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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:26 AM   #1
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low light comparision Canon XHA1 Vs HMC40

just wondering if anyone has moved from on the the other and can give me an opinion on which is better in low light. I'm using 2 GH1's for weddings and thinking of trading the XHA1 in for a HMC40.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #2
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If your budget can take it, the HMC150 does a lot better in low light than the HMC40.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #3
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I realise the 150 is better but I still need a comparison - how do I objectively tell if the HMC40 (or the 150) will give me better low light performance that the XHA1?

I'm assuming someone who has used both is best able to comment
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:32 PM   #4
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You can compare all three cameras at this site, though you will have to settle for the Panasonic HS300 ( which I believe uses the same sensor and optics as the HMC40 ), take a look at the 12 lux image. The HMC150 wins by a mile.

SlashCam Camcorder Comparison Test Charts
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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
I realise the 150 is better but I still need a comparison - how do I objectively tell if the HMC40 (or the 150) will give me better low light performance that the XHA1?

I'm assuming someone who has used both is best able to comment
I have both the XHA1 and HMC150, and can tell you without a doubt the HMC150 has the better low light as compared to the XHA1. Don't get me wrong, the XHA1 is still a great cam with much to recommend it. But the HMC is the better cam in my opinion.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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HMC40 vs XH-A1 Image Quality

What about the IQ of the XH-A1 as compared to the HMC40? I'm looking at getting a used XH-A1 or a new HMC40 for about the same price. Here is my reasoning on why I think I should go with the XH-A1 for now. I do event video as a part time side job (mainly weddings). I currently use a HV20 and HV30, so I could continue to use those cameras to augment the XH-A1. Later, when I decide to upgrade and go tapeless, I could sell my XH-A1 to get the HMC40. At that point, the HMC40 would become my "B' camera and I would also get a Sony NXCAM HXR-NX5U as my main camera. I current have the funds to do all this, but want to wait until the bugs are out the NXCAM and to see more reviews on it. Any comments, suggestions and/or errors in my reasoning would be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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I would also get a Sony NXCAM HXR-NX5U as my main camera. I current have the funds to do all this, but want to wait until the bugs are out the NXCAM and to see more reviews on it. Any comments, suggestions and/or errors in my reasoning would be greatly appreciated.
If you've got the funds for the NX5U, then why not go for the HMC-150 ?

It's reliable, it's a great low-light camera, and it's cheaper.

The NX5U has great specs, but seems to be quite buggy right now, though I expect this will get ironed out later this year. ( I plan on buying the Panasonic AF100 next year, once it's out and has proven itself. My HMC-150 will then become my quick'n'dirty B camera )
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Old May 17th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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I was originally considering the HMC150 as main camera, but then heard about NXCAM, and also heard of issues like artifacts with them HMC150 and the fact that the images actually had to be upscaled to get 1080 (I must say that I didn't really investigate those issues, because I like the specs of the NXCAM better - minus the CMOS of NXCAM vs the CCD of the 150). And the other issue is changing my whole work-flow at the moment. I do have a capable quad core computer with 8gb ram and use Sony Vegas Pro 9 64bit. And I also like the security of tape, although I know I'll be tapeless before the end of the year.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #9
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I was originally considering the HMC150 as main camera, but then heard about NXCAM, and also heard of issues like artifacts with them HMC150
I've owned my HMC150 for almost one year now, and have never experienced any kind of artifacting shooting a wide range of corporate and live event subjects.

The only HMC150 artifacting I have ever come across was in the DVXUSER.COM forums, where some users were having severe problems with certain versions of Final Cut Pro, which were later fixed with a Final Cut update. This is completely a Final Cut issue, though I strongly recommend any FCP user to purchase Cineform's NEO SCENE software which will fix a number of issues that FCP has with AVCHD video. I have made NEO SCENE part of my editing workflow with Sony Vegas Pro 9, mainly because it takes care of any telecine'd 24P / 30P footage that I occasionally get from other cameras, and the same identical file can be worked on with a Mac or PC editor.

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and the fact that the images actually had to be upscaled to get 1080
Yes, this is true for the Panasonic HVX200, HPX170, and HMC150 cameras, but it's really not as big a deal as you might imagine. If maximum resolution is a big issue for you, then you really should be looking at the Sony EX-1r, as the NX5U has lots of problems right now, and I am wondering if all of them will eventually be fixed.

Myself, I chose the Panasonic cameras because I like the Panasonic "Film Look" which I find is a lot more like real film than just about any other camera on the market. I don't care so much about maximum resolution so much, as the difference is really not that big.

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And the other issue is changing my whole work-flow at the moment. I do have a capable quad core computer with 8gb ram and use Sony Vegas Pro 9 64bit.
Um, and what is the issue here? I use an intel i920 quad core CPU with 6 GB of RAM ( I should upgrade, but I haven't got around to it yet ) running Sony Vegas Pro 9 on Windows Vista Ultimate, and have never experienced any issues editing footage from any camera to date. ( including many different types of AVCHD footage )

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And I also like the security of tape, although I know I'll be tapeless before the end of the year.
How is digital tape any more secure than other digital formats? I archive to 1 TB HDs, which are quite cheap right now ( less than $80 per TB ), and they work well as a storage medium as long as you run the drive for a few minutes every 6-12 months.

I recently looked at the Sony NX5U for a friend, and saw that currently there are lots of buffer-overflow issues and problems with Gain settings beyond 9+. I personally think that Sony went overboard on the storage options on the NX5U and should have simplified their hardware to get it right. ( In the end my friend ended up buying a used EX-1 with 2 batteries for $4,500, which he will probably turn around and sell next year, once the new large-sensor cameras are out: Panasonic AF100 and any competitors )
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Old May 18th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #10
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Guy,
Thanks for the feedback...all valid points you made. That's more reason why I have to do more research on what's actually available now, and what's soon to come...like the New Canons. If they sell for anywhere near what is being speculated now, they will not be worth it in my opinion. But they could (and should) sell for considerably less when they finally hit the street (just as was the case the HMC40). Anyway, I pulled the trigger on a used XH-A1 yesterday, that was an outstanding deal, and I'm sure I'll be able to recoup the cost either in money made with it and/or by selling it in a couple of months (the deal was so good, I may even make a buck or two when I sell it). . This should get me through the summer and let me do more research and see what happens with the new Canons and the bugs with the NXCAM
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Old May 18th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #11
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like the New Canons. If they sell for anywhere near what is being speculated now, they will not be worth it in my opinion.
Yeah, I feel the same way. If these new Canon cameras had come out 2-3 years ago, when the Sony EX-1 and Panasonic HPX170 arrived on the market, then I think Canon could charge these prices, but right now there are far too many less expensive options.

I expect 2011 to be the year when large sensor dedicated video cameras finally arrive, and this could shake things up quite a bit.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #12
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Guy,

Quick question. I have Cineform Neoscene on my PC for editing in Vegas. I have found that when I transcode AVCHD files (Canon HFS10) in Neoscene (it makes them AVIs and I see no other option) that they do not work in FCP7. You stated that they would work in Vegas or FCP, any insight for me on this? (I am aware that you can get Neoscene for Mac - which I trialed, and it worked fine, but since I already have it for PC I was hoping there was a way to transcode them on my PC and then transfer to Mac).

PS - This is Pan HMC150 related, as I am highly considering getting one of them but concerened re: the transcodding workflow.

Thanks,

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Old May 18th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #13
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If you use a Mac, Final Cut Pro will simply automatically convert the AVCHD footage to Apple's ProRes.
No hick-ups, just be prepared to deal with massive files. (I.E.- stop now and go but a bigger hard drive...)
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Old May 19th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tim Lawrence View Post
I have Cineform Neoscene on my PC for editing in Vegas. I have found that when I transcode AVCHD files (Canon HFS10) in Neoscene (it makes them AVIs and I see no other option) that they do not work in FCP7.
Cineform NEO SCENE transcodes AVCHD to the Cineform CODEC, which can be opened, edited, and resaved with any editor that has NEO SCENE installed. So if you transcode with NEO SCENE on your PC, which will create AVI files with your video stored using the Cineform CODEC, you will need to have NEO SCENE for the Mac installed in order to open these files with Final Cut Pro.

Keep in mind that the AVI and MOV file formats are storage containers, that can contain video and audio encoded using lots of different CODECs. When you transcode your video to Cineform CODEC on one platform ( PC ), then you will also need the same Cineform CODEC on the other platform ( Mac ), in order for your video application ( Final Cut Pro, Premiere, etc... ) to be able to open this file.

To my knowledge Cineform is about the only cross platform ( PC / Mac ) editing / archiving CODEC, which is why I was interested in it in the first place. I edit mainly with Sony Vegas Pro, but I also work with lots of Final Cut Pro editors, and NEO SCENE was the only way we could share files and completely bypass ProRes transcoding with FCP.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Lawrence View Post
You stated that they would work in Vegas or FCP, any insight for me on this? (I am aware that you can get Neoscene for Mac - which I trialed, and it worked fine, but since I already have it for PC I was hoping there was a way to transcode them on my PC and then transfer to Mac).
You have to remember that the video is now stored using the Cineform CODEC, which means that the Mac will not be able to open this video without having its own version of the Cineform CODEC.

The exact same issue would be happening if Apple produced the ProRes CODEC for the PC ( not in a million years, because apple wants to keep people using FCP on the Mac ), then I could install ProRes for the PC and be able to open the same FCP ProRes files in Sony Vegas Pro on my PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Lawrence View Post
PS - This is Pan HMC150 related, as I am highly considering getting one of them but concerened re: the transcodding workflow.
The Panasonic HMC150 is not a perfect camera, but I think it offers a lot of great features at a reasonable price. Eventually, I expect I will buy a large sensor ( APS-C or 4/3 size ) prosumer video camera once they are out, and I find one that I like, but I strongly feel that I will still keep my HMC150 for the quick'n'dirty jobs, where I want deep depth-of-field, and not have to worry about focus pulling with every shot. ( I love the shallow DOF look, and thought the season finale of the TV show "House MD" was amazing considering it was shot entirely with Canon 5D MKII DSLR cameras, but I also realize that working with shallow DOF can be a burden when you want to work quickly on small shoots. )
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Old May 19th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Marc S. Brown View Post
If you use a Mac, Final Cut Pro will simply automatically convert the AVCHD footage to Apple's ProRes. No hick-ups, just be prepared to deal with massive files. (I.E.- stop now and go but a bigger hard drive...)
If you use Cineform's NEO SCENE software, you can bypass the whole Apple ProRes process, and end up with files that are then editable on both the Mac and the PC. ( provided NEO SCENE is installed on both platforms ) The Cineform files are also generally smaller than the ones that ProRes creates on the Mac.
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