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View Full Version : Panasonic HMC 151 vs JVC GY HM 100



NEEL
06-22-2009, 07:57 AM
Hi,

I want to buy a new camcorder for shortfilms, low-budget features and some internet-advertisement. Right now I am choosing between the Panasonic HMC 151 and the JVC HM 100, mainly inspired by Philip Blooms great videos and reviews. It's hard to find any comparisons in the net, so I asked a friend of mine to shoot some tests at a shop in Berlin where they have both cams in stock. This is what he got. All shots were taken outside the shop within some 15 minutes. He put both cameras on full auto while shooting. I don't know if he switched on any type of ND at the JVC, but the picture looks quite overexposed to me and there are some visible CA's . This is no scientifical comparision at all, just some out-of-the-box-shots - but for me the HMC 151 is the clear winner of this match. Does anybody know if the JVC can do this better (specially CA's and clipping of the whites in bright light) or has anybody got experience with both cams? I really want to go with the JVC, since it has got the nicer form factor but if the overall picture quality is below the HMC I simply can't. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Neel

NEEL
06-24-2009, 02:29 AM
Here is another sample of the JVC GY HM 100 shot on a sunny day. Colors are great but sky and whites seem to clip due to overexposing:

http://www.vimeo.com/5246343

Found on vimeo: HMC 151 in bright daylight. Operator said he worked with zebras, almost no clipping of the whites. So at least this is possible with the HMC.

http://www.vimeo.com/5119788


Would be great to find a sample of the HM 100 in bright daylight without overexposing & clipping of the whites. I will keep on searchin and posting what I found. Just curious about if it is possible to get good HM 100 footage in bright daylight...

Andy Urtu
06-26-2009, 11:27 PM
I shot some test footage at a local dealer. It looked a little bright, but when I edited it in Premeriere 4.1, All I did was lower the white level a little (from 255 to 240) and all of the white details were there.
by the Way, the ND filter on the JVC is manually controlled. On/Off. He might have forgotten to turn it on.

Interesting.

NEEL
06-30-2009, 03:15 AM
Hi Andy, thanks for the information.


Here is the nice HM 100 sunlight stuff I was looking for:

http://www.vimeo.com/5408115.

Looks like bright light conditions are no problem for the cam to handle with if it is well adjusted... On the german board slashcam.com is a discussion going on how to optimize the HM 100: The hm 100 seems to generally overexpose with at least one stop. This means to always use the ND filter (and maybe even ad an extra one), adjusting the knee-function in the menu and to set back the gammas to a lower value.

egoshin
07-09-2009, 08:08 PM
Looks like bright light conditions are no problem for the cam to handle with if it is well adjusted... On the german board slashcam.com is a discussion going on how to optimize the HM 100: The hm 100 seems to generally overexpose with at least one stop. This means to always use the ND filter (and maybe even ad an extra one), adjusting the knee-function in the menu and to set back the gammas to a lower value.

Basing on my own experience it looks like overexposed in viewfinder but the result picture is pretty right. It has a zebra function and I monitor it on 80%level and it looks it does a good exposition job.

pailes
07-10-2009, 07:59 AM
I was actually thinking about getting the HM 100 but after seeing those images I'm happy that I went with the HMC.

colin rowe
07-23-2009, 08:02 AM
I tested both cams extensively, and came down on the side of the GY HM100. Picture quality is great on both cams, but IMO, and it is very subjective, the JVC just shaded the Panny. The Sony EX workflow is an absolute doddle compared to the Panasonics AVCHD. Both cameras are excellent, and capable of great results. Anybody would be pleased with either. BTW The ND filter is a must in all daylight shooting with the HM100, not just bright sunny conditions

NEEL
08-03-2009, 04:36 AM
I have made up my mind.... Its a HMC 151 now!!!

It was a hard decision, since both cams deliver great results. Here I am with you, Colin. The main reason which draw me to the HMC 151 after testing both cams was the excellent lowlight capability and the better lens system, which starts at 28mm. The JVC wideangle converter didnt produce the same quality as the Panies one in my eyes. Also I had the impression that the Pany is a lot easier to handle, especially for documentary shootings, where its sometimes necessary to be able to react quickly.

On the downside there is the bigger size and the AVCHD codec. This is quite uncomfortable for me, since I am editing with Avid. I will probably go for a DNxHD workflow, but still testing. After all, I shot my first shortfilm with the new camera last week and just love the picture quality, it really looks "filmish".

So - good bye HM 100. I probably will go for a HM 200 next year (hopefully with a better handling and more ND's) or wait till Sony will come up with their version of a small size 1080p cam.

Mattsan
08-04-2009, 04:39 PM
you'll be sorry - if u take the time to tweak the JVC u can get impressive results everytime.

most over exposed videos are due to ND not being engaged - so many are treating this cam like they would a consumer cam.

If you know what yr doing this cam will deliver time after time

check out my tweaked settings here

http://www.vimeo.com/5799495

Mark Turner
08-05-2009, 01:18 AM
I actually started a similar thread before I noticed this. I have a similar question in my mind... the other option I am interested in is the mkii.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=179464

I am moving to Haiti soon, and looking to buy a camera which I can both use to take documentary footage of life there, and also use as the basis of a small business.

I have found myself steered towards these two cameras - and am attracted by the solid state, as it seems the obvious way things are all going (though haven't completely ruled out tape yet.)

The HMC150 obviously has lots of positive reviews, but I am also attracted by the HM100, due to its small size and native FCP. (and then there is the Mkii, of course)

A couple of questions:

- How significant is the quality difference? Clearly the 1/3" sensors will be better for low light, but does it go significantly beyond that?

- I am looking to buy a MacBookPro and FCP for editing, but is this a sensible solution for the HMC150? Or might I do better going with PC and a different editing system?

- Comparing the two, the HM100 seems a lot smaller and convenient for low-key work, say in a Haitian slum. How easy have people found the HMC150 to use in more difficult environments?

- Are there other cameras people would suggest instead of these for my purposes?

- How good is the HMC150 for getting that more filmic quality, something I would be interested in achieving for documentary work. Can I achieve a satisfactory shallowness of field by playing with the iris and tele?

- I am thinking of purchasing over the next few days... but am well aware sometimes new things come out that change everything (including price). Any major surprises in this bracket I need to be aware of?

- How would either of these cameras compare to going the DSLR route? (Mkii)

Thanks!

NEEL
08-06-2009, 12:54 AM
you'll be sorry - if u take the time to tweak the JVC u can get impressive results everytime.

most over exposed videos are due to ND not being engaged - so many are treating this cam like they would a consumer cam.


http://www.vimeo.com/5799495

The HM 100 comes with only one ND. So if you need another ND (which was necessary the day I tested it) you have to manually adapt one onto the lens.

If you are gonna use a wideangel with the HM 100, you will need to buy a third ND which fits onto that wideangel lens.

I personally prefer to attach an UV or a polarization filter onto my lens instead of additional ND's. Also, with a wideangel lens the HM 100 isn't that small anymore. If you consider that both cams are capable of producing amazing images but the Pany is just easier to handle plus better in lowlight plus comes along with three ND's then I really don't know why I should feel sorry. Another weekness of the HM 100 to me are the small but expensive batteries. As far as I found out, they dont last longer than roughly one hour each. So be prepared to buy another 3-6 batteries for the HM100 if you plan to shoot a day outside. 300-600 Dollars for the batteries, 300 Dollars for the wideangel plus the ND's. For the HMC I only need one additional battery...

To be honest, both cams are just "intermediate cams" to me. This means that I consider them to be useful for the next couple of projects, but not for lifetime, not even for longer than 6-8 months. 2010 will be an interesting year for camcordernews and I am pretty shure Panasonic won't let the chance go to throw a camcorder on the market which uses a GH1 sensor or similar. If Panasonic doesn't, Canon is already preparing to do so (at least there was a rumor leaking on canonrumors). I really expect the combination of DSLRs and camcorders to be the future. Just at the moment the HMC 151 is definitely the better bargain for my small projects...

Cranky
08-06-2009, 01:28 AM
The HM 100 comes with only one ND. So if you need another ND (which was necessary the day I tested it) you have to manually adapt one onto the lens.
Isn't it hilarious that consumer Canon and Sony camcorders come with built-in ND that can cover up to 4 stops, automatically? Who needs manual ND filter on a 1/4-inch chip anyway, everything at F4 and higher F-number will be pretty much in focus. Does anyone really needs F8? This is exactly what Sony and Canon do, keeping the lens at F4 or F5.6 depending on a model.

Barry_Green
08-06-2009, 11:49 AM
Have you seen how those ND filters work on those consumer cameras? It's like a gradient wheel that sits in front of the sensor, clear at one point and gradually darkening to 4 stops at another point, and then it rotates in front of the lens. No fixed stops.

Clever idea, but it always seemed to me like you'd have uneven filtration that way, but I never saw evidence of such in my HV20, so...

Cranky
08-06-2009, 11:58 AM
Have you seen how those ND filters work on those consumer cameras? It's like a gradient wheel that sits in front of the sensor, clear at one point and gradually darkening to 4 stops at another point, and then it rotates in front of the lens. No fixed stops.

Clever idea, but it always seemed to me like you'd have uneven filtration that way, but I never saw evidence of such in my HV20, so...
I don't know the exact mechanics of how it works, I haven't cracked open a working camera, but judging by patents that Sony and Canon obtained, it is something like an ND wheel. I can assure you that it is absolutely even, at least no worse than other camcorders without filter. Vignetting, if ever occurs, is natural looking, on a perimeter. Stops are fixed, 1/4-stop on the Canons and 1/2-stop on the Sonys. Basically, on the Canons you either change aperture by 1/4-stop, or the camera changes ND by 1/4-stop, or you change gain by 1.5dB, which is again 1/4-stop. Same on the Sonys, gain is changed by 3dB and aperture/ND by 1/2-stop.

This is VERY clever and very appropriate on small-chip cameras where you don't really need larger F-numbers and you really want to avoid them to avoid aberration and other nasty stuff of small cheap lenses. Panasonic consumer camcorders are clearly lagging behind. I wonder what ND filter will the HMC40 use. Considering that it is there, but there is no manual control over it, I BET THAT IT USES THE SAME APPROACH. Because an automatic filter that jumps 3 stops and then jumps out would be totally unacceptable.

Barry_Green
08-06-2009, 03:58 PM
It did certainly seem to work well on the HV20. But have you peered into the lens and seen the actual filter? It just doesn't seem like it should work that well. But... it does appear to work fine. I don't know that it makes enough sense to me, how it's designed, but I can't argue that the transitions always looked seamless.

If there's no manual control over the HMC40's ND filter, then I'd agree that it's very likely they're using the same approach.

Cranky
08-06-2009, 04:25 PM
This is what happens with automatic ND filter on Canon and Sony camcorders. Left to right on the chart from maximum exposure to minimum exposure. There are no numbers, they are not important. Also, this chart is correct only when shutter speed is locked.

1. Starting from maximum exposure and gain cranked to the max. When exposure is reduced (Exp control on the Canons, Exposure bar on the Sonys, presumably Iris wheel on the HMC40), gain is decreased. Each step is aligned with aperture steps, so if aperture changes in 1/4 stop, then gain is decreased in 1.5dB per step. Panasonic consumer camcorders work in the same manner as well.

2. When gain is zeroed, decreasing exposure means increasing f-number, up to an optimal for a particular lens. The graph shows exposure, not f-number, so a smaller f-number should be on the left, say F1.8, and a larger on the right, say F16. Yeah, the picture may seem unintuitive at first.

3. ND filter kicks in, and adds 1/4 or 1/2 stop of filtering per step, keeping aperture constant. There is no change in DOF, but image consistently gets darker when exposure is reduced.

4. After ND is fully engaged (4 stops on newer Canon cameras), aperture closes down until iris is fully closed.

The result: a linear exposure response through the whole range of gain/ND/aperture, and no spikes in exposure or DOF.

With shutter kept on auto the camera response becomes less predictable and depends on internal brains as well as on scene modes. For example, when in Cinemode, Canon tries to keep 1/48 shutter for 24p mode and 1/60 shutter for 60i mode. I have no idea what modern Sony cameras do.

bmoede
11-22-2010, 04:06 PM
To me it looks like the JVC camera is simply overexposed a bit. Just closing down a stop would take care of this. Really not a good comparison until you can set proper exposure on both cameras.