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Old May 9th, 2011, 10:36 PM   #166
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hey Andy

Thanks for starting this thread. I haven't been here in a while but came back to see if I could find some opinions on the TM900. I usually shoot with a Sony EX1 but needed something small and easier to handle and I narrowed my choice down to the TM900.

The only bad press I read about the TM900 is when using the internal mic it has the same problem as the TM700 picking up excessive fan noise. Not an issue as I would use an external mic or my EX1 if I audio was a concern.

I should be receiving my camera in a couple days and will let you know what I think.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #167
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I recently bought the TM900. I do not hear fan noise on my footage. But I have not filmed in a totally silent room. For my uses every time I shoot there is ambient noise. Outdoors, indoors, you name it. I can't see myself shooting in a totally silent environment. But having said that as you said attaching an ext mic is not a painful experience so if you do have fan noise that's not a horribly painful option. My biggest worry with the fan is the same as any fan cooling vital equipment. What is the life of the fan? How long before dust clogs it and/or its bearings wear out. Because when that happens the chip its cooling is fried and the camera becomes useless. That is my only concern with the fan.

Chris
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Old May 10th, 2011, 09:56 AM   #168
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi Bob and Chris. Glad to have you on board!

My guess is that fan noise is only a big problem if you use AGC (auto gain control) when in a very quiet room as then it'll just pump up the level. Yet another reason not to use AGC. Certainly, I've read web reports (on other forums) of people who have had several TM900s (for various QC problems/reasons) and some appear to be louder than others regarding fan noise so it does appear to be a variability with this model. Luckily mine is so quiet I've yet to hear it. Wind noise when outdoors in even a slight breeze is much more of an audio issue (hence why I got the Rode VMP as one potential solution).

Regarding longevity of the fan comments....well maybe.... but at least that's one of the very few moving parts on this flash based cam so it should last as long as any tape transport mechanism (remember when we all had those!) if not longer - as it's a lot simpler! Truth is that the TM700 has been around for just over a year and I've yet to read any reports of failing/clogged up fans (even amongst those that use these cams heavily for Pro work - but that does not mean it hasn't happened). I imagine the fan will keep going for long enough until one feels a need to upgrade such is the rapid pace of camera developments...so stop worrying!

Anyway, maybe by the time the fan fails (if it ever does) we will all be able to buy a small portable 4K cam which does 150 frames per second with 7.1 sound and 1 TB of onboard Flash memory and all for $999 (we can but dream...but I bet it'll be a reality sooner than you think!).

Anyway, I digress. We look forward to how you both get on with those new TM900s!
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Old May 10th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #169
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I need a low light and night VIDEO lens!!!

Hy. I'm an amateur. I have an EOS 7D. I use it for music videos. I need a lens for low light and night videos. What do you think about the canon 50mm 1.8 II? Do you have any other suggestions?
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Old May 10th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #170
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Suggest you post on the 7D forum, not this one.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 02:21 PM   #171
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Anyone have experience with the Panasonic .7x wide angle lens for the TM900? Although my new TM900 is wider out of the chute than my older Canon HV30, it still isn't wide enough for some uses that I have for the camera. Besides being interested in any feedback you might have on the lens itself, I'm also interested in what kind of a hood you are using with it.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 06:32 PM   #172
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi Alan,

These comments do not directly address your question but years ago I purchased a second hand Schneider-Kreuznach “Super-wide lens Aspheric III” intending to use it on 16 mm film cameras. That did not happen and I tried it on a Sony PD150 with disappointing results since then it has remained in the back of a cupboard until put it on my TM 900 where it produced surprisingly good results. It is a fairly large lens - a little over 4” in diameter but relatively lightweight thanks to its plastic optics.

I do not know whether is relevant to its pleasing results but I have used two stepping rings to mount it on the TM 900, the first reduces the Aspheric III’s 62mm to 58 mm and another to reduce the 58 mm to the TM’s 46mm. I leave the latter stepping ring permanently on the TM and standardize on 58 mm accessories to reduce vignetting problems.

Finally a question for Andy, is the aim of this thread to cover any thing relevant to the TM 900? I ask because it is now rather large and consequently not so easy to find a particular point of view or other detail.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 01:54 AM   #173
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi Alastair,

The aim of the thread when I started it was to cover all things TM900, SD900, HS900 etc. so that anyone looking could find useful comments, tips and discussions on them in here, somewhere! Sometimes on DVinfo I've seen several parallel discussions going on about similar or identical things in multiple threads (and even at times across forum areas as happened in the various Canon DSLR sections a while back) and it makes it much harder to get at all the good info. I'm not a Mod on here but that was my simple aim, a bit like "one stop shopping".

I agree this thread has grown enormously - now on 12 pages/170 odd posts - such is the interest in these latest Panasonic cameras. There is now a wealth of useful stuff in this thread thanks to all those of you who have spared the time to add really good factual information. I simply use the search function often on DVinfo and can usually...not always... locate things pretty quickly (when using well selected key words).

If I ever get time... I might try and do a simple resume of what subjects we've covered on what pages and post that in this thread - if anyone thinks it would help!

For sure, wide angle adapters has come up before in this thread - and I'm sure will come up again - as it seems many of us (me included) sometimes find 35mm just not quite wide enough on the TM900. It certainly seems a subject worthy of a separate new thread (assuming a good one does not already exist, e.g. from TM700 discussions last year).

What does everyone else think?
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Old May 12th, 2011, 02:10 AM   #174
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Regarding wide angle adapters, I have both the TM700 and the TM900 and I searched quite a bit for a suitable wide angle lens.

Following a recommendation from a buyer on avsforums.com I bought a cheap one on ebay. Here's the link:
46mm 0.45x wide angle + 12.5x macro lens + CPL filter | eBay UK

This particular one is a UK seller and despatch was almost immediate. In case link does not work the name of the seller is ukdailybuy and the product s called "46mm 0.45x wide angle" - that should be enough to find it.

I haven't given it exhaustive pixel peeping type tests - haven't had the time - but it is suprisingly good plus its well made and solid. At that price (£15.49) you can't really go wrong. I've never bought a cheap lens before so I was dubious - nearly all my others are Canon "L" lenses at the opposite end of the scale like the 70-200 f2.8L and the 24mm tilt and shift.

Pete
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Old May 12th, 2011, 05:58 AM   #175
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Looks interesting Peter, let us know how you get on with it
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #176
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I didn't find much of value on wide angle lenses for the TM700 in the TM700 threads. I have a Raynox .66x lens that I have used on my Canon HV-30. Unfortunately it vignettes very slightly at full wide when on the TM900. Then if you pan the camera at all it vignettes a lot on one corner/side as the stabilization shifts the used sensor area. You actually have to zoom quite a bit to get rid of the vignetting completely, which completely defeats the purpose of the wide angle lens. To use the Raynox 52mm wide angle lens I had to use a step up ring. It doesn't look particularly thick, but a thinner one might reduce the vignetting.

I am wondering if the Panasonic VW-W4607 has this same issue with vignetting when panning. It would avoid the length of a step up ring and is .7x as opposed to the .66x of the Raynox. Hopefully these differences would avoid the problem completely.

I called B&H to see if they knew of a lens hood that goes with the Panny wide angle. They weren't much help as the phone person had no access to the lenses or hoods. The Panny lists the lens diameter as 74mm. I'm assuming that this is the outside diameter as the lens doesn't have any filter threads. The B&H guy thought the same but wasn't sure. The only hood that they carry that might fit is a 77mm rubber CAVision. It isn't clear how well this hood might work.

Does anyone have any experience with this Panny lens on a TM700/900 and with a hood that works? The key questions are:
1. Is it full zoom through, i.e., no vignetting at wide and abilily to focus throughout the range?
2. How sharp is it? Do you lose any perceptible sharpness as compared to the camera without the wide angle lens attached?
3. Is this sharpness across the full lens or does it get soft in the edges/corners?
4. Does the sharpness degrade significantly as you move away from full wide or does it stay sharp throughout most or all of the range?
5. What lens hood works well with the lens?

If no one has any insights that help, then I may go ahead and buy the lens and CAvision hood. If I do, then I'll report back what I find.

BTW, the vignetting allows one to easily see how the stabilization shifts things. As you start to pan the camera the black corner appears then drifts back away. It isn't totally consistent in amount from pan to pan--my guess is that it depends upon the particular edges in the scene that it latches onto to make the adjustments. It makes you realize how much the camera is adjusting the framed area.

I also had some interesting experiences when I tried to evaluate how sharp my Raynox lens was with the TM900. I was shooting a TV resolution chart from a few feet away and had the TM900 image stabilization on. It found it difficult to frame the chart nicely as I would move the tripod head slightly and the frame would float around for an additional second or so and eventually settle in a position that wasn't exactly where I wanted the camera pointing. I'd move the head slightly again to adjust and the same thing would happen. I'm not 100% sure if the lengthy stabilization period after moving the tripod head was due to stabilization in the camera or some elasticity in the tripod head itself (it was a cheap tripod). I should have turned off the stabilization at the time but didn't want to take the time at that point to figure out how to do it (had just received the camera). I have never bothered to turn off the image stabilization on my VX2000 as I've never had any problems with leaving it on. However, if this wandering around is a function of the TM900 stabilization, then it will really need to be turned off any time you are using a tripod.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #177
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi

Image stabilization needs to be turned off when mounted to a tripod, there is a dedicated button for this on the top left of the camcorder (silver one marked OIS).

The floating around is quite normal when it is on as that is it's function to remove the shakes, and you will notice this on more modern newer camcorders when on a tripod due to bigger range and effectiveness of stablization compared to previous models.

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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #178
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Last week I was up filming inside a WWII aircraft. Very cramped (no way could I have had my EX3 in this thing!) and very noisy.

I have to say the very small form factor of the TM900, superb image stabilisation (everything had to be hand-held and secured) and use of a polarising filter worked really well for me - only a few shots were lost due to the excessive vibration from the planes twin engines. Equally important was the 1080p50. It was a pretty bumpy ride in parts and the ability to slow footage down to 1080p25 during post in Vegas enabled me to get some of the shots needed. More filming is now planned!

Amongst other things this week, I'm filming an event in Cambridge and expecting bad light in the basement venue its in. I'll be using the TM900 locked down on a tripod for cutaway shots to supplement my EX3 and 7D (main cams) so it'll be interesting to see how that goes!
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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #179
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I don't think I could be bothered to run the sorts of tests Alan C refers to as the wide angle lens I linked to is really only for emergency use. I have now used it several times to take in a whole dancefloor in low light in a locked down position and its worked well.

I leave Image Stabilisation on in that situation because typically I have the cam high up on a lightstand and the single column rather than tripod configuration means it does indeed need to be stabilised. Lightstands are great for getting the extra height - many go up between 3 and 4 metres and a TM900 will live quite happily up there :-)

The lens I linked to comes with a polariser on the front which you need to remove to avoid vignetting at maximum width. For the same reason you would not put a hood on it.

Pete
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #180
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Can anyone lighten me what the exact recording specs of the TM900 mean?

The official spec says the 'Signal System' is 1080 / 50p, 1080 / 50i, 540 / 25p

Recording format:

<Original Format>
1080 / 50p : MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
<AVCHD standard compliant>
HA / HG / HX / HE : MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
<MPEG-4 AVC file format compliant (.MP4)>
iFrame : MPEG4-AVC/H.264

Recording / Playback mode:

1080 / 50p (28 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)
HA (17 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)
HG (13 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)
HX (9 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)
HE (5 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)
iFrame (28 Mbps / VBR), (960 x 540)

The 1080 50p mode is clear. Talk on this forum has suggested that the HA mode is 25p but I'm not sure where this comes from. The 25p mode seems linked to the iFrame 540 setting. How do I enable the 1080 50i mode as I can't find it on the camera or is that the default for the AVCHD modes? Or am I just being thick?
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