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Old January 5th, 2012, 10:33 PM   #511
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Hello - I'm just back from my trip to Africa and I want to thank everyone here for all of the great advice I got before I left.

I may not have professional quality video, but I am sure that I have the best amateur footage ever! It didn't hurt that the lead guide on my trip was the guide for Alan Root when he shot his Serengeti documentaries for the BBC.

The main components that I ended up using were:
Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head
Giottos AA1501 Tripod Strap for Giottos and Manfrotto Tripods
Petrol Deca Mini Hood for Camcorders with 3.5" LCD Monitor Screens, Rigid Panels
Nikon ME-1 Stereo Microphone for Digital SLR Cameras
Micover Slipover Windscreen for Nikon ME-1

The monopod worked out really well. I did most of my shooting out of the roof of the car while standing on the back of the car seats. The mini legs at the bottom helped with stability, and the extra length enabled me to place the base on the floor of the car and stabilize the monopod with a beanbag at the edge of the roof opening. Panning and tilting and stabilizing were not perfect, but half the instability was caused by my sister and friend moving around in the car.

The hood was very helpful for shooting in the bright sun. I used a capacitive stylus to reach the touchscreen when the hood was in place.

The Nikon ME-1 with the windscreen worked very well, although there is so much talking going while I was shooting I doubt I have much sound I can use!

I ended up shooting mostly in automatic mode. Things moved so quickly that just getting into place and getting the animals framed correctly was about all I could manage. In a few cases, I used the backlight compensation feature and I used the manual focus mode for shots where I had to zoom in above 20 or 30x. I tried using the prerecord feature, but in reality I ended up with a lot of footage in the beginning of shots or even in the middle of shots that just needs to be cut.

The main limitations that I had were the ability to zoom in further while maintaining quality shots and the lack of better stabilization with more fine-tuned zooming, panning, and tilting. But that is the difference between filming Big Cat Diaries and going on vacation.

I've just started uploading some of my unedited video:
Male lions - YouTube

My next step is to figure out how serious I want to get about editing this video. I've definitely been bit by the bug. My guide, an assistant guide who has a serious interest in recording Masai culture before it is lost, a Masai tracker who does a wonderful job bridging the gap between his culture and ours, and I all have a dream to make a documentary on the stages of life for a Masai warrior, centered around the tracker's graduation to Masai elder in the next two years. I'm serious enough that I left behind all of my video equipment so that they can start filming without me. (Glad to hear how the price of the TM900 has come down!)

I will be posting some more of my video over the next few days as I get it uploaded.

Last edited by Carol Berman; January 6th, 2012 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Trying to embed video
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Old January 6th, 2012, 04:15 AM   #512
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Great to get the real-world feedback Carol and the detail in your lion shots is staggering. This is unprocessed footage straight from the 900? You talk of 30x zoom - you're happy with that digital zoom look? And I hear what you say about the voices near your mic.

You left behind all your equipment? What? Just came back with the SD cards?

tom.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 11:48 AM   #513
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

I know its a little crazy sounding, but yes, I came home only with my SD cards. Sometimes the right thing to do is a little crazy. My guide was so generous to me to help me bring home "National Geographic" video. It was obvious to me that as helpful as he was to photographers, his heart was in video. Without ever saying so, I knew he'd had a dream when working for BBC that he could one day shoot his own video. Also, once I had the idea about the documentary, it was obvious that it was also the dream of the other guide and the Masai tracker to document Masai culture. These three men had a profound impact on me on my trip. It was so transforming that I am not sure who I am anymore now that I am home.

I had had experiences like this traveling when I was younger, but it was a long time ago. I had recently lost my parents and some friends and battled some health issues which left me feeling stronger ties to the dead than to the living. I signed up for this trip in an act of optimism about the rest of my life and it definitely delivered! Leaving my equipment was another act of optimism.

It also does not hurt that I can work a couple of days and replace my equipment. The question is, what to replace it with. I love the TM900, but I also think I might want something where I can add a bigger zoom lens. I will probably wait until I see what I will use the camera for and concentrate on editing for now.

As for my video, the lion video was unprocessed video straight from the camera. I am trying to upload unprocessed clips for the others on my trip, since it will take time for me to edit the video. (I returned with 5 full 32GB SD cards.)

I haven't been able to evaluate the zoom yet. In a choice between using the zoom or not getting the shot, I used the zoom. In the beginning of the trip when I didn't know how close I would be later in the trip, I used the zoom more. I got more discerning as the trip went on. Without my camera, the only way I can play my video on my big screen tv's is across my network and that is tied up with uploading the video to YouTube.

Here are a couple more links that have uploaded:
Giraffes - YouTube
Leopard - YouTube
Lioness with Cubs - YouTube

Carol
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Old January 6th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #514
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

It's my first post here but I have been a reading tons of helpful information on this forum ever since I registered. I purchased my TM900 and I just started to use this camcorder to take sports. I've recently started to edit my 1080 60p footage on Premiere Pro CS5 and have tried to output this to DVD via Encore CS5.
I did a 5 minute game preview video, and it completed with no problems. However, the full 28 minute game video is giving me problems. When I start to "build project" in Encore, it will start the process but after less than a minute, it will show an error saying "Encode Failed". I've checked my settings for both the 5 minute video, and the 28 minute video, but I have not seen any differences. The preview and the full video have the same source material (from the TM900 1080 60p) together with simple video and audio transitions, and some music. I have searched both this site and google, but I have not seen any specific information that can help me resolve this. I was unsure if I should post it in this thread or there is a more appropriate place to post.
I have made another video project using my canon dslr footage, and output to DVD using Encore. And I have not experienced this same problem. Which is making me start to think that it may have something to do with the TM900 file format working with Encore?
I'd appreciate any guidance.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 09:44 PM   #515
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Just an update - I tried another method and I was able to get it to work.
I exported the project from Premiere as media into a MPEG2-DVD format. And then, I imported the file into Encore as a timeline. It seems that Encore does not transcode it anymore, and the quality seems good for a DVD.
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Old January 7th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #516
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Cordero View Post
Which is making me start to think that it may have something to do with the TM900 file format working with Encore?
I'd appreciate any guidance.
My first thought is that maybe it has something to to with the 60fps. Was your sequence in Premiere 60p or 30p? Perhaps if you're bringing a 1080/60p sequence into Encore to encode, it doesn't like it.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 07:03 AM   #517
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Re Mercalli ver 2

I have been using a trial version of this program and everything seems fine except for the fact that I cannot remove the the red diagonal lines on the final clip. I suspect that they are only in the trial version but there is no mention of them in the Prodad site. So far no one has replied to my eMails. Can anyone confirm that these lines are only in the trial copy?
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Old January 8th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #518
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Re Mercalli Ver. 2's red diagonal lines.

I have just had an eMail from Prodad. The red lines are in the trial version only - to remove just pay money.
It seems to be easy to use.

How does it compare with Adobe's Warp Stabiliser?
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Old January 8th, 2012, 06:00 PM   #519
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Is there any way to use a wireless mic along with a shotgun mic on the TM900?
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Old January 8th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #520
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Should be able use a Y-cable breakout from 1/8" stereo male plug to two mono female plugs.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #521
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

That is what I was thinking, Roger. I have a y-adapter type plug with a 1/8 " male with two RCA females. There is a similar adapter with 1/8 " sockets. My concern would be if the stereo is affected.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 09:46 PM   #522
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Graham View Post
My first thought is that maybe it has something to to with the 60fps. Was your sequence in Premiere 60p or 30p? Perhaps if you're bringing a 1080/60p sequence into Encore to encode, it doesn't like it.
I'm not near my workstation so I cant be sure what setting I have. I do remember not being able to determine the best format to set the sequence in Premier to match the Panasonic 1080 60p format. I did want to "export it to media" in mp4 format in 30 fps but this has no consequence when I tried to do the same project to linked over to Encore. I used the Link function in Premier so I don't believe Premiere had done any file transcoding yet. What really bugged me is that it worked for the 5 minute video while it would not even begin encoding for the 27 minute video. However, I found an acceptable workaround.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #523
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hinkel View Post
That is what I was thinking, Roger. I have a y-adapter type plug with a 1/8 " male with two RCA females. There is a similar adapter with 1/8 " sockets. My concern would be if the stereo is affected.
Mike,

I've used this with the TM900 already (Y1/8" Male stereo to 2, 1/8" female mono's). I don't think there is a way to individually control the separate channels on the TM900. If you can't figure a way to level the channels individually you'll need to base your levels on the hotter of the two channels and adjust levels up on the weaker channel in post. I was using two identical Sennheiser wireless mic's, so they were fairly balanced.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; January 9th, 2012 at 06:57 AM.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 01:17 AM   #524
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Carol,

Where in Africa did you go ?
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Old January 9th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #525
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Re: The Panasonic TM900 Users Thread

Thanks Roger. I thought that I'd have to balance the audio in post. My plan was for a voice behind the camera with a wireless set up and a shotgun mic on the camera. I have the best in audio abilities with Vegas Pro so I guess I can experiment to see what I can accomplish. Thanks for your reply..
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