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View Full Version : HPX300 vs. DSR450 - low light



davideo.net
05-14-2009, 09:45 AM
I am lucky enough to have borrowed a 300... so I can compare it to my DSR-450. I will start by saying that my 450 has an f1.9 wide lens, and the 300 came with the standard cheapie Fuji f1.6, so right off the bat the 300 should have a slight advantage in the wide open setting department. I used the identical tripod since the plates are the same, and I marked a spot where the focal point of the camera is so the views would be from pretty much the exact same angle. Both cameras in SD, and I used an nNovia hard drive via firewire to record to (I don't have any P2 cards.)

http://davideo.net/downloads/300vs450-0db.bmp

http://davideo.net/downloads/300vs450-6db.bmp

http://davideo.net/downloads/300vs450-9db.bmp

mcgeedigital
05-14-2009, 09:49 AM
DSR-450 is a 2/3" chip...no contest.

puredrifting
05-14-2009, 10:34 AM
That is exactly why you want a 2/3" imager camera. The HPX300 is not a low light monster, HPX500 would be a lot better for you.

Dan

Barry_Green
05-14-2009, 11:36 AM
Yep. 2/3" vs. 1/3", and SD vs. HD. The 300 actually compares a lot better than I would have expected, it looks like it's only about 1 stop darker.

Try a comparison shot of a wide-angle outdoors scene, put the HPX300 in AVC-Intra 1080p mode, and then see what the comparison shot looks like. The 300 will obliterate the 450.

Then remember that the HPX300 costs half as much as the DSR 450, and it starts looking like a pretty good deal. :thumbsup:

accelv
05-14-2009, 01:48 PM
There ought to be a website that will do comparison tests of camcorders like this.

How did the HMC150 compare?

The real strength of that 300 camcorder is AVC Intra. The drawbacks are the 1/3" chips and the P2 (expensive) workflow. SD cards would have worked as well.

puredrifting
05-14-2009, 03:02 PM
SD cards wouldn't have worked in the HPX300 because SD cards cannot record AVC Intra or the DVC Pro HD codecs. I am surprised that you feel that with the new E Series that P2 cards are expensive.

Most users feel that for a professional $10,700.00 camera, the new P2 E Series cards are a bargain and very fairly priced. SD cards seem mainly geared toward AVCHD, not intraframe formats like DVC Pro HD and AVC Intra or the upcoming AVC Ultra codec. SD cards drop frames on the Sony EX1/EX3 at any frame rates past 36fps, they just don't have the reliability or throughput.

Dan

davideo.net
05-14-2009, 06:50 PM
After thinking about my test today, I think that if I get a better f1.4 lens (like the Fuji HTS18X4.2BRM), i will get a little bit better low light performance, so now I'm thinking the low light capability is not a deal breaker for me to buy a 300. It appears to me to be about a half-stop difference to the 450, and I'd gain some of that with a faster lens. On another note, I wish I had a P2 card to play with before having to return this 300! To reply to accelv, I will compare the 300 to my HMC150 before returning the 300.

Dave Nelson
05-15-2009, 10:32 AM
SD cards wouldn't have worked in the HPX300 because SD cards cannot record AVC Intra or the DVC Pro HD codecs. I am surprised that you feel that with the new E Series that P2 cards are expensive.

Most users feel that for a professional $10,700.00 camera, the new P2 E Series cards are a bargain and very fairly priced. SD cards seem mainly geared toward AVCHD, not intraframe formats like DVC Pro HD and AVC Intra or the upcoming AVC Ultra codec. SD cards drop frames on the Sony EX1/EX3 at any frame rates past 36fps, they just don't have the reliability or throughput.

Dan

I don't know where you get your information. You couldn't have used an EX1 or EX3 or you would know that your statement about SD cards was incorrect. Or perhaps you were refering to some other camera and typed EX1/EX3 by mistake, and meant some other type of camera that uses SD cards.

The Sony EX1 and EX3s do not use SD cards. They use SxS Express 34 cards. They never drop frames. SxS cards are capable of speeds of 850 Mbps.

I am an EX3 shooter. I am also considering purchasing an HPX300 and am trying to obtain accurate first hand information about it.

I hope that most of the information is more accurate than what you are attempting to impart.

--Dave

Barry_Green
05-15-2009, 11:04 AM
Dave, Dan's information was entirely correct. He was referring to the various aftermarket adapters that allow you to use SD memory cards in an EX1 or EX3. After the firmware update that came out to allow the hard disk recording unit to work, the EX1 and EX3 can now use a few select ExpressCard->SD adapters and record on SD memory. But there's a limited combination of cards and readers that actually work with any degree of reliability, hence the numerous threads we have here from people who have experimented to try to find a working combination.

And when they do work, they only work up to a certain speed. You can't do overcranking past about 36fps or the SD cards can't keep up.

Dave Nelson
05-15-2009, 12:39 PM
Dave, Dan's information was entirely correct. He was referring to the various aftermarket adapters that allow you to use SD memory cards in an EX1 or EX3. After the firmware update that came out to allow the hard disk recording unit to work, the EX1 and EX3 can now use a few select ExpressCard->SD adapters and record on SD memory. But there's a limited combination of cards and readers that actually work with any degree of reliability, hence the numerous threads we have here from people who have experimented to try to find a working combination.

And when they do work, they only work up to a certain speed. You can't do overcranking past about 36fps or the SD cards can't keep up.


Thanks for your response, Barry.

I am aware of a number of kludges that people have tried including attempts to make SD cards work. These are kluges that I wouldn't risk a shoot over. But I can't fault people for trying.

The problem with SD cards is that they are currently not fast enough. They work great in AVCHD and HDV (less than 25 Mbps). I'm sure that in the future, they will be.

I only use SxS Express cards as backups. For anything that is important, I capture via HD-SDI into the Cineform DI (compressed codec). Almost everything I do is for filmout purposes. Therefore I don't use 35 Mbps MPEG Long GOP much at all.

If I purchase the HVX300, I will mainly capture directly to HD-SDI to Cineform as well.

For this reason, an SD card kludge does not interest me. Nor would P2 cards interest me much for the same reason.

--Dave

davideo.net
05-15-2009, 01:43 PM
... an SD card kludge does not interest me. Nor would P2 cards interest me much for the same reason.

I wouldn't call a P2 card a kludge.

mmm
05-15-2009, 01:59 PM
And when they do work, they only work up to a certain speed. You can't do overcranking past about 36fps or the SD cards can't keep up.

I think it is the USB interface that the adapters have to use that is the limiting factor, not the speed of the cards. I could be wrong on that though - can anyone confirm.

Barry_Green
05-15-2009, 02:15 PM
I think it is the USB interface that the adapters have to use that is the limiting factor, not the speed of the cards. I could be wrong on that though - can anyone confirm.
Well, USB is capable of a potential/theoretical 480mbps, and the maximum speed of overcranked footage is about 1/5 of that, somewhere around 90mbps.

Can the Sony hard drive unit support full 60p overcranking? It uses the USB interface, so if it can handle it, the problem shouldn't be with the USB...

Dave Nelson
05-15-2009, 03:43 PM
I wouldn't call a P2 card a kludge.

Maybe I didn't make myself perfectly clear.

The statement 'same reason' in my previous post refers to HD-SDI acquisition, rather than to P2 cards or Sony SxS cards. The kludge refers only to SD card kludges plugged into an express card 34 adaptor rather than using SxS memory cards on the Sony EX1/EX3 cameras.

The remainder of the statement is a reference to my preference for acquisition of all video via HD-SDI directly to hard drives (avoiding the compression necessary to store video on cards) for uncompressed or lightly compressed work. I don't use the Sony SxS cards, nor would I use the P2 card for acquisition of the highest quality.

This is the method used by all professionals needing the absolute highest quality. That's why Panasonic offers HD-SDI on their higher-end cameras including the HPX300, just like Sony, Canon, Viper, Ikegami, etc.

The P2 cards are fine for most things but for the absolute best quality for anything that I shoot for digital intermediate work and then for output film, or for projection on the big screen, HD-SDI is the only way to go.

--Dave.

Dave Nelson
05-15-2009, 03:53 PM
The problem is the actual speed of the SD card. Most cards are very slow and were intended for people to put family photo albums on. The USB card. Even sony recommends a minimum speed of 200 Mbps for HDV. SD cards and most other low cost cards can be read at least twice as fast as they can be written to. The problem with SD cards is the write speed, not the read speed.

In any case, I don't use these cards much because I use HD-SDI for almost all video acquisition. I know it doesn't work well in the field or at the beach, but we have a van with the equipment necessary for most HD-SDI acquisition, for up to 4 cameras, even at the beach.

G.P.
05-15-2009, 04:19 PM
if you are capturing HD-SDI out ... wouldn't you be capturing the same 10bit 422 info that is written to a P2 card for a HPX300 anyway? Thus eliminating the reason for trying to capture via long cables, computers, and large truck?

accelv
05-15-2009, 05:29 PM
The signal gets compressed, in this case, to AVC Intra or DVCPRD HD, when it is stored on a card in the camera.

SD cards should get faster and bigger soon.

P2 is still too expensive for event, recital, or stage recording for most event professionals. Looks like the best compromise is JVC's HM700 which records on SD cards for 35 mbs ersatz XDCAM. Too bad it's still only 1/3" chips.

Here's what I want: AVC Intra 100, SD cards, interchangeable lenses, good in low light, HD SDI, 1/2" chips (or one big EOS chip), shoulder mount (under 8 lbs.) or hand held (under 4 lbs.), all for under $7500. Is that too much to ask?

puredrifting
05-15-2009, 05:34 PM
Dave:

You sound as if you have never experienced the AVC Intra codec but most people rate it as the best and most sophisticated mass market camera codec available, it is effectively the same quality and Panasonic's D5 format.

Honestly though, if having the utmost quality is important to you, you wouldn't want to shoot an EX1/EX3 or the HPX300, you would want the HPX3700 or a Sony F35 or a RED One, etc. Surem outboard solutions can record a pristine signal but all of these sub $10k cameras are going have image deficiencies that could be mitigated by shooting better cameras, regardless of format. The HPX300, while it is amazing for for the price and shoots great looking images for the price, is still only a 1/3" CMOS imager. The EX1 and EX3, while they are impressive, are only a lower end 1/2" CMOS imager.

To me, uncompressed and other esoteric outboard systems are typically only justified when using a higher end camera. For a low end camera like the HPX300, the AVC Intra codec is probably the most impressive feature of the camera.

And yes, of course Barry got it right, I did shoot the SD card hack with the EX1 for a client who owns three of the EX1s whi I shoot for periodically. After showing them the results, they, like you, purchased more SxS cards for the same reasons.

Dan

zeke
05-19-2009, 10:04 AM
Dave:

You sound as if you have never experienced the AVC Intra codec but most people rate it as the best and most sophisticated mass market camera codec available, it is effectively the same quality and Panasonic's D5 format.

Honestly though, if having the utmost quality is important to you, you wouldn't want to shoot an EX1/EX3 or the HPX300, you would want the HPX3700 or a Sony F35 or a RED One, etc. Surem outboard solutions can record a pristine signal but all of these sub $10k cameras are going have image deficiencies that could be mitigated by shooting better cameras, regardless of format. The HPX300, while it is amazing for for the price and shoots great looking images for the price, is still only a 1/3" CMOS imager. The EX1 and EX3, while they are impressive, are only a lower end 1/2" CMOS imager.

To me, uncompressed and other esoteric outboard systems are typically only justified when using a higher end camera. For a low end camera like the HPX300, the AVC Intra codec is probably the most impressive feature of the camera.

And yes, of course Barry got it right, I did shoot the SD card hack with the EX1 for a client who owns three of the EX1s whi I shoot for periodically. After showing them the results, they, like you, purchased more SxS cards for the same reasons.

Dan

I read a thread by a DP on another board who used the EX3/HDSDI out along with a F35. They felt it held its own and started using it for principle photography on several scenes (this was for episodic tv). While AVC I HD looks great, it would still be nice if someone did some tests of it's uncompressed output before making any sort of declarations.