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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:39 AM   #1
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TM900 and 7D comparison video

As a long time owner of the Canon 7D, I have come to understand its strengths and weaknesses. I just purchased a Panasonic TM900 for wide angle cover shots as well as for casual use. I took the two cameras out today and did some informal comparisons to better understand how each performs in different situations. I did not perform low light analysis as the 7D is the clear winner and I have already posted a few pictures on that topic. Here are the two cameras in good lighting, which I try to find or create whenever possible:



My main method of distribution is Vimeo.com for web viewing, so I really wanted to see how the comparison would look over the web using "quick" camera techniques I commonly use in the field to grab a shot. I decided not to obsess on each shot more so than I would in real life.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Great little video and (as a TM900 and 7D owner too) it saves me having to do one myself!

Think you've nailed the key differences already but (and I already know the answer...) some aliasing/moire shots would show up another big key difference too.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Andy,

Glad the vid saved you some time. I decided not to delve into the aliasing/moire issue since those issues are well known on the Canon DSLR's and the "walking around" portion of the video was intended to give some opportunity for the "jello" effect since I didn't know how the TM900 would respond. The TM900 is really a nice little camera and I'm looking forward to using it quite a bit in the future. It outperforms its price!

Have you had good success matching the 900 footage with the 7D? Doesn't seem to be a huge challenge from what I've seen thus far, but I haven't officially tried to meld them into a coherent piece yet.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; March 21st, 2011 at 05:44 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

I'm melding EX3, 7D and TM900 stuff together (shot over the last 2 weeks) right now on numerous different product demo web videos for a big multinational corporate client - it's early days in editing and I've not got to the final colour correcting etc. stages as we're still very much at the assembly edits/Rough Cut stages but will let you know how it goes over the next month or two. So far it all looks very "doable" (is that a real word?) but I'll reserve judgement until I'm at the Final Cut stages on this project (and when I see the client smiling.....!)

For sure, I've done things with the TM900 that the 7D and especially the EX3 (because of its size more than anything) would have been problematic with. It's a terrific addition/complement to my camera kit, that much I know already - I've just got to learn how to utilise its strengths. I still can't believe how much it does so well for (relatively) so little cost.

I'm very happy! :-)
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Old March 21st, 2011, 04:16 PM   #5
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Sounds encouraging Andy. I'd love to see some comparative pictures from the EX3 and the TM900!

Do you have any secrets for controlling exposure and focus simultaneously in manual?

Any way to make the camera switch to manual focus from AF when you start turning the ring without going through menus?
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Old March 21st, 2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

As you have no doubt found out the TM900 will tend to over expose/blow out highlights in Auto mode in sunny conditions. I now tend to use it in Manual with zebras, histogram and % exposure value on the display and 9 times out of 10 I get it right. I still screw up now and again - the first shot in my YouTube TM900 and Steadicam Merlin test posted over the weekend shows bad underexposure (which is why I put the opening titles all over the shot!). That shot was also done with Autofocus (which is EXCELLENT on this cam, very fast and accurate), but as you will see I should have done that opening shot with manual focus as it quickly hunts from the top of roof of The Porta, to the distant sky and then the foreground as I pan down/the van arrives (not quite what I'd planned). We are always learning....

Link here - just in case anyone missed it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kYYiL6-oaE

Focus is easy in manual with the blue peaking as you adjust the lens ring, no two ways about it - excellent tool. Wish my 7D was as easy to focus accurately.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #7
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Andy,

I haven't really used it enough yet to uncover all those issues. All the shots I took for this piece and the 45 second piece were automatic exposure and looked pretty close. I have noticed that the camera responds well to color correction and color curve adjustments; significantly better than the 7D.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

I was so displeased with the 7D results that I decided to reshoot some of the scenes using a Canon 50mm f1.8 prime on the 7D. The results were much better, so I've removed the original video. Here's the new link:

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Old March 31st, 2011, 11:04 PM   #9
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Thanks for the comparison. I guessed right on all but 2 of the clips.

I shoot with the 7D, 5DII and TM700. Having finally sold all my old SD gear I'm trying to decide if an AF101 is my next purchase.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 08:12 PM   #10
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Kirk,

I'm curious how you like using the TM700 with the Canon DSLR's and if you have experienced something different in your journeys with these cameras. Are you getting significantly better or worse footage from either compared to the comparison and are you pleased with the TM700?
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:34 PM   #11
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Roger I think the points you made about the TM900 and 7D mirror my experience and opinion.

I've shot with a TM900 side by side with the TM700 and there was no perceivable difference in the footage. I bought my TM700 after it was out for 6 months and have never experienced the Bondi blue issue nor has the the fan noise been a problem. I think they made some midyear fixes but didn't announce it to protect themselves from having to fix product that was already out. I'd never use the extreme zoom so the TM900 stabilization is perhaps the only slight improvement.

I use a monitor with peaking with the 5DII and 7D so focus is relatively easy. I favor the 7D because I'm not going for the 'filmic' look and that way I don't have an issue with the change in res on the monitor when I hit record.

The quality of the TM700 is so good that it makes it hard to decide what to buy next. I'll wait and see what happens at NAB but at the moment the AF101 is looking like the best bang for the buck. I think I'd still feel comfortable using the TM700 as a B camera with it.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 04:01 PM   #12
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

The video example seem to show the 7D being very un-sharp when you zoomed into the frame. Either the focus was wrong or it was the glass used. There will probably be a difference in the sharpness of the 7D if the Canon 50mm f/1.2L lens was used instead of the 50mm f1.8 you used. To me, having high quality lens choices makes the argument for the DSLR over the fixed lens camera. Plus low-light capabilities.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 05:46 PM   #13
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

The 50 1.8 is a very sharp lens in my experience. I've used both the 1.8 and 1.2 and image quality shooting video at F/4 - 5.6 is equivalent.

Here's a good Canon prime lens comparison done in conjunction with a Canon rep. The rep states in the video that he carries the 50 1.8 is his own kit. I'd say that's a fair testimonial to the lens.

Canon Prime Lens Comparison on the 5D MKII | Canon Filmmakers
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 06:54 PM   #14
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
TThe rep states in the video that he carries the 50 1.8 is his own kit.
Thanks for the video link, I do remember watching it and just watched it again. The rep actually talks about keeping the Canon 50mm f/1.4, not the f/1.8 in his bag. These are very different lenses, and I agree that the f/1.4 is as sharp as the f/1.2, just not as fast. And research says that the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is sharper than the Canon.

Regardless, my main point is that the Canon DSLR has the advantage over the TM900 because the shooter has the option of putting great glass on it, whereas with the fixed lens camera it's not an option. This is extremely important to me. And in my work, if the lens doesn't look sharp wide open or at least 1 stop closed, it's not the lens for me. Just my opinion.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 07:07 PM   #15
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Re: TM900 and 7D comparison video

In my opinion and experience the Leica lens on the TM700 / TM900 is great glass. I shoot with several of the L series lenses on the 5DII and 7D and don't feel they're superior.
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