When I was a younger lad I shot a movie for which I elected to pursue using a Steadicam instead of tracks and dollies. In an effort to reduce setup times from location to location, the production team felt it was the right way to go. Upon doing some research I soon discovered that Steadicams were slightly out of my price range. So, I turned my attention to the Glide cam V-16 and eventually was able to get my hands on one.
As a Panasonic AG-HVX200 owner, I'm quite familiar with their line of P2 cameras. In 2004, the company was the first to bring a broadcast-quality codec to the Prosumer market. Fast forward five years and they've done it again. This time in the form of the AG-HPX300, an impressive camera that blurs the lines between the professional and the Prosumer. At its price point, I can't really think of anything like it. Keep in mind, everything on the HPX300 is included; the lens is not an add-on. How cool is that? The most noticeable features are the ENG form factor and three 1080p resolution CMOS sensors. Most importantly the HPX300 incorporates Panasonic's new flagship full raster 10-bit 4:2:2 codec, AVC-Intra. If that sounds like a mouthful, don't worry, I'll explain.
While the camera does most of the heavy lifting, it's always good to grab a few 'essentials' as well as keeping in mind some of the more useful products and the market designed specifically for P2 technology.
The most important accessory for the HPX300 is clearly its P2 card. The cards come in three flavors; 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. With two 64GB cards, the camera is capable of recording up to 2 hours of AVC-Intra 100 footage. When using the camera's DVCPRO HD 720/24pN mode, users can record over 5 hours of footage without ever changing a tape; shoot the entire day and never offload! How cool is that?
Video cameras seem to be getting more and more complex, which can be a blessing and a curse. Even the basic "record-your-son's-football-game" camera seems to have features today that were unimaginable only a few years ago. Sony now has a camera that can detect whether or not someone is smiling. Sounds more like science fiction to me. While these new features can be useful in a variety of ways, getting the best possible footage is always paramount. The truth is that the most critical settings are always the most universal. They include white balance, shutter speed, and audio levels.
Let's say you've just landed a gig that requires a three-week long trip to Guatemala, documenting some magnificent Mayan ruins. How about we up the ante just a bit? Your deadline is 6 weeks away! Uh-oh. Time appears to be tight and you've got to gear up and make a plan, pronto. In fact, it looks like you'll have to start editing on location. Fortunately, you have a few options:
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