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Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders
AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


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Old July 5th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Tony Spring View Post
BTW, does anyone know what the Iris/Focus switch does on the HMC 150?
It instructs the system as to whether you want the lens focus ring to control focus, or to control the iris. If you're using autofocus, or you are in a situation where you can lock the focus down, then you could put the switch to IRIS and then have a big smooth iris ring.

The switch will probably prove quite popular with 35mm adapter owners because when you put the switch in IRIS position, it totally disables the focus ring as a focus ring. So once you focus on the ground glass of your 35mm adapter, you could then "lock" that focus by putting the FOCUS/IRIS switch into IRIS position and that way you'll never accidentally "bump" the focus position.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #32
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1920 x 1080 and 1280 x 720 take up the same amount of space on the card according to the chart. Why is this?
1920x1080x60i takes up the same bandwidth as 1280x720x60p. 720p has twice the motion resolution of 1080i. 1080i has twice the spatial resolution, but half the motion resolution, so the net result is that they both produce a comparable high-def image and they both take up the same amount of space.

At slower frame rates (720/24p vs. 1080/24p) that's where 1080 has an advantage, because it has more spatial resolution. But at equivalent bitrates, that should mean that the 720p version will be substantially less compressed than the 1080 version.

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It shoots 29.97p and 23.98p (native) which is good, but I don't see 29.97i listed. Does this mean no 1080i? Or does it mean 1080i but only at 59.94? I'm confused.
There is no such thing as 29.97i. All the camera manufacturers and the broadcasters refer to the frame rates as 24p(23.98p), 30p (29.97p), and 60i(59.94i). I know Avid calls 60i "30i", but I don't think any camera manufacturer or broadcast organization uses that terminology. If you ever see "29.97i" or "30i", just translate it in your head to "60i". It's all the same thing.

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I can't wait to see some footage from it, especially in low light since I do weddings.
It'll have the same low-light sensitivity as the HVX200A, so if you can arrange to play with one of those you can get a good idea of what the sensitivity and noise characteristics will be like.
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Old July 6th, 2008, 06:58 AM   #33
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I know Avid calls 60i "30i", but I don't think any camera manufacturer or broadcast organization uses that terminology. If you ever see "29.97i" or "30i", just translate it in your head to "60i". It's all the same thing.
Strictly, Avid have got it right, and other organisations are slowly changing round. (Very slowly in some cases.) The nomenclature was officially changed a few years ago such that the number should always refer to frame rate (hence 25i, 30i), and not "frame rate if progressive, field rate if interlaced" (50i,60i). See http://www.ebu.ch/en/technical/trev/...editorial.html (Third paragraph.)
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(N.B. The convention used to describe TV formats is the “number of active lines per frame” + the "scanning algorithm” [interlace(i) or progressive (p)] / the “frame rate”. Current and near-future scanning formats include 576i/25, 720p/50, 1080i/25, 1080p/25 and 1080p/50.)
I can see the logic behind it, whether the change was worth the hassle is another thing. But strictly, 25i, 30i are now the official terminology, and are being used more and more.
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Old July 6th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #34
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Soon to Come

Barry,

Thank you for all of your information, it is very helpful. With Apple now having 8 core processors on the mac pro do you see FCP and panasonic owkring together to be able to edit AVCHD natively any time soon?

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Old July 6th, 2008, 07:38 AM   #35
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The only problem is that the camera frame rate is 60 frames per second for interlace it just records fields instead of full progressive frames. This leads to some software deinterlacing to 30P which results in judder from what was a smooth interlace video. Deinterlacing should be to 60p to match the camera frame rate. So I think the approach was wrong. Confusing frames being two fields doesn't mean that two consecutive fields belong the same frame hence 30 frames a second!!!! Leaving at 60i correctly identifies the camera frame rate and the recording process. The confusion leads to people thinking that the recording rate is 30 frames per second . It isn't. It is 60 frames a second with half the information missing!!! Hence 60i.

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Old August 7th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #36
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B&H says $3,500 when it's released in September.

Might be good-bye to my xh-a1
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Old September 6th, 2008, 11:53 PM   #37
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I am new to all of this but I am in the market for a HD camcorder for a feature-length documentary. Still undecided about whether to get the HMC 150 (no tapes is clearly the future, and my computing power is up to processing AVCHD; Mac Pro), the Canon XH-A1 (tapes, huh? ... a camcorder a lot of people seem to like due to its wide angle lens, excellent lens, and good low-light performance), or the Sony Z1U (tempting because you can do hard drive recording which seems to streamline the process compared to the XH-A1).

Any advice what camcorder I should get?? (HMC 150, XH-A1, or Z1U)??

Thanks!
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Old September 6th, 2008, 11:54 PM   #38
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Might be good-bye to my xh-a1
Not sure if I understand why you'd dump your XH-A1. Other than no tapes, what's the benefit of the HMC 150?
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Old September 7th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #39
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Not sure if I understand why you'd dump your XH-A1. Other than no tapes, what's the benefit of the HMC 150?
I know A1's have a huge following but, the HMC150 tested very well. Basically the HMC owns everything short of the EX1 in low light, image quality, and handling. And reportedly it's only in 1080i that the EX1 has an advantage over the HMC in low light.

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Old September 7th, 2008, 04:11 PM   #40
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Thanks, Darren.

I understand the excitement about the HMC and I am tempted to wait a few weeks and get one myself. However, the verdict is still pending how people will like it in a real-life situation (so far all reviews are rather preliminary) and how it will integrate into a non-linear editing system.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #41
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Thanks, Darren.

I understand the excitement about the HMC and I am tempted to wait a few weeks and get one myself. However, the verdict is still pending how people will like it in a real-life situation (so far all reviews are rather preliminary) and how it will integrate into a non-linear editing system.
I'll post my opinion as soon as I get mine. I've had a deposit down on a pre-order since August 2nd.

I too am working in Final Cut Studio and am wary of the transcoding... But a native AVCHD update seems likely
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Old September 7th, 2008, 06:59 PM   #42
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Basically the HMC owns everything short of the EX1 in low light, image quality, and handling.
Except the HMC150 still has the same low-resolution sensors as other Panasonic cameras, so will presumably yield softer images than any competing products. If you like the look of Panasonic footage the HMC150 is a handy alternative to the HVX200A, but that's about it.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 07:12 PM   #43
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I am new to all of this but I am in the market for a HD camcorder for a feature-length documentary...Any advice what camcorder I should get?? (HMC 150, XH-A1, or Z1U)?
Yes, get the Sony EX1: higher resolution and better depth of field plus tapeless recording for under $10K. :-)
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Old September 7th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #44
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Except the HMC150 still has the same low-resolution sensors as other Panasonic cameras, so will presumably yield softer images than any competing products. If you like the look of Panasonic footage the HMC150 is a handy alternative to the HVX200A, but that's about it.
The OP was asking about $3500 cameras. As you mentioned, the EX is over that budget. Also, not to start a flame war but in the industry the HVX seems to be asked for more than the EX1.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 09:21 PM   #45
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The OP was asking about $3500 cameras. As you mentioned, the EX is over that budget. Also, not to start a flame war but in the industry the HVX seems to be asked for more than the EX1.
All other HD cameras in that price range produce sharper images than the Panasonics, so saying the HMC150 "owns" its competition is questionable. It sounds like an excellent camera for the price, but let's not get carried away with superlatives.

Regarding the EX1 versus HVX200 sales, that depends what type of work you're discussing. One of our local dealers is selling EX1s as fast as he can get them, mostly to corporate customers like churches, casinos and so on. Indie film-makers have been fans of the HVX, but some are now showing an interest in the EX1. Both are good tools for the price.
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