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Old April 20th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #31
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Yes, and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clark
Do you own this cam? Reason I ask, is that I would like to get some feedback/impressions of the cam's ergonomics, footage and overall usability of it.
Yeah, I have both TM700 and HMC40, the TM700 is quite new. But I started messing around with tapeless and 1080/60p last year with the Sanyo Xacti FH1... that convinced me that tapeless was the way to go, even given the issues with AVC editing.

The TM700 is a fine camera, given its size. The video is stellar, better than most anything you could get in the consumer/prosumer area for the last few year, as long as you have enough light. Like the HMC40, you're not going to outperform any of the 1/3" 3-chippers in low light. But Panasonic's CMOS sensors are getting really low noise these days, so you actually have more usable gain than you might expect.

They actually improved the optical image stabilization on the TM700... best I've used so far. Supposedly Sony's in the lead on this, but they seem to do an admirable job here. It's better on the TM700 than it is on the HMC40, which was day over night better than the digital stabilization on my old Sony HVR-A1.

Like most smaller cameras, you trade in a number of real buttons for menu items on the TM700. It's an improvement over some I've used in the past, but it still seems like at times, you have to dig too deep. But what else could they do? Like the Sony and the HMC40, the lens ring is a nice option, and can be assigned to focus or zoom, though I think you have to go to autofocus if you want zoom, which is kind of stupid.

If you only need one camera, the TM700 is probably a good choice. I wouldn't select it for still photos... the Sanyo even does a better job, as would most pocket digital models these days. There's still something about interpolating three 3.1Mpixel sensors into a 14Mpixel final image that's not quite right (there's certainly some value in the interpolation, but I don't quite buy the 14Mpixel result). But I never expect my camcorders to be still cameras, except on long backpacking trips, where there's a real advantage to doing it all in just one camera.

Overall, I think I'm liking Panasonic more and more these days, as you can guess from my camera collection (I also have a DMC-TZ5). This started a few years back. First, I bought my wife her own digital, one of the cheap little Pannys, nothing special, but it was the only ~$100 digital still model with optical image stabilization. Not only did the stabilization work great, but every shot she took was near perfect. I had been "fixing" her stuff in Photoshop when she was using my very old Canon Pro90IS, but no longer needed. Pretty cool.

Next, I bought my daughter a used SD9 for her "Communications Academy" program in high school. This is a totally miserable camera in low light, but with adequate light it was killer... and offered manual settings in a consumer model. That's about the time I figured I could mix in high-end consumer cameras with my usual pro/prosumer model for more serious shoots, rather than going for a second too-expensive model that would never actually get much hands-on use in that environment. And as well, you get pocketable high quality video for those times the full rig would not be appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clark
Also with Cineform Neo, does it make for a smoother editing experience with these files?
Generally, yes, but realize you're trading one limit for another. Editing Cineform is more or less like editing DV -- it's very fast. But it's also big... 1080/60p conversions run about 120GB/hr. So if you have many layers of this, you'll find your hard drive speed is now the bottleneck, not the CPU anymore. I haven't had occasion to get too crazy with 1080/60p layers (I have some HD projects around here with over 40 compositing layers, but not in 1080/60p), and keeping the editing drive on SATA is of course a good idea anyway (I have a large RAID for stuff I'm not working on right now, but of course, you don't have to keep the Cineform files around).

Another alternative is proxy editing... you edit on a lower resolution version, then render the final video using the full spec files. There's an add-on to Vegas called "GearShift" that makes this really easy, but so far, I'm using Cineform effectively. Not that I don't do native editing too... for simple stuff on a quad core machine, native editing is fine.

I'm still not quite sure what to do with 1080/60p in the end. I shot my daughter's fall JV Soccer season on 1080/60p with the Sanyo (it's original purpose -- to save wear on my "good" cameras for more casual video), and I do like it for sports. But I still put it on Blu-Ray at 720/60p, since there's no 1080/60p support on much of anything. But if nothing else, the 1080/60p format lets you decide later on the publishing format, and is particularly useful if you want to go online and to 1080/60i Blu-Ray.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
Yeah, I have both TM700 and HMC40, the TM700 is quite new. But I started messing around with tapeless and 1080/60p last year with the Sanyo Xacti FH1... that convinced me that tapeless was the way to go, even given the issues with AVC editing.
** I've heard good reports about both the HMC40 and the Sanyo Xacti which (the Sanyo) piqued my curiosity about 1080/60p recording. I love the smoothness of 720/60p footage and was waiting for some manufacturers to bring out a 1080/60p cam and now they are here!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
The video is stellar, better than most anything you could get in the consumer/prosumer area for the last few year, as long as you have enough light....
** That's good to know!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
They actually improved the optical image stabilization on the TM700... best I've used so far. Supposedly Sony's in the lead on this...
** Agreed; but Canon's IS is pretty amazing too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
...though I think you have to go to autofocus if you want zoom, which is kind of stupid.....
** Yeah, that does seem kinda of .... well, like you stated, stupid!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
If you only need one camera, the TM700 is probably a good choice. I wouldn't select it for still photos... the Sanyo even does a better job, as would most pocket digital models these days....
** Are your photos from this cam that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
Overall, I think I'm liking Panasonic more and more these days, as you can guess from my camera collection (I also have a DMC-TZ5). ....
** HA!! I've got the Panny DMC-ZS3. It's a great little cam for both still and video (albeit at 720p). Amazing that these little pocket cams can do both quite well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
Generally, yes, but realize you're trading one limit for another. Editing Cineform is more or less like editing DV -- it's very fast. But it's also big... 1080/60p conversions run about 120GB/hr....
** I'll trade the file size for ease of editing anyday. HDD"s are very inexpensive and SSD's will get there someday too. Just can't justify paying around $4000 for a 1TB SSD!! (Yes, they do make such a beast)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
Another alternative is proxy editing...
** Yes, often overlooked...but a very welcome alternative if one does not wish to utilize a third party app (Cineform, Avid, ProRes)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
I'm still not quite sure what to do with 1080/60p in the end. I shot my daughter's fall JV Soccer season on 1080/60p with the Sanyo (it's original purpose -- to save wear on my "good" cameras for more casual video), and I do like it for sports. But I still put it on Blu-Ray at 720/60p, since there's no 1080/60p support on much of anything. But if nothing else, the 1080/60p format lets you decide later on the publishing format, and is particularly useful if you want to go online and to 1080/60i Blu-Ray.
** Well, it's always good to shoot at the highest resolution possible and down-res from there. But you're right, there are currently no consumer oriented mediums or software applications out there (at least to my knowledge) to deliver to in 1080/60p. Hopefully there will be; but I think a lot of focus currently is on 3-D stuff.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #33
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Stuff...

On the TM700 stills... it's a new camera, and I haven't spent much on the stills, but they seem kind of soft compared to DSLR or even TZ5 photos. But the color can't be beat. That's not saying "bad", just "there's better". That's ok... I bought a video camera, and it's good to know that's what it's optimized for; I know the 3-chip system delivers better video, for these kinds of cameras. I just think the 14Mpixel is an exaggeration, I'm not claiming it's going to make things worse. It's definitely true they benefit from some interpolation in making a still. And who really cares about the size of the stills, when you're using SD cards large enough for video.

On Canon IS... I have used a number of Canon cameras with great IS, at least for the day, including a Pro90IS EVF camera, an EOS DSLR with 70-300mm IS zoom, and a Canon HV10. But these things do improve over time, and lots of the review sites are indicating that the recent Canons fall behind both Panasonic and Sony (not sure about JVC). That's all. I do most shooting from tripods anyway, even with the small cameras, but it's nice to have at least one small camera with good IS. The TM700 is the best I've used so far.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:41 PM   #34
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Re: Like this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
It drops right into Sony Vegas Pro 9. Editing is not fast, but it works.

For multi-layered editing, I transcode to Cineform Neo, which produces 120GB/hr files with virtually no loss or additionaly compression artifacts.

The real question isn't editing, but what to do with the final video. It's has uses even so. You can decide after you shoot whether you want to deliver a Blu-Ray at 720/60p or 1080/60i. You can put 1080/60i on Blu-Ray and DVD, but still have nice, mice-teeth-free progressive video for online playback.
Wouldn't the main advantage (for regular users) of 60p be the ability to do smooth slowmotion?
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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #35
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Re: Panasonic HS700/TM700 1080 60p camcorders

Yes, it's lovely for slow motion!
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #36
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Re: Panasonic HS700/TM700 1080 60p camcorders

Dave - I'm wondering how you like the image of the TM700 compared to the Panasonic HMC40? And what about general usability? I presume the HMC40 is a lot easier to use manually ...

I used to have a Sony A1, but now am using a Panasonic GH1. However, I'm thinking of adding a small chip camcorder to the lineup for certain run and gun situations. I can get a TM700 for $700 or a HMC40 for $1300. Am thinking of getting a Beachtek XLR adapter so I could use prof mics in either.

Thanks!
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