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Panasonic HC Series Camcorders
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Old January 9th, 2012, 06:28 PM   #1
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Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

The official press release:

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Panasonic today announces the new full-High Definition (HD) HC-X900M camcorder, which can record 1920 x 1080, 60 progressive, and builds on the success of last year's HDC-HS900 by adding the new 3MOS System Pro to help achieve dramatic increases in performance thanks to a re-engineering of all the core imaging components: the lens, sensor and engine. Panasonic's 3MOS System Pro is a next-generation imaging system that powers the HC-X900M to produce bright, outstanding video even under dim lighting, while also minimizing noise. Plus, with professional-like features such as a manual ring, a 5.1-channel surround sound, an advanced Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S) system called Hybrid O.I.S. +, the HC-X900M is a feature-rich camcorder with endless capabilities.

For those looking to start exploring the third dimension in video, the HC-X900M can also shoot full-HD 3D (in the AVCHD 3D format) with the new optional conversion 3D lens, the VW-CLT2, which is smaller than last year's model (VW-CLT1) and has an increased brightness from F3.2 to F2.0. In addition, the new VW-CLT2 has 1.5x digital zooming.

"The Panasonic HC-X900M is the company's top-of-the-line camcorder with so many important features that help it produce stunning, true-to-life videos, whether that means color accuracy, correct lighting, and with it's full-HD 3D capabilities, it can even add a third dimension to truly bring the videos to life," said Chris Rice, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America. "Panasonic has really improved the core components of the HC-X900M, from its lens to its processor to its engine to ensure that it can power full 1080/60p at a 28-Mbps bit rate, thus resulting in absolutely stunning video, but also capturing rich deep sound."

Panasonic maximized the advanced technologies that it has accumulated over the years and succeeded in shifting the green MOS sensor of the red, green and blue MOS sensors by half a pixel, thus helping to achieve more life-like colors, detail and gradation. Thanks to the advanced 3MOS sensor's unique pixel shift technology that runs at high speed and with superb accuracy, the HC-X900M further reduces noise by 40% when compared to last year's HDC-HS900/TM900. The HC-X900M's new Crystal Engine Pro II can achieve high-speed processing that is approximately equivalent to four times the pixel count of full-HD pixels, thus producing superb full-HD image quality, even in the most detailed images.

The HC-X900M features a bright F1.5, 12x optical zoom and 29.8mm wide-angle LEICA DICOMAR lens, meaning it allows for a wider-framed shot, which is convenient when shooting wide landscapes and large groups of people. The lens also features a new Nano Surface Coating Technology, which dramatically reduces ghosting and flaring. With an Octagon Iris Diaphragm, the user can apply a defocusing effect, so it is possible to shoot at a close distance from the subject while fitting both the subject and the surrounding area into the frame. This is beneficial so the voice of the subject is clearly recorded, but a full and wide frame is captured.

The HC-X900M features an improved O.I.S. system called, HYBRID O.I.S. +, which uses five-axis correction to help thoroughly suppress blurring all the way from wide-angle shots to powerful zoom shots - allowing for steady images over the entire zoom range. It even achieves superb effects when shooting while walking or otherwise moving, thanks to a function known as Active Mode. This lets the user capture crisp, clear images, without blurring, in nearly every shooting situation. In addition to the HYBRID O.I.S. + system, the HC-X900M provides even more powerful stabilization correction with O.I.S. Lock. By pressing the O.I.S. Lock button on the LCD monitor, the blur detection sensitivity is maximized and camera movements are detected and corrected without image degradation. O.I.S. Lock is ideal for applications like bird watching, which call for zooming at a fixed angle.

The Panasonic HC-HX900M features a manual ring for easy and convenient fingertip-control of commonly-used settings, like focus, zoom, exposure, shutter speed and white balance. Using the ring is now much more intuitive, comfortable, and user-friendly for settings that are often adjusted as opposed to accessing through the menu screen every time one of those features need to be changed. Plus, with manual operation, the HC-HX900M gives the user freedom to craft creative and expressive videos with ease. For those beginner users looking for a more intuitive setting, the HC-X900M also includes the iA function which automatically selects the most suitable shooting mode. Panasonic's iA consists of six functions: Face Recognition, the new HYBRID O.I.S. +, AF/AE Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection and Intelligent Contrast Control.

When the HC-X900M has the optional VW-CLT2 3D Conversion Lens attached, it can record full HD 3D images with the MVC (Multiview Video Coding) recording system of the AVCHD 3D format. During 3D recording, the right-eye and left-eye images are both recorded and played in Full-HD quality, using the Frame Sequential Method to produce FULL HD 3D images, which results in a lifelike ambience. The HC-X900M is equipped with a 1,150,000-dot 8.8-cm/3.5-inch LCD that allows 3D viewing without the need for special eyewear, so 3D images can be viewed on the spot. Naturally, the display can also be switched between 2D and 3D. And intuitive touch operation enables extremely easy control on the LCD. The Touch Zoom function allows the user to simply touch the LCD to activate slow zooming. The LCD also supports Touch Shutter, which automatically focuses and takes a still photo when the user touches the subject on the screen.

Other features of the Panasonic HC-X900M include:

32GB of built-in memory, plus an SD Memory Card slot that supports SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards.

The Zoom Mic function links the microphone's capability to the camera's zoom action and helps to reduce surrounding noise. The HC-X900M with a 5.1-channel surround sound, noise is reduced by -20 dB while zooming.

The Wind Noise Canceller automatically detects and suppresses only the wind noise to ensure natural sounds with lifelike ambience, thus recording human voices clearly even on a windy beach or elevated location.

Pre-Rec function, when turned on, allows the camcorder to continuously record three seconds of video to an internal buffer memory, thus helping to capture sudden shooting opportunities. Provided that the camcorder is aimed at the subject in advance, the HC-X900M can actually record three seconds prior to pushing the record button.

Eco mode** automatically turns off the power when the camcorder is not operated for five minutes, reducing wasteful energy use and saving battery power.

Pricing and 2012 availability will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping. The Panasonic HC-X900M will be available in black. For more information, and live coverage on January 10-11 from Panasonic at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, please visit www.panasonic.com/CES . Plus, follow Panasonic's CES activities on Twitter @PanasonicEvents and join the conversations.

*Set to ON when shipped from the factory

About Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America, a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American Subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation PC -0.03% and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations, offers a wide-range of consumer solutions in the U.S. and Canada. The Company's portfolio of innovative consumer products ranges from VIERA Full HD 3D Televisions, Blu-ray players, LUMIX Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Home Audio, Cordless Phones, Home Appliances, Wellness and Personal Care products and more.

Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company's Eco Ideas programs. Panasonic was the only Consumer Electronics company to be listed in the top ten brands on the Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2011 ranking. Follow Panasonic on Twitter @panasonicdirect, and additional company information for media is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom .

SOURCE Panasonic
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Old January 9th, 2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Very interesting.
Am i reading that right? The display is upgraded from 460,800 to 1.1 million? Nice.

If that's accurate, it's about time. Manufacturers have been neglecting this element of the cameras for too long.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Ah, I was expecting this. That explains why TM900s have decreased in price recently. Well, I've got my TM900 and I'm sure this new cam will be near the $1K mark.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

I have a TM700 that I'm very happy with... But if the lowlight and OIS abilities of this camera are truly improved, I may consider upgrading. The new screen will be nice too.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:22 AM   #5
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Hi

The pixel count has been improved but then split to give left and right eyes a separate image for 3D without classes. This might undo the extra pixels added.

The marketing sounds great regarding low performance and improvement in the 3MOS system, however they said that about the 700 to 900 differences, and tests showed little difference if any.

Also given the new camera has a model number still of 900 seems to suggest that Panasonic themselves don't really consider the differences to be major.

The wider lens is nice, the OIS might be better, however I have a feeling video performance will be little different to the 700 and 900 models.

Don't forget CES 2012 is all about marketing, the press releases are going to sound good.

The only plus point might be they have managed to get rid of fan.

I'll probably end up getting one!

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Old January 10th, 2012, 03:26 AM   #6
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

I'm with Phil. Pannys claimed low light improvement may just be more marketing guff.

Looks like incremental (but very welcome) improvements though, but certainly not a revolutionary change, I see Sony's new prosumer cams (that were also announced at CES yesterday) have an improved image stabilisation system claim over their previous offerings - I guess they realised they needed to play catch-up with Panny's terrific OIS on the TM900 etc.

A wider lens would be welcome though! The 35mm max on the TM900 is limiting at times.

In truth I have no complaints about the resolution on the outgoing TM900's 3.5 inch LCD screen - it's a fine LCD and plenty good enough for my needs - especially with peaking on - just a bit over-saturated!

I might get one (and use my TM900 as another crash cam...) but I suspect I'll hang onto my money...just in case a Canon 5DMkIII appears sometime this year! However, for TM700 owners this might be a big enough step to take the hit on cost - I stress might as we each have different needs/budgets - but the LCD on the TM700 was very low res (and just 3 inch if I remember correctly) and there are certainly quite a few other improvements worth having - most notably that wider lens and octagonal iris!

These look like some very fine cams....Nice one Panny!
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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:25 AM   #7
 
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Nice..............
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Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement-hcx900_610x378.jpg  
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Old January 10th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

I see B&H has the x900M listed at $1099.00

Newsletter EMAIL 2012 #3

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Old January 11th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #9
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

So, whilst I await a render to finish...

Out of the various suggested/desired improvements for the TM900 on page 33 of this thread....

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...thread-33.html

...Then how well did Panny do with the new model?

1. Wider Lens - Yep!
2. Better Mic Wind Resistance - We'll have to wait and see when one of you guys or gals gets one
3. Menu Improvements - Some suggestion of these in the Press Release
4. Battery Charging Arrangments - Same as TM900 (and in truth we really did not expect them to change it back)
5. Better Low Light Performance - Well the've claimed some improvement - but again we'll have to wait and see if this transfers to real world performance that us pixel peepers notice
6. Overexposure/Blowing Out Highlights Tendency in iAuto (in Bright Sunlight) - Again, we'll have to see!
7. Spot Focus for Video Via LCD - Nope (I don't think so)
8. Better OOF - Yep! 8 blade iris (whoaah!)
9. Add LANC - Nope, I'm sure they would have mentioned this if it got added...
10. Pre-Record Always Enabled - Not Sure (depends if the menu improvements mentioned in the Press Release cover this)
11. HDMI Connection with LCD Closed - I suspect not as it looks to be near identical in design
12. IR Cut Filter - Not sure/doubt it
13. Consecutive Clip Numbering (not reverting to 001 after each format) - Not sure/we'll have to wait and see

But the new model will come with some other (potential) improvements too, such as

A. Much higher resolution LCD (assuming all it's pixels are configured well for non-3D work?)
B. Better anti-flare lens coating and
C. An "even better" Hybrid OIS system, at least that's what they are claiming. The TM900's is amazing so I can't wait to see what this one's like!

No doubt a few things I've missed/we don't know yet.

Looks like pricing will be similar to TM900 when it first appeared, maybe a tad higher.

EDIT: All the detail model features and specs appears to now be on the Panny site, here:

http://panasonic.net/avc/camcorder/hd/x900_series/
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Old January 11th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Here is a deeper pic of the x900m. Notice it still has the dreaded fan.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:41 AM   #11
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Thanks Rob,

Actually my TM900's fan is effectively silent (but I have read some have noisy ones - so it seems to be a bit hit and miss regarding fan noise).

Now, if you look at the pictures on this Panasonic X900 main parts webpage you'll see the SD card slot has been moved to UNDERNEATH the camcorder.

HC-X900/HC-X900M/HC-X800 | HD Camcorder | Panasonic Global

I've also attached a screen grab.

That's a pretty stupid idea in my opinion as it means you'll have to take the cam off a tripod/steadicam or whatever and take off the mounting plate (unless its a very small one) if you want to swap a card. My old trusty Sony HC1 had a similar design fault (bottom loading cassette arrangement - it is really annoying). Yeah, I know, with 32MB on board it won't happen that often, but still.

I see the've also moved some of the buttons around and got rid of the cover for the connectors on the side of the body that the LCD is attached to. Mixed feelings about that too.

Also, some of the controls on the edge of the LCD have now been left off as well (no more Telephoto/Wide or Volume Up/Down and Record Button on the outer edge!). Those were actually very useful at times!

I think they may have put the speaker in that outer LCD edge now (but someone will have to confirm that).

I guess it's all worth it to have the wider lens, 8 blade iris, even better Hybrid IOS and possibly better low light performance. I think intelligent zoom now goes to 23x too (up from 20x) but that may just be a consequence of starting out wider and other changes. You win some, you loose some! I'm sure it'll produce equally stunning footage to my TM900, or maybe even better!
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Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement-mainparts.png  
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Old April 12th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #12
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Anyone got their hands on the HC-X900 yet? How would you compare it to the TM900?
I see some advertised as a X900M, what does the M stand for?

Last edited by Anthony McErlean; April 12th, 2012 at 05:21 PM.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 12:52 PM   #13
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Anthony, I believe the "M", is for Memory as it has 32GB built-in flash. I did a comparison between the two on the Panasonic UK site and that was the only difference between them.

Looks very nice; and priced very well too; much cheaper than the HS900 I bought, (but no longer have). Only 769:50 on-line, my HS900 was 1199:00 so glad I no longer have it as I would have been disappointed they released this upgrade so soon!

Mmmm, what to buy; iPhone 4S or Panny X900?

Last edited by Barry Sampson; April 15th, 2012 at 02:12 PM.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #14
 
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

PAL version listed at $1549 in Australia, not sure yet for Singapore.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 05:02 AM   #15
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Re: Panasonic X900M - TM700/900 Replacement

Barry - you say, 'Only 769:50 on-line' but the SD900 is still available (be quick!) for 550.00 on-line. And there are reviews about that rate the SD900 (ok, no internal memory) as the better camera. Screen looks no less sharp and the SD card access is in a sensible place. It's also lighter and more compact. But it sure needs more wide-angle.
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