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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #1
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Panasonic AG-HMC 150 discussion

I did a quick search to see if anyone had already discussed this new camera and found nothing, so I'd like to get the ball rolling.

Positives---
1/3" 3-CCD
Captures full 1080 (not uprezed from 1440)
1080 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p and 720 at 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
2 XLR inputs with mic/line switchable
Records to SDHC cards (3hrs of 1080/24p on a 32GB card)
28mm (35mm equivalent) 13x Leica

Negatives---
$4,500 bucks

Is it even worth it? The HVX-200 P2 cam is only $700 bucks more. Yeah I know, going with P2 you have all the extra expense of the cards, yada yada. I'm just doing a quality/price comparison here though. I wander what the image quality difference is between the two? With that said, I'll throw the other Panny into the mix... the one that everyone here IS talking about... the HDC-SD100. What are the major differences there?

AG-HMC 150 ($4,500), AG-HVX200 P2 ($5,200), HDC-SD100 ($1,300)

Discuss...........

Press Release on the HMC 150-
http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs...02008010809224
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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #2
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Are you sure the sensors are full-rastor 1920x1080 pixels? I believe the cheapest and only Panasonic HD camera that has full-rastor sensors is the HPX-3000 that costs something like $45,000 without a lens.

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Old June 27th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #3
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Wacharapong is right. Also HMC-150 hits 1920x1080 by pixel-shifting CCD of 960x540...

ciao!
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Old June 27th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #4
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You may want to look at the photos I took at NAB of the HMC-150:
http://web.mac.com/bobdiaz/Site/HMC150.html

Also, I have an Interview with Jan Crittenden Livingston, from Panasonic about this camera.
http://web.mac.com/bobdiaz/Site/Podc...Panasonic.html

Barry Green's interview appears here:
http://web.mac.com/bobdiaz/Site/Podc...rry_Green.html


Of what I've seen so far, the camera looks very good. The final word will come in October when the camera starts shipping, but I'll hope that it will offer the kind of images I've seen from the HVX-200.


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Old June 28th, 2008, 02:15 AM   #5
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If you consider the cost of recording memory to be part of the initial investment in a functional solid-state camera setup, then the difference between using P2 and SD cards can be dramatic. On that basis the HMC150 should be an option worth considering for any work involving continuous shooting, as opposed to short film or news takes. There will likely be a downside with the low-resolution sensor producing soft images compared to sharper HD cameras, but that hasn't seemed to bother those earning money using the HVX200. Another issue may be effective editing workflows for the heavily compressed AVCHD footage, so be aware of options there before investing in the camera.

All things considered the HMC150 is likely to be a successful product, and will show why affordable alternatives to P2 are desirable for many purposes.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 02:29 AM   #6
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I'm running an iMac, 2.4 GHz dual core and Final Cut Express 3.5.1 and tested some H.264 footage on my iMac. While the AVCHD files from the HMC-150 aren't out yet, I found several HD MPEG-4 H.264 clips to test.

1080/30p, without rendering: The system is way too slow to move around easily.

With rendering, the footage in converted into AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) and editing becomes quick and very easy.


720/25p, without rendering: While the system seems to be a bit sluggish, I can move around quick enough to set in & out points.

Like the 1080 footage, the 720 footage is easier to manage with rendering.


With AVCHD, the solutions are:

(1) Use an Intermediate Codec to edit, this allows for a lower performance system to be used. In the case of my Apple and AIC, the Intermediate Codec does not seem to reduce the final quality of the result. There may be a slight drop in quality, but it's hard to tell.

(2) Use a 4 core (or higher) system. This is the best way, but the cost savings for the camera compared to the 170 is lost in a higher cost computer. However in a few years, computing power will be much higher.



Bob Diaz
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Old June 29th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #7
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Conversion

Bob,

How long was the clip and how long did it take to convert to AIC?

Jon Schwartz
CA Video Productions
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Old June 29th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #8
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Great question! Because I don't understand how an extra conversion step in the workflow could possibly save time.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #9
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Converting to an intermediate (a good one) makes it much faster to move around in the video, while editing (like selecting in and out points, as Bob mentioned). A random seek in an AVC video stream can be quite slow because not only is AVC quite processor intensive to decode, a whole group of pictures must (usually) be decoded also (frames are interdependent). I don't know anything about AIC, but Cineform for example, is quite quick to decode, and the frames are all independent (seeks are basically instantaneous with any reasonably modern computer).
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Old June 30th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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Robert

Coming strictly from a SD and slightly HDV background, I was just curious on what the conversion times are for AVCHD files. I know what machine and what codec will vary, but what are your experiences or others who can comment.

Thank you.

Jonathan Schwartz
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Old June 30th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #11
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Recently converted a 1 hour 9 min AVCHD file from my Sony SR11 ( about 8.8G) using latest Canopus AVCHD converter to Canopus HQ intermediate in about 45 mins to a HQ file of about 45G. So total time to upload with Sony Motion Browser software and convert to HQ is about 1 hour 15mins. The Sony Motion Browser software connects the 2G files of the FAT 32 clips on the HDD of the SR11 so is necessary in the process as well as logging etc. It is not really that much slower than loading two tapes of HDV into the PC for the same time!!!

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Old July 1st, 2008, 01:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Recently converted a 1 hour 9 min AVCHD file from my Sony SR11 ( about 8.8G) using latest Canopus AVCHD converter to Canopus HQ intermediate in about 45 mins to a HQ file of about 45G. Ron Evans
Wow that's quick, it would of taken me about 5 hours to convert that file to Cineform intermediate from the Vegas timeline.

BTW, does anyone know what the Iris/Focus switch does on the HMC 150?
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Old July 1st, 2008, 08:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Spring View Post
BTW, does anyone know what the Iris/Focus switch does on the HMC 150?
Probably assigns one of the functions to the front lens ring?
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Old July 1st, 2008, 10:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tony Spring View Post
Wow that's quick, it would of taken me about 5 hours to convert that file to Cineform intermediate from the Vegas timeline.
The Canopus Converter uses all 4 cores when converting. With just one core ( another mode that allows simultaneous conversion of a number of files) it would take 2.5 times realtime.

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Old July 1st, 2008, 12:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Schwartz View Post
Bob,

How long was the clip and how long did it take to convert to AIC?

Jon Schwartz
CA Video Productions
I'm sorry, I didn't time it. ... I'll have to try it again and see how long it takes, but I won't be able to answer than one today... Too many tings to do...

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