Here it is! The video review of the Panasonic HPX 301e

dsc_4137As detailed in my previous blog, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to play around with the new Panasonic HPX 301e on Tuesday. I was throughly impressed. Having had bad P2 experiences in the past and being a total Sony EX1/3 freak I didn’t go into it with a closed mind, just a skeptical one.

I am not going into which camera is better, the EX series or the HPX. Both are superb cameras and have their plusses and minuses. You need to look at what YOU need the camera for and how it would work best for you, also take into consideration if you are already heavily invested in P2 or SxS, this is a big decision if you want to jump ship either way so make sure you thoroughly test each camera before making a decision.

I am still madly in love with my EX cameras and have no intention of selling them. They produce stunning images and I love the SxS format, great for FCP. I will continue to use them most days, BUT I also now have had my head turned by a cheeky little number from Panasonic. This is a different sort of camera and has many advantages over the EX line and of course disadvantages…whoops started comparing again. Right, going to stop that.

This is a great world camera, shoots the incredible AVC intra 100 codec. THE gold standard out there. Has a superb form factor, great LCD, great Viewfinder, great chip (shame it isn’t 1/2″!)….well just watch the video and you will learn more!


This is a really nice camera and has a heck of a lot going for it. My only reservations are the noisy image and the rolling shutter issue, it’s certainly more pronounced here than on the EX3. Whether this is because it is a pre-production model or not I don’t know. I am very keen on getting one of these, am hoping the production model will have a tweaked shutter to minimise the rolling shutter issue and there are settings to minimize the nosie.

The video was made for CVP TV, part of The review parts where filmed  on an HPX 171 by Mr. Dennis of Lennie, THE tapeless guru, check out his tapelessmadeeasy website. I filmed all the HPX 301e stuff as well as the 35mm adaptor shots using a Sony EX1 with the Shoot35 SGBlade Roto Razor 2.

No 35mm adaptor was used for any of the shots done on the 301e, all done using the stock lens creatively to get the best shallow depth of field out of it. Obviously the 1/3″ sensor will limit your ability to control the DOF, but luckily Mr Hien Le of The Letus Corporation is hard at work making an f1.5 relay for the HPX 301e which coupled with the Letus Ultimate will make one sweet combo!

I do love this camera, despite the couple of flaws I have found, I hope you can stomach (bad choice of words!) my review, it’s my longest one yet!

Here are some photos for you to print off and stick on your mantelpiece! 😉





  1. On a serious note, I do wonder what you do do with all the cameras. Do you still own your HD250, Z1, F350, etc. and do they ever see the light of day? Or do you retire (resell) some of your older cams to buy new ones.

    I have picked up on your cartoon t-shirt collection too from your videos. Well done.

  2. Nice review Philip, thank you! How would you judge the images produced by the camera in terms of noise? I own a HVX200, HPX170 and a Canon 5DMKII. While I love my Panasonic cams, they’re very noisy. The HPX170 was a huge improvement. However I am able to get much cleaner images off the 5DMKII at ISOs 800-1250 than any of my Panasonic cams in bright daylight.

  3. Thanks for the review. I am using an ex3 and the only thing that bothers me are the codec disadvantages.

    I am about to buy a Flash XDR to get 100mbit 4:2:2 recording for my ex3. In that case the combi ex3 / flash xdr would be worth something like 15.000 €.

    The new Panasonic seems to have a codec that is equal to the flash xdr.

    Would you say that the Panasonic can match the quality of the ex3 /flash xdr package. At least it would be the 30% cheaper solution.


  4. Benjamin, I should sell some of my cameras really!

    Salvador, The images has more noise than the EX but less that the HPX 170 and HVX200

    Holger: I would hesitate on the Flash XDR for the moment, as the only way you can see if it actually recording on there is by plugging and HD SDI monitor into the Convergent Design box…I want them to bring out one with a small LCD screen on it. The Panasonic Code is heaps better but the front end of the EX3 is much better.

  5. I’m an advanced still photographer, but video is my dream. I’ve played around with the sony 170 a few years ago.

    I will order the Panasonic AG-HPX300 with-in the next ten days, because it will eat the EX-3’s lunch.



  6. Mr. Bloom you are a special one. I really would like to visit you one day.. I’ll take an airplan, I am from Italy, Rimini, and I’ll give you a flower!
    Thank you for all your reviews.

  7. Hi Philip,

    Before the question, just wanted to say I always finds you an inspiration and you’ve helped inform my choices with fantastic results. We have (the company I work for) recently purchased a HPX301E and I’ve been using our tripods previously used for the HVX200 and similar models (manfrotto 501’s etc). Is there a tripod (legs/head) you would recommend that is much more suitable for the HPX as the current ones are fairly useless for anything other than a static shot.

    I can’t find that much info on an appropriate tripod and Panasonic (support) don’t want to comment…

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