Video Review of new Panasonic HPX 370/371

10
Apr
2010
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I was fortunate enough to get a chance to use the new HPX 371 (world version of the 370) last month during my drive down from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Armed with just the stock Fujinon lens I shot mostly slow motion and tried to do the drive justice.

Obviously I have become known recently as an evangelist for DSLRs, doesn’t mean I don’t shoot on full size video cameras anymore…far from it! Over half my work is still on full sized video cameras and there is something so familiar and lovely about using one after a DSLR. All the limitations gone, nice and handy ENG lens, XLR inputs, headphone jack, proper viewfinder. The list goes on. 

The camera is a replacement for the old HPX 301/300. A nice but flawed camera. The rolling shutter in full HD mode was not good and there was a fair bit of noise in the blacks. This new camera is a massive improvement. But don’t take my word for it! Check out the video review below by…er, me! Also do check out Barry Green’s nice and techy review on DVX USER. My review is purely an in the field how was it to operate and did I like the images…

Surround sound was captured using the Portamic Pro mounted on the Panasonic using a J-ROD

Review of Panasonic HPX 370/371 from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

“Pacific”: Panasonic HPX 370/371 from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Thanks to www.saracollaton.com for the photos below

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Comments

  1. Roman France says:

    Phil you still mess around with those big boy cameras?! WOO *SHOCK AND AWE* I know your back must have been in knots after lugging that thing around. These SLRs make us big guys a little soft. Great video as always. Get well and enjoy NAB!

    P.S Petrol… L O L

  2. Philip Han says:

    Is it me or do I see a lot of Blue Fringing?

    1. pbloom says:

      cheap lens!

  3. Zack Luye says:

    Nice stuff, as always.

    The format of this review was solid, nice setup.

    Super impressed with the footage from the pana.

    Nice work all around, cheers.

  4. Jim Culp says:

    Absolutely amazing images. Beautifully shot and a wonderful song to go along with it.

  5. The shot of the pelicans at the end is incredible.

    1. Nacho says:

      Agree. Its superb.

  6. livingframe says:

    Philip,

    I am very inspired to see how much beauty you
    pull from an ENG style camera. After watching
    much of your DSLR content you gracioulsy post,
    you can really see the differences. This is
    very nice work, thanks very much for posting
    this. I have a gig with the 300 this week on
    a far less illustrious assignment. I will be
    watching this peice with some friends on the
    job, yet another voice bragging on you =)

    Peace,
    Michael

  7. Solid Review and beautiful footage as always. Given the same material (and choice of lenses) would you have chosen this same camera over one of the Canon DSLRs? Also, did you notice any issues with aliasing?

    Thanks for everything.

    H.

    1. pbloom says:

      no aliasing with this camera. it’s really superb. but would have i shot with a DSLR? maybe…but what this gave me was quick operation and a much longer lens

  8. Nick D says:

    Any chance you could try out the new 60p 1080 mode of the Panassonic TM700K and see if you find it useable for fast motion compared to a DSLR?

    Cheers!

    1. pbloom says:

      i actually just bought one so you are in luck!

      1. Jonny Jones says:

        Just been reading up on the TM700K, looks awesome! Dedicated 1080 60p button as well? Might be my next purchase! Looking forward to a review if you do one Phil!

        1. pbloom says:

          been playing with it today…

          1. Michael says:

            I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the TM700. I have last year’s TM300, so I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on workflow for this camera. Obviously the TM300 didn’t have the 60P mode, but it does have one of those “24P embedded in a 60i container” modes, and I would love to know the best way of dealing with that.

            I also have a Canon 550D, so I’d be keen to hear any thoughts that you have on mixing footage from these two cameras in the same project.

          2. Carl says:

            Hi Philip,

            Have you formed an opinion on the Panasonic TM700K? How do you like, or dislike it?

            Thanks!

            Carl

  9. Man that 60p came out really nice. Fairly good color coming out of that camera as well. This is why I’m hoping you’ll get a chance to review the XF305/300. It shoots basically the same as this cam, but I’m curious to see how it treats the rolling shutter issue. Tell Sara she did a great job shooting as well. ;)

  10. Kevin O says:

    Hey Phil,

    I was waiting to see you test this camera. I will be buying this camera when it comes out. I wanted to ask you…can you tell me your settings for getting the perfect slow mo for this camera? The images look great! You mention it in the video, but a couple parts of the video were hard to here.

    Thank you,
    Kevin O.

  11. Sebastian says:

    I like the pink chair in the background, next to the car. Nice detail! Was it yours, Philip?

  12. Clucking Bell Mr Bloom. That is fantastic.

    My fave shot is the close up of the shrubs with the shallow DOF. Wonderful colours.

  13. Craig says:

    So, EX3 or 371; What’s your initial thoughts?

    1. pbloom says:

      why does everyone want to know which is better? 7D or 5D etc? :)

      I simply didn’t have the EX3 with me nor did I shoot a side by side comparison. Any thoughts I would make would simply be guessing. The only thing I can say is I much prefer Sony menus but LOVE the form factor of the Panasonic…

      1. Craig says:

        Alright aggressive!!!

        Sorry mate, I didn’t realise I was being controversial? I value your opinion and know your a fan of the EX3, thought you might have an early opinion on the panasonic in comparison.

        Better had nothing to do with it, thought the EX3 would be a decent point of reference as to your experience with a new bit of kit.

        1. pbloom says:

          sorry didn’t mean to come off as aggressive. Missed out the smiley face. I literally get about 1000 emails a week simply asking which camera is better, the 5DmkII or the 7D!! :)

          1. Craig says:

            No worries man, that’s a lot of emails, almost as many emails as I get from Swedish companies promising massive erections! Funny thing is, I’ve not worked in the building game for years.

            1. pbloom says:

              I have….and trust me they don’t work!!

  14. Andrew Howe says:

    Hi Phil

    There must be quite a few people now who have now been caught up in film making through the DSLR route and who have never owned anything bigger than a consumer palmcorder.

    What kind of camera makes a good companion for a DSLR? Is it it a good investment, as you are never short of things you “need” to buy with a DSLR?

    1. pbloom says:

      really depends on what you shoot Andrew

  15. Luka says:

    Jaw dropping short. Fantastic footage, great editing and the audio was brilliant as well (the water sound worked very well). Big Sur is perhaps my favourite place on earth and your film does it justice.

  16. Jonny Jones says:

    As I’ve said on Vimeo, absolutely staggering footage and a superb review! Inspiration if ever anybody need it as always! Must have been, in some ways, a nice break from using your DSLRs?

  17. Justin says:

    I thought it looked amazing. Are there any custom settings on this camera used or is it pretty much out of the box? Very beautiful. You really do have a keen eye for spotting the shot.

    1. pbloom says:

      it was all graded in MBL. I may do a tutorial on this one if my voice ever comes back!

  18. Jeff says:

    Great review. Great short. Still feel that Canon’s DSLR’s look better.

  19. mike kobal says:

    man, another stunning short. Philip Bloom, the film maker with soul. Cam looks promising, battery consumption, crazy awesome.
    by the way Philip, I want that watch you are wearing in the review video.

    1. pbloom says:

      it’s a “nooka” Mike

  20. Joe Bryan says:

    I appreciated your refresher lesson on the choice of shutter speeds. To be clear, you shot all of the footage in 720 right?

    1. pbloom says:

      most of it. around 6 or so are 1080p

  21. Nice work Philip,
    A couple of comments.
    In the review you mention doubling the shutter speed of the frame rate and my question is, Doesn’t this camera have degrees as in 180 degrees?
    My other comment has to do with resolution.
    It is hard to tell actual resolution on a super compress internet video, but I am sure that you reviewed it on a 1080 LCD at least. I know that most if not all of the short was shot 720/60p in order to get the slowmo, but Did you test it at the native 1920*1080 Intra and How did it compare to DVCPRO HD?
    Thanks for the review.

    1. pbloom says:

      hi Douglas, as usual with me, i didn’t do anything scientific. most scientific thing have ever done is zacuto shootout. All i wanted to do was see how it was to shoot with. Yes you can have degrees in the settings but I worry that they may confuse a lot of people.

      Most of what I shot was 720p 60p although half a dozen of the shots in it are 1080p 24p and it looked fantastic. I didn’t touch DVCPRO HD, I just went with AVC intra. I know it’s not supported natively by FCP but I wanted to shoot using the best possible format with that camera. I captured as PRO RES HQ

  22. Tim Fok says:

    Great stuff. Nice camera indeed. Noticed some CA on certain shots, but that would be down to the lens.

    Last shot of the pelicans was golden. good work!

  23. suresh Kara says:

    WOW!!

    The final shot is amazing!

    what do you think it would like with an ultimate?

    cheers

    Suresh

    1. Yeah! the final shot with the birds was totally stunning!

  24. Hello Philip,
    Great work, as always. I think to switch from my actual HPX301to this new one, I agree with you about the ergonomy and the autonomy of these models! Very light, easy to use, very “pro” (but better with the Fujinon 13×3,5 lens). The only 2 problems with 301 were noise in dark situations and rolling shutter so if these are now improved, I will definitively switch asap it’s available in Belgium…
    See u

    Franck

  25. Victoria says:

    Anything you shoot is magic…loved the build up to the dramatic wave shots and jaw dropping shot of birds at the end.

    1. pbloom says:

      i like you !

      1. Victoria says:

        feeling’s mutual :)

  26. Mark says:

    Beautiful video, Philip. Thanks for going the extra miles(s) by taking us through the process w/a great narrative. Very useful and quite interesting.

  27. Great video as usual. You provide a great resource for people “Thumbs Up!”
    People are pretty hunger for information I can tell. Its great to see Panasonic P2 is not falling asleep at the wheel.

    Form factor aside, it will be interesting to see what The Scarlet does once it finally gets to market. Now thats a review I look forward to seeing :-)

    By the way, my little Canon T2i is just about a week old and with upgraded lenses its downright jaw dropping what can be done at that price point.

  28. Scott Cassie says:

    Woah that’s some extreme V-neck action there Phil. Some would say it was risque!

  29. Bruce says:

    Thanks for the tip on double the shutter speed of frame rate–60p in this case, for fluid slo-mo. I’m looking forward to trying that with the TM700 and am interested in your experience with it. What’s your workflow with producing this video?

  30. King Rosales says:

    Hi Philip! I read your “House Finale…” post and then read this one. Im amazed you get to review high end cameras like this one! Great work! thanks.

    @Clayton More, yeah the T2i and T1i are amazing cameras.

  31. adam loretz says:

    Fun review, liked it, you should squeeze more of those in if you can – like perhaps the Panasonic TM700 1080P60. Love that final shot of the birds flying past. There’s no drive quite like PCH – the edge of the frontier, where a cowboy needs to swap his horse for a jet ski.

  32. […] Bloom has a nice hands on review at his blog and here is a link to Panasonic’s HPX 370 […]

  33. Larry says:

    Fabulous video – explains why people are willing to risk their lives to live on the fault line.

    Too bad you didn’t have the 300 to shoot comparison shots – it’s not clear to me that the improvements were a factor in most of these shots. The 300 might have produced shots just as spectacular.

  34. Marven Payne says:

    Philip I know camera manufacturers must love you. You have to ability to take their products and create truly magical visuals from them. I’ve been shooting video and photos for almost 30 years and I’m still aspiring to have an eye for visual composition like yours. Truly amazing. Would love to be your first AD just to learn how you do what you do.

  35. Dan says:

    Hey Philip,
    If your ever down on the 101 again, check out the Hurst Castle, some of the areas you stopped where literally right next door. It is a very nice piece of property with great gardens and classic architecture. I would have to say that during the spring it is much more interesting then Skywalker Ranch. The Ranch doesn’t have a Greek Pool. It would be a blast for you!

    -Dan

    1. pbloom says:

      is it hard to get permission to shoot there?

      1. Dan says:

        I don’t know. I was there a few years back. I was running around with a Canon Optura Xi, plus external mic, and a few other attachments. Not one person said one thing to me, granted I was about 19 or 20 at the time. Non-the-less, the setup I had, stood out from the point and shooters.

        It’s publicly owned by California, so it is considered an historical landmark.

        Photo/Video Policy
        http://www.hearstcastle.com/content/hearst-castle-site-photography-0

        Based on the above link, I would say, probably difficult! However, it is worth possibly looking into, even if you just end up on a tour.

        Homepage
        http://www.hearstcastle.com/

        1. Dan says:

          “The photographer (or the organization s/he represents) must provide $1 million liability insurance. A certificate of insurance must be provided before any on-site work begins.”

          Well I guess that would probably be a turn off for you, haha!

          1. John Novotny says:

            California parks are in trouble, they need to make money any way they can.

          2. Anybody who shoots in public professionally should have public liability insurance and I know my policy covers $AUD5 million and thats only around $45 a month. Not that big a burden to bear.

  36. Peter says:

    Amazing work. That was beautiful, and thank you for the review!

  37. Marven Payne says:

    Philip,
    You make it look so easy.

  38. Elvis Ripley says:

    I remember when I used to watch your reviews and want the cameras, I even bought an HM100 as a B camera and it is great. Now with DSLRs I am immune to pretty images if the sensor is smaller than S35. We are in awesome times.

  39. Rhinebeck says:

    Philip:
    Great review!
    Two things I’m curious about though; how significant
    has the skewing on the 370 been reduced at 24/1080P compared to the EX-3, and has the quality of the lens glass been Improved over the 300?

  40. Rhinebeck says:

    My motivation about the concern on skewing was due to
    a bit that seemed to occur to the lighthouse in the background
    on the shot taken as you panned left tracking the bird’s flight, or was this apparent skewing due compression artefact over the Internet?

    1. pbloom says:

      i still dont notice it, it looks like normal motion to me, can you freeze frame a jpeg for me? THe skewing is WAY better than previous model

  41. MKasserman says:

    Thank you for all of your contributions to this industry. Yo are the best around.

    Sweet footage in San Simeon. I love it there.

    That camera shoots in scope? If not how did you get that aspect ratio?

  42. Ja Franklin says:

    Now that you have reviewed both, which do you think will provide the most bang for the buck (in terms of quality and the feature set), the JVC GY-HM790 or the Panasonic AG-HPX371 for televising church services?

  43. John Novotny says:

    Amazing footage with this camera! Nice shooting Phil. Would you say it has the edge over the EX3?

    1. pbloom says:

      no not really…but haven’t done any side by side

  44. Hi Philip

    I’m a little disappointed in yet another raging endorsement from Zacutto over this camera…I bought the 300 because of it and now am in wobble land thanks to their gushing.

    Do you have anything to say about that?

    1. pbloom says:

      raging endorsement from Zacuto?

  45. Dane Henry says:

    I’m guessing you cut at 720. Did you punch in on some of the 1080 footage to get a tighter shot?…for example the tight of the two seagulls on the tip of the rock, previous shot was super wide.

    Great shots. The AVC Intra codec is pretty sweet.

    -Dane

    1. pbloom says:

      yes cut 720. shot of seagulls on end of lens.

  46. Jay H says:

    Philip,

    Can you tell me how the HPX-370 did with DOF using the stock lens? Was it difficult to achieve?

    1. pbloom says:

      end of lens and macro wide open!

  47. StephenR says:

    Hi Philip

    Thanks for the informative hpx370 video.

    I am in the process of deciding which camera to purchase. Two cameras have come up. The Sony PMW350 or The Panasonic HPX371. Im swayed towrads the HPX371 “despite the 1/3 inch chips” becasue of the 422 AVCI recording. I have also heard good news on the CMOS sensors. I have read that Panasonic have made their 1/3 inch CMOS almost outperform sonyEX3s 1/2 inch CMOS.
    My colleagues are swayed towards the PMW350 mainly becuse of the 2/3 inch censors. But im aware that the PMW350 does not record 422 but rather 420 colour space. 422 only recordable via the HDSDI output.

    Have you used the PMW350 and what would you sacrifice censor/lens size or colour space.

    Thanks for your time
    Stephen

  48. Great work Phil. Looks like this Panasonic packs a real punch.

    The images produced are clearly stunning – even for a 1/3 inch chip. Are they better than the 7d/5d etc? From the great stuff that phil has shot on this reel, I don’t know, but the main advantage that this machine will have over any DSLR (like the JVC 700 too) is proper audio recording for ENG and documentary film work, fast operation and complete lens control.

    Audio above everything else is the one thing that is constantly overlooked by filmmakers and poor audio wrecks the best shot every time – especially in docs. So based on what I’ve seen from this review, this Panasonic machine gets my vote ahead of any DSLR with all its bolt on contraptions..!

    1. pbloom says:

      oh it’s a proper video camera for sure and way less of a pain in the arse to use than DSLRs!!

  49. Mark says:

    Hey Philip,

    Thanx for the great review. I was wondering, can you tell me what kind of tripod head bowl you use on that Miller solo? Will the Miller DS10 Fluid Head Bowl 75mm do for this cam?

    In other words can you advise me on the tripod as a whole (including plate)?

    I’m thinking about buying this camera but it is always a fuss of finding the right gear that works best with it.

    Many thanks!

    1. pbloom says:

      i used a compass 20…more heavy duty. ds10 and ds20 too light for that camera really.

  50. TomA says:

    Thanks for the great review and insight Philip. We too are interested in perhaps purchasing this camera. As you can imagine, a university environment where I am in Bismarck, ND, presents all kinds of different video scenarios. Some environments involve controlled lighting but most are not (dark auditoriums, dorm rooms, chapels, gyms etc). With that said, some of our projects are productions and many are ENG related (mainly the sports shoots).

    Given your experience with this camera, would you recommend the HPX 370/371 for shooting college sports?

    Thanks. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    1. pbloom says:

      it could be ok…the rolling shutter is much improved…

  51. James says:

    Wow! Stunning. I’m jelous :-)

    I need to shoot some waves for my project, with slo-mo. I have a 550D but final project must be 1080, i guess twixtor will help.

    Any advice on apertures as i have done tests with an ND, and keep loosing detail in the whites. It looks fine on the LCD screen, but on the mac it’s horrid. When i lower the aperture, the image looks dark on screen.

    Thanks!

  52. newynomad says:

    Great stuff.

    One question, what is the difference between the HPX370 and the 371?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      371 is EU version!

  53. rube ruiz says:

    Nice job, i believe that other and better lens can be used. Primarily 1/2 and 2/3 inch? The camera is awesome and the price is dam nice.
    Makes me think…