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Old March 3rd, 2010, 06:43 AM   #1
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What Vidcam to buy HMC150 or NX5. Need advice.

What's would be a good camera - HMC150 or NX5

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I am having a hard time trying to decide on the a video camera, for both wedding work and some short film projects. I can't decide, cause there is not one camera that has all the features I want.

I like HMC150 for the CCD and wide angle capability, but love the NX5 for it's Dual recording/backup feature as well the high resolution screen.

I will eventually, look into getting a DSLR for video, as an alternative/backup but would like to use a proper video camera for the main shoot.

One thing the NX5 has got, I think is rather important is the capability of recording on and SD and Sony's own optional memory storage. I am concerned about the reliability of the memory cards, can't really afford to loose data/footage on a job. Has anyone lost any footage, or the data go bad on the HMC150, or any solid state video cameras?

With the NX5, presumely better then the HMC150 in low light (I think its not that much), the CMOS is a concern, with the jello and roling shutter effect.

Any adviced and recommendation would be much appreciated, I just want to buy a camera and start shooting! BTW, I am already a wedding photographer and trying to out on the video scene, its something I had always wanted to do... and now finally have the chance!

Cheers
Tom

Last edited by Tom Truong; March 3rd, 2010 at 06:47 AM. Reason: corrections.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 08:07 AM   #2
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If you are already a photographer, why not just jump right into DSLR since you already has some lens? learning curve is less since you are familiar with still camera, but if you still want a video camera, NX5 is my choice, just from all the reviews.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 08:22 AM   #3
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Hi Tom,

I spent the weekend with both cameras. I posted a side by side comparison of the two cameras in both good lighting and low lighting here. I also set off a camera flash to test the rolling shutter, which you will see at the end of the clip.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...ft-images.html

The images from the NX5U were very soft and it took quite some time to learn why. After a lot of back and forth and checking and rechecking all of the settings, we came to the conclusion that the NX5U had a back focus problem. I had never experience a back focus issue, and in case you are unfamiliar with back focus as well, I will explain.

The normal process for attaining manual focus is to zoom in and focus. Then zoom back out to reframe the shot. As long as you or the subject does not move, it will remain in focus all through the zoom range. Since the NX5U did have a back focus problem, as I zoomed back the image became very soft.

In all fairness to the NX5U, others have posted very sharp and clear footge from the NX5U, so it is fairly safe to say that the particular NX5U that I had does not represent all NX5Us. Mine came from the Sony Demo Pool, and it is very odd that they would have a defective camera in their demo pool. I realize the NX5U is a brand new camera. The demo unit I had listed the clock time at 1x10, so it had very little use on it, but the soft images were the first thing I noticed about the camera. Maybe in it's limited time with Sony, they used auto focus and not manual focus with this unit. So...bottom line on the NX5U and back focus, it's safe to say that not all NX5Us have a back focus problem. It's too early to say if the demo unit I had is the only one or if there are a lot more out there with the back focus problem. For anyone purchasing the camera I suggest immediately check for a back focus issue to make sure your NX5U is a good one.

So as you watch the clip, ingore how soft and out of focus the NX5U is. In the low light test you can still see the brightness of each camera at 0, 6 and 9dB gain.

As far as features of each camera, the HMC150 has advantages over the NX5U and at the same time, the NX5U has advantages over the HMC150. Part of it will depend on your shooting environment and part of it will come down to personal preference.

Rolling Shutter and partials every time the a camera flash goes off at the wedding is a big deal to me. I am going after a film look in my wedding films. I have never seen this look when watching a movie, however I do see it occasionally on the news or entertainment shows. Since I am going after a movie look and not a TV look, CCDs have a big advantage over CMOS, that is until they fix the CMOS/Rolling Shutter problem.

I did leave a message with one of Sony's product managers to see if they can send me a properly working NX5U. We'll see if they get back to me. It would be nice to see how a properly functioning NX5U compares to the HMC150.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 09:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Truong View Post
, but love the NX5 for it's Dual recording/backup feature as well the high resolution screen.
At 90 minutes per 16Gb, I'm not sure dual slots is a must. You are saying that it will record to both at the same time? That's not a bad feature.

Using the 150, I shot, dunno, 400 Gb maybe and never had a data problem using the Pany software to transfer.

The pany screen is OK but I did have some out of focus material (before I got used to the various focus assist methods). Just due to the way video and screen size work, I'm not sure a sharper screen would have helped.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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I had the back focus problem with my 4 month old Z5 (not NX5)

Very annoying, sent it back to Sony, who, after 10 days of me trying to convince them that there was a problem, had it fixed within a week.

Maybe this problem is more common to Sony? (I'm not anti-sony, I love my z5)

If and when you send it back for repair, speak to one of the actual technicians, explain the problem (send some sample clips on a DVD if you can) and they'll see the problem right away.

The issue I had was that the call centre people are not camera users or technicians, so trying to explain the problem to them was difficult, as its not a blatently obvious issue.

All the best

James
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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Hi James,

Thanks for your input. I do not own a Sony NX5U. Our local sales rep got one from the Sony Demo Pool. I just did some testing with it over the weekend. It was sent back to Sony on Tuesday. I did record the back focus problem to the Flash Memeory recorder so they would have a record of it.

The part that amazes me is that this is one of only a few NX5Us in their demo pool. You would think they would do a better job of quality control than this.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Tejral View Post
At 90 minutes per 16Gb, I'm not sure dual slots is a must. You are saying that it will record to both at the same time? That's not a bad feature...


The pany screen is OK but I did have some out of focus material (before I got used to the various focus assist methods). Just due to the way video and screen size work, I'm not sure a sharper screen would have helped.
Hi Andy,

I could be wrong, especially since my time with the NX5U was very short, but you cannot record HD to both SDHC slots at the same time. You can record HD to an SDHC card and the Flash Memory recorder at the same time and you can also record HD to one device and SD to another device.

I agree that the Panny screen is not the sharpest. I thougth I would see a big difference in the NX5U screen, but this is what I noticed. While the NX5U screen is sharper it is smaller and there is a lot more information on the screen, which makes it really cluttered comapared to the HMC150 screen.

Another negative about the NX5U screen is that it is also a touch screen for a few of the cameras features. Using the touch screen puts fingerprints all over the screen. I didn't even notice the fingerprints when shooting inside, but outdoor shooting became very difficult with all of the fingerprints and the screen also looked washed out compared to the HMC150. You can certaily adjust the brightness of the LCD screen when shooting outdoors, and you can also clean the fingerprints off the screen, but many times I go in and out at a moments notice. Usually there is not time to stop the action so I can clean the LCD screen or adjust the brightness for outdoor shooting.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 06:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for your input guys.

The fact of the CCD on panasonic is what I like, and is where I am leaning towards. But would anyone think the having the SD slot and optional Sony 128GB memory on the NX5, and having a dual recording for backup, is really necessary? I am more of concern of data lost, and like the fact of having a second backup just incase. I know SD/Solidstate are pretty reliable and stable, has anyone had any issue with memory on these cameras?

Mark, I had come across a few issues with backfocus on the NX5, so it doesn't look promising. But overall the CMOS is what I really don't like.

I would be considering, getting a Canon EOS DSLR to also film, probably a 5DMarkII, so I am not sure if colours between CCD and CMOS is very different for a videcam. I am a Nikon DSLR user (and disappointed on the Nikon has not done much on the HD movie feature), and have both CCD based and CMOS models, and see a big difference in colour and some degree of sharpness, the sharpness could be a megapixel matter, but I noticed the CCD colours are some more vibrant especially during daylight, but low light it does fail if compared to CMOS.

Cheers
Tom
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