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Old January 19th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #1
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HMC40 or JVC HM100

Trying to decide for a while which one of the two cams I should get. The Panny is more than one thousand dollars cheaper. The chip is the same size (CCD Vs. CMOS). Videography is an hobby but I care about the quality. What are the drawbacks of the HMC40? the JVC has many issues of first generation.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Keinan Yaron View Post
Videography is an hobby but I care about the quality. What are the drawbacks of the HMC40? .
No brainer... HMC40. Unless you are tied to FCP and need to edit ASAP.
Drawback of HMC40 - AVCHD harder to edit natively *right now*.. although if you are not using a MAC you will enjoy the free Edius Neo 2 software with Booster for realtime editing of those native AVCHD files.
CS4 and Vegas can edit AVCHD in it's native format right off of the cards with reduced quality previews. Soon the software should catch up and it'll be like editing DV. Smooth as butta on CS5 with Mercury playback engine.

I'd say the HMC was also clearer.. it's up there with the Sony EX1 for 1080P.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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First of all, I'm going to admit my bias because I own an HMC40. However, I chose it over the JVC.

Not that the JVC is a bad camera, but for the money, the Panasonic HMC40 had more to offer. Yes, I use FCE, but it's no big deal to convert the files to Quicktime for editing. I just don't see paying $1,500 more for native Quicktime recording.

Here's a short video I shot. You can download the HD edited file if you are signed up for VIMEO (free). This video was shot in the default mode, because I haven't had a chance to play with the settings yet. So future videos will look even better.


One of the first tests I did was low light testing, to see how the camera would perform. It did better than expected.


As for under and over exposure, my tests show that +/- 1/2 a stop is not big deal and even if you're off by 1 stop, it's fixable in post.



As for quality, the Panasonic HMC40 does deliver. The image is VERY sharp, it has a wide dynamic range, and the colors are rich.

As far as audio, the on camera mic isn't that great, but anyone who wants good audio uses an external mic. Some users have gone with the Panasonic XLR adapter ($300), some have gone with third party XLR adapters, like the BeachTek ($150 and up), and some have gone with 1/8" stereo mics.

I have the BeachTek XLR Adapter and the Azden SGM-2x shotgun mic (about $200).

Another item is a wide angle adapter. The jury is out as to which is the better choices but, the Century Optics 0.5x Wide Angle looks interesting and the Raynox HD-3035PRO Semi-Fisheye Conversion Lens (0.3x, 37mm) $125 or the Raynox HD-6600 Pro 43mm 0.66x High Quality Wide Angle Converter Lens $120 might be a good choice. Panasonic makes an adapter for $200.

I'm VERY happy with my HMC40.


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Old January 20th, 2010, 01:29 PM   #4
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Read the comments from folks who get an HM100 and read to comments from folks who get an HMC40.

A lot of folks do seem quite happy with the HM100, and it sounds like a decent camera on the whole, although apparently there are at least a few issues. The sticker price seems a bit of a shocker though, for a small three 1/4" imaging chip cam, at least to me.

As far as I can tell, most folks with an HMC40 are perhaps a bit more than simply quite happy with the camera - and closer to bordering on ecstatic. Most of us had experiences akin to having our eyes pop out when we first looked at some footage from it. I'm sure we can all find some weaknesses (every cam has some), but generally they seem to be pretty minor (if not downright trivial). Bottom line is, the HMC40 is designed quite well, handles nicely and is very comfortable to shoot with - AND yields absolutely stunning images that can knock your socks off. Oh, the price is a bit of a shocker too - that is, how low it is.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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For the JVC money, move up to the HMC-150 for bigger sensors. Otherwise save your money for other essential tools and go with the 40. A friend has the 40 and I can't tell you how impressed I am with it.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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An HMC150 isn't necessarily a move up (at least from an HMC40). You get bigger sensors, with the inherent capability of shooting in dimmer lighting, but with footage shot in adequate lighting conditions, you give up a lot of image detail and also have to contend with touchier focus (shallower depth of field - certainly not always a plus). For a lot of purposes, I'd much rather have an HMC40 than an HMC150.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #7
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These are both nice cameras IMO, but unless the price difference is irrelevant, and the instantly editable FCP friendly file format is important, i find it hard to see why anyone would go for the JVC. The Panasonic looks like a great bargain right now.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #8
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With the HMC40 available at almost half the price, I sort of wonder how JVC is able to sell enough HM100s to keep the assembly line running. I can see the HM100's ability to record MPEG-2 perhaps being vital to a few folks, but for the vast majority it's simply got to be a far more expensive cam without any really notable advantages. I'm surprised the HM100 hasn't come down in price a lot.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:12 AM   #9
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I am HM100 owner and the answer isn't that simple. It depends on your output and type of work. However if is your hobby Panasonic is a clear winer, just by price tag vs. features. However if you deal with any broadcast HM100 will fit the bill, as XDCAM codec is accepted by the specs and AVCHD (regardless of the flavor) is not at the moment.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 03:07 PM   #10
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I've always said that the perfect camera does NOT exist and there's always a trade-off between cameras. Subject to a person's needs/wishes, one camera may be better than another and a different person with different needs/wishes will pick the other model.

The Panasonic AG-HMC40 fits the student filmmaker, the prosumer, and industrial markets very well.

No question the JVC HM100 does fit the Apple FCP and Broadcast markets where they demand a given CODEC.


I want to point out that within the Broadcast market, some networks don't like the 1/4" image sensors found on both cameras. However, this varies from network to network.


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Old January 21st, 2010, 03:46 PM   #11
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I'd be surprised if broadcasters don't become far more willing to accept AVCHD footage over the next couple years.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 10:22 AM   #12
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The only real advantage that the JVC would have over the Panasonic HMC40 would be the fact that it has CCD's vs. the 40's CMOS chips....if that is an issue for you.
Otherwise the cost disparity is so great I don't know how JVC sells any HM100's.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 12:11 AM   #13
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I have owned both, the only one I have left is the HMC-40. The JVC doesn't handle highlights well, does not offer the adjustablility of HMC-40, the OIS doesn't work very well, etc.. I think unless you really need the XDCAM native workflow it is a no brainer. However, I do think the HMC-40 suffers from IR much like the EX1. Will know for sure this weekend.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 09:54 AM   #14
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How do the two different cameras compare in low light? How do they compare for image detail (resolution)?
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 09:30 PM   #15
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I'd be surprised if broadcasters don't become far more willing to accept AVCHD footage over the next couple years.
There's a small TV Station in Lewiston, Idaho, KLEW. The people who work there are very friendly and are happy to have visitors like me stop by when I'm in the area. (I have some family in the Lewiston, Idaho area, so I go up there every now and then.)

IF I go to Idaho this year, I'll want to show the camera to Greg (the News Director). I'm sure they are thinking about upgrading to HD using higher level cameras, but it will be fun to see how he reacts to the HMC40.


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