TM900 - Pretty impressed! at

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Old March 19th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #1
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TM900 - Pretty impressed!

I've been waiting for a year to see if Panasonic would fix the minor flaws with the TM700 before trying my first Panasonic camera. As soon as the TM900 was released, I took the bait. I'm a former XHA1 and current 7D/t2i shooter and wanted a convenient camera for casual use, for when deep DOF is needed, and for wide cover shots. So far, I'm very impressed. Here's a totally random 0:45 piece playing around for the first time:

I believe 60P is about to become a very good friend. I love the latitude it allow for slow motion, less jittery backgrounds during pan, and the ability to render to lower frame rates when looking for a specific effect. Understanding that you don't have all the control flexibility of a $6,000 camera, this camera will do quite nicely in situations that don't require simultaneous manual manipulation of focus, aperture, and zoom. The focus ring and focus assist are very good and AF is also good for those times when you need it.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; March 19th, 2011 at 09:33 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #2
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Re: TM900 - Pretty impressed!

Roger, I am curious as to how fast the auto focus is in both good light and less than ideal situations. Have you had a chance to check that out yet?
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Old March 19th, 2011, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: TM900 - Pretty impressed!


So far I'm very impressed with the AF in good and low/moderate light. Here's a very rough sequence in a poorly lit room on a variety of subjects that's about as dark as I'd hope to get usable footage on any camera (4 small fluourescents on a fan fixture illuminating a 17' x 20' room):

I find the TM900's AF much more responsive and smooth than the XHA1. The TM900 has face recognition, so if you have this function turned on and it sees a face, it will try to focus on the face. If you "teach" the camera a specific person's face, it will focus on a face stored in memory rather than other people or objects in the room. This is a great feature for recording a speaker in a presentation, for instance. As with any AF it doesn't always focus on what you intend. If you want to focus on something on the left of the frame or a bee in the center, for instance, it may focus somewhere else in the frame rather than the specific item you desire. That's where MF comes in. I'm still going through the manual to determine if there are optimization schemes for Focus and exposure to help me use auto or manual features more skillfully.

Here are 2 comparisons shots of the TM900 in low light vs the Canon 7D. This really isn't very fair in that the 7D is sporting a f2.8 lens and we're comparing a $1,100 TM900 with a $3,000 7D, but the comparison may be helpful for those trying to understand how this cam stacks up to a DSLR that performs very well in low light. The "Extreme Low Light" is so low you'd really want to avoid it with any camera. Note I did pump up the TM900 Saturation and warm it up a bit, otherwise it would even more dull and than what appears below. Given the low light and shallow DOF is the areas of strength for the DSLR, remember that the TM900 kicks the 7D's tail in resolution, especially evident in wide shots, and avoids moire and jello effect to a much, much higher degree. I wish I had a GH2 to compare these attributes, but I don't.
Attached Thumbnails
TM900 - Pretty impressed!-tm900-vs-7d-low-light.jpg   TM900 - Pretty impressed!-tm900-vs-7d-extreme-low-light.jpg  

Last edited by Roger Shealy; March 20th, 2011 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Show low light examples
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Old August 30th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: TM900 - Pretty impressed!

Hi Roger,

Just out of curiosity, what is your opinion on the image quality of the TM900 compared to the XHA1?
GH4 + Nokton 25mm, TM900, Sony Vegas 12, Adobe Production Suite CS5
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