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Old October 3rd, 2008, 08:56 PM   #61
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LA, California
Posts: 170
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post

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.

VideoMaker gave a good basic introduction to the camera. I'm not sure why the files they posted weren't very good, but I've now seen several different files from users who now have the camera. The files posted by the users look great. Maybe the prototype used by VideoMaker had a problem or they set it wrong.

As for image quality, the 720p modes are the sweet point for the camera. The images are sharp, the colors look good, and the dynamic range is what I expect from this camera. As for compression noise in 720/30p and 720/24p, I have to look really hard to see it. In this case, I have to pause the video and look very close to catch it.

The highest data rate is the same for all the modes, so 720/24p has the lowest compression ratio, followed by 720/30p. No surprise that the image is so clean looking.

Even at 720/60p, the image remains clean. There's always going to be some compression artifacts with any lossy compression system, but for normal viewing you are not going to catch it.

Moving up to the 1080 modes: If we look at 1080/24p or 1080/30p with no comparison, the image looks very good. The colors are very good, the dynamic range is good, and at first glance, it looks sharp.

However, if we compare the image at 1080 on the HMC-150 to the Sony EX-1 the HMC-150 has the pixels, but not as much fine detail as the EX-1. I'm sure that this would hold true for the HMC-150 vs the Canon A1. With the HMC-150 vs the EX-1 the trade of is cost. With the HMC-150 vs the A1, the trade off is low light sensitivity. So, there's going to be some trade-offs between each camera.

The HMC-150's strong point is good low light with minimum image noise, even at +6dB and some have said +12dB.

The HMC-150's weak point is going to be slightly less sharper than the other cameras in the same price range.

As for the issue of work flow:

For editing native, a Quad Core or higher is required. Based on Moore's Law, this should be a non-issue in about 3 years, but for now, purchasing a faster speed computer does eat into the cost savings for the camera compared to getting a higher model, like the HPX-170.

Transcoding does solve the processing power issue. I don't have any issue with that, but some may feel otherwise. On the MAC side, VoltaicHD does work, but is VERY SLOW!!! Right now, Toast 9 seems to be the software of choice for transcoding on a MAC.

I'm using a MAC and converted from PC to MAC about 1 year ago, so the PC side of the software, I'm not the best source.

It's starting to get to the point of information overload as more and more users get the camera. I try to read most of the messages, but there are so many, that I just don't have enough time to check out the many different messages and files people have posted.

I can safely say that there are messages for users, who just got the camera, who are very happy with it. So far, I have yet to see anyone who's sorry they got the camera. So it is a good camera.

Just remember that feelings about the different cameras are subjective. So, I can safely say it's a good camera, BUT it is wrong to say that this camera or any other camera is the "best camera". Every camera has its strong and weak points, so different people have different views on "the best camera".

This weekend I was going to talk about resolution issues on my Podcast, but now I'll change that to a summery of what I've seen, now that the HMC-150 is shipping. I'll post this the new Podcast on or before Sunday night.

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Bob Diaz
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