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Old May 26th, 2009, 06:59 AM   #1
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Like my new HMC150

I like my HMC150. I actually purchased used here on the forum. Too bad on it's first shoot the shooter (who was in training under my partner) switched to manual operation and the footage is largely unusable. I did get glimpses of great footage here and there and am anxious for upcoming shoot this weekend to give it another go alongside the FX1000.

Does anyone else feel the onboard audio from the FX1000 is superior? Because the cameras locations were so different during the shoot it was tested on I cannot be certain, but it sure seems the audio was a bit "less" than the Sony. Not a huge deal, since I will be purchasing a shotgun for it, but I'm still wondering.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #2
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I don't have the HMC, but from my expeience with the DVX line of Panasonics, the onboard mic is terrible. However they more than make up for than with XLRs and other manual controls which are all accessible while recording.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #3
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David, I'm MORE than happy with the camera at first blush, even if the onboard audio is "less".

The audio controls are nothing short of fantastic, coming from the FX1000. I have a audio box for one of my FX1000s and I'm sick if it, it is way too cumbersome.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #4
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Jeff,

I own a Z5u with the Memory Card Unit attached and just purchased a HMC150 also to replace a older secondary camera.

After filming a few weddings so far with them both, this is what I can tell you from my experience.

1. that you are correct that the on board audio is far worse than the Z5.

2. I think the picture looks more pleasing to the eye from the HMC

3. In low light receptions I get better light sensitivity with the Z5.

4. The Z5 is easier to rack focus in my opinion.

5. The slow motion on the HMC looks REALLY REALLY GOOD in 60p mode when you do the 24frame conversion.

6. I need to see a chiropractor everytime I shoot a reception with the Z5.

7. I love the LCD on the Z5 and Hate the LCD on the HMC.

I am not as skilled with the HMC as the Z5 but I would say that I do notice a difference in the low light performance, but the picture looks really good to me. I am about to edit another wedding this week where I used both again and I will let you know how it came out.

Steve
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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Great stuff Steve. Thank you for your take. You confirmed things I suspected but cannot be sure until shooting with camera myself.

I agree the look of the footage is very pleasing as you say, from what little I can see at this point.

I have a long way to go before making a decision, but I would not be surprised if I ended up selling my FX1000s, or at least one of them. The 20x zoom and wonderful onboard audio are excellent so I can easily see selling at least one of them.

I am actually not crazy about the LCD on the FX1000 as it is almost unusable outdoors, and I find that while the white balance can seem fine when viewing, it often turns out looking completely different after downloading the footage. It has fooled me several times.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #6
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Jeff:

Audio wise, the on-board microphones on the HMC-150 are poor in comparison to the Canon XH-A1 or JVC GR-HD1. However, the XLR recording capability is very good. I get some great stuff with condenser mics.

Video wise, the HMC-150 is great. It took me a while to fine tune the scene files to my liking after coming from the very different picture of the XH-A1. But now, it's stunning. Be patient and keep tweaking the settings.

The controls of the HMC-150 are great after you unlearn your other camera. When you switch over to manual, the iris sets to manual until you press the iris button again and it operates off where the gain and WB switches are set. I can see how a novice to the camera could blow it.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
Jeff:

Audio wise, the on-board microphones on the HMC-150 are poor in comparison to the Canon XH-A1 or JVC GR-HD1. However, the XLR recording capability is very good. I get some great stuff with condenser mics.

Video wise, the HMC-150 is great. It took me a while to fine tune the scene files to my liking after coming from the very different picture of the XH-A1. But now, it's stunning. Be patient and keep tweaking the settings.

The controls of the HMC-150 are great after you unlearn your other camera. When you switch over to manual, the iris sets to manual until you press the iris button again and it operates off where the gain and WB switches are set. I can see how a novice to the camera could blow it.
Jeff,

Would you mind posting your Tweaked HMC settings please. I would like to try them, the only thing I have done is to tweak mine to try and match the Z5.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Montoto View Post
Jeff,

Would you mind posting your Tweaked HMC settings please. I would like to try them, the only thing I have done is to tweak mine to try and match the Z5.

Thanks,

Steve
Ditto! That would be great if you would, Jeff.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #9
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Settings

Since I got my HMC-150 I have tried a lot of different recording formats. I initially used 1080i to match my XH-A1 1080i format on the timeline. I never fully color matched the XH-A1 and HMC-150.

Next I got my second HMC-150 and started capturing events in 720P30. Mainly because I have been reading that 720P uses the same bandwith as a 1080 signal but with less data resulting in a less compressed signal. I also came from the JVC HD cameras and liked 720P.

Next and currently I am using 1080P30. The 1080 signal uses more color information than 720, so theoretically, you could have better color or better color keying results.

For my base scene file setting in decent light, I prefer a fairly sharp and saturated look like the Vivid RGB preset I used on the XH-A1.
For this, my settings are:
detail level +3
v detail level +1
detail coring -1 (-numbers are sharper, this setting makes big differences)
chroma level +4
chroma phase 0
color temp Ach -1 (this setting is important for overall color balance)
color temp Bch 0
master ped - adjust to conditions; usually -5 to +5 range, try +2 maybe
A.iris level -1
gamma - hd norm
knee - low (important for cutting highlight clipping)
matrix - norm1
skin tone detail - off

These settings will give a nice saturated and sharp image. IMO, the HMC-150 is very sensitive to WB and if it is off, you can't really get good color at all.

The only way to really tweak the 150 is with a HDMI cable connected to a good calibrated HDTV. It's a bit of a pain, but you can learn a lot about the HMC-150 by making adjustments while looking at a large monitor. I ran each setting the full range to observe what changes it made to the picture. Some settings, particularly the detail level, had very little effect from one extreme to the other. Others do of course have large effects.

If you are recording in 1080i, you have other options available, like using DRS instead of knee. The DRS works well, try it.
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Last edited by Jeff Kellam; May 27th, 2009 at 02:16 PM.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #10
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Thanks Jeff...can't wait to try your settings.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #11
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Jeff,

Thanks for sharing those settings. Picture quality is excellent in a brightly lit room.

I'm thinking about writing a cocoa app that would make it easy to share/view Scene File settings on a desktop.

-paul.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #12
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Jeff,

The HMC's onboard mic is its weak point. It's almost useless. I bought a Sennheiser ME62 omni mic that works great. I don't like using a shotgun at receptions because everytime you turn the cam away from the DJ/band's speakers the sound quality changes. The omni sounds pretty much the same regardless of where I am in the room and which direction I'm shooting.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #13
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Thanks for the audio tip Norman, I appreciate it.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #14
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Camera for sale

Norman, how ironic is it that I'm selling the Panasonic just as you sold your Sony? Just put in the classified section.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #15
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Jeff,

I thought you knew going in that you wouldn't be able to edit AVCHD natively. Also, there's been a lot of discussion regarding the necessity to overcome the 4GB file limitation by stitching the files. I use Edius 5 for editing and I use the Canopus converter to convert AVCHD to the HQ format. I've had no problems whatsoever with audio & video being out of sync. Yes, the HQ files are huge. But hard drives are so cheap these days. I just bought a 1.5 TB Seagate for $120.

I like being able to archive the original footage in such small file sizes. I'm sure the day will eventually arrive when I'll be able to edit the files natively. Edius is supposedly capable of doing it now but I think it would require a NASA computer to do it.
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