View Full Version : Panasonic HMC150 vs HMC80 - beginner needs help!!

08-23-2012, 03:20 AM
I am a absolute beginner in this field, and I'd really appreciate any help you guys can give me on this. I'm looking to shoot mostly documentary videos within a faily controlled environment. I love what I've seen of the HMC150, but I also like what I've seen of the HMC80. My original plan was to purchase 2 HMC150's - one for primarily still shots and the other to move around and catch various angles during interviews. So here's my question; Is there a noticeable dropoff in video quality between the two? I've been shopping around, and I can obviously save myself some serious cash by buying one of each. I'm a musician, so I know what it's like to buy a piece of gear that's "not quite as nice" as I would like, only to regret it later. I thank you in advance for any input you may have on this.

capt chuck
08-23-2012, 08:12 AM
Welcome to DVXUser! You may get more response to your question if placed in the Panasonic HMC area, but I don't know if you can move it or not and posting to multiple forums is discouraged.

That said, here is my take. I use two or more cameras for event video all the time, but for documentary work, two cameras can be nice, but you can get quite nice results with just one. You can film the main video and then take some B roll footage afterwards. For example, if the subject is a sports star, I'd rather have my extra footage be of shots of his trophy case vs. different angles of the "talking head" and the shots of the trophies you can take after the main interview. Even if you do decide to use two cameras, I'd still start with, and learn one first. If you do decide that one will do, then you might consider stepping beyond the 150 to something like the AC130. You're right, that as in the music field, you can regret going too low end.

I can't speak to the specifics of the 150 and the 80 image quality since I've not used either, but if you go that way I would guess they would work well together. Others with hands on experience with both will be able to answer that more directly.

08-23-2012, 10:38 AM
The HMC80 has quite different imaging as compared to the HMC150. The HMC150 is much more sensitive (about 500 ISO, vs. about 50 ISO for the HMC80!) In dim conditions, the HMC150 does much better than the HMC80. On the other hand, the HMC80, in bright light, slays the HMC150 in terms of sharpness and smoothness. Daylight exteriors, the HMC80 is quite superior to the HMC150. Interiors, the HMC150 does much better than the HMC80.

The HMC80 is a really interesting camera, as it's a shoulder-mount, with a big magnified viewfinder, and really high-res chips, at a very low cost. But the tradeoff to that is low light sensitivity.

The HMC150 is a workhorse, but it's getting a tad long in the tooth.

The AC130 kind of gives you the best of both worlds in that it's got the sharpness of the HMC80 and the sensitivity of the HMC150, but it's bigger and costs more.

08-23-2012, 02:50 PM
Thanks, guys. I'll check out the AC130 too.