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AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


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Old July 7th, 2012, 05:17 PM   #1
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AC130 vs HMC150

The AC130 looks to be the replacement for the HMC150. I've searched around but haven't gotten much info on what makes it better other than better low light work. Does anyone know? At B&H, it's about 90 bucks more or so, but I'm guessing it's worth the extra 90?

Panasonic AG-AC130 AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder AGAC130PJ B&H

Any other cameras in this price range (low-3000s) coming out soon I should look out for?

Thanks in advance!
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Old July 7th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Hi Ammar

I had 2 x AC-130's from February thru to April and then I sold them. I was very disappointed with the cameras on the whole but you might love them. The biggest issue I found was none of the auto functions worked properly . if you buy it as a manual camera and forget it has any auto controls then it's brilliant...I just felt that if auto functions are provided, they should work and they don't!!

However that's just me ... they are supposedly better than the HMC150 but I certainly wouldn't buy one (or two) again ....if you want 1/3rd chips then the 150 in my eyes is still a better camera!

Chris
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Old July 8th, 2012, 03:49 AM   #3
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

I have a pair of HMC150's that I use for concert work and think they are great. Just added a new AC160 to the mix, due to its ability to shoot in 1080/60P, and use of LPCM audio. But now I need to upgrade to Adobe CS6 to capture that combo and get it on the timeline! Crap.

They really are different beasts. The HMC is best if you prefer CCD's to CMOS of course. The AC160/130 do not have as good an auto focus as the 150 has. Maybe that has changed with the "A" revision....don't know....

So if you want more of a point and shoot rig (and there is nothing wrong with that!) , get the 150.
Otherwise the AC160 /130 is bit better in low light, has the better lens with separate rings for focus, zoom and iris, dual cards, etc. Video quality will be a bit improved because it should be slightly sharper.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

A couple of other differences are; the 130/160 has a longer lens throw than the 150. May be important to you or not. Also the 130/160 has 2 card slots. the 150 has 1. Two slots allow continuous recording since the card are hot swappable.
Your money, your choice.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Thanks for the replies everyone! Looks like the differences aren't that major and I'm just supposing that the newer model will be relevant longer in the future than the older one. Apparently there's a 130A firmware upgrade available for the AC130. Dunno what it does but to me it shows that this camera will still be supported a few years from now. So I'm gonna get an AC130. Only about a hundred bucks more.

Thanks again!
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Old July 8th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

I think the important thing with cameras is to make sure you don't buy them sight unseen and make sure they are the right tool for the job too. Go into the retailer and get one in your hot little hands and make sure that you are happy!

Hope you are happy with what you decide too.

Don??? are you still using the PD170's ?? No HD cameras on the horizon??

Chris
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Old July 8th, 2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Hey Chris, Yep, still using the 170s. IF I continue to shoot next year I MIGHT go to EX1R with something I can use for a B and C camera that would match or at least come close. Not really sure yet.
Using the EX1R handheld won't be a problem since I use the multirig and have already used one on it. It works well with the rig.
Still weighing options for next year but it's looking like IF I do shoot, it's going to be no more than 20-24. ABSOLUTELY! We'll see how it plays out.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Hi Don

I would rather go for the EX-3 ..no rig needed as you can shoot it from the shoulder ..it has a 45 degree pad at the end that tucks in neatly without any rig needed (you can also get an extra shoulder mount too but it doesn't seem necessary) For me the biggest plus is that it has the same EVF as the HMC80!! An LCD inside the housing with the eyepiece over it..magnificent to use and no LCD sunlight issues either!
I'd love the 1/2" chips too!! However batteries are a bit pricey (EX1-R too!!)

I'm sticking to around 20 -25 as well as I'm lazy!!!

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I think the important thing with cameras is to make sure you don't buy them sight unseen and make sure they are the right tool for the job too. Go into the retailer and get one in your hot little hands and make sure that you are happy!

Hope you are happy with what you decide too.

Don??? are you still using the PD170's ?? No HD cameras on the horizon??

Chris
Thanks for the tip. I generally like to do that, but the AC130 isn't officially available in Canada, unfortunately, so I'm stuck making a blind purchase. I'm responsible for purchasing for a student rental house at the University of Toronto, so the right tool just has to be versatile enough for a variety of situations, which is hard to judge, unfortunately. My main concern is the autofocus won't be up to snuff in run and gun situations, but I think we'll be able to put up with it and hopefully the upgrade will help.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 08:21 PM   #10
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Hi Ammar

It's totally up to you of course. I bought the 130's simply because I thought it would be good to have the latest and greatest in technology. I did keep them for 3 months and shot close to 80 hours on the cameras ..it is a better decision to buy something that is going to work well in your environment rather than "having the latest model" I do mainly run 'n gun so my decision was a bad one! I should have bought the HMC150 ...however if my main business was tripod based corporate interviews then they would have been wise purchases.

Hopefully you will assess your usage and needs and buy what will do the job best and not make the same mistake as I did.

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Chris, the reasons I might go with the EX1R vs. the EX3 are; 1) less money 2) not the batterys since they'll both operate of of something other than V-lok or 3 stud, 3) I've used an EX1R on the multirig and had no problem focusing and honestly having used an EX3 in bare condition I found it very hard to hold on my shoulder steadily for any length of time. I'm better off with the multirig. However I do like the EX3 so maybe one of those with some sort of should rig like the stuff Olof make. OR maybe I'll just stick with what I have and say to hell with it all. ;-)
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Old July 9th, 2012, 10:31 PM   #12
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Hi Don

With the AC-130's I learnt my lesson about buying the "latest and greatest" just so you can say "I have the latest camera" ... If the PD170's are doing a great job and you are producing a product that keeps your clients happy then why spend $20,000 on new cameras ???

I would have been totally happy with an SD camera as I supply all my weddings on DVD BUT I simply couldn't find a Panasonic that shot 16:9 in SD only..my DVC20's were great cameras but were only 4:3

I don't think I have ever supplied any client HD footage but the only advantage shooting in AVCHD is that the file sizes are a lot handier (yes, my cameras do shoot in DV format but the files are massive so I would have to change SD cards during a wedding and the end quality is not as good as shooting in 1080 and rendering down to SD.

Like you, I'm running a business and the less I spend on gear the more money I make..I have looked at EX-3's but here they are $7200 (without import duty, tax and batteries) .. so it doesn't make business sense to invest $20K when I make only $75K a year with cameras..I really like to try to restrict my gear purchases and upgrades to no more than 10% of what they will make me. Does that make sense???

Chris
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Old July 10th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #13
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Chris
I think about upgrading if for no other reason I get that bug. Honestly, ask me next year and I'll more than likely still be using my good old 170s. I rent the other cameras when needed. I am for 100% certain not going to be shooting than 20-24 weddings (hopefully closer to 20) so like you I really don't want to nor do I really see a reason to spend money I could easily use to go on more vacations with my wife.
I guess the upgrade thing is just a bug spinning around inside my head. there's lots of room there.

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Old July 22nd, 2012, 04:12 PM   #14
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

Just received it and am pretty happy with it. Have noticed hte issues with autofocus but the huge zom lens and othe rfeatures make it a decent trade off.

I can't find hte focus plane mark, does anyone know where it is?

Also, how well does the hmc40 cut with the ac130? I figure you'd need lots of light to make sure hmc30 exposes well.

Thanks for your help!
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 07:43 PM   #15
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Re: AC130 vs HMC150

I found that the HMC40 has a lot more wow factor on default scene files while the 130 gives you a much more lacklustre image on default so you will need to probably use a profile like the one in F3 to match the cameras. The Leica optics on the 40, 80 and 150 make a big difference to the look!

There really isn't a huge chip difference between the cameras except in very low light and you can safely shoot with the HMC40 up to 12db gain too!! At functions and such, you will still need lighting for either camera. The 130's are somewhat over sensitive in sunlight so make sure you start with the 1/64th ND switched in and reduce according to the light.

I have no idea at all what an HMC30 is??????? Maybe that was a typo??

Chris
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