Jump to content


Photo

HPX 3000, 2000, and 500


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 andy patch

andy patch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 19 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 September 2007 - 03:51 PM

I'm writing because I'm interested in investing in a camera package, more for documentary, broadcast, and TV reality/travel purposes. I know at this point that I'm going tapeless no matter what, and love the P2 workflow (when sufficient cards size and amount are used.)
I was wondering really how the Panasonic HPX2000 compares to the 500, since apparently they shoot same resolution and formats, only with the HPX500 benefits of multiple frame rates (which i love.) Anyway, if anyone has some input as to the major difference why one should be chose over the other, I'd love to know.....although my gut instinct is to not buy a camera now with the RED out....

thanks.
www.andypatch.net
  • 0

#2 Gary McClurg

Gary McClurg
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 304 posts
  • Producer

Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:09 PM

I really don't know that much difference between the 2000 and the 500... besides price... I believe that the 2000 is more eng style were the 500 is really geared towards the narrative and smaller eng market as well... but for $22k for the body, four cards and the best lens on the 500 that might be the best way to go...

I guess you could use the same Canon lens on a Red... so that zoom would cost about $8,500... I guess you could use the Red zoom I don't know the cost.. but I think you would want to go with a more eng style zoom...

As per the Red if the waiting list is as long as some say it is... my best guess you couldn't even get a camera till next year... so if you have something to shoot now... go for the 500...

Edited by Gary McClurg, 14 September 2007 - 04:11 PM.

  • 0

#3 John Cummings

John Cummings
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 14 September 2007 - 05:10 PM

more for documentary, broadcast, and TV reality/travel purposes


I'll throw in my 2 cents.

Andy, I'd do a little investigation before you decide to go tapeless with outside clients.

I don't know how established you are or how many broadcast clients you already have, but many broadcast producers (people I work with everyday) need to have something to take back with them when they fly out the next morning. Say you shoot 3 hours of video for them...and that's nothing for a documentary...so what's that, 160 gigs? What do you hand them at the end of the day? A hard drive? 34 DVD's? A couple of firestores? Will they be happy to wait at the end of a long day while you transfer all those files? Will you do it that night and fedex them? Who pays for those extra hours of compiling? You mentioned buying four P2 cards...sorry, but you're dreaming if you think you can do real pro shoots with that amount of media.

I shoot reality shows where we roll 5-6 hours of tape a day. You may be able to do that tapeless, but you better have a lot of media cards and people to wrangle them for you...think about that in terms of money and time. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of P2 or Red for studio and narrative work, but when it comes to documentary and reality, you might be in for some nasty surprises.

As far as the 500 goes, buy the most camera you can afford. From all accounts, the 2000 is a far superior camera to the 500. The reality is you probably won't do too much paying work with off-speed frame rates. But they sure are fun.

Good luck-
John

Edited by John Cummings, 14 September 2007 - 05:11 PM.

  • 0

#4 John Cummings

John Cummings
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 14 September 2007 - 05:22 PM

Sorry, I see Gary mentioned 4 cards, not Andy.

Edited by John Cummings, 14 September 2007 - 05:24 PM.

  • 0

#5 Mitch Gross

Mitch Gross
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2873 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 14 September 2007 - 09:13 PM

Wow, lots of misinformation and partial information. May I suggest refraining from posting if one does not have full knowledge?

The HPX500 is an entry-level camera, one step up from the little HVX200 handycam. It uses what is esentially a standard definition sensor that is pixel-shifted horizontally and vertically to get to HD resolution. It has fairly basic menus and controls, but as a 2/3" 3-chip camera, it does offer an amazing amount of performance for the price. It can shoot SD PAL or NTSC as well as 720 50p&60P (plus variable rates) and 1080 50I&60I. Again, it is entry level but is certainly more of a camera than the HVX200.

The HPX2000 is a much higher grade, professional level camera. It uses the same imager as the Varicam and the HDX900. In fact in most ways it is essentially the same camera as the HDX900 but records to P2 instead of tape. It is a native 720p camera that can also shoot 1080i via pixel-shift. It downrezzes to create PAL & NTSC, which is very nice. With an optional board it can also record using the new AVC-i codec, which is an h.264 compression scheme that is very efficient and looks much better than DVCPROHD, close to D-5 in quality (that's a lot). The 2000 is a far more rugged design than the 500, with far greater controls in the menu systems and far more capabilities.

The HPX3000 is another beast altogether. This is a 1080P (yes, progressive) camera with a 2.2 million pixel (er, photosite, but don't get me started) sensor that is Digital Cinema quality. It essentially competes with the Sony Cine Alta F900R. This is a very high performance machine.

Workflow with P2 is getting easier all the time. It's funny, it used to be tape -- easy on set, a bit of a pain in post. Now it's moving to Data -- pain on set, easy in post. One of the newest devices from Panasonic to handle data on set is the P2 Gear, which is a small box that eliminates the need for a laptop while shooting. Stick in the P2 and connect a harddrive to the box and it will download and verify that everything transferred properly. An LCD screen will even show thumbnails off a USB harddrive for you. If you use a little USB drive the P2 Gear will power it off the battery (it doesn't take much); if you use a Firewire drive you'll need to power it separately. This makes data downloading very quick and easy, and in the time it takes to pack up your gear at the end of a day's shooting you can hand over a harddrive to the client that costs less than the equivalent tapestock. And your client will love the fact that there's no ingest time needed to get the files, just hook up the drive to a computer and go. Working in P2 is pretty easy these days.

We can all long for the days when we did things the old ways that we were used to. Hey, wasn't it easy when there were only two formats to shoot in? But the fact is that within just a few years there will be no more tape-based cameras. None at all. So we all better pull our heads out of the sand and get used to the workflows because they're coming no matter what.
  • 0

#6 Gary McClurg

Gary McClurg
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 304 posts
  • Producer

Posted 14 September 2007 - 09:43 PM

Mitch just wondering do you work out of the LA or New York office...
  • 0

#7 andy patch

andy patch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 19 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 September 2007 - 06:02 PM

Certainly gives me alot to think about, but I guess my main issue for investing in a camera was to give me an advantage for breaking into the business I'm aiming for a little easier. Either way, thanks for the advice, and I would certainly appreciate some pointers on investing in equipment for the reasons Ive said above. thanks.

andy patch
  • 0

#8 Mitch Gross

Mitch Gross
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2873 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 September 2007 - 10:21 AM

Mitch just wondering do you work out of the LA or New York office...

New York. It should say it in my signature.
  • 0

#9 Andrew Hirsh

Andrew Hirsh

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Director

Posted 26 September 2007 - 05:26 PM

The HPX500... can shoot SD PAL or NTSC as well as 720 50p&60P (plus variable rates) and 1080 50I&60I.


A common misconception is that the HPX500 (or HPX200) shoots 1080 interlaced. This isn't so.

The HPX500 shoots true 1080 progressive at all times. No interlacing. Other formats are downrezzed from 1080/60p or 50p. 1080/24p itself is output over an interlaced stream only because there's no SMPTE 1080 progressive standard. If you set the camera to shoot "1080/24pa" ("a" for "advanced" pulldown), 2:3:3:2 pulldown will reconstitute the original 1080p frames pixel for pixel. This works seamlessly in the current version of FCP.

Of course HPX2000/3000 have higher resolution sensors (though I don't think the 2000 can shoot 1080 progressive) and are simply better for many uses. But the 500 is very good for the money, with excellent low light performance due to the bigger pixel/lower rez chips.

Andy
  • 0

#10 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:40 PM

Andy - It's what I've been saying all along. The HVX shoots 1080 as well.

Edited by Adamo P Cultraro, 27 September 2007 - 11:41 PM.

  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

CineLab

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Opal

CineLab

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS