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Old March 1st, 2013, 07:53 AM   #16
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Svein Rune Skilnand View Post
Alex.
I had the same dilemma last year. I wanted a traditional videocamera but also the cinematic look, so I opted for a combination of the Sony EX1R and Sony FS100. The camera I normally end up with is the EX1R. It has 1/2 inch chips and if you light correctly and use ND filters it can certainly provide a cinematic feel to the scene, although not to the same extent as a large sensor camera, but it is a good compromise.

What I didn`t take into account when buying the FS100 was all the extra bits and pieces to make it work. I still haven`t chosen lenses for it other than a Tokina 11-16 and the stock lens. I am not sture whether to keep it or sell it, mainly because I don`t like the workflow of AVCHD. XDCam EX is much more sophisticated. The F3 should have been my obvious choiche but that was way to expensive back then.

What I have learnt is that a large sensor camera is great in planned situations or for interviews, whereas a videocamera will allow you to grab images more quickly in those run and gun situations. I think it is important to use the tool for what it is.

A 5D camera will no doubt give good images, but it is more fiddly, you`ll have to use XLR- adaptors and so on to make it work like a video camera.
Svein, EX1R would have to be a used one, but worth looking at. I currently have two XHA1s HDV camcorders, and one is up for sale now. Poor in low light, but it is a traditional camcorder. So, what I don't have is a large sensor camera. I have seen very positive reviews of the Canon C100. A large sensor, they say outperforms any DSLR, and also easy to use out of the box great for run-and-gun.

What is bad about AVCHD workflow? All I know is HDV. I don't understand the different codecs and how they relate to frame rates, etc. . Which is best for Adobe CS6 on a PC?

And, is there a workaround in post for the lack of 60p? (or 50p). Seems the only drawback to either the JVC or the Canon.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 09:25 AM   #17
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

Alex.
HDV was a fantastic format for it`s time but has now been surpassed by AVCHD. AVCHD is a great format for capturing, however it is computer intensive. It has proven time consuming on my editing system. I am currently using FCP7 but soon switching to Premiere. I am not sure I have figuered out the best workflow but I have used a programmed called Clip Wrap to rewrap my 1080p50 files from my FS100 into a workable format such as Pro Res. And depending on the number of files the processing is quite slow. Maybe Premiere is better, I hope so. But the files are still going to be computer intensive. It will be interesting to see how my Mac Pro from 2007 will handle the files with a new editing program.

Buying a camera today also affects the efficiency of your workflow. I am very happy with my EX cams and I am glad I have chosen this workflow. The XDCam EX codec is great. There are many codecs on the market, so it can be quite confusing. As far as I know, 1080p50 only exists in the AVCHD format, at least on this level of cameras. The XDCam EX codec is easier to work with on my Mac than AVCHD. I wouldn`t be to concerned about the lack of 60p. You americans are actually quite lucky to be able to shoot in 30p. Progressive shooting is a training matter. I was really bad at it at first, cause I didn`t know what I was doing and the images looked studdering and unpleasing. I hear good things about the C100, but I haven`t used it myself so cannot comment on that.

If you are able to try before you buy, that is your safest bet. I don`t trust the internet for purchasing decisions because there are to many variables. That being said this forum is a great place to start narrowing your choiches. And the best advice comes from people how have actually used the equipment in question. That is how I feel anyway.

Last edited by Svein Rune Skilnand; March 1st, 2013 at 09:36 AM. Reason: added txt
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Old March 1st, 2013, 10:01 AM   #18
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

I don't understand what's so great about the ProRes at all. Same as DNxHD - the files are HUGE! My computer just cannt handle it. IS it that it's not compressed? Maybe easier on the processor because all the info is there, but terrible load on the hard drives.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 12:22 PM   #19
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

Pro Res is a very good and popular codec and it comes in different flavours. It is the equivalent of DNxHD as far as I know. I normally use the LT version which is around 100Mbps. As you say, all the information is there, so it puts very little strain on the computer. It is compressed but it is very good and very robust.Very responsive on my computer.

If you have trouble with Pro Res on your computer, maybe you are using Pro Res at it`s highest bitrate?
You may want to check the bitrate. I think Pro Res 422HQ is the highest before going to high end.

If you are able to, try to get a hold of for instance a C100, record a few minutes and see how your computer handles these files. If you are having trouble with Pro Res you may also run into trouble with AVCHD, although I am not an expert.

Either way I think an HM600 would be a great step up from your A1s.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 12:41 PM   #20
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

What's nice about the HM600 is that it can record in 4 or 5 different formats and up to 35 M/s. the Canon C100 with a lens will cost double what the JVC does. And maybe i'll pick one up later when they can put 1080p and SDI on it.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 04:17 PM   #21
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Petter Flink View Post
That was a beatiful clip.
Is it shot in its native 35Mbit? Stunning quality.

Unfortunately the 1080p50/60 might never make it as JVC have stated the current fan is not capable of cooling down the camera enough in 1080 50/60p.
Perhaps a hardware upgrade of the fan, cooling system, newer revision of the image processor or software change in some way could give the 50/60p at last.
Thanks :)

Yes, it was shot in 35mbit, Quicktime MPEG2 codec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus View Post
I don't understand what's so great about the ProRes at all. Same as DNxHD - the files are HUGE! My computer just cannt handle it. IS it that it's not compressed? Maybe easier on the processor because all the info is there, but terrible load on the hard drives.
Agreed - which is why I love that the HM600 shoots MPEG2. I use Avid, so I just AMA the footage. No transcoding, instant access. It's a great workflow.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 07:15 PM   #22
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

I second this as a FCPx user, I also enjoy having hard access to all of my controls without menu fiddling. I upgraded from a 600d(T3i) SLR to this camera. It still has a pretty decent cinematic look, not as shallow of a Depth of Field but so far pretty impressed with the colour range. My T3i was great but you REALLY need to reach deep and invest in glass to make it worth that big sensor.

I do documentary and run/gun work so the JVC was a good choice for me, and I am really quite happy. Would I love a RED, or a BMC? Yes, but the workflow and ridiculous rig's won't work for me quite yet.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #23
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

One of the biggest differences between the two IMO is nothing to do with "quality" issues, but that I believe the XF305 has a "true" manual lens, but the JVC manual mode operates via servos. So expect the controllability to be far more pro feeling on the Canon. (Same with the EX and PMW200, and now the PMW200 has the 50Mbs codec, I'd tend to go with that over the XF305.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svein Rune Skilnand View Post
I haven`t used either camera so I can`t comment on that directly but if low light is an issue I would go with the cam that seems to perform better. In this case I think it is the JVC after my readings.
I think the review originally linked to has jumped to a few false conclusions about low light ability of the HM650. It's worth looking at the Alan Roberts review of the camera - http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3335_s08.pdf He examines this aspect from a more technical viewpoint, and concludes that significant in camera noise reduction is being used. In his words "......all of which is fairly firm evidence for the presence of significant noise reduction in the camera (which has the effect of setting the noise level independent of gain)."

There is a lot more to it than that, and I am certainly not saying the HM650 is a bad camera - exactly the opposite - but a "clean" picture through artificial noise reduction is most certainly not the equal to one through an inherently more sensitive chip. If I was looking for a "B" camera to my PMW320, then the HM650 is probably the one I'd go for at the moment - but it's misleading to think it will be as good in lowlight as a camera with bigger than a 1/3" chip, such as a PMW200.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 11:45 PM   #24
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
(Same with the EX and PMW200, and now the PMW200 has the 50Mbs codec, I'd tend to go with that over the XF305.)

... then the HM650 is probably the one I'd go for at the moment - but it's misleading to think it will be as good in lowlight as a camera with bigger than a 1/3" chip, such as a PMW200.
So, you would go for the PMW200 over the XF305 - because of the 50 MBs or the chip size? And the HM650 for the price? Someone recommended the Sony EA50 over all three, but I don't know. Bang for the buck is important, isn't it?
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Old March 9th, 2013, 02:12 AM   #25
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

I own an XF305 and a Canon 5D mkiii. I agree with Svein about the right tool for the job. I've owned an HMC150 and the MXF format on the 305 is superior IMHO to AVCHD off the 150. Both are very sharp, but I just prefer the look of the 305. For run and gun, you might find that the camcorder just works better, having more DOF and easier to use controls. I like using the 5D for interviews. I like using the 305 for journalistic shoots. The 305 can handle low light pretty well, but not as well as any DSLR.

My friends and fellow filmmakers in town just bought and returned the HM600. They did not like shooting with it. They are sticking with their GH3 for now. The picture quality off the GH3 is quite amazing. It is different from my 305 and does not match well. It's more to 'cold" while the 305 is more to "warm". Subtle but there. But hey, there's banding in the sky of the opening sequence of "House of Cards". Happens to the best of us.

I would agree that you should look at the Sony PMW200. It may have a bit better light gathering ability than the 305. I think it's quite a bit more expensive though. If I was looking today, I would seriously compare it to the 305. The FS100 also might be an option if you like changing lenses. However, didn't I read it doesn't come with ND filters built in? If that's true, I would be very leery about buying it. I use the NDs on the 305 all the time outside.

As to the film from NZ, didn't I see banding in the sky on the opening sequence? I downloaded and played it twice, it seems to be there.

As an example of the 305 in lower light, here's a 1+ minute thing I shot with the 305. The banding is hardly visible, maybe someone can pick it out better than I. The last orange sky shot of the ship was pushed to 12 db. the rest were 9.

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Old March 9th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #26
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

I am still considering the XF300, especially since the price drop. I still see too many complaints about low light capability, despite your excellent footage. My subjects are mostly dancers and musicians, not motionless landscapes. The C100 on the other hand... hmmm.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 09:47 AM   #27
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

Sensor technology right now has not really changed for quite a few years. The material used to convert photons of light into electrons are pretty efficient. Most manufacturers are using similar tricks such as micro lenses to maximise the sensors performance. As a result low light performance largely comes down to the laws of physics and the size of the pixels on the sensor. If you have different cameras with the same numbers of pixels but different sized sensors, the larger sensors will almost always be more sensitive and this is not something that's likely to change in the near future.
Both on the sensor and after the sensor the camera manufacturers use various noise reduction methods to minimise and reduce noise. Noise reduction almost always has a negative affect on the image quality. Picture smear, posterisation, a smoothed plastic like look can all be symptoms of excessive noise reduction.
The less noise there is from the sensor the less aggressive you need to be with the noise reduction and this is where you really start to see differences in real camera performance. At low gain levels there may be little difference between a 1/3" and 1/2" camera as the NR circuits cope fairly well in both cases. But when you start boosting the sensitivity by adding gain the NR on the small sensor camera has to work much harder than on the larger sensor camera. This results in either more undesirable image artefacts or allowing more noise to be visible on the smaller sensor camera. So when faced with challenging low light situations, bigger will almost always be better when it comes to sensors. In addition dynamic range is linked to noise as picture noise limits how far the camera can see into the shadows, so generally speaking a bigger sensor will have better dynamic range.

When I reviewed the HM650 I was impressed. For a 1/3" camera it is a good performer. At the time of the review I did feel that the noise reduction in the camera was a little on the high side resulting in a fair amount of smear and an excessively smooth looking image. Since then JVC have revised the NR settings although I have not seen a camera with the new firmware yet. The big thing (as David indicated) with the HM650 is it's multiple codec and web connectivity. You can plug in a standard off-the-shelf wifi dongle and connect the camera to a network to upload footage directly from the camera via ftp. You will be able to plug in a 3G or 4G data dongle in the future for wireless uploads. In addition the camera performs well in it's Auto mode and the 23x zoom gives an amazing zoom range. The HM650 is targeted fair and square at news and journalism, possibly in the hands of a reporter rather than a cameraman and in this role it's really rather good. It does not delivery the ultimate in image quality, there are better cameras out there, but for it's intended application the image quality is good enough and the feature set makes it incredibly versatile.
In therms of image quality I would rank the PMW-200 first then the XF305, then the HM650, but it's often never as simple as picture quality alone.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #28
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

PMW200 looks good and so does EA50. The HM600 seems to have the most bang for the buck, but XF300 price has come down drastically. I am leery about 1/3" sensors - skeptical about low light capabilities, since I shoot mostly in low light. I am also concerned with picture differences between brands. If I get a 5d mark iii like I plan to, I may just go with the Canon XF300 or C100 later. But who knows what surprises I'll see at NAB in a few weeks, and in my home town? Exciting times!
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Old March 9th, 2013, 06:28 PM   #29
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus View Post
So, you would go for the PMW200 over the XF305 - because of the 50 MBs or the chip size? And the HM650 for the price? Someone recommended the Sony EA50 over all three, but I don't know. Bang for the buck is important, isn't it?
To directly answer your question, then yes, chip size. I fully agree with all Alister puts above, and there really shouldn't be any debate about the fact that all else equal, 1/2" chips will substantially outperform 1/3". If you get a case where the 1/3" seems to give as clean (as in noise free) an image than the equivalent 1/2", then strongly suspect it's because aggressive noise reduction is being used - and beware of claims otherwise. I can't better Alisters words why: "Noise reduction almost always has a negative affect on the image quality. Picture smear, posterisation, a smoothed plastic like look can all be symptoms of excessive noise reduction."

The bigger chips will also allow a greater usable aperture range (due to diffraction limiting), and better depth of field characteristics than 1/3".

A year or so back, then the real choice in this category was the EX1 and the XF305. The EX1 had the advantage of chip size, the XF305 the advantage of fully approved codec. The arrival of the PMW200 takes away the biggest killer advantage of the XF305 - they both now have the fully approved codec, but only the PMW200 has the bigger chips.

But yes again, price - bang for buck - has to be taken into account, and I've just found these ex-VAT prices from a big UK internet dealer. Hardly surprisingly, what I'd consider the best cameras tend to have the higher prices. Funny that!? :-)

PMW200 - 4,416
XF305 - 3,850
HM650 - 3,400
HM600 - 2,750

My personal view is that for a "main" camera in this category, I'd really try to find the money for the PMW200. For a "B" camera to my PMW320 (which is what I may be interested in myself) then the HM600 would almost certainly be my current first choice. Relatively cheap, shares the same XDCAM 35Mbs codec, and matters like the manual controls being servo driven wouldn't matter so much on a camera likely to be most often used locked off.

It's worth noting the threads with the news that the BBC have just placed a big order for HM650s for what they call "handheld journalism" use. Since they (in line with EBU recommendations) are happy with XDCAM 35Mbs for mainstream news use, this makes a lot of sense to me. Why spend money to get a camera with the 50Mbs codec when you're not going to use it, and these are the sort of price of the NXCAM/AVCCAM ranges, but with a better than AVCHD codec that's fully compatible with the mainstream cameras being used?
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Old March 9th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #30
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Re: HM600 vs XF300 - thoughts?

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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
To directly answer your question, then yes, chip size. I fully agree with all Alister puts above, and there really shouldn't be any debate about the fact that all else equal, 1/2" chips will substantially outperform 1/3". If you get a case where the 1/3" seems to give as clean (as in noise free) an image than the equivalent 1/2", then strongly suspect it's because aggressive noise reduction is being used - and beware of claims otherwise. I can't better Alisters words why: "Noise reduction almost always has a negative affect on the image quality. Picture smear, posterisation, a smoothed plastic like look can all be symptoms of excessive noise reduction."

The bigger chips will also allow a greater usable aperture range (due to diffraction limiting), and better depth of field characteristics than 1/3".

A year or so back, then the real choice in this category was the EX1 and the XF305. The EX1 had the advantage of chip size, the XF305 the advantage of fully approved codec. The arrival of the PMW200 takes away the biggest killer advantage of the XF305 - they both now have the fully approved codec, but only the PMW200 has the bigger chips.

But yes again, price - bang for buck - has to be taken into account, and I've just found these ex-VAT prices from a big UK internet dealer. Hardly surprisingly, what I'd consider the best cameras tend to have the higher prices. Funny that!? :-)

PMW200 - 4,416
XF305 - 3,850
HM650 - 3,400
HM600 - 2,750

My personal view is that for a "main" camera in this category, I'd really try to find the money for the PMW200. For a "B" camera to my PMW320 (which is what I may be interested in myself) then the HM600 would almost certainly be my current first choice. Relatively cheap, shares the same XDCAM 35Mbs codec, and matters like the manual controls being servo driven wouldn't matter so much on a camera likely to be most often used locked off.

It's worth noting the threads with the news that the BBC have just placed a big order for HM650s for what they call "handheld journalism" use. Since they (in line with EBU recommendations) are happy with XDCAM 35Mbs for mainstream news use, this makes a lot of sense to me. Why spend money to get a camera with the 50Mbs codec when you're not going to use it, and these are the sort of price of the NXCAM/AVCCAM ranges, but with a better than AVCHD codec that's fully compatible with the mainstream cameras being used?
JVC just added more bang for the buck with a promotional 42" monitor that sells for $700. Lol!
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWor...30_Picture.pdf

Not sure where a full-frame or single super 35 MM fits into the mix? The Canon C100 is said to be a really good r-n-g camera, but AVCHD
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