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Old September 29th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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40 vs 150? Impasse

Hello,

I am on the cusp of buying a prosumer camera and I feel like I am at an impasse, do I go HMC40 or HMC 150? I am seriously looking at the HMC40 because it seems user friendly, looks good ( tv specialists in Utah has a mock production area set up) , and this price is great. I have been reading posts and everyone is saying that low light is going to be poor, but not sure that is going to affect me, I am looking to do interviews, product video, and corporate video; do you think that the “40” can handle these jobs?

Also eventually I am looking to get a Letus Extreme 35mm adapter, is this a bad choice for such a small camera? I was told by my camera shop for an adapter, I should use the 150 because of the lens size.

What are your thoughts? I am scheduled to pick up a HMC40 from my shop on Oct 2nd but I can afford a HMC150 if that is the best route.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #2
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I have an HMC40 and did not consider the HMC150 because of pricing. It seems that the HMC40 is sharper than the HMC150. It is three stops slower - not a problem for me as I shoot mostly outdoors. If you can provide additional lighting then it would probably meet your needs, but if you need to use room lighting then the HMC150 will be much better.

Sound is going to be import to you so if you go with the HMC40 you should plan on buying the XLR adapter.

Also, don't for get the CMOS vs CCD issues. If you are going to be shooting situations where flash pictures are going to be taken, then the HMC150 will be better.

For my purposes I would not consider a DOF adapter for my HMC40. It would work, but you will lose even more light. Plus there are so many new DSLRs that shoot video that I will eventually get one to supplement my HMC40 at a lower cost than a good DOF adapter.

The HMC40 has the same lens size as many consumer cams (HV20, etc) that are frequently used with DOF adapters, so if you decide to go that way it should work fine.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #3
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Rich,
I plan on staying away from any flash photography etc and I am getting a lighting kit for 3 point lighting etc.

About the adapter, I've heard I will lose some light but I plan on having enough good light or a lighting kit to back me up (got burnt in a club scene for a music video with Canon XH-A1.)

I plan on buying the XLR adapter after my initial purchase, excited for XLR goodness. I pick it up on Friday just a lil leary, I don't want to pay $2000 now and then 6 months for some reason find it inadequate for the job.

Rich, thanks for the info.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #4
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I'm in the same boat as you, Mike. I can either get the HMC40 in a month or save up for a while longer and get the HMC150 with a better sensor. I've heard so many different views on the cameras and how they compare its crazy.

I want a camera that will last me many years and will work for many different situations, but at the same time I want one I can afford.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #5
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You can tell which is the more versatile (and therefore more 'professional') camera by simply looking at the prices. It's the versatility of the 150 that will open more option doors, but as you say, low light shooting isn't one of your doors.

What will pain you I'd think is the zoom range. The 150 has a tremendously useful zoom range, from a class-leading wide angle to a differential-focusing tele (using those bigger chips).

Of course hauling out the 150 might get you ejected from museums where the 40 will label you as a rank amateur, and in covert situations the 40 will gather the goods and prove to be the 'better' camera.

tom.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #6
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Steve,

I hear you brother, I hear you. I would love to get the bigger brother camera for the better sensor, but I would have to save thus delaying my start-up business even further. But I am hoping to get going and earn enough to get the 150 and use the 40 as a secondary camera.

Tom,

Great points and the insight is very welcome.

I think one factor that hasn't been mentioned in this scenario is the wife. It's embarrassing to even mention but I can't convince her to spend the extra $1400 for the 150 (we're paying for the business out of pocket savings etc.) :(

She just threw that at me. Looks like I am getting the 40 in two days.

Last edited by Mike Schreurs; September 30th, 2009 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention one thing about the wife...
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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #7
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The 150 and 40 are essentially totally different cameras. One is 1/4" sensor and one is 1/3" sensor among a host of other feature differences.

I fought myself for awhile over getting another 150 or trying the 40. For me, since it's now fall and getting dark early, it was an easy choice to get another 150 for the low light capability. I shoot weddings and back in August shot one of the darkest indoor receptions I have ever seen. Only the 150 footage was usable out of the three different cameras being shot.

However, Im really only saying you just need to research lights and get one soon so you can practice with both the camera and the light.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #8
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Jeff,

Yeah I have been researching lights, but I am staying away from weddings Utah is criminally oversaturated with wedding videographers and I hate doing weddings. So I think pretty much most of my shooting is going to be in controllable environments.

It seems the biggest thing is light concerns that continue to pop-up. Picking up my 40 tonight as one has popped into the shop.

I appreciate everyone's feedback and NON-condescending comments, I come from the VW community forums... :$
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Old September 30th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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Mike:

Im sure you will be happy with the 40.

One big plus to the 40 is that it's going to be sharper than the 150. I think this will benefit you in shooting some of the great outdoors you have in Utah. For big, wide angle shots you need all the detail resolution you can get for it to look good on a large screen. For tight, close in shots, the detail resolution is not nearly as important.

Let us know how you like it and post some video later.

Jeff
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Old October 1st, 2009, 01:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
One big plus to the 40 is that it's going to be sharper than the 150.
That's quite an assumption to make for a much cheaper camera that uses chips that are only just over half the surface area of the 150's.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 03:33 AM   #11
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Since the codec and bit rates are the same and the chips of the HMC40 contain significantly more pixels, that’s not surprising at all.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 09:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
That's quite an assumption to make for a much cheaper camera that uses chips that are only just over half the surface area of the 150's.
It's not an assumption, it's been tested and shown that yes indeed, the little HMC40 can produce a noticeably sharper image.

Just stay away from gain -- gain, especially above 18dB, can cause the image to turn to oatmeal.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 10:33 AM   #13
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First Impression

I have picked up my Panasonic AG-HMC40 from TV Specialists and I will cut to the one question everyone is asking; how does the camera do in low light for example indoors or low light period? Disappointing I would have to say at best. That is what everyone expected, at 12db it’s dark and going any higher, you get pixilated all-to-hell. 14db I would say is the max, anything higher is “oatmeal” as someone said.

The camera is very, very sharp with good and great light as to be expected; I am very pleased with the HD image. I tried 720p 24f, 30f, and 60f as well as 1080i in all frame rates. I zoomed in on a toothbrush 6 or 7 feet away and the focus was impeccable.
The camera is light, very light which makes it easy on the carry but makes me feel it is hard to keep steady; however the camera does feel very balanced not leaning forwards or backwards. The thing that initially bothered me was the cover for the HDMI, mic jack, and USB ports. it feels like it is ass-backwards, to open you have to pull where the cover is connected to the body then pull on the other end to get it completely off.

The LCD screen is nice and I am still getting used to the touch screen, I kinda wish the controls were on the body of the camera. Using the LCD screen with the focus assist is quite helpful giving you a better idea of how focus you are but, it is only a 2.7” screen so you can only be so confident.

All in all, I am very excited about the camera and can’t wait to get moving on some projects. I have some lens’ coming in with a lighting kit; having these items I think we make me feel even more excited about the possibilities of this camera.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 07:27 PM   #14
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I own an HMC150 and I'm quite happy with it. I would say it's the best option when your subject is people. The so-called softness, is very flattering to the human face. Not mine so much - that would be too much to expect from any camera. :) However, women find the image very pleasing as it reduces the harshness that most HD camera produce.

I use a Sanyo HD2000 as my B-cam. Terrific value, awesome features, and an amazing picture, espeically for $600. The image is much sharper than the 150, but that's not always a good thing. If faces are important, save for the 150. Also, since you're doing corp and interviews, the larger camera adds instant credibility.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 08:21 AM   #15
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UPDATE- Test Footage

Here is some quick and dirty video I threw up on Vimeo, my son and then some landscape-ish type scenery. No correction at all. Looks brilliant on my 37" HDTV via HDMI connection.

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