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Old March 28th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #1
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Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

I am definitely not a professional video person. But I like the looks and the sample video that this Panasonic camera (AG HMC150 ) takes. My other video camera is a Canon GL2 mini pro. That camera basically is point and shoot.

I'm still trying to learn the many, I mean many dials this Panasonic has.

A few days ago, I decided to take a video of my mom walking with my 1 year old grandson. It was a very sunny day. But when I got back and looked at my results, all the frames were practically "white" and I could vaguely see my video although the video was okay.

Knowing little about this camera, my question is should I have set my ND filter to 1/64? Should I have set other dials before begining shooting my video? I always thought all the dials were factory set and ready for action.

Need your tips and advice.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 08:56 PM   #2
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

The HMC150 is not a point and shoot camera...

Now that this has been established, there are many factors that can contribute to your issue. Set the camera to manual control to start. Theres a switch on the side that has [AUTO] and [MANUAL]. Slide it to manual.

Now you can really get the most out of this camera. You can change the shutter speed. A faster speed produces a darker image. Try setting it to 500 to start. Next is the iris. Thats the little scroll wheel on the side of the camera towards the [ZOOM] and [FOCUS] rings. The last thing you should use is the ND filters. If the shutter speed and iris aren't enough, then flip the switch to 1/4 to start.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

Thanks for that response. I like your comment. Going manuel, I guess it does mean I lost my auto-focus, so now I have turn the front camera lens to get in focus. Is this correct?
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Old March 29th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

Not at all.

Theres a switch next to the ND filter switch for the focus. Theres [AUTO], [MANUAL] and [INFINITE] focus options.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

My question now is on Focusing. I will follow your tip on going "manual" at 500 speed.

Since I have my HMC 150 in manual mode, should I switch from auto focus to manual focus? Also if in manual focus, should I activate the EVF DTL (peaking) and focus assist buttons?

In reading about focusing, I many misunderstood what the instruction were. I thought I read if I was in manual mode, it will not affect my focus in auto mode. Is this correct?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #6
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

Hi Melvin

The 150 still has the tiny EVF that makes manual focussing tricky (hence the DTL and assist features) Unless you can see the autofocus is struggling it would be better to stay with it anyway!! A lot of 150 owners now invest in a HD monitor top help focussing issues. The Panny cameras do a pretty good job of auto focus in most situations..I have been using Panasonic for close on 20 years now and I have hardly ever had an auto issue. The HMC80 has moved to having a 3" EVF now with decent magnification which makes focussing easier but the 150 still has the tiny EVF at the end of a long tunnel like my older cameras and it's hard to get a sharp image sometimes so trust the auto focus..it will seldom be wrong!!

Until you get to know the camera, why not shoot in full auto ???? It's not a point and shoot camera but with focus and exposure on auto it almost becomes one!!!

Once you are comfortable with the controls then start to play with manual exposure...shutter speeds are not "cut and dried" at all. You would probably need around 1/50th shooting indoors ... use the zebras to your advantage..they will tell you quickly if you are over-exposing or not...

Chris
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Old March 31st, 2011, 02:43 AM   #7
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

Thank you Mike.

I did take my HMC 150 and see how the zebras work. First of all, I set zebra one at 70 percent and zebra two at 100 percent. But I am sticking to zebra one for now. Looking into the LCD, I a vertical white line on the left side of my screen with numbers continously changing. That must be the Zebra one line.

How do I adjust my exposure when I see my screen is very bright on a very sunny day? I presume when I see that, my zebra one number will be very high. Is this correct?

If you look at my original post above, I did have it at full auto-focus, but all my clips was practically all white and vaguely you could see any of my video shots. What could I have done to prevent that?

So now I got my zebra one on and I need to know how to make that adjustment when the number goes high.

Last edited by Melvin Partido; March 31st, 2011 at 03:59 AM. Reason: update.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 07:36 AM   #8
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

Hi Melvin

Dunno who Mike is in these posts but I haven't used a 150 for ages so I can remember how they indicate. On my HMC82 I have diagonal lines that appear over blown out areas. OK, in the absence of Mike, you need to control the amount of light that is coming into the camera and that's done with your shutter speed and iris. A low shutter speed will let in more light than a fast one and the iris controls just how much light comes in. Start indoors where you dont have too much bright light and set your shutter to 1/50th..then open and close the iris to let more or less light in and you will see as you close the iris, the picture gets darker and when you open the iris the picture will get brighter.

Once outside in bright sunlight even with the iris almost closed, the picture will be very overexposed at 1/50th shutter speed so you need to set the shutter speed higher before adjusting the iris.

I would truely suggest that you get yourself a book on basic photography so you can learn and understand what the functions of shutter and iris (photo call it aperture) and how it is controlled with still photos. It's really essential to learn some basics about light, controlling light and mastering depth of field before you even think about playing in manual especially with an HMC150.

Once you understand the theory of photography, which also applies to video then you will be able to also understand when people here talk about shutter speed, iris etc etc.

Chris
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Old March 31st, 2011, 12:28 PM   #9
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

I don't have any reason why I called you "Mike." Maybe its the excitement of handling this HMC 150, a first in my life of having a pro-camcorder.

I do have a little knowlege of exposures (F-stops, Shutter speeds) since I also own a pro still Canon camera that I used a lot.

Chris, what I am trying to convey is since I am going with full "auto", does it mean I have to switch back to manual in order to change my F-stop or shutter speed?

One important thing that I also trying to convey, is the "step by step" on how to do it. In other words, when I am indoors, how to do that adjustment you mention. The same goes when I go outdoors.

I believe the whole confusion is auto and manual. Do I take it off auto inorder to adjust my exposure. Than go back to auto.

Thanks for your understanding, patience and advise. I am going to make it an effort to learn this wonderful camera. All my life I been using, point and shoot. So this is very new to me

I wish I could find a tutorial on this camera.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

Hi Melvin

Not a problem at all. Most, if not all cameras have a "full auto" setting which will allow you basically to point and shoot. I shoot weddings and I often use full auto on my cameras!! Sometimes it's a lot easier and better when everything is happening around you to have the camera do the work for you. In my opinion as you as the lighting is reasonable and the sun/main lighting is behind or to the side of you then there is nothing wrong with shooting in full auto!!

Where a scene does present an issue then you might have to use manual..where there is harsh backlighting that causes the camera to under-expose ...then use manual. Yes, you must physically switch to manual before you can change any shutter or iris settings.

There are a couple of books on the 150 but I would just grab the advanced pdf manual online and make sure you know when to switch to manual and when to stay in auto.

Just because the 150 has "lots of dials" (the 82 has a huge array of controls too!!!) you don't HAVE to use them. If you are getting great results from running in full auto then why change?????

Chris
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 02:58 AM   #11
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Re: Need Assistance on my AG HMC150P

Thank you Chris.. This AG HMC 150 is very expensive video camera. It was something that I wanted to get. To me its a very beautiful built video camera. But I'll start with the point and shoot and work myself up and learn the full potential of this camera - very slowly.

If you got any other tips on taking video shots or tips on using this camera, please don't hesitate to send me a tip or two. Thanks again Chris.
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