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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #1
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AG-HMC80 on the way

Well...after much study, budget crunching and a nice Christmas bonus, I finally got off the fence and ordered an AG-HMC80 from my favorite place, B&H. I also purchased the Pani extra high capacity battery, a Pani wide angle lens, the SanDisk 32GB class 10 card and a Tiffen UV filter.
It has the features I'm looking for in the form factor I've been trying to get into. I am aware of the reduced low light performance but am willing to compromise, when needed, with some added lighting. It shoots both HD and SD which is a nice feature. I'll still keep my VX-2100 as a second cam and adjust color as close as possible in post when I do an occasional wedding. Much of my stuff is outdoors. As a hobby videographer, I think I'm going to have a blast with this cam. I had a chance to play with one at WFX in Atlanta recently and was very impressed. I'll post some sample clips when I get it dialed in but am sure it will be as good as the HMC-40 since they use the same sensors.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:52 AM   #2
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Hi Steve

I will follow your comments with interest!!

I'm running 2 x hardworking HMC72's (those are the PAL HMC70's) and have been delighted with their performance and reliability!!!

My next upgrade will have to be 80's so let us know your thoughts after some shoots

Chris
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #3
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Steve,

I also will be watching you comments with interest. I have an HMC40 and love it. According to one of the Panasonic Engineers from Japan, the HMC80 uses the same imaging chips and lens, so all the HD modes should look the same.

HOWEVER, the HMC80 does have the DV mode that the HMC40 lacks, if you get a chance to try this out, please post one of the source files to VIMEO please.


Thanks,

Bob Diaz
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #4
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seconded! :)
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #5
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AG-HMC80 on the way

Looks like the package will be here in NC tomorrow, a day late. UPS got delayed in the snow mess in NY and couldn't do the 2nd day air I paid extra for. So now it's 3rd day air. Do I get a refund...probably not. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some time with this cam.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 11:08 PM   #6
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update: AG-HMC80 on the way

Well... I've had the camera package since New Years eve but limited time to actually shoot some clips. This thing is a major step up from my trusty VX-2100. A big surprise was a new version of Barry Green's HMC book sitting in the bottom of the box. Thank you B&H! His new update includes the HMC-80 which shares many of the HMC-40 and 150's functions. This book is incredible and a must have for anyone purchasing one of these cams. It doesn't take the place of the owners manual but makes sense of all the features of this cam. My biggest challenge will be learning about all the settings and scene files. I shot some brief clips for a few minutes out of the box with the "stock" settings and already like what I see...a very sharp picture. I also discovered that Pani has already issued a firmware update which I promptly flashed to the camera through the SD card. Very easy. I'm trying to get on to the PASS site but it's been down since the weekend. I'll try and have some clips posted after the weekend since I work full time during the week.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #7
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I'm wondering if you guys can answer a simple question about the HMC80, if I have a wireless lav connected to one of the XLR inputs, does the onboard microphone still record to the other channel or not?

Thanks
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Old January 4th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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Hi Jeff

I doubt whether Panny have changed the audio section so on my cams I have my Azden receiver plugged into XLR left channel and normally a RodeVideoMic in the right channel and both record individually.

However you can simply just flick the un-used XLR Channel switch from "Rear" to "Front" and the wireless lav will record to left channel via the XLR and the right channel will get audio from the built-in mic.

Chris
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Old January 8th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #9
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update: AG-HMC80 on the way

I've been studying and familiarizing myself with this camera for the last week when I had some time. I'll be shooting some footage tomorrow at church to see just how bad the low light performance is. I have also loaded two of Barry Green's extreme scene files in the cam from his HMC book. They are "LOLITE" and LONOIZ". I'll play with those and with the default settings as well. As soon as I can get some samples loaded on my NLE, I'll post them for comment.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old January 9th, 2011, 09:36 PM   #10
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Hey Steve

Great!! I would be very interested to know what the SD quality is like on the 80 as well!! I do Realty Video Inspection reports during the week (keeps me occupied as weddings are weekend gigs!!) and they only need to be SD quality. At the moment with the HMC72 I shoot in HD and then have to transcode the footage down to DV-AVI using Panasonic's transcoder. Editing HD isn't an option as these shoots have to be out the same day so I do need fast render times.

Using the HMC80 I could shoot in SD mode and it would take a good 20 mins off my production time which would be great!!!

If you get a chance, shoot a few minutes of SD (just around the house) and the results would be greatly appreciated!

Chris
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Old January 11th, 2011, 02:37 PM   #11
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I'd love to see how it performed in lower light, this is the one of the main reasons that I haven't ordered this camera yet.

I wish I knew how bad it really is in low-light.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Loeffler View Post
A big surprise was a new version of Barry Green's HMC book sitting in the bottom of the box. Thank you B&H! His new update includes the HMC-80 which shares many of the HMC-40 and 150's functions. This book is incredible and a must have for anyone purchasing one of these cams. It doesn't take the place of the owners manual but makes sense of all the features of this cam..
Actually that should be a Thank You to Panasonic. I pay for that book to be in every US Authorized unit.

Have fun!

Jan
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Old January 14th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #13
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re: AG-HMC80 on the way

Jan,

My apologies to you and Panasonic. I think it's great to throw Barry's latest HMC book. It has a wealth of information I can use to learn this camera, which has a lot of nice features. A few folks are waiting for some basic footage and I'll try to get that this weekend.

Best Regards,

Steve
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Old January 15th, 2011, 09:52 AM   #14
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No apology required Steve. Just enjoy learning about your new camera. I really think this camera is the sleeper in my group of triplets this fall. (I had the 3D camera, this one and the AF100.) This one didn't have the high profile that the other two had, but it is the coolest camera in its price range. And it makes pictures like it doesn't have a right to make. ;-) (Costs too little for such gorgeous pictures) I hope you agree.

Best,

Jan
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 12:52 AM   #15
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AG-HMC80 getting my feet wet...

I finally shot some basic footage using nothing but default settings and adjusting the iris. I haven't had a lot of time with the camera and am still learning how to use it properly. I fired up a Vimeo channel and loaded a 1280x720 HD clip in .mp4 of my church rehearsal standing in front of the stage while adjusting the iris to show the different exposures vs. picture. I had a combination of outside light from windows near the stage and soft stage lighting. I noticed after editing that the closest I came to the actual brightness was around the 13-15 db mark. I pulled the audio on this one due to CCLI performing rights restrictions on the song. I edit on Edius 5.51.
This camera does take beautiful footage, but the sensor size does have an effect on how far the iris has to be cranked open. I could adjust shutter and get some extra light in as well but that can get tricky. My other camera is a Sony VX-2100 so I am a little spoiled when it comes to low light shooting. As others have commented about the HMC-40,18db seems to be the safe limit without tweaking some settings.

The link to this video is The AG-HMC80 Channel on Vimeo if you care to look and comment.

I'll have a better chance to put this camera through some different shooting situations soon.
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