Panasonic AG-HMC80 versus Sony FX1 at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 8th, 2016, 09:59 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Creswell Oregon
Posts: 381
Panasonic AG-HMC80 versus Sony FX1

I run a multi-camera live recording/streaming setup currently using three Sony FX1 camcorders. I take the analog component video out and convert to an HD-SDI signal which then runs to the video switcher.

Though the video quality is extremely good, the form factor of the camera isn't ideal. Specifically, no large flat surfaces on the camera body makes mounting the SDI converter box extremely difficult. Further, the FX1 doesn't have an HDMI out. I already have three camera mountable HDMI monitors that would be great for my camera operators to use, except that they won't work with my current setup.

So, I am at the very start of my busy season, when I start to book lots of events. Before I invest in new cameras, I'm going to look into getting a new intercom and tally light system. However, I'm exploring what options exist for cameras that might be a bit more suitable for what I'm doing.

The form factor of the HMC80 is appealing. It looks like I wouldn't have much of a problem mounting the SDI converter box to the side. Having HDMI out, I would be able to use my current monitors, and it looks like the viewfinder might be removable, which would be nice.

My big concern is quality when compared to the FX1 cameras. The live video from the FX1s is quite good. The FX1 uses 3 CCD type sensors at 1/3" where the Panasonic uses a 3MOS sensor at 1/4". I don't plan on doing any in-camera recording, so I only care about the live output. I just don't want to take a step down in quality from what I'm already doing.
My Website -
Adam Grunseth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2016, 10:42 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,273
Re: Panasonic AG-HMC80 versus Sony FX1

Doesn't sound like an upgrade to me. Check out the comparison shot here: Review: Panasonic AG-HMC80 Shouldermount Camcorder - Streaming Media Producer
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2016, 06:43 AM   #3
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 41
Re: Panasonic AG-HMC80 versus Sony FX1

I've had an HMC80 for a little over five years now. I was very excited when I first got it. The shoulder mount form factor, full-raster 1920x1080 chips, XLR audio and recording on standard SD cards all at that price really appealed to me.

I've become much less enamored of it over time. Although it has a shoulder pad, the balance is not good. It's very front-heavy and still requires a lot of effort to hold steady. The tripod socket is not well placed and makes balancing it on a tripod difficult. It's hard to get the servo zoom to make really smooth slow moves.

Under some lighting conditions, mainly at well lit studio type levels, it produces very good and sharp images. Unfortunately, its range is quite limited. It's not much good in low light. The native ISO is equivalent to about 50. In bright outdoor conditions, the builtin automatic ND filter kicks in, but there are still problems with diffraction at small apertures leading to fuzzy pictures. I still have to use an external ND most of the time, a bother. The lens is very subject to flare outside unless used with a large lens shade. The viewfinder is pretty low-res and makes it difficult to follow small objects in motion -- which is probably specific to the kinds of events and subjects I shoot.

I replaced it last spring with a Panasonic PX270 and I'm much, much happier with that camera (even though I had to compromise on the shoulder mount). But it was also much more expensive. I also have a DVX200 that I'm just learning how to use. Between the two of them, they blow the HMC80 away in every respect.

If you're reasonably happy with the image quality from your Sonys, I honestly don't think you'll find the HMC80 to be an improvement. The low light performance is especially likely to be a disappointment.

Happy to provide more details if there are any questions about the HMC80 that I can answer.

- Greg
Greg Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Creswell Oregon
Posts: 381
Re: Panasonic AG-HMC80 versus Sony FX1

Alright... the HMC80 doesn't look like it would be that good of a replacement for the FX1. Oh well. I was just hoping of the image quality was equitable, it might be a bit better fit for what I'm doing. But, obviously, there is a huge image quality difference.
My Website -
Adam Grunseth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2016, 06:49 PM   #5
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,325
Re: Panasonic AG-HMC80 versus Sony FX1

Hi Adam

I have owned 6 HMC80's over the years for doing weddings mainly and they were great but bear in mind that these are old technology now! I moved over to Panasonic's FZ1000 bridge cameras with a 20.1mp 1" sensor and vastly superior image processing .. They have all the bells and whistles you require including HDMI output and a image quality that puts the 80 to shame. Otherwise you could also look at Panasonics AC-160 which already has both HDMI and SDI outputs and 1/3" chips ... I never liked the 160's for outdoor use because the darn sensors were so sensitive but indoors they are awesome.

Most newer cameras you will find vastly superior to older models just purely because the sensors and processing are so much better!!
Chris Harding is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:17 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network