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Old July 26th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #1
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Less expensive 2nd camera for HMC-150?

Anyone know of a less expensive Panasonic AVCHD camera that I could pair with my HMC-150 for weddings?
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Old July 26th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #2
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If you're on a tight budget, I would highly recommend looking at the Sanyo HD2000. I know this is not a high priced camera, at only $600, but it takes amazing images, has full manual control and a mic input with manual levels. I'm using it as my B-cam and it cuts pretty well with the HMC150 if I put it on the Soft setting. I need only reduce saturation a bit in post and my scopes match quite well.

The only things I don't like about this camera are its pistol grip form factor and the image stabilization is poor. However, this camera shoots in various modes, inlcuding 1080-60p, and also 240fps and 600 fps modes albeit at lower resolution. I have an HC1 and just sold my A1U becasue I was so happy with this camera.

Edit: Sorry, just noticed you specified Panasonic.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #3
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Depends how much cheaper you want to go. Here's my list from most expensive to least (based on Australian prices so US may be different)

The shouldermount HMC70 is currently the only cheaper AVCHD camera which has XLR's. However, it only shoots 1080i at a low bitrate (13mb/s, I think) and has no manual control ring so I would only consider it if you NEED XLR.

The GH1 might compliment the HMC150 well; different cams for different purposes, but together would allow you to cover most possible scenarios. Like the HMC, it shoots at 720p60 and 1080p24. I don't know your budget, but it's definitely not what I would call cheap and may be overkill if all you need is a static b-cam.

The TM300 gives you manual control in a small package, and shoots at 1080p24 or 60i. It's had some great reviews and the only reason I don't own one is because Panasonic don't make splash housings for their cams but Sony do, and I shoot alot near or in the water.

If you really only need a cheap cam to throw on a tripod and leave in auto-mode, maybe consider the older SD9 which can be had ridiculously cheap second-hand these days.

If none of these suit your tastes, maybe you should wait for the upcoming HMC40 - XLR inputs, 1080p24, 720p60, proper viewfinder and much inproved handling.

Is there any particular reason you want another Panasonic? I can't speak from experience but I could not imagine the footage from the smaller Panny AVCHD cams would be all that much different to match to the HMC150 than any of the Canon or Sony cams. Many companies do have a certain 'look' to their footage across all their cams but 1/6" is always going to look different to footage from 1/3" cameras.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
...

If none of these suit your tastes, maybe you should wait for the upcoming HMC40 - XLR inputs, 1080p24, 720p60, proper viewfinder and much inproved handling.

Is there any particular reason you want another Panasonic? I can't speak from experience but I could not imagine the footage from the smaller Panny AVCHD cams would be all that much different to match to the HMC150 than any of the Canon or Sony cams. Many companies do have a certain 'look' to their footage across all their cams but 1/6" is always going to look different to footage from 1/3" cameras.
Sticking with a very similar camera of the same brand is the only way to go for an old dog like me with limited brainpower and time.

1. Similar controls
2. Similar look to footage
3. Same battery & charger
4. Same media (SDHC)
5. Same type of files, high level AVCHD (although this may not matter)
6. Similar white balance responce

I used to shoot with the Canon XH-A1 and HMC-150. What a PITA. The controls are very different, almost reverse for some things, two different types of batteries, two different types of capture to computer, and two different looks to the video you have to correct in post.

I got rid of the XH-A1 after a few 2-camera shoots, it was very stressful in quick moving shoots.

I think the HMC-40 is about your best best for a B-cam even without seeing the footage. It definately meets 1, 3, 4, & 5 above. It's going to be about a $1,100USD savings with the $300USD XLR adapter. It's a 1/4" CMOS camera by the way.

For weddings, it does sometimes seem a shame to set a $3,500 camera on a tripod for static shots (behind altar, side of the room at the reception, etc.), so the HMC-40 may be a great wedding B-camera. The main thing to me is that the white balance of the cameras match, even if it is incorrect.
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