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Old March 13th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #1
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New to Panasonic world (TM900)

Well, I decided to give the TM900 a try and got mine in last week. I'm a little confused by the lack of information in the manual on exactly what resolution and frame rates the camera produces. It seems you get 1080-60P out of the box, but then it goes into cryptic modes such as "HA1920", "HG1920", "HX1920"... and then there is "Digital Cinema".

Can anyone clarify exactly what mode is what on this camera? I'm guessing 1080-60P is exactly what it is, and the HA - HX are just data rates at 60i and Digital Cinema is 24P embedded in 60i at the same data rates as non-digital cinema files. this is only a guess!
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Old March 14th, 2011, 03:04 AM   #2
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Panasonic TM900 (Recording Formats)

My understanding (and I agree the manual is useless on this aspect) is that the only progressive modes are;

PAL Models: 1080p50 at 28Mbps new format and "HA" 1080p25 AVCHD at 17Mbps. It would have been great if this was the full 24Mbps average allowed but there you go. I'm really only interested in 1080p50 and my camera has never been in any other mode...

NTSC Models: 1080p60 at 28Mbps new format and "HA" 1080p24 AVCHD at 17Mbps.

All the other TM900 shooting modes are some kind of interlaced - and worryingly low in bit rate anyway!

I THINK you are correct regarding "Digital Cinema" (but in PAL models this uses "HA" 25p in a 50i) but I also have to admit this is "a bit of a guess" - must go and read that manual again and see if I can work it out!
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Old March 14th, 2011, 05:13 AM   #3
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Re: New to Panasonic world (TM900)

Andy,

Thanks for validating I'm not going totally insane on the manual. It's actually a pretty well written document except for the technical specifications of the specific write modes. I kept expecting to find a simple table with all the formats, data rates, and frame rates. Curious.

I heard on the TM700 you would get significantly better low light performance in 24i (embedded in 60i), but assuming I've got the formats straight, I don't see much of a difference. Now I just need to determine how to use 60P in Vegas the best as full 1080-60P isn't a timeline option.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 06:54 AM   #4
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Re: New to Panasonic world (TM900)

On the Vegas timeline option I just created my own Custom template set up how I thought it might need to be. Seemed to work for me - although I'm discovering that any complex editing of 1080p50 "AVCHD LIKE" media files soon slows down a relatively fast (otherwise) recent Windows 7, 64 Bit Intel i7, Raid 0 etc. Box...

I will say I'm no Vegas expert as FCP is my main tool but it sure is nice to have different OS and NLEs as each have their own strengths with a variety of workflows!

If someone could clearly clarify what the "Digital Cinema" setting really is that would be good.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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Re: New to Panasonic world (TM900)

Digital Cinema Mode
Progressive 1080/24p NTSC:
Set the HD camcorder to Digital Cinema mode to shoot in the progressive 1080/24p (24 pictures per second) format for NTSC area, and in the progressive 1080/25p format for PAL area. Progressive scanning captures clear, vibrant images with intricate detail. You also get faithful images with an appealing film-like quality


Digital Cinema Color with VIERA:
Selecting the Digital Cinema Color mode makes it possible to shoot film-like images that are ideally suited to the Digital Cinema Color of VIERA plasma TVs. Colors recorded in this mode look richer than those recorded using the conventional Panasonic standard. For example, the subtle shades of red and gold in flowers, and the greens of leafy trees are remarkably true to life

Internal Flash Memory
32GB: 1080/60p: 2 hours, 40 minutes; HA: 4 hours, 10 minutes; HG: 5 hours, 30 minutes; HX: 8 hours, 20 minutes; HE: 13 hours, 40 minutes
SD
4GB: 1080/60p: 19 minutes; HA: 30 minutes; HG: 40 minutes; HX: 1 hour; HE: 1 hour, 30 minutes
16GB: 1080/60p: 1 hour, 20 minutes; HA: 2 hours; HG: 2 hours, 40 minutes; HX: 4 hours, 10 minutes; HE: 6 hours, 40 minutes
32GB: 1080/60p: 2 hours, 40 minutes; HA: 4 hours, 10 minutes; HG: 5 hours, 30 minutes; HX: 8 hours, 20 minutes; HE: 13 hours, 40 minutes
64GB: 1080/60p: 5 hours, 20 minutes; HA: 8 hours, 30 minutes; HG: 11 hours; HX: 16 hours, 50 minutes; HE: 27 hours, 30 minutes

It's a little confusing to me also and mine will stay in 1080/60P mode most of the time anyway. The "feature" of the ability to record in different data rates would be most useful for people who were trying to get more footage on the hard drive versus recording in the highest quality. Just my 2 cents.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: New to Panasonic world (TM900)

Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
Andy,

Thanks for validating I'm not going totally insane on the manual. It's actually a pretty well written document except for the technical specifications of the specific write modes. I kept expecting to find a simple table with all the formats, data rates, and frame rates. Curious.

I heard on the TM700 you would get significantly better low light performance in 24i (embedded in 60i), but assuming I've got the formats straight, I don't see much of a difference. Now I just need to determine how to use 60P in Vegas the best as full 1080-60P isn't a timeline option.
The easiest way is to use File - Properties, then click the film icon, top right hand side, and point it at one of your 1080/60p video files and it is setup for you. Next click Audio, changed it to 5.1, sample rate 48,000 bit-depth 16, assuming you are using the 5.1 audio track from the camera. Click the Ruler and select Time and Frames to get the correct time and frame counter on the timeline.

Regards

Phil
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Old March 14th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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Re: New to Panasonic world (TM900)

Thanks Phil. I've been using Vegas for many years and never used the film icon. I'll have to give that a try!
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Old March 15th, 2011, 05:23 AM   #8
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Re: New to Panasonic world (TM900)

By the way, it would be rather exciting if someone could hack this camera and allow 32Mbps recording to 24P and 30P! Pretty impressive image for $1,100 as is. Imagine if you had two rings on the front for exposure and focus. I think it would satisfy quite a few pro's on the low end of the professional market (as if it isn't already with a few compromises in control).
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