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Old November 11th, 2011, 05:48 PM   #406
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau
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.
I understand your point. I thought you were probably on Mac. And while it does seem flawed on the surface, it's no different than Sony Clip Browser for EX1/EX3 XDCAM-EX....(I think). It's been a little while since I used it. My workflow changed a bit when I got the Nanoflash to go along with my PMW350k. But the basics, using the Sony Clip Browser like HD Writer, not only makes organizing and viewing clips more convenient, they expedite other functions like seamless joining of clips that span across more than one memory card or more than one file.

Really, I am so envious of the others going to Africa. The point about a trip like that is also not to get bogged down in i-pod, ipad, mp3, dvd burners or whatever...but to roll the clock back to a time when you're out there just to be there. You carried a camera and a bunch of rolls of film then, and your motion picture camera was powered by a windup spring. I hope they have a great time!
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Old November 11th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #407
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Tom, thanks for the response. I have an EX1 and use Sony Clip Browser all the time, but I use it to make exact copies of what is on the card to the computer. It has a great copy function that does the 'verification' that gives me peace of mind that what is on the card is what gets written to my computer. I also use the Sony Clip Browser to look at footage I've archived and it understands the structure on the hard drive and can put them into the same viewer and functionality as reading directly off the card.

I see the similarities with HDWriter, however I don't use Sony's Clip Browser or the Sony XDCam utility to 'pre select' my clips. Instead the editing software I use can read the native folder structures of the XDCam EX and join clips as needed seamlessly. if HDWriter had the ability to browse TM900 off the hard drive, it would definitely get my vote, but I still wouldn't use it to make an archive of what I have on my card unless it copies the structure precisely, that's just the way I work, I may be a purist in that regard.

George, enjoy the trip. As a filmmaker, when I go on a trip that is centered around filming, that takes precedence over other things, like general touristy enjoyment. However, for a tourist who is not a professional filmmaker and merely wants to capture a reasonable record of some of the events, I would agree with Tom to remember ENJOY the moment and not necessarily get bogged down with gadgets (unless that's an integral part of your enjoyment). Have fun!

Last edited by Keith Moreau; November 11th, 2011 at 07:09 PM.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #408
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Jalan - there's no reason why the 900 wouldn't work (and work well) with that 0.7x JVC wide-angle converter. I've not tried the combo myself, but I have used the 900 with wideangles made by Bolex, Schneider Kreutznach and Kenko, and they all work well.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #409
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Keith and Tom, thanks for this invigorating dialog; it is truly helpful. Tom, I appreciate your concerns about netbook failures, so I have a little trouble reconciling that with your recommendation to use HD Writer, which would have to be on my netbook. I did look at the more expensive Nexto and Digital Foci backup solutions, but decided on the netbook so I could get a better view of my footage if I wanted. The netbook at 8" wide fits very comfortably into a special slot on my Kata 3N1 sling backpack. All that said, however, I've got four 32GB cards, and I'll take your advice and get two or three more. They will help in case my little dvd writer fails.

As far as charging goes, I'll be in a village, travelling with my San Francisco host who is from there and was there as recently as four months ago. He assures me that we will be able to charge using one of the village's three trucks. Also, we will be travelling at least once per week to a neighboring village that does have power.

I'm not unfamiliar with Africa, having lived in Tanzania from 1967 - 1970. I remember well the film canisters and having to send them to Europe or North America to get them developed. I was never able to appreciate what great photos I got with my old Nikkormat until about three months later. While there, I bought a Canon Super-8 movie camera, and enjoyed the results from that as well. And speaking of the moon shots, we were at the Marangu Hotel on the slopes of Kilimanjaro listening to the landing on the radio - no TV in Tanzania at that time.

But I digress, as they say. I think I'll take my chances with Keith's drag and drop procedure because of the quickness and simplicity in the field. But I'll test both ways this coming weekend using only battery power on the netbook and the camcorder, and I'll report the results.

Claire and I have talked on the phone. She's in Pacifica, I'm in San Francisco, and you're in Brisbane, Keith. Maybe we three should get together at the Seven Mile House for some suds and a chat!

Thanks to everybody.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #410
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi

Sharpness, it's like salt, we seem to be forced by the manufacturers to have too much of it :-)

I've now had the pleasure of watching some finished edits in glorious 1080/50p, and one thing I have found I need to do is knock back the sharpness of the TV considerably as anything with lots of detail is over the top sharpened and often doesn't look realistic. I then started to wonder why I don't see the same oversharpened images with Blu-ray that are watched without needing to knock down the TVs sharpness.

The answer is quite simple, the sharpness setting on the TM900 is mid position, or at 0, and the scale runs -5 to +5, but zero doesn't mean no sharpening, it just means that is the default level of sharpening. When you go towards the plus you are adding more than the default, and if you go to the minus numbers you are adding less than the default. The sharpness scale would be more useful numbered 0 to 10, so it sits at 5 by default. So the image is already sharpened, and the TV is adding another lot to it, and it's over the top. I can see the sharpening (the tell-tale halos) if I pixel peak the raw footage, but if I pixel peak a Blu-ray movie, I can't see see any evidence of sharpening, or if there is, it's considerably less.

On the sharpness scale as Panasonic show it, I've found -5 is no sharpening, and not as perhaps the minus might suggest, the opposite and a deliberate softening of the image. At -5 you capture the image unprocessed in terms of artificial detail, it is as it is, a bit like a digital negative.

So I've been trying at -5 (so no sharpening applied) and the results are looking very good. First off, you can add sharpening to taste in your editing package (assuming you will edit), and you can also use a more superior unsharp mask. Also that extra sharpness added to the captured video takes a hit on the encoder in the camera as it's harder work to compress, so some real detail gets sacrificed for the artificial sharpness, plus it exagerates any sensor noise especially in low light situations, which takes an even bigger hit for encoding. Now that hit for the encoding is a waste when you can achieve exactly the same sharpness if you wish later. I've compared some test clips and adding a standard Sony Vegas Sharpness filter using the lowest pre-set achieves exactly the same as done in the camera on the default mid setting. An unsharp mask does a much nicer job!

So just thought I would flag up my findings to see what others thought.

Regards

Phil
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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #411
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Yes, I agree, the default sharpness is too sharp if you want the look to be more filmic or match other camcorders / DSLRs. I use a least -3 and sometimes more and if I need to sharpen in post.

I also tune the color to -3 and the exposure and wb adjust to -1.

In Auto exposure I find it's too blown out on anything approaching highlights, the camcorder (as well as most consumer camcorder) doesn't react too well to overexposure, this also adds to the 'videoish' look Best to try to keep things from getting overexposed with this camcorder if possible.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #412
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Taylor View Post
Keith and Tom, thanks for this invigorating dialog; it is truly helpful. Tom, I appreciate your concerns about netbook failures, so I have a little trouble reconciling that with your recommendation to use HD Writer, which would have to be on my netbook. I did look at the more expensive Nexto and Digital Foci backup solutions, but decided on the netbook so I could get a better view of my footage if I wanted. The netbook at 8" wide fits very comfortably into a special slot on my Kata 3N1 sling backpack. All that said, however, I've got four 32GB cards, and I'll take your advice and get two or three more. They will help in case my little dvd writer fails.
Hi George

If you can, I might recommend something to verify the transfer. Shotput Pro is something many people use, here's a link: ShotPut Pro™ for Windows Panasonic P2, AVCHD, Sony SxS, JVC, Arri and RED Offload Software [1123] - $99.00, it's kind of overpriced, in my estimation, for what it does but if it helps you even once it could be invaluable.

There are other copying techniques using copy in the dos prompt, for example, you can google them, there are also utilities, like this one File Copy Software for Windows: Copy Files Faster with ViceVersa

George, also if you do need to eventually erase the SDHC cards I would suggest you have the data copied onto another drive in addition to the internal netbook drive. You can get USB external drives amazingly cheap at Costco or mail order. I used to be in the hard drive manufacturing business, and I learned (from all the warranty repairs, etc) that they are mechanical devices and they do go bad. PM me for a personal meeting, I know 7 Mile house.

-Keith
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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #413
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

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Originally Posted by George Taylor View Post
Claire and I have talked on the phone. She's in Pacifica, I'm in San Francisco, and you're in Brisbane, Keith. Maybe we three should get together at the Seven Mile House for some suds and a chat!

Thanks to everybody.
George, it it's me you are referring to I am in the UK so it would be quite a journey :-)
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Old November 14th, 2011, 05:14 PM   #414
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

But you know you're always welcome, Claire! Seven Mile House is well worth the trip - especially if you're a 49er fan (and no....I won't explain that to you ..... LOL). It was a slip of my tired fingers. I meant to type "Carol."

Seriously, though - now that I have your attention - I have a question about the JuicedLink box. You mentioned a few posts back that you have the model with phantom power. As you know, I have ordered the CX211, but it hasn't arrived yet. I have read through the User Manual, and there is a lot of useful instruction there. But nothing beats the testimony of an experienced user. My questions are......Do you have a standard sequential routine you go through when setting the thing up before a shoot....sorta like step A, step B, step C, and so on? Also, regarding earphone monitoring, does this box demand a high-quality headset, or can I get by with the type I'd use on my MP3 player? I own a quality headset, but it's bulky, as you can imagine.

Thanks. (And Seven Mile House beer is good, but it's a bit different from what you might be used to.)
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Old November 14th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #415
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I recently did a trip to Thailand and used my TM900 heaps. As the internal drive became full, I transfered the .MTS files to both my netbook and tablet for backup. Once I verified the files on both PCs, I formatted the internal drive to allow for more clips. Now unfortunately, I only copied the .MTS files and not all the other folders. Is there anyway I can put files back on the camera and it actually see them?? I have tried simply putting MTS files in the correct folder, but something is missing as the cam does not see them.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #416
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

George, I have enjoyed the beer in San Francisco! When I was last there in 2006 I filmed lots as I travelled around the beautiful city.. in the trams, from the warf, up to China town, around the bay in a boat, under the big bridge and to the island with the old prison on it, I had a brand new Sony A1E, my very first HD (V) cam plus an expensive huge and heavy wide angle lens, it did quite well, footage now edited and on Blu-ray.

Back then it was easy just to take plenty of cheap tapes, now I take a quantity of expensive but seemingly reliable 16GB Sandisk Extreme cards, yes a big cost compared to tapes but at least no laptop needed, makes for light travelling.

Regarding the JuicedLink, mine doesn't have a headphone socket, I use the one on the cam but in fact once I had set all the little slide switches correctly and discovered what levels to set both on the JL and in the cam then I figured headphones were not needed for the sort of filming I mostly use this cam for. However before use I do carefully check the slide switches have not been moved since last time, it's just SO EASY for this to happen!!! So I stuck little labels on the JL box with arrows drawn pointing to where the switches should be set.

Of course the mic level is displayed on the cam itself which is reassuring and enables one to use the knobs on the JL box for adjustment while recording if needed.

I'd suggest you spend a lot of time getting to know the JL well so you are confident with it when you get to Africa and don't mess up your sound like I did in the beginning, no matter how careful one is those darn little switches get moved when you put your gear away or retrieve it.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #417
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Taylor View Post
I'm not unfamiliar with Africa, having lived in Tanzania from 1967 - 1970. I remember well the film canisters and having to send them to Europe or North America to get them developed. I was never able to appreciate what great photos I got with my old Nikkormat until about three months later. While there, I bought a Canon Super-8 movie camera, and enjoyed the results from that as well. And speaking of the moon shots, we were at the Marangu Hotel on the slopes of Kilimanjaro listening to the landing on the radio - no TV in Tanzania at that time.
And now there is TV in Tanzania but no moon shots :-(

Have a great trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau
Yes, I agree, the default sharpness is too sharp if you want the look to be more filmic or match other camcorders / DSLRs. I use a least -3 and sometimes more and if I need to sharpen in post.
I agree, also with Phil Lee, sharpness is like salt. -3 is still really sharp, but there are a few instances where if you go less than that, like low light, the image softens up maybe too much, so my default is -3.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #418
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Another Plug for HD Writer

The HD Writer software smart renders (without re-encoding) AVC h.264 1080/60p clips, screaming fast!

Unfortunately, I find the images need a little bit of gamma correction so I apply a filter in post with Vegas Pro 11.0 64 bit. But HD Writer would be very useful for home movie makers, easy on the processor power and easy on the price.
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Old November 19th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #419
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

You guys really need a dedicated board, there's too much going on in this thread.
Anyway ... here's my addition.
I'm shooting football currently and think this camera would great with the 'hi-pods' that they use for the end zone coverage. It's a cam on a stick - telescoping post, to be more precise. And i was wondering, it there a way to control the camera remotely? No LANC port, right? Firewire or USB contol?
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Old November 20th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #420
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi Mark,

I have set my TM900 up so that I can use it on a boom. I miss the LANC control I had on my PD 150. Below is a rough outline of my work around.

The TM900 comes with an infrared remote, however the IR sensor is located on the front of the camera which is a nuisance if you want to control the camera from behind. This problem can be overcome by using a reflector to direct the IR remote beam onto the sensor. The reflector can be quite crude - aluminium foil works well and much to my surprise so does black dyed anodized aluminium.

The range of the IR remote can be increased by using an IR extender. Mine is made from a Jaycar kit. The IR remote signal is directed to the extender which reproduces the signal that can then be conducted along a cable to an IR emitter placed near the camera sensor. With such a set-up you can turn on the camera, start and stop recording and zoom but not focus.

I have added a focus control. This consists of a small motor than can rotate the control ring. The motor I use runs from a single AA cell. To see what the camera sees I use a DP6 field monitor. For remote framing I use a motorized head.
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