Here's my conundrum...I can afford either the hmc150 or the hpx170, and my needs as of right now would be events videography(i.e weddings) and short narrative work. I just recently purchased a new imac and so im looking towards finalcut studio as my nle. I was just wondering which camcorder id be better off with...budget isnt a concern, but this is more of a question of image quality and storage convenience....how would u compare the two camcorders in these regards...how does avchd hold up in comparison to the prohd? Im ready to plunk the money down but im concerned that when it comes down to it, ill either pick a camcorder thats has 2000 dollars worth of features ill hardly ever use or pick a camcorder that uses a compression that'll be more of a nussance when it comes to keying or compositing for... any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thread: Best Bang for the buck...
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10-10-2008 04:18 AM
10-10-2008 04:56 AM
HPX170. If you doing any type of narrative work you still may need some of those HPX features. If budget is no concern I would go with the HPX all day.
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10-10-2008 06:06 AM
I'd say the 150 because as I understand it image-wise they are about the same. I have not seen any side by side test so I'm stating what I've heard on that.
What I know:
SD cards are cheaper and easier to find than P2 cards.
DVCPRO HD is easier from a workflow standpoint.
AVCHD files are smaller so you can gain in hard drive space.
I'd say look at the two cameras feature-wise and if the 170 has things that you need then there you go.
But if the 150 covers your needs I would go with it.
Can anyone offer real proof of the image quailty of the 150 vs 170?An UNPURE D800, Canon 7D | Dell M6500 - MSI GS70 | Windows 7 Pro 64bit - 8 Pro 64bit
10-10-2008 06:55 AM
I have a HVX200 and really like it. The CODEC is terrific and the P2 media is stable.
Here's my take.
If you're doing wedding and event stuff, you likely don't have a need for variable frame rate control that you can't get from software manipulation - that is, you can fake what you need.
What the event guy/gal needs is long run times, something that the HMC150 will give them over the HXP170, in terms of cheaper media without trying to do some downloading or using a Firestore to collect content.
Kurt's footage of green screen is terrific. I took some of this generously provided footage into both Premiere (using the Panasonic AVCHD to DVCPro CODEC) and Vegas Pro 8 and it looked pretty good to me - I think will pass the most critical viewer's tests.
If I were doing work that called for texture - mixed frame rates, a lot of changing of custom scene files - or transfer of video to film, I probably would suggest the HPX170.Mike Gunter
Glacier Lily Productions
10-10-2008 07:14 AM
AVCHD has a higher resolution. DVCProHD has 4:2:2 color space. Other than that, the images ought to be really similar I would think. The question is... do you need all or most of the the features the HPX has over the HMC? Do you need SDI out? Over/Undercranking?
Also, you're going to get an 90minutes of high quality footage on a 16gig SDHC card. You definately won't get that on a 16gig P2
Also, download some of the AVCHD footage to make sure your iMac can handle it. I was under the impression that only MacPro's would work.
10-10-2008 09:49 AM
My G5 handles DVCProHD or AIC pretty well and have read many edit their HVX footage on lesser powerful machines with no problems. So I think you will be all right with the iMac for now but when native support for AVCHD comes along you may need a beefier processor.
10-10-2008 10:11 AM
As far and image quality, it should be about the same, because both the 150 and 170 use the same CCDs and lens. The only real difference is the CODEC.
As far as work flow, the DVCPRO-HD is a safe bet, HVX-200 users have been using it for several years now and have it nailed down. We are at the front end of the AVCHD work flow, but in the case of an iMAC, transcoding does seem to be the best solution right now. Most would point to Toast 9 as the current best answer. However, over time as improved software comes out, that is likely to change and any change will be for the better...
IF 720p mode is the resolution you wish to use, that is the 150's sweet point. That's the mode with the lowest compression ratio, thus the chance of compression noise is very small. Both cameras do very well here, but this is the 150's strong point.
IF 1080 mode is the mode you wish to record in, that is the mode that the the strong point for the 170. Unlike the 150, the compression ratio is the same for all modes on the 170, so the highest resolution offers the most detail. Sadly, the special effects (overcranking, undercranking, and slow motion) are all limited to 720p mode. For 1080, the 170 has an advantage over the 150 in terms of compression.
So, the resolution (720 or 1080) you intend to use may be a deciding factor as to which camera to purchase. I hope this helps...
10-10-2008 10:22 AM
I would like to point out that while more compressed, AVCHD is 1920x1080, whereas DVCProHD is 1280x1080, so it may be a wash there. The colors will probably look slightly better on DVCProHD though.
But if you're transcoding to DVCProHD to edit anyways... it's kind of a moot point.
10-10-2008 11:34 AM
If color is that important, that isn't a moot point since if you transcode from avchd, you already lost the color info and took a re-encoding hit. DVCproHD is also better suited to fast motion at 1080. I personally enjoy that the 150 can have sharper 720p60 than any (non avc-intra) P2 cam.
For the original poster, the 150 makes more sense so long as you can deal with avchd. Unless there are nitty gritty details that get to you, they are both great cams with a great picture. For many people the record times and media cost is going to be the main factor to sway them to the 150.
Last edited by mcsmooth; 10-10-2008 at 11:39 AM.