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Panasonic HC Series Camcorders
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Old February 5th, 2019, 09:01 PM   #1
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Replacement for HDC-TM700

I've been using a Panasonic HDC-TM700 since October 2010. It's great camcorder, but 8+ years later I'm wondering what I am missing by not having one of the newer models.

I'm looking for recommendations. What would you consider a worthy successor to the TM700?
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Old February 5th, 2019, 10:27 PM   #2
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

The first thing anyone will want to know is what kind of video do you shoot, or maybe what kind of video would you like to shoot? In other words, were do you want to go with a new cam?

Tripod, monopod, or hand-held shots? Handheld with image stabilization?

Would you want to keep the present cam and perhaps do some Multicam using the existing for B-roll?

Looking at new or used gear? Budget factor?

It’s been said that 2/3rds of good video is good audio (but your mileage may vary), what accessories do you have now?

Any deal-breaker needs? (i.e., Gotta have?)

Anything you’ve come across of interest?

Looks like I’ve got more questions than answers. (That’s because there aren’t any answers!)
Just ran out of questions (for the moment).
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Old February 6th, 2019, 05:20 AM   #3
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

I used a couple of TM700s for years for wedding filming and great little cameras they were with complete reliability. I have now been using Panasonic FZ1000s since they came out a few years ago and they have been ideal for my work and pretty much bomb proof. They have dropped right down in price now to probably equivalent to what you paid on the TM700 in relative terms. I could spend more on higher spec cams, but for my wedding work I am not worried about bangs and knocks in a way I would be on higher end gear they may only give marginal image improvements.

The advantages over your TM700 are many, as would be modern cameras from some other manufacturers. 4K recording is a big plus for me, giving great editing options for post production zooms, pans and crops. Image stabilisation is also good and the quality of image at F2.7 in wide for low light is also great for my weddings. I like the on screen audio levels DSLR style focus and exposure point adjustments. 25-400 optical zoom is also perfect for my requirements, but the biggest improvement is the adoption of the 1" sensor rather than the old Panny 3x1/4" ones. I don't notice any loss from reverting to a single sensor. Another bonus is that a quick rotation of the dial enables you to switch to photo mode which gives stills quality way above your 700. You can also have one button for video and one for stills enabling you to take stills whilst filming, albeit with some limitation. One member here that I know of, Chris, uses the FZ1000 for wedding stills.

I was initially dubious about the DSLR form factor after being a long term video cam man, but quickly adapted to it and now prefer it. I currently use three FZ1000s for weddings alongside a Panasonic 4K handy cam for backup and various 4K Gopro style cameras.

There are of course various Canon, Sony and other makes that may give similar or even better performance, but I am not familiar with them and am very happy with my Pannys to earn my living from.

Roger
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Old February 6th, 2019, 06:40 AM   #4
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

John, I use this for church events (weddings, Christmas programs, etc.) as well as filming my son's robotics competitions and family events (birthdays, Christmas, etc.).

I use a tripod at church, but not at the robotics events.

I would keep the present camera.

Budget is $500 to $1,000.

I've looked at the Sony AX series (33, 53, 100) and the Canon XA series (the latter are outside my budget) but would prefer to stick with Panasonic since that's what I'm used to.

Roger, thank you for your input! I will check into that one.
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Old February 6th, 2019, 12:00 PM   #5
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

@Roger Gunkel

The FZ1000s looks like a great option; however, I am seeing conflicting reports about how long it can record continuously. Is it true that it can only record 30 minutes at a time? So if you're at a wedding, what do you do when the camera stops recording at 30 minutes? Could be a deal breaker for some I would think.

Thoughts?
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Old February 6th, 2019, 12:42 PM   #6
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

Edward - thanks for the update and that helps a lot. Seems like a potpourri of shooting types, kinda like what I do. Roger has a practical approach for the budget minded, of which I happen to be too.

What my suggestions would be given the additional info will be based a lot on the way I would do it. Since the existing cam is a keeper, going with another Panasonic product would, or should, help with color matching if clips or pictures are blended in the timeline. Even though the two cameras would be far apart in years, the menus will be likely be more similar than going with a different brand. Just guessing.

A suggestion would be to have some multicam in your future because that seems to make for a more interesting video. One cam wide on a tripod and the other for doing angles.

My current cams can be operated via Wi-Fi and a smart phone which is neat. Running multi-cam Wi-Fi is a nice feature but not a deal breaker. Can also run the recorder that way.

For kit expansion, (you can’t stop with just a second cam) some mics wold be good, if not required. I use a Røde SVM (Stereo VideoMic) on the cam a lot, either for capturing the primary audio (like for home video), or for syncing with the main mic which may be connected to a recorder or via a cable to the main cam. Audio of a church choir should have a good audio setup.

Save some budget for backup drives and mics with wind protection and cables. FWIW, I’ve got more tied up in audio gear than video cams, and I have four at the moment.

Action video: with spring around the corner and outside activities opening up this may be an area one wants to get into but with another cam that has better stabilization. For that I went with the Sony X3000 because it has optical stabilization (also have the AX53 with optical stabilization) and both can be operated via a smartphone. But that can be for later. Once you get the video bug its hard to stop.

Books:
“Movie Making Course” by Chris Patmore
“How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck” Stockman
And some on audio
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Old February 7th, 2019, 04:16 AM   #7
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Cook View Post
@Roger Gunkel

The FZ1000s looks like a great option; however, I am seeing conflicting reports about how long it can record continuously. Is it true that it can only record 30 minutes at a time? So if you're at a wedding, what do you do when the camera stops recording at 30 minutes? Could be a deal breaker for some I would think.

Thoughts?
Hi Edward,

You are quite right, the FZ1000 does indeed have the 30 minute limit, however there is a newer version FZ2000/2500 which has no recording limit. It costs slightly more but probably available in your budget. There is a smoother zoom on it and built in ND filters which may or may not interest you.

I didn't change to the newer model as I don't find the 30min limit a problem at all. I always have at least one second angle camera for any shoot and just press record again on the FZ1000 and cut to another camera in editing. I frequently shoot school productions and sometimes church weddings with over an hour of continuous filming. The camera can also be controlled from a phone or pad if you are not able to reach it to press record. I often monitor a remote FZ1000 in that way and can still stop/start/zoom etc. Most ceremonies though don't require continuous filming for over 30 minutes.

Hope that helps,

Roger
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Old February 7th, 2019, 06:18 AM   #8
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

Thanks Roger. I did find out that there's a hack where you put the camera into service mode which then bypasses the 30 minute limit.

Do you have recommendations for an external mic? It seems that a lot of people are complaining about excessive noise from the camera stabilization motors being picked up by the built in mic. Any downsides to using an external mic instead of the built in one?
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Old February 7th, 2019, 11:21 AM   #9
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

I found the hack.

https://tips.navas.us/2018/03/fz1000...mit-video.html
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Old February 7th, 2019, 12:15 PM   #10
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

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Originally Posted by Donald McPherson View Post
Thank you!
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Old February 7th, 2019, 03:13 PM   #11
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Cook View Post
Thanks Roger. I did find out that there's a hack where you put the camera into service mode which then bypasses the 30 minute limit.

Do you have recommendations for an external mic? It seems that a lot of people are complaining about excessive noise from the camera stabilization motors being picked up by the built in mic. Any downsides to using an external mic instead of the built in one?
I always use external mics on my cameras to avoid motor and handling noise. I use Rode video mics with a dead cat wind muffler which work very well. For audio such as vows where close miking is needed, I use portable recorders with lavalier mics which I sync to the video in post. I always used to use external mics on my TM700s aswell.

Roger
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Old February 7th, 2019, 03:17 PM   #12
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

OK thanks. I already have an Azden SMX-10 shotgun mic...that would probably work.

I went ahead and took the plunge on the FZ1000. There was a "like new" one on Amazon for $379 so I pulled the trigger.

What size SD card do you typically use for shooting weddings and such?
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Old February 8th, 2019, 04:01 AM   #13
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

I usually use a 128Gb drives at minimum 95mb/s for 4K although I also have some 64Gb and 32Gb for shorter projects or HD only. I've always found Sandisk Extreme to be reliable and have never had a failure touch wood! That's after hundreds of hours of use. I always format in camera before a new project. I also always film mp4 4k and have no problems with editing.

Great price on the used camera, you'll probably have a bit of a learning curve, but it will be interesting to see how you get on with it. I think we have probably filmed 150-200 weddings since we got our first FZ1000 as the main cam.

Roger
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Old February 8th, 2019, 05:11 AM   #14
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

Yep I use both my FZ1000's for stills and video and they do a great job .. When I was doing traditional video (shoot and edit) I never found the 30 min limit an issue .. even on long winded Catholic services you have plenty of opportunities to stop and start recording ..after the readings, after the homily all work fine. If your style is to run non stop then as Roger says get an FZ2500 for a few hundred bucks more and you can record unlimited, have ND filters built-in and a really smooth slow zoom too! The 2500 can also record to card and output to HDMI at the same time and we used that for our live broadcasts for a while too. Now we only do live broadcast so I'm using shoulder mount cameras simply because they have tougher 'A" style HDMI ports .and more space to mount mixers and encoders on the body and our editing is done in real time

I still use my FZ1000's for Realty shoots on almost a daily basis and they are a hard camera to beat..nothing comes close to them!!
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Old February 9th, 2019, 06:13 AM   #15
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Re: Replacement for HDC-TM700

Have any of you used field monitors with the FZ1000? This is something I'd never even thought of until now, but it looks like a lot of people are using those with the DSLR setups. On the low end there are some models by FeelWorld that cost around $160.

Thoughts?
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