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Old June 2nd, 2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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1080i vs 720p with the HMC150/40

I've owned a Panasonic AG-HMC40 since Dec. of '09 and recently purchased the HMC150. I've been very happy with the hmc40 but wanted to expand to higher quality video and a more professional cam so that's why I went with the 150. I've been doing a lot of research about the 150 on the net and found out some very troubling things about recording modes. Turns out the recording in what I thought was the highest quality setting of 1080i/60 is not the optimum setting for the best quality recording for either the 150 or the 40, and that 720p which is what I thought is a lower resolution may not be after all. From what I've read, 1080i is of course two fields of interlaced scan lines that make up a frame of video, the two fields being only 540 lines each, both of which you may not be seeing at any given time but because they are being shown at such a fast scan that your eye percieves that you're seeing one frame at a time. From what they're saying, this means that 1080i means that you're really only getting 540 lines of actual resolution...am I right or am I wrong? I am quite dissappointed to say the least, especially since I forked out a ton of money to purchase the 150 and now I'm finding out that I have to use a lower resolution recording mode in order to get the best quality picture from either cam that I own. So the way they break it down is this: 1080i is on the bottom,..720p is on top of that,...and 1080p is the best resolution of all. Both cams, the 150 and the 40 record in 1080p, but also from what I've read, THAT mode may not be practical to use because of the increased compression and the what it puts your cpu through to process it. They also say that 1080p doesn't do well with fast action like 720p does, among other things. I'm going to experiment with the different recording modes, but from what I've read, 720p/60, or 720p/30 or 720p/24 are the best recording modes for me to use with my 150, mainly because of the fact that it's progressive as opposed to interlaced. If anyone can share their opinion and let me know if I'm wrong or if there's another alternative to how I should record with the 150, or the 40 please feel free to share in this debate.
Thanks.

Mike Lozano.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 12:48 AM   #2
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Well...parts of what you have heard are correct. Personally, I found 1080 30p to be great for my workflow. I have a very fast computer so processing isn't an issue.
I don't do a lot of fast motion stuff but using your shutter speed adjustments will help with that.
Here's why the 150 (and my friend's 40) work well for me. Most of my deliverables are web 720p or DVD. Shooting at 1080p allows me to scale and "play" with framing or zoom if needed.
I have found the 40 a bit sharper image-wise but really dislike the buried controls. I just like the layout and pro audio options of the 150. That plus 1/3" sensors (better low light performance) are what you shelled out the extra money for.
When I first got the 150, I did go through all the modes and 720 60p looks amazing. I tried the 1080 60i but I hate dealing with interlacing.

As some will add, the 150 and 40 are killer cameras for their price points BUT not considered "pro HD". They are very nice pro-sumer cams. For me they do the job and in my client's eyes, they are perfect. It's only under pro scrutiny that they don't hold up.

My advice is stop researching, start using and if it fits your client's needs...you made the right choice.
It's easy with ANY camera to research yourself into buyer's remorse.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 02:04 AM   #3
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progressive all the way
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 11:18 PM   #4
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Without going into all the details, the 'sweet spot' for the 150 is probably 720P, whereas the HMC40 has a higher resolution sensor and is noticeably sharper using its 1080P24 or 1080P30 modes.

However for sports etc, you may nevertheless find you prefer 720P60, on either camera, for its motion rendering.

There is no one answer really - depends on the kind of footage you are shooting , and how it will be distributed/displayed.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
Well...parts of what you have heard are correct. Personally, I found 1080 30p to be great for my workflow. I have a very fast computer so processing isn't an issue.
I don't do a lot of fast motion stuff but using your shutter speed adjustments will help with that.
Here's why the 150 (and my friend's 40) work well for me. Most of my deliverables are web 720p or DVD. Shooting at 1080p allows me to scale and "play" with framing or zoom if needed.
I have found the 40 a bit sharper image-wise but really dislike the buried controls. I just like the layout and pro audio options of the 150. That plus 1/3" sensors (better low light performance) are what you shelled out the extra money for.
When I first got the 150, I did go through all the modes and 720 60p looks amazing. I tried the 1080 60i but I hate dealing with interlacing.

As some will add, the 150 and 40 are killer cameras for their price points BUT not considered "pro HD". They are very nice pro-sumer cams. For me they do the job and in my client's eyes, they are perfect. It's only under pro scrutiny that they don't hold up.

My advice is stop researching, start using and if it fits your client's needs...you made the right choice.
It's easy with ANY camera to research yourself into buyer's remorse.
Thanks for your reply. I should point out that I don't have buyer's remorse on my purchase of the 150, and I do realize that it's not a "pro" camera as well as the hmc40, I'm just a bit confused on these issues with the recording modes. So, from what you are telling me, and from what I've read so far on this on other web sites, 720p is the best mode to record with the 150, as far as resolution and fast motion, but 1080p is supposed to be a higher resolution but just not good for fast motion...am I correct so far?...or does 720p look better even than 1080p? You see, this is where it's getting confusing to me. I guess I'll just have to experiment with these different modes to see which one looks the best. As far as the hmc40,...I cannot believe that the 40 which costs a grand less than the 150 has better & sharper resolution than the 150...that really blows me away. That is the one point that is most important to me in a camera is the resolution and sharpness. That is why I bought the 150. So basically, the 150 is better than the 40 in low light...more manual controls...richer color...but not sharpness,..am I right? Then why does one site rate the hmc40 as only coming off with 800 actual lines of resolution, and I've also read that the 40 beats out the 150 on resolution by around 200 lines. That means that the 150 is only getting around 600 lines of actual resolution. Maybe I misread something somewhere, but it just doesn't seem right that the 150 is sacrificing all that sharpness and is still considered a high definition camcorder.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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720x1280, 1440x1080 and 1920x1080 are all valid "high definition" formats.

1080p30 will be sharper than 720p30, given a decent codec and a capable lens on the camera.

But are 1080p30 or 1080i60 "better" than 720p60? Depends on your subject matter (high motion, for example?) and your personal preference when it comes to interlaced vs. progressive.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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Also, google this ... "30p 60i perceived sharpness"
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Old June 4th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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I have been using my HMC-150 for about 6 months and love it compared to my previous XL-2 SD cam, for many reasons. I find that the images are better/ sharper in 1080p30 vs 720p60, but am concerned about fast motion as I tape a lot of sports. I always try to pan and zoom smoothly to prevent any issues and it has worked well. However, I will be recording a dance recital soon (never done one before). Would this be considered fast motion thus best to use 720p60? The final video will be distributed on DVD and maybe some on the web.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mike Juhl View Post
I have been using my HMC-150 for about 6 months and love it compared to my previous XL-2 SD cam, for many reasons. I find that the images are better/ sharper in 1080p30 vs 720p60, but am concerned about fast motion as I tape a lot of sports. I always try to pan and zoom smoothly to prevent any issues and it has worked well. However, I will be recording a dance recital soon (never done one before). Would this be considered fast motion thus best to use 720p60? The final video will be distributed on DVD and maybe some on the web.
I cannot say myself as I have only just recently shot some video with my new 150 and am in the process of burning the footage to blu ray disc. I shot the video at the 720/60p mode because everyone says that's the best mode to shoot with the 150, so I'll know soon how it will look. I also want to experiment with the different record modes to see which one works the best. Then next mode I think I will try will probably be 1080/24p, since everyone says the 150's "film look" comes out looking pretty good. I'm a stickler for sharpness though and I will have to be very impressed with the 150's footage because I also own the HMC40 and a lot of people say that the 40 outdoes the 150 in terms of sharpness in a sunlit day.
You yourself though say you've had the 150 for six months. Haven't you already formed an opinion as far as which record mode looks better for you in terms of fast motion with the 150? I'm concerned about that too and want to know if any of the 1080 modes can compare with the 720 modes as far as fast motion. Does the 1080 mode seriously compromise fast motion that much? Let me know.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #10
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Barry green once thought the sweet spot was 720P. He changed his mind. Now likes1080P better.

And never anything interlaced!
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