- This topic has 13 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 10 years ago by Anonymous.
- February 19, 2010 at 9:19 AM #47825AnonymousInactive
I am a new film maker and am looking to buy my first HD camera.
I am looking to buy a Panasonic AG-HMC40. Is this is a good camera? Any help and advice would be surely appreciated, Thank-You.
- February 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM #196762
Here’s some info and reviews on the ’40. They should be helpful. I gotta’ ask, when you say ‘new filmmaker’ do you mean ‘new’ as in never shot an inch of footage before or ‘new’ as in having some experience shooting video but looking to start working regularly with your own gear? I ask, because it’s a big difference between the two. If you’re the first type of ‘new’, I’d strongly recommend you get something less pricey and learn basic video shooting techniques. That way if you decide it’s not to your liking, you won’t be out much money. Also, I do believe that camera uses AVCHD video codecs which can be a pain if you don’t have a properly outfitted mac or pc hardware and software-wise to handle it for editing. Before you spend a nickle, do your research on your existing desk or laptop computer to find out if it is compatible for editing with AVCHD video.
- February 19, 2010 at 7:40 PM #196763AnonymousInactive
I am a new film maker who has shot footage and edited before but wants to start getting serious about it, and working with my own gear. I will also be getting a new computer and editing system so I will look into that.Well thank you very much for your help, it is surely appreciated! Looks like a good camera to start off with.
- February 19, 2010 at 11:16 PM #196764EarlCMember
TJ as you’ve likely discovered, following up on Composite’s links, the AG-HMC40 does have its strengths as well as weaknesses. I do not think the weaknesses are necessarily a deal-breaker or things that cannot be compensated for or overcome, but if you haven’t paid attention to them before, you certainly SHOULD before investing.
Though I have concerns, I am NOT excluding the camera from my own HD acquisition intentions sometime this year, probably second quarter 2010. So, while I recognize and realize the potential trade-offs, I still acknowledge the potential for professional commercial HD production with this camera model. It doesn’t hurt that it is relatively affordable.
My concerns are primarily the CMOS sensors, and their size (1/4″) both of which have/produce “issues” for many in the professional production arena. Both can be overcome…
CMOS with its jello and jitter effects on fast moves (swish panning, high speed sports, fast-moving footage) and the squiggly “jello” effect on zooms. The 1/4″ and the inherent low-light restrictions that small size sensor represents. Answer No. 1 is use a tripod and don’t attempt fancy camera moves, and don’t expect the best of high-speed and/or sports-style acquisition in some cases – for commercial work with multiple takes and MORE static rather than not shoots “talking heads, etc.” things that do not necessitate EXTREME moves. Answer No. 2 is don’t zoom, use a tripod for stability, and move in with your wide-shot to get a closer, tighter frame without using the zoom rocker to acquire that framing. Frame first, then shoot.
So, while a “run-and-gun” style of shooting might not be suitable for the HMC40, it will or should do quite well in most OTHER acquisition cases.
Answer No. 3, use lights to offset the HMC40s potential low-light limitations.
Go for it, learn from it, and profit by it.
- February 20, 2010 at 6:27 AM #196765sirboblsMember
even though TJ is looking into buying this camera, i have been trying to find the cheapest hmc40 on the web and i have found the camera for 1649 and higher, one question i have to ask is what is the deal with the warranty?
- February 20, 2010 at 9:22 AM #196766CraftersOfLightMember
What is the specific question about the warranty?
From the website: 1 year basic warranty. Get two years extended coverage free upon registration of camera. (The maximum warranty period may be adjusted depending on the number of hours the device has been used.)
- February 20, 2010 at 8:52 PM #196767
Like Earl, I have some concerns too. Earl mentioned most of the one’s I saw, the other is its lack of XLR plug-ins. I’ve used mini-plugs on many occasions and always keep adapters on hand, but XLR is just so much better! Apparently, you have to buy an adapter to get XLR capability. I don’t know what your skill level and budget are, but I can say from experience if you can get a rig with XLR inputs built-in do so.
Many times particularly with video equipment, “the cheapest” isn’t always the best. Now I never advocate blowin’ all your cash on the most expensive thing you can find, but I will say many times it’s worth the extra dollars (or whatever) to buy your gear from a well known and reputable company. More often than not, they are very good at taking returns and many times if you actually call them they might cut you a deal. They always have better warranty policies and usually are up front about their ‘protection plans’. It’d be a pretty safe bet that some outfit offering the ‘cheapest price on the web’ isn’t going to give you any of those things so if you happen to get ‘lemony fresh’ gear, you’re probably going to be stuck with it.
- February 20, 2010 at 11:06 PM #196768AnonymousInactive
I am really glad that you brought up it isn’t the best for high speed filming, or sports. I am actually looking to film a lot of high speed things with the camera moving a lot and zooming. So this camera is weak in this department? If so do you know a camera that performs well in this area?
- February 20, 2010 at 11:25 PM #196769
That rolling shutter issue is the diff between 3CCD cameras and CMOS. CCD cameras don’t have the rolling shutter issue but aren’t as low-light sensitive as the new CMOS sensors. Unfortunately, to get a camera with a CMOS sensor that has ‘less’ of a rolling shutter issue (to my knowledge even the RED line of cameras have an issue with it despite firmware updates) you’re going to have to spend more money than $1500.
- February 21, 2010 at 12:38 AM #196770AnonymousInactive
Thats ok to spend more money, do you have any suggestions on cameras?
- February 21, 2010 at 5:54 AM #196771
It really depends on what you want to do. Not that your choice of camera is ‘bad’. Just like Earl mentioned, if you plan on doing fast-action shooting like sports and the like you’ll run into that issue.
If you want to shoot in HD only, the AG-HMC70U might be your thing if you want to stay Panasonic. Sony’s HVR-HD100U might also be a good choice for your first rig as you can do HD and SD however, does use mini-dv tape so if you were planning on a tapeless setup it might not be your thing. Both cam’s are 3CCD and the 70U has XLR audio inputs and the 100U has stereo mini’s. Both are definitely in your price range of under $2k.
If you want to spend more (which I don’t recommend for your first rig) I’d have to know what your price range is.
- February 23, 2010 at 1:20 AM #196772roblewis56Participant
The amount of rolling shutter is inversely proportional to frame rate. For example, shooting at 24p has more rolling shutter effect than 30p by a factor of 30/24.
- February 23, 2010 at 2:03 AM #196773AnonymousInactive
I just got an HMC40 last week, and have been out and about enjoying myself learning how to use it. My intention was to capture static nature shots more than trying to follow sports and action. In trying to choose the best cam for the money, it also seemed to have many of the “pro” features that I wanted to learn to use – as well as a real viewfinder, which many of the cameras below it’s price range seem to have done away with. (Canon Vixias, etc.) So, for me at least, it seems like the ideal cam, but I’ve a lot to learn yet though.
One other thing I’d like to say – don’t be fooled by those “$1,649.00” web prices. They’re usually just a bait and switch come-on from shady Brooklyn camera shops. I found that out when I first tried to order mine. You’re better off buying anything you get from B&H, or some other reputable dealer.
- February 26, 2010 at 3:42 PM #196774gldnearsMember
” One other thing I’d like to say – don’t be fooled by those “$1,649.00” web prices. They’re usually just a bait and switch come-on from shady Brooklyn camera shops. I found that out when I first tried to order mine. You’re better off buying anything you get from B&H, or some other reputable dealer. “
?. . and be particularly wary of gray market low-priced deals. You might find out that the mfgr warranty is good . . . but only if you return the thing to TimBukToo! AND some of the sales weasels at the big discounters aren’t above LYING about the unit notbeing graymarket!
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