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First review of the AG-HMR10 and the AG-HCK10G


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#1 Julie Steele

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:33 PM

Hello All.... This is my first post to this forum and I thought this insight would be helpful to all the readers here.

I have been following and waiting for the AG-HMR10 and the AG-HCK10G from Panasonic to hit stores, and it did just this past week!

When I arrived at one of the first stores to have the camera in stock (Birns and Sawyer in Hollywood), I had anticipated getting a run-down on the system from a meeting I had set up with Doug Leighton Sales Account Manager from Panasonic and Pete Anway Head of Sales at Birns and Sawyer.

Doug and Pete both attempted to explain how to use all the features and answer all my questions about the system, but they both admitted they hadn't had a chance to play around with it yet or really read up on the manual since it was so brand new.

I have never bought anything that I couldn't get my questions answered on a forum like this one and no one in the country even owned this camera system yet! There would be no one on the forums to answer my questions or discuss experiences with.... I would be one of the lucky firsts and I felt that it was my duty to share my experience. :)

MY REVIEW
Pro's:
Overall it's fantastic! Amazing pro features, display and intuitive menu. It uses an SD card for recording versus a proprietary technology. But, the real innovative part and what I like most about this system is:
  • How compact and light it is.
  • The size of the camera allows me to shoot in ways and angles that I couldn't do with any other camera.
  • The menu, LCD, and recording device is seperate from the camera, which is truly ingenious!
Con's:
The Camera does not come with a camera cable. And the camera, recorder, and cable all come separately and there is no packaged price.

Important Notes:
1. The manual is only 10 pages and keeps referring to a .pdf that they give no real direction on how to find. You can find this .pdf manual on the enclosed cd-rom.
2. If using an apple computer there is no way to read the file formats stored on the SD card without at least finalcut 6, but more likely finalcut 7. I had final cut studio 5 and would have liked to know that I would not be able to edit anything on my system without having to upgrade first. If there is another way to read these SD card files on a mac, I couldn't find it on Panasonic's website.

Summation:
This is a great system, It's going to be perfect for my project. My recommendation to Pro camera stores is to order an ample supply of this system, because these will be flying off shelves as soon as mine and other rave reviews start hitting the internet.
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#2 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:41 PM

Hi Julie: It would be helpful if you could share with us how a 1/4" single sensor camera will be "perfect" for your project. Most folks will want to use a camera with a larger sensor (for more flexibility regarding DOF, low noise in low light, and so forth) for digital cinema applications, but of course there can be some exceptions. What are you planning to use it for?

I'd be more interested in the recorder component of this system if it was able to up-convert from a SD source, and accept a HDMI input, but that's just me.
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#3 Julie Steele

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:09 PM

Okay. Well, with the size of the camera you need to compromise with the 1/4" sensor. So, low lighting conditions are not ideal. Some depth of field can be attained with auto iris turned off and tweaking some of the settings. Also, you can add lens attachments to the camera. I added a really nice Century Wide Angle.

This system is perfect for me, because I will need to wear this camera on my person, maybe on a hat and access the controls around my neck or on my side. The image stabilizer in this camera is brilliant. I need to shoot situations and locations where there is no way for a camera crew to accompany me.

This is for a documentary. There will be times where I will want to use a crew and another camera with a larger sensor for certain things, but this camera will definitely allow me to shoot in ways no other system can. Also, these new SD workflows combined with final cut 7 can't be beat.

Is this camera system perfect for all projects? No. But, there is nothing else like it on the market.

Does this help Peter?
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#4 Claude Loyer

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 01:54 AM

Bonjour Julie,

I am video producer, corporate to show to videoclip. I am waiting for this camera for months.
Will you post somes images? I am using an HPX170, an HVX200 and a GH1 for the moment.
I want to use the HCK10G for special drive and cut it with my other cam.
What kind of cam are you using normaly? Will you make some test in different lighting?
I have built 2 jib up to now, and I want to build a new one in carbonfiber specially for this camera, can you tell more about the remote?
Alot of questions... there's not alot of informations on the net about this cam.
Have you the user manual in pdf?
I don't think I will see this cam in Montreal before few weeks.

Merci de me répondre...
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#5 Julie Steele

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:51 AM

Wow, lots of questions. I don't have the time to address everything you are asking of me. However, I do want to be helpful. I am trying to post the manual, but it says the max file size is only 100k to upload. That seems quite small. Do you know of a way for me to upload or attach a file to this post that is larger than 100k?
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#6 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:20 PM

... I am trying to post the manual, but it says the max file size is only 100k to upload. That seems quite small. Do you know of a way for me to upload or attach a file to this post that is larger than 100k?

I believe anyone can download a PDF copy of the user manuals ("operating instructions") for these products via the links on the following Panasonic web pages:
http://catalog2.pana...Model=AG-HCK10G
http://catalog2.pana...fModel=AG-HMR10
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#7 Claude Loyer

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 02:10 AM

Merci Peter, it's working... I have search on the Panasonic site and wasn't there before. Thanks again.

Merci Julie for your answer, I hope you will have a little time just to post some images, maybe on Vimeo.
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#8 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 04:31 AM

This is for a documentary. There will be times where I will want to use a crew and another camera with a larger sensor for certain things, but this camera will definitely allow me to shoot in ways no other system can. Also, these new SD workflows combined with final cut 7 can't be beat.


Just be aware that it is my understanding that the AVCHD (non Intra) format needs to be transcoded to ProRes by FCP 7 (like FCP 6). You mention SD, I don't know what pitfalls you may find there, but HD can be a bit of a pain to deal with in AVC format. . .

Of course, one could potentially work around the (last time I checked, painfully slow) AVCHD transcoding by capturing the footage real time through a Matrox, AJA or similar capture card.

Premiere CS3 and 4 seem to be able to handle these formats natively (DVCPRO HD, AVCHD, XDCAM, etc), if that is an option for you.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 18 November 2009 - 04:32 AM.

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#9 Julie Steele

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 02:13 PM

Just be aware that it is my understanding that the AVCHD (non Intra) format needs to be transcoded to ProRes by FCP 7 (like FCP 6). You mention SD, I don't know what pitfalls you may find there, but HD can be a bit of a pain to deal with in AVC format. . .

Of course, one could potentially work around the (last time I checked, painfully slow) AVCHD transcoding by capturing the footage real time through a Matrox, AJA or similar capture card.

Premiere CS3 and 4 seem to be able to handle these formats natively (DVCPRO HD, AVCHD, XDCAM, etc), if that is an option for you.


AVCHD is a more efficient codec....

as far as native editing: so what? ProRes is easy to edit, can be done with a FW drive, and is one of the preferred codecs for working in Color. Sure it takes up more space, but you can archive the smaller AVCHD files as your backup (plus HD space is cheap). And it keeps you from working in Long GOP which can kill your render times.

Apple is using the transcode method for anything file based including; XDCAM, and P2. I have found that my AVCHD footage injests as fast or faster than my P2 footage via Log and Transfer.

I tried doing a little edit and doing a batch capture from ProRes Proxy to ProRes HQ and it worked great. It even deleted the unused sections from the clip to really bring down the size and transfer time. This is a very slick workflow.
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#10 Michael K Bergstrom

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 03:04 PM

I played around with this camera and recorder on Tuesday. Not a bad little unit but some major sticking points for me were the small sensor size, causing it to have terrible low light. Also, there was no time lapse function to be found. The Panasonic engineer that I was with seemed slightly embarrassed about the fact there wasn't. The codec is marvelous, and hooking the recorder up to the Sony EX1 turns out some interesting results. They would have sold one of these units if not for the lack of time lapse. I would also like an external focus ring instead of an internal manual focus.
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#11 cassiedc

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 05:54 PM

Hey there everyone,

I need to know if outputting from the AG-HMR10 AVCCAM recorder/camera controller via the HDSDI output into the AG-HPG20 an recording in full AVCINTRA100 codec on P2 cards will result in a full 1920x1080 AVCINTRA100 image recording?

ie: Does the HDSDI output from the AG-HMR10 occur before any nasty compression occurs?
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#12 Mariangela Guzman Favela

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:46 PM

Hi! I was wondering if someone could tell me if the AG-HMR10 works properly with Canon XLH1 camera?

Thanks so much.
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