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Old September 5th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jonathan W. Hickman View Post
........ I switched to Sony from Panasonic last year. I bought three Sony's: .............
I'm so tempted to sell all my Sony and go Panasonic. Anyone think that is a good idea?
Trouble is, there'll be something even better next year. Where do you stop?

If you feel you must change, I'd be more inclined to go JVC, maybe one HM700 and two HM100s at the moment.

That's as much to do with codec as anything, the 35Mbs MPEG2 should outperform AVC-HD and be natively editable - AVC-HD effectively needs transcoding. Only drawback is you'll need nearly twice as many SDHC cards for the higher datarate, but they are now so relatively cheap that's a small price to pay for the benefits. (And the JVC cameras have two slots, so you actually get a longer continuous run time.)
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Old September 8th, 2009, 02:00 AM   #32
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Why do you assume that MPEG2 even at 35MBs, can outperform MPEG4 in these cams? Plus transcoding is less of an issue every day. Native editing on a Mac is what JVC advertises, but I thought I read that editing JVC files on a PC was in some cases problematic.
Now lets talk about the cost diff between the HMC40 and the HM100....there would really have to be something special about the JVC's performance to make it worth that $1,000 more than the HMC40 (after including the XLR adapter and shotgun mic on the Panny). The real diff between them is going to be in CMOS vs. CCD, and potentially different ways in which each handles low light. I am looking forward to DV Expo and see how they measure up.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #33
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The HMC40 is finally in stock! Hope to get mine in the next few days and post some pics.
Curious to see how it will shoot in low light and how much noise there might be in 12 db.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
Why do you assume that MPEG2 even at 35MBs, can outperform MPEG4 in these cams?
Because it does. It is XDCAM codec, which is allowed in broadcast, AVCHD is not.
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
Plus transcoding is less of an issue every day. Native editing on a Mac is what JVC advertises, but I thought I read that editing JVC files on a PC was in some cases problematic.
Transcoding is where you lose quality even more. Plus with big projects you start running into HD space and performance. Try to work on a 100 hour footage edit and see if you still want to transcode? JVC can record .mov or MP4 containers, so PC can edit as well. It is XDCAM codec, so whatever system can edit Sony footage can also edit JVC
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
Now lets talk about the cost diff between the HMC40 and the HM100....there would really have to be something special about the JVC's performance to make it worth that $1,000 more than the HMC40 (after including the XLR adapter and shotgun mic on the Panny). The real diff between them is going to be in CMOS vs. CCD, and potentially different ways in which each handles low light. I am looking forward to DV Expo and see how they measure up.
Now this is a very valid point. The idea behind HM100 was almost brilliant, but the implementation fell way short. There are major technical issues, like zoom, shutter speeds, all discussed here: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/jvc-gy-h...-wishlist.html . The major factor one has to take into consideration is ability to record uncompressed sound. For most "event guys" it doesn't matter, but any broadcast or documentary apps it cuts out need for separate sound recorder and need to sync the sound.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
Why do you assume that MPEG2 even at 35MBs, can outperform MPEG4 in these cams? Plus transcoding is less of an issue every day. Native editing on a Mac is what JVC advertises, but I thought I read that editing JVC files on a PC was in some cases problematic.
Steve, you are correct that the MPEG 4 is superior to the 35 Mbps MPEG 2.

I think Robert is confused about the multiple XDCAM formats.

XDCAM - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old September 9th, 2009, 02:20 PM   #36
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Regardless of what broadcasters will or will not accept, H.264 at 24mbps can produce better quality image compression than MPEG-2 at 35mbps (assuming codec implementation quality is comparable).

Unless the HMC40 performs surprising poorly, it is going to cut into HM100 sales considerably (at current pricing levels). Watch for street prices on the HM100 to drop pretty quickly.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
Steve, you are correct that the MPEG 4 is superior to the 35 Mbps MPEG 2.
That's just opinion. Honestly- can you explain. I am sure people like Steve Mullen (who as a broadcast engineer is way more qualified then I am) always stated the opposite.

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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
I think Robert is confused about the multiple XDCAM formats.
Again- what is your opinion based on? HM100 has exactly same XDCAM EX1/3 codec, licensed from Sony. As the matter of fact imported footage from HM100/700 is recognized
by NLE as Sony XDCAM 35Mbps codec. mov or .mp4 are just wrappers. The main difference between older XDCAM and XDCAM EX is that the information was written to an optical disc and now the information can be written to SxS or SDHC card. So no, contrary to your statement I have pretty good idea what I am talking about.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #38
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Steve, you are correct that the MPEG 4 is superior to the 35 Mbps MPEG 2.
Let's try and clear this up once and for all.

MPEG4 is based on MPEG2 - they share the same core technology, but MPEG4 (or rather AVC/H264) additionally uses a whole raft of additional features or tools to achieve the same quality at a lower bitrate. The question is - how much lower?

There is no simple answer to that question, because it depends how many of the available "tools" an individual coder uses, and how well it uses them. The VERY BEST that may be theoretically achived IF ALL THE TOOLS ARE USED, is about a halving of the equivalent MPEG2 bitrate, but at present even the best broadcast coders costing a small fortune still won't achieve that. The coders in prosumer cameras don't come close - they give a substantial bitrate efficiency over MPEG2, but nowhere near a halving. A good ball park figure might be to say that they offer at 21Mbs a quality very roughly equivalent to MPEG2 at about 33% more, or around 28Mbs.

But it comes at a price, and that is editing complexity. In practice, it currently means that an NLE that may be able to natively edit MPEG2 will need AVC-HD footage to be transcoded. That shouldn't involve any quality change - but does add time and complexity.

Hence there is no simple answer to the question of which is best - MPEG2 or AVC/H264. It depends what you are using it for. The former is more easily worked with, the latter gives smaller bitrates for a given quality. Hence MPEG4 may be a clear winner for broadcast TV, when maintaining quality at forced low bitrates is imperative. But MPEG2 may be a better choice for camcorder acquisition, a higher bitrate being an acceptable price to pay for avoiding transcoding and giving easier editing.

As far as 21Mbs AVC-HD goes, my own experiences are that it doesn't match 35Mbs for quality in prosumer cameras, and from the theory above I wouldn't expect it to. (Though it may (just) in expensive broadcast coders.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wolla
Now lets talk about the cost diff between the HMC40 and the HM100.....
Get on to specific cameras and it's not so clear cut - there's more to a camera than it's codec. And I acknowledge the HMC40 is cheaper than the HM100, though I'm not sure the UK difference is as much as you say. The HMC40 may have other advantages as well.

But my original answer was in response to "........ I switched to Sony from Panasonic last year. I bought three Sony's: .............I'm so tempted to sell all my Sony and go Panasonic" and I was thinking along the lines of a mixture of HM700 and HM100 - not three HM100s or three HMC41s.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #39
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David, thanks for clarifying this issue and explaining it. Like with a lot of technical issues there are some frequently repeated myths, by people who simply don't know enough (myself included).
In case of HM100 vs HMC150 the codec is not the issue, but a chip size, and lens size. A 46 mm lens will never be able to compete with 72 mm, as the amount of light and detail gathered by a smaller lens will be much lesser of the value. A 1/3 inch sensor is almost twice as big as a quarter inch. On that principle a full size DSLR will always take a better picture then point/shoot cameras, regardless of the pixel count. They might look OK on a laptop, but blow it up to a poster size and then you will see the difference. Also the smaller of the sensor, the worst dynamic range among many other issues. So I would not be surprised if HMC150 would actually produced a better looking footage, but not based on a codec.
Also I think you should really consider EX1 (or EX3- depending on your budget) instead of HM700. I owned HD100 and now I also own HM100 and Sony quality is far superior to any JVC camera.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #40
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Hey guys,

I just realized to my surprise that all of these low light videos I posted were shot with the gain set at 24db. To me, from the statements I've read, you don't want to go above 12db, so after reading the manual and figuring out how to change it, the rest of my videos were shot with the max at 12db. But, the following videos were shot in full auto, auto gain control, and because of the low light I'm suspecting all at 24db:

YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Low Light Test #1
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Low Light Test #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 30p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 24p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 30p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 24p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HA1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HG1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 50 & 25% Slow Motion Raining Car Action #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 50 & 25% Slow Motion Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 75% Slow Motion Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Shutter Speed & Slow Motion Test
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Handheld Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HE1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog

I don't think the above videos look bad at all at 24db, personally. What do you guys think?

Here's the rest of the videos shot with the gain maxed out at 12db, but these aren't all shot in the dark like the above ones. These you'l notice are tests of the gain, shutter speeds, auto gain control vs. manual gain control, digital zoom, white balance, and chroma levels, as well.

YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/2000 Shutter, Manual Gain 0-12db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/1000 Shutter, Manual Gain 0-12db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/500 Shutter, F7.2 - 12db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/250 Shutter, F11 - 0 db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/120 Shutter, F11 - 0db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - Full Auto, Manually Adjusting Iris Dial
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - AGC Vs. MGC 1/2000 Shutter
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - AGC Vs. MGC 1/1000 Shutter
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/2000 Shutter Speed, High Gain to 34 db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - Auto White Balance Presets
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Digital Zoom Test
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Chroma Levels from -7 to +7 = Saturation

All of the above videos are being uploaded here: UTV REPORT for download if you want the uncompressed files to watch on your computer versus YouTube. The dates of 10/12, 10/14, and 10/15 are all shot using 24db gain. And, 10/18 are the ones listed immediately above this text.

All of the videos aren't uploaded to the server yet, but I think all the 10/18 ones are already. The others are uploaded as we speak. You'l also notice that the videos on 10/18 are much larger than the rest. The reason for this is I outputted them from Adobe Premier at full 21mbps, instead of 6 mbps for all the rest. I can't tell much difference...can you guys? I'm not sure it's worth the extra size, download and upload time personally. I've found too that the best way to play these to see issues is at full screen, not the standard YouTube size.

I hope this helps...if anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. These were things I wanted to know before buying the HMC40, but I couldn't find out there, so I bought it. :)

Chris
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:33 AM   #41
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Hey Chris,

Great post! I too am contemplating buying this camera. It looks like it performs great in low light... better than my GL2's at least!

I like the fact it's tapeless, 24p, lightweight and HD. Been waiting for those options in a 2k range camcorder. Just a couple questions:

1. In those videos you created, is the audio coming from the on-board mic? If so, that doesn't sound bad either!

2. One thing I REALLY love about my GL2's is the fact it has zoom controls in the handle and on the grip. It's nice to set the handle to a super slow zoom for graceful shots and then have the grip zoom on a variable setting for quicker zooms when necessary. How does the zoom work on this cam?

I'm only seeing one zoom control on the grip. I'm assuming you can set that to nice slow zooms... but is it easily switchable back to a variable zoom?

Finally, it sounds like you're an Adobe/PC guy. I'm all Mac. Think I'll have any problems importing the footage to my macs (anyone can chime in here!!)?

Seems like a great little cam at an awesome price point! I was almost about to sink my money into Sony FX-7's, but after finding this gem, I'm glad I didn't! Seems like so much more bang for the buck here.

I wish Canon would put out a similar type of camera at the same price point (not the handheld flash cams... nice gadgets but not enough prosumer features)! I'm so afraid of making a switch only to find Canon doing just that in the next few months.

Any feedback from you Chris, or anyone else, is appreciated!
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Old November 10th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #42
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Hey Chris,

Great post! I too am contemplating buying this camera. It looks like it performs great in low light... better than my GL2's at least!
It's not completely terrible in low light, but definitely don't go above 12 db of gain. For me, the definition in good light is awesome, but in low light it's mediocre at best. I'm trying to figure out what on camera lights I want to get, because I got those little $35 ones and they do nearly nothing for this camera in crappy light. It needs something powerful to make a big difference, or at least look nice in low light without graininess.
Quote:

I like the fact it's tapeless, 24p, lightweight and HD. Been waiting for those options in a 2k range camcorder. Just a couple questions:

1. In those videos you created, is the audio coming from the on-board mic? If so, that doesn't sound bad either!
The interview videos are using my the Rode Videomic with dead cat and on the wind cut setting on the mic. The rest of the test videos were filmed using the standard on-camera mic in the wind setting.
Quote:

2. One thing I REALLY love about my GL2's is the fact it has zoom controls in the handle and on the grip. It's nice to set the handle to a super slow zoom for graceful shots and then have the grip zoom on a variable setting for quicker zooms when necessary. How does the zoom work on this cam?
You can zoom slow(1 speed) using the bottom of the touch screen, or do the same thing on the right side where you hold the camera variably...it's very easy to do both fluid slow zoom stuff or high speed and in between just using the normal one with your right hand.
Quote:

I'm only seeing one zoom control on the grip. I'm assuming you can set that to nice slow zooms... but is it easily switchable back to a variable zoom?
I haven't found a place to set it to one speed like my little canons do.
Quote:

Finally, it sounds like you're an Adobe/PC guy. I'm all Mac. Think I'll have any problems importing the footage to my macs (anyone can chime in here!!)?
I'm all mac too using Adobe Premier CS4 on my 17" macbook pro. It also loads easily into Imovie if you're wanting to whip something together quick, as well. But, for Imovie to work, you have to connect the camera via usb and let Imovie recognize it when connected to the camera, versus Adobe just recognizing the raw .mts files off the sd card.
Quote:

Seems like a great little cam at an awesome price point! I was almost about to sink my money into Sony FX-7's, but after finding this gem, I'm glad I didn't! Seems like so much more bang for the buck here.

I wish Canon would put out a similar type of camera at the same price point (not the handheld flash cams... nice gadgets but not enough prosumer features)! I'm so afraid of making a switch only to find Canon doing just that in the next few months.

Any feedback from you Chris, or anyone else, is appreciated!
Well, for me, you can always upgrade. There's always someone looking for a great deal on a used camera. :) I'll be posting up some more videos soon too...

Chris
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Old November 10th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #43
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Interesting... I'm becoming more enamored with this camera. As for the low light stuff, you're right, a nice camera light would solve that problem. I use Sony HVL lights. They're great because you can use only one lamp at 10 watts, or two at 20 depending on what the situation calls for:

Sony | HVL-20DW2 20-watt Video Light | HVL20DW2 | B&H Photo Video

They're relatively inexpensive and I use the 'big' battery on it (one like that's shown in the accessories section on that B&H page). Usually get 3-4 hours of usage out of it. Just buy generic batteries for the light... no need to spend the extra $$$ on the Sony brand batteries.

Did you get a user manual with the camera? I've done some searches online for one and can't find it. The only thing I've found is what appears to be a sales brochure:

https://eww.pavc.panasonic.co.jp/pro...pdf/HMC40U.pdf

I've always found the best way to make a decision on a camera is to read through it's user/directions manual first. Then you know exactly what the camera can do and if it will suit your needs.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #44
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Don't forget folks, this is a 1/4" chipped camera. That is the SINGLE most important thing to remember about it. It will not stand up, not even close, to the 150 or most any new camera with 1/3" chips. I have owned and shot weddings with the 150 and it is a very nice camera.

As a full-time pro I can't imagine becoming remotely interested in a 1/4" chip, been there done that and I got rid of it immediately.

To see an example of the difference between the chips can make go, follow the link below and scroll down to the images. The discussion is about 2 models of Sonys, but the comparison is still valid.

opinion please - v1 vs z5
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Old November 10th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #45
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It's a much smaller camcorder than the rest so expecting chips as big as them is really pushing it. It can get through some places that the bigger cameras can't and without a mic on, it can look like a consumer camcorder. Also, when theirs good lighting, it's much sharper than the HMC150 and shockingly close to the sharpness of the EX1. Just looking at the low-light capabilities or the size of the chips is not a good way to judge a camcorder. The HMC150 has it's benefits and the HMC40 has it's own benefits and neither is better than the other. Never mind the fact that the HMC40 is much, much cheeper.
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