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Old July 14th, 2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

I've had a Panasonic HMC-150 since early 2009. It was a great camera for its time, but lately I've been disappointed with its sharpness, noise, and low light sensitivity when compared to my GH3. So I recently purchased the new Canon G30 as a replacement. It's got a new, larger CMOS sensor so I figured that it'd produce a better image, especially in low light situations. Well, after testing the two cameras I'm very surprised by the results. Check it out:

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Old July 14th, 2013, 02:39 PM   #2
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Re: Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

It appears the 150 is the low-light winner, and the HF G30 has, by far, the sharpness edge. Rather surprised the Canon didn't do better in the low-light dept.

Thanks for the test...
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Old July 15th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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Re: Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

The G30 has a 1/2.84" CMOS chip. That's barely bigger than the 150's 1/3" chips.

The difference in low light is extreme. Is there a possibility the G30 had some type of internal ND filter on?
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Old July 16th, 2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

I own this camera and there is definitely something not set up properly.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
The G30 has a 1/2.84" CMOS chip. That's barely bigger than the 150's 1/3" chips.

The difference in low light is extreme. Is there a possibility the G30 had some type of internal ND filter on?
The difference could be explained by the fact that the HMC150 has 3 chips compared to the G30's 1 chip. So it has effectively 3x the surface area and therefore more light sensitivity.

The ND filters on the G30 are automatic and don't kick in until stopping down past f4, at which point the camera will hold the aperture at f4 while the ND goes from 1/2 to 1/4 to 1/8, and then the aperture will resume movement beyond f4.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Bruno View Post
I own this camera and there is definitely something not set up properly.
I triple checked all the settings before conducting these tests. I was surprised by the results as well. I really wanted this to be my new go-to camera for low light events such as weddings and concerts.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 07:20 AM   #7
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Re: Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Bettenhausen View Post
The difference could be explained by the fact that the HMC150 has 3 chips compared to the G30's 1 chip. So it has effectively 3x the surface area and therefore more light sensitivity.

The ND filters on the G30 are automatic and don't kick in until stopping down past f4, at which point the camera will hold the aperture at f4 while the ND goes from 1/2 to 1/4 to 1/8, and then the aperture will resume movement beyond f4.
Regardless of how many imaging chips there are, one or three, the same amount of light is exposed to them through the lens aperture. The single chip will have less because the light first passes through the Bayer filter. The three chip setup will have the light separated by the prism, so each chip gets a particular color wave length.
Also, the G30 has a CMOS chip, which are usually more light sensitive than CCDs, which come with the HMC150.

All things being the same, the 3-chip should be brighter, but that demo video's levels are so different it's as though the G30 was shooting through a heavy ND filter.

Silly question, but you don't have a variable ND filter on the G30, do you?
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Old July 17th, 2013, 07:33 AM   #8
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Re: Panasonic HMC150 vs new Canon G30... Still a Low Light Winner.

Nope, the lens was naked. I just took it out of the box. I haven't even ordered a UV filter for it yet, which I do for all my cameras to protect the front element. Good thing too since I'm returning it.
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