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Old December 29th, 2008, 12:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
Keith, what do you shoot?
I am doing more sports work and got the HMC150 as the MPEG4 is a much better choice than MPEG2 for fast motion, at least on paper. I could not risk "ghosting" or other artifacting issues hence my choice.
It all really depends on the job you need to do. The more I shoot the more I come to believe that no single cam can meet expectations across the gamut that I shoot.
I don't do sports much, though I do some documentary stuff, a bit of run and gun, hand held and some wildlife, a lot is locked off. Not the most motion-packed stuff, so perhaps I'm not the best to evaluate the motion artifacts of the EX1. However, I have followed EX1 forums very closely since late 2007 and it seems that the EX1's encoding is very difficult to break with even intense motion. People have tried and examined the output frame by frame. The rolling shutter seems to be the main motion artifact, and it's pretty natural unless you are doing the smoothcam post processing like I'm doing.

Probably the best thing would be to rent or purchase on EX1 or EX3 (which might be even better for telephoto sports - you can adapt SLR lenses to it) and test it, returning it if it isn't satisfactory.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #17
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Good luck returning an EX3.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 02:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jos Svendsen View Post
And you can tweek the HMC150 to a certain degree to look like an EX1. Use Scene File Cine D, and and dynamic Range Stretch set to 3.
From what I can see of the DRS (Dynamic Range Stretch) function on the HMC150, it seems it is only available for the 60i recording setting, I can't seem to select it (it's grayed out on the menu) when I have it set to progressive modes. Since I shoot with the EX1 pretty much all the time in a progressive setting, using DRS on the HCM150 wouldn't help me if this is the case.

Also, until Final Cut Pro (which is what I use, I'm an Apple Mac user) supports AVCHD files natively, like it does with the EX1 files, the workflow is a bit slow and bloated, as it needs to convert AVCHD to ProRes, which adds a transcoding step, lessening the quality (though perhaps only slightly) and increases the storage requirements of the transcoded footage 3-4 times as large. If somebody is using files from the EX1 and HMC150 together with Final Cut Pro, what is your workflow?

Does anybody know of some sample video out there where an EX1 and a HMC150 have been intercut? Thanks again for any advice!
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Old November 19th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #19
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Notes on the HMC150

I have been shooting with the HMC150 for a little over a month now, and I have been generally very pleased.

I shoot archive video for theatre productions, and promotional videos and behind the scenes footage, that is delivered to the web and on DVD. First off, going from standard definition with my old Canon XL2 to even a highly compressed HD format was remarkable. Obviously the footage is higher resolution, but I was surprised how much better standard definition DVDs look coming from an HD source.

The first thing I did when I got the camera was push its codec tolerance. I went outside and shot some "busy" footage of leaves on trees, and did some swish pans. No matter how hard I tried I could not get artifacts on the fast movement. It all held together. But complicated footage like leaves moving in the trees were noticeably affected. Not a big deal since most of what I do is talking head interviews and archiving.

So it is actually performing better than I expected. I shoot 720p 24 and transcode to ProRes 422 LT when importing to FCP, and it more than suits my purposes.

The only real issue I have with the camera is its image stabilization. It seems to overcompensate and, for want of a better phrase, "lag and snap". During even slow pans it seems to snap into its settled position. It actually was such a problem that I ended up turning the stabilization off, and don't even bother with it anymore. I have a nice professional tripod, so I don't miss it.

This said, I haven't shot with the EX-1. If it was in my employer's budget I would have gotten one. I love the larger sensors and focus options of EX-1, but I am more than happy with the HMC150.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 07:12 PM   #20
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robert-

thank u for sharing your thoughts.

i also shoot a fair amount of talking heads.

care to share your thoughts on the hmc150 and its lighting needs?

how would compare the lighting needs between the hmc150 & the xl2?

what scene files do like best for your interviews?

lastly, are u a one-person shooter/audio do everything? if so, can u speak about "doing it all" with the hmc150?

again, thanks for sharing and welcome aboard.

be well

rob
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Old November 24th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodrich View Post
I have been shooting with the HMC150 for a little over a month now, and I have been generally very pleased.

The only real issue I have with the camera is its image stabilization. It seems to overcompensate and, for want of a better phrase, "lag and snap". During even slow pans it seems to snap into its settled position. It actually was such a problem that I ended up turning the stabilization off, and don't even bother with it anymore. I have a nice professional tripod, so I don't miss it.
Uh-oh. I just order an HMC150 and most of my shooting will be handheld so I need some good stabilization. My other camera is an old FX1 Sony hdv which has really good stabilization.

We also could not afford a Sony EX cam so this was the sweet spot second choice. I hope I am right about that.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #22
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The stabilization is aggressive, and it's most useful for jerky stuff. If you're doing slow moves, it will indeed exhibit the behavior you describe. It's also vital to turn off the image stabilization if you're using a tripod! People frequently forget that, but you just have to do it. You should always also turn off image stabilization if using a 35mm lens adapter.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 08:02 PM   #23
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One man band

Thank you for the welcome, Rob.

I am indeed a one-man operation, and end up shooting spontaneously and often very quickly. I also need everything to fit in the back of my hatchback.

I use a single soft lighting source. Right now I have 650 watt Lowell kit, and use one instrument with heavy diffusion. A kind of improvised soft box. I find that very flattering on the subject, and it is quick to set up obviously. If I have time I wrap the barn doors of another instrument in blackwrap, making a sort of snoot that I can mold on the end, and project an abstract pattern against the background. Quick and dirty, but it works. I use the scene file 6 exclusively.

In terms of audio, when I'm doing interviews I tend to set the audio pods at the 12 o'clock position unless the subject has a soft voice, and rely on the auto gain adjustment to attenuate if someone laughs or raises their voice. I don't have a wireless lav kit, so I use a nice wired Shure lavalier I acquired years ago, or on some occasions when I'm following a subject around I'll use my Azden SX2 shotgun mic. (I know many have poor opinions of the Azden line of audio gear, but I have been quite pleased and feel they have a lot of bang for the buck. And that's the mic I use when I archive the shows for the theater I work for.)

If you go to this link:

Florida Stage - FM - Two Jews - Script Notes

you will see the basic set up of what I end up doing on short notice. This is a single light source and the shotgun mic. In the future I want to work on narrowing the depth of field by maybe applying some ND filtering so I can open the iris all the way. With the 1/3" sensor it's never going to be that great, but that doesn't mean I can't try.

There are a few things I miss from the XL-2, but not much. I never felt comfortable with it in my hands, it was rather front-heavy on my tripod no matter how far back I mounted it. And I hate to admit it, but I like having a flip out LCD screen.
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