Thread: HPX370 in 2014?

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    HPX370 in 2014?
    #1
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    I have an opportunity to pick up the 370 from a friend for a good price.

    I've been browsing through reviews and watching sample footage online (not much out there.)

    Half of the reviews I come across are expressing concern over focusing issues and back focus problems.

    Some claim this camera is the HPX250 (which I own) in a bigger body (give or take features). I haven't seen any footage from the 370 that is better than the 250 and everything from the 370 really does look soft to me.

    For those that use this camera, any thoughts?

    Thank you.


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    Senior Member Justin Kuhn's Avatar
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    I don't use this camera but it sounds like you've made your mind up already? Don't make a purchase you'll regret.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    I have an opportunity to pick up the 370 from a friend for a good price.

    I've been browsing through reviews and watching sample footage online (not much out there.)

    Half of the reviews I come across are expressing concern over focusing issues and back focus problems.

    Some claim this camera is the HPX250 (which I own) in a bigger body (give or take features). I haven't seen any footage from the 370 that is better than the 250 and everything from the 370 really does look soft to me.

    For those that use this camera, any thoughts?

    Thank you.
    It's lacking the subtle detail and nuances that only on P's 2/3" AJ & decent 2/3" EFP lens line have, but you'll have to pay $15-20K more just for that extra 15-20% of quality. Colors will not pop out. Objects will not sparkle. It's sharp but just somewhat flat overall subjectively. I'd wait and try out the PX-270 before going for the HPX-370. But I don't expect miracles w/ the PX-270 at the mid $5K price point. The question now is that is it worth an extra $20K just to have the overall image quality boost by ~20%?


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    I hear you both - thank you.

    It's frustrating because it's so easy to get amazing images out of DSLRs and Blackmagic cameras, but I love using a traditional video camera that has a long zoom lens, OIS, etc. I want the image quality of a Blackmagic camera in a shoulder-mount ENG body in one package for less than 10K and NOTHING exists like that.


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    I see the pressure is on the lens manufactures to make a decent PL-mount lens within $10-15K an not $90-120K that weighs 15-20 lbs. When this happens, I'd forget 1/3" or even 2/3". But this can take decades or more. Perhaps not in our lifetime unless there's a major breakthrough in optics design. There's just nothing available somewhere in between form factor and price wise in 2014

    A good sign that the PL-lens is moving to the broader focal length direction (similar to ENG/EFP 2/3" lens) is: http://blog.abelcine.com/2014/04/10/...25-300-cabrio/
    Unfortunately it's 20 lbs and quite big physically and also financially. Certainly not for handheld use for extended period of time. A breakthrough in physical size and weight w/ 2/3" super telephoto lens was made back in 2007 fr Fujinon when a 12 lbs 42x + supporting rod was shrunken down to a 6.5 lbs 25x w/ out any additional support with similar super telephoto reach. My bet is that if the demand is high enough, I think PL lens can be lighter and smaller in the future.

    Not sure what happened to that Micro 4/3 format. It pretty much faded away in favor of PL-mount. That may be the ideal format to have the lens within the mid range point.
    Last edited by lonewolf2koc@hotmail.com; 04-17-2014 at 12:32 AM.


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    Senior Member Kolor-Pikker's Avatar
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    Posting kinda late, but whatever.

    The 370 really is just a bigger 250, or the other way around rather, since the 250 is newer. You're right in noticing that the 370 has a "soft" image, and you have make sure all the stars align to get the best out of it, but even so, I like mine.

    Also, don't judge it's image on a computer screen, footage from the 370 looks terrible on a 27" 1440p monitor, but very nice on a 50" 1080p plasma. If you're used to the kind of images DSLRs and the BM stuff give you, you'll probably be disappointed in the 370, but it's not exactly an "art" camera either.

    Regarding focus and backfocus issues, in a previous thread somewhere on here I detailed that backfocus on this specific lens should be set from the long end of the zoom range to the middle point, the reason being is that there is a dip in backfocus in the middle of the zoom range. At wide everything is in focus anyway, so you don't lose anything by doing so, while you get the sharpest image quality is around 40-70% zoom.

    Finally, just about every 1/3" camera will leave something to be desired, it's just the nature of this sensor size. But as was said, unless some breakthrough happens in optics, there is no other camera type where you can get 32-550mm zoom range in a compact form and of decent quality.

    If it were 2010 and I got to choose again, I'd probably have either downsized and gone with the Canon XF300 or budgeted higher and gotten the Sony PMW-350, but it's still a nice camera.


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    NorBro:

    I own a 370 and a 250. Please allow my thoughts:

    1) The guts of both cameras are almost identical. The exterior form factors differ.
    2) Both cameras make gorgeous video if you shoot between wide open and about 3.8 aperture. On sunny days you will need additional ND filters to supplement the built in filters. Buy them since they're a good investment.
    3) Had no back focus issues with my 370. Here's how I backfocus:
    a) Forget the Siemens star that came with the camera. Line your birdcage floor, wrap fish with it or just throw it away.
    b) My home has white-painted, wood laminate, interior doors with raised wood grain finish. My master bedroom door makes the PERFECT focus plane. Find a similar door or pattern in your house.
    c) Position your 370 about ten feet from the focus point (white colored wood grain door, rough finished wall, etc).
    d) Set iris wide open with zebras just beginning to trip at 70%.
    e) Buy or borrow a 7" on camera monitor with focus peaking (I don't toss out this suggestion assuming everybody is rich. I use a cheap, plastic, F & V SDI monitor I purchased in China two years ago. Snoop around, you'll get a great deal on a similar one and it's just good to have a monitor like this when you're shooting outdoor action which makes 180 degree camera pans difficult with your eye on the viewfinder).
    f) Throw alot of light onto your wall or door surface at a slight angle, allowing the rough surface to highlight the "peaks and valleys" of the textures on the focus surface you have chosen.
    g) Set your on camera monitor to black and white and activate focus peaking. Here's where folks run into trouble: Its easy to set focus at full telephoto using the lens focus ring. However, when you zoom out and get ready to adjust the back focus ring, alot of people find it difficult to get focus at such a wide angle because you just can't see the fine detail on the focus surface wall or door or whatever you've chosen. I know. I had this issue as well. I was sick and tired of it and decided to figure out a way to adjust back focus at full wide angle. So, If you use an external monitor set up as described above, you will actually see the focus peaking on the rough surface of your wall or door even at wide angle! I use daylight streaming in from my bedroom window to to illuminate the focus surface I use, which just happens to be my bedroom door with the wood grain. Make sure the light is at an angle to the surface so you get the contrasty "peaks and valleys" of whatever rough surface you've chosen. When I set up my backfocus in the above manner, I was delighted to discover the backfocus mark at the rear of the lens is perfectly aligned at the factory setting! How cool is that?

    I haven't run into any issues concerning temperature change and backfocus adjustment yet and I hope not to. I really hope this has helped anyone with issues. The 250 and 370 are really fine cameras and footage shot to Bluray disks look awesome on the big screen at my local multiplex (and I ain't talkin' the small screen theater. I mean the huge screen theater!)

    Happy New Year!
    Interesting if true. And interesting anyway.


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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf2koc@hotmail.com View Post
    but you'll have to pay $15-20K more just for that extra 15-20% of quality.
    Not if buying secondhand at the moment - I've seen both HPX2700 and HPX3700 for under 3,000 - 2/3" cameras and lenses seemed to have crashed in price now.
    Steve


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Finally, just about every 1/3" camera will leave something to be desired, it's just the nature of this sensor size. But as was said, unless some breakthrough happens in optics, there is no other camera type where you can get 32-550mm zoom range in a compact form and of decent quality.
    I looked hard at the 370 when buying - I needed a shouldermount camera, but couldn't justify the expense of 2/3" anymore. (And would have needed new lenses.)

    In the end I went with the Sony PMW320 as best bang for buck. Largely down to 1/2" chips, quite simply the 1/3" chips of the 370 just put it at a disadvantage from the start. The difference isn't in absolute picture quality, period, but the bigger chips make quite a difference in low light ability (about a stop) and with the same f stop on each also give a bit more depth of field control. And they were roughly the same price.


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    Senior Member GaryNattrass's Avatar
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    Been using a 371 for broadcast and all kinds of work for around 6 years now and never had a problem with it.

    Great P2 codecs and very nice pictures, I even shot a full indie drama on mine: https://youtu.be/r6-03NdlK6Y
    Over 15 minutes in broadcast film and tv production: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1044352
    /


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