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Old September 23rd, 2011, 04:22 AM   #316
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi Tom,
>>Of course there’s no doubt that the 60D takes better pictures and movies<<

Is that really the case? I am looking for a conventional video camera to work alongside my Canon 5D2 and 60D and was considering the TM900. Did your review actually compare the video footage in addition to the stills capability?

Peter
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 05:20 AM   #317
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

When I say 'better' I really mean artier. The photographic side of you can shine using a DSLR for movies simply because the big chip and long focal lengths allow you dof control the 900 can only dream about. Of course the 900 is technically better - for filming test charts with diagonal lines it'll win every time, but filmmaking is about creative photography, and the DSLR offers you that in skip loads.

But no - my test was of the stills taking capabilities this time.

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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:19 AM   #318
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi Tom and thanks for the clarification. For the most part I was planning on using the two Canon's but will have various situations when I think the 900 would be a more appropriate tool for shots within a project.

On occasions I actually need massive depth of field for example, so the idea is to sometimes use all three cameras on the one shoot; mixing them up in post as appropriate. Obviously I am keen to have all cameras shoot footage as close as possible to one another in say colour balance and general quality etc for the final product.

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Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:59 AM   #319
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

My problem with the dslr is that I've seen moire absolutely wreck my video on the 5dmkII. I can't comment on the 60d, not used that. I think I was actually one of the first to complain about it, because if I had known I would not have bought it. It's lovely for stills of course.

Dslr results are going to be lens dependent as well, some work well like the 70-200IS L.

I'll say it again, the image stabilization on the Tm900 is just brilliant.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 12:21 PM   #320
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

The new drop in anti moire filter for the 5D2 from Mosaic Engineering seems to have cured that problem. But as always, I think it's advisable to choose the best tools for the job in hand. And use them in situations that take advantage of their strengths, whilst also being aware of any shortcomings.

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Old October 11th, 2011, 08:59 PM   #321
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I have been trying out my TM900 with a Radox HD6600Pro..

I have found the wide angle lens makes the image get that soft look and the image loses that crisp focused look...
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Old October 11th, 2011, 09:20 PM   #322
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

The Raynox adapters are mixed, in some cases really, really soft depending on the camcorder they are attached to. The Panasonic wide adapters that are designed for this camcorder work well and are fairly sharp.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #323
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Well I can tell you Tom - the moiré on the 60D has to be seen to be believed, in every single movie mode and frame rate on offer. I just cannot think how folk are using it to film weddings - I mean there will be times when the tiles on the church roof will be in shot and in focus won't there?

Maybe time to invest in an anti-moiré filter, because at the moment it's just a joke, on leaves, bricks, tiles, anything with fine detail.

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Old October 12th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #324
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi! I upgraded to the TM900 a couple of months ago for an African safari that I will be going on in Dec. I've read through this entire thread and I appreciate the amazing amount of information in here. This is the closest I've come to finding a class to teach me how to use all of the amazing capabilities of this camcorder. I have a million questions, but in the interest of not adding another 22 pages in a single post, I will restrain myself!

I will be shooting at 1080/60p. I've been working on how to shoot at first light in the morning and after dusk.
I've tried a few different options:

I set the shutter to 1/30, set the exposure to +5 and got reasonable results.

To the above, I turned intelligent exposure on. Not sure that I could tell the difference.

Then I tried the low-light scene. That also seemed reasonable.

The color night recording setting had good colors and lighting, but I don't think it focuses well enough if there is movement, even if I am using a tripod or other mount.

I am also assuming that under these lighting conditions, I should shoot without any filters and no additional lenses.

Thank you in advance for any advice on why I would choose one option over the other and under what circumstances.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 03:35 AM   #325
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Carol: you've chosen well. I upgraded to this little camera about 3 months ago - from a Sony NX5. I'm sort-of joking, but the side-screen on the 800 is bigger, brighter, more colourful and has decent sized menu icons. It's also far more touch sensitive and you can even creep-zoom on screen. In replaying the still pictures, simply touch any part of the frame and that immediately and automatically zooms in to make that touch point the centre of the displayed image, then you can use the zoom rocker to zoom in more.

But to your points. You set the shutter to 1/30, set the exposure to +5. Question: why? 1/30th loses the smoothness of 1/60th and +5 on exposure? What does that mean? +5 what? I'm pretty surprised you got 'reasonable results'.

iA overrides all other settings other than OIS (and the lens ring reverts to zoom control), so you're immediately recording multiple audio tracks and accepting all sorts of other compromises. The face detection is neat though.

The 900 uses smaller-than ¼" chips, so you're right to be wary of using extra filters and add-ons. But the 35mm wide-angle is only so-so these days, so I do use a wide-adapter a lot of the time and accept the consequenses.

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Old October 13th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #326
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

1/25th shutter (PAL camera) helped me out filming at dawn at Lake Garda in Italy a couple of weeks ago such my TM900 didn't need add gain. I should add I only use manual exposure (or shutter priority on occasion). Motion at this slow shutter speed was no problem since I was up before anybody was about, no people, no ferry boats, as yet.

After dark, due to more activity in the scenes I used 1/50th shutter and accepted there would be gain applied, well as it turned out this wasn't bad and yes colour held up very well. The biggest problem I had with the TM900 in the evenings was how to white balance for multiple types of lighting with different colour temperatures, this is something of a problem, there was fluorescent (green), tunsten filament (red) and curses.. those dreadful "economy" bulbs, oh and an occasional powerful halogen.. all in the shots together! In the end I filmed all night shots using my own stored daylight setting and corrected in post, not always easy as people moved from beneath one colour lighting to another.

An advantage of sticking to my daylight WB setting was that sunset scenes from the boats looked perfect, ie: "warm" as I remember it. Something you don't want automatic WB to "correct for"...

Oh, and be aware manual focus is the only way to shoot in dim lighting, the TM900's auto focus in incredibly fast and accurate in daylight but not when the light level drops.

I must say the footage I came back with is by far the best quality I have ever taken on a holiday and also the easiest to have shot with this little gem of a camera. Previous trips included cameras much larger and heavier, cumbersome things, good riddence!
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Old October 13th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #327
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Tom & Claire - Thank you for your fast responses.

Tom - The reason that I set to 1/30 shutter and +5 exposure is that at 1/60 shutter and 0 Exposure I record a black screen. If I set to color night view it looks like the shutter speed drops below 1/30. At 1/30 shutter the camera could still focus and I was able to capture a clear picture. Is there a better approach under these conditions?

I do plan on getting and using a wide angle extender lens (I'm thinking of the Panasonic - VW-W4607), just not under these really low light conditions. If there is a zoom extender that doesn't cost a fortune that works well, I would like to get one, too. (Any recommendations?)

Claire - Fortunately, I won't need to worry about lights in the middle of the Serengeti! I have not started using the manual white balance or focus yet. I was hoping to rely on the auto focus since I am not sure that I will be any better than the camera when it comes to maintaining focus on moving animals. Am I correct to assume that if the autofocus is not working optimally, the MF Assist function will also not be working optimally? I will need to do some testing to determine the conditions where I can do a better job than autofocus can.

I am also planning to come home with the best footage I've ever taken on a trip!
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Old October 13th, 2011, 10:16 AM   #328
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi Carol,
What looks good on the side-screen may not be what's best on the big screen later, that's the problem you face with slowing the shutter speed and using '+5'. Generally iA will give you a good starting point, and from there you switch it to manual and chose which of the disciplines you want to leave in auto, tweak or lock down.

Forget zoom extenders, they don't exist. Ah, but the 900 has one built in, and it's the best of its kind. Go into the menu and set the zoom ratio to 20x. The 900 will then cleverly use the bigger than necessary chip pixel count to increase the zoom seamlessly from the 12x point up to an actual 20x point, without any of the degradation associated with such digital zooms in the past.

The zoom bar chart on screen tells you when you're in this digital domain but it's not really necessary. The good bit is that the aperture remains constant at f/2.8 and doesn't ramp after the 12x zoom point, but then so too does the dof remain constant, as the optical focal length remains at 41.4mm.

In the stills mode you're limited to a 12x zoom because the camera's using the entire pixel count of the chip. And as I say, zoom extenders don't exist. You can buy telephoto converters, but in actual fact these turn out to be zoom contractors because of the vignetting they bring to the party.

MF assist is really neat on the 900. It rings the entire frame to warn you, and 'peaks' the accurately focused items on screen. It's still a lot slower than the autofocus, but the beauty is it allows you to accurately lock the focus.

tom.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #329
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Tom- thank you again for your response - and for saving me money on the the zoom extender!

I am running my tests and then evaluating results on my 37" or 48" 1080p tv. This is one thing that concerns me on my trip. I will spend most of the time in camps without electricity and will need to depend on my experience and only the side screen to evaluate my results. I won't see the results on the big screen until I return home.

I've been looking to see if could play my video on one of the new pads, but haven't found anything yet. Also, I can't download to anything since in 1080/60p you can only download using a computer with the AE software installed.

I am going to spend some time shooting video of moving cars (to simulate moving animals). That will give me a good opportunity to compare using autofocus to manual focus with auto assist.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #330
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

That's just what I did - I connected the 900 to my 46'' LCD TV and used that as a huge viewfinder. I pointed the camera out into the garden and - while watching the TV - played with all the controls and settings. You can then get an idea of how the little side-screen is presenting the results.

What was strange though was that 14mp stills replayed from the 900 into the TV took on an exaggerated 'over-sharpened' look and looked pretty naff. But once downloaded onto the pc I could see it was the TV that was doing this for some reason. Maybe it was the downconvert from 14mp file to the 2mp 1920 x 1080 TV screen.

No electricity? Taking solar chargers then?

tom.
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