AG-HMC-150, XH-A1 or HDR FX-1000? - Page 4 at DVinfo.net

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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #46
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I had XH-A1s before converting over to the HMC-150s and did a lot of comparison shots.

I have a 40" LCD and 50" Plasma HDTVs. On the 40" size, the difference is not very significant but is visible. On the 50" size, the reduced detail is much more pronounced.

The real question is what do they look like in 720X480 NTSC DVD Widescreen on the 40" or 50" HDTV. Answer; they are about the same sharpness wise.

Also, I don't agree at all with David Heath comparing the new JVC camera with the HMC-150. The JVC is a 1/4" sensor compact camera vs. the HMC-150 being a 1/3" sensor full size camera. Totally different animals.
Thanks, my customers are starting to buy Blu-ray of their Weddings so the HD performance is becoming a concern. If I had not dropped my A1 and cracked the case, I would wait for more options.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 07:45 PM   #47
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Thanks, my customers are starting to buy Blu-ray of their Weddings so the HD performance is becoming a concern. If I had not dropped my A1 and cracked the case, I would wait for more options.
In your case I would go for the EX-1.

I would not spend any more money on a tape based 1/3" sensor camera. The XH-A1(S) just dosen't represent a good value.

Im not going to rehash it, but except for absolute best case resolution, the HMC-150 does everything else better. You should download HMC-150 and EX-1 raw footage files before making a final decision.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 08:23 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
Also, I don't agree at all with David Heath comparing the new JVC camera with the HMC-150. The JVC is a 1/4" sensor compact camera vs. the HMC-150 being a 1/3" sensor full size camera. Totally different animals.
Well - I never said they were identical, and what you say is true, of course.

What I did say was that the JVC camera "is expected to compete head on with the 150 for price", and the similarities go further, they're the only two cameras in this price range that natively use SDHC for recording, so I think a comparison is valid. That said, the 150 has a larger chip size than the JVC, but the JVC has higher resolution chips, and a more easily handled codec.

As far as sharpness comments go, then whilst I haven't compared a 150 to an XH-A1, I have compared a 150 to an EX, and can only say the EX trounced the 150 for resolution. That was on a 1920x1080 42" Panasonic display, and the difference was huge - the EX was probably as good again as the 150 was over (PAL) SD material. That's only to be expected from paper specs, but it was interesting to see real life matching what specs predicted.

The EX is obviously more expensive than the 150, so maybe this shouldn't be a big surprise. Compared to all other business expenses, and spread over a few years, then for professional use I feel the cost difference is a small price to pay for the improvement the EX offers - not just sharpness, but true manual lens, and more edit friendly codec to name just two factors.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #49
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As far as sharpness comments go, then whilst I haven't compared a 150 to an XH-A1, I have compared a 150 to an EX, and can only say the EX trounced the 150 for resolution. That was on a 1920x1080 42" Panasonic display, and the difference was huge - the EX was probably as good again as the 150 was over (PAL) SD material. That's only to be expected from paper specs, but it was interesting to see real life matching what specs predicted.
I agree with you on the EX-1 trouncing the HMC-150 and at first I didn't know if I could handle the lack of resolution on the HMC-150. But, since all my projects are delivered in SD right now, I went with the HMC-150.

One thing I didn't make clear in my previous post, although the HMC-150 and XH-A1 appear about the same sharpness wise in a SD project, the overall image quality is much better with the HMC-150 than what I was getting with the XH-A1. My projects quality definately improved.

I am hoping that within the next 2 years or so there will be either an improvement in 1/3" sensor technology producing a low noise full 1920X1080 progressive sensor block (wont be HDV since the codec dosent support it, so it wont be tape) or a lower cost 1/2" sensor block camera with EX-1 quality images. Unfortunately, with the hard times in the electronics industry, I don't see much product development coming in the near future, as witnessed by the poor new product showing at the PMA 2009.

Reality check: All these cameras still produce excellent video.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #50
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one more important factor in the EX vs 150 comparison is the lens ramping during
zoom. the EX stays at 1.6 the whole way through, which is HUGE for low light work.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
In your case I would go for the EX-1.

I would not spend any more money on a tape based 1/3" sensor camera. The XH-A1(S) just dosen't represent a good value.

Im not going to rehash it, but except for absolute best case resolution, the HMC-150 does everything else better. You should download HMC-150 and EX-1 raw footage files before making a final decision.
The EX is tempting, I have hired second camera men to shoot weddings that used the EX1 and the footage looked great except for the rolling shutter. One first dance - the hired photographers (2) and several in the audence started snapping shots and the rolling shutter was so bad that I ended up using mostly my XHA1 footage. I am not a big fan of CMOS for that reason.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #52
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one more important factor in the EX vs 150 comparison is the lens ramping during
zoom. the EX stays at 1.6 the whole way through, which is HUGE for low light work.
No it doesn't Scott - whatever gave you that idea?
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #53
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are you sure? i was shooting with mine inside the other day along with the HMC,
and the aperature didnt change. I thought it was constant, it may be 1.9 not 1.6,
my bad.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:06 AM   #54
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OK Scott, Sony's PDF on the EX1 is very quiet and vague about this, so I've taken my knowledge from those who have experience with the camera.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...telephoto.html

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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:07 AM   #55
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...and with a smaller chip to cover, the Z7's 12x lens is faster at full wide (f/1.6) and a lot faster at full tele (f/2.0).
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:02 AM   #56
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As far as sharpness comments go, then whilst I haven't compared a 150 to an XH-A1, I have compared a 150 to an EX, and can only say the EX trounced the 150 for resolution.
I'd expect the EX1 to be a better camera, especially since it cost twice as much as the 150. Throw in another 2-3 grand just for media on long shoots, and it's even less of fair match-up.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:05 AM   #57
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I was all set on getting the Sony FX1000. I loved it's low-light capabilities and long lens. But doing mostly wedding work, I didn't want the rolling shutter issues.

So I'll be getting the Panny 150. IMHO, it's the best camera you can buy for $3200.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #58
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I was all set on getting the Sony FX1000. I loved it's low-light capabilities and long lens. But doing mostly wedding work, I didn't want the rolling shutter issues.

So I'll be getting the Panny 150. IMHO, it's the best camera you can buy for $3200.
I agree that the HMC-150 is the current best of the bunch for most applications.

All these 1/3" sensor cameras are similar but do have a lot of variables in their features, of course. I only know what I hear and see in examples on here about rolling shutter issues, and to me, that seems like a total deal breaker for a wedding videographer (i.e. constant flashes). I have enough problems in post without potentally dealing with that.

Also, the HMC-150 is from the Panasonic Professional segment. You get a lot of technical support that is truly helpful from Panasonic Professional. They have even released one firmware update and some scene file stuff already. They also send out questionaires asking about your pros & cons of the camera. I never got that from Canon or JVC.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #59
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I'd expect the EX1 to be a better camera, especially since it cost twice as much as the 150. Throw in another 2-3 grand just for media on long shoots, and it's even less of fair match-up.
I don't know what the US prices are, but in the UK the price of an EX1*without any media* is about 50% more than a 151 without media - about 4,000 v 2,600.

Regarding cost of media, can I point you towards Summary: SDHC substitute for SxS cards - The Digital Video Information Network ? It's no longer necessary for long shoots with an EX1 to need 2-3 grands worth of media. As that thread makes clear, it's now possible to use SDHC cards with the EX, same as with the 150 - ans a lot of users have been doing just that for some months now.

I've just come back from using a (hired) EX in anger for the first time, and am very impressed. I had 16 16GB Transcend SDHC cards with it, enough for over 15 hours of filming - which cost me a total of 400!! I was initially a bit apprehensive, but the system was rock solid stable, not a single problem. Unless you want to do a lot of overcrank, or very fast downloading is important, you really don't need to use SxS.

Averaged over a period of (say) 4 years, that means the difference between the 151 and the EX is about 350 a year, and compared to other business expenses that doesn't seem very much. The differences between the two cameras are not solely picture quality either. The EX codec is much more edit friendly than AVC-HD, the EX has a true manual lens and much better viewfinder, and the EX is easily the best sub-5,000 camera for low light. Use SxS and the EX will allow for overcrank - the 151 just doesn't have the option.
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