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Old July 4th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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TM900 Gain vs 7D ISO Settings

I'm looking at the TM-900 as a possible B/C/D cam for DSLR work. I'm reading so much stuff and still no idea where the TM900 capabilities lay in terms of low light (e.g. inside a church or hotel ceremony room early afternoon).

Has any one done a comparison of the various gain settings on the TM-900 compared to (say) a Canon 7D with (say) an f2.8 or f4.0 lens on? What I'm looking for is something like this:

7D, [f2.8] [ISO 800] = TM900 [f-stop] [Gain] (and if possible a comparison result)
7D, [f2.8] [ISO 1250] = TM900 [f-stop] [Gain] (and if possible a comparison result)
7D, [f4.0] [ISO 800] = TM900 [f-stop] [Gain] (and if possible a comparison result)
7D, [f4.0] [ISO 1250] = TM900 [f-stop] pGain] (and if possible a comparison result)

What I'm trying to figure out is if these two are at all interchangeable when shooting the same scene in terms of colour, noise and sharpness (I'm happy to look at noise reduction when required).

Sometimes greater DOF available from Camcorders CAN be an advantage too!

Unfortunately, there don't appear to be any TM900s in local shops for me to be able to do these comparisons myself, otherwise I would do!
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Old July 4th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: TM900 Gain vs 7D ISO Settings

Dave,

Colin Rowe posted an impressive simple assembly edit video (I think in the TM900 Users Thread, certainly in this Panny AVCCAM section) of his daughter's wedding where some shots were taken in a dimly lit church....might be worth a look for you.

I'll post a link in a minute if I can find it. EDIT, link below:

TM900 Wedding

I did post a low light test a few months back with the TM900 that you may or may not have seen. Link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DJO1Q0RVBw

I have a 7D, EX3 and TM900 (and a few other cams). 7D (with fast glass like F1.8) is the best in low light, then EX3 then TM900. None are "terrible" at all (....compared to the V1 and HC1 that I used to use in some casual work I did in Ely Cathedral as a favour to a friend a few years ago). TM900 gives a very different look to the 7D for reasons you understand (closer to the EX3). It's more blueish than the 7D for sure. Bear in mind the TM900 has a very fast lens on it (when set on wide) and can deliver very sharp images with remarkably little noise for such a small 3 MOS cam. The latest prosumer Canons are considered a little better in low light, but are a lot more expensive and I doubt they are as sharp as the TM900 (in good light), and of course they lack the lovely 1080p50 of the TM900. It's fantastic for slow motion stuff. If low light is really a concern for you I'd not touch F4 glass on the 7D, you need a 5DMkII and/or faster glass.

Hope this helps!
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Old July 4th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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Re: TM900 Gain vs 7D ISO Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
Dave,
If low light is really a concern for you I'd not touch F4 glass on the 7D, you need a 5DMkII and/or faster glass.

Hope this helps!
Hi Andy, many thanks for the reply and the links. I have seen both of those links and appreciate that they were posted, but both left more questions than answers. It's almost impossible to know how well a camera did without a comparison camera that you are familiar with. The shot of your desk was great, fairly low noise (which could have been lost in compression), but in reality, we (the viewers) have no real idea how much light there was (or wasn't) from a single camera shot. There could have been lots of light and the camera was not very sensitive, or there could have been almost no light and the camera is awesome. It's a tough one.

The Wedding Video has a similar problem. If we don't know how much light there really was, we don't know how well to grade the camera's capability.

The good news is I already have a couple of 5D2 bodies and some great f1.4 glass (24L, 35L, 50) as well as the 70-200 f2.8 and 135 f2.

I cited the 7D + F4 simply because of long lens crop mode (back of church) and almost usable DOF at 200mm / f4. But, sometimes I still need more DOF than f4 allows on a DSLR! The 550D is our current unattended cam (ML firmware) but I'd like the option of more DOF from time to time. Going to a 5D2 + faster glass gets worse, not better! :)
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