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Thread: The Panasonic HPX170?

  1. #1
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    Default The Panasonic HPX170?

    Does anyone have any insight to share on the Panasonic HPX170 HD camcorder?

    I'm ready to upgrade from my old AG-DVX100 SD camera to HD. Ideally, I would like to purchase a 4:4:4 camera, but that is way out of my price range. I see that the HPX170 is a 4:2:2 camera, uses P2 cards and has no tape transport, and seems to be a better camera than the HVX200. If anyone has used this camera I would appreciate your feedback.

    Also, does anyone have experience editing video from the HPX170 in Vegas?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    As far as I know the HVX170 is the almost the same as the HVX201 (which replaced the HVX200) except for the Mini Tape drive. This makes it a bit thiner and a bit lighter.

    I have just Started with Vegas. I had to download a trial program from Raylight which enables you to edit the .mxf files which are made on the P2 Card directly in Vegas. This worked fine but I didn't want to pay $195 for it until I get a faster computer to properly deal with HD. So I just copy from the P2 Card to the DV Tape and capture it that way.

    I think the only reason to get the HVX201 over the HPX170 is if you really must have a Tape drive which I did. As your are use to the DVX100 you will be very familiar with the all the buttons, knobs and most of the menu setting. So it would be a good choice for you. PLUS both the HPX170 and HVX201 are really good cameras.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I have just Started with Vegas. I had to download a trial program from Raylight which enables you to edit the .mxf files which are made on the P2 Card directly in Vegas. This worked fine but I didn't want to pay $195 for it until I get a faster computer to properly deal with HD. So I just copy from the P2 Card to the DV Tape and capture it that way.
    That brings up another question: The Panasonic specs say:

    Video Connections: HD/SD-SDI out, Analog Component out, Analog Composite out

    Audio Connections: XLR input (3-pin, dual), Line output (pin-jack, 2-ch), Built-in microphone, stereo mini jack, Built-in speaker (20mm)

    Other Connections: IEEE 1394 (6-pin), USB 2.0, Camera remote (2.5mm diameter super mini jack for zoom and rec start/stop; 3.5 mm diameter mini jack for focus and iris)

    I use Vegas Pro 8, and I have a fairly fast terminal, so I should be able to edit the files. The "capture" remains a question. The Pasasonic specs lists that the camera has a IEEE 1394 firewire. Am I correct in assuming that I can download the HD files from the P2 card in the camera to my computer using the firewire, or does firewire only work with Mini DV (SD) video?

  4. #4

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    This may or may not be different to the HPX170 as it doesn't have the Tape BUT on the HXV201 you use the Firewire for Macs and the USB2 for Windows. When you plug in the USB the P2 card just acts like a remote drive so you just copy and past the files. Really easy. You just have to make sure you copy all the directory structure and all the files over to your Hard Disk which makes it as Panasonic call it a virtual P2 card.

    You can also, if you have a PCMCIA slot, put it directly in the PC and actually edit the files without downloading them on to the HD.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    This may or may not be different to the HPX170 as it doesn't have the Tape BUT on the HXV201 you use the Firewire for Macs and the USB2 for Windows. When you plug in the USB the P2 card just acts like a remote drive so you just copy and past the files. Really easy. You just have to make sure you copy all the directory structure and all the files over to your Hard Disk which makes it as Panasonic call it a virtual P2 card.

    You can also, if you have a PCMCIA slot, put it directly in the PC and actually edit the files without downloading them on to the HD.
    Ok, I have one more question. I see that there is a P2 "E" series of cards that seem to be cheaper than the older P2 cards and with more GB. Will the E series work in the HPX170?

  6. #6

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    Yes this is a bit of a mystery to me, The P2 E or A series cards that are cheaper around 400-500 for 32Gb only have a five year guarantee but the more expensive older type P2 cards are guaranteed for life. I don't know what the technical difference is but they are all made to record in any P2 camera.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Yes this is a bit of a mystery to me, The P2 E or A series cards that are cheaper around 400-500 for 32Gb only have a five year guarantee but the more expensive older type P2 cards are guaranteed for life. I don't know what the technical difference is but they are all made to record in any P2 camera.
    Yea, I read that too in researching this topic and I don't understand that 5 year life-cycle, at all. Perhaps someone out there knows?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I think the only reason to get the HVX201 over the HPX170 is if you really must have a Tape drive which I did. As your are use to the DVX100 you will be very familiar with the all the buttons, knobs and most of the menu setting. So it would be a good choice for you. PLUS both the HPX170 and HVX201 are really good cameras.
    Midnight: Thanks for all the info. I just bit the bullet and ordered the HPX170 in a package that also includes a P2 card, a USB flash transfer, UV glass lens protector, carrying case and spare battery. And a $500 mail-in rebate. In addition, I bought a 32gig E series P2 and a portable 500 gig USB drive. I will take delivery when I'm back in the States for Christmas. I figured I better buy it now before the next phase of the global recession begins to kick in. Hell, by next year the dollar may not be worth much.

    I guess my eight year old grandson's 'Magic Show' will be my first production with the new camera. He wants to be a YouTube star. <smile>

    I really looking forward to this upgrade from my old reliable DVX100 SD camera.
    Again, thanks for the guidance.
    Gaines

  9. #9

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    Well done Digger, I'm sure you will have lots of fun with it. I'm looking forward to another spectacular production.

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