is due to the better glass. This Fujinon lens is excellent as far as sharpness. You just cannot compare built-in lenses with real detachable lenses, no comparison.

Dan

David Saraceno
03-22-2009, 01:00 PM
Can you compare:

1. AVCIntra 50 to AVCIntra 100 at 720/24pN

2. AVCInta 50 at 720/24pN to DVCProHD 720/24pN?

And thanks for not shooting charts and doorways.

It's good to see real world shots. To bad it wasn't sunny

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 01:30 PM
Hi David:

Frankly I don't see a whole lot of difference between any of them on my Sony Prosumer HD monitor. Granted it is only a 17" monitor, I don't have a 50" or 60" LCD in my house to test a large screen.

I have Final Cut output through the Aja Kona 3 to the BMD HD Link box, fed out DVI to the DVI input of a Sony MFM-HT75W 17" display. The AVC 100 clips look a little cleaner in the darks but I think a lot of it is raster size. The 720 24pN DVC Pro HD clips and the 720 24pN AVC Intra 50 clips come in at 960x720, whereas the 720 24pN AVC Intra 100 clips come in at 1280 x 720 (native pixels rather than anamorphic like the DVC Pro HD and AVC 50). I also have the downconverted Aja output hooked up to a Sony PVM-1344Q 13" pro monitor via analog component. I think it is the same as comparing XDCAM EX footage with DVC Pro HD footage with just your eye on a single layered clip with no compositing. I think the real differences begin to showup when the signal is displayed on a larger screen and or when the signal is really pushed in compositing and green screen or color correction.

It is sunny here now, was raining this morning, will be shooting all this week, should have some more stuff to post after this week.

Dan

Kenn Christenson
03-22-2009, 02:22 PM
Looking forward to seeing how the production models differ, if at all. Guess Abel Cine has them in stock - so I hope we hear, soon.

Off topic - a little - heard Phillip Bloom was going to have the JVC HM700 to test. Won't have any skew with that camera. Be interesting to see how well its' 1080 holds up against others in its' class.

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 02:29 PM
Yes, but it is JVC so in way it doesn't matter. What good is a camera's picture if it is broken down and in the shop all of the time ;-)

Dan

Shipsides
03-22-2009, 05:23 PM
I've been playing with the production version of the camera this weekend. It seems to be the same in 1080 24p as we've seen in Barry's tests. However the camera is working great and the image seems cleaner then the pre-production camera I saw.

We actually did a multi-camera shoot with the HPX300, HPX500, and HPX170. The camera's matched very well. Did some basic tweeks to the Scene file and everything looked great.

I got to play with the HM700 last week as well. I have to say it is the best JVC camera I've ever seen. It's solid, the handle and VF are much improved, and the LCD is huge. The HPX300 & EX LCDs look small next to it. Menu control and options are also really improved as well. The resolution is not what a HPX300 is but I think people will be surprised by its quality.

DavidNJ
03-22-2009, 05:28 PM
I didn't search for an EX1/3 shot, but these both came across my bow today. First is a frame from Dan's play day, the next is 5DM2 footage interpolated to 25p in AE. Since AE won't add detail or remove sharpening, this is ok.

There are the scenes.
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/113/1237767497.jpghttp://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/113/1237767523.jpg

Note the sharpening around the dog and on the leash. Nature didn't put that there. Nor did an oversampled down scale. It was an intentional picture sharpening enhancement. My observations are that the EX1 does even more of it. Also note, the sand and the dog have no texture.

In the second, note the minimal sharpening and the texture in the clothes...in a twilight shot.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/113/1237767545.jpghttp://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/113/1237767566.jpg

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 05:40 PM
The larger imager and shallower depth of field definitely make the 5D MKII image more "cinematic" to my eye. I wish that Canon would bag all of the tape cameras, tweak the internals and features of the 5D MKII and put it into an XLH1 or XA G1 type of body with the same lens mount. That would be a nice camera.

Interesting sample comparison.

Dan

DavidNJ
03-22-2009, 06:09 PM
Well...NAB is in 4 weeks...

but, the 5DM2 has loads of sensor/processing issues. However, an APS-C 8Mp version would probably eliminate most of those. Or a 35Mp 8Mp version.

DavidNJ
03-22-2009, 06:17 PM
Both blow-ups are in focus. The difference is sharpening on the HPX300 and the texture detail (higher MTF in mid spatial frequencies) on the 5DM2.

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 06:17 PM
Well, lets talk practical not esoteric. The 5D MKII is a DSLR that happens to shoot video. And it isn't 29.97 real video, it is 30 fps video. That causes a lot of PITA problems when trying to interface 5D MKII footage with dual system sound recorders and other video cameras. The ergonomics are a disaster for shooting video. The operation of the major functional systems are not setup for video. People are shooting some nice video with the 5D MKII in spite of the fact that it is not constructed to shoot video. A friend of mine has been shooting one and he likes it but is constantly complaing about how horrible it is to shoot video with. I agree.

While the sensor in the 300 is not nearly as sexy as the full frame sensor in the 5D MKII, the 300 is a video camera, not a still camera. I would never want to shoot a client video with the 5D MKII. It is definitely an evolutionary camera and is great for what it is. But for real work, give me a video camera.

Dan

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 06:29 PM
We actually did a multi-camera shoot with the HPX300, HPX500, and HPX170. The camera's matched very well. Did some basic tweeks to the Scene file and everything looked great.

Andy:

I am doing a big shoot this week with my HPX170 and a prototype HPX300. I have not had time and probably will not have time to hook both up to scopes and to hunt down an accurate broadcast monitor and play with the two. Would you consider posting or PMing me your setup parameters that you used to match the 170 and the 300? Don't need the actual scene file, just the parameters that you used to get them close.

I just setup the 300 with B-Press, Cine-Like Matrix, no boosts or cuts to detail, no chroma boost. Any advice you could offer on matching the two to be close? BTW, I do usually buy my cameras from your Burbank office, if that matters? ;-)

Thanks,

Dan

DavidNJ
03-22-2009, 07:26 PM
Fully agree the Canon is full of operational problems...the reason I for one, and I'm sure many others don't have one. Form factor is a minor one...for me it would live on a tripod. Shoulder, Steadicam (or, I have glidecam with forearm brace), or figrig...who cares?

That the images are so good...few clients would complain. As far as the sound, I would guess you may be the most (one of the most) knowledgeable people at that. However, is it really that hard to work around?

Here is a picture from 5DM2 forum here:

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/10380/1235779555.jpg

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=163464

puredrifting
03-22-2009, 08:52 PM
The sound is not that hard to deal with, it is just a pain, epecially when shooting long form interviews when you are going to have the device clocks slipping out of time with each other. PITA and time consuming to fix. This is editing time that would difficult to bill out extra hours on, what are you going to tell a client, "yeah, the audio keeps slipping out of sync so I had to go in and manually slip and slide it and pitch shift it to stay in lip sync"? Ughh, no thanks.

Also, not being able to control exposure or make consistent exposures would be a drag. The 5D MKII has a lot going for it but a lot against it as well. The shame is that Canon could take this core technology and eventually bury their competition in the $5k to $7k range. What if you could buy a camera with ergonomic ease of the HPX170 but it had the huge sensor and a Canon or Nikon lens mount? That camera would rule the world. Shallow depth of field, insane ISO capability, but with good handling, exposure, ergonomics and that killer picture that the 5D MKII is getting. It's the typical case, no one manufacturer is nailing it all yet, they are all close but not there yet.

Then again as far as Panasonic and Sony, they would never introduce that camera because who would buy 355s, 700s, 2700s and 500s, if this technology was available for $5,000.00? Canon should just bag their HDV pro cameras, come out with this proposed camera and they could gain a lot of market share. The RED Scarlet promises some of this technology but the RED workflow is a detriment to many users. Wrong codec and workflow for many of us. That leads us back to P2 and AVC Intra. Maybe Panasonic could buy the 5D MKII lensmount, sensor and image processing but pair that with P2 and the AVC Intra. Mmm...good stuff.

As for today, the 300 is still impressing the heck out of me. It is also an ergonomic dream too.

Dan

DavidNJ
03-22-2009, 09:29 PM
They will have to...Nikon, Samsung and Fuji have no such restrictions. Sony's still camera division and Canon's prosumer video division are looking for breakout products.

Actually Fuji has a new sensor, about a 2/3rd, 12Mp but supports two forms of binning. A two pixel for one for increased low light capability and a split for adjoining photo sites at different exposure values increasing the dynamic range. SI says the SI2k (2/3rds) with 16mm lenses is fast enough to get bokeh.

Spartacus
03-23-2009, 03:44 AM
Canon should just bag their HDV pro cameras, come out with this proposed camera and they could gain a lot of market share.

So close before NAB my hopes are sinking for a breakthrough product from them.
Also, who knows how our beloved camera manufacturers are interconnected?

Sony and Pana just might say "so weŽll bundle Fujinon glass with all our pro cams from now on..." just to remind Canon that a gain in one market sector can mean a loss in another...

puredrifting
03-23-2009, 09:29 AM
Canon is the only video manufacturer that nobody seems to know what they are doing. All of the previous generation cameras were never rumored in the trades before introduction so who knows, but supposedly people have reported talking to Canon reps that have said that Canon will stick with HDV (which is looking more and more antique as a codec and a format as the days go by).

It would be awesome if Canon would license AVC Intra and P2 from Panasonic or if Panasonic would license the lens system/mount and sensor from Canon.

If only things were so simple.

D

DavidNJ
03-23-2009, 09:39 AM
If Canon sticks with HDV they might as well close shop. It is far to weak a protocol for today's prosumer market that has or will have a full array of 1080 3 sensor cameras with either AVC Intra, or AVC long GOP, where 4/3rds, APS-C, and FF35 cameras have extensive video capabilities with big sensors and excellent lenses. Where 21-24Mb/s AVCHD is becoming the norm, even in Canon's own product line. I would imagine an HF S10 takes and records better images than a A1s.

AVC Intra is the best on camera we have now...but the same specs capturing 100Mb/s or more and also support an AVC long GOP would have been nice. Once motion is added, long GOP adds significant detail at the same bandwidth.

SPZ
03-23-2009, 08:12 PM
Don't get your hopes up for NAB. Canon usually launches its gear in their own Press Conferences. As for HDV, seeing that Canon used a superior encoding (H264) on the 5D Mark II, they'll probably up their game on the next batch of Video Cams. I have my hopes up for the next XL...