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KeithAndrews.TV
12-16-2008, 04:54 PM
I know, I know, what a cruel way to get everyone's attention, but hey, I was bored at work and figured I'd start a thread on what some people might want in the next revision of the camera.

I know the 150 has only been out for a couple of months and I absolutely love using the camera, but as with anything, there is always room for improvement. This post is a place where we can all share ideas, and comment on what we think could improve this little beauty, and who knows, maybe Panasonic will incorporate some of our ideas into the next revision. I'll start it off:

-Improved low-light capability, s/n ratio, smear control (the usual improvements)
-Improved quality with DRS function
-Ability to use USB storage devices (Type A USB port, not Mini-B)
-Double SD card slot
-Variable framerates
-Additional recording bitrates
-Focus assist options similar to HPX170
-Ability to use HMC150 as throughput (firewire port), or to playback material on SD card natively (without folder structure)
-Higher resolution LCD (similar to Sony EX1/3)
-No 4GB file size limit
-10 year warranty :grin:
-and of course...lower price.

Now some of the features above could be incorporated into a firmware update, but since that has not been Panasonic's regular practice in the past and instead they come out with new revisions of cameras (DVX100a, 100b), I figured I would list anything and everything I could think of that would really make this camera complete. Looking forward to everyone's thoughts and comments!

ullanta
12-16-2008, 05:24 PM
I think there are three things on the HMC that I'd most like to see revised...

1. I think that lower-bitrate modes should be available for 720p, the "sweet spot" of the camera, where lower-bitrates make most sense because they're offset by lower actual data rates (e.g., 720/24p actually generates only 40% of the data generated by 720/60p). I'd love to see a 720/30p 6mbps mode!

2. I'd like to see DRS available while shooting progressive

3. I'd like an option for uncompressed audio.

4. I'd like some way to record redundantly (either to a second SD card, or by streaming something out the USB port.. or when a nice cheap HDMI reorder appears).

That's it! The camera's pretty near perfect in general.

rosebud
12-16-2008, 05:58 PM
1. High resolution LDC panel and EVF
2. DRS available while shooting progressive

Spartacus
12-16-2008, 06:02 PM
Why do people think a company with years and years of experience in building cameras, would "overlook" rather obvious flaws of a product?
Why make the 150 better, if it may prevent people from stepping up to a P2 camera system...?

KeithAndrews.TV
12-16-2008, 06:34 PM
Well in my opinion a P2-based camera like the HPX and the HMC target two different consumers. The people who want a camera like the HPX to coincide with their other P2 cameras and offers professional options like HD SDI out, and the other people who want a prosumer camera like the HMC which records to low-cost, readily available SD media and offers prosumer features like XLR audio and a slew of adjustable image settings.

If you think about it, the HPX and the HMC are not really direct competitors with one another. They both record with entirely different codecs, they're both offered at different price points and they both offer different features from one another. Most will see the HPX as a professional-grade camera, and the HMC as a prosumer-grade camera because of the feature differences and recording mediums.

The majority of the revisions commented on above are really more of a "wish-list" rather than must haves, or an overlook by Panasonic. Like I said in my previous post, a lot of them could simply be offered in a firmware update, whereas others may not be possible at all with the hardware in the camera.

It just goes to show that no one camera will offer everything that you want and be ideal for every shooting situation, but they can certainly come close and we as consumers are here to offer that feedback!

Spartacus
12-16-2008, 07:20 PM
The destinction between those cameras is exactly the one Panasonic wants to make.
The front-ends of both the 150 and 170 are said to be identical, which BASICALLY makes it the same camera.
This results in one production run, allowing cost effective manufacturing.
Who said a wedding videographer wouldnīt shoot DVCproHD to P2 if the 170 would be at the 150s price tag and P2 would be cheaper?
And of course which HVX/HPX owner would like to shoot to 100$ SD cards?
I donīt see different markets for those two cams.

Comparing the HPX and HMC is not like comparing a Volkswagen to a Porsche.
Itīs more like comparing a VW Rabbit to a VW GTI. Same car, but one is a lot faster.

sewolla
12-16-2008, 08:16 PM
First off, I like your list....especially the 2nd card slot. That would be major.
But if all or most of these upgrades were made, the HMC150 would truly be an equivalent to to the HPX170, wouldn't it? Personally, I'd love that.

But there's a distinct possibility that if Panasonic were to offer variable frame rates, etc as found on the HPX, that could hurt HPX sales significantly. You can easily transcode AVCHD to DVCProHD. They do have the same imagers, same lenses, etc....so ading these upgrades would create a pair of cams with not much differentiating them, other than the codec. Would that be enough?

davideo.net
12-16-2008, 08:23 PM
I'd like to see slow shutter capability, and built in time-lapse.

Evro
12-16-2008, 08:30 PM
I don't know Spartacus... I doubt I'd be shooting DVCproHD if the media price was the same as SDHC because of the sheer size of the files it generates - from what I've seen after transcoding AVCHD to DVCproHD. It might be okay if you're shooting 4 or 5 major projects a year but for the small to medium size wedding studio shooting 30 to 60 feature length projects a year the data storage requirements would be astronomical (not to mention the physical studio/office space you'd need to store all of these drives), I mean you'd practically need to buy a new 300GB hard drive for every wedding you shoot.

DV, HDV & AVCHD seem to produce file sizes that are just right for archiving.

I'd like to see the a firmware upgrade that gets rid of consumer features like fade to black/white, digital zoom & Spotlight/Backlight auto iris, and replaced with more professional features like:
1) A proper Peaking focus assist
2) 720P recording included with all of the recording modes
3) Variable torque speed settings for the focus ring because it's difficult to pull off steady hand-held rack or focus pulls
4) If possible, better handling of burnt highlights, but then that's probably a lens issue :(

BobDiaz
12-16-2008, 09:09 PM
It takes a few years before Panasonic comes up with the "a" camera, so the HMC-150a should come around NAB 2011 or 2012. :beer:

Come to think of it, we should see the HPX-170a at the same time too.

By then, all the camera makers will be offering solid state recording, so to make the new HMC-150a more tempting...

(1) Add option for loss less audio recording.

(2) Higher resolution LCD.

(3) Time lapse mode.

(4) Some over crank and under crank modes supported and audio would be recorded during over/under crank. (The 170 would support more over/under crank modes.)


Bob Diaz

Hidef1080
12-17-2008, 03:35 AM
I'd have say:

* Either 2 SD slots or a SD / Compact Flash option.
* HDMI and SDI-HD output.
* The ability to turn off the viewfinder when the LCD is open.
* Much larger standard battery.
* Bigger CCD's

That's not too much to ask for I don't think...

Attic6
12-17-2008, 07:14 AM
1 An option to shoot normal DV onto the cards for those boring shoots where they just want tape

2 Variable framerates which i guess will include time lapse.

3 high res lcd

Everts
12-17-2008, 08:24 AM
I posted yesteday but for some reason I cant see my post.
Most of the things I want to see improved have already been metioned
So here it goes:

- I miss Firewire output
- Less noise
- A sturdier Lcd , because everytime I open that thing I have to hold my breath.
- A larger Viewfinder display.
- 16x lens
- The Long awaited "HMC stick in my Booth camp" book by yours truly Mr Green .
- SD 30p and 120p
- pal /ntsc swichabilty. Firmware version 2.0 wink wink
- texting capabilities , why not right ?

For now Im loving and learning my new HMC :)

Spartacus
12-17-2008, 11:26 AM
I don't know Spartacus... I doubt I'd be shooting DVCproHD if the media price was the same as SDHC because of the sheer size of the files it generates - from what I've seen after transcoding AVCHD to DVCproHD. It might be okay if you're shooting 4 or 5 major projects a year but for the small to medium size wedding studio shooting 30 to 60 feature length projects a year the data storage requirements would be astronomical (not to mention the physical studio/office space you'd need to store all of these drives), I mean you'd practically need to buy a new 300GB hard drive for every wedding you shoot.

I get your point, some areas of our job donīt need to have the best codec quality wise, but efficency wise.
But in a world where P2 costs where slightly above SD card costs, there would be no reason to not include AVCHD as a LowQual mode on the 170...
This reminds me of Appleīs marketing, the differences between certain quite similar products are small, but they are always important enough to consider them thoroughly.

shrigg
12-17-2008, 12:40 PM
I checked into the time lapse feature and here is what I was told BY PANASONIC:
The next camera will have time lapse. Actually this is a lesser camera than the HMC150.
The HMC150 will remain at the top of the AVCCAM line and the new camera will exist alongside it.

ilauzirika
12-17-2008, 01:16 PM
Mainly firmware-software updates.

-sd mode (for those projects you know will go direct to dvd).
-on camera metadata editing.
-small memory in the camera to hold multiple metadata files and user presets.
-The ability to turn off the viewfinder when the LCD is open.
-timelapse would be great.
-and the possibility of using other batteries.

and the long awaited book by our Master Barry (although that's not a firmware update.)

BrianMurphy
12-18-2008, 10:56 AM
This is not a big one but one that should come in the box. I would like a simple lens cap for my lens. I use a mattebox and though I admit the new hood and cover is much better than what I have on my DVX (actually a Nikon cap since the Panasonic one broke) it would be nice to have the option of either or. Off to my local camera shope to buy another Nikon 72mm cap. Bugs me to have a Nikon cap on my Leica lens....

davideo.net
12-18-2008, 11:40 AM
I'd have say:

* HDMI and SDI-HD output.

Well, it already has one of those - the HDMI output!

Hidef1080
12-18-2008, 12:40 PM
Well, it already has one of those - the HDMI output!

Yeah but....
I want my cake and to eat it too!:beer:

Evro
12-18-2008, 02:05 PM
Bugs me to have a Nikon cap on my Leica lens....

What bugs me more is having a Leica label on a fairly ordinary lens ;-)

dcloud
02-25-2009, 07:36 AM
sdxc
avchd at higher bit rate or avcintra 50+ :)
clip chopping on camera

Green Hornet
02-25-2009, 10:06 AM
2 card slots
Higher resolution screen viewable at an angle.
The ability to split the AVCHD segments into smaller sizes (1 gig files instead of 4 gig files)
Better power consumption (not bad now, but the batteries are larger than the HVX, and it seems to use more power)

Larger chips, or just native full raster chips.

Leaner (to me it feels like it is more bulky than the weight suggests it needs to be)
The ability to prename the files, or group of files recorded

David Saraceno
02-25-2009, 10:07 AM
I'd like it to shoot 50 mbps AVCIntra.

Strobe Media
02-25-2009, 10:37 AM
variable frame rates
auto audio capabilities for those of us who are audio retarded.

Dafilman21
02-25-2009, 11:31 AM
AVCintra, more frame rates, better lens cap, and a rotating handgrip like on the EX1 I am not going to lie I love that feature!

SPrimeau
02-25-2009, 11:04 PM
Firewire is not possible with AVCHD footage. Same thing with AVC-Intra. It's only possible with codecs like DV, HDV and DVCProHD.

So, my wish list is:

- 2 card slots
- The ability to modify Medadata in the camera
- SD DV modes
- More audio recording options like PCM, if possible.
- Larger viewfinder. The image should take at least the width of the viewfinder, like the menu and the focus assist.
- A 4:3 HD LCD similar to the Canon 5D MarkII, Nikon D3 and D700 screens.
- HD viewfinder
- The additional focus assist of the HPX170.

dcloud
02-26-2009, 12:04 AM
oh yeah mechanical lens cap

DavidNJ
02-26-2009, 08:23 AM
I was spending money to make the camcorder better, first and foremost, I'd spend the money on good glass. On APS-C sized sensors, many full frame lenses give excellent results.

Second, I think the Canon 5DMII and the HMC150 has shown that high bandwidth MPEG4 part 10 is more than a match for other formats. But the Canon does 1080p30 at nearly 41Mb/sec. I'd like to see an AVCHD 4:2:2 format.

Third, that camera and many others have indicated that the day of sub-sampling HD are long past. Pixel shift is a nice trick, but has John Galt at Panavision says in his presentation (http://library.creativecow.net/print.php?id=1261), it really doesn't increase the resolution.

Oversampling would allow you to have a Bayer filter that requires no interpolation. That is, if all the output modes are no greater than 4:2:2, a Bayer filter is capturing all the information; that is, at least twice the resolution.

However, I am not a fan of the CMOS rolling shutter artifacts. However, I would be fine with a rolling shutter to get a bitter sensor. In addition to a greater control over DOF, it allows for much better glass...to get the desired resolution a much lower line pair per mm count is needed.

I would make the LCD detachable and over models with a standard one and high resolution one. Detachable would make it better for some crane/steadicam/glidecam use, as well as some shoulder mounts, a fig rig, etc.

And my favorite...a spot zebra that displays an IRE range. I set mine to 70-85 IRE, which lets me quickly know I have faces correctly exposed.