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View Full Version : After new P2 pricing... couple of HMC150 questions:



eL ProduceR
11-18-2008, 04:08 PM
Hello everyone, I am contemplating getting my first pro-camcorder (currently using a canon hv30) as I now have the opportunity to work for a TV network. My camcorder of choice was the HPX170, mainly because of the DVCPRO codec, which we use at work; however, after 64gb p2 pricing announcement and no substantial change in current 16gb and 32gb princing, I'm starting to look at the HMC150 features, mainly because of affordable media (SDHC). I have read mixed reviews about working with AVCHD and knowing panasonic offers a free software to convert AVCHD to DVCPRO, I would like to know:

-- How different/noticeable is the quality of a converted DVCPRO vs native DVCPRO

-- Besides not having the LCD flip mode for 35mm adapters, what would make me not looking at the HPX over the HMC (besides codec and media of course)

-- Is AVCHD 21Mbps too compressed for broadcast content?


Thanks in advance for your inputs, and forgive me for my english

Barry_Green
11-18-2008, 05:28 PM
1) It'll look pretty close, especially in 720p mode. The main difference will be 4:2:0 vs. 4:2:2, and any potential codec issues coming from the use of long-GOP in the HMC150.

2) Both of them have the flip mode. Major missing features in the 150, that the 170 has, are variable frame rates, standard-def shooting, time-lapse/stop-motion/loop recording, the P2 workflow, HD-SDI output, firewire streaming, etc.

3) AVC-HD @ 21mbps is far superior to what most networks are broadcasting. But you'll have to check with each network you plan on using to find out if they'll accept AVC-HD origination. AVC-HD 21mbps is way better than HDV, so if they're already accepting HDV then it's more than likely they won't bat an eye at AVC-HD PH mode.

dr jones
11-18-2008, 05:45 PM
-- Is AVCHD 21Mbps too compressed for broadcast content?



i really hope that was a joke. lol

eL ProduceR
11-18-2008, 06:35 PM
i really hope that was a joke. lol

Lol, I asked this because at the network I work, everything is handled in DVCPRO 50

snowleopard
11-18-2008, 07:09 PM
Agree with all Barry said.

As to "broadcast quality". What kind of broadcast are we talking about? Compared to what? Local TV using SD footage? The Rodney King footage? Security cameras? HPX3000 in HD mode? All of those have been quality enough for broadcast. What do you mean when you say that?

Definitely ask around at what the station needs, as if they accept P2 and DVCPRO and that's it, then it will be worth the extra money to buy the 170.

Otherwise, the HMC150 footage is gorgeous and a great camera for the price. Plus, most people won't see any difference at all in the quality.

eL ProduceR
11-18-2008, 08:00 PM
I should have been more specific, The station works specifically with DVCPRO. However being the economy the way it is, and taking in consideration my budget I wanted to know if I could go the HMC150 route and transcode/convert AVCHD to DVCPRO for delivery. The advantages the HPX offer over the HMC WERE worth the extra money, but now with the new pricing on the P2 cards...

Barry_Green
11-18-2008, 08:08 PM
How does the new pricing change anything? The 16 and 32 are exactly the same price that they were last week, and the 64 is actually less expensive per gig than the others, so if the price/performance ratio was in the 170's favor before, why wouldn't they still be now?

eL ProduceR
11-18-2008, 09:57 PM
How does the new pricing change anything? The 16 and 32 are exactly the same price that they were last week, and the 64 is actually less expensive per gig than the others, so if the price/performance ratio was in the 170's favor before, why wouldn't they still be now?

Hello Mr. Green, I was actually hoping both 16gb and 32gb cards to become cheaper after the release of the 64gb; that way I could buy couple old 8's and 16's for cheap. Although the 64gb is less expensive per gig, I cannot afford to spend 2K+; why couldn't I get advantage of that price/performance with (about $40 per Gb) with the lower capacity cards?

sewolla
11-19-2008, 01:33 AM
Panasonic's pricing on the P2 cards will have to come down soon, I would think.

The economics of using SDHC cards on such a capable cam as the 150 are just too compelling. For example, I am spending about $3/GB when buying 16GB SDHC cards ("Patriot" brand Class 6 from Frys work just great).

To my eyes, certainly the HMC 150 IQ is as clean as the HPX 170. I saw both side by side at DV Expo, and even Panasonic said the two were much closer in performance then they thought they would be.

The cost delta of the media (as well as the cam) and the closeness in IQ will may actually make P2 a less desireable media solution once AVCHD workflow issues are perfected.

snowleopard
11-19-2008, 02:42 AM
The issue is time (and sales). Time because if you're working with the 200a (or 170 or big guns) you can drag and drop and start cutting right way, as opposed to having to convert/conform the AVCHD. If you're cutting spots day in and out and time is money, that time saved without having to convert the AVCHD is worth the cost of the P2 cards.

I say sales, as if P2 cards increase in sales, the price will go down in all likelihood. However, if the 150's sell flying off the shelf - which just might happen, I think they're going to have a huge success - we could see Panasonic trying to lure P2 shooters by cutting prices as well. Who knows.

Justyn
11-19-2008, 04:39 AM
when transfering via intensity card... the time needed to transcode is really cut down. It's almost as fast as P2....


But I do think that you save time and hassel on the front end.. Shooting with the 150 is a lot less hasell without having to offload cards all the time, so I'll take that over having to spend a few more minutes on the post side.. in a "live" environment, I sometimes miss something due to P2 lenghts and having just 3 cards. Now if I had 10 P2 cards or something might be different.

ilauzirika
11-19-2008, 05:50 AM
I should have been more specific, The station works specifically with DVCPRO. However being the economy the way it is, and taking in consideration my budget I wanted to know if I could go the HMC150 route and transcode/convert AVCHD to DVCPRO for delivery. The advantages the HPX offer over the HMC WERE worth the extra money, but now with the new pricing on the P2 cards...
You can always convert the avchd files to dvchd.

snowleopard
11-19-2008, 12:04 PM
shooting with the 150 is a lot less hasell without having to offload cards all the timeGood Point!


You can always convert the avchd files to dvchd.But that takes time. Though yes, using something like a Black Magic Intensity card reduces that.

This would leave 4:2:2 as the main reason for the HVX/170 over the 150. Such as: heavy VFX, green screen, or big color correction.

You don't need to sell me though. Once I saw the 150, I realized there was no reason to wait for another camera to come out. This would do it. :)

studio1972
11-20-2008, 05:32 AM
when transfering via intensity card... the time needed to transcode is really cut down. It's almost as fast as P2....

Hi Justyn,

Does the intensity card improve transcoding time? I couldn't see anything about this on their website.

Did you mean that you could just connect the camera with hdmi and play in the footage which could be captured by the card in whatever format you required, all in real time. This seems a lot more laborious than using the log & transfer window to transcode. But I guess at least it would remove the glitches.

Many thanks,

Stuart

KeithAndrews.TV
11-20-2008, 06:03 AM
I just recently upgraded my computer (mobo, cpu, ram) and spend less than $400 to do it. Transcoding AVCHD PH footage to DVCProHD is now FASTER than realtime. So much quicker than my previous setup, that I am no longer concerned with the time necessary to transcode future footage.

This is another variable that you will have to weigh before making your decision. Cost of SD media is cheaper than P2, cost of 150 is cheaper than 170, upgrade, or buy new/faster computer is more expensive than current setup, but even with that additional expense, you're still gonna come in way lower than a 170 setup.