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Showing 1-10 of 25 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 40 reviews
on February 21, 2011
Much has been said, but I'll add a bit. We use this camera for live events and produced videos. Here's what we've learned in 6 months.

1) Buy the 150. We also have the 40 which does what the 150 does, but for pro use, the features are slow and cumbersome to access on the HMC40.

2) Great if you use Adobe Premier C6. Not so much if you use Final Cut Pro 7. We have both. Premier is native to AVCHD. With Final Cut, the transcoding is almost worse than tape ingestion. With Premier, you can preview the videos easily, edit them easily, and you aren't so dependent on rendering.

3) Watch the errors. We had one interview error after 45 minutes and lost it. It's the first in 7 months of usage, but we lost about $4000 worth of footage. Panasonic has a recovery tool, but it didn't work. We were using a Transcend card (cheaper) on that shoot, so we won't do that again. We'll go back to Sandisk.

4) Low light is much worse than SD, but I guess all HD is. It works for us because we light everything. Wouldn't work if you don't have lighting control.

5) We really wish it had a 20x zoom. The 13x is a compromise from our old 100A's.

We'll probably buy another one, but we're waiting to see if Cannon comes out with an SD card based HD camera.
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on December 28, 2009
I knew I would have to do it sooner or later. Even shooting Super 16mm is (a) too expensive and (b) too heavy. I have seen so many good documentary films that originated on HDV or AVCHD based camcorders that I thought I should really make an effort to go digital.
As it happened, I attended a Panasonic seminar that convincingly touted the value of a modern H.264 type codec for the "filmakers" vision. So the Sony and Canon alternatives were effectively eliminated as options by the smooth presentations given by Panasonic. This left the choice of cameras down to the HMC40 (cheaper and lighter) or the HMC150. Both can do the things I need to do (24P being a requirement)and both are designed to create a "film-like" look to the image.
My choice of the HMC150 was based on the feeling that 3 1/3" imagers are going to be less noisy than the 3 1/4" imagers installed in the newer HMC40 camera. I did not do any side-by-side comparison testing but I am guessing that I am correct in this assumption although the degree of difference may not be noticeable in the final image.
It has been about two months that I have been using this camera. What it can stuff into a tiny SD memory card is amazing to me. The images have been outstanding for a television camera and really not too bad for a cinema camera. I miss interchangeable lenses and controllable depth of field but I don't miss changing the magazine after a few takes and I dont miss heavy battery packs and Nagra sound recorders.
I did find that the manual iris control on the camera is impossible to use while shooting and that manual focus is also clumsly and can create sound noise while filming if you are using the on-board mic or even the mounted shotgun. The simple solution was a Vari-zoom remote and that fixed the two biggest operational problems I had.
The camera was packed with GVG's Edius Neo. That works a treat with AVCHD and as long as you have a decent modern laptop with sufficent speed and memory, it is fast enough to operate and to render out edit files to disk or SD card. I prefer to have the final finishing completed by a real editor (probably using FCP) but I can manage the rough edits with Edius without too many problems.
So, I am not sorry. This is the first digital cinema type camera that I have purchased and it will probably be the gateway drug to a Red One or something like that. I miss film but if you are not making a feature film with multiple rented 35mm cameras (paid for by someone else), why not use a camera like the HMC150? The cost of the hardware is more than offset when compared to running a S16mm camera to create 60 minutes of finished projectable film. SD cards are cheap. Digital projectors are getting better and DI from inexpensive digital cameras to 35mm film neg is possible if the content is good enough to justify the cost.
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on October 15, 2016
One of 4 I have been using for over 1000 hours to shoot stage shows. Great control. I had to add little bumps of hot melt glue to the Shutter Speed buttons so I could find them faster in the dark. Wish the gain switch was near the rear so I could access it faster. I use external monitors, so I use the onboard monitor for the video wave function. I took the shields off the volume controls because they are hard to adjust with them on. Overall, a great camera.
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on February 18, 2011
I'm not going to bother going over the pros and cons in their entirety... I second everything that the other reviewers are saying.
This truly is a great option if you are looking to step up to tapeless HD...

One concern I had when looking to buy was rendering the codec, I have a fairly new mid-high end Dell laptop that handles the AVCHD codec just fine when editing with CS5 Premier PRO.

First Impressions:
This camera is very light! Once you read the book the functionality is pretty straightforward...

I've shot several projects with it so far and many people have been shocked at the quality from it.
Great camera, I bought mine 'used' from Amazon's 'Warehouse Deals' so I got a great price.
I don't regret it for a second.
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on March 22, 2010
I got my HMC-150 in january and yet i don't have any regret of this. Well, the only thing that i can say is that it came with a nano battery, it only longs for 100 minutes, which is almost nothing. You need o buy it with a larger battery separately.

I love the fact that it records in SD card, is really practical, easy to use, and highly safe. I had doubts about this delicate data being saved in this tiny SD cards, but now i love it. The AVCHD codec is awesome, it looks better than the Panasonic P2 200. I want to buy an 35mm Nikkor adapter to get better deep of field... But the optical is really good too, it's wider than the older models, and has more deep of field too.

This is a great product if you want to record truly HD videos. The price is really reasonable, and easy to use too.
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on May 21, 2014
This is a superior film camera. I have a Canon 7D with HD shooting capability and many lenses, but focusing is always an issue and a concern in it. As you shoot in the 7D, you must monitor the focusing as you get closer or farther from your subject. With this Panasonic camera, you have manual and auto modes for those can't-miss-shots. Also, a couple of zoom assist buttons. The camera is intimidating at first with all the controls and tweaks, but if you're planning on using it and really learning it, it is worth it in my opinion. At this time, my opinion is that this camera, along with similar cameras from other makers will produce a higher quality video than a DSLR. Principally, because of the focusing issue. It is also lighter than my 7D with my lenses. I also purchased the Varizoom iris/focus/zoom controller (extra) and I'm very pleased with the results. A bummer: At this time, the camera will only accept SD cards up to 32GB. However, this is plenty to shoot long scenes and given the price of those SD cards, you can have plenty on-hand. I also mounted it in a Stedi-cam knock off and I love the results, specially since it has the on-board LCD display (at time, a little small). Power may be an issue depending which battery you use, but with wall power it is not. Finally, I opted for this camera for the Leica Diacomar lens. It is very good, even though other makes offered more zoom power. As with photography, your videos depend a lot on post production and the AVCHD format is accepted by many video manipulation makers.
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on September 10, 2016
For a good HD camcorder it stop right hear for me love it quality excellent I am a Sony fellow just branch out to try Panasonic so far so good everyone that comes across this picture just say wow.
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on May 8, 2009
I debated for a few months whether to buy this camera or a Sony or Canon HDV. I knew the new MPEG4 format would be harder to edit, and possibly require a computer update. Nevertheless I was impressed with the quality of images reported, the light weight and ease of recording on a chip. I've only had the cam for a couple of weeks and used it only once on a shoot for my job with community television. It worked well. I am used to using a Sony PD-170, and the low light ability didn't match up to that, but not surprised. Gain setting of +12db doesn't produce grain. So far the only thing I'm a little disappointed with is the LCD viewfinder. With all the developments in LCD technology in the past couple of years I was expecting to see a finer grain image. Instead it looks like three or four year old technology--like an SD screen on a HD cam. I have a Canon HV-30 and the LCD is smaller but gorgeous. Of course that doesn't have any effect on the image the cam produces, but it's a bit of a turn off. You have to use your imagination as to what the final results will be or use an external LCD monitor. I still like the cam for its low weight and ease of use. I use for weddings and other event shoots--quite a bit of hand-held and with monopod. Time will tell how it all pans out. I'm in the process of upgrading my computer and editing software to handle the AVCHD. That's the future? We'll see.
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on May 24, 2009
Coming from a DVX100B, I find myself shooting with this camera far more than I ever did with the DVX. Going tapeless is the primary reason and the beautiful shots this camera is able to produce is the secondary. Final Cut makes capturing footage as simple as drag and drop. There's no more nonsense of having a deck to capture things in real time anymore. The SD card format also means reviewing footage on a shoot is painless and won't require rewinding tape to try and get to a particular shot. As for the picture quality, it's gorgeous. Sharp, colorful, and 24P is amazing in low light. From what I've seen on Vimeo and read on forums, other HD cameras in the Panasonic line up like the HVX and HPX, offer just about the same image quality but their prices are thousands more and you're forced to use P2. Unless you're concerned about having more frame rate choices for overcranking and undercranking, this is the camera to get.
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on September 8, 2015
Continues to serve extremely well for videography work years after purchase.
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