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HMC 150 or HM100u?

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Marcelino Guel
HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Apr 15, 2009 at 3:28:25 pm

Hey there everyone, I'm about to buy my very first high-end camcorder and based on my budget of $3500 - $4000 I've got my eye on the Panasonic HMC150 and the soon to be released JVC HM100u.

I've read about both camcorders on a ton of different websites, but I figured it would be in my best interest to post on here where people are actually using it.

So far, the main differences I am aware of are:

24 Mbps vs. 35 Mbps (JVC Wins)
Recording Codecs (JVC does.mov)
1/3" vs 1/4" 3CCD's (Panny Wins)


My NLE of choice is FCP, and I'm using the latest 15" MacBook Pro with a 20" Apple Cinema Display for editing.

My plan is to film weddings, which means low-light filming will definitely play a factor. This is why I am somewhat more concerned about the sensor size (1/3" vs 1/4") than anything else.

Any insight into the HMC150 would be helpful...

I know there is very little footage out there of the HM100u, which is why I think I may post this same thread on the JVC forum as well.

Thanks!



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Noah Kadner
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Apr 15, 2009 at 9:43:15 pm

The HMC150 is more popular- so more third party support and it looks a bit more pro. The JVC looks a bit more consumery. Panasonic partly owns JVC so you wouldn't be going too far off the tree one way or the other. It's kind of the b-brand...

Noah

Check out my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
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Andrew Ray
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Apr 30, 2009 at 3:06:13 am

I own the AG-HMC150.

A couple thoughts.
1. 24mbps in AVCHD is similar to 35mbps MPEG2
2. I film weddings with it. Amazing in low light.
3. I'll buy another hmc150.


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Todd Roush
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Apr 30, 2009 at 8:48:13 am

Andrew!

You've got me foaming at the mouth with your low light endorsement which I've heard elsewhere.

Edited any really elaborate AVCHD footage? Any 2 hour projects with tons of tracks and cuts? The editing is my only worry, otherwise the Canon A1's would be on Ebay as we speak.

Best,

Todd

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Canon XH-A1's - Dell Studio XPS i7, 920, 2.66 gig,6 gigs RAM (soon to be 12) 650 gig SATA, 1TB eSATA external, 3TB USB(storage). 512gig ATI video card, 28" HannsG Monitor, 24" Dell Monitor.


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Andrew Ray
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Apr 30, 2009 at 12:24:54 pm

Todd,
I have edited long movies on Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum (probably the longest about 1 1.5 hours). And I use the Panny AG-HMC150 and the Canon XH A1 for weddings together, so I edit AVCHD with HDV. A few thoughts:

1) my computer specs:
windows 7 beta 64-bit (build 7000)
intel core 2 quad Q6600 (2.4)
8gb ddr2 RAM at 800mhz
2tb hard drive space (7200rpm)
all in a dell 518

2) i use sony vegas movie studio platinum to edit, but am looking for a different program that has native multicamera editing for faster edits. any suggestions?

3) AVCHD is a load, but not beyond my system. however, i save my work about every 20 minutes just to make sure.

4) rendering is the tricky part. i save my project and close the program and then restart the program to make sure i have it saved. then i render. 90% no problems. but AVCHD takes a while to render to the mp4 or mpeg(2) format for blu-ray burning.

5) seriously, here's the bottom line. no transfer time from tape to computer, and avchd is great. way faster and easier than tapes. i will not go back to tapes if i can avoid it. it changes the whole experience, especially at weddings longer than 1 hour.

check out this short i made on the ag-hmc150.







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Tim Wilson
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Apr 30, 2009 at 1:08:55 pm

Wow, that's gorgeous!

To anybody who wants to watch that clip the right way, choose the HD option and watch full screen. That may be the prettiest thing I've ever seen on YouTube.

Thanks for sharing!


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Sebastien Gravel
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 1:45:59 pm

Hi,

I've just purchased an HMC-150. I'd like to know what settings you use for low light. I was doing some test around my living room and it seemed to me as if the low light performance was not very good. What would be the optimal settings?

I'm doing a wedding next week-end, so I'd like to have this camera figured out before!


I'm on it like a fat kid on a twinkie


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Todd Roush
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 6:19:45 pm

Hello Sebastian,

HDV cameras are generally terrible in low light so assume the worst so you don't ruin the wedding video.

1. Google Microbeam 185, contact them right away (you have to call, it's a custom light) and buy one right away at around $330. You will also need to Ebay a cheap camcorder battery, the biggest you can find and it should last you around 5 hours with this light. This light kills the Litepanel stuff 10-1.

2. Settings. The obvious answer is to slow your frame rate to 30 when indoors and it looks fine. I have my B-roll shoot with the light and drop frame rates to 30-15 for really low light like dancing. 15-8 give bright, colorful looks but you get motion blur which is fine for me as the night goes on since I can cut back and forth. ***Experiment with your manual gain settings. The Canon XH-a1 is useless above 6db gain as it is too grainy. Shoot dark footage and figure out how much grain you can live with. Wide open on the exposure.

For me outdoors is easy, dark is OK but it's those in between rooms that I fall down on. When I think the light is OK but later I realize the image is dull or too dark.

Good camera lights are the way to go but I also like to use the slow shutter thing for a fun alternative look.

Lastly, check online to see if there are any special low light presets for that camera like there are for Canon. The panny is likely no low light champ but from what I've seen it beats the Canon which is nothing short of terrible in low light.

Good luck!

Best,

Todd

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Canon XH-A1's - Dell Studio XPS i7, 920, 2.66 gig,6 gigs RAM (soon to be 12) 650 gig SATA, 1TB eSATA external, 3TB USB(storage). 512gig ATI video card, 28" HannsG Monitor, 24" Dell Monitor.


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Todd Roush
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 6:54:48 pm

CORRECTION:

Microbeam 128. Best bang for the buck in LED lighting right now.

Best,

Todd

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Canon XH-A1's - Dell Studio XPS i7, 920, 2.66 gig,6 gigs RAM (soon to be 12) 650 gig SATA, 1TB eSATA external, 3TB USB(storage). 512gig ATI video card, 28" HannsG Monitor, 24" Dell Monitor.


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Andrew Ray
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 7:15:12 pm

That light looks great, but having filmed a number of weddings with my Panasonic AG HMC150 and a $34 Sima LED camcorder light, I would have to suggest trying the Sima light first.

Why? $34 vs. $340. Unless you are shooting weddings constantly where your profit margin is huge and you have money to throw around, why pay 10x the price for that other light?

Some may say that the ability to lower the intensity on the light is important, but when I need to do that I just cover the light with a one cent piece of white copy paper. Also, the battery lasts 45 minutes per charge, so I have 2 of these things (for a total cost of $70). I have never run out of light, because you can charge one while using the other. And it weighs almost nothing.

Here is a link to the light on Buy.com (they ship free and fast).

http://www.buy.com/prod/sima-sl-20lx-ultra-bright-video-light/q/loc/111/206...

Just a suggestion from an experienced wedding videographer who has wasted money on expensive gadgets when I didn't need to. Save your money for the camera and computer.


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Todd Roush
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 8:08:21 pm

Hi Andrew,

I will be doing a review for weddingvideodoneright.com shortly on all of these lights including the Litepanel Micro.

I agree that a good cheap solution is the Sima 20lx(?), not the 10, and although I get adequate results with it, I never get results that I love. It's pretty green which can be white balanced out somewhat and it's not quite wide enough or bright enough in my opinion to yield really great looking video although it's not bad and probably better than the $300 Litepanel Micro aside from the color temp.

It may be a luxury for some (microbeam 128 from Flolight) but it's an amazing feeling to be able to put a single battery on a light that fills the entire dance floor beautifully at full wide and know you can shoot for 5 hours (3-4 hours indoors is not that unusual in our wedding business) without worry and get really nice looking video.

I have been experimenting with lights for a long time and this is the first one that I am REALLY happy with for the $$.

Regardless, good luck with your low light settings. Unless you're using a Sony the low light issues can be a bear with HDV so it's all about practice.

Best,

Todd



Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Canon XH-A1's - Dell Studio XPS i7, 920, 2.66 gig,6 gigs RAM (soon to be 12) 650 gig SATA, 1TB eSATA external, 3TB USB(storage). 512gig ATI video card, 28" HannsG Monitor, 24" Dell Monitor.


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Mark Turner
Re: HMC 150 or HM100u?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 5:48:11 am

I am also struggling over this decision right now...

I plan to be filming in Haiti, and am attracted to the small size of the JVC. But it seems the HMC150 is generally seen as a better quality choice.

I also plan to but a MacBook Pro and FCP... so the JVC would work better with that. FCP 7 still does not seem to deal with AVCHD natively; but people are learning to live with it.


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