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Old December 26th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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HDC-TM700... which settings do you recommend?

I recently bought a HDC-SD700 (similar to the TM700) and was wondering if people have experienced with the settings? What picture profile settings do you recommend? I looked in the manual but they don't explain anything about the settings really. Do you recommend digital cine settings?

Also, in the IA mode you can touch to focus but I haven't been able to use this feature in the Manual mode with Auto Focus enabled. Is this possible?

First impressions are very good... awesome picture quality in such a small package, and plenty of manual controls to satisfy the more demanding filmmaker. Very exciting.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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Yes I agree, the SD/TM700 can deliver astonishing results even in poor light and, along with similar Sony and Canon 'consumer' palmcorders, are changing perceptions about what small cameras are capable of. For stage work I'll be carrying 3 or 4 or for of these little beauties into the theatre in the same flight case I used for my old Z1.

As for settings, I've decided to future-proof my personal family recordings (Xmas, new grandson etc) by recording at top quality 1080 50p even though I can't edit the format yet.
For stage work I'll be using the top bit-rate HA1920 mode for best quality and (relative) ease of editing.

Using the Digital Cinema mode is a personal preference - it records at 25/30p which to my eyes is juddery. Why record at 25/30p when you can record at 50/60p ?

Touch-focus only works in Intelligent Auto mode - in manual mode you get the Manual Focus assist which throws a blue outline around items that are in focus. Not as convenient but reasonably effective.

Intelligent Auto seems to cope with most situations - you can see the camera reacting to changing conditions and switching modes on the fly, but you can quickly switch to manual mode if it can't cope.
I switch to spotlight mode for stage work as this exposes for faces in high contrast lighting and does it better than I can with manual iris.
Auto white balance is sometimes a little slow to latch on but is usually spot-on when it does. You may need to manually WB sometimes in poorly lit interiors and I also found that snowscapes turned blue until I discovered the 'Snow' auto mode.

Some other settings I use :
Zoom Mode - set to 18x to get some free magnification at the telephoto end without loss of quality.
Relay Rec On - if you fill up the internal memory, recording continues on the SD card (TM700 only)
Face recognition/name display - set off unless you want to impress your friends.
Face Framing - set to ALL so that you can see the autofocus detecting faces.
AGS - Off
Fade/Guide Lines/Backlight compensation/Tele Macro/Scene Modes - use as and when required.
Economy - off
Quick Power On/Quick start - off - this continuously drains power from the battery when switched on.
Date/Time - always set the correct date/time as the camera uses it for file naming and for metadata tags.

There is a lot to learn with this camera and I'm still on the learning curve.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #3
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Like most modern "consumer" cameras, the TM700 casually uses shutter speed to control exposure... but to get best, traditional, look to movement, I suggest you set your shutter to 1/50th sec. for 25p, 50p and 50i modes.

(American spec. cameras would probably need 1/60th sec. for 60p and 60i, but I don't know what shutter options you have for 24p mode... 1/48th would be best (if available) I guess....)

.....you will probably find you need an ND filter in very bright sunshine though...... particularly if using "Intelligent Contrast" mode (which actively tries to under-expose the brightest bits of the shot while simultaneously stretching the dark areas).

As a personal preference, I try to avoid "Intelligent Contrast" mode if I can... I find it gives a strange colour balance to the shot......

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Old January 1st, 2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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I just bought a fader ND for my SD-700. I like the AF tracking option but it is not available in manual mode! Someone needs to hack this camera :) If I use iAuto mode, how can I prevent it from using certain shutter speeds? I guess this is not possible, I would love to have a shutter speed limit menu option or something.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 01:32 PM   #5
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some suggest (me too have sd700) :
- don't use cinema mode, it confuse your ideas with 25/30 p recorded in a 50/60i signal, with a lot's of headace. use 50/60p at max quality then later reduce to 25/30p in a clean result
- image process mode
lower saturation to -5 give you more range of color.
sharpness to 0, less you have a bit blurry image, more give you a false sharpness be cause is a image processing work, it's better to do that later in post.
- use xv color, give you more gamut, you enable it when you enable digital color on
- if you can, use intelligent contrast, it give you a smooth less contrasted image.

if you work in low light condition, use a bit of gain, be cause if you have a too dark image, avchd compression give you a lot's of artifacts on dark areas, and you cannot enhance by post, if you use a bit of gain during shooting, you can remove noise by post, and you can light a bit all scene.
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