First impressions of the HDC-TM700 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 2nd, 2010, 06:25 PM   #1
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First impressions of the HDC-TM700

I've had my HDC-TM700 for a couple of days. So these are just first impressions. (If you want to see my unboxing video, I posted it on YouTube: YouTube - Unboxing a New Panasonic HDC-TM700 (like HDC-HS700 & HDC-SD700)!)

One nice TM700 feature I haven't seen discussed elsewhere is peaking. The camera does include a peaking function when switched to manual focus. Panasonic calls it "manual focus assist." This really helps achieve critical focus with the 260k pixel LCD screen. The peaking color is blue; I prefer yellow, but will gladly settle for blue.

Whether you dub the 35mm lens "wide" or not, it's a hell of a lot more wide than any other consumer cam lens I've tried. My EX1 has a 31.4mm equivalent lens, so the TM700 is in the same ballpark. For me this make a big difference in the practical use of the camera. No longer do I need to carry and constantly attach/detach a wide angle adapter. This also makes me more likely to use the 18X zoom (since there's no wide angle adapter on the cam).

One minor but appreciated detail involves the automatic lens cap. Turn the camera on and the lens cap opens. Close the LCD with the camera still on, and the lens cap closes-- but if you withdraw the electronic viewfinder (with the LCD still closed) the lens cap opens again. So, if you get my meaning, the camera "knows" when to close the lens cap even when it is turned on (contrasted to my Canon HV20 lens cap which was open all the time the camera was turned on).

Another upside to the TM700 vis-a-vis other consumer cams is the manual control ring. Panasonic has done a nice job implementing this feature and it's easy to quickly adjust zoom, focus, shutter speed, & iris using the ring. This is a slam dunk win for the TM700 because the competition doesn't even offer a control ring (the control wheel is a far less satisfying alternative).

One incongruous aspect of the camera is the location of the power button, which is found behind the LCD screen. Not a big deal, just a little odd IMHO.

Also there's a cooling fan in the same spot. The fan does generate some noise when it activates, although it's not always on. The fan will prove an irritant for some, as the noise is audible.

I am shooting in 60P with the motto, "Shoot first; discover workflow later." ;-) I tried rendering one 60P clip to "Video for Windows" AVI in Vegas Pro 8, and the resulting file was 22 GB in size. So the editing aspect of things needs a little refinement.

I am still just beginning to learn the camera. Suffice to say so far that I am impressed and am very happy with the TM700. My other cameras are an EX1 and a couple of HV20s. I have kept the HV20s for quite a while because with every potential successor consumer cam I always found significant flaws. But finally, I can say that my weathered old HV20s are ready for retirement.
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Last edited by C.S. Michael; April 2nd, 2010 at 07:14 PM.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 09:06 PM   #2
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nice writeup ,i appreciate you taking the time :)
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 09:42 PM   #3
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In another thread, several of us were wondering if there were any kind of "cine gamma" settings, that might help in matching it to the HMC models?
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 08:15 PM   #4
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If anyone wants to download a 60P file to play with, I posted one on Vimeo
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Old April 4th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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By the way, Graham, there's some sort of cinematic gamma feature, but activating it merely switches on "x.v. color."
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Old April 9th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #6
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Would This Lens Work?

Would a Canon TL-H46 46mm Tele Converter Lens work on the new HDC-TM700 ????
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Old April 9th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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<<Would a Canon TL-H46 46mm Tele Converter Lens work on the new HDC-TM700 ???? >>

Yes, it should... The TM700 has a 46mm lens filter thread, so I don't see why it wouldn't work.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #8
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Nice Porsche....

....but for a "sample" clip, would have liked to seen:

- The car driving down the road; anywhere from 10 - 80mph
- Panning; maybe a 180 degree pan
- Vocals, music ambient noise for the audio testing portion

Glad you like the cam and hope you will be able to post a bit more footage soon with the above suggestions.

And thank you for sharing your "first impressions" with the rest of us; most appreciate it as I am considering this cam as well!!

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Old April 9th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #9
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Where is the infra red eye (for revceiving remote control signals) placed on the TM700?
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Old April 9th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for your comments. I must say that this was just about the first thing I shot with the camera, literally moments after unboxing. Hey, it was either a car or the usual cat & flowers. ;-)

Note that I did no editing to the clip whatsoever, so that people could download it from Vimeo and see how the 60P file works on their own computers and editing programs. I was just trying to give people a 60P clip of substantial length with a little camera movement.

I am attending an Indy car race on Sunday (Danica Patrick, et al) and will bring my TM700. I won't have ALL my gear (no fluid head tripod, etc.) but will do my best to capture some 60P action shots of the Indy cars on the track. Cheers!
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Old April 10th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #11
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Rob, the remote control sensor is located on the front face beneath the lens, offset towards the LCD side of the camera.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 04:22 AM   #12
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Thanks for your respons Michael.
I suppose that sensor will not receive any signal from sitting behind the camera. Maybe you could try this for me. Trying to find out from which corner it responds to the remote.
Thanks,
Rob
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Old April 10th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #13
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No, the remote won't work from behind the camera. It will work from the front within approximately 5 meters (16 feet) at an angle of approximately 10 degrees up and 15 degrees down, left, and right. If you can download an owner's manual, this is covered on page 54.

I've found that the remote works well within these parameters. (Much better than my Sony EX1 remote!)
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Old April 10th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #14
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I dropped the Vimeo clip on my Vegas 8.c Timeline. Preview is a little jerky. but, still workable.

I rendered two 30 second clips. One clip as a Cineform AVI file the other as a mp4 file.

In both cases, the 30 second Clips took over 5 minutes to render, and that's with no additional editing or transitions!

I'm going to have to rethink this camera.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #15
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A few more tests with the 60p in Vegas 8.c. Raw footage no editing.

A one minute 1080 60i clip renders to a 1280 x 720 mp4 file in less than 3 minutes on my computer.

A one minute section of the 60p clip that I downloaded above, took 18 minutes to render to a mp4!!!!!

I must admit that the visual quality of the 60p clip was better than the 60i.

Warning, before you purchase a HDC-TM700 for shooting 60p, find out if you can edit 60p.
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