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Old October 27th, 2012, 11:00 PM   #1
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JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

I use Panasonic AG-HMC 150s and im tired of the handheld camera thing I want to upgrade. I know the 710 has been out a while and is probably due for a update BUT I was wondering if anyone had any insight on how it compares to a AG-hmc 150 mainly in low light and image quality I know its so much better in almost every other was but I need to make sure its at least as good as my 150s (hopefully better) before I can make a move.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Hi Randy

My buddy George has a 700 and absolutely loves the shoulder mount..in fact the 700 series is probably the most well balanced shoulder mount camera on the market and the most comfortable...The ones we have seem to be the 750 and 790 now but beware that 700's ship without any batteries or chargers and the V-Lock batteries are very expensive..that's what put me off them (well not me, but my bank manager!!) You need to add probably another $1500 to the list price for 2 decent batteries and a dual charger.

I was actually surprised that George told me that the 1/3rd chip really suck in low light ...looking at the specs even though they are CCD's they still should be fairly good but that's a comment direct from a wedding videographer...I do well with my little 1/4" chips on the Panasonic but I do need a light indoors at receptions. It sounds like this camera might need one too.

If you want to stick with the same format and have shoulder mount, there is not much on the market for us guys. I have stuck with the HMC80 for 3 years so far simply cos they work really well and have a high cost/earning ratio.

You could stick a rail and pad on the HMC150 but I did the same on my AC-130's and it's really not the same as a genuine shoulder mount camera...way too much forward weight!!

Chris
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Old October 29th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #3
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Actually the 700 was replaced by the 710. As for low light, a real good friend of mine has a 700 and loves it. Let's face it, low light capability isn't like a PD170 but using a proper picture profile and a little gain it works out quite well.
As for batteries, IDX V-lok really are pretty inexpensive compared to anton Bauer and there is also a big difference in the price of chargers as well.
IDX 7 batteries are $229.00 at B&H and a VL2 charger/power supply is $415.00. Compare that to Anton Bauer and while the IDX are 68W batteries and the AB Dionics are 90, the camera is pretty good with power so 4 68W batteries should last you for all the hours you need.
Also Switronix has V-loks on sale at B&H right now, so there are some choices.
Personally I love the form factor of the HD and HM series
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Old October 30th, 2012, 05:55 AM   #4
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Hi Chris.

Yes I can confirm that I get on well with the HM700. As for the low light I think that my disappointment was based on the fact that I came to the camera from Panasonic DV200s which have 1/2" chips and are well known to be extremely good in low light. I have recently had the opportunity to work with a crew using HMC 130 & 160 and can say that their low light performance is slightly better but overall the picture quality is much better from the JVC. That was commented on by the editor who had to cut together footage from all cameras.
If the light is low and the image looks flat and slightly dark I have found that adding a little gain (+3db) on the JVC makes a big improvement at little cost of grain and that depending on the job anything up to +9db can be acceptable for me, though I might run it through Neat Video if I am being particularly fussy. That said I now find that the small Sony handycams out perform any camera I've ever used in low light and use those almost exclusively now in low ambient light.
Of course the JVC was at the time almost twice the price of the then available Pansonics and the batteries another consideration but I already had those as they are the same as I used on the DV200s.
What I like is the natural feel when it sits on my shoulder. The weight balances very well. All controls are at hand without having to look at anything so easy to change settings on the fly. The colour viewfinder is adequate and accurate but the flip out LCD is sublime, very clear and sharp. It has an onboard earpiece to monitor either or both audio channels which are fully controllable, it's adjustable to find my ear as well as having a headphone socket. there is a wide range of recording settings (though not 1080x50/50 only 25/30). Almost every recording aspect is manageable via and easy to access menu. It records to inexpensive SD cards and will relay from one to the next (The newer 750 will record simultaneously to both for an instant back-up or reassurance). The workflow using Premiere is very smooth and in all the time I've used them (I have 2) I have never had a bad file on any of the cards.

When I worked with the crew I mentioned above who are newer to the industry, they couldn't understand why I would want a shoulder mount (old fashioned as they called it) as they prefer the hand-held way of working with a flip-out LCD, so I guess that in the end the type of camera you prefer depends on the way you are comfortable working.

Last edited by George Kilroy; October 30th, 2012 at 06:58 AM.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Thanks George

Dammit, I love shoulder mount cameras and detest handhelds! In bright sunlight the LCD is totally useless and if the use the EVF stuck on the rear of the camera you have a huge forward weight to contend with. When I had my AC-130's I actually added loupes and eye pieces to the LCD so it could be practically used and a rail underneath with a shoulder pad BUT still not anything like a shoulder mount camera!!

Sadly I do think that manufacturers have gone for handhelds simply because the market is better and business is all about sales...a JVC HM750 with backlit 1/3" 3MOS chips would make the camera brilliant but I don't think it will happen since the new baby is the 600 series.

I think Sony almost have it right with the EX-3 ...the same form as a handheld but with a combined LCD/EVF like Panasonics HMC80 ...you can use it either handheld or shoulder mount and the EVF is in the right place...pity they are so costly (especially if you get the add on shoulder pad) I like the 1/2" chips too!!

Chris
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Old October 30th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Hi Chris.

The EX1 was the contender when I bought the JVCs but the form factor and the cost of SxS cards swayed me away.
When I was on the shoot last week that I mentioned above, as well as the two Pani's there was an EX3. Even though it is more sculpted to be worked from the shoulder than the EX1 is, it is still not as comfortable or as easy to operate as the JVC, at least not for me. The others were all swooning over it though. It wasn't used on the shoot so I wasn't able to compare the footage side by side with mine.
I think that people coming to cameras over the last years have developed their skills with the hand-held format so take to that naturally whereas, when not on a tripod a shoulder mount seems natural to me. They've also probably got better eyesight and don't need to squint at the LCD where I find a viewfinder I can actually see is focused is very reassuring. You need to bear in mind that there is no autofocus on the HM700.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Hey George

Yeah the EX3 felt very comfortable just tucked into my shoulder but I think you would soon tire of that!!
With the JVC the camera actually has a slot that drops onto your shoulder so it's not only secure but balanced too. I would suspect that tucked into one's shoulder even a EX-3 would get a bit front heavy

Are you serious about the JVC??? So all the 700 series has no autofocus at all???? How do you handle the bride walking down the aisle..Do you manually follow focus?? Wow..that would be a tough call!

Chris
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Old October 30th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #8
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Are you serious about the JVC??? So all the 700 series has no autofocus at all???? How do you handle the bride walking down the aisle..Do you manually follow focus?? Wow..that would be a tough call!
I always did weddings (and almost everything else) on manual focus. As long as the ergonomics are right and you can see if you are in focus it's really quite an easy thing to do. A little more tricky with fast moving wildlife, but still doable.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Chris there are or were some pro type camera/lens combos that have or had an "auto focus" ability however quite frankly it sucked. Terrible. When I used my trusty old JVC5000 with the Canon16 lens I never had any problem following focus. Of course there are tricks of the trade. Focus in on point A use backfocus and DoF to come towards you in the case of a bride coming down the aisle. Also the viewfinder on that particular camera was hugh unlike the newer cameras today that are certainly no more than 1 1/2 inch in diameter. IIRC my 5000's VF was 2 inches. I loved it. Focusing a manual focus video camera isn't as hard as a lot of folks think IF you know the gear and of course practice with it. The main bad thing about that camera was the single XLR input for channel 2. When the 5100 came out they fixed that-went back to 2 like it should have been. Other than that, the 5000 was a great camera. When I first used an HD100 I had a hard time with the VF because of it's size. The newer 7XX series has a much better and clearer viewfinder. Actually pretty easy to use.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

So is the 710 better than the 700 in low light or are they the same?
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Old October 31st, 2012, 02:33 AM   #11
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Are you serious about the JVC??? So all the 700 series has no autofocus at all???? How do you handle the bride walking down the aisle..Do you manually follow focus?? Wow..that would be a tough call!

Chris
Yes manual follow focus. I've always done that. The only shoulder cameras I've ever owned which had autofocus were a Panasonic MS1&4 and a Sony Hi8 V5000. Ever since then the cameras I've use have professional Fujinon or Canon lenses which don't autofocus. Like a lot of things it becomes second nature with practice.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 07:56 AM   #12
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Are you serious about the JVC??? So all the 700 series has no autofocus at all???? How do you handle the bride walking down the aisle..Do you manually follow focus?? Wow..that would be a tough call!
Chris, I tell my students to pay close attention to pro sports camera operators such as those who can follow a figure skater from one end of the rink to the other while zooming in or out and keeping focus at all times. I have a great deal of respect for shooters who can do that and make it look easy.
Practice (lots of it) makes perfect.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 08:30 AM   #13
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

I've shot sports, football, basketball and auto racing. None of that is as hard as 1) following a puck sliding down the ice or 2) following a golfball in flight from the camera on the green and picking it up mid-flight.
I've tried and absolutely mucked it up.
Kudos to those camera guys and gals!
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Old October 31st, 2012, 10:31 AM   #14
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Soccers a pain too.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 10:56 AM   #15
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Re: JVC GY-hmc 710u vs Panasonic AG-hmc150

Chris. You have to split your brain, one part is automatically moving your left hand which is cupped around the focus ring whilst the right hand controls camera movement and zoom rocker. At the same time your eye must concentrated entirely on the subject and anticipate and follow the movement. After a while it becomes intuitive and your hands know the precise amount of movement to adjust the focus without thinking - well most of the time. I must admit that following following a rapid puck or a fast moving golf ball is in a different league to that of following a bride down the aisle or around a dance floor.

When I'm working on sticks I have remotes on the handles; zoom on one and a throttle type cabled focus grip on the other but to be honest I still find it easier to focus by hand on the lens.

That's the reason Chris that I can't get on with hand held I'm just so use to positioning my hands around a big fat lens.
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