is it true that current HDV cams such as XHA1, Z5/Z7, FX1000 have better quality that HMC150? HMCs native CCD resolution is lot less than the Z5/FX1000, which has full 1920x1080 CMOS.
So what can be the difference in HDMI output of both cams if i want to capture it uncompressed.
this is hmc forum so i know everyone will take hmc's side but i want answer from someone who used all these cams with hmc150.
Thread: HMC150 vs Z5, FX1000, XHA1
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06-16-2009 10:54 PM
06-17-2009 02:07 AM
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- Newcastle, UK
There are lots of threads already comparing these cameras, so do read the others. However, to add a few words here:
I recently completed a shoot with two XHA1 and my HMC151: a lecture/performance in rather poor light. The HMC image certainly holds up better in low light conditions, and it looks much smoother than the A1 footage in the rushes - more detail in the shadows too. The A1 might have the edge in resolution, but in these circumstances that just shows me the noise/grain with more clarity. I could have done with a longer zoom on the HMC - the long end of the focal range is a bit short for close-ups - but it's a fair compromise to get the wider wide-angle.
The Canon XHA1 is an excellent camera, solid, excellent handling, and a great lens. In good light it's capable of delivering very lovely pictures with plenty of detail, but I'm happy to have chosen the HMC over it.
The Z5 is a different beast, really. In the UK it's 30% more expensive than the HMC151, and if you want the card reader add-on it's pushing very close to a Z7 in price. I'm willing to believe that it offers the HMC's low light performance and the XHA1's resolution, but for the price, so it should.
My understanding is that the HMC's internal processing and HDMI output is all done at 1920x1080, upsampled from the sensor. I'm willing to believe that, in principle, the XHA1 and Z5 can offer more detail within that frame, but whether you acquire a more pleasing image from them in practice depends on what you're shooting, how you use the cameras, and what sort of image you like.
06-17-2009 09:02 AM
As was mentioned, you also must compare cameras of similar price range, etc. to be fair. As was mentioned, the Z5 and Z7 are significantly more expensive. There are many other factors besides resolution that must be compared between cameras, but in terms of pure image quality, this is the best comparison that I've seen yet between these cameras:
The FX1000, Z5/Z7 all use the same optical block and therefore should be similar in low light performance. The Sonys appear to have a bit better low light sensitivity without gain, the HMC150 appears to be able to handle increases in gain a bit better. I have run the gain on the HMC up to 12 without a significant increase in noticeable grain in the image.
Then there's the rolling shutter, the trade off in going with the CMOS sensors. It is very relevent to overall image quality. Depending on what you are using it for, this could be insignificant or it could be a fatal flaw. For event videography, I feel it is borderline unacceptable. For indie filmmaking with no fast panning or flash photography, it is insignificant.
In the end, it depends on what is meant by "better quality". In terms of pure resolution, the Sonys and the Canon may be better. In terms of color reproduction, low light, rolling shutter, and other factors that affect the image, the HMC compares favorably or beats the other cameras.
06-17-2009 09:22 AM
just becuase its the hmc forum does not mean we will all take the hmc's side. I myself am very aware of this cam's limitiations- but it's imager is not one of them (when you compare it to those other cameras in its price/class).
When is comes to CCD resolution / pixel numbers, I am a firm believer in quality over quantity. As said earlier, although there are less of them- the HMC's pixels are larger which translates into less noise and better color.
06-17-2009 02:50 PM
As a fan of Canon (I still am), I wanted to go with the XH-A1. But the tapeless workflow and the feature set of the HMC150 (not better than the A1's in all aspects, just certain ones that appealed to me) caught my eye and I compared them and Sony's offerings almost nightly for months before deciding on the HMC. So I have been through the concerns over resolution, as they were brought up in numerous forums that I perused virtually every time the HMC was mentioned and I held some of those concerns myself. However, this was always raised by those who had not used the camera, and most all judgements were made based on the footage of the original HVX200, the closest thing to the HMC before it came out. While the original HVX was a great camera (most concerns about its resolution were unfounded), the sensors in it and the HMC have been greatly improved. This is nothing you guys don't already know, but that was why I came to the conclusion that the negative opinions of the HMC I was reading (before the camera even came out) were based on outdated and often incomplete information.
So I bought the HMC in January and have not regretted it for a moment. The image is beautiful, and when its not it is because of my error, not the camera's. I use it with my HV30 and the image is always as good or better (sometimes significantly) when placed on the timeline together. I know the HV30 is a consumer camcorder, but it has true 1080 sensors and its image compares favorably to that of the XH-A1 in good light.
If given a choice between the current sensors or higher resolution sensors in the HMC, I would take the current sensors with the larger pixel surface area for the reasons that Edweirdo pointed out.
06-17-2009 04:04 PM
I also do not regret the decision to go with the HMC. Its not perfect, because there are no perfect cameras. To me it's damn close though
However if the OP is concerned with the pixel count of the imager, than they should by a Sony or Canon 3CMOS HD cam- indeed they are higher (to a fault IMO)
06-20-2009 03:34 AM
the intention of my question was actually for independent filmmaking only.
which camera does good for film-like images with consideration of film-out?
and resolution matters when we capture uncompressed through HDMI.
if so, which is the best for this?
06-20-2009 02:03 PM
The HMC has maybe a little less resolution, but it will have the more film like picture.Sylvain Primeau
06-20-2009 05:51 PM
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- LA, CA
I have been shooting with an XHA1 and HMC150 a lot lately, and been mixing footage from them on a regular basis, with very good results. I can in all honesty say that there ain't no visible diff in resolution between the Canon and the HMC when both are shot in 1080i, at least. My experience has been that the Canon will consistently have a slightly warmer, somewhat softer image. Not better or worse, just different.
The one area where the Canon is better by a small margin is in audio quality, when using external XLR mics. Oddly enough the Canon seems to sound a little less boomy in the bass.
But in terms of image quality, the HMC does not suffer at all compared to the Canon XHA1. I know that does not seem possible, given the cam's specs, but in real life, the Panny PQ is slightly better, the Canon audio is slightly better. Oh, the Canon will shoot in 4:3 SD mode if you need it, (although ts a bit soft in this mode) the HMC will not.
As far as I am concerned, I have decided on picking up a second HMC150 as soon as I can. I prefer its PQ over the Canon's. But that's just me. The Canon is still an outstanding cam with much to recommend it. But better PQ? No.
06-20-2009 10:10 PM
Peter, More than likely you won't be capturing uncompressed.. especially on the HDV cameras if you record to tape. The only way to bypass the codec limitations is to record the HDMI or any output live from the camera and not from the recorded medium. So if you were to do that on a set then I think that the 150 would be on par with the other cams.. plus give a more pleasing image.
Considering a film out is a lofty goal for sure and if that's your end result then why wouldn't you be considering shooting on a superior camera like the Red or other options? If I were looking to do a film out, I'd be considering more options unless cost is a factor, and if that's the case, then a film out wouldn't be in the stars either.
You might want to consider even one of the new DSLRs as an option as well.