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Old August 30th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #61
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The tradeoffs are there, but I am really factoring in the price.

The HMC-150 is about half the cost of the Z7 and the image quality as I have seen from the clips Barry Green posted will not be half the quality of the Z7.

This pricepoint allows me to consider replacing my VX-2000/PD-170 combo for a reasonable amount as well as not needing to double my rates to get some ROI.

But overall, to me, what changes everything for all of these newer cameras is the ability to pull 4:2:2 out of the HDMI/SDI.

This gives the latent value of getting higher quality than is reflected in the price, which makes them a bargain in a way.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #62
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The tradeoffs are there, but I am really factoring in the price.

The HMC-150 is about half the cost of the Z7 and the image quality as I have seen from the clips Barry Green posted will not be half the quality of the Z7.
Fair points, though it's not just image quality. How much are true manual, interchangeable lenses worth? Or the tape/solid state option? But OK, maybe Z7 and HMC-150 are apples and oranges.
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But overall, to me, what changes everything for all of these newer cameras is the ability to pull 4:2:2 out of the HDMI/SDI.

This gives the latent value of getting higher quality than is reflected in the price, which makes them a bargain in a way.
Here I think you may be disappointed. I'm assuming you're intending to use something like the XDR for recording - which will certainly get over the processing hit needed to process AVC. And used with the EX it will give true 1080 4:2:2.

But by 4:2:2 I understand vertical chrominance resolution to be equal to luminance, and the EX front end is certainly capable of giving 1080 for each. But for a camera with 960x540 chips it's different. Pixel shift enables such to normally give a vertical LUMINANCE resolution equivalent to a camera with more vertical pixels (typically 6-700) but doesn't improve the chrominance resolution, that will remain at 540.

This isn't to denigrate the camera - it's intended to record 1080 4:2:0, so chroma res being 540 is as good as the camera can normally record. And luminance resolution being higher than chrominance is the way the eye works, the same as has been exploited by PAL and NTSC systems.

Recording 4:2:2 via HDMI may give you a higher value than the price reflects in the case of the EX, but I fear it won't work in this case.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #63
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Well I have to admit that your knowledge is beyond my knowledge on this topic.

Somewhere down the road, I will upgrade my interchangeable lens cameras, and I am looking at the HPX-500.

But it would seem that what you stated would apply to the HPX-500 as well.

To me, the XDR would be mainly for a greenscreen application as once one can sweeten images in post, I think the 4:2:0, 4:2:2 difference is lessened.

So your point is that the 4:2:2 output might not have much of an impact on the final product compared to the 4:2:0 using the Panasonic cameras?

Do you think keying work would be improved?
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Old August 30th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #64
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The perfect camera does NOT exist, so there's always some give and take when selecting a camera. In the case of the HMC-150 and even the HVX-200, some hate the idea of offset pixels to increase resolution. Dave is correct, if we have a green/black detail, the red and blue pixels do nothing to increase resolution.

However, if we have green/any color with a red or blue component, there is an impact from the offset pixels. Nothing is perfect here, so this is part of the give and take.

On the SONY V7, V1, and even EX-1, we have CMOS Imagers. Is this a problem, well, some hate the idea of a rolling shutter. This can cause a distortion with a whip pan. Possible, but not as noticable as when flash photos are taken, like at weddings. In the case of the CMOS chip, part of the frame sees the flash and part does not. The location is random due to the random nature of the flash.

Is this a problem? It depends who you talk to. Some find it unacceptable and others don't mind. Again part of the give and take nature of different cameras.

The Sony EX-1 is a WONDERFUL camera and it gives sharp images and good low light performance, BUT it costs a lot more than the Sony V1 or the Panasonic HMC-150. Some will argue the cost is worth it and some will say that it's outside of their reach. Again, more give and take with cameras.

If I can post the tilt caused by a rolling shutter, I will do so, if not here's the link to the image.

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...ng_Shutter.png

The Black & White shot comes from footage By Philip Bloom. The blur that tilts is a railroad car as it moves through the image. The right image was a test of a rapid pan and a test chart. The color photo of the wedding shows how a flash will partly expose part of a frame. All the shots come from the Sony EX-1.

Please don't get the wrong idea here, I'm NOT against the CMOS Chips and the rolling shutter effect. That's just the way they work. Again ... Give and Take...


With any camera there's always something. As long as a person understands the choices they will make and understand the give and take issues, they are buying a camera with a understanding of the limits of each technology. Better to understand then feel cheated.


Bob Diaz
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Old August 30th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #65
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So your point is that the 4:2:2 output might not have much of an impact on the final product compared to the 4:2:0 using the Panasonic cameras?

Do you think keying work would be improved?
"Yes" to the first question above, and "depends" to the second.

Think of "4:2:2" and "4:2:0" recording modes as containers, capable of "holding" resolution (!) Let's say they're each capable of holding 1 litre of luminance resolution :), when 4:2:2 will then hold 1 litre of vertical chrominance information and 0.5 litre of horizontal chrominance information. For 4:2:0 both the chrominance figures are 0.5 litres.

The approach you're suggesting (record HD-SDI via an XDR) effectively replaces a 0.5l container with a 1l container. What I'm saying is that you'll only get an improvement IF the camera head is capable of producing more than 0.5l of vertical chrominance information in the first place. For a camera like the EX the answer is obviously "yes" - it's chips have 1080 pixels vertically each of r, g and b. But for a camera with 960x540 chips, the answers no. Pixel shifting techniques may get about 0.6-0.7l of vertical luminance information (up from the 0.5l you'd expect without pixel shift), but they can't do anything for the chrominance information. You're stuck with 0.5l - double the size of the container, and you just end up with it half empty!

As regards the question of whether keying work will be improved, my guess would be that an XDR type device may have lower overall compression, which could only be a good thing, but the effect of the 4:2:2 recording would be small in this case.

As far as the HPX500 goes, on the up side it's 2/3" chips, and they have proper optical low pass filters to help counter aliasing. (All 1/3" cameras don't, AFAIK). On the other hand, they are 0.5MP chips, so the chrominance resolution won't be as good as a 2MP camera, regardless of the colour space. Colour space numbers are ratios, not absolute numbers, and you have to pay regard to the luminance numbers to make any sense. Would you rather have 50% or 25%? Now what if I asked "50% of 2" or "25% of 8"? In that case 25% is obviously better than 50%, in others 4:2:0 can be better than 4:2:2 by similar logic - you have to make sure like is being compared with like.

I'm afraid that at the end of the day you get what you pay for.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 06:32 AM   #66
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The perfect camera does NOT exist, so there's always some give and take when selecting a camera. In the case of the HMC-150 and even the HVX-200, some hate the idea of offset pixels to increase resolution. Dave is correct, if we have a green/black detail, the red and blue pixels do nothing to increase resolution.
I certainly agree with the first sentence, but am not convinced that there is any "hating of the idea of offset pixels" as such. Any debate is more about when wild claims are made about just how effective it is. Will it improve performance compared to not being used? Yes. Will it enable a 960x540 camera to have the same resolution and alias rejection as one with 1920x1080 chips? Absolutely not. Let's quote from the original press release at the beginning of this thread:
Quote:
“With features such as advanced, full 1920x1080 AVC Hi Profile HD recording..........."

"It captures full horizontal resolution 1920x1080 images at its PH, HA and HG recording modes."
and
"......users can record three hours of full pixel 1920x1080 video and audio at PH mode........"
Panasonic seem to have recognised that "full 1920x1080" is seen as a good thing in marketing terms, and undoubtably the codec is making such a recording. But are we looking at a big resolution recording container that's not full, or will the images recorded actually be "full horizontal resolution 1920x1080"? From 960x540 chips I think the former, pixel shift or not. Panasonic don't make any such claim, of course, but quite a few people are putting 2 and 2 together to make 4,000.

I was once told that paper statistics can't tell you how good a camera is, but they CAN tell you how good it CAN'T be, and I do think there's a lot of truth in that.
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With any camera there's always something. As long as a person understands the choices they will make and understand the give and take issues, they are buying a camera with a understanding of the limits of each technology. Better to understand then feel cheated.
Absolutely so. In this case Tim thought he could get a HMC-150, take an HD-SDI feed out and record externally, and get much improved keying due to a better colour space. Hopefully, a better understanding of what the technology can and cannot do will help stop him wasting money.

As far as rolling shutters go, I confess I'm a little surprised why such a fuss is only now developing about it. I say that as one who grew up with tube cameras, which exhibit all the same characteristics, as do film cameras. With the move to CCDs, that change wasn't even commented on - nobody said "fantastic, no more rolling shutter effect!" So why all the fuss now?

My own feelings are that they are a pretty small negative compared to the positives (such as vastly better highlight handling) that CMOS chips bring over CCDs for cameras in this price range.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 08:32 AM   #67
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I appreciate your views David.

I am reviewing my needs and think I have decided upon getting one of each.

Horses for Courses in this new HD world!

Not the ideal situation, but the tradeoffs are there and the $3,000 difference of buying 2 EX-1s could get me a steadicam.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 09:33 AM   #68
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I appreciate your views David.

I am reviewing my needs and think I have decided upon getting one of each.
By " one of each" do you mean an HPX500 and an HMC-150, or an EX and an HMC-150, or....?
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Old August 31st, 2008, 03:46 PM   #69
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Well actually, the more I think about it, one of all of them.

I have DVC-200s (1/2" chip) Panasonics and a VX/PD combo right now.

These cameras have served me well in just about every kind of situation from multicamera shoots to weddings ect...

Groups of large and small HD cameras are just not affordable, so I am going to break it up this way:

I like operating a larger camera and need a lens with some reach, so the HPX-500 seems to fit that bill.

I also often use more than one camera, so I need a matching image (second camera), HMC-150.

But I also see a lot of potential in chromakey for web design use, so I would enjoy the EX-1 for that role, plus any single camera needs that do not require a long lens & it would excel in wedding work.

Overall I need two small cameras for weddings, and three cameras for some event work.

So all of one is either too expensive, or too short in the lens.

Like I said, it is not ideal, but I don't think it will change in the next year or so.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 05:43 PM   #70
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Interesting, I see where you're coming from and tend to agree there isn't an easy answer.

In your position I may be minded to go for three EXs, as there could be a hidden saving in having all the cameras the same, all taking the same batteries, memory cards, and other accessories. They would obviously then all match well on a single camera shoot, and all being the same codec may make post work easier.

But I take what you say about wanting one of them to be shouldermount - in which case what about one of the 1/2" XDCAM-HD shouldermounts to complement the EXs?
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:07 AM   #71
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Reading this entire thread has been very very interesting. Pardon my newbish-ness as I open my mouth...

I've been using the HVX200, Sony V1Us and now Sony EX-1 at work. Its been interesting having a boss always looking for greener grass on the other side of the fence as he has purchased a new camera every year. Usually to our detriment since our audience almost never views stuff in HD and we often have 2 different cameras with different workflows and formats being edited together.

In looking ahead, I've wondered about getting to a point after graduating from college when I might buy my own camera. The HMC-150 certainly looks interesting. My understanding is that it uses AVCHD instead of DVCPROHD. I don't know a lot about how much that will affect the image quality but I know that in terms of capture media, SD cards would be amazing to use instead of expensive P2 cards.

In terms of looking at all of these different cameras though, myself and some others where I work have used both the HVX200 and EX-1 and noticed some interesting things. While the EX-1 gets a larger image that is sharp, it cannot do a 1/24th shutter. The HVX200 can and seems to just have a better "feel" about it when we watch its footage. I assume its the motion blur or something. Maybe just the softer image. If the HMC-150 has a very similar look to the HVX200 and can shoot native 1080/24p, I want to see some footage. I really really want to see some footage. Panasonic has me hooked on the HVX200.

How much of a step forward or backwards would this camera be compared to the HVX200? There are noticeably fewer buttons on the camera case...almost like there are less features or a lot of features are buried in menus...? (yuck!) :-)
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Old September 1st, 2008, 09:28 AM   #72
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Interesting, I see where you're coming from and tend to agree there isn't an easy answer.

In your position I may be minded to go for three EXs, as there could be a hidden saving in having all the cameras the same, all taking the same batteries, memory cards, and other accessories. They would obviously then all match well on a single camera shoot, and all being the same codec may make post work easier.

But I take what you say about wanting one of them to be shouldermount - in which case what about one of the 1/2" XDCAM-HD shouldermounts to complement the EXs?
Well I have struggled with this for a long time.

I am not factoring in the XDCAM 330/350 because they don't shoot 720p60. This is the framerate that imho, is the most useful for what I shoot.

Three Exs, I don't know because I am one of those rolling shutter effect haters. I often film in an auditorium environment (high contrast lighting) and flashes going off would look too messy for me with three of these cameras.

I plan on a Nano as my recoding device on the HPX-500 and on an EX as well. I figure with the cost of memory, might as well.

Then comes the HMC-150. Lightweight, affordable and uses addordable memory.

So what it comes down to for me is get an HPX-500 and two HMC-150s or an HPX-500, HMC-150 and an EX-1.

Keying - HPX-500 vs EX-1
Weddings - HMC-150 vs EX-1

In general use, I don't think there will be that much difference between the HMC-150 and the EX-1, especially for the web.

But the price difference between the two including memory costs is about $5,000+ dollars.

I would like to hear any opinions with my choices.

Thanks
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Old September 1st, 2008, 09:34 AM   #73
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How much of a step forward or backwards would this camera be compared to the HVX200? There are noticeably fewer buttons on the camera case...almost like there are less features or a lot of features are buried in menus...? (yuck!) :-)
Ryan, check a thread at dvxuser.com the Barry Green titled "questions about the HMC-150".

All will be answered and he also posted raw footage for download.

He is very upbeat about the camera.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 11:01 AM   #74
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Ryan & Tim,

I'll give you some thoughts on the HVX-200 vs. the HMC-150. In many ways they are alike; both use the same CCDs. The HVX-200 has the older CCD and the newer HVX-200a has the improved CCD; which is also used in the HMC-150. According to Barry Green, the ISO of the newer CCD is 500. Also, Berry who has tested the cameras and found that the images from the HVX-200 and the HMC-150 are about the same. The newer CCD has less noise, so it works better in low light compared to the older CCD.

In comparing cameras, it's important to take into account cost. Otherwise it becomes an Apples to Bananas comparison. At around $5,200 (street price), the HVX-200a and the HPX-170 offer over cranking, under cranking, single frame, time lapse, and record to P2 media. (The main difference between the 170 and the 200a is that the 170 does not have the tape drive.)

The HMC-150 is around $3,500 (street price) and lacks those features, but it does record 1080/60i, 1080/30p, 1080/24p, 720/60p, 720/30p, and 720/24p. David is correct is saying that it does not resolve a full 1920x1080 resolution, one would need a minimum of a 1/2" image sensor or better yet 2/3" to resolve the full 1920x1080. The sweet point for the HMC-150 is the 720p modes.

If we compare cameras in the same price range as the HMC-150, none of the video cameras fully resolve the true 1920x1080. The Canon A1 and the Sony V1 fall short of the mark. The HMC-150 (and the HVX-200a ...) come in softer than those cameras, but offers better low light performance. So, we are back to my point of give and take. Which is more important to you, low light performance or highest sharpness?

Panasonic has said that the pixel offset increases the resolution by 1.5 times. If so, that says that the 960 x 520 offset sensors are like a 1,440 x 810 image sensors. My own guess is that the 1.5x factor is a bit high, but whatever it is, the 1280x720 images from the camera appear to be sharp enough. I consider the 1920x1080 images good enough, but this is subjective and others may differ.

If you spend more money, the Sony EX-1 is around $6,500 (street price). The is a very good camera, but because it's almost double the price of the HMC-150, we are talking of two very different classes of cameras.


The debate over CMOS vs. CCD is on going and the answer depends on who you talk to. Go to the HVX-200 section of the forum and you are likely to hear those those who are against CMOS. Yet, in the EX-1 forum, they don't see any problem with CMOS.

Like cameras, the perfect image sensor does not exist. CMOS does have a rolling shutter, which some see as a problem when there are camera flashes going off, like at a wedding. It could be a problem if the camera is attached to a dirt bike that is bounced around. Still, this is subjective, so some see it as a problem and some don't.

CCD is not perfect either. The biggest problem with CCD is if you point it at a very bright light source, a vertical line appears on the same column as the bright light. The older CCDs were very sensitive to this and the newer CCDs are less likely to show this, but given a strong enough light, it will occur.

The old tube cameras did have a rolling shutter, but the real problem was "Comet Tails" from bright lights in the picture. Of the weddings I shot with tube cameras, I can't recall any real problems with camera flashes, but it's been a long time from when I shot with a tube camera.


I did post several photos and information on the HMC-150 on my web page:
Panasonic HMC-150

You may also want to check out Berry Green's answers on the HMC-150. The camera is not out yet, but Barry had a chance to test a pre-release unit.

HMC150 questions answered... - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking

Barry has also placed the files on a server for download, so others can see what the images look like.



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Old September 2nd, 2008, 02:50 AM   #75
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Thanks for the additional info.

Interesting learning more and more about all these cameras.
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