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Larry Rutledge
04-06-2010, 04:09 PM
HPX370 - First Look
by Barry Green

Click here to read the full article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/28)

Joe Calabrese
04-06-2010, 08:57 PM
Wow, that was quick!

Nice write-up. I can't wait to see it on some show-room floors.

SPZ
04-06-2010, 09:27 PM
How about DOF? And Bokeh? One thing I liked about the EX3 1/2 chips was the bigger control of DOF. True, the HPX300 has a bigger zoom, but the 1/3 chips still lose on this department. I tried the HPX300 and the EX1, and on that generation of cameras, the EX1 clearly had more control over DOF.

Cranky
04-06-2010, 09:35 PM
How about DOF? And Bokeh? One thing I liked about the EX3 1/2 chips was the bigger control of DOF. True, the HPX300 has a bigger zoom, but the 1/3 chips still lose on this department. I tried the HPX300 and the EX1, and on that generation of cameras, the EX1 clearly had more control over DOF.
"Yeah, but the EX has 1/2-inch chip".

SPZ
04-06-2010, 09:40 PM
"Yeah, but the EX has 1/2-inch chip".

It seems like this comment of 1/2 chips vs 1/3 is a minor difference, but it clearly is not. Aren't 1/3 chip cameras certified Bronze, independent of the codec they record, for Discovery or National Geo programming? Or am I mistaken?

dcloud
04-06-2010, 11:56 PM
1/3 vs 1/2 is just a half of stop diff.

Cranky
04-07-2010, 01:34 AM
Is Panasonic's U.L.T. equivalent to Sony's backlighted Exmor R? If this is true, then the EX still can be improved, because current EX models have the basic Exmor chip. EX1R was supposed to have Exmor R chip, it does not. But rumors are that Sony will soon unveil a new model in the EX family with the backlighted chip, and the status quo will be restored.

I am no Sony's fanboy, but there's no replacement for displacement. With all things being equal bigger chip wins, and I have no reason to believe that Panasonic has better technology than Sony.

dcloud
04-07-2010, 02:20 AM
true.
better competition, better products.
win win for us :)
Now if panny releases this sensor on a hpx170 body... it will be better than the EX1

Joe Calabrese
04-07-2010, 08:06 AM
Now if panny releases this sensor on a hpx170 body... it will be better than the EX1

My viewpoint on this is: Panasonic mostly uses CCDs with lower resolution, and uses pixel shifting to achieve the standard HD resolutions. JVC does the same things (but different up conversion method). However, more of that resolution is kept as the camera compresses it, since Panasonic has some of the highest quality compression formats available in cameras under 100k.

Sony advertises its cameras as full raster because they use full raster CMOS chips. Allows them to advertise more actual "resolution", but since they use old MPEG-2 based compression formats (except for their HDCAM-SR format), a lot of that resolution is lost.

filmat11
04-07-2010, 09:59 AM
When you mentioned "beauty shots ", did you mean Kevin Railsback -- aka- N8ture ?
His work is outstanding.
Are you putting together some sort of video , perhaps with Panasonic, about wildlife shooting or the use of the HPX-300 ?
When will it come out ?
Still trying to tweak my 300 to it'd best abilities. Sure wish Panasonic would allow an upgrade fix, to match that of the 370's spec's. But I doubt it.

Bassman2003
04-07-2010, 10:02 AM
First, thanks for the tests Barry. Good to have examples to compare.

Second, it is interesting how the EX examples had a redish tint to the color. WB on the EX series seems to be strange. I often wonder if the camera picks the correct numbers. The 370 had much better whites.

Third, I will still stand up and say "but it has 1/2" chips". Sorry, but as much as Panasonic wants to tells us they are the same, they are not. Maybe not a huge difference, but the whole world is on focus with a 1/3" chip camera. That is just closer to a consumer look imho. The 370 dance footage looks great, but $9,200 for a 1/3" chip camera before all of the memory is pretty rich. I thought CMOS was supposed to be cheaper!

Fourth, "The skew is fixed" should be re-phrased to "the skew still exists and is now been reduced to the EX level". Sorry, but for the new wonder camera, call me selfish, I would want a camera without any skew. Is that too much to ask? Older -'boo, hiss'- CCDs did not have skew. Why are we being continued to be asked as camera buyers to deal with this compromise?

Fifth, it is kind of hard to take all of this seriously when not too long ago the HPX-300 was supposed to be the camera everybody needs to buy. Like Sony with the $25,000 1/2" camera telling the news folks 1/2" is going to replace 2/3" then coming out with the 2/3" PMW-700 the next year. As a consumer, the hype really starts to seem disingenuous.

The camera is nice though!

O.K., start slinging the arrows!

dcloud
04-07-2010, 11:14 AM
Third, I will still stand up and say "but it has 1/2" chips". Sorry, but as much as Panasonic wants to tells us they are the same, they are not. Maybe not a huge difference, but the whole world is on focus with a 1/3" chip camera. That is just closer to a consumer look imho. The 370 dance footage looks great, but $9,200 for a 1/3" chip camera before all of the memory is pretty rich. I thought CMOS was supposed to be cheaper!


The camera is nice though!

O.K., start slinging the arrows!You're apparently not the target market :P

IMO 10k is a good price range. the camera includes lots of stuff feature for broadcast ENG.. not just the sensor. (i wish it would go lower to $7k range though!)

I do hope they release the same sensor minus all the stuff.. (hpx170 down to $4k!)
e.g. 370 sensor on an hpx170. I dont think that cam would kill the market..
itll be the EX1 of panasonic as the 370 will be the EX3 for panasonic :D

p.s. 1/3 != consumer look

Barry_Green
04-07-2010, 12:45 PM
When you mentioned "beauty shots ", did you mean Kevin Railsback -- aka- N8ture ?
His work is outstanding.
That is exactly who I was referencing, yes. Kevin is a naturally gifted talent, an incredible shooter, and an amazing nature cinematographer. I can make a decent shot, but I'm no Kevin Railsback!

Barry_Green
04-07-2010, 12:51 PM
Second, it is interesting how the EX examples had a redish tint to the color. WB on the EX series seems to be strange. I often wonder if the camera picks the correct numbers. The 370 had much better whites.
I used manual white balance, and yes I thought the HPX370's white balance was a tad more accurate.


Sorry, but as much as Panasonic wants to tells us they are the same, they are not. Maybe not a huge difference, but the whole world is on focus with a 1/3" chip camera.
The only metric where the Sony can be said to outperform the HPX370 is in the ability to get a slightly shallower DOF. But the difference is slight. It's not anywhere near as much as the difference between 1/3" and 2/3". But yes, there is a difference. Opening up the iris on the HPX370 by 1 stop and you will equalize that difference.


Fourth, "The skew is fixed" should be re-phrased to "the skew still exists and is now been reduced to the EX level".
Fine -- point was, ALL the CMOS cameras have skew, and now the HPX370 has comparable skew, instead of standing out for having much worse/more noticeable skew.


Sorry, but for the new wonder camera, call me selfish, I would want a camera without any skew. Is that too much to ask? Older -'boo, hiss'- CCDs did not have skew. Why are we being continued to be asked as camera buyers to deal with this compromise?
Because you, as camera buyers, keep buying into the "native pixel count" argument. And you can't do that, with CCD, on 1/3" chips. And you can't even do it on 1/2" chips unless you use interlaced chips, like the Sony XDCAM-HD lineup. So if you want native pixel count, you are going to have to go with CMOS, and CMOS = skew. End of story.

Bassman2003
04-07-2010, 01:41 PM
Is there no way to read the sensor differently to get rid of skew?

I have heard about rolling vs global shutter but what about simultaneously reading the sensor in smaller, multiple areas instead of top to bottom in one swoop? Then re-compiling the frame after the sensor.

I know a lot of people don't seem to care about this. But the fact that you can go out and shoot some trucks going by in a test and every frame is diagonal is just not an attribute of a pro cam in my book. I am speaking about all CMOS, not just the 370.

What if you were hired to go shoot trucks? You would have to rent a camera to get the job done without it being diagonal. I know, a camera for every job... Well that makes a case for not buying a camera because who can afford a camera for every job?

xmephestox
04-07-2010, 02:32 PM
u want global shutter cmos? you'll have to get this :)

http://www.abelcine.com/articles/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=487:vision-research-unveils-phantom-flex-next-gen-camera&catid=47&Itemid=61



it's very expensive to have global shutter cmos. the cooling, the hardware, everything. it's expensive. not an easy market indeed, best to just try to find a camera that suits most of your needs. will be awhile before you get a camera that will suit all your needs, if ever.

Joe Calabrese
04-07-2010, 05:37 PM
\
Because you, as camera buyers, keep buying into the "native pixel count" argument. And you can't do that, with CCD, on 1/3" chips. And you can't even do it on 1/2" chips unless you use interlaced chips, like the Sony XDCAM-HD lineup. So if you want native pixel count, you are going to have to go with CMOS, and CMOS = skew. End of story.

And price. Even if you could make a 1/3" CCD with full raster 1080p, it would be ridiculously expensive. That's what makes this camera affordable and full raster: CMOS chips.

chrisccw
04-08-2010, 04:27 PM
Sounds like maybe I should've gotten you to drop off the 370 instead of the EX3? Folks, you can't imagine my surprise and delight to discover Barry Green standing in my office, using my camera in a test last weekend. I'm glad the EX3 stood it's ground for the most part. I'll keep my DOF any day....but thanks Barry, nice to meet you, and looking forward to having you as a neighbor!

Barry_Green
04-08-2010, 06:33 PM
Anyone needing camera rental in the Houston area, definitely give Chris a call, she was fantastic and very accomodating!

Otis Grapsas
04-09-2010, 02:02 PM
The resolution of this camera and the sensor size can be had for less than $1,000 but the combination of format quality and resolution is unique and competes with the 40,000 euro camcorders. Those are CCD and 2/3" though, but you can't have everything at this price. Anyone considering this camcorder is after the format it uses. We tend to expect everything from a product these days, but that's simply impossible. I get this type of question all the times in my camera project. We can get shallow DOF with a $2000 dslr, yes, but with rolling shutter and GOP compression. We can get the same resolution for $600, yes, but with rolling shutter and GOP compression. We can get 2/3" CCD from Panasonic for slightly more, yes but with low resolution and compression. We can get a Scarlet for the same money, yes but with rolling shutter. Etc, etc.

One should always consider the problem at hand and the limitation he cannot work around. If that's rolling shutter, a low resolution Panasonic CCD camcorder will fix it. If it's DOF, a DSLR will fix it. If it's low resolution, even a $600 consumer camcorder will fix it. If it's GOP compression in difficult scenes, this HPX will fix it.

Bassman2003
04-09-2010, 02:37 PM
Otis, you have just explained the camera for every job principle that seems to be well liked these days. Except as a business owner, I want a camera I can use in as many areas as possible to extract the value back from my investment.

This scenario looks like a rental house except these cameras are for purchase.

For the record, I never said I wanted everything in a camera nor am I big full-raster 1080p guy. Since a 1/2" chip camera (EX-1) is already in its second generation for $6,000 I don't think anything I have stated is asking too much.

JVC seems to be able to offer 1/3" 720p CCDs for ~$7,000. How much more would 1/2" 720p CCDs cost? I realize we probably will never know, but I use this to explain why I am not satisfied with the HPX-370 as a product offering for my uses.

I know the HPX-370 makes really nice images and I use two Panasonic cameras.

agcohn
04-09-2010, 03:34 PM
Otis, you have just explained the camera for every job principle that seems to be well liked these days. Except as a business owner, I want a camera I can use in as many areas as possible to extract the value back from my investment.

This scenario looks like a rental house except these cameras are for purchase.

For the record, I never said I wanted everything in a camera nor am I big full-raster 1080p guy. Since a 1/2" chip camera (EX-1) is already in its second generation for $6,000 I don't think anything I have stated is asking too much.

JVC seems to be able to offer 1/3" 720p CCDs for ~$7,000. How much more would 1/2" 720p CCDs cost? I realize we probably will never know, but I use this to explain why I am not satisfied with the HPX-370 as a product offering for my uses.

I know the HPX-370 makes really nice images and I use two Panasonic cameras.
What are you arguing for? An HPX370 with 1/2" CMOS chips like the EX1, or an HPX370 with 1/2" CCD chips?

I don't think the HPX370 could exist with CCD chips, and still do everything that it does. If it were only 720p, people would still be complaining that it isn't as sharp as the Sony cameras.

I don't know why it doesn't have 1/2" chips, but it's probably to save us a significant amount of money.

If the EX1 was a full-size camera like the HPX370, it would likely be significantly more expensive. The 350 with 2/3" CMOS chips is $17k without a lens.

Bassman2003
04-09-2010, 04:03 PM
Mostly, I do not like the idea of 1/3" chip cameras being painted as the big pro models because before the HD craze they were treated as not good enough for the pros. Now when times are more challenging we are being told to buy them.

Yes, I would like a 1/2" model as I feel it is the perfect chip size for independent video people like myself. I am not a filmmaker, I am a videographer.

I might could consider the 1/3" type camera if it did not have any skew as I feel a list price of over $11,000 for a 1/3" chip size and the compromise of skew is not a good value for me.

I like Panasonic & Sony cameras, and I like the larger form factor as it is easier to execute proper camera movement with the inertia of a larger camera. I know the images are great. I also know larger chips cost more. But at the HPX-370 pricepoint, you have pretty much doubled the "normal" price for a 1/3" chip camera.

agcohn
04-09-2010, 04:37 PM
Mostly, I do not like the idea of 1/3" chip cameras being painted as the big pro models because before the HD craze they were treated as not good enough for the pros. Now when times are more challenging we are being told to buy them.

Yes, I would like a 1/2" model as I feel it is the perfect chip size for independent video people like myself. I am not a filmmaker, I am a videographer.

I might could consider the 1/3" type camera if it did not have any skew as I feel a list price of over $11,000 for a 1/3" chip size and the compromise of skew is not a good value for me.

I like Panasonic & Sony cameras, and I like the larger form factor as it is easier to execute proper camera movement with the inertia of a larger camera. I know the images are great. I also know larger chips cost more. But at the HPX-370 pricepoint, you have pretty much doubled the "normal" price for a 1/3" chip camera.
We are talking about a camera that is going to list on B&H at $9,200.

That is less than $1k more than the EX3 for a shoulder mount camera with similar, if not better, performance (according to Barry). You would likely have to pay at least $1-2k for a shoulder rig that would make the EX3 comparable.

$9,200 is hardly the price of a product that is being "painted as a big pro model."

If you need 1/2" chips, get the EX3. The solution is very simple.


Edit:
In my opinion, the HPX-370 seems almost too good to be true for the price, especially if it really has caught up to the EX1/EX3 in the way Barry describes.

Bassman2003
04-09-2010, 06:10 PM
You have good points and healthy debate is positive.

When I look at a camera like the HMC-150 or the HPX-170, these cameras are under $5,000. $3,300 and $4,300 respectively. Both are considered to have very nice images and often used in for-pay environments.

Then I look at the HPX-370 which as you state will be $9,200, I see a $5,000 difference. But all three of these 1/3" chip cameras. From a layman's point of view, I think it would take more engineering to create a small form factor camera rather than a large form due to space limitations. I also read about CMOS being less power hungry and more less expensive to manufacture.

Shooting 720p with all three cameras, running through post then showing the end result on Blu-ray, how much difference would you see? 1080p would be a different story to some extent. How much are clients going to see? It would be an interesting comparison.

Bottom line, I am not a huge fan of 1/3" chip cameras and seeing them approach the $10,000 mark is troubling for me as historically they have not been this high.

dcloud
04-09-2010, 11:00 PM
Does the size of the chip matters when if performs exactly like the bigger chip? Get a 5d mk ii then. Thats waaaay bigger.

You cant compare hpx170 with the 370's price point based solely on 1/3 chip!

What your clamoring for is what im waiting for. 370 chip on a diff body.

ATL Media Group
04-09-2010, 11:07 PM
PBloom just did a video review here:
Phillip Bloom HPX370 Video review (http://philipbloom.co.uk/2010/04/10/video-review-of-new-panasonic-hpx-370371/)

Camera Expert
04-10-2010, 12:04 PM
It would be much fairer comparing the price of the HPX370 to what ever the Sony PMW-320 is going to be.

nyvz
04-12-2010, 09:33 PM
I must say, a 1/3" camera for $11,700 does not sound very enticing, even if 10-bit and 4:2:2 are on the spec sheets. EX1R is 1/2" $6300 and the EX1 has been out for 2+ years at this price point. It is nice to hear that today's 1/3" sensors might finally be marginally better in terms of sensitivity than 1/2" of 3 years ago, they are making progress as one would hope.

As for the article. The things I really wish it mentioned were latitude, lens quality, and picture profiles. I'd be interested to know what picture profiles were used for the sensitivity tests as that makes a huge difference. I have found I am quite comfortable boosting up to 6db with very little perceived impact when using cine2 on an EX1, whereas cine4 I would try to avoid boosting gain at all. I would be interested to see what kinds of latitude improvements have been made with the new generation of sensors if any. It would also be interesting to see image artifacting tests between the two codecs, since intra-frame codecs do tend to be less efficient at compressing video as they cannot benefit from temporal image redundancies (and are of course also less prone to temporal artifacting for that reason).

Barry_Green
04-12-2010, 10:24 PM
If you want to compare a handheld fixed-lens unit (EX1R) against an interchangable-lens shoulder-mount unit, I think you're not going to come to any satisfactory conclusions. The EX1 is completely not the competition of the HPX370, the EX3R or the new PMW320 are.

Secondly, I said I didn't have the ability to properly test latitude, and I wasn't interested in chasing picture profiles; I laid it out that I used standard Rec709 gammas so that the actual images were as similar as possible.

As for image artifacting tests, the intraframe AVC-Intra is dramatically superior to the long-GoP XDCAM-EX codec. No question whatsoever. That's a settled question; the BBC doesn't even consider XDCAM-EX to be "HD", whereas they selected AVC-Intra as the primary/highest-caliber codec for their Digital Media Initiative.

nyvz
04-13-2010, 10:45 AM
I must say, I am surprised at the interest in 1/3" interchangeable lens designs as I am not aware that a significant variety of quality 1/3" lenses were available. Even 1/2" interchangeable lens seems to have few options besides using expensive 2/3" lenses with a fair bit of crop.

When you state that AVC-I is dramatically better than XDCAM EX, what are you basing that on? What's interesting about BBC's requirements is that 35Mbps 4:2:0 GOP uses the same compression ratio as 50Mbps 4:2:2, so it seems its primarily the color sampling not the compression ratio they have a problem with, whether or not they know it.

I would be interested to see some tests as I have heard that 50Mbps GOP is considered to be of higher quality than 100Mbps Intra. Of course Sony says this, but also Convergent Design says this and their recorder supports both Intra and GOP recording though certainly a different implementation of Intra than AVC-I uses.

Bassman2003
04-13-2010, 10:54 AM
If you want to compare a handheld fixed-lens unit (EX1R) against an interchangable-lens shoulder-mount unit, I think you're not going to come to any satisfactory conclusions. The EX1 is completely not the competition of the HPX370, the EX3R or the new PMW320 are.


How many people who purchase the HPX-370 are going to change the lens?

The chips in the EX1/3/320 are the same, so I would think of them as the same image in a different body.

I know Panasonic wants their camera to only be compared to the most expensive version of the 1/2" chip competitor, but the fact remains that the EX-1 is around $6000 and it produces the exact same image.

As a consumer, there is a comparison there, is just an ergonomic/useability difference. We gotta spend the money. Do you think we are not going to weigh the plusses and minuses of all the cameras? I am just getting a little tired of this notion that "you can't compare those two cameras". Well, I have to make an informed purchase decision based upon what I can afford to spend, which will include all of the cameras in that price range.

The best camera for the purchaser's needs will win in the end no matter what "class" it is in. Won't it?

Barry_Green
04-13-2010, 03:26 PM
For the customer who doesn't care what the form factor is, you may have a point. For those who do care, there's absolutely no question -- they'll choose one or the other. Images are only one part of why someone chooses a particular camera. Recording format, ergonomics, price, workflow, wireless, interchangeable lenses, warranty, all those things come into play.

Surely you can recognize that someone is far more likely to consider a PMW320 to be a more likely direct competitor to the HPX370? And they would look at the HPX170 as the more likely direct competitor to the EX1.

I don't think many people spend much time arguing about whether they should get a motorcycle or a pickup truck... usually you pretty much know which one will do what you want done. But if someone truly only cared about getting from point A to point B, I guess they could consider a pickup truck and a motorcycle to be in competition with each other. They're both "vehicles", after all.

I don't consider a 7D to be in competition with an EX1. I don't consider an EX1 to be in competition with an HPX370. And I don't consider an HPX370 to be in competition with a Red One. And I don't consider a Red One to be in competition with an HMC40. They're all so very different -- even if every one of them delivers 1080p video.

Otis Grapsas
04-13-2010, 03:48 PM
I would say a high resolution intraframe camera is closer to Red One and high end 2/3" cameras than to any GOP camera in terms of motion quality.

4:2:2 vs 4:2:0 hasn't got the slightest important when the motion has turned the chroma into a mess anyway. BBC know it's a very bad idea to start with GOP. It's very easy to break the image. Perhaps it's not apparent in the typical test, you know the type of test, done by bloggers with locked camera in tripods and no motion at all, still mode video as a friend in BBC uses to say. This type of test started when Sony FX1 was released. The old mpeg2 codec looked ok in static shots so they became the norm for GOP cameras. Test charts and postcards shots on video. No GOP camera test involves heavy motion, waves, waterfalls, extreme sports or handheld situations right? And if it does, no full resolution images are presented. A GOP codec of this generation will show blocks even downscaled to SD under demanding situations. And the chroma is useless for post in these scenarios.

This camera is superior to EX1, EX3 and anything CMOS+GOP. It has a professional format that can handle anything. The only compromise is shallow DOF but one who thinks it's more important, can get it for $1000 today.

Bassman2003
04-13-2010, 05:04 PM
I agree and disagree at the same time. Sure, interchageable lens cameras are similar and the Sony 320 and the Panasonic HPX-370 are competitors.

But making a purchase decision is not that simple cut and dry.

In todays mish mash of products, I consider everything to be on the table for a purchase. So in that regard, they are all competitors to each other. The 7D is in competition with the EX-1 because you could make the decision to use either one on a lot of projects with satisfactory results. So many models can get the job done that I don't see cameras in classes anymore.

The "class" idea comes from a marketing perspective to establish defined values to attribute to items. It is kind of unrelated to the consumer who sees needs and price.

You could have made this argument about the 5DMKII and the RED or any other expensive film output camera a little while ago. "The 5D is not in the same class". "You can't compare a still camera with an established bla bla bla..."

I will be wathcing the House episode that was shot with the 5D to see how it looks. They have access to a lot of nice cameras but for some reason they used the $3,000 model. Totally out of its class.

It is all upside down now and the class model is fading from my point of view.

Sorry Barry. I don't want to be argumentative. You have a lot of experience and knowledge, I just don't see it from the manufacturer's point of view.

Otis Grapsas
04-13-2010, 05:38 PM
I think the class distinctions are valid from an engineering point of view. Tests can show the difference. It's just that the market is becoming more tolerant if the cost is right. If one comes with a $5,000 budget, he would think a camcorder with many flaws is still a wonderful thing and create wonderful things with it, working around the limitations. There is no other option within that budget anyway. But that's not the only market out there. GOP codecs do not have the fluidity of intraframe codecs, there is artifical blur in every single motion which does not represent the shutter setting correctly, the easthetic is inferior, the image in busy in a negative way, you can't pull a key for an action shot in most cases without major artifacting, the GOP material does not compress as well or use delivery codecs efficiently, etc etc. It's similar for everything that defines a product class in the way that you mean it. Large pixel size gives high dynamic range and rich color, CCD provides unlimited camera motion and higher saturation, and so on. We all know a Toyota Corolla takes a family from A to B quite effectively but there is room for other car designs that come from an entirely different perspective. Toyota Corolla competes in its class just like any product.

Noel Evans
04-14-2010, 03:44 AM
Third, I will still stand up and say "but it has 1/2" chips". Sorry, but as much as Panasonic wants to tells us they are the same, they are not. Maybe not a huge difference, but the whole world is on focus with a 1/3" chip camera.

Seriously the difference to 1/2" is so minimal - 1/2 stop in technical terms, but times Ive shot with a EX series camera I have not noticed any big gain and have still had to implement the old DOF tricks. If a short DOF is what youre after, many cheap options now, that make 1/2" and 1/3" DOF seem wider than the pacific.




That is just closer to a consumer look imho.

Interesting as some of my favourite movies of all time were shot with extremely large DOF and lit beautifully. Difference of opinion I guess.




The 370 dance footage looks great, but $9,200 for a 1/3" chip camera before all of the memory is pretty rich.

You say ..... I say.....

Personally I think at that price its well placed for what it is. I still say Pana's on board preamps and sound quality blitzes almost everything else. I also say its a good price for a camera capable of AVC Intra, an exceptional straight to media format.

And I just read on the Japanese press release (suprised I missed this), but the 370 has the DRS function. Isnt / wasnt that only available on the 3700? Regardless Ive used / worked with it on the 3700 and it utterly kicks ass.

Bassman Im not trying to dig at your post overly, seems we have a varying opinion of value for money functions.

But based on everything you have stated, regarding more DOF control, not counting pixels and dynamic range Id say the perfect camera for you would be a HPX500. I know Im still a huge fan and big user of the 500. Im waiting for a scarlet.

EDIT TO ADD: I do this for a living and have for sometime now. And am moving further and further away from ENG, live performance and events. The 500 has been the perfect in betweener with its robust CCDs. But the S35 Scarlet offers me the next phase... when it comes out :P

Steve Cooperman
04-14-2010, 06:39 AM
Is Panasonic's U.L.T. equivalent to Sony's backlighted Exmor R? If this is true, then the EX still can be improved, because current EX models have the basic Exmor chip. EX1R was supposed to have Exmor R chip, it does not. But rumors are that Sony will soon unveil a new model in the EX family with the backlighted chip, and the status quo will be restored.

I am no Sony's fanboy, but there's no replacement for displacement. With all things being equal bigger chip wins, and I have no reason to believe that Panasonic has better technology than Sony.

Regarding, “all things being equal bigger chip wins, and I have no reason to believe that Panasonic has better technology than Sony.”

Well, all things are not equal. Panasonic’s new ULT-based imager significantly reduces the noise floor, which has been an industry issue with MOS-based imagers. In addition, it increases the sensitivity. This is what causes the 370s performance to meet or even exceed ˝” camcorders. What causes the 370 to really exceed performance of those EX camcorders is the built-in full resolution AVC-Intra codec. All things are NOT equal. There’s obviously different cameras out there for different budgets, though the 370 is an incredible value in that it includes AVC-Intra and is selling in the $10k price range (and less with some resellers).

Erik Olson
04-14-2010, 06:44 AM
And I just read on the Japanese press release (suprised I missed this), but the 370 has the DRS function. Isnt / wasnt that only available on the 3700? Regardless Ive used / worked with it on the 3700 and it utterly kicks ass.

Yes, and the HPX300 also featured DRS.

Steve Cooperman
04-14-2010, 06:48 AM
My viewpoint on this is: Panasonic mostly uses CCDs with lower resolution, and uses pixel shifting to achieve the standard HD resolutions. JVC does the same things (but different up conversion method). However, more of that resolution is kept as the camera compresses it, since Panasonic has some of the highest quality compression formats available in cameras under 100k.

Sony advertises its cameras as full raster because they use full raster CMOS chips. Allows them to advertise more actual "resolution", but since they use old MPEG-2 based compression formats (except for their HDCAM-SR format), a lot of that resolution is lost.


Regarding the comment, “My viewpoint on this is: Panasonic mostly uses CCDs with lower resolution, and uses pixel shifting to achieve the standard HD resolutions,” please understand that this only applies to our hand-held P2 cameras, such as the HVX200 and HPX170. Still, these cameras are incredible values with suggested list prices under $5k and 4:2:2 DVCPRO-HD codecs.

Our other cameras do NOT use pixel shifting to achieve HD resolutions. The HPX370 actually is a full 3-MOS 1920x1080 imager. The HPX370 does NOT use pixel shifting to acquire 1920x1080 images. In addition, our HPX2000 and HPX3000, as well as our VariCam 2700 and 3700 have native HD imagers.

Steve Cooperman
04-14-2010, 07:09 AM
You have good points and healthy debate is positive.

When I look at a camera like the HMC-150 or the HPX-170, these cameras are under $5,000. $3,300 and $4,300 respectively. Both are considered to have very nice images and often used in for-pay environments.

Then I look at the HPX-370 which as you state will be $9,200, I see a $5,000 difference. But all three of these 1/3" chip cameras. From a layman's point of view, I think it would take more engineering to create a small form factor camera rather than a large form due to space limitations. I also read about CMOS being less power hungry and more less expensive to manufacture.

Shooting 720p with all three cameras, running through post then showing the end result on Blu-ray, how much difference would you see? 1080p would be a different story to some extent. How much are clients going to see? It would be an interesting comparison.

Bottom line, I am not a huge fan of 1/3" chip cameras and seeing them approach the $10,000 mark is troubling for me as historically they have not been this high.


Regarding the two comments, “I also know larger chips cost more. But at the HPX-370 pricepoint, you have pretty much doubled the "normal" price for a 1/3" chip camera,” and “Bottom line, I am not a huge fan of 1/3" chip cameras and seeing them approach the $10,000 mark is troubling for me as historically they have not been this high.”

The HPX370 is NOT a normal 1/3” chip camera. This camera has a new, low noise 1920x1080 imager. Also, this camera has a full-resolution AVC-Intra codec and the reliability of P2, built-in. Other 1/3” and almost all ˝” chip cameras offer MPEG-2, long-GOP 4:2:0 compression, while the HPX370 offers full-resolution AVC-Intra 100, space efficient, 10-bit AVC-Intra 50 and industry standard DVCPRO-HD/50/25.

These are key points. The HPX370 has all of the advantages of a shoulder mount camera with full-raster AVC-Intra and P2.

Bassman2003
04-14-2010, 09:22 AM
Full disclosure, I use an HPX-500, EX-1 and an HMC-150. I also use two Nano-flash recorders and do not own a P2 card.

1080p, the EX-1 just wins. 720p all are pretty equal in the end with the HPX-500 drawing my attention the most with great color and modelling in the image.

Yes, pretty close to the "camera for every job" principle I hate. I used to own three matching DVC-200s which was great. Not in the HD era. Yes I freely admit I am bitter. The DVC-200 was a perfect small business tool. Full size, 1/2" chips, long record time, great audio, no skew, nice image for $5,000-$7,000 with an adult lens. I have yet to find this value & feature set in the HD era.

I realize there is a want to sell cameras but I would just ask one question to the working pros out there who own their own business, not use other people's cameras.

Would you want to base your entire business around a 1/3" chip camera?

Because around the $10,000 mark it is not another camera purchase like the $3,300 HMC-150, it is getting to be quite an investment.

All broadcast standards up until present have shunned the use of 1/3" chip cameras. Why would this be the camera to get knowing this?

That is where I am coming from. Send the flaming arrows!

Barry_Green
04-14-2010, 10:16 AM
Well, if the 1/3" camera delivers better images than the 1/2" camera... seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it?

I mean, are you delivering images, or are you selling spec sheets?


All broadcast standards up until present have shunned the use of 1/3" chip cameras
Well, the key point being "up until present". When NBC and ABC decided to shift their news operations over to 1/3" (HPX300 and HPX170) that certainly changed things.

That said, you do have a point about the 1/3" and acceptance, those that have certain clients who demand certain things, will still have to meet those clients' requirements. If you're shooting for the BBC, the XDCAM-EX format doesn't qualify, nor does the HPX370's 1/3" chips. So if you are trying to contract out footage, you would of course be well served to research your proposed client's requirements.

But the same question can easily be asked: would you want to base your entire business around a 1/2" chip camera? Especially when it doesn't even perform to the level of today's 1/3" cameras? You can still go with the relatively affordable 2/3" HPX500 option and have a full 2/3" system that is certified for unrestricted acquisition by Discovery.

So really, you're saying the same thing -- you're saying you have a smaller-chip camera (EX1) that produces sharper imagery than your larger-chip camera (HPX500). And you're okay with that. So why is it any different for Panasonic to say they have a smaller-chip camera (HPX370) that produces better, more sensitive, lower-noise images than your larger-chip camera (EX1)?

Tom Roper
04-14-2010, 10:35 PM
If Panasonic is so confident in the equality (or superiority) of the advances demonstrated in the 1/3 inch format, why not slam dunk it by showing what they could do by offering the technology in a 1/2 inch, and cause a mass defection from envious EX owners? I just don't see the point of declaring victory in the poker match by calling, not raising the bet. The EX series has been on top for over 2 years, practically legend.

To be sure, the HPX370 has a lot going for it including being mostly alone in a 1/3 inch shoulder mount class. But aside from placating their own base, who's going to unload their EX for this? Collect some fence sitters? Sure why not but just around the corner is Sony again, armed with the PMW-320, and Canon with the XF.

What has always irritated me about Panasonic beginning with the HVX200, is like dining at a French Restaurant. The food is good but it never quite satisfies the hunger. You can call it a no brainer, but the blame for those of us who never give Panasonic the time of day is squarely for reasons like P2 and codec salesmanship because there wasn't an actual answer to EX imagery. Now that they do, and let's be clear that IF they do, it's by an ever-so-teeny still disputed margin that's hardly clear cut or conclusive, no disrespect to your tests Barry, but it'll be ripe to get knocked off just like everything eventually does, including the EX (and probably a lot sooner), and the reason why just the thought of 1/3 inch generates no excitement for me whatsoever.

lawriejaffa
04-15-2010, 08:31 AM
Jeez, get over it - honestly to me 1/2 is a gimmick (imo) and for most people who see it that way, its just not the pertinent issue with camera selection.

For those who really do percieve an astonishing benefit, betwixt 1/3 and 2/3 then power to them but sorry, i don't really feel Panny has to jump to 1/2 just to satisfy a fairly adolescent affinity in my book.

Camera Expert
04-15-2010, 10:32 PM
If the HPX370 should be around the same price as the HMC150 or the HPX170 than shouldn't the PMW320 be the same price as the EX1R?
You see what I'm saying?

Barry_Green
04-16-2010, 07:10 AM
Exactly.

monday1313
04-23-2010, 01:32 PM
I actually had an EX-1 and traded it in for an HPX-170, simply because the codec and lens on the Sony weren't as good as the Panasonic...I could care less about what size chip it was, the image quality was everything. I say this as an Owner-Operator who has been in business for 5 years using my own gear. I used a Letus Extreme/Nikon lenses with both. I also have a Canon 7-D and will be getting a Scarlet package. I didn't think that the Canon codec would be able to grade well, but it's pretty fair. The small form factor of the Canon allows me to get B-roll in places I would never be allowed into with the HPX-170(or a 370 for that matter), but it has limitations on it too. The Scarlet will probably be the least limited of all, but I wouldn't use it to document corporate speakers or depositions...
My point is that there isn't one all purpose camera package. The real debate is to be had with one's self as to what tools will get the image quality required(or better) with the least amount of risk to the bottom line in the form of wear and tear and/or damage to gear.

image90
04-25-2010, 05:43 PM
Hello,
What is the difference between HPX370 and HPX 371? thanks

Joe Calabrese
05-10-2010, 06:56 AM
Hello,
What is the difference between HPX370 and HPX 371? thanks

The 370 is the NTSC version, the 371 is PAL/NTSC switchable, from my understanding.

Joe Calabrese
05-10-2010, 07:04 AM
If you're shooting for the BBC, the XDCAM-EX format doesn't qualify, nor does the HPX370's 1/3" chips. S

Codec, I can understand the whole limitation thing. But sensor size? That I don't get. Why not allow the use of 1/3" chips? I have a DVX, and I feel that in every situation I have been in, the 1/3" chips performed just as well as a 2/3" chip camera (except obviously in low light, but I never received one complaint about low light shooting). Now with this new U.L.T. technology, 1/3" chips are gonna be even better in low light.

I mean, look at Deadliest Catch, when they switched over to HD, they were using Sony Z1s. 1/3" chips, HDV codec, and it looked fine. It wasn't as great as watching a movie on Blu-Ray in 1080p, but it was passable HD. A better codec would have retained more information, but the whole chip size limitations I don't understand.

Jan_Crittenden
05-10-2010, 12:24 PM
The 370 is the NTSC version, the 371 is PAL/NTSC switchable, from my understanding.

They both are switchable.

Best,

Jan

Peteremery
08-03-2010, 09:10 AM
I've bought a HPX371 and my test have shown that fine detail smears into a mush when you pan. It then quickly returns the detail after the pan. This seems to happen in all modes whether 'P' or 'I'.
I think this is the result of the anti-skew firmware.

Has anyone else found this?

AwakenedFilms
08-03-2010, 11:20 AM
Check your shutter settings. It is possibly if shooting in 24p, without the 'shutter on' that you are shooting at 1/24 of a second and inducing a lot of motion blur, Peteremery.


Jason

Otis Grapsas
08-03-2010, 11:48 AM
I've bought a HPX371 and my test have shown that fine detail smears into a mush when you pan. It then quickly returns the detail after the pan. This seems to happen in all modes whether 'P' or 'I'.
I think this is the result of the anti-skew firmware.

Has anyone else found this?

Does that happen on DVCPROHD also?

Gweilo66
08-14-2010, 06:19 PM
Any resolution (pun intended) to the momentary mushy issue?

Barry_Green
08-14-2010, 06:21 PM
Apparently the new firmware resolves that.

vanvideo
08-23-2010, 09:17 PM
Late to the party, but..
Since the BBC has approved the 1/3" 3MOS Canon XF300/305 with 50mbps, 4:2:2 sampling for full acquisition, has the HPX370 been approved? How about for Discovery?