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panasonic pro ag-hmc150 3CCD AVCHD 24fps Camcorder

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Published on Jan 11, 2011

Perhaps the greatest testament to this camera is the fact that it came out over 4 years ago and still gets excellent reviews today. Look at how many people are still buying it despite newer successors! I had eagerly watched the AG AC130/160 and HPX250 since their original press releases and was planning on getting them because they looked great on paper. But my company shoots everything from car chases, sports, dance recitals to weddings and everything in-between.

I need a camera that can work properly on a jib, steadicam or be handed off to someone less skilled and still be able to get good footage in auto mode if necessary. After considerable reserach I noticed the older 150 was still getting great reviews and ended up buying some of them instead because I decided getting the shot was more important than risking not getting the shot at all, even though the 150 is less sharp than the newer 3MOS cameras. It's CCD chips are immune to rolling shutter issues like flash banding, skew and jello. And it's autofocus works well.

The HMC 150 produces great images and it's settings can be tweaked for a variety of looks from the event videographer wanting a "live look" to a cinematographer wanting a filmic look. It performs well in low light and is a good size/weight for a handheld camera, unlike the extra large 130/160/250.
It's wide angle Leica lens is great for tight spaces and for getting that wide angle look. It only uses a single SDHC card at a time, but can record over 3 hours of footage at the highest setting on one card. The 130a/160a can record to two cards simultaneasly or in sequence, but if one card fails, the other stops recording as well so that pretty much defeats the redundant recording option "advantage" they have. The AC90 however, can continue recording to the 2nd card should the first one fail. Go ahead and buy the large capacity Panasonic battery when you get the camera, because the included battery is tiny and only good for around 1.5 hrs recording time. I'm really not a great fan of the batteries most of the AVCHD cameras use compared to the DVX/HPX/HVX ones that seem better.

If you want a solid camera that produces good reliable results, at a good price, and has stood the test of time, I recommend the still viable HMC150. It has so much going for it. It is very much like the beloved DVX100, but shoots HD.

Sadly there will be no further development in 1/3 CCD cameras so this camera and it's brother, the HPX170, will be the end of the line. It's not a perfect camera, but there still is no perfect HD camera. If there were to be an HMC150a (and there won't) I would like a better LCD screen with focus in red like the HPX250, a longer zoom, backlit sensors and the super OIS like the AC90, and the option to shoot 1080 /60P like the AC160a.
But as it is, it's still a great camera. Take a look.

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