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Old November 10th, 2011, 04:53 AM   #391
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

While drag and drop works, I prefer to use HD Writer to transfer the footage. The reason is that with drag and drop you lose the option to have meaningful filenames. HD Writer lets you choose what to say in the filename and also include date and time, I consider this vital when sorting clips during editing and moving stuff around on the timeline.

example..

With HD Writer doing the transfer, you could have.. ''30-04-2011_110808.m2ts" etc.

This translates to the day, hour, minute and frame count. You type the date before pressing go and the h:s;f is added automatically, or you might type "Wedding 20-04-2011", whatever you like.

With drag and drop you only get meaningless names.. 0001.mt, 0002.mt, 0003.mt, etc.

The m2ts files from HD Writer also give me date and time data that can be displayed on the monitor, not sure if this is available with only the mt files using drag and drop, I haven't tested that.

BTW, there is some talk of NLE's faiing to properly stitch together the clips larger than the 4GB (or is it 2GB?) that this camera splits such clips down to when filming continuously for more than a certain duration. HD Writer appears to stitch seamlessly, I have yet to find any defective clips in all the months I have been using this camera.

Also, HD Writer transfers the .tmb files as well as the video clips, so what are they? They are 416 x 240 thumbnails, useful in File Explorer especially if you are running WinXP as opposed to Win7 in which case file explorer would normally not display the m2ts file thumbnails.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #392
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Thanks, Claire and Keith. Your inputs are very helpful. You may think I'm crazy, but I have decided to not even think about post packages and processes until I get back from Africa. This is my first foray into video, and I just want to be sure I get good shots and sound and save them (twice) appropriately. I'll shoot only in highest def and figure out what to do with the footage later. I received the cam only three months ago. I love it, but there's more than enough that this septagenarian mind can handle without having to deal with editing technology (not to mention the cost). It may mean going to a pro for editing help. but it will be worth it so long as I come back with quality footage.

On another matter, does anyone know if there is a charger for the TM900 battery that has a car outlet and ships from the USA? It appears the Panasonic branded charger does not have a cigarette lighter adapter. Carol Berman has ordered one from Hong Kong, but I'm afraid I might not have enough time for that. They advertise 15 - 17 days, and I leave November 30. I've looked on Adorams, B&H, Amazon and the like but haven't found one.

I think I've solved the battery charging problem that was the subject of earlier comments on this thread. My host in Chad tells me we will always have access to a motor vehicle of some sort. That avoids me having to think about 110/220 volt conversions.

Thanks for any help.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:39 PM   #393
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I just found the answer to my battery charger question here:
PANASONIC Battery Chargers, VW-VBN130

The $8.95 price is unbelievable, and I would normally be skeptical. However, I talked with the shop owner on the phone and he appeared very helpful. They ship from Fremont, CA, about 20 miles from my house.

I'm ordering two, in case one fails on me. And I'll have plenty of time to try them out before I leave.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #394
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire Watson View Post
While drag and drop works, I prefer to use HD Writer to transfer the footage..
For whatever process you use to get the files onto your computer, I think it is wise to archive the contents of the SDHC card in the original form. Not only does this back up the original data, but it also preserves the metadata that is included in the original file structure, which contains data, lens, and other info. Most professional NLEs (or even prosumer ones).

You can then use other apps to translate that original native data to something else, or just use the native structure. In my opinion this is the most efficient way to handle the files.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #395
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Taylor View Post
Thanks, Claire and Keith. Your inputs are very helpful. You may think I'm crazy, but I have decided to not even think about post packages and processes until I get back from Africa.
That's all fine, but I would recommend that the data that you shoot is somehow backed up. These cards are not infallible, not to mention easy to misplace in a foreign land. If you plan to fill up more than the cards you have, an archive is of course necessary, but even a 2nd copy of that would be a good idea.

Good luck to you and have fun on your trip.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #396
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Thanks, Keith. I'll archive the card data as you suggest. Is copying from the Panny's flash drive the same thing as from an SDHC? I would think so.

Here's how I'm planning to manage my storage - Upload ("copy" function) my SDHC card and camcorder flash files via USB to my HP Pavilion dm1 netbook (340GB). Plug in my USB powered dvd writer. Copy my files from the netbook to a standard dvd disc for storage. Make sure I can see the data on the dvd (if possible). Reformat the SDHC card. BUT....can I also reformat the Panny's flash drive? or should I just delete only the copied files?

On my netbook, I'll create a separate folder for each day or maybe half-day if I'm doing a lot of shooting. I'll keep a handwritten notebook of scenes while shooting, and draw a line to separate uploads.

I've got 2x32GB SDHC cards to go with the 32GB flash storage - 96GB total before needing to upload. (Of course, I may do it more frequently, depending on my shooting schedule.) I will not use any SDHC for permanent storage.

Tonight, I'll see if I can make heads or tails out of the contents on the flash drive - especfially to see if there's any "software" there that should not be touched.

As always, I'll be grateful to hear of any flaws in my thinking. Thanks all!
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Old November 10th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #397
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

You should only delete files off the camera or SDHC when you're sure they're backed up, preferably backed up twice and you have had a chance to at least view the footage you've taped or at least inspect the files to make sure they are basically what you think they should be.

You should have some type of set ritual that you use to archive, like at the end of each day, even if the card and cam isn't filled up. You never know when you're going to lose files or even the camcorder or just need more space.

The internal 32 GB plus a SDHC card is great. You can even set the TM900 to 'relay' from the internal to external if you think you're going to be shooting continuously for several hours.

I you haven't, consider getting one of the long playing batteries, they are great for not having to worry about changing batteries.

The actual video files are .MTS files, they will be named 00000.MTS, 00001.MTS, etc deep inside a series of folders. Those can be played via various players, VLC should work for you.

When you archive, just copy everything from the root of the SDHC or Camera Memory (they are both the same structure), including all the weird folders. Then when it's time to edit, you'll have an exact duplicate of the card.

Good luck.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 05:36 PM   #398
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Thanks, Keith. Just two questions:
1) I hope I'm not thick, but what is VLC?
2) So, do I copy (and delete after verification) only the MTS files and leave everything else on the card/flash drive, or can I reformat the card/flash, like I do with my D200 DSLR?

Thanks!
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Old November 10th, 2011, 05:43 PM   #399
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

VLC, stands for Video Lan Client, it's a video player, plays all kinds of video formats, including MTS. Compatible with PCs. I'm sure there are other players that work as well. I'm on a Mac so I use other stuff that works a bit more friendly for me, such as "Movist."

When you're sure you've backed up what's on the card and are ready to clear it, format the card (or the internal memory) in the camcorder.

Hope this helps.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:53 PM   #400
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

It does help. Keith. I downloaded VLC and tried to play some files I previously downloaded with HD Writer. In each case the starting image appeared and froze, but the audio played through correctly. I'll experiment tomorrow by uploading files by drag-and-drop, and see if they work better. Anyway, I'm sure I'll solve the problem.
Thanks for everybody's mentoring!
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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:56 PM   #401
 
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Would this work with the TM/SD900?

JVC Wide Conversion Lens Package HM100U169WC7X B&H Photo Video
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Old November 11th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #402
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

6 weeks without power? I can't say what's best but I can tell you if it was me, I wouldn't be caught fumbling around in Africa with netbooks and chargers, fretting where the next charge is coming from, lining up for your chance at the cigarette lighter socket becomes a competition with everyone sharing the same problem. Backups? Your netbook itself could fail as could your charger, camcorder or any piece of equipment you rely on. There is safety in numbers. If you carried 10 sd cards that would equal the capacity of the netbook. If one failed (which I doubt), you'd lose just that one. Redundant backup of data is folly if you don't have redundancy in cameras, chargers, hard drives, netbooks and everything else including enough working cigarette lighter adapters to satisfy the demand for everyone with a camera and a netbook. Folly! Apollo 11 went to the moon and back with less computing power than is being talked about here. What backup did we have with film? The processing lab could lose it in the mail. It happened. Things happen. The idea that you are providing security is only as secure as your ability to predict which piece of the chain is going to fail. Meanwhile, the more junk you carry, the more dependent you become on each link. The idea of carrying the netbook as backup security in a land of no power sounds like you're trying to be cheap, and you'll get what you pay for. Buy the extra cards, sell the ones you don't need when you get back.

I would also go back to Claire's post #391, and that's exactly how you should preserve your data for the exact reasons she stated. Not only that, but the HD Writer player is 10 times better than VLC for playing the native TM900 files. If you just drag and drop them between devices, you'll lose forever the ability to play those files using the HD Writer player.

And go back and read Carol's posts as well. Along with Claire, they have it figured out better than anything else I've read here.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #403
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi guys,

I've got a quick question for you TM900 owners.

I've just bought a TM900 as a B/C Roll camera for weddings.

I currently use two Canon XHA1's as my main cameras.

My question is - as I'm shooting in 50i 1080i on DV tape with my Canon's, what format should I shoot in on the TM900 to be able to put the footage together side by side on the same timeline in Adobe Premiere CS5.

Thanks

Steve
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Old November 11th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #404
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I don't edit with 50i or 25P because I'm in the US, but in Premiere Pro my 60P files play well on 30P timelines. I like to capture everything in 60P as it gives me a bit more versatility if I decide to do a Slow-Mo. Also I find the quality of the 60P because of the higher bitrate at 28mbps is better than the lower frame rates.

What is your final delivery format? Is it an interlaced format? If so I would capture interlaced. If not then you might want to capture your other cameras in progressive, such as 25P, then you can use the TM900 in 25P or 50P (not sure if those frame rates are available on your model).
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Old November 11th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #405
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

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Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
6 weeks without power? I can't say what's best but I can tell you if it was me, I wouldn't be caught fumbling around in Africa with netbooks and chargers, fretting where the next charge is coming from, lining up for your chance at the cigarette lighter socket becomes a competition with everyone sharing the same problem. Backups? Your netbook itself could fail as could your charger, camcorder or any piece of equipment you rely on. There is safety in numbers. If you carried 10 sd cards that would equal the capacity of the netbook. If one failed (which I doubt), you'd lose just that one. Redundant backup of data is folly if you don't have redundancy in cameras, chargers, hard drives, netbooks and everything else including enough working cigarette lighter adapters to satisfy the demand for everyone with a camera and a netbook. Folly! Apollo 11 went to the moon and back with less computing power than is being talked about here. What backup did we have with film? The processing lab could lose it in the mail. It happened. Things happen. The idea that you are providing security is only as secure as your ability to predict which piece of the chain is going to fail. Meanwhile, the more junk you carry, the more dependent you become on each link. The idea of carrying the netbook as backup security in a land of no power sounds like you're trying to be cheap, and you'll get what you pay for. Buy the extra cards, sell the ones you don't need when you get back.

I would also go back to Claire's post #391, and that's exactly how you should preserve your data for the exact reasons she stated. Not only that, but the HD Writer player is 10 times better than VLC for playing the native TM900 files. If you just drag and drop them between devices, you'll lose forever the ability to play those files using the HD Writer player.

And go back and read Carol's posts as well. Along with Claire, they have it figured out better than anything else I've read here.
I an owner of a TM900 as well as an assortment of other pro Camcorders, I was suggesting a recommended course of archiving based on my own experience as a professional videographer and filmmaker that on occasion needs to travel with my file-based acquisition video gear (and reliably archive the data while on the road.)

I also understand Tom's point. If you are out in the wilderness or in an area of limited resources, lugging around a lot of backup gear is going to be some trouble. I don't discount Claire's recommendations for transferring. I think that George should try out various methods of archiving his data. My own philosophy is to faithfully preserve as much of what the camcorder recorded as possible. This gives me (or an editor) more options later down the road. When I archive, I copy the whole directory structure inside another folder titled with the date recorded, a brief description of the location, and the camera it was recorded with. This gives me a series of folders I can refer to. If I want to interpret the footage later using HDWriter or a NLE, then the original structure is there for the software to piece it together. I try not to change the format from one to another in an archive.

HDWriter is consumer software that is PC based and I'm Mac based, so I never used it so I cannot attest to how well it works. However, if it can't work with media / folder that has been copied from your SDHC card to a hard drive with directory structures intact as Tom suggests, I think it leaves a lot to be desired. It means the only way it works is directly with the SDHC media, that seems flawed.

But maybe I'm totally misinformed about it. George should try it out and see if it works for him, it may be a good solution for his situation.

I believe we're all here to try to help each other, so I'd prefer if we can just stick to helpful information, it's a lot more productive.
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