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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old December 10th, 2009, 03:40 AM   #16
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You forgot about the part that it's now under $1,900 in both Amazon and B&H.

I think it's because the camera gets a lot of bad publicity. The chip size sizes are good examples. People say that it should be 1/3" but I find that very strange because it's much smaller than camcorders with chips that size and it's also much cheaper. Another reason is because of Panasonic's own GH1 and the Canon 7D.

So the low light capabilities aren't as good as the other camcorders and cameras and you don't get as shallow Depth Filed as them but is something that takes extremely good daylight footage and something that is portable and easy to hold when your shooting videos not important any more? Every camera has it's benefits.

I actually want an HMC40 badly. My GH1 is perfect for low light low light situations and the HMC40 is perfect for good lighting situations. They really compliment each other.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #17
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The HMC40, at under $1900 is priced between higher end consumer camcorders and lower end prosumer camcorders (much closer in price to the higher end consumer camcorders, when you factor in the freebies that come along with it). The low light performance is also somewhat in-between, in that it's stellar compared to consumer camcorders and somewhat weak compared to most prosumer camcorders (but not all). The HMC40 isn't really as weak in low light as folks might think. The gain is surprisingly clean, which makes a real-world usage difference (12dB on the HMC40 is a whale of a lot cleaner than 12dB on an XH-A1, for example). The HMC40 shoots every HD format commonly available on other camcorders (more flexible than most camcorders, in that regard - and they all work quite well, nothing clunky like Cineframe 24 on a Z1). It doesn't shoot SD though (and honestly, I don't give a rat's ass - I never shoot in SD anymore anyways!). The controls on the camera are a little different than a more conventional prosumer camcorder, but on the whole seem pretty well thought out, considering the amount of real-estate available for buttons and switches on such a small camera, and quite functional from a real-world usage perspective (with some unconventional stuff, like the touch screen focus thingy, that can be surprisingly useful). The HMC40 is ultra portable, compared to most prosumer camcorders, and I find it very comfortable to shoot with. The HMC40 does have weaknesses (for example, no ability to use/control gain unless the aperture is wide open), like every camera does, but on the whole, I'll stand by my assessment, that for general purposes, the HMC40 offers the most bang for the buck, of any camcorder on the market currently. In many situations, the HMC40 can certainly hold it's own with more expensive camcorders, and produce equal (or better) picture quality results.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #18
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Steve, BD plays at 1080/60p.
Actually, the "1080/60p" playback is NOT native to BD. The official BD specs limit 1080p support on disc to 1080/24p and (according to a not-yet-published update to the BD specs) 1080/25p. Thus, what you're actually seeing in the so-called "1080/60p" mode is either 1080/60i material that's been deinterlaced to 1080/60p in the player's hardware or 1080/24p material that's been played back on a BD player with 24p output disabled (as it would have been if your TV set does not accept native 24p signals unless converted to 60p). And not all BD players do a good job of deinterlacing 1080i material: Some BD players simply output only 540 lines of total vertical resolution when playing back 1080i videos.

Last edited by Randall Leong; December 11th, 2009 at 01:14 PM.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:08 PM   #19
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BTW, as far as I can tell, the free Blu-Ray player with an HMC40 deal is only available from B&H. I don't see any mention of it at Amazon.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:05 PM   #20
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For example, for a camera to record 1080p60 images using H264 compression similar to AVCHD, and achieve the same picture quality as AVCHD at 24Mbps, the bitrate would need to be 48Mbps. That would rule out using inexpensive SDHC cards as the recording media.
Just require more expensive SDHC cards such as Sandisk Extreme III SDHC or even cheaper Transcend class 6.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 02:31 AM   #21
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Class-6 isn't really fast enough. You'd need roughly Class-8 or faster.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 05:15 AM   #22
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For example, for a camera to record 1080p60 images using H264 compression similar to AVCHD, and achieve the same picture quality as AVCHD at 24Mbps, the bitrate would need to be 48Mbps. That would rule out using inexpensive SDHC cards as the recording media.
No, that's not true. You're assuming that twice the raw data rate must mean twice the coded data rate, and that won't be the case.

The extra frames will have a high correlation with the basic 30 frames each second that they will interleave with, and that's easy for a coder to take advantage of. (It may keep a GOP interval of 1/2 second, but then have 30 frames between I frames, for example. The differences between I frames will then be exactly the same as for 30p.)
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 12:43 AM   #23
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Some BD players simply output only 540 lines of total vertical resolution when playing back 1080i videos.
And they do this by dropping half the fields and upscaling the rest. This results in a slightly choppy, blurry, flickering mess since that would have resulted in 1920x540p video with half the picture completely missing. This is exactly why I retired a Toshiba XD-E500 upconverting DVD player after only a few weeks of use because it flunked the deinterlacing test in the very same manner when it was connected via HDMI (an effective 720x240p image from interlaced, video-based DVDs with small text being broken to the point of illegibility and lots of flicker).
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:04 AM   #24
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I have all my players set to interlace output as the TV's do a better job of scaling and deinterlacing especially my 240hz Sony. Especially bad is deinterlacing and upscaling SD to 30p. Since all the TV's are 60p by default( NTSC) I dont see why the progressive output shouldn't be 60p as some high end players do this.OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player

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Old January 22nd, 2010, 10:29 AM   #25
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I have all my players set to interlace output as the TV's do a better job of scaling and deinterlacing especially my 240hz Sony. Especially bad is deinterlacing and upscaling SD to 30p. Since all the TV's are 60p by default( NTSC) I dont see why the progressive output shouldn't be 60p as some high end players do this.OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player
On the other hand, my particular Sony BD player does not automatically switch between 60i and 24p; this must be done manually. Unfortunately, most BD players also require such manual selection. Few BD players automatically switch between 60i and 24p for HD content. As a result, content encoded in 24p must be interpolated to 60i (since nearly all commercial BD's which are mastered in 1080p are mastered in native 24p rather than 24p encoded in a 60i stream) when most BD players (including my Sony) are set to output 1080i. This results in noticeable judder even on a 240Hz or 600Hz set and may also reduce image quality when native 24p content is played. A few BD players - namely from Panasonic, plus selected models from some other brands - do have an auto mode which works like this: When the output is set to 1080/60i and the 24p mode is set to AUTO, the player will output interlaced if the Blu-Ray disc is encoded interlaced or 24 fps progressive if the BD is encoded in 24p.

Unfortunately, very few current BD players can output a 24p stream when playing back film-sourced standard-definition DVDs. Most, including all of the BD players sold in most mass-market superstores, actually perform the 2-3 pulldown removal and then interpolate that result to 60p when the output is set to any progressive mode (this once again results in noticeable judder) or simply upscale the output while still leaving it interlaced if the player is set to output 1080i (this will produce artifacts in the displayed image unless the player does an especially good job at upscaling interlaced content).

As for the native 24p output, just because an HDTV set can accept a native 24p signal (such as my current 720p 60Hz Samsung LCD) does not mean that it can properly display such content. In fact, the refresh rate of the HDTV set should be a multiple of 24Hz in order to properly display this content (60Hz does not divide evenly by 24Hz).

Last edited by Randall Leong; January 22nd, 2010 at 11:11 AM.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 10:45 AM   #26
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Yes for 24p one has to make sure the player auto switches. I don't have any 24p video so isn't an issue for me.

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Old February 11th, 2010, 07:48 AM   #27
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I've just seen on a German website, that Panasonic is going to release HDC-SD 707, TM 700, HS 700.... all of these cameras are able to capture 1080p50 AVCHD at 28 Megabit/s:

VIDEOAKTIV - Panasonic-Topmodelle 2010: HDC-SD 707, TM 700, HS 700

So when this amateur camcorder are able to do this I really hope to see this option for camcorders in the Ex1 class and also for some shouldercams... hopefully on NAB we will know more.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #28
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No reason, as two Sanyo XACTI models, the VPC-FH1A and the VPC-HD2000A both offer 1080 60p. I have the slightly older FH1 and it offers 1080 60p. They have decent features for their price.
I own the VPC-FH1A and occasionally use it at 60P. It's a very nice little camera. My primary complaint with the camera is the digital image stabilization is a miserable failure.

**** Panasonic just acquired Sanyo (Dec 2009) and has recently incorporated the Sanyo 60P HD technology into their just announced HD handheld camera. These new cams claim to have new OIS so I will be checking them out asap.

Panasonic Introduces Low-Light-Optimized 1080p Camcorders - PCWorld
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Nikon DSLR's finally a small 60P camcorder (Sanyo VPC-FH1)
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 04:11 AM   #29
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WHats better; Shooting 108060i vs 108030p for Broadcast at 720p60p

Ignore this. I accidentally posted a reply and meant to post original post. Sorry.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:37 PM   #30
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I own the VPC-FH1A and occasionally use it at 60P. It's a very nice little camera. My primary complaint with the camera is the digital image stabilization is a miserable failure.

**** Panasonic just acquired Sanyo (Dec 2009) and has recently incorporated the Sanyo 60P HD technology into their just announced HD handheld camera. These new cams claim to have new OIS so I will be checking them out asap.

Panasonic Introduces Low-Light-Optimized 1080p Camcorders - PCWorld
You could download 1080p60 native clips from the Panasonic HDC-HS700 posted on Vimeo.
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