View Full Version : Just got it - initial impressions...

Ben Digedig
04-25-2009, 08:17 AM
Well out of the box the HPX 301E was on a job within 2 hours; my first tapeless gig:Drogar-Shock(DBG):. You can imagine the nerves, especially when I realised that the 'manual' was only very partial - 'refer to website' was the message. VERY handy in the field!!!

Topline initial impressions:

Nerve wracking seeing the 'remaining' counter for the P2 card count down and not having a 'box of ten' in the car... Forced me to decide to shoot 720 rather than 1080 - tail wagging dog. 70mins availible on a 32Gb then in NTSC. Memo: must educate clients on file offloading essential 'downtime'...

Great 'proper' looking cam & build better than anticipated..
Great VF - and it does mono.
Great LCD (does it have a protective plastic film that I need to peel off..???)
Images very flat/soggy out the box - needs lots of fiddling and setting up.
Not getting the CAC - still see abberation with/without lens plugged in.
Saw noise in blacks with +3Db in - not major.
Composite out a bit soggy (but at least it has it...)
Went into Avid like a dream - the time I'll save:love4:
Chroma Key looked absolutely excellent - used AVC-I. Wow!
No speed control on zoom servoc, but its a decent smooth rocker though.
Auto iris (although v rarely used) is quite 'under'.
Offload to a ext 5400rpm HDD powered by cam very slow (verify was on).

Biggest gripe is lens not wide enough for hand held work, but then again I was using a lens that cost twice as much as this whole camera last time for H/H...

So far it is looking promising indeed. Damn its hansome - not toytown ;)


PS Does it always record 4 audio channels - even when I only needed one - seems a big waste of precious space...

04-25-2009, 08:24 AM
Images flat/soggy: check your master pedestal. For some reason I cannot fathom, Panasonic ships it with a +15 master pedestal, which sucks out all the contrast and makes flat/ugly milky pictures. The USA versions are being shipped with a master ped of 0, which is infinitely better.

Auto iris "under": you can control that in the menus with the a.iris level menu option; if it's underexposing to your taste, try setting a "+" value in the a.iris menu option.

Yes it always records 4 channels. Each channel takes up 1.5mbps, so it's not like it's a massive waste of card space, the audio is a pretty minimal space-taker.

Ben Digedig
04-25-2009, 10:14 AM
Cheers Barry, just back from the garden (tweaking & filming not mowing!).

I also noted a free 32Gb card offer with Panasonic...!!!! Will be talking to the UK dealer to see if I can qualify

Really need to get my head around the plethora of interconnected 'system', 'camera' and 'recording' modes before the next job Monday. I understand selecting one type of frame rate & format at once, but nor several! Ohh and then add variable frame rates too!!!


04-25-2009, 11:03 AM
Yeah, the new system menu is going to confuse people. Especially with the 301, where there's both 50Hz and 60Hz!

Basically it's two steps to establish your recording format: choose the system frequency (1080/59.94, 720/59.94, or 480/59.94). Then choose the recording format (AVC-I 60/30/24pN).

Then, for VFR shooting, you have to have chosen 720/59.94 (or, I guess in your case, 720/50). Then choose AVC-I 24pN (or 25p). Then go into the scene file and turn VFR to "ON". Then choose the frame rate you want.

And if you want DVCPRO-HD, there's a few more steps to all that.

Hmm, sounds like I should get to work on an HPX300 book, this subject alone is going to take up a few pages!

04-25-2009, 11:50 AM
Ys, the menu structure, coming from the 170, was a little different but once you "get it", you see that it is laid out very intelligently.

Barry, are you back from Vegas yet? Did you order your 300 yet?


Ben Digedig
04-26-2009, 04:05 AM
Write that book Barry! I'll work it out no doubt and have already been through the manual once, but avoiding one hard lesson learnt by error is worth it!

Amazing flexibility - my first shoot on it in UK was 'NTSC' AVC-I 100 (the CK key is superb); back to 'PAL' tomorr.

Just a quick preview - pics as off cam (other than blur) and I took 5" to set up this 'Spectramatte' quick key:

Having just bought an expensive 32GB SDHC card I was just really disappointed to see that you CANT copy P2 media to an internal SDHC card. This would have been useful as it was a one stop internal bus solution that needed no external kit. It'll copy all the metadata and thumbnails etc, but not the media it seems - why ever not???

Next to fathom is the SD aspect mode - there is no 16:9 (anamorphic) option. Its 'squeeze', 'letterbox' or 'crop'. None sound like what I want for pretty standard 16:9 FHA SD - squeeze seems closest? I also think there's a separate option for composite out aspect conversion?

Also re my comment on not seeing CAC do much - looks like it works only on horizontals and not the verticals I was looking at...


04-26-2009, 04:46 AM
Use Squeeze for 16:9 in SD.



Ben Digedig
04-26-2009, 05:29 AM
Thx Jan :-) It did confuse me - your 16:9 says it all.

Ben Digedig
04-26-2009, 07:38 AM
Barry, client has specified 1080 25P for tomorr's shoot. I have set the SYSTEM to 1080 50 i, I have set REC FORMAT to DVCPROHD 50i, and I have set CAMERA MODE to 25P.

What I'm deducing from this is that I cant really record 25P - its all recorded interlaced as that may be all DVCPROHD accommodates? AVC will do 1080 in 25P which then locks out the CAMERA 25/50 option... Looking through viewfinder it definitely feels like a 'P' mode as it stutters, even in DVCPRO.

Bit confused already as anticipated!! Thanks for any tips!