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Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?

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Trevor Ward
Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 19, 2009 at 5:30:10 pm

I went to InfoComm this week and saw the HMC150 up close and talked to the panasonic product specialist. I'm almost sold on getting the HMC150 over the 170. Does anyone have anything to offer in terms of benefits the costlier 170 has over the 150?

1. Both cameras same size, weight, form factor, and ergonomics (almost).
2. Both cameras have the same lens.
3. Both cameras have 1/3" CCDs (so no CMOS issues).
4. Both cameras shoot a variety of HD and SD.
5. Both cameras record excellent sound.
6. Some could argue that the 150 captures a better image because it's a true 1920x1080 progressive image. The 170 does some pixel shifting and pixel aspect ratio things. So ignoring the compression needed to get the image onto a card, the 150 is better. Is this factual?
7. The 170 records DVCPro HD, which is a less compressed image than the H.264 mp4 recorded.
8. The 170 has a quicker workflow because it uses DVCPro HD. The 150 data has to be transcoded into ProRez during the Log and Transfer process. For a MBP, this is a little slower than real time.
9. 170 has more versatility in terms of over cranking and under cranking. The 150 does not let you shoot either. This is a big deal if you plan on doing slow motion or time lapse.
10. 170 has SDI out and firewire 600 and component. 150 has HDMI and USB and component.
11. Overall cost of ownership is less for the 150. Less expensive camera. Less expensive recording media. More capacity on the recording media. Less expensive archiving (because file sizes are smaller).

So, my overall take is that the 150 is every bit the camera the 170 is, perhaps even a better image, unless over cranking and under cranking is something you'll need.

Does anyone have anything else to offer?



-trevor ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
orlando, fl


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Ken Summerall
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 19, 2009 at 7:40:50 pm

[Trevor Ward] "4. Both cameras shoot a variety of HD and SD."

That is not the case. The 150 is HD only.

[Trevor Ward] "So ignoring the compression needed to get the image onto a card, the 150 is better."

Not sure if you can ignore the compression and say that you can get a better image with more compression. You have to factor in the compression factor.

[Trevor Ward] "The 150 data has to be transcoded into ProRez during the Log and Transfer process. For a MBP, this is a little slower than real time. "

This would depend on which MBP you have. I have a newer 15" (not the really new one) that can do the transcode faster than realtime.

Other than those point I think you have some valid ideas. Ultimately it is up to you to decide. I have an HVX200 and HMC150, I like them both for different reasons.

K



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Steve Eisen
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 19, 2009 at 9:01:41 pm

Is the Toyota Camary better than the Lexus ES

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Board of Directors
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Thomas Fox
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 20, 2009 at 10:58:03 am

Haha I like Steve's, post. I am looking at both cameras and I'm trying to find a reason why the HMC-150, is cheaper, because it seems like it is much more convenient and the recording format is so cheap. If you don't believe me watch this video. http://vimeo.com/4182572 (there is slight artifacting on the right hand side, this is due to an NLE problem it sometimes occurs due to supposed decoding (only effects 1080p) errors http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/panasonic-avccam-camcorders/145297-hmc-150-1080p... look the exact same. The HPX is slightly wider, but you can buy a Century wide angle and still save over $1,000. The only thing that really seperates the cams is just workflow, you will need a beefy machine to edit AVCHD natively. However, using a intermediate codec you can edit easily on all machines, only downside is file size, but you can get 1TB drives for sub $100. It's really a no-brainer I think.


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 20, 2009 at 1:36:19 pm

Hi,

Here is reality. DVCPRO HD is by far a better, kinder , more gentle codec than AVCHD. Don't even start with the "but the AVCHD has a full raster footprint" argument. The top data rate on AVCHD is 21Mbs, DVCPRO HD is 100Mbs. Point is the signal starts uncompressed at 8bit at 994Mbs. So that odd signature footprint for DVCPRO HD is due to a prefitler so the compression ratio is 6.7:1 instead of 10:1. You can do the math on the AVCHD. DVCPRO HD was designed from the get-go for high-end HD production. Up until December 2005 the only camera you could buy that had it was the Tape Based VariCam.

You can seen DVCPRO HD virtually any day of the week on Broadcast TV. ESPN is a huge user, as just one example, and another is the most beautiful Nature Documentary series Planet Earth, also done in DVCPRO HD.

AVCHD on the other hand was developed for the consumer end of things, to bring consumers into the HD Domain. The HMC150 was designed as a professional camer to appeal to that group of cusmers that need professional features but can't afford the I-Frame codec of DVCPRO HD. If cheap media is your ticket to Heaven then the HMC150 is the train you should catch.

I would compare the HMC150 to the HDV cameras or even the XDCam EX cameras. The codec is that good, better than HDV easily.

Yes it is confusing that the HPX170 looks like the HMC150 and the imagers are identical, but they are not in the same ball park when it comes to the rest of the camera, the workflow and the codec. Somethings feel the same but they definitely are not.

Hope this helps,

Jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HPX300, HPX170, HVX200A
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Christopher Wright
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 20, 2009 at 6:52:04 pm

I also have both the HVX-200 and the HMC-150. I basically got the HMC-150 as a 2nd camera for 2 camera shoots, and the footage from both cameras matches astonishing well, especially when using a Prores workflow. Since FCP makes it so easy to convert the 150 footage to Prores, this again is a non issue.
I find that I am using the HM-150 a lot more than the HVX-200 now, especially since the low light performance on the HMC is so much better. I also love being able to use $32.00 16GB SDHC cards for shoots. Because of this, it is one of the best "run and gun" type of cameras I have ever owned. Since I have never needed or used over/under cranking or HD-SDI outputs on a camera, the choice between the 170 and 150 was a very easy one to make. And compression or no compression, it is almost impossible to discern any difference in quality in the footage you get from the 150 and 200. As always, if you match settings on the cameras and light your sets properly, there really is no difference in the quality of the footage you are getting.

Dual 2.5 G5, IO, Kona LH, IO, Medea Raid, UL4D, NVidia 6800, 4Gig RAM
Octocore 8 GB Ram, Radeon card, MBP, MXO
Windows Vista Adobe Studio CS4, Vegas 8.0, Lightwave 9.3, Sound Forge 9, Acid Pro 7, Continuum 5, Boris Red 4, Combustion 2008, Sapphire Effects


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 22, 2009 at 11:50:57 am

The HMC150 and the HPX170 are visually the same on the camera portion. This would also include the AG-HVX200A. They all have the same lowlight performance as they all have the same imagers.

Best,

jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HPX300, HPX170, HVX200A
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Christopher Wright
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 23, 2009 at 5:56:18 am

Yes unfortunately I am still using the old HVX-200, so the HMC-150 is much better at low light performance, just like its siblings the 200A and 170.

Dual 2.5 G5, IO, Kona LH, IO, Medea Raid, UL4D, NVidia 6800, 4Gig RAM
Octocore 8 GB Ram, Radeon card, MBP, MXO
Windows Vista Adobe Studio CS4, Vegas 8.0, Lightwave 9.3, Sound Forge 9, Acid Pro 7, Continuum 5, Boris Red 4, Combustion 2008, Sapphire Effects


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Allen Ellis
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Jun 30, 2009 at 3:18:20 am

170 has more versatility in terms of over cranking and under cranking. The 150 does not let you shoot either. This is a big deal if you plan on doing slow motion or time lapse.


Just want to say you can shoot 720/60p on the HMC-150, so if your delivery is 24p then yes, you can overcrank.

It doesn't do timelapse. But with a 16 or 32GB card you can record for, what is it, 5-8 hours?.


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Gregory Lee
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Aug 11, 2010 at 12:00:37 am

Do you think the HMC150 and the hpx170 would work well together? In other words, can both different video formats be on the timeline without any problems (in Vegas 9.0 for example)?


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Brad Bussé
Re: Is the hmc 150 really better than the hpx 170?
on Oct 15, 2010 at 1:45:11 am

Oh damn, I didn't know that the 150 doesn't do variable framerates! So there's no way to hack it to shoot say 2 fps (non-interleavometer)?


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