View Full Version : Newbie needs advice...

Mr. New
07-23-2009, 09:02 PM
Hi all. I'm new here, and new to the tapeless format, so I'm reaching out for some help.

I recently got an HPX300. No real technical issues to speak of so far; I'm able to shoot with it, and get the video into Avid without any real problems.

However, the video quality looks bad. Maybe not "viewer will notice at home" bad, but to me, it's definitely unacceptable. It really only looks to be a tiny step up from a consumer camcorder, and definitely inferior to the DVCPro I've been using. The colors don't look right, and the image just isn't as sharp as it should be. "Hazy" is the best way I can describe it.

At first, I thought this was a symptom of the camera being on the low end of the P2 series; but it's capable of shooting in HD, so that can't be the case, can it? Also, the image looks just fine in the viewfinder and the LCD. I know those aren't exactly reference-quality, but why would it look good there, and so bad once it's in Avid?

I'm thinking it must be a problem with the settings on the camera, or the way it's being imported into Avid. I've tried tweaking the video settings in the camera, but I'm really not that experienced with it, and trial & error isn't making much of a difference. Like I said, I don't really know what I'm doing yet, but what I can tell you off the top of my head is that I have the camera set to shoot in DV, 60i, and I'm shooting in SD.

Any help you guys could provide would be much appreciated.

07-23-2009, 09:58 PM
You'll have to post stills to be sure. Have you viewed the same clip exported? Your preview monitor isn't really reference-quality, either. And the fact that it shoots HD won't matter if you're shooting it in standard DV, which is inferior to DVCPro and, obviously, standard definition.

Mr. New
07-24-2009, 07:17 AM
For some reason, I've never been able to export decent stills out of the Avid. Are you saying that I should try switching the format from DV? If I remember correctly, Avid didn't like it when we tried anything else. I'll give it a go and see what happens.

Amr Rahmy
07-24-2009, 07:43 AM
maybe you should go one step at a time,

1- set the camera to what you actually want
2- see how your nle can work with the files

07-24-2009, 07:48 AM
Remove the Avid from the equation. Shoot footage, and play it back through HD-SDI onto a proper production monitor. That way you can see if it's looking the way you think it should.

If it looks spectacular when on the monitor (and, properly shot, it WILL), then you know the camera's not at fault and the recorded footage is behaving as expected.

Then, when you put it in the Avid, if you see degraded and muddy and hazy footage, you know for certain that it's the Avid that did it, and can then proceed to fixing the issue.

Mr. New
07-24-2009, 12:00 PM
I tried upping it to DVCPro50 from DV. That cut the available record time in half, and has made a difference. Not a huge difference, but it's marginally better. Basically, I'd be happy if the quality equaled that of the old DVC Pro I'd been shooting with.

I don't have access to a decent monitor right now to view it on, but I'll do so as soon as I can. I can tell you that when I play it back in the camera and view it on the LCD, it looks crystal clear.

And yes, I have viewed the video at home while it was broadcast. It looked the same as it did in the edit bay.

Thanks again for the help you guys have been providing.

Ben Digedig
07-25-2009, 04:21 PM
What scene file setting are you using? Camera looks pants out of the factory... Really look for settings people are using and have posted here. Also Panasonic DOP sponsored ones available to download (search here). Bottom line is many of us have posted stunning stills herefrom this cam...

To get your stills on Avid, right click on rec monitor, export, select 'untitled', options, choose TIFF, uncompressed, 720x576 (PAL) and then save the still. Use Photoshop 'filter' to de-interlace the still if you are shooting interlaced (may still look a bit interlaced...), save as jpeg. Post it here and lets see how high your blacks are!!!


Ben Digedig
07-25-2009, 04:23 PM
if u have a utility from panasonic that transcodes avc intra to dvcpro then, you can shoot avc intra and transcode for now till avid supports intra.

Avid SO supports AVC-I !!!! Dont dare ruin it down to DVC Pro!!! Think FCP just announced proper support now too.


Amr Rahmy
07-25-2009, 04:41 PM
i removed the post, last i checked(was an older version), i thought that's why he had trouble with anything other than dvc and dv.

avid and fcp support avc-i natively.

Mr. New
07-26-2009, 10:05 PM
I hate to sound stupid, but I don't even know what avc-i is. The only options it gives me to shoot in are DV, DVCPro, and DVCPro50.

Ben Digedig
07-28-2009, 05:18 AM
You bought this camera not knowing this!!!???? Its one of its best points!!!

The formats you mention are SD formats. Up it to HD and AVC-I pops along; its wonderful - especially as you edit too!


07-28-2009, 11:54 AM
I hate to sound stupid, but I don't even know what avc-i is. The only options it gives me to shoot in are DV, DVCPro, and DVCPro50.
Yeah, you won't see AVCIntra as an option in 480i mode.

Mr. New
07-30-2009, 10:12 AM
Well that's a problem. I work in TV news, and we're not broadcasting our content in HD. Any other suggestions?

Ben Digedig
07-30-2009, 10:39 AM
DSR? Or maybe bide your time and see if they serve the codec up as a legacy SD offering... Its the key reason I chose the HPX - clients still want DVD's . They think BluRay is a beachside bar!