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Old December 9th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #466
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

The 900 controls its (movie) exposure by varying the amount of ND that it slides into the optical path alongside the iris blades. As I say, it will shoot at maximum aperture for as long as possible and only start to close the aperture blades when all the ND is in place.

Of course shooting at max aperture is always asking for trouble, even though this camera uses Panasonic's tightly-toleranced zoom lens production lines. All lenses vignette at maximum aperture, they flare more and miss-centering of elements causes unavoidable softness. The vignetting can be digitally compensated for, though on a camera costing so little I doubt whether it is being done (I've done no tests on this yet).

Adding external ND is always an option (though you'll need a new hood and you'll have to keep the ND spotless when shooting at these tiny focal lengths). But remember that adding ND will keep the camera shooting at maximum aperture for longer - i.e. it will take even brighter conditions to effect the first actual iris blade stop-down. Think on this Mark.

This is no bad thing in a camera that uses smaller than '' chips, as you shouldn't really shoot at apertures smaller than f/4 anyway.

That Vimeo-shown Mercalli salvation is impressive, though the CMOS jello becomes more obvious. Bet they're working on that.

tom.

Last edited by Tom Hardwick; December 9th, 2011 at 07:04 AM.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 05:55 AM   #467
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Mark,

Are you using a fixed ND (what value) or variable (what brand)?
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Old December 9th, 2011, 06:20 AM   #468
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I am using a .6 ND (Tiffen). In the bright conditions I use the filter, at 1/60th shutter the nominal f never goes below f4. The camera is never shooting wide open.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 07:10 AM   #469
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

You say you never shoot at apertures smaller than f/4 Mark? That's an on-screen indicated f/4, right? Remember that for most of the zoom's range f/4 is a combination of wide open iris+internal ND. Or in your case wide open + internal and external ND.

At full tele the camera's still shooting wide open when the read-out says f/5.6. Easy enough to see this as you peer down the lens.

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Old December 9th, 2011, 08:21 AM   #470
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Tom, I am sure we all appreciate the information you are providing. However, let's not get carried away with this: "All lenses vignette at maximum aperture, they flare more and miss-centering of elements causes unavoidable softness."

I would bet that Pansonic has chosen the ND-blades algorithm to miminmize the problems you raise. In any case, I have not noticed any of these issues on my calibrated big-screenHDTV in the videos I shoot. The key reason I use the ND filter is I find that the TM900 overexposes less badly in auto aperture mode with the filter on in bright sun. All of the videos I have posted have employed the ND filter, and no one among the thousands viewing them has complained about softness!

Getting exposure right is of first-order importance in video; substantially more important than the fear of vignetting, unclean filter, mis-centering, etc. with a camera of the quality of the TM900.

It is very useful to know, however, that the internal ND filter means that one need not worry about shooting at tiny apertures in bright sun and thus diffraction.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 08:39 AM   #471
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quite so Mark - I didn't mean to infer that the 900's picture quality was sub-standard in any way - in fact I find it amazingly good and can be made to look even better with the hyped electronic sharpening turned way down. I also turn down the exposure because of burnt out highlights.

I just wish Panasonic hadn't moved away from their previous incarnation of internal ND, where the lens physically stopped down to f/4.5 and only at that point was the internal ND gradually brought into play. Using this ROM programming means the camera is often used a couple of stops down - no bad thing for cameras that use such cheap lenses.

I find it odd that adding external ND controls your 900's over-exposure because an ND only absorbs light, the exposure of the chips will be the same with or without ND (in iA, say).

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Old December 9th, 2011, 08:48 AM   #472
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I have found the degree of overexposure is non-linearly related to the amount of light coming through the lens.

Actually, before your posts I thought the algorithm was the old one they typically employed. Maybe the lens is different and so the new rules are more appropriate.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 09:36 AM   #473
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Great replies . Thanks for the input. I plan on picking one of these cameras up soon. I've seen some footage on YouTube and the 60p is fantastic for a consumer cam. One other question. Is the 24p mode native or is the 24p in a 60i container with pulldown applied?
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Old December 10th, 2011, 11:47 AM   #474
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Mark,

How are you maintaining the MTS file type when you upload to Vimeo? When you edit together your clips, what program are you using to keep the bitrate and file the same as original?
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Old December 13th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #475
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hi, this is my first post!

I have a SD 900 and have been following this thread for a while now picking up some very useful tips. I have a question on when and when not to use the IS on the camera. Should I use it when panning either slow or fast pans? I know not to use it with a stabiliser, just not sure on panning.

Thanks
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Old December 13th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #476
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

The problem is that the OIS is so effective at removing the vibrations of hand-holding that it comes with its own side-effects. Easiest way to see this is to put your 900 on a good tripod with OIS turned on. Zoom to a middling focal length and pan from something center frame to something else 45 degrees away or so, and stop panning when that 2nd object is centre frame.

See what happens? The image overshoots and then gently slides back to centre frame, and this happens after your camera has come to a complete stop. Not good. Even worse with the hybrid stabilisation turned on, and independent of panning speed.

So in answer to your question, have the OIS turned off for pans and tilts. Not a very practical solution if you're out and about without a tripod, but as I say - a side-effect of powerful OIS. My Sony NX5 doesn't do this with its OIS turned on BTW.

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Old December 15th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #477
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

TM900s are going for only $599, because of a rebate. But you gotta buy before Dec. 24, 2011. Pretty good price!
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Old December 17th, 2011, 07:24 AM   #478
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Re: Panasonic TM900 Users Thread - Index as at 17th Dec 2011

Now at 62,000 views so I guess this is currently one of the more popular threads on DVinfo! I've not been that active on here due to a very busy corporate video work load the last few months but I reckon it's time for another very brief summary of what we've all covered - before the Xmas holidays and to help those researching "what camera to buy" (in the New Year sales).

Don't forget you can use the "Seach this Thread" function too as I've only skimmed the latest pages to pick out a few highlights. Many thanks to everyone for making this such a useful and informative thread about the TM900 (and SD900, HS900 etc.).

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 ME-1 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?

Page 13 - Some discussion on Intelligent Contrast Mode.

Page 14 - Discussion on AVCHD, editing, wide angles for the TM900 etc. series and ultra close up (i.e. macro ideas and lens tips). Discussion on F stops.

Page 15 - F-stops discussion continued. Pics of the Rode VMP (with Deadcat on) on a Rycote bar with my TM900.

Page 16 - Shutter speed discussion. Tendency to blow out highlights and exposure compensation settings discussed again.

Page 17 - More thoughts and demos on shutter speed. Good new user summary.

Page 18 - SD card choice/suggestions.

Page 19 - Filters and backlight compensation discussion.

Page 20 - Backlight compensation discussion (cont.) and batteries/battery life.

Page 21 - Asthetics of the TM900 image along with neutral density/other filters discussion/image issues with small sensor cams.

Page 22 - Canon 60D versus TM900 image/asthetics comments. Discussion on slow shutter speeds.

Page 23 - TM900 for an African safari? - comments and advice. Serious audio accessories (with excellent pics).

Page 24 - More African safari TM900 accessory kit advice plus Nikon ME1 microphone comments.

Page 25 - TM900 and NLE workflow discussion/suggestions.

Page 26 - Ultra close-ups, Iris discussion, mic AGC and more about HD Writer.

Page 27 - File management during media editing and archiving discussion. Battery charger link and power options for long field trips.

Page 28 - HD Writer discussion continued. Suggestions about best Sharpness settings in cam and remotely controlling the TM900 on a boom pole etc.

Page 29 - Not possible to dual media record, more interesting discussions on remote controlling the TM900.

Page 30 - Some suggestions about tripods [for the record I use a Libec TH650DV], more discussion about remote control plus some excellent pics/accessories! Use of iA or Manual discussed again. Effectiveness of Image Stabilisation (I.S.) also discussed.

Page 31 - Auto Focus (AF) accuracy, built in ND discussion and screw on ND example film.

Page 32 - More on ND filters/F-stop discussion. IS discussion (in-camera and in post). TM900's at an amazing price - see post above! I expect a new model will be announced/appear soon.

[NOTE: I seem to remember it was very early in 2011 that the TM900 got announced - I got mine in mid-Feb 2011 just a few weeks afterwards, and along with buying Adobe CS 5.5 Production Premium for my Mac Pro - to superceed Final Cut - the TM900 has truly been one of the best purchases I made in this last year!]

Happy Holidays!
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Old December 17th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #479
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OIS and iZoom

The OIS on the TM900 is amazing, especially when used at full telephoto (420mm) and using iZoom to get 700mm. These are frame grabs from handheld 108060p video at 420mm and 700mm, respectively. Shutter speed was 1/60th, so any camera movement would have significantly reduced sharpness (blur).
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Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; December 17th, 2011 at 05:05 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 05:10 PM   #480
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HD Writer AE 3.0

The included editing software enables one to trim and merge 108060p clips without re-encoding and without glitches. There is even an array of pre-set transitions for use.

This video was made using the software (my first use of the software), so the downloadable file is pristine, sharp TM900 all the way.



Birds, turtles, a fish frenzy, graduates, a model, soccer, lily pads, flowers.

Intelligent telephoto mode used (700mm) for some shots.

108060p, manual mode except WB, ND filter.
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