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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:31 AM   #1
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Should I reconsider buying a 150 due to reputed image softness?

I keep hearing that the image is not real sharp compared to many other HD cameras. One owner on DVXUser.com said the 1080 mode looked almost like SD. Would 150 onwers share their views on this issue, please?
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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I believe to get a significantly sharper image you need to move to the EX1 or EX3.

These are 1/3" cameras and they are all severely limited in my opinion.

The HMC150 does have a softness but some call it film-like.

If you are looking for crisp, you should consider a 1/2" sensor, in my opinion. The 1/3" sensors stink, but they're all many of us can afford.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; May 27th, 2009 at 11:37 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:35 AM   #3
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If your final delivery is Blu-ray to clients with big screen then I would not get it, I bought one when if first came out and then return it because it is so soft compared to my Canon XH A1, I shot the same scene outside under good light and then when I compared it on my 61 inch, first I thought it was out of focus, I said crap, took it outside again and shoot it again and same thing, the camera is so soft on big screen compared to the Canon XH A1 I thought it was out of focus at first, the sensor is I believed only 960X540, so if you upscale it to 1920X1080 no wonder it is soft, but I think alot of people like it is because they never viewed it on a big screen, 40 inch and below then it will be hard to tell the difference especially if you don't have another camera to compared it with, so if you don't do alot of Blu-ray then I'm sure it will be ok.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #4
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I've not shot with the Canon tha Khoi mentioned but the footage I've seen from them does look quite good.

To stick with a tapeless workflow the Sony Z5 would be somewhat sharper also, but again we're still dealing with the 1/3" chips, which are so limited.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I believe to get a significantly sharper image you need to move to the EX1 or EX3.

These are 1/3" cameras and they are all severely limited in my opinion.

The HMC150 does have a softness but some call it film-like.

If you are looking for crisp, you should consider a 1/2" sensor, in my opinion. The 1/3" sensors stink, but they're all many of us can afford.
Jeff:

Your statements above are exactly correct.

I replaced my Canon XH-A1 cameras with HMC-150s after a lot of testing. In a best case scenario, the XH-A1 is sharper than the HMC-150. However, the HMC-150 has many advantages over the XH-A1 and the general image quality is much more pleasing to me. It also took me a long time to learn to turn the coring to a negative number on the HMC-150 to get the best image for me. Probably a lot of people mistakenly just increase the detail levels to try to get a sharper image.

I shoot in 1080P30 and deliver most projects in NTSC DV widescreen. For this delivery, the HMC-150 is an awesome tool. I also deliver a tiny bit in HD, it's also great for this.

But if you want a high resolution HD camera, the 1/2" sensor EX-1 is the only thing currently available at a close price point. No 1/3" sensor camera can compare to the EX-1.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #6
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But if you want a high resolution HD camera, the 1/2" sensor EX-1 is the only thing currently available at a close price point. No 1/3" sensor camera can compare to the EX-1.
For sharpness? The HPX300 1/3" most definitely compares with the EX1.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #7
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At $8500 I should think it would be very sharp.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:13 PM   #8
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I am thinking of replacing my Gy-HD100s with the HMC-150 are the HMC-150s much better in low light than the HD100s? Also are they sharper? Thats my 2 beefs with the GY-HD100s.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #9
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I appreciate all the feedback and welcome more. I'm certainly not knocking the HMC150. In fact, I have one on order, but who knows when it will be in.

I'm sure the EX1 is a better camera, but I doubt it's twice as good even though it's nearly twice the price. Also, I have a strong feeling that in the next two years we'll be seeing large sensors that will make 35mm adapters obsolete.

BWT, can someone tell me what "Coring" is and also the meaning of some of the other settings? If they're all explained in the manual, you can just point me there.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #10
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You know Paul, I never answered your question properly regarding softness, I just started talking about other cameras, which doesn't help you at all.

Having only seen footage from one shoot done on my HMC150, and considering the shooter pretty much messed up most of it, I can't speak authoritively, but the footage did seem a bit soft, but as others have said it has a pleasing look that is hard to describe.

I think that after you tweak it you'll probably like the camera very much. BTW, I was told by the seller of my cam that the sweet spot with the cam is 720p.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #11
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Thanks Jeff. BTW, I believe you bought Matthew's camera. I was interested in it too, but we couldn't come to an agreement on price. You had the benefit of being local too. Glad you like it.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
If your final delivery is Blu-ray to clients with big screen then I would not get it, I bought one when if first came out and then return it because it is so soft compared to my Canon XH A1, I shot the same scene outside under good light and then when I compared it on my 61 inch, first I thought it was out of focus, I said crap, took it outside again and shoot it again and same thing, the camera is so soft on big screen compared to the Canon XH A1 I thought it was out of focus at first, the sensor is I believed only 960X540, so if you upscale it to 1920X1080 no wonder it is soft, but I think alot of people like it is because they never viewed it on a big screen, 40 inch and below then it will be hard to tell the difference especially if you don't have another camera to compared it with, so if you don't do alot of Blu-ray then I'm sure it will be ok.
That's odd, my experience as of late has been much the opposite. I have been shooting with an XHA1 and HMC150 for a while now, and when all is said and done the picture of the HMC 150 is just better. The A1 looks a little softer and a little warmer.
The HMC150 looks to be sharper, with better color, (slightly "cool") better low light sensitivity. Lately I have been shooting in 1080'60i. I have started scraping up the pennies for a second HMC150. I check all my productions on a 50" plasma, so I think if softness were an issue, you'd surely see it on that set.

It is true that editing with both AVCHD and HDV on the same timeline truly is a hassle. It can be done, but when creating a DVCProHD file and adding HDV to it, well....that HDV has to be rendered before it plays smoothly at all, and depending how big the job is, that can take a while. Same goes when adding a DVCProHD file to an HDV project, in my experience.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:45 PM   #13
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This post surprises me, I shot with the A1 for quite awhile and I can tell you the hmc 150 blows it out of the water as far as image quality goes, also it kicks the A1's but in low light.

In my mind the HDV codec will go the way of the dodo all too soon...
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #14
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I sure love to hear this positive feedback on the Panny. I'll be using mine this weekend and am anxious to see how it works out.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #15
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Jeff,
You got a good cam in the HMC150. Yeah, it's different than the Sony and Canon in its controls, but generally in a good way. It kinda grows on you.
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