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Old December 23rd, 2010, 08:57 PM   #1
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Camera & Format Question!

Ok, so this thread is composed of multiple questions, and couldn't find the answer in existing threads because this one I think is too specific.

First, I'm looking to shoot an outdoor documentary, and I need to purchase a lightweight and reliable camcorder. What HD format and frame rate should I use to shoot this? I'd like to be able to get a mix of normal and slow motion, so should I use 24, 30 or 60? Progressive or interlaced?


I was looking into the Panasonic HDC-TM700. I need something light, but that will use some type of card media so that I can mail them back to "home base", and will shoot in the available formats that I decide to use (24,30,60). Any reviews or alternative suggestions?

Finally, I need to be able to edit easily (i'm on a mac with FCP), and then distribute to DVD on my own. With everything being said, what kind of movie format should I export to that would preserve the HD movie?

I realize it's a lot of questions, but any help at all will be a tremendous help.

Thanks!
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 09:13 PM   #2
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I think the Panasonic HMC150 is the right camera for you. It uses inexpensive SD cards, and FCP's Log and Transfer tool converts the AVCHD files to ProRes or AIC with no trouble. The 150 is lightweight, but larger than the consumer TM700 you mentioned. You also get XLR inputs, bigger sensors, and a bigger battery for the size. It's also based around the DVX100 camera, which is one of the most well designed handheld DV cameras I've used. As far as reliability goes, Panasonic professional cameras have never let me down.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 11:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for your suggestion! I've used a Panasonic P2 before and I was definitely impressed by the brand. I think however it might be too large for what I'm doing. By the way, I'll be on a 5-7 month long hike, and so essentially the lighter the camera, the better.
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Old December 25th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #4
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You should also consider the Sony EX1R.

1. It will shoot slow and fast motion. Consumer cameras are not going to be up to this.
2. It's well made and has very good functionality.
3. It doesn't use proprietary P2 cards but SXS cards which plug into a standard and cheaper readers.
4. It shoots 1080i or 1080p (you can choose which works best for you in pre-shoot testing).
5. It's a real camera with a real lens and real audio inputs.

Have fun on the Appalachian Trail (my guess as to your destination).
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Old December 25th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #5
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That'd be a great camera for me when I get back :)
It's still much too big for me to be taking however on this trip. And good guess on the Appalachian Trail haha.
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Old December 25th, 2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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I do a lot of trail shooting as well as claw hammer video in difficult areas and I use consumer camera's for it.

IMO, these days the high end consumer camera's don't give up nearly as much to the Pro units as they used to. Audio is the big concession and the ability to pack light cameras that are fast to get in action and won't cost a second mortgage if they only get through one trip, makes up for that. ( I use an H4N anyway)

I think the HDC-TM700 should work fine for what you're planning. Have fun and get lots of bear shots.
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Old December 25th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #7
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Haha I plan to! But from far away and a safe distance...I'm not trying to live with them or anything. I'd hate to end up like the last guy who tried...wah wah.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 09:07 PM   #8
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