bummed out - is it just me or is it the camera (HMC 150) at DVinfo.net

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Old October 5th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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bummed out - is it just me or is it the camera (HMC 150)

Well I thought I had found the perfect second camera, I got a HMC 150 a few weeks ago...I love everything about it, all the wonderful button placement and manual controls in all the right places, the way it felt to handle. I was in heaven...UNTIL I started looking at the footage. I had tried all the various scene files and some custom ones, but the output is just not that sharp and some areas almost look blocky. I had been using a canon hv30 and as far as sharpness it does rings around the 150. I had read this camera was not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am at the point where I am about to sell this camera...and I don't think I can find anything out there with as good as controls in the same price range. Anyone else feel the same about this camera or do you just live with it?? John
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Old October 7th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #2
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Can you post some footage to show what you mean?
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Old October 7th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #3
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I had been using a canon hv30 and as far as sharpness it does rings around the 150.
...It`s just you. :-)

I`ve owned my HMC-150 for about 15 months now and feel that it has been the best video camera I have owned so far. It has worked flawlessly for me since day one.

I knew from research I did before buying the camera that the HMC-150 / HVX-200A / HPX-170 cameras are NOT the sharpest HD cameras on the market. ( according to Panasonic guru and author Barry Green, the HMC-150 records a 1440x810 pixel image, and the other P2 cameras I mentioned are slightly lower res ) This does not bother me in the slightest as I bought the camera for it`s ability to shoot a film-like image, and not for maximum resolution. ( If maximum resolution had mattered to me I would have bought a used Sony EX-1 for the same price )

I`ve seen far too many people groan about maximum sharpness when discussing HD cameras, but they seem to be completely ignorant when it comes to the other aesthetics of image quality. They really don`t get the concept that sharpness DOES NOT equal the visual quality of an image.

...I was DOP on a friends 15 minute indy film this summer, which I shot with the HMC-150. After the premiere of the film I had a couple of experienced cameramen grill me on how I was able to shoot such natural looking color, and were pretty surprised when I mentioned that I used the HMC-150.

Next Spring I plan on buying a Panasonic AF-100 which will not replace my HMC-150, as I will still use it for "run'n'gun" and live event shoots.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #4
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Hey Guy, yeah I guess I have to just get used to the look and feel, but I also do love the camera and all the nice features..but I think like you I will go for the AF 100 soon..but I will want to see some footage out of that one and see if it will look similar to the hmc 150...John
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Old October 7th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #5
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I've had mine for quite a while now and am starting to feel an upgrade is in order. Stuff I shoot looks fine until I got into the dslrs and DOF aside, theres just such a difference in the clarity. I recently hired a shooter for an out of state project and he had an ex1r. Getting his footage really put me on this track. It's a different level of camera. More interested in the XF300 than the Sony though.
Once again, the 150 is a great camera, right choice for the time i bought it and budget I had in mind. I just really want that super clear picture that paying double the price will give me! Ugh!
Plus I may be shooting some stuff for broadcast later this year and the 150 probably won't be acceptable. The 7d won't work well either as it's live event and will be longer than 12 minute segments!
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Old October 7th, 2010, 11:46 PM   #6
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but I think like you I will go for the AF 100 soon..but I will want to see some footage out of that one and see if it will look similar to the hmc 150
I plan on buying one next May, as I figure that any production bugs will be sorted out by then. I don't expect the AF100 will look exactly like the HMC-150 footage, but it will have all of the pro video features that I've grown used to. My HMC-150 will be kept for the quick'n'dirty shoots, where I just want to grab a camera and go. The AF100 will be for higher end corporate work and indy films.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #7
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Stuff I shoot looks fine until I got into the dslrs and DOF aside, theres just such a difference in the clarity. I recently hired a shooter for an out of state project and he had an ex1r. Getting his footage really put me on this track. It's a different level of camera.
I've played with it, though I find the EX-1/3 cameras awkward for handheld shooting.

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More interested in the XF300 than the Sony though.
The Canon XF300/305 cameras look very solid, but they should have been out about 2 years ago. If I was going to spend that kind of money today I would also consider the Panasonic HPX370 which costs a little more.

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I just really want that super clear picture that paying double the price will give me! Ugh! Plus I may be shooting some stuff for broadcast later this year and the 150 probably won't be acceptable.
A couple of members have shot documentaries for HD broadcast with the HMC-150 and no complaints were heard about the footage.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 01:07 AM   #8
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I think most of my wanting to move up is the standard "gear envy" after seeing footage side by side. I've done a lot of projects on the 150 and my clients love it.
That's really the bottom line so we'll see what the future brings. Got a lot of shoots coming up on both my 150 and the 7D. They are tools that serve their purposes in my biz model perfectly. So this isn't complaining about the 150 quality as much as wanting to step up to the next level.

I'll check out the 370 too but I think that form factor won't work quite as well for most of what I do. Plus it's P2 which puts it that much further out of reach knowing how many cards I'd have to buy. I've used the 170 and 200 quite a bit.

Since I'm not in a rush, I can check out the options and maybe Red will release the Scarlet fixed...but that's another story!
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Old October 8th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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So this isn't complaining about the 150 quality as much as wanting to step up to the next level.
This is why I plan on buying the AF100 next year, as I want a camera that gives me everything the HMC150 does, plus shallow DOF and uncompressed out. ( Right now I'm using a Canon 60D to let me play with the shallow DOF look )

Lots of interesting points in this list that Barry Green ( Panasonic guru and author ) has compiled:

Things the AF100 Does, That a Canon DSLR Doesn't
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Old October 8th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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There are some important things on Barry's list, although probably a third are red-herrings. In truth, for a camera costing 8 times what my T2i cost, I'd expect that it would offer a lot of the things it does. But the DSLRs are not about replacing a professional camcorder. They have always been, and will likely continue to be a great compromise.

Despite people continually comparing them to professional video cameras that is not their niche. They are the modern equivalent of 16mm film cameras. And in that context they hold up remarkably well.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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yeah...I've been pretty vocal about the DSLRs being a great tool for specialty shots or b-roll only. I will never be without a true camcorder.
I don't need to duplicate what my 7D does DOF-wise since I love the way it works (plus I do a lot of photography) so I just want a kick-arse camcorder to do what it does best.

Oh..and Guy, if you could loan me an extra $4k to add to my new camera budget, the 370 looks like a monster camera spec-wise! HaHa!

Anyone else catch the price drop on the 150? B&H now at $2995! Tryin to sell used is gonna be painful! (as it always is!)
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Old October 9th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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I don't need to duplicate what my 7D does DOF-wise since I love the way it works (plus I do a lot of photography) so I just want a kick-arse camcorder to do what it does best.
Personally I think the AF100 is a whole new class of prosumer camera that will produce significantly better video and audio than a Canon 7D does.

- Higher resolution. ( real 1080P resolution )
- No more aliasing.
- No more moire rainbows.
- Professional audio.
- Professional camera controls.
- Uncompressed 4:2:2 output

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Oh..and Guy, if you could loan me an extra $4k to add to my new camera budget, the 370 looks like a monster camera spec-wise!
From the reviews I've read it is supposed to be the kick-ass camera in the under $10K range, though I would love to see a comparison between the HPX370 and the XF305.

Going by B&H Photo pricing, the Panasonic HPX-370 costs $2,500 more than the Canon XF300. ( $1,500 more than the XF305 ) It's not pocket change, but when you are investing $5K+ in a new camera you better get the right one.

For my corporate and personal work, I can see the AF100 opening up more higher paying projects than a HPX370 would. ( If I was going after freelance broadcast work then it would definitely be the HPX370 )

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Anyone else catch the price drop on the 150? B&H now at $2995!
This makes sense because of the price/feature competition from the Sony NX5U, and soon from the AF100. If the AF100 is a big hit ( I really think it will be ), I expect that other prosumer cameras to drop in price from market pressure.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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Points well made Guy. The $4k figure was because the 370 needs a few P2 cards!
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Old October 9th, 2010, 12:31 PM   #14
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The $4k figure was because the 370 needs a few P2 cards!
I am still surprised that no company has made a P2 adapter like the SxS one you can buy for Sony cameras.

BTW: I took a look at your online portfolio, you've shot some nice work Robert. Especially like the "jib" shots, nicely done.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #15
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thanks Guy! Still learning the craft!
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