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    350: Anybody happy with the zoom and controller? Plus 2 more issues.
    #1
    Senior Member nedcam's Avatar
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    I have a problem, I have to decide before the end of tomorrow (Monday) whether to buy the CX350 to replace an aging HPX370 I don't want to put any more money in. B&H has a tax savings special. I've narrowed my choices down to the CX350 but after reading all these posts I need clarification as to whether:

    Can you get a smooth zoom using a specific controller? Is there a firmware update that corrected this or a controller combination that works? That's crucial to me since I shoot a lot of Ted Talk type jobs where I need to do framing zooms. I can't tell from the threads if this issue has been fixed.

    I hear there's a challenge controlling hot highlights? I shoot a lot of fast moving documentaries so I need some scene files that require minimal monitoring.

    Happy with the internal audio? I will have to put $500 into bracketry to keep my Lectrosonics wireless set up on board, so I don't want to go an external recorder.

    Thanks for your quick opinions. I was suspicious as to the low price and figured they'd have to skimp on some things. Otherwise the camera and specs look like just what I need. I don't care about streaming. Love the wide end of the lens and the ability to do 4K without the hassle of DSLR body form.

    Many thanks for your opinions.

    Ned

    P.S. If you don't want to bad rap Panny publicly please PM me. But I need to know tonight.
    Ned Miller
    Chicago-based Freelance Videographer
    www.nedmiller.com


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    #2
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    Ned,

    Your concerns include most of the issues of importance to me as well and thus far I have avoided the temptation of the 350. Are you happy with the image from the 370? Since you are already considering changing to the handycam form factor, have you considered a used 270 (or 230)? I have been using a 270 for several years and except for the lack of 4k resolution, the 270 has none of the issues of concern to you.

    Zoom is great with the rocker switches and both Libec and Manfrotto remotes for all 4 functions work well.

    Image quality is likely a small step upwards from your 370 which I believe has the same imagers as the HPX250. For sure, the image controls are better as the 270 has the same brain (not the chips) as the HPX5000.

    Decent lens considering the range wide range including a 22x zoom. Others have differed with this assessment.

    Internal audio on the 270 is 24 bit and short of using a high quality external, is plenty good for typical interviews.

    The VF and flip out are very good, much better than any previous Panny-Handy that I know of.

    You already have P2, external controls, card reader (?), or other peripherals which will work.

    A nice used 270 goes for around $2500 plus or minus.

    Admittedly, it would be hard for me to buy another 1080 cam at this point, but within my limited circle, no one yet has given gave a rip about delivering in 4k........although it would be nice.

    When the 350 first came out, I thought it would be a direct replacement for the 270, but it isn't IMHO. If I stick with the handycam type form for my next cam, I'm thinking I'll wait for an upgraded offering which more approaches the 270 in features.

    Let the grousing begin!

    Best, Grant


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    Senior Member nedcam's Avatar
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    Thanks Bassman & Grant and several others! Well, I HAD to buy it today to get the $300 deal plus I don't want to drop $1000+ on a repair for the HPX370, plus if I want to supplement my retirement income I need 4K.

    I usually buy the latest model when I need a new camera. In fact, I hate buying so close to NAB, figure there will be a new version of the CX350 with my luck. As I recall, that's how the HPX300 jumped to the 370 in such a short time. I won't buy a used camera unless it was from someone I knew very well.

    It's not that I love 4K, it's that I have a need to punch in, saves me from always doing it 2 camera. Will save me many headaches in post. For my main client I do a lot of product demos, easy money. Easier if I can just punch in. I got B&H's Square Deal for 3 years which makes it easy to repair. If I don't like this camera I can return it. I am sick and tired of using still lenses, I come from a servo zoom documentary style background and I cry deep into the night remembering all the great shots I missed while changing lenses! Miss the good ole days.

    I'm hoping this will fit on my shoulder rig so I can keep using my Lectrosonics and Small HD 4"er powered by an Anton Bauer. Otherwise I'd have to buy 2 Senn G4 wirelesses and clip them on which to me seems flimsy.

    I'd like to know if there's a way to find Chicago area CX350 owners in case I have to get several together to match such as for a sports event or concert. Is there a way to find that out from Panasonic's registration department?

    I'm sure I'll have many questions in the next few weeks. One scary point is that there's not a lot of threads on this camera, it doesn't even have it's own forum, so out of all the many cameras I had bought in my 41 years in the biz, this isn't all that popular. If I was still on the hamster wheel I'd be forced into the FS7 (which is aging) but this 350 will handle 80% of what I need to do. I must be able to throw the background out of focus by moving back as far as possible and shooting wide open. Otherwise I'll have to do talking heads with the Canon C100 on the 70-200mm and then do the b-roll with the CX350.

    Lastly, I watched many of Barry Green's videos so I feel I can work with this camera. (I didn't know he worked directly for Panny till I saw him wearing their Polo shirt. Thought he was an independent, unbiased opinion all these years.) Can his book be bought in paper form? I'd prefer a hard copy I can highlight and bookmark, keep in the bag. Anyone know?

    Thanks

    Ned
    Ned Miller
    Chicago-based Freelance Videographer
    www.nedmiller.com


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    #4
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    The CX350 is an incredibly popular camera. Panasonic can’t share information on other local owners, but I suggest you ask AbelCine Chicago, they might have some names. Barry Green is not an employee of Panasonic, he’s a friend. We’ve hired him to write his ebooks for many cameras and he does a great job. So great that we also bring him in for some major trade shows like NAB. He’s very knowledgeable and a perfect person to explain the functions of the cameras at the booth.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    Quote Originally Posted by nedcam View Post
    I'm sure I'll have many questions in the next few weeks. One scary point is that there's not a lot of threads on this camera, it doesn't even have it's own forum, so out of all the many cameras I had bought in my 41 years in the biz, this isn't all that popular. If I was still on the hamster wheel I'd be forced into the FS7 (which is aging) but this 350 will handle 80% of what I need to do. I must be able to throw the background out of focus by moving back as far as possible and shooting wide open. Otherwise I'll have to do talking heads with the Canon C100 on the 70-200mm and then do the b-roll with the CX350.
    I actually think that the CX350 is relatively popular in its market segment. For example, the camera has been one of the best sellers in the Professional Camcorders section on B&H for most of this year (and most of the other professional camcorders on their best seller list are priced $1000 to $2000 less than the CX350 at the moment, indicating that it is probably the best selling camcorder at its price point).

    But what I think may have changed in the past 10 years or so is the camera market itself. The HPX370 was announced at NAB in April 2010 so we are coming up on 10 years since it was introduced (and approaching 9 years since the HPX250 was announced). And during that time, a lot of the attention in the camera market has shifted to large sensor interchangeable lens cameras, including both DSLRs and mirrorless still cameras as well as digital cinema cameras. Not to mention that the explosion of video capable smartphones has eroded the lower end of the camcorder market. These trends have meant that people that might have opted for a fixed lens camcorder to capture a certain type of video 10 years ago, might now be opting for a different tool. And some might say this trend has gone too far in some cases, with people using large sensor cameras for event work or other applications where a fixed lens camcorder might be better suited.

    In any case, there are still some people using the CX350 on this forum so definitely ask questions as they come up as it will likely benefit others as well.


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    Yes, I do not think we will ever see a "broadcast" version of the CX350. Sadly the market acceptance probably shrinks every year for fixed lens cameras. Ned's first question was about SDOF which says it all. Folks want the shallow look and are willing to give up ergonomics.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassman2003 View Post
    Yes, I do not think we will ever see a "broadcast" version of the CX350. Sadly the market acceptance probably shrinks every year for fixed lens cameras. Ned's first question was about SDOF which says it all. Folks want the shallow look and are willing to give up ergonomics.
    No problem getting a shallow depth of field (which I think is often over rated/Used) just move further away and usee a longer focal length, that's how it used to be done in the movies.


    As an aside, I have an FS7 I and FS5 II and I consider that the CX350 outguns the FS5 in most ways, colour is good, the ability to have an enlarged, mono display with coloured peaking is an absolute godsend for focusing. For quick turnaround the HLG works very well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassman2003 View Post
    Yes, I do not think we will ever see a "broadcast" version of the CX350. Sadly the market acceptance probably shrinks every year for fixed lens cameras. Ned's first question was about SDOF which says it all. Folks want the shallow look and are willing to give up ergonomics.
    Not all of us need SDOF. While it is nice to have when needed, for many of the mundane video projects (mine at least) having everything in focus is essential. With regards to the future of the handycam form factor; just a look at the reporter scrums on cable news would tell me that handycams are on the rise over more traditional shoulder mount rigs. I confess to being a cable news junkie and it seems to me that handycams are very popular with the run and gun crowd covering Washington news. I estimate that it has become a 50/50 mix between handycams and shoulder cams, many of which are Panasonic by my observation. Of course the major broadcast networks are still using shoulder cams mostly. I wonder how much news is shot in 4k? My guess is not much. But I think there is still a place for higher quality handycams. The whole point is quick and easy. When needed or when time permits, I'll rig out my 270, but I never feel bad about shooting with just the cam. If I need something special, like SDOF, I use a DSLR on rails.

    I have lusted for years about having a shoulder mount cam, since for me, handholding a handycam can be a real frustration (hey, older folks aren't as steady). But dang, even something like a Panny 380 is obnoxiously expensive for a 1080 cam.

    Grant


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    It is conflicting. Panasonic has a few ~$3,000 UHD cameras on the market and this made me think they could go more pro with the CX350. But, they did not leave the ~$3,500 price point which leads me to believe they see demand as weak for "pro" level handycam style cameras. So there is a price window for the demand. If the CX350 had more to push it to $5,000 like the PX270 would it be as popular? (as Mitch states).

    My statement was not about the handycam design but more about higher end handycams. I don't consider $3,500 to be "high end".


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassman2003 View Post
    Yes, I do not think we will ever see a "broadcast" version of the CX350. Sadly the market acceptance probably shrinks every year for fixed lens cameras. Ned's first question was about SDOF which says it all. Folks want the shallow look and are willing to give up ergonomics.
    There is the new Panasonic AJ-CX4000 ENG camera which I believe has a 1" sensor. Probably not the same sensor as the CX350.

    https://na.panasonic.com/us/news/pan...ount-camcorder

    Start saving your pennies.
    Last edited by nutmegger; 12-04-2019 at 10:07 AM.


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