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HMC150 broadcast quality?

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Russell Robertson
HMC150 broadcast quality?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 10:10:01 pm

I was asked to do a multi-cam shoot, targeted for broadcast. When I run the financial numbers, I could actually purchase 2 or 3 HMC150s vs. the cost of rentals for the project duration.

So the primary question is: under controlled stage lightening, is the highest HD quality output of a HMC150 broadcast quality?

We’ve been a DVX100A house for years, this would be our first real HD project.

Many thanks in advance for any and all comments, suggestions, etc

RR


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Noah Kadner
Re: HMC150 broadcast quality?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 11:06:52 pm

Completely depends on where it's to be broadcast. On a local TV affiliate or basic cable- without question. On a major network- perhaps. On Discovery Channel- I'd guess not. And that's not to say that the HMC150 is not capable of image quality I'd call broadcast, it's simply that certain broadcasters have specific cameras and codecs required for allowing footage to be broadcast on their channel.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Russell Robertson
Re: HMC150 broadcast quality?
on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:10:37 am

Noah – many thanks for your comments – I appreciate your expertise and time.

I’m a little confused, if the DVX100A produced footage of high enough quality for broadcast TV, why not the next generation? Can’t I bump up in Final Cut?

I guess we are comparing apples to oranges, but how would the simple letter box footage of the DVX100A compare to the 720p or 1080i 16:9 footage from the HMC150? I’ve been using the DVX100A for a few years now for stage shows and have broadcasted on local, and a network (twice). I suspect my questions are pretty naïve, but I just can’t seem to find the definitive article or review to sell me on the HMC150. I’d love to get them, but if the quality isn’t there, perhaps I have to look elsewhere.

I lost track of all of the Panasonic HD camera models. What would be the next model up from the HMC150?

RR



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Noah Kadner
Re: HMC150 broadcast quality?
on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:22:21 am

As I've alluded to- it's not really a question of technical quality- the HMC150 is fine. It's a question of which broadcaster you're talking about and what their specific requirements are for HD broadcasting. At this point in time the phrase "Broadcast Quality" is increasingly irrelevant as some channels will broadcast anything from IMAX to Canon 7D footage without blinking.

So- check with your intended broadcast network and send a sample of HMC150 footage if you think it's needed. If they don't care about which camera you're shooting on- or specifically they don't insist on HD from a Varicam, RED, or what have you- then you should be fine assuming the footage is professionally shot.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: HMC150 broadcast quality?
on Mar 12, 2010 at 3:58:43 am

Noah,

In your opinion, would it make a difference for broadcasters if it was shot on P2 with the HVX 170 or 200?

Thanks,

Dan S.


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Noah Kadner
Re: HMC150 broadcast quality?
on Mar 12, 2010 at 4:51:44 pm

Like I've been saying- really depends on the broadcaster. Some would insist, others wouldn't care. There's no such thing as a universal broadcast quality- for every broadcaster it's: I know it when I see it.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: HMC150 broadcast quality?
on Mar 21, 2010 at 11:48:57 pm

Russel, Noah is right: it depends. The only real general standard is full-rez HD (I think that's around 100mbps at 1920x1080). Sports may be an even higher number than that. I don't shoot for broadcast, but I shoot for quality. If you have used a DVX-100 in the past and have moved to an HMC150, you have basically the same camera that has a slightly better wide-angle, but shoots in AVCHD - that's basically MPEG4 with H.264 compression. Either way, rez up the footage to ProRes, do all the usual corrections and view on an external monitor (I seldom have a monitor so I have to cross my fingers sometimes) or run a vector scope (which you have in-camera with the 150). Look for hitches, compression leftovers, noise, weird colors, etc. The usual suspects.

The DVX-100 was such a powerful camera in such a small (and cheap) package, it was lightyears ahead of it's time. The HMC-150 is sort of caught in it's predecessor's own backwash. It's not really lightyears ahead, but the footage trumps HDV (my personal opinion in case I create flames) and it's on the right path. Panasonic will say it is broadcast quality, but not for everyone. I've seen it used for documentaries and it looks fine. I wouldn't use it for live broadcasts, but it looks great for Blu-Ray and narrative filmmaking and incredible for SD.

One last thing: all the buzz about HD is really about the cutting edge and the latest things - most people still don't have HD TVs anyway (or they have the cheaper 720P sets) and most won't know the difference anyway since most cable isn't HD (it's redone as SD) and satellite is re-compressed anyway. Obviously, the higher the original quality, the better, but you can still use the 150 with well-established video production standards and produce HD video on par with higher-level cameras. It's less about the camera and more about you and that's how it should be.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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