You are here

Which Camcorder HMC 40 TM700 or maybe HMC 150

kmaultsby's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 09/12/2009 - 9:45pm

Hello everyone getting back into my favorite hobby will be
purchase my first tape-less camcorder. I edit with Avid Media Composer
5. I do not do this for a living just a hobby. The events I will be
using the camcorder for is things like Air, and Car Shows, Vacations, and
family events. I am looking at the Panasonic TM700 and HMC-40 and if I
can fine a used one HMC 150 but the 150 most likely will be out of my budget,
back to 700 and the 40. What are the major differences between the two?
I worry about the 40 maybe too big for taking on vacation. I would love
to read any suggestion and feedback on the cameras. What are the advantages disadvantages?


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

HMC-40 is a decent enough product but I continue to have a personal aversion to the CMOS sensors. I prefer the HMC-150 primarily because it has CCD sensors that do not experience some of the "issues" of the CMOS variety.

There's also the shoulder-size HMC-70 that, although it's CMOS based, sounds like a sweet compromise and allows for SD and HD production work. Actually, the Videomaker banner ad features an HMC-80 for about $2,885 that looks interesting, also CMOS.

Canon's Vixia line has some suitable models worth considering, and there's a host of Sony enthusiasts here who will no doubt pipe in.


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Max portability - I'd choose the TM700. If you've got money, than I'd get the HMC80. The only real issue with CMOS is rolling shutter. You don't really notice it with high end camcorders, though.

I only notice it on my Panasonic TM700 with sudden jerks in 24p (web-converted) video. Blur's a side effect of shutter speed - in all video cams.


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

We just purchased the HMC80 for work and as long as you will keep the camera stationary and have no flashes going off what so ever then it is a fine camera, great picture quality. On board mic is an on board mic, get a good shotgun and or lavaliere mic. It also does pretty good in low light situations and with a 32 bit SD/SDHC card can record more than 3 hours in PH mode. The only problem with the c-mos sensor is when there are camera flashes going off, it does not record the whole flash so you will get a frame or two with half the frame showing the flash and the bottom part having not flash. Also, if you are going to be panning and there are vertical object they will appear to lean a little bit if panning too quickly. Personally, I would suggest the HMC150 with CCD sensors for a good camera and I will be picking one up shortly.


arosencrans's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 07/14/2010 - 6:00am

I haven't had experience from the TM700 personally, but I own the HMC40 and have used the HMC150 a few times. I felt that the HMC150 was more solid and it was nice to have XLR inputs built right into the camera without needing the separate attachment for the HMC40. I also preferred the buttons on the HMC150 for navigating menus as opposed to the touchscreen on the HMC40. The CMOS and CCD is one main difference that you may want to consider. I am fairly new to filmmaking so I personally did not see a lot difference in the quality, but both do shoot up to 1080p and have a fantastic picture. For the difference in price, I decided to go with the HMC40 for now and hope to upgrade at a later time when it is more affordable for me. I haven't been disappointed with the HMC40, but I suppose that all depends on what you are using it for and your personal experience in the field. Hope you get what fits your needs!


Eugene Rohland's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 06/03/2010 - 6:23pm

The pro ccd arguments seem totally valid. Why then are all new cams now rigged with cmos censors ?

Canonwill be releasing the XA10 soon. It seems worth considering.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

CMOS is cheaper to produce and people are buying into it, accepting it in spite of real or perceived limitations. Bottom line with the big boy camera manufacturers is money. All else follows, but no profit, no business.


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

I recently purchased the HMC-150 and we already own the HMC-80 and I can tell you the CCD sensor is much better than the CMOS. You do not have all the problems associated with vertical lines. If I to do it again we would have purchased two 150's. The low light capabilities are much better than most cameras that I have used.


Eugene Rohland's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 06/03/2010 - 6:23pm

"CMOS is cheaper to produce and people are buying into it, accepting it in spite of real or perceived limitations. Bottom line with the big boy camera manufacturers is money. All else follows, but no profit, no business." -- EarlC.

I have been battling to find a dealer in Panasonic Pro equipment here in South Africa. Finally, today I came across the sole agent of Panasonic Pro. During the course of my enquiry about the HMC154 (HMC150 in the US) the conversation with the sales person drifted into a discussion about the pros and cons of CMOS vs CCD. It was rather revealing when the Panasonic guy admitted that it costs too much to produce CCD sensors, the manufacturig cost between the two to differ by about30%. What was interesting too washis remark that the CMOS sensor was produced first and, owing to the known problems with CMOS, the CCD was developed. Earl, your quoted words above are spot on.

Just for interest - in the US you are a $1,000 better off with the HMC150 than with the Sony NX5. Here in Johannesburg I was quoted R39,000 for the HMC154 which is the same price as the NX5. Bad news.


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Costs too much in manufacturing price or battery life? That's my experience with the JVC GZ-MG505 camcorder; it lasts about 30 minutes from full-charged battery.



Dave Haynie's picture
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/29/2010 - 4:12pm

There are actually a number of reasons everyone's going to CMOS.

One is that yes, pound for pound, a CMOS sensor is cheaper to make. These days, there are other advantages. Largely because the CMOS processes are so well used and understood, the technology of the CMOS chip has been moving much faster.

Today, a CMOS sensor is quieter than a CCD at the same chip size. Part of this is the fact that the CCD is an analog chip -- each sensor site accumulates a charge, which is converted to a voltage, then bucket-brigaded off-chip.. the CCD is a big analog shift register. On a CMOS chip, each sensor site has its own charge to voltage conversion, and the ADC will be very close, possibly at each sensor site. Add to this recent innovations like backlit sensors (the sensor site is one side of the chip, all support circuity on the other side, and this is another great reason everyone's going CMOS.

Power is another issue on-camera. A CCD will consume as much as 100x the power of a similar CMOS chip. It's not just the power, either, but the heat from that power -- modern HDSLRs would be virtually impossible to create using CCDs. CMOS chips can also be made much faster, since any number of sensors can be processed in parallel. It's even possible to use a full frame shutter with a CMOS device, which would eliminate the "jello" effect, but no one's doing that right now, at least on affordable cameras.

Given the lower noise, a CMOS camera will show lower background noise for the same gain, and better color: CMOS chips almost universally produce a 14-bit output, while CCDs are usually limited to 12-bit. That's not to suggest the HMC40 or TM700 will produce a better low-light image than the HMC150 -- the HMC150's larger sensors win here. But compare the HMC150 to a modern CMOS 1/3" camcorder like the Canon XF300, and you'll see where CMOS can really work.

Another thing you don't get on CMOS sensors is vertical smear. Some higher end CCDs can reduce (though not eliminate) this as well. This is due to the bleeding of charge from cell to cell in the CCD, and can be minimized by using a dual charge bucket design -- one bucket gets exposed, the charge is coupled to another charge bucket, and that second one is where the charge to voltage and shift register operations occur... while the first is de-saturated. This takes twice the charge coupled array, so it adds cost. This is called an interline CCD.