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Old May 17th, 2011, 01:21 AM   #181
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Christensen View Post
Anyone have experience with the Panasonic .7x wide angle lens for the TM900?
Here's a copy of my post from page 8 of this thread:

I have the VW-W46507H X0.7 wide angle adapter.

It's quite sharp. Yes it has some obvious distortion until you start to zoom into it but I've never found that to be a problem. Use it carefully and you can work with it quite effectively.

I own a couple of much pricier SONY 0.7 adapters and this is just as good.

And I see now that I get to start page 13 with my re-post. Time to break this thread into separate discussions, IMO
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Old May 18th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #182
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Panasonic TM900 Users Thread - INDEX SO FAR

OK, while I'm burning some discs here's a quick resume of (some of) what's been covered in the last 12 pages/180 odd posts with 17,000 views so far.

Page 1 - TM900 specs, first impressions, link to Panasonic information, new battery type needed, suggested camera settings, No "Bondi Blue", remote control.

Page 2 - Filters and chances of vignetting, editing 1080p50/60.

Page 3 - 1080p50 as slow motion in post, hybrid optical image stabilisation and iZoom test video.

Page 4 - No Bondi Blue (again...), tendency to overexpose in bright sunlight, low light test video.

Page 5 - TM900 and Steadicam Merlin test video, larger battery pics/comments, battery charger.

Page 6 - More TM900 and Steadicam Merlin tests, Rode Videomic Pro/Nikon ME1 discussion, my accessory shoe modification.

Page 7 - Polarising filters, ND filters, more test films.

Page 8 - Wide angle adapters, TM900 and Canon 7D comparison test video.

Page 9 - More on wide angle adapters, manual settings.

Page 10 - More on manual settings, menus, shutter speed selection, relay recording clarified.

Page 11 - Rode Vidoemic Pro and deadcat information (link to audio section), editing 1080p50 (again), iZoom and polarising filters clarification.

Page 12 - Fan noise (or lack of in some cases), wide angle adapters (again), recording specs - still unanswered - anyone?

Hope this helps.

I agree, let's break TM900 stuff down into separate threads from this point forward - if at all possible.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; May 18th, 2011 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Typo & adding info
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Old May 18th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #183
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

That's excellent Andy - your input and enthusiasm here as been incredibly useful and galvanising.

I bought 3 TM900s for work (teaching students) and have only just started exploring the camera. From further surfing I'm fairly sure that all the AVCHD modes are 50i and iFrame mode is 25p but I'm still not totally sure. It is important for me as though the 50p mode is excellent, it would probably be a too much of a complication to deal with in terms of making things editable on FCP for novice students.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #184
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Thanks Geoffrey! Your assumptions seem correct to me - but I never use anything other than 1080p50 and currently edit that TM900 footage only in Vegas on my PC, not on my Mac systems - so I'm not the best person to ask/confirm - but from what I've read 1080p50 in FCP needs workarounds. Maybe that will change when FCP X arrives...

Three TM900's. Lucky students!
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Old May 19th, 2011, 01:35 AM   #185
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Intelligent Contrast - Useful if planning to grade?

I'm finding that I'm using intelligent contrast quite a bit. I think that it allows for less crushed shadows and less blown highlights. It looks a little 'flat' and as another poster say 'plastic' before grading but I'm feeling I'm preserving quite a bit more detail than I would otherwise. I do reduce the exposure a bit by 1 or 2 and this keeps the highlights from blowing. If I use the build-in histogram with intelligent contrast off or on, I find when it's off the shadows just crush, there is a hard wall at the left side, as well as the highlights on the right side. With it on there isn't a 'wall'.

I find this 'intelligent contrast' is similar to the picture profile settings such as the 'technicolor' used in the Canon EOS 5D mk ii. It doesn't look very good when played back, but when color graded there is more to work with.

Am I fooling myself and 'baking in' a bad and unfixable look? Anybody else have experience with grading TM700/TM900 footage with intelligent contrast on? (I also reduce the sharpness, saturation, and tilt the hue to red a bit as well.)

Thanks for any input!
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Old May 19th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #186
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I own TM 900 video camera, and i need to buy some alternative to Steadicam Merlin. Is there any model cheapter than seadicam merlin?
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Old May 19th, 2011, 02:41 PM   #187
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Flycam Nano
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Old May 21st, 2011, 06:56 PM   #188
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Intelligent Contrast Mode

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau View Post
I'm finding that I'm using intelligent contrast quite a bit. I think that it allows for less crushed shadows and less blown highlights. It looks a little 'flat' and as another poster say 'plastic' before grading but I'm feeling I'm preserving quite a bit more detail than I would otherwise. I do reduce the exposure a bit by 1 or 2 and this keeps the highlights from blowing. If I use the build-in histogram with intelligent contrast off or on, I find when it's off the shadows just crush, there is a hard wall at the left side, as well as the highlights on the right side. With it on there isn't a 'wall'.

I find this 'intelligent contrast' is similar to the picture profile settings such as the 'technicolor' used in the Canon EOS 5D mk ii. It doesn't look very good when played back, but when color graded there is more to work with.

Am I fooling myself and 'baking in' a bad and unfixable look? Anybody else have experience with grading TM700/TM900 footage with intelligent contrast on? (I also reduce the sharpness, saturation, and tilt the hue to red a bit as well.)

Thanks for any input!
Hi Keith,

I have done some testing with shots taken with Intelligent Contrast Mode compared to auto iris and full manual and came to the conclusion it really does bake in the look, I did not find it possible to recover from it.

Here are four stills takes from 3 clips taken moments apart looking into a bright sky, the aim was to get the best overall exposure, keeping as much shadow detail as possible without burning out the clouds.

The first shot was taken in auto iris mode with -2 exposure set in picture settings. The second shot was taken in full manual lowering the exposure (iris) until zebras just cleared from the sky. The 3rd and final shot was taken in Intelligent Contrast Mode. Note it is not possible to use manual iris in this mode so no way it seems to apply less of this effect.

Notice only the full manual clip maintains cloud detail but the foreground is too dark. However with the overall detail in this shot I was able to tweak some brightness back into the dark areas in post with the help of a YUV filter plus a touch more chroma (the lower exposure also lowers chroma level as seen on the vectorscope left of waveform meter).

The waveform meter shows how severely the luma is squashed for the clip when Intelligent Contrast was used. I was not able to correct from this with out the image looking more plastic than ever.
Attached Thumbnails
The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread-auto-iris.png   The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread-manual-exposure.png  

The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread-intelligent-exposure.png   The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread-manual-exp-yuv-filter.png  

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Old May 22nd, 2011, 03:49 AM   #189
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi

Thanks for the tests. Ignoring the technical measures for what is best, the best looking picture to me, i.e. how I would imagine that scene to look via my own eye is the Intelligent contrast one, it looks more like sun shining in the garden as I would see it, all the others look quite dreary and more like a dark winters day.

I can see what you are trying to achieve capturing as much detail without blowing the highlights or losing shadow detail, but our eyes blow highlights or lose shadow detail naturally anyway in similar situations, so circumventing that for me personally I think gives rise to a picture that looks less like as "I would see it", even if technically it is the better picture.

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Phil
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 04:56 AM   #190
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Re: Intelligent Contrast Mode

Hi Phil,

I do indeed agree the pictures are "dreary", the scene is so strongly backlit I didn't expect much else. If I were taking this shot for purely aesthetic reasons I would never shoot from such an angle (almost straight into sun), such shots are always going to be more or less silhouetted, I have exactly the same result with my EX1R camera despite it's picture profile and gamma options.

All I am trying to show here is how Intelligent Contrast mode locks in "looks" irrecoverably and cannot be undone by grading, that is what Keith asked and so that was my reply to that question, with this difficult shot taken manually it can be graded, still not a beautiful image but in my opinion preferable to the harsh flattened and plastic look.

BTW, I don't agree with your view "our eyes blow highlights or lose shadow detail naturally anyway in similar situations". I just went outside and looked at the same scene again in same conditions and can clearly see the subtle cloud shades in the brightest parts AND the darkest parts of the shrubs while casually taking in the scene. No digital consumer camcorder can do this as they don't have even the dynamic range of film let alone our eyesight.

Maybe I should have chosen a less severe shot for testing, perhaps there are some scenes which benefit from Intelligent Contrast but so far I just don't care for the look it gives when I try it.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 06:19 AM   #191
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi

Quote:
BTW, I don't agree with your view "our eyes blow highlights or lose shadow detail naturally anyway in similar situations". I just went outside and looked at the same scene again in same conditions and can clearly see the subtle cloud shades in the brightest parts AND the darkest parts of the shrubs while casually taking in the scene. No digital consumer camcorder can do this as they don't have even the dynamic range of film let alone our eyesight.
They do, of course when you look at the sky your pupils contract, just like the iris of a camera, you can't stop this happening. Because we really only see in detail a very small circle in front of our eyes, we don't necessarily notice (except in particular circumstances) details of darker areas in our peripheral version becoming silhouettes as our pupils contract looking at the bright sky. As you look around a scene, your pupils are constantly adjusting.

The best demonstration of this comparing directly to a camera is when you are talking to someone sat in front of a bright window and they are in silhouette and you can see little or no details in their face, it's black, we are all familiar with that happening. With a camcorder/camera you would use backlight compensation and blow out the bright details around them and bring their face out of the shadows. If we had conscious control over our own eyes, we could do the same, and do you not think in such a case the view outside the window would not clip and turn to white losing all the detail?

I'm not saying a camera or camcorder has the same dynamic range as our eyes, but the principles are the same. You can even see noise in near darkness where your brain turns up the gain :)

Intelligent contrast has done a good job, it isn't designed to be used and still allow a wide degree of adjustment afterwards, as it is a "full auto" mode type thing, so yes it does rather bake the look in.

Sometimes, in order to capture more interesting details, you just have to let something "zebra" in the shot, or get creative with some graduated filters to darken the sky so you can keep some detail, which is probably the answer or something to try in success conditions.

Quote:
Maybe I should have chosen a less severe shot for testing, perhaps there are some scenes which benefit from Intelligent Contrast but so far I just don't care for the look it gives when I try it.
I tend to agree overall that Intelligent Contrast isn't a fix for everything, and your approach with a bit of work in post can achieve as good or better results. Your examples probably were the extreme and quite challenging, just out of those I thought the intelligent contrast one was the better, all the others just appeared too dark and I would have scarified the sky to bring up the details in the shadows. I don't think there was anyway to really make a good shot in such conditions as you say.

Regards

Phil
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:32 AM   #192
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I loaned my TM900 to my brother visiting Israel last week. He has some photographer experience, but not much video, so it was pure iA with a polarizing filter on the front. I was very impressed with the quality of the footage, exposure, and the way the stabilization compensated for tripodless excursions. Hardly a shot was unusable for documentary purposes. Focus was good, exposure was acceptable, and Image Stabilization is extremely good for conditions.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #193
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Last week I bought the Panasonic HDC-SD900. I was convinced of the "greatness" of this camera because of all the positive remarks on this forum. It gives better video than I see on most local networks (or is it the cameraman?).

What a beautifull video it makes!
What impresses me most is the image stabilisation. I have had a few camera's, but this camera blow them all away.

If you see the contributions on this forum of Mark Rosenzweig then you know enough. The same person, different camera's; but the Panasonic stands out, and mainly because of it's extraordinary image stabilisation.

I have filmed in full sunlight, but automatic mode is not the way to go, to much bleeched out ...
So I have to study and practice the manual things.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #194
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi everyone. I want to thank Andy, Claire, Colon and others for an excellent thread on this camera. I have learned a huge amount reading and learning from your incredible level of expertise. I have a Canon HV30 and had a Panny GS 400 before the Canon. I have been considering a new camera and this appears to be a good choice. I am struggling with a compelling reason to "move up" from the HV30 as it has good manual controls, records at 1080i and I have invested in batteries and tele and wide angle lenses. Use of mini DV for storage has it pros and cons compare to the flash technologies available relative to compression. Please appreciate that I am a pure novice compared to 95% of the people on this forum and shot mostly family stuff. Is this a cost justified step up from where I am at present? I would highly value the thoughts an opinions of the people contributing to this thread. Respectfully submitted.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 12:19 AM   #195
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

On behalf of everyone - thanks for the thanks and welcome to Dvinfo!

1. Sure, picture quality and solid state workflow will be a step up but ask yourself this - what is it that makes you yearn to replace the much loved HV30? (I've never had one but I read time after time about happy users/seen the excellent images it can create). Is it showing any reliability issues for example?

2. Also, of great importance, is your computer and NLE going to edit this 1080p50/60 and/or AVCHD out of the TM900 et al like butter... or would that need a ton of money spending on it too? HDV editing is REALLY easy compared to these newer flavours.

I struggled for a while to replace my much loved Sony HC1 but that was starting to act up (sometimes jerky/non-working zoom and sometimes seems to take for ages to record after you press the button). Also, I'd got so used to a solid state workflow with my professional gear that real time capture of tapes was really starting to get insanely boring! The HC1 was also a very poor performer in low light too - being a first generation HDV cam. And of course I already had a very fast Mac Pro and PC in my studio but most of all I wanted to try 1080p50 for some commercial applications without spending a ton of money.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; May 25th, 2011 at 03:58 AM. Reason: I think I'm dyslexic!
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