Panasonic AG-HMC150 - Official Press Release - Page 4 at DVinfo.net

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Old May 4th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
My guess is that the codec will work fine but the sensors will produce soft images compared to some HDV cameras
I'd love to hear your rationale for that statement.

I also don't think sharper = better. I much prefer the image I can get out of a HVX200 over what I can pull out of a Z1 even though the HVX is obviously softer. That's a matter of personal preference though and can't really be argued.

I happen to think that the sensors will perform nicely since they are the same ones being used in the 170 and 200a. I do keep wondering if Panny will somehow cripple this camera so it doens't compete with it's 2 higher priced siblings. Hope not.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #47
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I'd love to hear your rationale for that statement.
You cut off the second half of his sentence, which totally changed the tone of his orginal statement. If the 150 is like the 200 and 170, then it will produce images softer than its HDV competitors. No one here is poo pooing that. But inevitably there will be pointless arguments after this camera comes out that "AVCHD is soft" (it isn't) vs "the camera is soft" (fine, but who cares when the images are stunning) vs "see, HDV is sharper!" (it isn't).

Fortunately Chris doesn't tolerate pointless bickering on this site, so we won't be subjected to too much of this when it hits ;)
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Old May 4th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #48
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To be blunt: we don't do format wars. Speculation is meaningless. What counts isn't numbers, but the quality of the recorded video. Therefore we'll know a lot more when these cameras start shipping.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #49
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In about 6 months, we'll be in a better position to judge the HMC-150. My understanding that the ship day is around September --> November 2008.

What we do know today is that the CCD is the same for the Panasonic 150, 170 & 200a. The lens is the same for the 150 and 170.

Barry Green did test the HVX-200a vs. the HVX-200 and posted his results for all to see: http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/hvx200a/

So, there's reason for me to believe that the CCDs found in the HMC-150 will perform reasonably well and produce good images.


The big unknowns are:

(1) Will the AVCHD CODEC work equal to or better than HDV? Maybe yes, because its compression efficiency only has to be 1.4x or higher. Still, this is up in the air until we can see the camera in action and do side by side tests.

(2) What will the work flow be like? This becomes a function of your system performance and software chosen. I expect that once the camera comes out, this will be a really hot topic. Moore's Law says that we will see a doubling in density of ICs every 1.5 to 2 years. (Moore said 2 years, but at times it doubled every 1.5 years.) While clock speeds won't double, the processing power of computers will double every 1.5 to 2 years. Over time, this makes it easier to deal with the extra processing required to deal with AVCHD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_Law


In the next 6 months Panasonic has time to try to get additional support for AVCHD in the different editing packages. Once the camera comes out, this should prove to be interesting to see how well they do as far as the total system package.

I'm going to admit my bias here, I really hope they can pull it all off. IF they can, that would help move the market from tape to tapeless at the lower end. Still, nothing is a given in life, so we shall see...


Sincerely,

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Old May 5th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #50
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Bob - excellent post.

I seem to remember that when HDV came out, people were wondering how in the world we'd edit it, and there was a lot of moaning about insanely long render times and other workflow issues. These were all resolved over time as processing speed got faster and NLE's support got better. I figure it'll be very much the same with AVCHD. Right now it's kinda painful to use AVCHD, but in another year or two it should be just fine and dandy.

As for how well AVCHD performs as compared to HDV, that's yet to be determined. I don't see why it shouldn't out perform an older codec, but up to this point it simply hasn't lived up to the billing for some reason. I happen to think they'll get it right, but at what cost? The whole point of AVCHD was same quality as HDV with much smaller file sizes, but with this camera they're bumping the bitrate up to 21 which is getting pretty darn close to HVD file sizes. My hope is that the processing improves to the point where we can begin to see some of those promised lower bitrates at HDV or better quality.

I too really hope this is a good camera.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #51
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The new line of HDV cams from Sony, using CF card to record the same codec may , in fact, transform the market more than we may expect.
The HDV codec, despite the dirt campaign against it as proven reliable and a serious alternative in the market.
The codec is mature, well accepted and fastly growing in professionnal use.
The workflows are well tested with the many NLE that support it.
Canon and Sony product strategy send the message that HDV is a serious product, and that are totally comitted to it.
Once the CF issues are resolved we may very well see Sony or Canon (probably both ) hitting the market with an affordable camera recording only on cards and using the codec, a direct opponent to AVCHD for professionnals.
In fact the Sony EX is bringing more credibility to the codec, since it can record (beautifully) at 25mbps.
Panasonic may have a long way to go to establish the product even if they start with a pool of fideles supporters.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #52
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AVCHD is still maturing as far as editing, but as far as image quality, it's pretty much right there with HDV. HDV was a bear to deal with early on, and AVCHD is about at the same point in the curve where it's still being ironed out.

The difference is that AVCHD is really being pushed in the consumer end, so hopefully advances will come faster than when the "only" HDV cam that was affordable was the old HC1... "Consumer" AVCHD is on it's 3rd generation with lots of cameras from different manufacturers available.

The Sony SR11/12 is putting out some pretty impressive video at a reasonable price point - very clean camera but limited controls, highly automated with "smart" features... I'd love some manual controls, but I'll just be happy with great footage...

The HMC150 looks promising, and I'd expect Sony to "reply" as well - there's a huge gap in the product lines between "consumer" AVCHD at around the $1K price point and "pro" cameras in the $5K+ - range... it's like the whole "prosumer" market is empty of "new" competitors - that shouldn't last too long!

The HMC150 looks like a great camera on paper, could be a sign of things to come! While I lean towards Sony, I've had a couple Panasonics I really liked along the way too - competition is GOOD!
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
I'm perfectly ok with an all HD camera, even if Apple can't seem to ever bring a bluray burner and updated DVDSP to market.
You can always throw a BD burner into an external box and run through USB.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Morane View Post
The new line of HDV cams from Sony, using CF card to record the same codec may , in fact, transform the market more than we may expect.
The HDV codec, despite the dirt campaign against it as proven reliable and a serious alternative in the market.
The codec is mature, well accepted and fastly growing in professionnal use.
The workflows are well tested with the many NLE that support it.
Canon and Sony product strategy send the message that HDV is a serious product, and that are totally comitted to it.
Once the CF issues are resolved we may very well see Sony or Canon (probably both ) hitting the market with an affordable camera recording only on cards and using the codec, a direct opponent to AVCHD for professionnals.
In fact the Sony EX is bringing more credibility to the codec, since it can record (beautifully) at 25mbps.
Panasonic may have a long way to go to establish the product even if they start with a pool of fideles supporters.

There is some safety in using "older technology" it's a known product and the work flow issues are resolved. However, MPEG-2 as good as it has gotten, is about at the limit. Some minor improvements may be possible, but it's only more of a small increment improvement that's possible.

As far as MPEG-4, the potential for more improvements is still out there. As processing power increases, the ability to improve also increases. (In the context of this message, I'm looking beyond the HMC-150 to the future.)

With 25 Mbps HDV, you are limited to sub-sample the horizontal to 75% of the resolution and color. Thus, 1920 --> 1440 "Y" and color becomes 960 --> 720 horizontal. Yet, with AVCHD at 24Mbps maximum / 21 Mbps average, there is no sub-sampling. I'm aware that the HMC-150 will not have as sharp an image as a full resolution image sensor, but my point is not the camera, but what the CODEC can do. (After all, the HMC-150 will not be the last AVCHD model Panasonic will introduce.)

Without any camera to test, we can't say for sure, but AVCHD's CODEC should hold up to stressful images, with lots of movement, better than MPEG-2 can. In 6 months, we can run tests, but everything I know about compression says that MPEG-4 has the upper hand here.


Now, before we enter into a format war, let me step back and say a few things that will help. There is not a single camera that is ideal for everyone. Nor is there one "killer camera" that blows everyone else away. In selecting a camera, it's a lot of give and take. One must give up some things to take advantage of others.


The Sony EX-1 is an excellent camera, if I had one, I wouldn't bother with 25 Mbps and record at 35 Mbps, to avoid sub-sampling. The sharpness, features, and low light performance are outstanding.

The other side of the coin is that it costs a lot more than the HMC-150 and the EX-1 has a rolling shutter. Depending on who you talk to, the rolling shutter either is or is not a major issue. Now we are into the area of personal preference and different needs.


The HVX-200 uses a 960h x 540v pixel offset CCDs and will never produce an image as sharp as the EX-1. However, for many, sharpness isn't the only issue and there are a lot of HVX-200s out there. In fact, it's hard to find any month were several of my video magazines don't talk about the HVX-200.

The new Panasonic 200a, 170, and 150 all use the improved CCDs with less noise and better low light performance. On one hand we give up the sharpness with pixel offset CCDs, but on the other hand, many like the color, dynamic range, and over all look of the image. (Back to give and take...)

It should be interesting to put the HMC-150 (and 170) against the other cameras. At NAB, I was impressed to see how well the Sony Z7u did in poor lighting. CMOS imagers have come a long way!!! So, who does better in low light, the Panasonic 150/170 or the Sony Z7u? I don't know, but it will make for an interesting test.


There are a lot of issues here about which company has the correct direction for success here. Panasonic pushing improved technology or Sony/Canon, with "Older", but proven technology. Time will tell us who was right...


Quote:
Panasonic may have a long way to go to establish the product even if they start with a pool of fideles supporters.
I'm at a bit of a loss to understand the term, "fideles".

Explain this please, thanks.



Best wishes,

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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #55
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You can always throw a BD burner into an external box and run through USB.
Yes, but how would you author your disc?
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Old May 26th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #56
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Bob Diaz:
"I'm at a bit of a loss to understand the term, "fideles".

Explain this please, thanks."

Sorry Bob and excuse my french. "fideles" closest translation would be "loyal" or "faithful".

Back to your interesting post, I don't doubt the future potantial of the codec (you are far more knowledgeable than I on the subject). My point was that HDV has still lots of life in it. And that it seems to be more and more accepted as a professionnal codec. This kind of credibility is not only about codec and camera but the whole workflow and the ability to convince shooters and buyers that they have a trustable tool to do the work.
In that sense Canon and Sony commitment to HDV is very important.


Best wishes
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Old May 26th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #57
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I'm getting impatient to see some footage from this camera and read some reviews. September can't come soon enough.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #58
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As I recall from NAB, the September date was for the 170, not the 150.

However, I've heard everything from September --> November 2008 for the date range. I replayed the interview I had with Jan and as I remembered, "The 150 will be out in October and the 170 will be out in September." Here's the link with the interview:

http://web.mac.com/bobdiaz/Site/Podc...Panasonic.html


So, it will be one more month longer you have to wait, sorry about that...


To Robert Morane,

No question that HDV still has a lot of life in it. Canon said they will still be supporting HDV for about 3 more years. I assume that by then, AVCHD will be well developed and it will be easy for them to step into the AVCHD market. (Being first means that you get to deal with all the driver support issues. Not impossible, but it does require more work.)

It should be interesting when the HMC-150 comes out, because someone is going to record different things side by side (HDV vs. AVCHD) to see how well each CODEC will stand up.


Best Wishes,

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Old August 13th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #59
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See a review of the HMC-150 LIVE:

Quote:
Videomaker to review Panasonic HMC-150 Live on 8/19/08

August 11th, 2008 by jburkhart
Panasonic has given Videomaker the scoop on the HMC-150, and we thought it would be selfish to keep it to ourselves. So were going to be doing a live review of the first HMC-150 in the USA on Tuesday August 19th, at 11am pacific / 2pm eastern.

Were taking it out for a test drive this week, and will report our impressions live at http://www.videomaker.com/live.

There will be footage from the HMC-150 to download, and the chat room will be active, so if you have a question about the HMC-150s functions or features, join the live show and well try to answer it for you right there.

P.S. If you cant make the live show, the review will be looping on our channel afterwords at: videomaker.com/live
WOW, I can't wait for that....

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Old October 2nd, 2008, 11:24 PM   #60
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See a review of the HMC-150 LIVE:

WOW, I can't wait for that....

Bob Diaz
Bob:

I would love to hear your followup comments and review of the HMC150 now that it's released. Your knowledge of the camera back in March was dead on.

Jeff
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