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    HMC 150 vs AF100
    #1
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    I've been reading the posts on dvxuser for several years and want to thank the group for the very useful information that has been posted here. In particular, I have Barry's HMC books and have found them and his posts here very helpful.

    A few years ago, my wife and I started doing video biographies for families. The finished edit is provided the families on DVD and viewed by them on high def TVs or sometimes projected. The image quality of our HMC150p at 720/24 is excellent but it obviously lacks the shallow depth of field that an AF100 could provide when matched with some of the good quality Nikon lenses I own. We've been debating whether to upgrade to an AF100. Other than decreased DOF -- which is important --would the AF100 provide a noticable image improvement, keeping in mind that our final product probably would never be viewed on anything larger than a 60 inch TV or possibly projected on a 70-100 inch screen?

    Thanks.

    Jon


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    #2
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    Short answer: yes. Longer answer: it will be sharper, clearer, with much less noise and wonderfully shallow DOF. And more work to get it because you won't have the wonderful servo zoom lens that the HMC150 has.

    So is it worth it? Only you can decide that. For the specific type of work you say you're doing, I would go with an AF100 over an HMC150 if I was just starting out. But since you've already got the 150 and presumably it's paid for, then the question becomes is it worth it to spend the additional to upgrade. That's a question that you and your wallet will have to discuss. If the cost to upgrade isn't all that much, then yes, I'd definitely do it.

    The 150 does a couple of things better than the AF100 or any interchangeable-lens digi-cine camera would; primarily it is immune to flashes or skew, and it has the servo zoom lens. Other than those two things, which don't really factor into the work you're describing at all, I'd say the AF100 has advantages left and right.


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    #3
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    Let me play devil's advocate here, if I may--how much of that "sharper & clearer" is going to survive burning to DVD at SD and then scaling back up to HD on a TV or to whatever resolution a projector might be? I see a lot of people here say that HD acquisition down-converted to SD deliverable looks better than native SD acquisition, which I'm not sure if I believe but I've never seen them to compare, but what I'm really wondering is how the up-converting that the TV or projector is going to do is going to affect it.
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    #4
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    If you're delivering on standard-def DVD, I doubt there'd be any difference.

    If delivering in HD through vimeo, youtube, or blu-ray etc., there will be a notable difference.


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    #5
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    Thanks for the quick replies everyone. I provide the clients with both a standard def DVD and blu-ray, so it appears that the AF100 would make a real difference. Now my wife and I have to look at the finances! Jon


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    #6
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    I would also consider using a 35mm adaptor with the hmc with a couple used nikon primes. Cheap way too get a gorgeous DOF look (nicer than a f100 in my opinion) and very practical for well-lit sit-down interviews.


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    #7
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    You could always go for a GH2 and hack it instead of getting the AF100. Save yourself a lot of money!


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    #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarijedi View Post
    You could always go for a GH2 and hack it instead of getting the AF100. Save yourself a lot of money!
    Save some money, and in the process give up variable frame rates, SDI output, the ability to get 4:2:2, give up timecode, proper audio controls, neutral density filters, lots of image controls, and in the process gain a whole lot of rubbery skew.

    The GH2 (with or without a hack) is not a substitute for an AF100, no moreso than a motorcycle is a proper substitute for an SUV. And, while people seem to loath car comparisons, I think this one is pretty accurate. The GH2 is less expensive and sharper, just like a motorcycle is less expensive and faster and gets better gas mileage. And the SUV is bigger, heavier, more expensive, slower, and gets worse gas mileage -- but it does a million things that the motorcycle doesn't.

    People should pick the product that does what they need.


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    #9
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    Can you afford to keep the 150?
    I shoot with the HMC150 and AF101 (with Canon FD primes) for corporate/events/weddings and they match up really well in post.


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