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EX1R vs Panasonic GY-HM750 (or other options)

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    EX1R vs Panasonic GY-HM750 (or other options)

    Background: I have not been involved in pro video production at all for about 15 years, and haven't done it full time for about 25 years. The cameras I used to use cost as much as my house. Technology has moved on

    I want to get back into video on a part time basis.

    I've been trying to get up to speed on what is available in cameras now days. I'm looking for something that will be suitable for music clips, but will need to use it for events as well to justify spending so much money. Being used to professional cameras from years ago I don't think I could live with anything that doesn't have proper pro ergonomics, even though I've been reasonably impressed with the quality of the output I've found on the Internet from some modern high-end consumer camcorders.

    So far, the 2 cameras that interest me the most are the EX1R and the HM750, but I have not been able to find any sample clips from either of them. I'm assuming the output quality will be good from both of them.

    I am unable to put my hands on either of these cameras (or any pro cameras) due to where I live (Cairns, Australia).

    The JVC is only $500 more than the Sony and apart from the chip size seems to be better suited to me.

    - The EX1R is not shoulder mount. I don't know what it's going to be like to hand-hold until I try it.

    - SxS cards are incredibly expensive (4x the price) and Sony state that Using SDHC is only for emergencies.

    - The HM750 has an interchangeable lens, but in reality I'm likely to stick with the stock lens anyway.

    I will be editing with Premiere and After Effects and would prefer to avoid the extra time and possible generation loss required to transcode. The bread and butter work is going to require the fastest turnaround possible.

    So my questions:

    How does the low-light performance of these cameras compare?

    Does anyone have any sample clips that can be shared?

    Can someone please send me one of each camera to try?

    Any other opinions on the pros and cons for event/ENG use?
    Last edited by Mike Warren; 04-11-2011, 07:11 PM.

    #2
    Overall, the EX series has a better reputation than the JVC HM-700 series. The EX will be better in low light but not by yards. Maybe a stop better. I have heard the HM-700 series has some noise issues but has a nice image if one stays to 720p. Both use the same codec which is easy to edit without transcoding. The JVC has great ergonomics. The EX is horrible to hand hold. It is too heavy and does not have a lot to hold on to/rest on. The EX has CMOS chips, the JVC has CCD chips. CCDs are better for more movement like sports. The EX has a 1080p chipset which is about the best bang for the buck on the market image quality wise.

    Overall, it is a tough choice. I prefer the larger cameras the pro lenses. The control is just better and allows you to make a better product when you are filming live. Produced, non-camera moving productions are where the EX shines.

    Mike, what is your budget?
    What is most important to you? Resolution? Feel?
    Do you deliver on DVD or Blu-ray?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Bassman2003 View Post
      Overall, the EX series has a better reputation than the JVC HM-700 series.
      Oops, brain fart. Of course I meant JVC, not Panasonic. In my defence I would like to point out that I was looking at the Panasonic web site just before posting.

      I have heard the HM-700 series has some noise issues but has a nice image if one stays to 720p.
      I detest noise. That used to be a bit of a problem with non-controlled situations in the analog days. I prefer not using an on-camera light unless there is no choice. I guess noise processing software will help in a pinch, but that will always be a compromise and take extra time.

      I prefer the larger cameras the pro lenses. The control is just better and allows you to make a better product when you are filming live.
      That's the issue. It won't matter if the picture quality is slightly better if the footage wobbles all over the place because I can't hold the camera steady enough. I hope that low light situations won't come up all that often, but Mr. Murphy seems to take a particular interest in me.


      Produced, non-camera moving productions are where the EX shines.
      Ideally, I would want a large format camera for the music videos, but can't justify spending that sort of money unless the camera can be pushed into service for other, more profitable work. Renting this sort of equipment is impractical in my town.

      Mike, what is your budget?
      Budget for the camera itself is ideally less than $10K, but I could go to $15K in a pinch.

      What is most important to you? Resolution? Feel?
      Ah, there's the rub. Resolution and low noise is always very important to me. I want a film feel for the music videos, but quick, accurate, clear capture is most important for everything else. What I really need is 2 cameras, but that isn't going to happen, so I need to come up with the best compromise. I'm confident just by looking at the pictures in the brochures that the JVC will be very comfortable for me to use, but I have no experience with anything like the Sony.

      Do you deliver on DVD or Blu-ray?
      I expect that delivering on Blu-ray will be important, at least some of the time. I need to produce output that looks professional.

      Ultimately, I guess I need to fly to a larger city for a day where I can actually try them both. That would add nearly $1K to the cost so it would be nice not to have to do it.

      Thanks for your input, Bassman.

      Comment


        #4
        More questions Mike.

        Do you want shallow DOF?
        Do 1/3" chip cameras fit your bill?
        Do you have a preference for CCD or CMOS?
        Do you shoot 24p or more motion like 60p/60i?
        Do you need great low light performance or do you often shoot in controlled lighting?

        It seems noise plagues a lot of these more affordable HD cameras. There is another camera that sould be on your list and that is the Canon XF300. Supposed to be better for handholding and very clean but is around the HM-700 for light sensitivity.

        You could also consider the HPX-370 but I have read mixed reviews about its noise as well but it has a large format layout.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Bassman2003 View Post
          More questions Mike.
          Do you want shallow DOF?
          For the arty stuff, yes, but not for the event work, so I'm willing to forgo it in the interests of compromise.

          Do 1/3" chip cameras fit your bill?
          Well, I don't really know. I feel comfortable 1/2" or larger, but I may be perfectly happy with 1/3".

          Do you have a preference for CCD or CMOS?
          Not really. Both types have their failings.

          Do you shoot 24p or more motion like 60p/60i?
          It must have 1080/24p. As to other formats; I don't know if acceptable 60i (30fps, interlaced) can be output from 30p. I do need both NTSC and PAL frame rates as the final product. It looks to me like these 2 cameras both have a suitable range of formats.

          Do you need great low light performance or do you often shoot in controlled lighting?
          It's been my experience that lighting can often be fairly poor at events. Not candle light, but normal room lighting at night time.

          There is another camera that sould be on your list and that is the Canon XF300.
          At a glance that looks like it would be more uncomfortable to handhold than the EX1. I'll study it some more.

          You could also consider the HPX-370 but I have read mixed reviews about its noise as well but it has a large format layout.
          I can't find a listing for the 370 here, but there's a 372 available. It's getting close to my top price so would need to be appreciably better than the others.

          Comment


            #6
            Low light wise, the EX1R will be the best here. I can't answer about the handholding, as I've never used one, but the JVC will be better here regardless, because it's a shoulder mount cam and very lightweight. I had a JVC HD200, which has the same form factor as the HM750, and it was easy to handhold.
            The EX1R should deliver sharper images as it's a full raster 1920x1080 camera. You might also look into the EX3. It's a semi-shoulder mount, but after using one, I find it very uncomfortable to handhold. It's heavier than the others and awkward to use. Every time I tried to adjust the focus, iris, etc., the camera would flop to the left, it was so front heavy.

            I looked at all the cameras above and chose the Canon XF305. I liked the codec, the full raster 1920x1080 chips, and it's very clean for a 1/3" cam. It also has very sharp resolution. I have handheld it and I don't have too much of a problem with it. It'll never be as comfortable as the HM750, of course.

            But if low light is your biggest issue, the EX1R wins, no doubt.

            Comment


              #7
              I think there is a rebate on the Panasonic HPX-370 unless it is over by now. People were saying it was $7,000 US with the lens. The tough choice is that each camera has a drawback. EX-1 great image, good light performance, but it is a brick. XF305 great image, better to handhold, but suffers a bit in light performance. The HPX-370 has a great image and has a great form factor, but you would need to decide about the noise as user reviews are all over the map. Plus P2 is a cost that has to factored in. Same with the JVC on the image and noise areas.

              To be honest, buying SD cameras was so much easier! There was just good, better or even better and you chose one. Now it often seems like a game to see what they can strategically leave out and still get you to purchase.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by vanvideo View Post
                Low light wise, the EX1R will be the best here.
                What a dilema. I've just been reading through the HM-750 user manual and it seems that it does not come with a battery or charger and I'm having trouble finding anyone in Australia that carries them. Remote control is also an optional extra. All this does increase the price difference.

                You might also look into the EX3.
                Do you know how the picture quality compares with the EX1R?


                Every time I tried to adjust the focus, iris, etc., the camera would flop to the left, it was so front heavy.
                Hmm, at least there is a point of contact on the shoulder. The only point of contact on the EX1R is the eyepiece. Anyone else here use an EX3?

                I looked at all the cameras above and chose the Canon XF305.
                I downloaded and read the manual, but it's still not looking like a good match for me.

                I do have a bit of time to make a decision. I won't be able to put it to proper use until the end of the year anyway. Perhaps someone will release another contender by then.

                Thanks for your input.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bassman2003 View Post
                  To be honest, buying SD cameras was so much easier!
                  Things certainly seemed more clear cut in the analog days as well.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The EX1R and the EX3 have the same picture quailty. They use the same chips and codec.
                    True, the EX3 does have contact with your shoulder. Well, the front of your shoulder, anyway. Actually, you can do the same with the XF305, kinda. The flip-out monitor is so far forward and the body's long enough that you can place the end of the cam on your shoulder and shoot that way. A little awkward, but it does give some relief.

                    The HM750 uses Anton-Bauer type batteries. You have to buy them separately, but they last a long time and they make them smaller and lighter.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yeah, I found them. They are called IDX batteries here. Looks like the HM750 would cost me about $15K with the initial basic accessories I would need, and about $13K for a setup based on the EX1R. I found some videos that show people holding the EX1R and it doesn't look as awkward as I expected. Very difficult decision without being able to try one myself.

                      I also like the look of the PMW320K, but that starts at $16K before adding basic accessories so it's really pushing my price limits.

                      Anyway, thank you both for your help. I've learnt a lot more about the current state of affairs in the last couple of days.

                      There doesn't seem to be a JVC forum here. Would there be any advantage to asking for a sample clip from a HM750 anywhere else? It would be great if Someone could shoot a couple of seconds of a normal night time indoor scene and send me the file straight from the camera.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        There is a forum for the JVC camera at DVinfo.net

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have an EX1r and after two years am still blown away by the footage. It's freakin' incredible. If you don't want to handhold, you can always slap it on a shoulder mount. There's a reason the EX1r/EX3 cameras are incredibly popular, they're amazing. Most of the cameras are great, but the EX series are everywhere.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Bassman2003 View Post
                            There is a forum for the JVC camera at DVinfo.net
                            Reading that forum I learnt that the HM750 is natively 720. I'm not keen on that.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Buck Forester View Post
                              I have an EX1r and after two years am still blown away by the footage. It's freakin' incredible. If you don't want to handhold, you can always slap it on a shoulder mount. There's a reason the EX1r/EX3 cameras are incredibly popular, they're amazing. Most of the cameras are great, but the EX series are everywhere.
                              Yeah, I think I'm leaning toward the EX1R, EX3 and the PMW320K. I'll need to rethink my budget for the 320, though.

                              Does anyone know if the EX3 suffers the red shadows problem exhibited by the original EX1?

                              Comment

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