How does Panasonic AG-HPX250 play with Final Cut Pro 7?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by treehorn, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. treehorn macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #1
    I'm looking at buying a camera as my current cameras are proving to be not 100% fulfilling all needs - most specifically back of house low-to-hot spotlight club/theater shooting.

    In doing research it seems that the Panasonic AG-HPX250 might just fit the bill as seems to be the right balance between cost and performance that I need (and can afford right now).

    Only thing I'm not seeing is how well the footage works with Apple - more specifically with Final Cut Pro 7. Would love to hear from anybody who has one what they've experienced (and if it works better with another editing system...like Avid...)

    Or if there's another camera that they recommend instead in that price point (the memory card is a wash price-wise as the rebate pays for it and a spare battery, if that's a consideration)

    Thanks!
     
  2. musique macrumors regular

    musique

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #2
    I don't know that camera. I've got a much less expensive Panasonic AG-HMC40. However, I looked at my FCS list of import formats and it include a range of DVCPRO types. Looks like the camera will work with FCS. Good luck.
     

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  3. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #3
    Thanks! The only item google search turned up was basically an ad by a company wanting to sell a piece of conversion software...so glad to hear is should work via log and transfer
     
  4. Arrowk127 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #4
    Although I haven't used this specific camera, I have used other panasonic P2 cameras. Both DVCPro and AVCintra codecs that the camera shoots are easy to use in FCP7. If you use AVCintra you will just have to download a free codec from panasonic to make it work. While in FCP7 you will use the log and transfer option to import your footage.

    There are two things I would like to point out about P2 cards that I've found over the years using them. 1. The cards are pretty expensive. If you don't have a pcmcia slot on your computer, you'll have to get a card reader. Panasonic makes them also. 2. Backing up your footage before you import into final cut is a bit tricky. Since there is no tape or medium that you shoot on to "put on a shelf" for future use, you'll want to make some sort of backup of the files on the card. Ive been through many methods and the one that seems to work the best is software from imagine products called ShotPut Pro. It will copy the entire file structure of the card to a destination hard drive or 2 and do a check once it is finished to make sure everything copied correctly.
     
  5. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #5
    The P2 media usage is the one sticking point (mostly nullified by the fact the card would be paid for by the rebate). But there are so many features I need (xlr, high level of optical zoom, good quality shooting in low light, rugged build) and others I really will like (10 bit recording at 100mbps) that outweigh that concern...

    I've been working with old sd dvcam sony cameras at one job, a prosumer Sony hd at another (that I hate the color cast) and my Panasonic gh2 lately for interviews....feeling the need to bite the bullet and get a good all purpose (but currently major usage would be shooting items in theater or rehearsal rooms) camera, and this seems to fit the bill
     
  6. m2dpost macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    #6
    I've had the HPX-250 now since late December and have used it on a couple corporate projects as well as a weekly web show we produce. We should in the AVCIntra 100 format and we cut everything in FCP7. This camera and format works flawlessly with it.

    Your footage imports directly using Log an Transfer and we will ingest it into ProRes 422 or Prores422 LT. We have done some green screen work with it as well and 10bit color space makes it a great camera for green screen. The only obvious downside to the camera is the small chip. If you want a shallow DOF look then you will really have to work at it with this camera.

    Here's a couple links to some things we have produced with it.


    This is has very minimal color correction on it and was professionally lit.
    http://m2digitalpost.com/2012/01/mcp50-installation-video/

    This was shot very run and gun and has no color correction. The lighting is natural light with no additional light added.
    http://m2digitalpost.com/2011/12/zerowaste-usa-instalation-video/

    This is the camera under studio lighting conditions. This footage also has had quite a bit of color correction gone to it. There is also some examples of green screen in this.
    http://bariatrictv.com/video-catego...150-helping-friends-with-weight-loss-surgery/

    All in all this camera is a great match for FCP7 and I would have no problems recommending it.

    Mike
    M2 Digital Post
    San Diego, CA.
     
  7. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #7
    Thanks M2. For what I need, shallow depth of field is a hindrance more than a help (actors moving up/downstage constantly makes deep depth of field a must) so this is sounding more and more like the ideal camera for my needs. And thanks for the info on how well it plays with FCP
     
  8. treehorn, Feb 11, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

    treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #8
    Out of curiosity, m2dpost....do you have any experience/opinion on the 250 vs the 160? I had been going back and forth on the two as each have pluses and considerations (p2 cards vs more affordable sdhc cards...that one can record a redundant backup at same time for a fraction of the cost....the lack of focus magnification assist on the 160 may be the deal breaker though). On that last note, do you find the 250s LCD screen adequate for your shooting/focusing needs or is an external monitor essential (thus negating the deal breaker....)

    Wondering how much real world difference there is in footage (how often does one shoot in the full 1gb a minute optimal format on the 250) and if the post production processing time of the two codecs makes a significant difference...

    The rabbit hole of Internet information is not helping :)
     
  9. m2dpost macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    #9
    I have not used the 160 so I really can't give you much feedback on it. The ingest of the footage though will be the same as with P2 or AVCI media. You would use Log and Transfer and specify in the preferences to transcode to whatever flavor you want. I would highly suggest going to a ProRes codec.

    The biggest difference I can see is the codec the camera is capturing to. The AVCHD codec that the 160 captures to is going to be a considerably lower bit rate. It will also be recording h.264 in log GOP which has it's own related issues. Lastly it's recording in a 4:2:0 color space so I wouldn't want to be shooting green screen stuff with it. That's not to say it can't be done, it will just be more difficult in post when it comes to keying.

    Basically it will come down to what your budget can afford. If you can afford the 250 I would recommend going that route. Yes the P2 cards are expensive, but I currently own two 32 gig cards and they work for 99% of the stuff I shoot. If I get into a situation where I need more I just rent them. Oh and I would recommend the 32 gig cards over the 64 gig. Since it's about a minute per gig to dump the cards I feel you have a little more flexibility with a 32 minute card dump.

    Hope this helps,

    Mike
    M2 Digital Post Inc.
    San Diego, CA.
     

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