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Old June 12th, 2009, 03:11 PM   #1
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HMC-150: First impressions!

Hello,

Just got my HMC-150 last night!

Wow!

Great first impressions. Of course, keep in mind, I went from a Canon HV20 to this camcorder so this is a big step.

Light but not cheap light. Lots of features but not too intimidating. Though I definitely need to study the manual and I am sure I will have questions soon. ;)

My only complaint would be the automatic zoom is a touch LOUD. But I have not looked at footage yet on my computer to see if you hear the zoom or not.

Otherwise, it looks great and I can't wait to test it out more this weekend.

Simon
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:20 AM   #2
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Been waiting on your comments since learning your new cam. I am seriously concidering this cam myself, upgrading from a sony sr11. How is the transition going? It looks intimidating but think I am ready to go prosumer. Also might wait for the hmc40 as the price is lower but not sure yet. Any suggestions as to what to expect coming from a consumer cam as you did? Tnks
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Old June 15th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #3
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Hello,

Sorry for the delay. I was busy using my HMC-150. :)

I still love it.

I am NEVER going back to tape. It is so easy to start editing with this format, it is scary. Of course do listen to the warnings about needing a powerful computer. I have a dual quad core but still use Prospect HD Cineform because I love that product. It makes life so much easier when editing HD.

As I mentioned before, I started out with the Canon HV20. A tiny camcorder in comparison with not many features but still very impressive. I consider myself at the low intermediate level regarding video work. I usually keep things on automatic and just film.

The same can be done with the HMC-150 and you get very good results though it is clear I will have to learn and master the manual settings to get even better results. The images are excellent. Again I am comparing it to my hv20 and not the EX1 or the Red One.

HMC-150 is very easy to configure and not intimidating in anyway even for an amateur like me.

The lens is great and again my only complaint is that the zoom is a touch loud on automatic. Otherwise, I got a great kit from B&H video for 3700 which included a shotgun microphone, battery, bag, 16 GB card and a few other items.

Panasonic | AG-HMC150 AVCCAM Camcorder | B&H Photo Video

One thing about using a larger camcorder is keeping it steady is more difficult. Even with the OIS on for stabilizing footage, I am already researching various stabilizers that will make my footage smoother. But that issue you will have with any pro camera. Of course, if you have a tripod, that would help.

The LCD screen is good quality and though the menu controls are in an awkward location, you do get used to it quickly.

The shoulder strap is useless. Too short and gets in the way.

If you have any specific questions, please ask. Here or PM me.

And yes I RECOMMEND IT!

Just do it!

;)

Simon
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Old June 15th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #4
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I saw the specs for the HMC-40 and though it seems like a decent camera, I would pay the extra money for the HMC-150.

Yes, you will have to learn some but it is worth it!!!!

Simon
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Old June 15th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #5
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For stabilizing your camera, there are a couple of items that I've found very useful. The first is a VariZoom shoulder support. ( The media rig is a little more robust than the traveler, but either of these work quite well with the Panasonic HMC150 )

VariZoom VZ-DV TRAVELER Camera Support System
VariZoom | VZ-DVTRAVELER DV Camera Support | VZ-DVTRAVELER | B&H

VariZoom DV Media Rig
VariZoom | VZMEDIARIG DV Media Rig | VZ-DV MEDIA RIG | B&H Photo


...And the other is the Stedicam Merlin, which you can start with just the stabilizer, and later add the arm and vest if you do a lot of Stedicam shooting.

Stedicam Merlin
Steadicam | Merlin Camera Stabilizing System - with | MERLIN

Yes, there are cheaper alternatives, but I personally don't think they do as good a job as either of these units.

- Guy
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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I guess you get what you pay for.

I will check them out.

thanks!

Simon
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply. Don't think I will have to much problems in the computer department. I have a 2.8 ghz 8 core mac pro I use to edit. The more video's I see from this cam, the more I want it. One thing I haven't seen is a video of a fast pan. Am curious how this cam works in fast action. Although I have learned to do smooth pans and zoom out and back in, just can't do this all the time. Any way you could do a fast pan (not blazing fast) say outside and either post it or tell me how it does? I did watch one video at an airshow which was pretty good indication of this. Going to download the manual and read some but always learned better by trial and error. Congrats on the new cam.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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Hello,

Since it is NOT CMOS, fast pan should be fine. I have not tested it out though yet.

Good luck!

Simon
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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Stabilizing the HMC150

[QUOTE=Simon Zimmer;1158699]

One thing about using a larger camcorder is keeping it steady is more difficult. Even with the OIS on for stabilizing footage, I am already researching various stabilizers that will make my footage smoother. But that issue you will have with any pro camera. Of course, if you have a tripod, that would help.

The LCD screen is good quality and though the menu controls are in an awkward location, you do get used to it quickly.


Simon,

This camera really is much easier to stabilize than the HV20 (or any small camcorder for that matter) The trick is to not hold it like a camcorder.

My technique is to always hold it with both hands. My right hand is obviously in the strap, my left hand is cupped underneath the camera (in such a way that I can actually focus with my index finger and get to other buttons with my thumb (focus assist, iris etc.)

The next thing is to pull the camera back against your right shoulder (easier with a larger battery that sticks out) and lastly...I never look through the eyepiece when I am shooting handheld. I have the LCD out and I flip the eye piece up almost all the way and balance it against my right cheek.

With this setup I can keep the camera almost as still as I can with a shoulder mounted camera because I actually have 4 points of contact with my body. Obviously you cant keep this still for an hour, but then you would use a tripod like you said.

I think if you try this you will find it much easier to use than the smaller consumer camcorders (which I find much more difficult to hold steady)

Oh and in regards to the LCD screen...This is my biggest gripe about the camera. The LCD screen is pretty bad, but this has been stalked about by others I think.
Andy
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Old June 15th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #10
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Hi Andy,

I will try your method out.

As for the LCD screen, what is wrong with it?

Again, I am coming from the HV20 so for me the HMC-150 is just fine.

Simon
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Old June 15th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #11
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Coming from an HV20 it may look fine, but the monitor is difficult to view at several angles and is not very high res. It is just funny to me that the monitor on the HMC is no better than the DVXs, but then again I'm sure that this is what keeps costs down.

It is strange that when I shoot with no external monitor I do not feel very good about the footage I got...then I look at it on the computer and I am excited again...and it's all because I cant really see the glory of what I am shooting when I shoot it on that LCD.

Andy
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Old June 15th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #12
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You are right about the angle of the LCD. It needs to be at the right spot to see it clearly.

I was thinking more of the menu inside the LCD. That seems fine.

Simon
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Old July 18th, 2009, 11:07 PM   #13
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Simon, how about an update on how things are going? Any issues from going to a bigger cam? Suggestions for a new person going to this cam? tnks
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:22 PM   #14
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I was on vacation the last few weeks and have not had a chance to play with the HMC-150 as much as I would like to. I do have two video projects that I will be doing in the next few weeks so I will have an update after that.

Thanks,

Simon
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:27 AM   #15
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I pulled the trigger and ordered it a few minutes ago. Going back and forth between different cams and the GH1 gave me such a headache. Glad its over. Will be here in 2 days. Will be checking here for any tips you can share. tnks
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