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Would you buy a HMC150 right now?

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Ana Maria Suarez
Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 26, 2010 at 1:52:59 am

Hi
I think this camera has been out for almost 2 years. And I noticed the price coming down around 3000$
With new cameras coming out, my own research and thoughts tell me this camera is still a major player to some very new cameras coming out.
Am I correct?
I feel this camera has many more years left. Even if a new version comes out.
But... I don't own one yet, I am very interested in getting one this week.
What would you do having owned one, and seeing the new cameras out there. For 3000$, it is not a bad deal. My other thought, use it, take good care of it, then within the warrenty, sell it on Ebay toward the end to get something newer. I bet in 3 years it would be worth around 2000$.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 26, 2010 at 3:55:02 am

Hard to say but I'd doubt it would hold that much value in 3 years- that's an eternity in cameras. 3 years from now any camera that doesn't offer interchangeable lenses will be a dinosaur. Not to say the HMC150 is not a solid camera to get right now and a good deal but don't buy it thinking it will hold 70%+ of its value for that long.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Ana Maria Suarez
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 26, 2010 at 3:57:29 am

Yes, you are right, 3 years is a long time and things change fast.
So take that part out of my post. :)
So it is good to see you would still buy this camera.


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Alf Hanna
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 26, 2010 at 3:25:28 pm

I tend to agree with Noah, however it will be of some value due to it's extensive manual customizations, and the ability to shoot decent quality HD.

Remember, the lens is the thing of value, not the body. That's why Noah says that interchangeable lens are the wave of the future. Since we have reached a point where low cost DSLR cameras are here, shooters are focusing on spending their money on the glass and people like me are willing to buy bodies with the notion that they are somewhat disposible. I paid more for my 70-200 zoom than my body. That's not unusual.

Certainly with waves of DSLR and the new Panasonic AG100 cameras, the future will be more like those than the 150, but the 150 will be fine for industrial work for some years. Heck there are a lot of people still shooting on quite old DV cameras, but they don't expect to resell them for much.

Alf


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 26, 2010 at 3:20:56 pm

You buy a camera based upon what you need right now, not what happens 3 years down the road...

Right now there is no better HD camera at $3,000, and I seriously doubt that Panasonic will come out with a newer HMC-150 model in the future.

I agree with Noah that 3 years from now the market will be all about cameras that are like the new Panasonic AF100 ( which will be out at the end of this year ) that offer interchangeable lenses and large-format sensors.

I plan on buying an AF100 camera next May ( I want to be sure that all of the bugs have been shaken out ), and I will still keep my HMC-150 for the quick'n'dirty shoots where I just pick-up the camera and go.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 27, 2010 at 3:17:09 am

I love the HMC150 but I'd argue the point that there's no better HD shooting camera for $3K or less. Personally I think that in some circumstances the Canon 5D and 7D completely blow it away in terms of what you can achieve cinematographically though at a cost of ergonomics and ease of use.

And that's precisely what's led Panasonic to the AF100. It's a solid enough HD camera but it's also very much middle of the road. It will give you fine dependable HD footage but it's not state of the art. Just my $.02.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 27, 2010 at 12:34:22 pm

Just to throw in my bit as well, having owned the 150 for about a year.
I love the cam, and it takes sweet images. I feel it was a great learning tool for me.
Biggest drawback is the SD card--both in terms of dependability and colorspace quality.
Which is making me consider selling and buying a used HPX170 before embarking on a serious project I'm planning.

Dan S.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 27, 2010 at 12:55:12 pm

>>>Biggest drawback is the SD card--both in terms of dependability and colorspace quality.

I would check this out very carefully before you buy the HPX170. Personally I have had ZERO issues with SDHC cards over the past 18 months, but I was careful to test about 6 different brands, and only buy the brand that performed the best for me. ( which was the Patriot IRIS SDHC Class 6 cards, which are specifically built for professional video work )

As far as colorspace quality, make sure you do tests, because every side-by-side test I have seen between the HMC-150 and the HPX-170 the color and image quality was virtually identical with the same settings. The HPX-170 makes green-screen and CGI composite film-making easier, but the difference is not as much as you might expect. There are lots of people doing professional green-screen work with the HMC-150 with no problems at all.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the HMC-150 camera records a slightly higher resolution image than either the HPX-170 or HVX-200A cameras, so don't expect to see better resolution than you are already getting with the HMC-150.

If I was looking to get a better ENG style camera I would look at the new Canon XF300/305 cameras that start at $6,500, or if I could afford it the $8,500+ Panasonic HPX-370 camera which is the only under $10,000 prosumer camera that records 10-bit color without a HD recorder deck. ( the Sony EX-1R/EX-3 output 10-bit color but require an external deck to record this image ) These are full res cameras, so they will look a bit sharper than the HMC-150 / HPX-170 cameras.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 27, 2010 at 7:59:13 pm

I have to say I really appreciate your post.
It will make me think twice about trading "up"
Though my experience with the "Check Card" message has not been as rosy as yours.
I've treated my SanDisk Extreme Class 10 with TLC, and I still get the scary message from time to time.

Dan S.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 27, 2010 at 8:21:45 pm

One thing I noticed about the Patriot IRIS SDHC cards is that they are slightly on the "thick" side, which seems to make them more robust, but they do fit my HMC-150 without any problems. A friend found them to be a little bit snug in his Canon T2i camera, but I've had no problems with my Canon 60D camera.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 27, 2010 at 12:40:59 pm

...For shallow DOF ( depth of field ) shots and for low-light video work the Canon DSLRs are great, especially considering that you can get in the game for as little as a $1,000.

But as professional video cameras they suck in these areas:

- Low HD resolution compared to HD video cameras
- Bad image aliasing when shooting curved and diagonal shapes
- Bad image moire when shooting detailed wide shots or subjects with complex patterns
- Lots of rolling shutter problems, making shots with fast motion impossible
- No servo-zoom controls
- Limited zoom range compared to video cameras
- Slower f-stop zoom lenses ( f1.6 zoom does not exist for DSLR )
- Bad audio pre-amps
- No audio power ( does not provide phantom 48 volt )
- No exposure zebras
- No color vectorscope
- 12 minute maximum length for any shot, making the camera bad for long format and live event shoots
- Does not provide clean HDMI output, so you ares still stuck with the red recording dot in all your shots
- Image stabilization inferior to some video cameras ( especially the new high end consumer cameras like the Panasonic TM700 )
- No 4 hour high capacity batteries

I could go on, but you get the idea...

The Panasonic AF100 is something brand new. It's a camera that combines all of the features of the prosumer video camera format with the large-sensor shallow DOF of a DSLR camera, providing the best of both worlds. I personally think it will have huge impact on the marketplace and will likely kill-off several prosumer competitors. It also brings prosumer video firmly in to the world of cinematographic film making. I definitely plan on buying an AF100 around May next year ( once I am sure that all of the bugs have been shaken out ), but I will be keeping my HMC-150 for my regular video work, and I will keep my Canon 60D camera to use as an excellent stills camera.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 27, 2010 at 1:35:20 pm

Total Agreement from me on the drawbacks from the Canons. If you don't want Shallow DOF- they pretty much suck as 'video cameras'. :)

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Alf Hanna
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Oct 31, 2010 at 2:17:48 pm

I have both the T2i and the HMC 150. I find that the Canon is great to just carry around with me, when I don't do 'pro' video work. I can shoot either stills or video in high res, and when I do shoot video, it's usually not needing great audio. A very solid 'gun and run' camera for the odd surprise event. But I do have an off camera shotgun I mount on a bracket. All in all, it's great for what it does. Currently I've been trying to figure out a color balance setting so both cameras will match in post. Haven't found it yet. Wonder if it's even possible.

But I would never choose it as a primary, for all the reasons mentioned. And yes, I have loved the 150. I do wonder about the new HMC 80 though. Seems to be a solid lower end choice.

Alf


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Richard Johnson
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Nov 24, 2010 at 12:29:59 am

I currently have a HMC-150 and I rent other cameras when necessary. It's nice for me to have a good "all rounder" for pretty much any shoot but then be able to rent additional cameras(which is surprisingly cheap). It is convenient to own a camera so I would recommend you buy one...but I might wait and rent till after the holidays-new models released, old models at reduced prices etc.

I recently have been shooting multi-cam shoots with canon DSLR's and the HMC-150. I've used the 5dmii, 7d and t2i's. I think the t2i is a phenomenal value, but if I could only buy one camera, it would be the HMC-150. I do really like the footage from DSLR's, especially as b-cams. I may end up buying a panasonic GH2. I'll rent one eventually and be able to analyze footage for myself. I did this with a HMC-150 and a HPX-170 before I bought the 150. Very similar footage.

Most likely what I see myself doing is picking up an Atomos Ninja HDMI capture device and a Panasonic GH2. Then I can use the Ninja on the 150 for green screen work or hook it up to the GH-2 for multi camera shoots. I edit in FCP so capturing directly into Pro-Res sounds like a boost to quality and efficiency.
Alf: I get the T2i and the HMC-150 to match pretty well in post. Especially if I have time to send them to Color. I have a saved setting to match the cameras. It's tougher for me in FCP and from what I can tell FCP and Color don't play together with multicam edits as it views them as nested clips. (i have studio 2) But yeah, they can be matched pretty well from my experience.


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Alf Hanna
Re: Would you buy a HMC150 right now?
on Nov 24, 2010 at 4:57:33 am

I should really sit down and work out the balance between the two cameras. I've sold my T2i and am currently working with the 7d and the HMC150. More and more I'm going back to the 150. It has it all. But the 7d is easier to carry around. Anyway, they are both great cameras. Now to figure out how to marry them up.

Alf


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