HMC40 - Any First Impressions? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders
AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 26th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
HMC40 - Any First Impressions?

The HMC40 has been available for a little while now. Any early adopters care to share their first impressions of the camera?
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: CA
Posts: 195
So far I am very happy with it. I come from consumer cameras (Sony HD1000, Canon HV20, Sanyo Xactis) and this is my first one with so many features and controls. There are low light limitations as well as CMOS issues, but I can deal with those.

Have the large 5800mA battery and it is good for around 7 hours. Tried my Canon .7 WA adapter on it and worked fine. The Rode Videomic is good until I can get the XLR adapter/Mic. Libec LANC works perfect.

I think for $2k it is a great deal and nothing out there right now is comparable for the price. I will post more impressions as I use and learn more about it.
__________________
www.speedandmotion.com
Duane Steiner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LA, California
Posts: 170
While I don't own the camera yet, I did get a chance to "play" with it at DV Expo and record some footage.

Panasonic AG-HMC-40, Testing Gain Settings on Vimeo

For a camera that is under $2,000 (street price) this camera offers a lot of nice features:

Records 720/24p (native), 720/30p, 720/60p, 1080/24p (native), 1080/30p, & 1080/60i
Gain setting from +0dB --> +24dB in 1 dB steps.
Built in waveform monitor
Very sharp image (Berry Green tested it to over 800+ lines of resolution)
Manual focus is smooth and easy to use
Smooth stop on zoom (has a variable speed on zoom)
Zebra stripes (User selects range)
Slow shutter 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30
Time lapse
All sorts of user adjustments and a whole lot of other features

You can't have it all for $2,000, so there are limits:
CMOS sensors will have possible rolling shutter problems (watch out for whip pans & camera flashes)
Low light recording is not as good as the HMC-150 (see below)

Using information that Barry Green posted in another forum, at +0dB gain, the ISO of the camera is 64. All cameras output more image noise as you increase the gain, but the HMC-40 isn't as bad as other cameras I've tried. There's going to be some debate as to how high is too much, but you can download the video file I recorded (see link above) and decide for yourself.

+12dB = ISO 256 (Reasonably clean video)
+18db = ISO 516 (May be upper limit)
+24db = ISO 1024 (If you must, but it will have strong noise)

Using a light meter and a shutter speed setting of 1/30 of a second shutter speed, you'll see that indoors at night, this covers most well lit locations, BUT in very dark settings, you are going to push the gain, lower the shutter speed, or record dark video.


On the other hand, if you plan on shooting video in daylight or well lit locations, the camera appears to do very well.


Bob Diaz
Bob Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2009, 01:00 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 477
I saw it at WEVA and DV Expo, and liked it a lot....seems to be a very good IQ, very compact, seemed more substantial than others in its class. FWIW, I think it looks like a real winner.
Steve Wolla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Diaz View Post
While I don't own the camera yet, I did get a chance to "play" with it at DV Expo and record some footage.

Panasonic AG-HMC-40, Testing Gain Settings on Vimeo

For a camera that is under $2,000 (street price) this camera offers a lot of nice features:


Low light recording is not as good as the HMC-150 (see below)
On the vimeo I cannot see any problems when gaining - no noise or anything - maybe you cannot rely on the low pixel image but it seems ok when gaining all the way.
Bo Skelmose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LA, California
Posts: 170
If you are signed into Vimeo, it is possible to download a copy of the file in the 720/60p resolution that I shot it in. (In about 3 more days, the file will be deleted and converted to flash.)

When I play the source file on my 37" 720p HDTV and sit really close, some image noise starts to appear at +6dB, but isn't too bad. Beyond +18db, the noise is stronger, but in a pinch one can live with it. If I sit way back, the image noise is harder to see.

The HMC40 will not do as well as the HMC150 in low light, but in good light, it seems to do OK.


Bob Diaz
Bob Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 267
How would it compare to the GH1 specifically in the 720p at 60?
__________________
Measure twice, cut once!
Robert Morane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 30th, 2009, 12:31 AM   #8
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Diaz View Post
If you are signed into Vimeo, it is possible to download a copy of the file in the 720/60p resolution that I shot it in.
I can't find a way to log-in on the page your link goes to.

When I log-in at my page -- searching for Bob Diaz turns-up no such person. Moreover, I can't find a way to search for your video's title. Or, number.
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 30th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LA, California
Posts: 170
Hi Steve,

If you log into Vimeo through your normal log-in, try the following search term(s):

HMC40, HMC-40, HMC41, HMC-41, HMC45, gain, HMC-45, test, camera, 3MOS, AVCHD, H.264, MP4

Using just HMC40 results in 17 different videos and mine is "Panasonic AG-HMC-40, Testing Gain Settings".

Search videos for 'HMC40' on Vimeo

I hope this helps you find it. If not, try logging in and opening a new page with this link:

Panasonic AG-HMC-40, Testing Gain Settings on Vimeo


Bob Diaz
Bob Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 30th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hamburg Germany
Posts: 10
Hi Bob,
I am still on SD100 looking out for better.

Your "gain setting test" is hampered by the fact, that it is apparently done with a fixed shutter speed resulting in increasing overexposure as gain increases. My SD100 would react exactly the same way, since there is no aperture/gain priority semiautomatic mode. Instead, decreasing shutter speed in manual mode would have opened the aperture to "open" and then increasing the gain automatically, kind of shutter priority in still cameras. That is how the SD100 works. The low light sensitivity of the SD100 appears to be 1 f-stop better than the HMC40: roughly 100 ISO at fully open aperture. It is pixel shifted like the HMC150.

Erich
Erich Gabbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 30th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LA, California
Posts: 170
Erich,

No question the test could have been done a lot better, but this was shot at DV Expo in the EVS (Express Video Supply) booth. The guys were nice enough to allow me about 10 minutes with the camera, so I had to rush to try as much as I could within the limited time.

In order to judge the noise level, I have to look for darker and darker things as the gain increases. The more solid the color of the area, the easier it is to spot the noise.

Berry Green measured the ISO of the HMC40 at 0dB and found it to be 64 ISO.


Bob Diaz
Bob Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2009, 01:02 PM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cottonwood heights Utah
Posts: 18
Not gonna lie, the low light sucks; the daytime is pretty good in mo opinion. I hate the design on the HDMI and USB port cover, it's ass backwards. But I am happy with my purchase.
Mike Schreurs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2009, 04:24 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Diaz View Post
The HMC40 will not do as well as the HMC150 in low light, but in good light, it seems to do OK.
I'd half expected the HMC40 to be better than the 150 in low light. CMOS v CCD should work strongly in it's favour, though against that it's 1/4" chips v 1/3". Presumably it comes down to individual pixel size in the end.

It seems that they've compromised the low light performance for megapixel stills ability according to the spec. My own feeling is that I'd rather have seen something like pixel-shifted 1280x720 sensors, and have sacrificed the stills ability for better low light performance.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2009, 07:14 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Diaz View Post
Erich,

No question the test could have been done a lot better, but this was shot at DV Expo in the EVS (Express Video Supply) booth. The guys were nice enough to allow me about 10 minutes with the camera, so I had to rush to try as much as I could within the limited time.

In order to judge the noise level, I have to look for darker and darker things as the gain increases. The more solid the color of the area, the easier it is to spot the noise.

Berry Green measured the ISO of the HMC40 at 0dB and found it to be 64 ISO.


Bob Diaz
Judging from your clip, I'm surprised at how clean the image appears to be with the gain cranked up. If I crank my XH-A1 to 24dB, it's a bit more akin to adding a blizzard to the images.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2009, 07:54 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mandeville, LA
Posts: 40
We got an HMC-40 as our first HD camcorder. We use several Sony VX-2100 for weddings, which are getting long in the tooth, so I though we'd try the Panasonic as it has the SD cards and the price was right. The image in good light is impressive. Still testing it to see if we'll be able to use these for wedding receptions (with lights of course) or if we'll get HMC-150 cams to replace the VX-2100.

The HMC-40 is really small and ultra-lite, almost seems like a toy at first. But as you use it, you realize it's a well put together unit. It definately needs a WA lens though, for what we do at least. I found a Panasonic x.7 lens on eBay real cheap to try on it, seems to work pretty well, but it's still not real wide, more like a normal zoom range with the WA. The face detection seems to work surprisingly well, watching the little boxes follow the faces around is rather fascinating. We still have to test that some more to see how often you can use it, but early impression is it seems to work pretty well.

Over all, it's an impressive camera for the price. We are not throwing it into the mix too fast with the other cameras, we don't want to compromise our work by testing it in real situations unless we have backup footage from other cameras. So it will take awhile to really tell how much we can use it, or if we will have to just go with the HMC-150 cameras instead (which I'm assuming from what I've been reading would definately be good HD cameras to replace the VX-2100 units with).

Robert
Robert Welch is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:24 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network