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


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Old November 22nd, 2008, 11:57 PM   #106
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Yes, that is what Panasonic said at DV Expo.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 06:03 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
It is either full auto, or full manual without the ability to tweak wb or other parameters while retaining auto exposure, for example.
I read the manual but did not see anything covering this.
Am I missing something?

I was just wondering if this is user error or a real issue. Iím in the market for two 150s and use half manual, half auto for run and gun all the time.

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Old November 24th, 2008, 03:53 AM   #108
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What do you think is a good secondary camera to mix with the HMC150 when doing weddings? Is there going to be a problem matching up the footage when consumer AVCHD cams have 13Mbps compared to the 21 that this camera can do? What about trying to match HDV footage?

I wish I could afford to buy two 150s but that is not possible right now, so I'm trying to figure out which camera to match it with until I can afford two.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #109
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Hi,

I'm interested in this camera. I'm using Final Cut Pro on an intel mac. What are the advantages of this camera compared to my XH A1.

I know no tapes anymore and I understand there has to be made some conversion before I can edit in FCP. On a Mac Pro how fast will this be? Faster than using tapes?

btw I saw FCP 6.0.5 now supports the camera

Last edited by Peter Brinkman; November 24th, 2008 at 06:28 AM.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #110
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Is this camera true 1080 or is it like the HVX200?
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Old November 24th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #111
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I just picked up an HMC 150 last week, as I need two cams for a lot of my shoots lately. It's a very nice cam. Went with it as opposed to a 2nd XHA1 primarily due to the codec, and a concern about how HDV was handling motion when I shot soccer. So far I think it was a very good move, however the controls are very different indeed.
That's for sure on the controls being different. It's actually Panasonic, Sony & JVC that have a fairly standard controls package IMO. It's Canon with the camara style control wheel that is non-standard.

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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
On the Canon, it's easy enough to adjust white balance or gain w/o going full manual. I typically set my gain at -3db, and manually white balance but otherwise have it on automatic.
It looks like on the 150, I cannot do that type of thing? It is either full auto, or full manual without the ability to tweak wb or other parameters while retaining auto exposure, for example.
I read the manual but did not see anything covering this.
Am I missing something?
You have probably figured it out by now, when you first switch to manual, the iris goes manual and you use the thumbwheel. Press the iris button to toggle auto/manual iris. After a few weeks when you get the hang of the HMC-150, you will probably like it better. Every thing else you mention will work A1 style when you get the hang of it. Make sure ATW is on, I think default is off.

Tips to match to the A1 :
1. Turn the knee to low on the HMC-150, this keeps the highlights from blowing out.
2. By turning the master pedestal to a + number, the black level is brighter and you get a less contrasty, more A1ish look.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #112
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Is this camera true 1080 or is it like the HVX200?
The only true 1920X1080 camera in the prosumer category is the 1/2" Sony EX-1.

The HMC-150 has the updated HVX200a 1/3" sensor block.

Panasonic 1/3" is a 960X540 native progressive sensor offset by 0.5 pixel (pixel shifted).
Larger more sensitive and less noisy pixels with lower resolution.

The Canon 1/3" is a 1440X1080 native interlaced sensor using non-square pixels.
Smaller pixels providing more resolving power and less sensitivity and more noise.

If you want both, get an EX-1 or wait for the next 1/3" sensor update.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 01:43 AM   #113
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Jeff, thanks for the input on Iris control and on matching the A1's output. This will make cutting footage together a whole lot simpler....I am gradually getting operational issues sorted out.
SW
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Old November 29th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #114
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HMC150 Transcoded file size are beyond HUGE

I have shot a few events with my new HMC150, and really just started editing them this week. I currently have to transcode the AVCHD files to DVCProHD files using the transcoder down-loaded from the Panasonic website. That was to be my planned workflow until late this coming spring when I could hopefully spring for a new computer.

But the transcoding process is a pain at the least. Now I was counting on needing about a GB a minute after files were transcoded to DVCProHD....I transcoded a soccer game of an hour in length and sure enough it was a 55GB file size.

but when I put it on the time line in Premiere Pro CS3 it would not play back smoothly and there was a red bar above the video clips. So I rendered them,,,actually it's still working on it....it's raking 12 hours to do....and now I have a file that's 105GB's and counting. It will not be finished rendering for another 2.5 hours. By that time, file size could be about 120 GB's for an hour's worth of video. I shot it at 720/60p, by the way.

Is this typical in terms of file size, of what I should be seeing? I must be doing something wrong, but do not know what. The time requirements, while outrageous, may be due to my 1.5 year old computer, running a Intel Pentium D-940, (says its a dual core w/hyperthreading), 2GB's of 533 mhz RAM, and a Nvidia "GeForce" 7600 w/256mb's on it. I have several TB's of storage hooked up to it, the drive I was copying these files was a 750 GB eSata w/ 130GB's free space on it. Well, that's gone now!

Any help or suggestions would sure be appreciated.
Are these file sizes typical when transcoding is used?
After backing up, an hour of video would cost about 4 GB's a minute. That seems excessive at the least, coming from working with HDV where an hour of edited video might cost 50GB's.

It looks like my options are to try and push forward the purchase of a new super-computer so I can edit AVCHD natively and upgrade to Premiere CS4 in the process, or...go back to just shooting HDV with the XHA1, which would certainly cost a whole lot less green.
Is this really typical of what the HMC150 needs in terms of file sizes (when transcoded) or what path(s) should I be taking here? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #115
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I think your best bet would be to upgrade to cs4 first to handle the files natively. But then again your second problem is your pc. for avchd a 1,5 year old pc doesn't cut it anymore.
That was the main reason why I bought a xh-a1 2 months ago. I knew avchd would be a pain in the ***, at least for now and i didn't want to upgrade again.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #116
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I currently have to transcode the AVCHD files to DVCProHD files .....
It would be better if you could avoid DVCProHD, and maybe use the NLEs native codec - ProRes for FCP, or Canopus' own codec with Edius.

There seems a concensus that this camera is best in 720p mode - that suits the res of the chips nicely, and means that the compressor is less taxed than in 1080 mode.

A good thing about this camera is that the 720 recording mode of AVCHD is full raster - 1280x720. Transcode to DVCProHD, and for 720p that has a raster size of 960x720, so you would seem to be subsampling rather needlessly.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
but when I put it on the time line in Premiere Pro CS3 it would not play back smoothly and there was a red bar above the video clips.

I shot it at 720/60p, by the way.
1. Make sure that you use PPro CS3.2
2. You *must* edit your 720/60p footage in a DVCPRO HD 720p 60p project.

Good to know:
- 720/60p footage in a DVCPRO HD 720p 60p Project = No red render bar
- 720/60p footage in *any other* Project = Red render bar
- *Any other* footage in a DVCPRO HD 720p 60p Project = Red render bar

The footage must match the Project settings to avoid the red render bar on footage with no effects applied.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #118
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1080

I'm seriously considering buying this camcorder and I'm doing my research. I've read in this thread that the "sweet spot" seems to be 720p and thats probably what I would use it in most, but can anyone tell me how it compares to the XH-A1 in 1080 in terms of image quality?

Thanks
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Old December 8th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Tom Alexander View Post
I'm seriously considering buying this camcorder and I'm doing my research. I've read in this thread that the "sweet spot" seems to be 720p and thats probably what I would use it in most, but can anyone tell me how it compares to the XH-A1 in 1080 in terms of image quality?

Thanks
Check out the posts on here and on DVXuser.com.

In a nutshell, the A1 is slightly better quality in bright light and the HMC-150 is slightly better in low light. For any indoor shooting, say a childs birthday party, the HMC-150 is significantly better because of the much wider angle lens and better sensitivity and low noise. Go to the beach and shoot some of the tankers in the bay and the A1 is significantly better because of a longer lens and a little more detailed image.

They are both great cameras. Only us pixel peepers even see the difference in the cameras.
Look at the features and tapeless vs.tape.

I shot a few weddings using the HMC-150 & A1 both in 1080i since they both shoot that mode. The results cut together nicely.

I have started shooting 720P30 now that the Canons are gone, but I honestly can't tell the difference between this and 1080.

The Panasonic is more of a professional product and not as user friendly as the Canon IMO. And the Pana needs an aftermarket mic immediately. I would get the shooters kit if it can be had for a deal.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 11:24 PM   #120
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The biggest diff to me is in workflow requirements: The Canon A1 requires only the usual HDV editing computing configuration, whereas editing AVCHD requires either transcoding to DVCProHD, or having access to a pretty stout quad core to edit AVCHD files natively. I am going the transcoding route for a while, although this tends to create rather large file sizes.
I use Adobe CS3 and it was cool to be able to mix some 1080/60i from the A1 with some 720/60p from the HMC150. It actually worked. Cut well together, too.
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