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Old October 29th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #1
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Hmc40 vs hmc70

I am looking for some feedback from someone that has experience with these two cameras. We shoot mainly weddings and currently have an HMC40 and an older DVC60. The DVC60 is getting tired and its time to replace it with an HD camera. I've been very happy with the HMC40, in low light situations we use appropriate lights and have no problem. I am considering the HMC80 which I assume will perform the same as the 40. Would the 70 be better, worse, or the same in low light as the 40/80?
I understand the 80 would have better manual control etc... but I am mainly interested in a low light comparison.

Thanks
Adam
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Old October 29th, 2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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Hi Adam

I have 2 x HMC72's which work well but over here are now "obselete" as they are replaced by the HMC80

It seems logical to rather replace your DVC60 with the HMC80 as all it really is, is the 70 body with the 40's electronics inside so it will match your existing HMC40 perfectly. Are HMC70's still available??? My supplier has already taken them off his camera list!!!

Chris
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Old October 29th, 2010, 11:37 PM   #3
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Be aware that the HMC70 only shoots 1080 line interlaced video (1080i60), has considerably lower resolution imaging chips (than the HMC40 or HMC80) and the highest quality recording bitrate is only 13Mbps. Frankly, I'd much, much sooner get a TM300 or TM700 palmcorder, than an HMC70.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 04:54 AM   #4
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Hi Robert

I don't think it's all about sensors and electronics !! If I used a palmcorder for weddings I would be laughed at. Besides I cannot see myself getting the sort of stable shots with a camera the size of a TM700. My biggest issue has always been stability for handheld shooting and decent audio. The 70 has a really good XLR setup which for me is way more important than being able to record at 24mps ..I get a pretty decent image even at 13mbs and the fact that I have a shoulder-mount camera with XLR audio far outweighs the facility to record at a higher bitrate especially for clients who need the end product on DVD anyway.

If Adam is used to a DVC60 I doubt whether he would be overly impressed with the tiny form of the TM700.

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2010, 05:09 AM   #5
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On the other hand, an HMC70 could be a really big let-down, for HD image quality, after getting used to what the HMC40 can deliver. (An HMC80 would be perfect for shooting side by side with an HMC40 though.)
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:18 AM   #6
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Hi Robert

Over on this side of the pond there is no argument between 70's and 80's anymore as the HMC72 has already been replaced by the 80 from my supplier and is no longer available. We seem to have a strange setup here...the 40 is NTSC and the 41 and 42 is PAL (no idea why they have two models) However the 80 series have yet to come out as an 81 or 82 !!!

I do agree that an 80 and 40 will work very well side by side as the electronics/optics are virtually identical. My next set will most definately be a pair of 80's ... I would have thought that the 70's would have also been discontinued in the USA as well???? I'm due for an upgrade in around 8 months!!

The 80 has some VERY desirable features on it and a lot of functions have moved to the body rather than being menu driven!! I do a lot of Realty shoots which don't need HD so the new SD function on the 80 would also save me from transcoding AVCHD down to AVI.

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2010, 10:55 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I am leaning toward the 80, my main question was low light capability. I didn't know if the 70 would be better with the ccd chips for low light. I love the 40 but 90% of the time I have to use extra lighting at receptions.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 11:29 AM   #8
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The HMC40 and the HMC80 use the exact same lens and image sensors. So, both cameras will have the exact same image quality and limits on low light.


Bob Diaz
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 02:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Haro;
Thanks everyone for the replies. I am leaning toward the 80, my main question was low light capability. I didn't know if the 70 would be better with the ccd chips for low light. I love the 40 but 90% of the time I have to use extra lighting at receptions.
Isn't this really true of any HD camera? While some cameras may be a bit better in low light situations I wouldn't really consider it enough to not use a light for any of them. Then again I always used a light even with a 2/3" Sony dsr500 dvcam camera. Let me tell you any of these HD cameras fall into the must use a light category.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 06:20 PM   #10
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Hey Adam

At receptions I automatically clip an on-camera light on my B-Cam ... when the lights are dimmed for the first dance I don't think any camera would give you a crisp clean image...it's just part of doing weddings that you will need a light.

My wedding last weekend was almost done "light free" as the hall was setup with 2 banks of strip lighting and you could either have one or both on!! Even with one on it was like daylight ...!!! Didn't do much for the mood but the cameras thought it was daytime!! During the first dance the only thing they could do is turn off all the lights and use the DJ's effect lights. Great mood but again, no camera would have handled it without a light!!

Love to hear your thoughts on the 80 if you get it???? I'm looking at a pair next season!

Chris
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Old November 4th, 2010, 01:08 PM   #11
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It just occurred to me, if the HMC70's 3-1/4" CCDs perform anything like the 3-1/4" CCDs in the consumer camcorders that Panasonic came out with around the same time frame, the HMC80 (and 40) should perform far and away better in less than ideal lighting.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #12
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Hi Robert

Back in 2007 I actually had a GS500 which is considered "semi-prosumer" and that had 1/4" CCD's and they performed nowhere near as well as the HMC70 chips. They were a disaster in low light so Panasonic must have done something (either chips or processing) to enable the cameras to perform way better with an image that's a lot bigger!! In fact I also had (for just one season) our PAL equivalent of the DVC20 that has minute 1/6" CCD's and that also performed way, way better than the domestic cams of the same era that had the 1/4" chips.

I have always had a dislike for CMOS chips after seeing footage from Sony's single chip HD1000...terrible grain in low light but I must admit the the HMC40 low light images even at 18db gain are pretty good and Panasonic seem to have sorted out the old "jello" problems with CMOS chips now (unless I'm wrong) You do still get the odd weird effect if you film a picket fence from a moving vehicle but they certainly have come a long way. The way I see it is if you can add a little extra light then the camera will be a lot happier regardless of the size/type of sensor. With the cost and convenience of LED lighting there is really no reason not to have an LED light on the cam so you have backup should you encounter a low light area that needs an extra squirt of light!!

Chris
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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #13
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I was thinking of the SD9. I don't know if it uses the same block as the 70 or not, but it was pretty weak in dim lighting.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #14
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Hi Robert

Quite feasible!! To cut costs manufacturers would look at using a common CCD block. However the GS500 also had 1/4" chips and it's low light was awful. My 72's are way better so maybe they process differently??? The 70 effectively gives a pretty good still image of 1920x1080 pixels yet the 500 gave poor stills that were a mere 787x576 (for the PAL model)

I think it must be processing as well cos the HMC40 boasts an effective 10 megapixel still image yet is only using 1/4" 3MOS chips???

I wonder what the total pixel count is for the SD9 ...I don't have a manual!!! The 72's manual says 560K x 3

Chris
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Old November 10th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #15
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Thanks everybody for the replies and Chris for your experience with the 72.
I think I am going to go a different direction altogether. The HMC40 suits my needs for audio and as a good traditional video camera. I just saw the new Canon 60D DSLR yesterday. I think that will work great as a second camera. We've been experimenting with a Pentax K-X and have really like the vDSLR footage.
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