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Old October 31st, 2010, 10:49 PM   #1
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Hmc 40 vs Nex VG10

Does anyone have both of these cams and can answer some questions?
I had an HMC 150 but sold it. A little to much cam for me. It was awesome though. Currently researching these 2 cams. Am not a pro but shoot some friends weddings and family gatherings and stuff. I like the option of interchangeable lenses but if the video isn't great, then not for me. Went back using my SR11 but to limited. Am presuming the hmc40 shoots real close to the hmc150 video quality, does it? How well does sony's 1 sensor stack up against pannys 3? Which has better low light? This is a big one for me. Anything you want to mention for comparison would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 04:49 AM   #2
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Hi neighbor. Greetings from Watkins (about 20 miles south of STC). The HMC150 and HMC40 are both made by Panasonic, and record AVCHD to SDHC cards, but the imaging blocks are really quite different. The 40 can give you a notably sharper image (more comparable to an NX5U than an HMC150), given ample lighting, but the 150 will hold up much better than the 40 when the lights start get dimmed way down (like at a wedding reception). With the sheer size of the sensor in the VG10, one would think it would do pretty well in low light, but that's not necessarily going to be true. If Sony is skipping reading rows of pixels from the 14 megapixel imaging sensor (like DSLR's do - as I understand it) in order to acquire data quickly enough from the imaging sensor for recording video, the low light performance will suffer significantly, since only a portion of the total surface area of the chip is being used to collect light that's actually being used for video imaging - and Sony's 11 lux minimum illumination spec (using the kit lens) would seem to indicate that it's not hardly any sort of low-light champ at all.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 11:36 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply neighbor. I was all pumped when sony anounced the VG10 but from what I have been reading, the low light performance is lacking. I originally wanted the hmc40 but jumped the gun and bought the hmc150. As I said, it was a bit to much camera for what I want it to do. Sold it. Am looking for something in between. You own the hmc40? do you have the telephoto lense (think its x1.4)? Would like a little more zoom but not anything super. Was also considering a sony cx550. The low light is supposed to be real good. But then am back to lack of controls similar to my SR11. The SR11 takes awesome video, but suffers in low light. Will keep on researching. thanks again.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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By "a bit to much camera" (the 150), do you mean physical size (to large and/or heavy)?

I don't have any desire to get a telephoto adapter for the 40, but I would like to get a wide angle adapter. The 40 isn't very wide at it's widest. I rarely use the 40 fully zoomed (not sure I ever have, and certainly not hand-held), but would certainly like to be able to go wider. Actually, from widest to fully zoomed, the 40 gives you pretty darn close to the same zoom range you would get with a 1.4x adapter attached to the front of a 150. In 35mm equivalent terms, the 40 is 40.8-490mm and the 150 is 28-368mm (multiplied by 1.4x, the 150 would yield a 35mm equivalent of 39.2-515.2mm).

I don't really know how the HMC40 would compare to a SR11 (or CX550) in low light, but I am very impressed at how clean the gain is with the HMC40 (which, as a practical matter, makes the HMC40 a far better low light performer than one would think, by simply looking at 0dB gain images). I've never seen another camcorder that yields nearly as clean images with gain turned up. I don't even hesitate to go up to 12dB with the 40, if needed.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 11:24 PM   #5
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The size of the hmc150 is a bit large for on the go filming. But, it wasn't made to be a consumer cam anyway. To much for me as way to many settings to get the perfect capture in any particular setting. Don't get me wrong, this cam can film in any situation. I wanted more control on settings, coming from a consumer cam, but not that many. Probably would have learned in time. The 40 seems scaled down compared to the 150 (more automated but can tweak in areas), but more powerful than consumer cams. If I read right, the VG 10 films in 60i only whereas the 40 has more options. Wish I could get one in my hands to get a feel of it and look at the controls. Probably the best way to do this.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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The VG10 shoots 30p in a 60i wrapper.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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The HMC40 is considerably smaller (and lighter) than the HMC150, but you do have most the same manual controls available, although largely accessed differently (more settings adjusted through a touchscreen on the HMC40). That's not to say you have to use the manual controls. You certainly have the option of shooting on "auto-pilot", like with a consumer camera. Maybe we can grab a cup of coffee or something, sometime when I'm up in St. Cloud with the 40.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #8
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Sounds good to meet. Would enjoy seeing the hmc40 up close. How's accurate is the auto mode? I know the 150 would fish a little trying to get a good focus on auto. Otherwise it was an outstanding camcorder.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #9
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I don't know that auto focus with the HMC40 works any better or any worse than standard auto-focus on another HD camcorder. Auto focus pretty much sucks, like with any other non-Canon HD camcorder, although relatively deep DOF from 1/4" imaging chips (as opposed to shallower DOF with larger imaging chips) does help mitigate that (a bit more forgiving). Canon's instant auto focus can work surprisingly well, while I've never seen standard auto focus work well on any HD camcorder from anybody. Drop me an email through here, with your phone number, and I'll give you a ring sometime.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 02:18 AM   #10
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Since the HMC40 is newer and has smaller chips, I'd expect the auto focus to be better than the HMC150 although that's just an educated guess.
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