Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?

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Claire
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Got my tiddly diddly little HDC-TM900 delivered Saturday, been enjoying myself testing it out and I reckon I will call it "Giant Killer 2".

Why?

Because it is making me wonder why I bothered with an EX1R...

PS, Giant Killer 1 was the previous model, the TM700.

Claire

MAGLINK
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I have a canon HF11 and I am always amazed at the HD quality it can achieve.

They are not good in low light but they make HDV look totally redundant.

Dave Jervis
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....well, I think my 'GK1' is pretty good, what improvements have they made for the 'GK2' ?
dave

Claire
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Gary, I was still filming late afternoon in heavy cloud and drizzling rain, still looked fine, though think I was near the limit for light as the iris was at F1.7 (wide open) and I was certainly not going to use gain.

Actually it's the 24Mb/sec1080/ 50P mode I have fallen in love with, such stonking images!

Hope this new trend leads to Blue-ray specs eventually being updated, it's ridiculous we don't even have 25P yet alone this.

Claire

Claire
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Dave Jervis wrote:
....well, I think my 'GK1' is pretty good, what improvements have they made for the 'GK2' ?
dave

Hi Dave, I didn't have a "GK 1" so not really sure, but I think the 3rd part of the new image stabiliser is new and I was shocked at how good it is, hand held 80% zoom like it was taken on a slightly flexible tripod.

Love it already...

Claire

Dave Jervis
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Ahh, the third mode stabiliser was on the 'GK 1.5 stereoscopic' but I wasn't really interested....

You are going to really like the half speed possibilities of 50p in a 25p edit...! ...and the fact you can decide if you are making a 25p or a 50i finished product after you have shot it!

dave

PaulD
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Hi
It sounds like there is more 'noise reduction' done in software to the image on the 900 compared to the 700 - at the expense of sharpness and colour fidelity which are a feature of the 700/600 range. So more gain can be applied in low light if you are going to show the video on a big screen straight from the camera card. I rather think that with proper post production of 700 video there won't be much difference....

The Sony CX550 was regarded as having the best image stabilisation last year, so Panasonic are playing catch-up in that regard with the 900. The 2011 Sony range have 1080p50/60, so maybe the BD specs will be enhanced to allow Sony playback kit to play what their new camcorders can shoot ;)

StevenBagley
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Claire wrote:
Because it is making me wonder why I bothered with an EX1R...

PS, Giant Killer 1 was the previous model, the TM700.

I've shot a couple of live music videos (controlled lighting inside) using an EX1 and a TM700 -- they intercut very well, although it is very obvious (even when they've hit YouTUBE) which is which if you know what to look for.

Steve

Claire
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Hmm, thanks for that Paul, After what you say I will try going into gain the next time it is a bit dark.

I have to say as regards sharpness, after my initial tests I turned it off completely as I found the edge enhancement just too much for me after being used to my EX1R. This is of course subjective.

I might up it a notch or two if I feel it's needed but at the moment it's plenty sharp enough with it off (-5 -0 +5), default zero. It still looks like looking through a window.

As for colour, well one thing I was hoping for was did they fix the "Bondi Blu" sky and water seen in so many TM700 films? Browse YouTube to see what I mean, strangely coloured seas and rivers, sort of cyan and even on the rocks in the mountains amongst the snow which are nice and white so it can't be wrong WB adjustment.

Well it seems they did fix it, I shot lovely blue sky on Saturday and breathed a sigh of relief not to see any turquoise colours.

Steven, I think with a little colour matching in Edius I could do the same (mix footage from both cams), Edius just drops each alternative frame from the 50P stuff for the 25P EX1 timeline. Did you try the 50P mode though to see it? That's when this little cam comes into it's own.

Update 23 Feb 2011... after more testing I have settled on the following manual settings,

Sharpness: -2
Colour (saturation): -3

Claire

StevenBagley
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Claire wrote:
Steven, I think with a little colour matching in Edius I could do the same (mix footage from both cams), Edius just drops each alternative frame from the 50P stuff for the 25P EX1 timeline. Did you try the 50P mode though to see it? That's when this little cam comes into it's own.

I didn't even bother colour matching to be honest -- they were reasonably close as it was.

The video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKEE21UZUJk if you are interested. It was shot with four cameras, my EX1, and my HC1, and my friend's (the band's manager) TM700 and MX300 (DV 3Chip SD). Unfortunately, the shoot wasn't that smooth -- the HC1 was setup as a wide but got knocked off centre so I had to diddle about with the image in post to get it usable. And I apologise for the sound -- there was a mix up with the external recorder on the sounddesk, meaning that the only audio we had was from the mics on the cameras -- the audio from that is entirely off the Rode NTG1 on my EX1, all the other cameras sound was unusable. The TM700 being the worst by far -- completely unable to cope with the sound pressure and being totally distorted.

Steve

PS. Their album (Doyle and the Four Fathers -- Man Made) is out on Feb 28th... :)

Claire
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StevenBagley wrote:
I didn't even bother colour matching to be honest -- they were reasonably close as it was.

The video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKEE21UZUJk if you are interested.
Steve

Now I see what the controlled lighting is like I understand why you didn't bother colour matching :) Bit hard to evaluate cameras as well!!! I think the drummer was shot with the SD camera? So which is the EX and and which is the TM700? Does it matter though?:eek:

Claire

StevenBagley
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Claire wrote:
Now I see what the controlled lighting is like I understand why you didn't bother colour matching :) Bit hard to evaluate cameras as well!!! I think the drummer was shot with the SD camera? So which is the EX and and which is the TM700? Does it matter though?:eek:

The EX1 was on the right looking left, TM700 on the left looking right. I think all of the crash zooms where done with the EX1. In general, I find the Ex1 is a little brighter and a little sharper.

Steve

infocus
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Claire wrote:
Because it is making me wonder why I bothered with an EX1R...

On the one hand, in sheer technical terms, it has to be said that the quality from many small domestic type cameras nowadays far surpasses that from broadcast cameras costing tens of times more a couple of decades ago - obviously HD has helped.

On the other hand, compared to such as an EX they can be far more fiddly to operate, and you miss the range of full manual controls. Then there's the difference in chip size. It may mean that the difference may not be too pronounced in good light - but the 1/2" chips of the EX will keep going long after a small chipped camera has collapsed.

There's also the current fad for large sensor for shallow depth of field cameras, such as the F3, the AF101, and the upcoming NXCAM. I'm not too sure about that in some ways - but photographically some dof control is certainly a big plus for 1/2" chips v 1/4", it also allows for a much greater range of iris working as well. I'd tend to say that 2/3" is about optimum - but 1/2" v 1/3" or 1/4" is certainly a big plus.

Dave Jervis
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Claire wrote:
......................
As for colour, well one thing I was hoping for was did they fix the "Bondi Blu" sky and water seen in so many TM700 films? Browse YouTube to see what I mean, strangely coloured seas and rivers, sort of cyan and even on the rocks in the mountains amongst the snow which are nice and white so it can't be wrong WB adjustment.

Well it seems they did fix it, I shot lovely blue sky on Saturday and breathed a sigh of relief not to see any turquoise colours. .........

There was a work around for "Bondi Blu" with the 700, but it was wierd.... something like do a manual white balance, switch away to "Tungsten 2"... and than switch back to the manual setting.... !?! (I think I got that right) Glad they seem to have fixed it.

Quote:
........ Edius just drops each alternative frame from the 50P stuff for the 25P EX1 timeline...............

If you put 50p in a 50i timeline on Edius it takes field 1 from one frame and field 2 from the next... instant interlaced shot! (Field flickering on sharp horizontal edges may require a little filter, but not all that often ....)

dave

Claire
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Dave Jervis wrote:
If you put 50p in a 50i timeline on Edius it takes field 1 from one frame and field 2 from the next... instant interlaced shot! (Field flickering on sharp horizontal edges may require a little filter, but not all that often ....)

dave

That's correct, I got it wrong because with Edius 5.51 which I am running I see stair stepping when paused, that is with Edius set to show complete frames when paused which ties in with what you said.

I downloaded Edius 6 trial last night (installed to an old WinXP partition) and made a proper 1080/50P project, each 50P frame now shows correctly when paused.

First thing I noticed was how the motion from a wildly panning TM900 (deliberate test) was smoother, all the 50 frames per second visible, guess I need to upgrade, shame there is no NX driver out yet though.

Claire

Claire
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infocus wrote:
On the one hand, in sheer technical terms, it has to be said that the quality from many small domestic type cameras nowadays far surpasses that from broadcast cameras costing tens of times more a couple of decades ago - obviously HD has helped.

What I had been thinking...

The first camcorder I owned that produced decent quality was a Sony TRV900 back in 1998, quite a ground breaking little camcorder I think most would agree. I was one of the first to have one in the UK so very proud and bought a second one a year later.

Now 13 years later, after a few different cameras over the years it seems I am back to owning yet another "900". (HDC-TM900), maybe it will also becomes a "classic" ground breaker like the TM700. Let's hope "Uncle Jim" who films all the family weddings doesn't latch on.

Claire

Dave Jervis
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Claire, just one further thought on something that influences colour balance... the use of "Intelligent Contrast" mode.... This mode stretches the blacks and under exposes at the top end, but if you use it in bright sunshine with a blue sky you really notice the "cyan/blue fill" in the shadow areas. I think this effect can be seen on some of those YouTube clips. If you manually set a 1/50th shutter (as I do) you can also find that you need an ND filter to avoid overexposed highlights... particularly in "Intelligent Contrast" mode. (I have an aversion to using shutter speed for exposure control under most circumstances..)
dave

Claire
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Excellent point Dave, I was filming outdoors with the TM700 in Wednesday's sunny skies, just a few broken clouds and it stayed like this all day so gave me a chance to do some really wide range comprehensive testing.

The footage I came back was really pleasing. Eer, no.. "pleasing" a gross understatement, "thrilling" much more accurate, but I already realised I would need ND filters if I was to avoid using 1/500th or 1/750th sec shutter speeds to limit the iris to sensible figures.

I was on a tripod taking time to set up each shot, using histogram and zebras so was able to ensure no over exposure, iris backed off so the slightest hint of zebra pattern disappeared from brightest points, I knew from Saturday's tests that thankfully the zebras could be relied on, they seem extremely accurate.

"Intelligent Contrast" mode...

Hmm, I resolved never to use this feature after my first tests last weekend. It was my first real disappointment with the camera. I saw a flattened "artificial look" if I used that feature, decided I had best expose for correct highlights and lift darker areas in post since otherwise with Intelligent Contrast on there was no going back. Maybe I am missing something here but the way I see it, a camera cannot magically produce such an extra amount of dynamic range simply at the press of a button without some drawback. I tend to think this Intelligent Contrast is simply a non reversible process that can be done better in post with most Pro NLE's where at least it can be done carefully and individually and is of course reversible. One new discovery for me was to discover how well the 50P 28Mb/sec AVCHD codec holds up when the bottom end is tweaked with a YUV curve in Edius. Seems I can pull out shadows with little or no noise while keeping a nice natural looking balance with highlights, actually I quite enjoy doing this, it satisfies the perfectionist in me. :)

Dave yes, great camera but I desperately want some ND's to use sensible shutter settings in bright light. Do you know what the sweet spot is for iris on this camera? I was tending to stick between F3.5/F4.5 sometimes F5.6. What size ND filters do you find most iseful for filming outdoors in the UK?

50P..I was particularly buzzed watching a shot I got of a train hurtling through Wylam Station, camera & tripod on platform at 30 deg angle to oncoming train, vibrant accurate colours, amazing clarity, hit pause in Edius and see each individual frame perfectly sharp, then remembered my shutter speed was incredibly high and of course the superb 50 frames per second...sigh, love this little camera to bits already!

Claire

tom hardwick
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Claire - you really feel you need to add external ND filters to a camera that uses automatic internal ND? And yes, your ideas on the sweet spot are right on. When you replay these AVCHD files in camera, are you able to call up the WB, gain, shutter speed and aperture used for each frame?

I'm quite surprised to read Dave's post where he says that selecting and locking down the default 1/50th sec shutter speed means he gets over-exposed highlights and that allowing the shutter speed to shorten would alleviate this. We've had auto ND on movie cameras since the Canon 310XL in 1976, so I can't believe Panasonic is getting it wrong today.

tom.

Claire
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tom hardwick wrote:
Claire - you really feel you need to add external ND filters to a camera that uses automatic internal ND? And yes, your ideas on the sweet spot are right on. When you replay these AVCHD files in camera, are you able to call up the WB, gain, shutter speed and aperture used for each frame?

I'm quite surprised to read Dave's post where he says that selecting and locking down the default 1/50th sec shutter speed means he gets over-exposed highlights and that allowing the shutter speed to shorten would alleviate this. We've had auto ND on movie cameras since the Canon 310XL in 1976, so I can't believe Panasonic is getting it wrong today.

tom.

Hi Tom, it's news to me the TM900 has automatic internal ND, anyway you will surely agree they can hardly be of sufficient density when one has to set a shutter speed of as much as 1/500th second in UK winter daylight to avoid refraction losses caused by silly F numbers?

BTW, would read what Dave said once more cos he didn't say that.

Claire

Claire
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tom hardwick wrote:
And yes, your ideas on the sweet spot are right on. When you replay these AVCHD files in camera, are you able to call up the WB, gain, shutter speed and aperture used for each frame?
SNIP
tom.

Tom, thanks for the heads up on the sweet spot, if you know this does it mean you have one of the cams or is it just you are well clued up?:D

I am not one to ever use auto WB so that is fixed at the start using a piece of white paper (not blue printer paper, I mean white as in Epson matte stuff). Have checked in HD Writer 3 software which I used to copy the footage to PC but properties doesn't report camera settings, what do you think this is? an EX1? a Canon 5D? heh! What do expect for tuppence halfpenny?

heh!

Claire

Dave Jervis
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tom hardwick wrote:
...........I'm quite surprised to read Dave's post where he says that selecting and locking down the default 1/50th sec shutter speed means he gets over-exposed highlights and that allowing the shutter speed to shorten would alleviate this. We've had auto ND on movie cameras since the Canon 310XL in 1976, so I can't believe Panasonic is getting it wrong today.

Hi Tom,
I think the effect I'm seeing is quite small, and probably peculiar to the "Intelligent Contrast" mode, which only works with automatic exposure on the TM700.

In very bright and contrasty conditions, the detail in the highlight areas almost appears to be running into a clipper (?) before being pulled down by the gamma curve that "Intelligent Contrast" applies..... but it depends a lot on the bright to dark area ratios of the shot (which influences the entire exposure) and the visibility of the detail in the highlights.

Very hard to test/demo this one out because of the requirement to be in auto exposure. I will try and get a decent test shot done when the weather gets a bit more bright and contrasty!

The TM700 at least allows you to be in auto iris but with a manual shutter speed... and I like my motion analysis to be 1/50th sec. for 50p mode (which I consider to be the most "natural" shutter speed for a 50p, 50i or 25p edited product). I find most of these consumer cameras are far to happy to casually tweak the shutter speed for exposure!

dave

tom hardwick
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Claire, you can safely assume that any camcorder out there that doesn't have manually activated ND using a switch on the lens barrel has automatic variable density ND applied. In the most basic camcorders this is simply a tiny piece of ND gelatin attached to the one moving iris blade , but more sophisticated designs have mechanisms that introduce more and more ND the more the light levels increase.

The Sony PDX10, the Panasonic MX300 and the Canon MX3i (to name but three) told you on replay of the tape that you'd shot at 1/50th and f/8 (say) but that was only extrapolation. At wide angle the lens would only stop down as far as f/4 and from there on more and more ND was applied as it got brighter. At tele you only had 1½ stops to play with - all the rest was done with undocumented internal ND.

So your TM cameras could be read-out telling you they're shooting at f/9.5 but that's just to placate you with a number you'll recognise. With an EX1 or 7D that figure has meaning, with any camera devoid of an ND filter switch, it's probably a lie.

Which all comes back to me scratching my head when you say your TM900 ups the shutter speed to 1/500th at the drop of a bit of winter sunshine. As we all know and as Dave points out, movies should be shot in the shutter priority mode, preferably at 1/50th sec unless you actively want special effects to intrude on your picture quality.

The sweet spot is chip-size dependent Claire. Anything hi-def using chips as small as the TM's shouldn't shoot wide open (vignetting) and shouldn't shoot stopped down (diffraction). Generally an f1.6 lens vignettes till f/3.5 - they all do. That'll be the sweet spot, as diffraction losses start and get progressively worse the moment you stop down from wide open.

tom.

tom.

Claire
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tom hardwick wrote:
Which all comes back to me scratching my head when you say your TM900 ups the shutter speed to 1/500th at the drop of a bit of winter sunshine. As we all know and as Dave points out, movies should be shot in the shutter priority mode, preferably at 1/50th sec unless you actively want special effects to intrude on your picture quality.
tom.

Tom, I think you are reading this thread too quickly.

Nowhere have I said "my TM900 ups the shutter speed to 1/500th at the drop of a bit of winter sunshine". Read my post #18 again and it should be clear that like Dave, I am using full manual mode and what I said was "I was tending to stick between F3.5/F4.5 sometimes F5.6" then later in the same post "I already realised I would need ND filters if I was to avoid using 1/500th or 1/750th sec shutter speeds to limit the iris to sensible figures".

In this camera while in manual mode (which I only ever use) there is shutter speed control and iris control, so I set shutter speed to 1/50th second from old habit with my other cameras and then go to iris control to obtain correct exposure. Since on the TM900 these are not switches or proper buttons but only icons on the LCD screen, with bright sunshine behind me I press the Iris icon and set iris so that zebras just disappear from the bright clouds. Now to do this iris indicates something extreme like F11 or more.

What would you do without any manual ND switch? For me I go back to shutter and change it to a faster shutter speed, typically 1/500th sec last Wednesday before the iris setting showed a number in the sweet spot.

Are you saying it's lying at that point and I should just let it do it's own thing? There is no way to see what it was afterwards.

Claire

tom hardwick
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I'm reading the thread too quickly but you're not reading it accurately enough Claire :)

You can indeed dial in f/11 or f/16 because as I said these will be 'numbers that you as a photographer can recognise and relate to'. The camera certainly won't be closing the actual aperture blades down anywhere past f/4.5 - if it did you'd see horribly soft images even on a fairly small TV.

What's happening is that stronger and stronger internal ND is applied and your dof remains at the f/4.5 figure. You can probably watch this in action. Put your camera in manual and nearly full tele. Use a little LED light to look down into the lens and as you turn the iris control watch what what happens to the blades and the ND filters.

So you can see there's no need to up the shutter speed to such a damaging figure as 1/500th sec - all it will do is staccato your film while not altering the actual shooting aperture in the slightest.

Gotta say though that I haven't tested the TM range to verify that what I say is true. But if experience is anything to go by it is so, and you can take readout apertures with a bucket of salt.

tom.

Claire
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Tom, with a light looking into the lens I can see the diamond shaped iris physically opening and closing and in step as I steadily alter the iris setting via the multi function lens ring.

From wide open it shrinks to about 1/3rd open at F3.5, by the time I reach F6 the opening is half the size continues to shrink to pinhole size at F16. At no time could I observe the opening stay put while I was altering iris other than when going the reverse way from F16 to full open when gain kicked in. It's as if the multifunction ring was mechanically tied to the iris, which I don't suppose it is at all, no doubt a servo motor.

I must say I can quite see where you are coming from since my old Sony A1E did just as you describe and I remember Alan explaining all about this built in ND system at the time, peeping in the lens with a torch and watching the iris NOT move in sync, heh! ... I think this one's different.

Claire

mooblie
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Very interesting. If it's true that the aperture in the TM900 really does stop down physically (to f/16?) surely that's visible as horrendous softness in the images recorded by this small-chip camcorder?:confused:

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

infocus
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mooblie wrote:
Very interesting. If it's true that the aperture in the TM900 really does stop down physically (to f/16?) surely that's visible as horrendous softness in the images recorded by this small-chip camcorder?:confused:

And not just diffraction softness - with the small size chips AND f16 I'd expect dreadful problems with seeing every last blemish on the front element?

tom hardwick
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Claire - I'm quite surprised at your findings and I simply cannot see how Panasonic are circumnavigating the laws of optics. As mooblie says, f/16 should show as soft pictures and a way to check this out is to HDMI the camera to a big TV and use the TV as a v'finder. Now point the camera at something white 'n' bright (a sheet of newsprint's ideal) out there in the sunlight - does it retain the sharpness you get when you view the same scene with the shutter speed shortened to 1/500th?

You could also do dof checks to verify infocus' theory. All you have to do is frame up a classroom 12" ruler, focus on the 6" mark say, and up the lighting so as to stop down the lens. Does the dof increase in proportion to your iris knob twiddling?

I'm waiting for GuruAlan to step in here. It may well be that the TM series does indeed mechanically couple the iris dial to the iris blades in the way that you describe, but when used in the iA and other modes it comes to its (intelligent) senses and brings in the ND at f/4, like what it orta.

tom.

Dave Jervis
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A combination of insomnia and a vague background notion of unfinished business have caused me to closely examine my TM700.

There is indeed an automatic ND (....well, two by the look of it....) that "soft switch" in, sequentially, at the time the camera is displaying values between about "f3.4" and "f6.8".

The "iris" (if that is what you call two horizontally opposed overlapping leaves with 90degree notches cut in the side them) pauses in it's size change during the introduction of the filters and then picks up again to shrink to "f16" and then on to total extinction called "close" on the aperture display.

I suspect I could only see this because I was in a dark room and the multi-led light I was using just caught a tiny glint on the filters sliding in (they are on the sensor side of the "iris").

Anyway, the f numbers.... ummm.... probably....... aren't......

dave

tom hardwick
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The Panasonic DX100 I took apart has the same simple iris blade configuration - effectively two opposing Vs fitted in a vertical formation. These overlap completely in the 'close' position and have the ND filter fitted very close to them on the chip's side - which maybe explains why Claire couldn't see them.

What happens is this. You step out into the daylight, the lens stops down to a point where the sweet spot happens (f/3.5 at wide, and maybe f/5.6 at tele) and the ND starts to slide into place. Then the sun comes out and the ND completely covers the f/4 (whatever) aperture.

As it gets brighter the second ND comes into play, and at times these only partially obscure the aperture (hole formed by the iris blades). No matter - anything placed at the iris is completely and utterly out of focus, so you won't damage the resolution by shooting through the edge of the ND.

If it gets brighter still the camera has two options (I'll assume it can't dial in negative gain). It will up the shutter speed to soak the light, but if you've locked the shutter it has no option but to keep stopping down, and that's why the smaller aperture capabilities are there. The design thinking is: better correct exposure than ultimate sharpness, and that has to be right.

So you're right Dave. The aperture readout is an untrustworthy figure, but the correct exposure of your film is nevertheless assured.

tom.

Claire
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Dave, thanks for that test you did and Tom, thanks for the info on how the DX100 works, with all that extra information I peered into the TM900's lens again today, this time with a better light and my best reading specs on.

Don't mind admitting this was really pushing the limits of my well worn eyes. This time I was concentrating on some confusing light reflections I had previously ignored, bright spots of light in different colours, they seemed to come from behind the iris rather than the lens itself.

There is some confusion though as I also saw a bright white light from time to time, then realised it appeared only as I varied the iris. Then I started thinking it looked like the edge of a white light from a bulb inside or possibly a bright disc, so difficult to be certain, but it's light went out as I switched off the desk light.

I guess, as Dave posted on his TM700, this must be the ND on the TM900 since it appeared suddenly around F3 or so, couldn't see another one at the other side but at the slightest extra iris opening a smaller white disc appeared protruding further out, from behind the larger one.

...well that's quite interesting!

I think I have to agree this camera does indeed have auto ND, though obviously very weak ND so still going to need some external ND to shoot at normal shutter speeds with and an aperture that retains optimum sharpness.

That's okay though.

Claire

Dave Jervis
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I can see the "design thinking" that you refer to Tom. For a "consumer" camera, it makes complete sense to minimise the degradation of the image by trading off the adverse effects of an increased shutter speed against the adverse effects of too small an iris.

....but then again, that doesn't stop us chucking on a bit of extra ND to help keep our shutter speed where we want it and our pictures crisp. :)

As I said before, the "Intelligent Contrast" issue is something else, and I'm re-examining my thinking of how best to address it. That mode relies on a quite strong "black stretch/white compress" curve being applied to the signal, almost certainly with a degree of under exposure to help retain the top end detail. Now if the underexposure goes into the range of the physically smaller aperture, then an extra ND might help... but this mode can only be used in automatic exposure.... and you don't get to see the numbers on a TM700 when you are in automatic exposure! I have lots of testing to do I suspect....

Claire, I've now seen the main differences between the "GK1" and the "GK2" on another forum.... ;) .....you may not get the "Bondi Blu", and your shots don't wobble, but at least I can charge my battery off the camera...!!

dave

tom hardwick
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Dave and Claire - the TM range of cameras are really designed to operate in any light level without filters. The chip size (and therefore focal lengths employed) mean that unclean filters degrade image quality rather a lot, and there's no such thing as a clean filter.

Next problem is that when screwed in place they're a goodly distance from the front element as that flash gun needs room to exist. And when screwed in place, what happens to the lens hood? Right... And you lose the front 16:9 mask, which perversely is needed all the more when you've added a new front element.

Filters should be a last resort solution on this camera.

tom.

Claire
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Okay, I have decided to follow Tom's advice for now as I know it's based on a wealth of experience with cameras over many years, so I will see how I get on without ND filters.

My settings:

After a lot more shooting in various conditions with the TM900 I revised my initial camera settings and updated the earlier post where they are mentioned in case some one stumbles across them. After careful analysis watching the lovely 50P footage on a 42" plasma I settled on minus 2 sharpness and minus 3 colour saturation.

This leaves the images unquestionably sharp but without most of the edge enhancement outlining of high contrast objects and with colours lifelike, instead of "supercolour" ;)

Personal taste of course.

Claire

Mick Mearman
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Does anyone know if you can get rubber eye cups for the viewfinder on these cameras? I find these hard plastic ones uncomfortable and even maybe dangerous.
Mick

3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium III, 3.5GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4350, Avid Liquid, Edius 6.03, Sony EX1R & EX1, Panasonic SD700

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001

TM900 night shots here for those curious about its low light performance.

Claire

John H Jones
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Joined: Apr 25 1999

Claire,
You recently sold your Sony V1. I'd be interested to know how this camera compares with your Panny TM900.
John

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
John H Jones wrote:
Claire,
You recently sold your Sony V1. I'd be interested to know how this camera compares with your Panny TM900.
John

Hi John, tough question for me since I think this is as much about personal preferences as it is technical differences between the two cameras and more to the point what you intend to use the camera for.

I bought the TM900 primarily for it's size, light weight and it's full HD 50P mode so I don't think it's at all comparable to the V1E which is a much larger heavier camera, especially with the optional Sony WA lens adapter. The TM900 has no XLR inputs, no lovely bright 20x optical zoom that stays roughly the same brightness from full wide to full zoom, it has no lanc socket, very few switches and levers, only menus accessed from a touch screen, but do I care? Not a bit, because since the TM900 is so tiny, so light weight, fits in my coat pocket, has a wonderful stabiliser and takes such impressive video in places I wouldn't attempt to take a larger camera, I am loving it to bits.

If I was not wanting to take it portable and had not seem how good the 50P stuff is I would probably have kept the V1E a lot longer as that long sharp 20x lens was special for my nature work.

Claire

John H Jones
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Joined: Apr 25 1999

Thank you Claire.
I have a Sony VX2100 with a Beechtek XLR box and a Sony WA lens. In addition I also have a Canon HF100 and like you I have been astonished at the image quality from these small cameras.
My dilemma is whether to sell or keep the Sony. The main problem however is that there seems to be no demand for Blue Ray discs at the bottom end of the market ie: weddings, parties,small corporate videos etc. Also the size of the camera is a factor for one has to look the part, as they say. Low light capability of the VX2100 is very much a plus point but the downside is the 4/3 format and mini dv tapes. The future appears to be AVCHD now that the editing software is up to speed. There are I know a couple of shoulder mounted cameras from Sony and Panasonic priced around the £ 2000 mark but is it really worth spending that sort of money if there is no demand for blue ray material . I know some members of this forum put forward the case that Blue Ray will eventually dominate the domestic market - players, recorders. But, through my eyes, this scenario seems so far away for most households appear to be very happy with their non blue ray equipment.

John

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001
Claire wrote:
The TM900 has no XLR inputs, .

Is it possible to use an external mic Claire?

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

John H Jones
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Joined: Apr 25 1999

Tony,
The TM900 does have an external mic socket. I have a Canon HF100 and the external mic works well. No problem even when using my Sennheiser wireless G2 mics.

John

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001

Thanks John.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

glyn.jones
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Joined: Sep 20 2002

Hi John,

You are missing plenty of the advantages of filming in HD even if you don't output to Blu-ray at the end - and more and more couples are asking for it now that players are becoming cheaper. You can do a lot with your NLE (zooming, image stabilising etc) all of which would lose unacceptable quality if done in SD, but when you start in HD, edit in HD and only downgrade at the end when you make your dvd, the loss in image quality is un-dectable.

Glyn

Glyn Jones 2 Canon XH-A1s Canon XA10 Canon HV30 DVC build EDIUS NX HD PC running Edius 6.06 magicalmomentsvideos.co.uk

John H Jones
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Joined: Apr 25 1999

Thank you for that insight Glyn. All I can say is that you must be living in a richer part of the country if they are requesting BD discs !!

John

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001

Would you say the TM900 would be a decent backup for the EX1/EX3?

Thanks in advance.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

Hi Claire,

any chance of putting up a small - 10 second raw 28mbs avchd file somehow? I'd love to compare with the 25mbs of the VG10 which I find horrid compared to my EX1 - also to see the difference between the 50P and the 25P (fake 50i) of the Sony as well.

I can provide ftp destination if needed...

thanks

Paul

Ron Jackson
Ron Jackson's picture
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Joined: Aug 23 2007

An ancillary question to the one posed above re a potential back up cam for an EX1/3.

I use (inexpertly) a nanoFlash on my old XLH1. This produces "full raster" 1080/25p files, with the nanoFlash bit rate set at 180 Mbps I-Frame.

I need a back up cam which could in theory be provided by my old (ancient) HV-20 connected to the nanoFlash.

However this would necessitate a degree of "in the field" dis and re-connection plus re-setting of the nanoFlash.

I'm wondering whether the TM900 could provide back-up without having to connect it (always) to the nanoFlash. I am thinking about cutaway shots and the like, where I might have a long tele on the XLH1 (videoing birds) but need to get some footage of the surrounding scenery.

Two things occur to my un-tutored mind:

1) 50p v 25p.

2) AVCHD versus XDCAM 4:2:2 (the nanoFlash writes native Quicktime files)

Doubtless there are others,

Ron

Ron Jackson

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
Tony7 wrote:
Would you say the TM900 would be a decent backup for the EX1/EX3?

Thanks in advance.

Right now I would say the biggest tell tale is the TM900 displays such evenly well lit detailed shots from corner to corner whereas the EX1R with it's half inch sensor has a softer look overall, less detail and would you believe it much more artifacting when shooting such as foliage (at 35Mb/sec). The TM900's small chips produce lots of sharp focus everywhere, lots of depth field, less distortion at edges in WA, no twinkling going on in progressive mode when camera is panned.

There is still something the EX1R has that I have not found yet on the TM900 and that is how well the EX1 handles peak whites, I film lots of flowering plants of all kinds and just hate to see images of flowers where the high lights are blown and people don't realise how many shades of colours are lost compared to what the human eye would see lookiing at that plant, all that subtle shading...

I can almost do this with the TM900 but needs more underexposing and lifting shadows in post where as the EX1R takes it in it's stride it seems, (using the right profile) and that's the problem for this issue, there are no profile settings on the TM900.

What I do to get nearer to the EX look is to open the lens up, get further back and zoom in a little. Colours are easy enough to match with Edius WB filter (now called 3 way color corrector).

If it were doing weddings don't think this would be an issue, maybe getting that short depth of field shot close up would not be so easy, maybe impossible? But yesterday I was in a dark church lit by just a few narrow windows and surprised how easy the TM900 managed to cope, I put in auto iris at 1/50th shutter speed and noticed it went to +15dB gain and I cannot see any noise on the shots, even poked down under the alter and shot some of the ornaments (church was empty) stored on the floor. All looked good enough to me to film weddings with!

Claire

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
paultv wrote:
Hi Claire,

any chance of putting up a small - 10 second raw 28mbs avchd file somehow? I'd love to compare with the 25mbs of the VG10 which I find horrid compared to my EX1 - also to see the difference between the 50P and the 25P (fake 50i) of the Sony as well.

I can provide ftp destination if needed...

thanks

Paul

Yep, I can send you a raw clip Paul, have a shot here taken in the old historic town of Corbridge in Northumberland on a nice sunny day, lots of fine detail, peak whites, deep shadows and also moving cars, (it's 50P). Would put it somewhere for everyone interested if I knew how and if stayed in raw format as what I see on YOUTUBE and Vimeo is usually messed up.

PM me your FTP details...

Claire

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001
Claire wrote:
Right now I would say the biggest tell tale is the TM900 displays such evenly well lit detailed shots from corner to corner whereas the EX1R with it's half inch sensor has a softer look overall, less detail and would you believe it much more artifacting when shooting such as foliage (at 35Mb/sec). The TM900's small chips produce lots of sharp focus everywhere, lots of depth field, less distortion at edges in WA, no twinkling going on in progressive mode when camera is panned.

There is still something the EX1R has that I have not found yet on the TM900 and that is how well the EX1 handles peak whites, I film lots of flowering plants of all kinds and just hate to see images of flowers where the high lights are blown and people don't realise how many shades of colours are lost compared to what the human eye would see lookiing at that plant, all that subtle shading...

I can almost do this with the TM900 but needs more underexposing and lifting shadows in post where as the EX1R takes it in it's stride it seems, (using the right profile) and that's the problem for this issue, there are no profile settings on the TM900.

What I do to get nearer to the EX look is to open the lens up, get further back and zoom in a little. Colours are easy enough to match with Edius WB filter (now called 3 way color corrector).

If it were doing weddings don't think this would be an issue, maybe getting that short depth of field shot close up would not be so easy, maybe impossible? But yesterday I was in a dark church lit by just a few narrow windows and surprised how easy the TM900 managed to cope, I put in auto iris at 1/50th shutter speed and noticed it went to +15dB gain and I cannot see any noise on the shots, even poked down under the alter and shot some of the ornaments (church was empty) stored on the floor. All looked good enough to me to film weddings with!

Thank you for that Claire.

Very interesting and yes, its weddings I would be using it for.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
Ron Jackson wrote:
An ancillary question to the one posed above re a potential back up cam for an EX1/3.

I use (inexpertly) a nanoFlash on my old XLH1. This produces "full raster" 1080/25p files, with the nanoFlash bit rate set at 180 Mbps I-Frame.

I need a back up cam which could in theory be provided by my old (ancient) HV-20 connected to the nanoFlash.

However this would necessitate a degree of "in the field" dis and re-connection plus re-setting of the nanoFlash.

I'm wondering whether the TM900 could provide back-up without having to connect it (always) to the nanoFlash. I am thinking about cutaway shots and the like, where I might have a long tele on the XLH1 (videoing birds) but need to get some footage of the surrounding scenery.

Two things occur to my un-tutored mind:

1) 50p v 25p.

2) AVCHD versus XDCAM 4:2:2 (the nanoFlash writes native Quicktime files)

Doubtless there are others,

Ron

Hi Ron,

I am thinking the TM900 would certainly record the countryside nicely as most of the time I spend doing this myself so know first hand about how different it is to film buildings and man made objects compared to organic always moving, finely detailed trees, hedges, grass, moorland, and yes RAIN, ha!

The thought occurred to me that the TM900 could be put on a tripod, set up on auto iris and then triggered by it's remote control if it was next to you. The internal 32GB memory can take hours of footage and the remote can not only stop/start recording and zoom in/out it can also power up and down the camera, yes it has an OFF/ON button on the R/C. I would not have thought you would gain anything over this with a nanoflash as the recording quality in 50P will be better than Blue-ray quality to start with.

As for using the 50P footage, well if you place it in most NLE standard 25P projects they will usually just drop every other frame to use it. The camera itself will convert it for you if you are stuck but I am not sure what the result is like.

To be honest if I were you and half interested in this camera I would download some footage from somewhere and try it in your NLE before going any further.

PS, just thought... are you using a Mac? If so there is a new converter program available (TM900 to Mac format).

Claire

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

Amazing quality for one so cheap, thanks for the file Claire, I'll drop a link here shortly, so anyone interested can pull the file, 70mb straight from the cam.

I'm playing with the inevitable downconversion to SD at the moment, like all HD cams, VDub seems to provide the cleanest SD image, isn't there a panny app. that does this too??

Paul :-)

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001
paultv wrote:
Amazing quality for one so cheap, thanks for the file Claire, I'll drop a link here shortly, so anyone interested can pull the file, 70mb straight from the cam.

Paul :-)

Thanks.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
paultv wrote:
Amazing quality for one so cheap, thanks for the file Claire, I'll drop a link here shortly, so anyone interested can pull the file, 70mb straight from the cam.

I'm playing with the inevitable downconversion to SD at the moment, like all HD cams, VDub seems to provide the cleanest SD image, isn't there a panny app. that does this too??

Paul :-)

Paul, I will take a further look at the HD Writer software that came with the camera, so far I have only used it to copy the clips to the computer.

I have been seeing how the clip I sent you looks playing in an Edius 1080/50i project, the first thing that stuck me (with some shock) was how the resolution apparently takes a dive during the pan where the cars are passing by. I recommend you play it a 1080/50P project setting, then if you step through frame by frame you will see that each frame is in fact full resolution and devoid of artifacts, ie: a perfect still image.
There will also then be no difference if you choose frame or field for pause mode since there are only frames and no fields.

The ultimate way to edit this Panasonic 1080/50P H.264/AVC stuff currently must surely be Edius as no conversion is required to play and edit in real time and with a Storm 3G card and a 1080/50P capable HDTV for monitoring the image quality is fantastic. I bought the Panasonic TX-L32D25, this is an LED tv, no flour tubes so no warm up time needed, handles most all popular formats, "Deep Colour" & "x.v. Colour",.negligible drop in brightness if viewed at an angle, (ideal for client viewing).

Claire

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

Hi Claire,

Yes, maybe the soft has a conversion tool, I recall that Sony clip browser added an SD file convertor in version 2, and it works remarkably well for EX footage -

I'm running a Samsung LED 6000 series but unlike you, do not have the 3G - however a 720 50P project behaves the same way, perfect panning, clean still frames independant of field selection issues in pause -

Edius is making a good effort at outputting passable images in a DV project too, all in all, very impressive - I think the detail is possibly a bit high, I prefer a softer look, this would also help reduce the near horizontal line twitter that you see along the guttering above the wine shop - but it's really a million times better than the VG10, which suffers awful aliasing - so much so, that I shoot with a Caprock 1.4 filter upfront as well as a Lightcraft variable ND - this allows a fully open lens in sunlight for great DOF shots...

anyway, very fine indeed... here's a link, it'll remain live for a while, see how much traffic there is, may have to pull the file if there's too much demand !!

Its a 77mb file, original m2ts from the camera.

http://www.eccentricartist.net/samples/07-03-2011_161414.m2ts

Paul :-)

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
paultv wrote:
Hi Claire,I think the detail is possibly a bit high, I prefer a softer look, this would also help reduce the near horizontal line twitter that you see along the guttering above the wine shopPaul :-)

Hmm, I don't see any twitter at all on the gutter, either while the camera is stationary or panning, you mean the white horizontal rain gutter top of the wall, right?

Did you use a proper 1080/50P project setting in Edius 6 and try going to to full screen preview and watching on your computer screen? I did this and don't see any twitter but feel handicapped with the smaller size screen (2 x 19 Prolite H418S) but even with these at 75 Hz refresh rate I don't see twitter anywhere.

The best image of all though is as seen on my 1080/50P HDTV from the Storm 3G, even in a 50i project there is no twitter seen, only the resolution hit while panning from the loss of half the frames.

EDIT: Maybe you mean twitter after down converting to SD?

Will take a look at the panny software shortly.

Claire

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

Sorry Claire,

Not being too clear, yes the twitter is on the SD downconvert to a DV project, and whilst it exists, its really not too bad - just open a DV project in Edius and drop the file in, you do get the reduced definition on the pans as you are then in interlace land, but heck, its very good indeed.

Paul

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001

So it's the down conversion, that old chestnut! Hmm, yes I see what you are up against.
Shooting with SD delivery in mind it would probably pay to drop sharpness setting in the camera then. I use minus two sharpness, minus 5 gives a much softer look that may be easier to down scale.

Claire

Mick Mearman
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Joined: Sep 12 2004

I've found that footage from my SD700 via Edius, Virtual Dub and back to Edius at SD works very well no need to worry about softening even aliasing which was showing itself in fine detail in the original HD disappears you can even sharpen it up a bit before making a DVD, try it.
http://www.videoproductions.com.au/html/virtualdub-hd-sd.html
Mick

3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium III, 3.5GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4350, Avid Liquid, Edius 6.03, Sony EX1R & EX1, Panasonic SD700

John H Jones
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Joined: Apr 25 1999

I am aware that the Panasonic TM900 replaced the TM700. Apart from the fan noise issue with the TM700 is there a big improvement in performance between the two cameras. I ask this question for there are still a few TM700 for sale at a considerably lower price than the TM900.

John

Claire
Offline
Joined: Apr 28 2001
paultv wrote:
Hi Claire,

Yes, maybe the soft has a conversion tool, I recall that Sony clip browser added an SD file convertor in version 2, and it works remarkably well for EX footage -

I'm running a Samsung LED 6000 series but unlike you, do not have the 3G - however a 720 50P project behaves the same way, perfect panning, clean still frames independant of field selection issues in pause -

Edius is making a good effort at outputting passable images in a DV project too, all in all, very impressive - I think the detail is possibly a bit high, I prefer a softer look, this would also help reduce the near horizontal line twitter that you see along the guttering above the wine shop - but it's really a million times better than the VG10, which suffers awful aliasing - so much so, that I shoot with a Caprock 1.4 filter upfront as well as a Lightcraft variable ND - this allows a fully open lens in sunlight for great DOF shots...

anyway, very fine indeed... here's a link, it'll remain live for a while, see how much traffic there is, may have to pull the file if there's too much demand !!

Its a 77mb file, original m2ts from the camera.

http://www.eccentricartist.net/samples/07-03-2011_161414.m2ts

Paul :-)

Well I have now tried out the Panasonic HD Writer software that comes with the camera, I converted the 1080/50P Corbridge clip to SD and didn't think much of the quality.

Crikes! Isn't SD dreadful when you are used to HD :eek:

I did the same conversion using Edius MPEG exporter which is less blurry but the artifacts are still dreadful.

Interestingly, HD Writer makes it very clear you should connect the camera while converting the HD 50P clip, it warns of a very long time to wait if you don't... well I did it twice, with camera took 38 seconds and without 31 seconds. Ha! ...and good old Edius exported with all 8 cores burning, did it in 9 seconds (and better quality).

So I'd say stick to Virtual Dub, or what about TMPGEnc 5?

Claire

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
John H Jones wrote:
I am aware that the Panasonic TM900 replaced the TM700. Apart from the fan noise issue with the TM700 is there a big improvement in performance between the two cameras. I ask this question for there are still a few TM700 for sale at a considerably lower price than the TM900.

John

John,

Since I never owned or even tried a TM700 maybe someone else can answer better but the fan noise on my TM900 is very quiet, I don't notice it at all. If I put my ear right against the air outlet I can hear a very gentle whisper, not heard it in post or seen anything on the audio waveform in Audition that that I could say that must be the fan.

Apart from the stabiliser which I am told is better there is the Bondi Blue issue that much of the TM700 footage on the web exhibits. I have been horrified at the colour of rivers and lakes as well as skies, not seen any of this with my TM900, nice proper blues just as I saw them with my eyes, so seems like they fixed this one.

Claire

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999
Claire wrote:
so I'd say stick to Virtual Dub, or what about TMPGEnc 5?

Virtual dub has the golden attribute of being free whereas you have to shell out for TMPGEnc (which is rated as yet another small step better).

When you use VD Claire, when you come to the video / compression part do you choose uncompressed (the best, but a large file), lossless (2nd best) or Canopus HQ (3rd best but smallest file sizes).

Your, 'Crikes! Isn't SD dreadful?' has me wondering how you're watching it. Upscaled into a big TV (and not sitting right on top of it as HD allows) I'm gobsmacked at how startlingly good it can look. Far better than the originators of 720 x 576 could ever have imagined way back in the early 90s.

tom.

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Some SD can be good and digi beta still holds up Ok but I did some shooting a few years ago where they plonked some Dvcam helicopter footage into an HDV shot project and it did look dreadful.

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

just my 2 bobs worth, I use lossless in and out of VD whenever possible - makes a marked difference when resulting in SD project - particularly if titles are involved, best way is clean out to VD and add SD titles in SD project when done.

Tmpgenc is OK in my opinion, but VD better..

Paul :-)

Dave Jervis
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Joined: Feb 21 2006
John H Jones wrote:
I am aware that the Panasonic TM900 replaced the TM700. Apart from the fan noise issue with the TM700 is there a big improvement in performance between the two cameras. I ask this question for there are still a few TM700 for sale at a considerably lower price than the TM900.

John

I have only used a TM700, but it seems that the TM900 has the following changes:

Bigger, higher res. LCD.
Extra stabilisation mode.
"Intelligent zoom" range increased to 20x.
'On camera' battery charging.
Facilities for an add-on 3D adapter.
Different switch/button/menu layout.
....and (I am reliably informed) much less of a tendency to turn the sky bright cyan (..known by many as "Bondi Blue"..) !

(This list of changes may not include everything.)

Lens, sensor (and the basic performance, in my opinion) remain similar..... but I would probably go for the 900 myself.... if only for the LCD, stabiliser and sky!!

If, however, I wanted a bargain, I'd probably be looking for an SD700 (...without the built in memory...) because I only ever seem to record to the SD card.... but that's just me....

You can compare the specifications on the Panasonic website.....

dave

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
tom hardwick wrote:
Virtual dub has the golden attribute of being free whereas you have to shell out for TMPGEnc (which is rated as yet another small step better).

When you use VD Claire, when you come to the video / compression part do you choose uncompressed (the best, but a large file), lossless (2nd best) or Canopus HQ (3rd best but smallest file sizes).

Your, 'Crikes! Isn't SD dreadful?' has me wondering how you're watching it. Upscaled into a big TV (and not sitting right on top of it as HD allows) I'm gobsmacked at how startlingly good it can look. Far better than the originators of 720 x 576 could ever have imagined way back in the early 90s.

tom.

Well, I see no appreciable difference between any of them. When I captured from HDV tape I would convert it on the fly to standard HQ, now having now gone tapeless I edit EX1R, 5DII and TM900 in their raw format and use HQ 'fine' as an intermediate codec for going out to some other app and back in again. Paul made a good point about adding SD titles after his down convert.

As for viewing SD, I think it best the viewer has never seen the HD version and to sit well back :)

Claire

John H Jones
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Joined: Apr 25 1999

Dave,
Thank you for the TM700 and TM900 comparisons. Bondi Blue would be a problem for me when in the Caribbean next month.

Dave cross
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Joined: Nov 3 2007

Hi Claire,
I just upgraded from the TM700 to the TM900 and was horrified to find out that those monkeys at Panasonic have changed the battery size slightly :confused: The TM700 uses VW-VBG260 of which I have 4 plus the small one that came with the camera. The TM900 uses VW-VBN260 batteries which are like rocking horse droppings :( Have you managed to find a supplier for extra batteries or are you making do with the little one that came with the camera ? Regards,
baot0

PS If anyone is interested in a 5 month old mint condition TM700 with four large batteries make me a sensible offer and its yours ;)

Claire
Offline
Joined: Apr 28 2001

Yes, I heard this is a new type battery with the TM900, shame you bought all those OLD ONES, argh... Never mind, I'm sure someone will want them ;)

Bristol Cameras has the large batteries, original Panasonic I believe for £89. Not got one myself yet,waiting firstly for the Rhode VideoMic Pro to become available then I can consider using the TM900 seriously.

Claire

Dave cross
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Joined: Nov 3 2007

Thanks Claire,

Just breathed a big sigh of relief I couldn't find extra batteries anywhere for my TM900 I was beginning to panic. Also, I can use a couple of the stock piled TM700 batteries with my Panasonic VW-LDC103 video light which thankfully are the same !! blimey, well done panasonic ;)

Dave cross
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Joined: Nov 3 2007

Hi Claire, how do you get the TM900's "on screen display" to stay as it is when you first fire it up. When first fired up it gives you battery life and recording time in the top right hand corner but it disappears after a few seconds. On the TM700 that information stays constant so you know you what battery life you have left plus how much more recording time is available ? I've been messing with it all day I can't suss where it is :confused:
boat0

Dave cross
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Joined: Nov 3 2007

Its fine Claire:) , its only took me all day to suss it hahaha..... just tap the screen with the stylus pen and all the information magically appears for about 5 seconds and cleverly disappears out of the way:rolleyes: , Thanks anyway
boat0

colin rowe
colin rowe's picture
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Joined: Dec 16 2000

WOW. Picked up a TM900 this morning, amazed at the quality from such a small cam. I am going to spend the weekend tweaking it. Definately impressed so far.

Colin Rowe

Dave cross
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Joined: Nov 3 2007

You'll love it Colin I have two TM900's and they are absolute beauties. I had the TM700 for about 6 months and that was a cracker image wise just a slight annoyance with fan noise but nothing that spoilt any projects.
baot0

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001
colin rowe wrote:
WOW. Picked up a TM900 this morning, amazed at the quality from such a small cam. I am going to spend the weekend tweaking it. Definately impressed so far.

Good luck Colin with the TM900, wouldn't mind one myself.
Its suppose to be a great wee camera.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

colin rowe
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Joined: Dec 16 2000

Awesome little camera Tony, unbelievable images. I have had a day and a half to play with it and tweaked a few settings. I dont often get to exited about new kit, but I cant put the TM900 down, had a BBQ today, a great oportunity to put the camera to use, got some amazing footage.

Colin Rowe

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001

Thanks Colin, ...hope you didn't eat to much :)

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

Ron Jackson
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Sorry for a such a basic question but a friend has set his heart on getting a TM900, and has been told, by his potential vendor, USA via Ebay, that it will be "okay" despite being NTSC.

I say no it will not.

Who is correct?

Ron

Ron Jackson

mooblie
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Ron Jackson wrote:
Sorry for a such a basic question but a friend has set his heart on getting a TM900, and has been told, by his potential vendor, USA via Ebay, that it will be "okay" despite being NTSC.

I say no it will not.

Who is correct?

Ron

You are. It will work, but it will be an unnecessary hassle (and reduction in quality) to change everything from 30fps to 25fps. (And it's not strictly "NTSC", as it's not SD. It's "30fps".) And what about warranty/returns with a purchase from USA? Tell your friend to keep looking.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Gavin Gration
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I don't know if the Panasonics support both 50 and 60Hz rates.

In general a 60Hz camera will work BUT you may have issues mixing with 50Hz footage. You may also find that strobing is an issue when filming under artificial light.

I'd be more concerned about being hammered for duty and VAT. The last camera I bought from the states via Ebay took 12 weeks to arrive and cost me about 20% in fees. That was a 2nd hand TRV33 NTSC about six years ago.

colin rowe
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Mick Mearman wrote:
Does anyone know if you can get rubber eye cups for the viewfinder on these cameras? I find these hard plastic ones uncomfortable and even maybe dangerous.
Mick

And the light entering, at certain angles is a pain. I got round it by using an old Z-Finder eyecup. The hole on the eyecup was way to large to fit over the VF, so I cut a circular piece of thin rubber to the size of the hole and glued it onto the ridge inside the eyecup, cut a cross in the rubber, and the whole lot slips over the VF stem, and is held quite firmly in place. Its cuts out every bit of light, is easy to put on and take off, and does not damage the VF stem in any way. The VF is a must on sunny days to compose shots and check focus, I just wish there was some colour adjustment on the VF, its way to saturated for me.

Colin Rowe

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
Archiving time, what to do? Hard decisions...

Since getting the HDC-TM900 back in early February I've been shooting a lot of footage with it for my personal use and recently thought I had better get some of this stuff edited and archived. Note, I have only ever used it's full quality 1080/50P mode since this feature was the main reason for buying it, well apart from the nice tiny size and weight, and it's ability to go where bigger cameras cannot get to...

Soooooo, 3 months on I've come to the dreaded decision time! Which format to export to?

1) Full 1080/50P?

2) Convert to 1080/50i?

If I stick to 1080/50P full quality, then tests I already carried out using Edius MPEG exporter indicate it will require at least a 50 Mbps bitrate if I am to avoid loss of fine detail as compared with the 28 Mbps MPEG4/H.264 raw footage.

This was comparing the original and the exported MPEG2 file in Edius using my best pixel peeping eyes and assorted hardware apparatus, a lesser bitrate during export (eg: 35 Mbps) resulted in imperfections.

Unfortunately that means BIG files. (5.16GB for a 15 minute project).

Such files I will watch using Edius with it's hardware output to my HDTV monitor or sent to the Plasma TV in the lounge via the computer network, or maybe from my PS3, though it only has a smallish hard drive and suffers a FAT32 4GB file size limit. Actually my new monitor for Edius is so good I shall probably be content with it much of the time (a Panasonic 32" LED HDTV), unless there are several people viewing when we all want to sit down and stretch the legs in comfort.

Now if I go for option two I can do the conversion to 50i direct from the 50P timeline using my Firecoder Blu card. This produces H.264 at 20-22 Mbps (VBR) which can be authored and put onto Blu-ray and only takes half the time to export, with a considerably smaller file size. (2.17GB for 15 mins). The 22 Mbps results in nice quality though by no means perfect, not artifact free watching a slow pan or zoom over fine detail.

The main trouble is that because I have now been pixel peeping this incredible 1080/50P stuff for so long, wide staring eyes like some drug addict, only 2ft from the screen :eek: but grinning like a Cheshire cat :D .. I now find myself in the position I cannot bear to suffer even the tiniest loss so I guess I might forever be a pixel peeper with a habit of accumulating countless BIG hard drives :confused:

Yes, I think it will have to be the 50P MPEG2 at 50 Mbps.

Claire

Ron Jackson
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I read of somebody on another forum who imported 50p at half speed and then , after editing, exported as 25p without quality loss.
Feasible? (I'm no expert).
Ron

Ron Jackson

Dave Jervis
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Hi Claire, I've had some reasonably good 50i results using the Canon 24Mbps codec.... but I do know what you mean about missing that amazing 50P.....

I fear that the likes of Western Digital and Seagate are going to get rather a lot of my money in the future......:(

dave

Claire
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Ron Jackson wrote:
I read of somebody on another forum who imported 50p at half speed and then , after editing, exported as 25p without quality loss.
Feasible? (I'm no expert).
Ron

Hmm, can't think how that works.. here's what I have tried so far while attempting to maintain quality and motion, unfortunately it seems to be a choice between one or the other, never both...

50P footage placed on a 25fps (50i) timeline.
-----------------------------------------------------
Result: drop in resolution ("blurry"), motion ok but interlace jaggies are visible panning over fine detail and I like to use pause a lot during playback with the subjects I film so need still frames to be clear. To this end I often shoot at a higher than normal shutter speed to avoid motion blur.

Here is what I found happens to still frames,

Image quality while paused with camera static:
Edius pause field = frame: result ok
Edius pause field = field: result jaggies

Image quality while paused with camera panning:
Edius pause field = frame: result stair stepping and blur
Edius pause field = field: result stair stepping, less blur

Conclusion: Edius must be using frame one for field one and frame two for field 2. The motion is ok because each individual progressive frame from the original footage is kept but is now reduced to only 540 lines (half the vertical resolution) which is obviously the cause of the drop in image quality.

50P footage placed on an Edius 1080/25P project timeline
---------------------------------------
Motion while panning: stuttery

Image quality while paused with camera static..
Edius pause field = frame: result ok
Edius pause field = field: result ok

Image quality while paused with camera panning..
Edius pause field = frame: result ok
Edius pause field = field: result ok

If was not for the stuttery motion from the 1080/25P project this is the only one that does not result in interlacing artifacts. I then tried changing the clip's frame rate in properties from 50 to 25 but motion was just the same.

Conclusion: to place the TM900's 50P footage on Blue-ray would mean using the 1080/50i project which produces fluid motion but bad results when paused.

Tried processing source file in VDub before using on 25fps (50i) timeline
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Filter: Interpolate, target frame rate 25, nearest frame (duplicate)
Result: ok paused & during pan but bad motion in Edius 25fps (50i) project.

No filter, just Video > Frame rate > Convert to fps: 25.000
Result: same as Interpolate filter, bad motion.

No filter, Video > Frame rate > Decimate by 2
Result: same bad motion.

Pursuing this theme I installed AVISynth and used this script in Notepad..

AVISource("Corbridge 50P.avi")
SelectEvery(2, 0)

This simply halves both the frame rate and the number of frames, so there is no change in playing time.
Result: bad motion

To sum up it's now clear to me that in a 1080i project Edius takes a field from each of the 50 frames to produce good motion at the cost of interlace artifacts when paused during a camera pan. Conversely by preprocessing in VDub or AVISynth to lose every other frame Edius will take a field from each of the 25 frames turning it into PSF (Progressive Segmented Frames) but while each frame is devoid of artifacts, motion during a camera pan is dire, in fact I am wondering if it's not even as good as ordinary 25P footage? Not sure yet.

Claire

Claire
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Dave Jervis wrote:
Hi Claire, I've had some reasonably good 50i results using the Canon 24Mbps codec.... but I do know what you mean about missing that amazing 50P.....

I fear that the likes of Western Digital and Seagate are going to get rather a lot of my money in the future......:(

dave

Dave, I take it you personally like these makes? I have several e-sata drive cases where the drives themselves simply drop in, no screws to undo so thought I might just buy some more bare drives.

Or maybe one those posh multi drive box thingies, if I had any space left on or under my desk where there's not even room for my feet :)

Claire

sleepytom
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what is your delivery format?

i would try exporting 50p to a modern codec (h264 or something) this should give you better quality at lower datarates than the old MPEG2 codec.

as to storage then invest in a proper network storage solution, something like a readynas pro or build your own using something such as freenas.

to be secure against drive failure you should be using raid5 in the NAS. (raid is not a backup though, so) you should also use rsync to synchronise your nas to another networked raid5 device (preferably not in the same building).

just having a load of external drives is a recipe for disaster, they fail and then you lose everything on them, it is also hard to keep track of what is on what drive.

archive old projects to (non-matched) pairs of drives is OK - don't keep them in the same location as each other though.

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

Podcast Bob
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Hi Claire this sounds like something close to my needs at the moment.

2 questions, can you switch it on and operate it without having to have the side screen open? Or once fired up can the screen be closed and not automatically switch it off?

Secondly, are you a Mac user? If so how well does it produce FCP friendly material?

I'm off into the mountains shortly need and need something light, of quality and with reasonable battery life.

PaulD
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Hi
50i is standard AVCHD, so easily editable on a Mac edit system.
50p needs to be rewrapped/converted to ProRes (or whatever) - Clipwrap is the favoured software for that.

I don't have an SD900/800 (I've got SD750/600 older versions). The viewfinder models allow recording with the LCD screen open or shut. The non-viewfinder 800/600 models allow recording to continue with the screen shut, but it has to be open to start the shot.

Battery life is quite good on my older cameras, but cheap batteries are not available for the latest SD900/800 versions - yet.

The extra long-life cable kit to use big 5 hr+ batteries from bigger Panasonic camcorders is quite hard to source - I just got several double-capacity 260 batteries instead, and I've not so far run out of battery. But I do stop/start event stuff, not long-take shooting.

Dave Jervis
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Claire wrote:
Dave, I take it you personally like these makes? ..........

I've always quite liked WD drives (Seagate not so much) but nothing is going to be 100% reliable unfortunately. My videos are mainly casual odds and ends for myself these days, so not really a disaster if lost.

sleepytom is right for properly secure archive, but those sorts of solutions come with a pricetag.

I'm looking forward to the introduction of inexpensive "Archive Grade Class 200 20TB SDXXC cards" sometime soon.... (...please...?) ... but in the meantime a couple of hard discs each with copies of footage, projects and renders are all I'm going to manage.

If you are changing 50P to 50i and find you are getting field flicker on fine detail, a little vertical softening can help. I make myself an Edius matrix filter with values like

0 0 0
0 2 0
0 1 0

......which can be quite effective. There is obviously a trade off between crispness and flicker (and you'll find it renders quite slowly...) but you might like to try it.

dave

Claire
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sleepytom wrote:
what is your delivery format?

i would try exporting 50p to a modern codec (h264 or something) this should give you better quality at lower datarates than the old MPEG2 codec.

Hi Tom, my delivery format is yet to be ascertained, that's what I am trying to decide on for this 1080/50P stuff.

I agree that H.264 would be a preferred archiving format for me, but Edius will not let me export my 1080/50P timeline via my Firecoder Blu card to do this, it demands a conventional 1080/50i. The only other formats I could find apart from AVI that would accept 1080/50P was the QuickTime exporter, I tried this. Using the QT H.264 codec I was able to chose a higher bitrate than my FC Blu offers for H.264 and with some trial and error I decided that the same 28Mbps data rate as the original footage from the TM900 gave me good results, seemingly as good as my previous 50Mbps MPEG2 test export but obviously having a much smaller file size.

At first I saw no discernible difference to the original until I suddenly realised the peak whites on the exported file are not bright white any longer... they are clipped and grey in comparison. My waveform meter shows me that nothing got past 100IRE without being clipped off.

Not had this experience before, will pursue this later.

later... I have come up against what appears to be a know bug with QuickTime H.264, a gamma shift

Claire

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
Podcast Bob wrote:
Hi Claire this sounds like something close to my needs at the moment.

2 questions, can you switch it on and operate it without having to have the side screen open? Or once fired up can the screen be closed and not automatically switch it off?

Secondly, are you a Mac user? If so how well does it produce FCP friendly material?

I'm off into the mountains shortly need and need something light, of quality and with reasonable battery life.

Hi Bob,

I think this camera is ideal for taking up mountains, so lightweight and small, but agree with Paul on the battery situation until 3rd party batteries at lower cost become available.

You can power on/off either by opening the LCD or by pulling out the viewfinder. Personally I struggle with the viewfinder since focus, white balance, shutter and iris can't be accessed with a single click using the LCD icons. Operating viewfinder only requires repeated pushing of a button on the side of the lens to toggle around the functions one by one, using the lens ring for control. I don't like this.. meanwhile the LCD screen allows direct one click access to a given function plus the the screen shows much more resolution than the viewfinder but perhaps you can only use one hand for the camera since you are holding onto the mountain and don't want to let go :)

Claire

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
Dave Jervis wrote:
I've always quite liked WD drives (Seagate not so much) but nothing is going to be 100% reliable unfortunately. My videos are mainly casual odds and ends for myself these days, so not really a disaster if lost.

sleepytom is right for properly secure archive, but those sorts of solutions come with a pricetag.

I'm looking forward to the introduction of inexpensive "Archive Grade Class 200 20TB SDXXC cards" sometime soon.... (...please...?) ... but in the meantime a couple of hard discs each with copies of footage, projects and renders are all I'm going to manage.

If you are changing 50P to 50i and find you are getting field flicker on fine detail, a little vertical softening can help. I make myself an Edius matrix filter with values like

0 0 0
0 2 0
0 1 0

......which can be quite effective. There is obviously a trade off between crispness and flicker (and you'll find it renders quite slowly...) but you might like to try it.

dave

thanks Dave, I will give your matrix filter idea a try.

Claire

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001

I've read all the post here (quite a few times) and in dvinfo too about the TM900.
I looked at all the posted clips and decided to get one of these cameras.

I have just been messing about with it and I have to say I'm very impressed with the picture quality, really impressed.

I haven't done any real testing yet but from little I have seen it looks as good as my EX3 (sadly sold now) and looks as good as my PMW320.
It would make you wonder.

So thanks to everyone for posting all that info, it really was very informative.

I must get myself a cheap lightweight tripod for the TM900, just for static cutaways and see how that turns out. I've a shoot to do on Saturday morning so wouldn't mind trying it out.

I haven't looked yet but would a £20/30 tripod do the job?

Thanks again.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

I don't care what the tripod costs, it's always better than hand-holding, even with Panasonic's amazing 'SuperWonderMegaBlimey OIS' on your side. Or you might care to look at the screw-in bean bags Jessops sells.

I'm still gagging slightly at an EX3 man saying his new 900 camera (which costs about the same as the EX3's lens hood) looks every bit as good on screen as the EX3.

tom.

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001

Your gagging slightly! what about me :) :)

Well, as I said I've only just got the TM900 and the footage does look great, at a glance it does look as good as the EX3, how it would cope in real life at a wedding under difficult conductions, I don't know but I'm blowen away with little I have seen.

That's a good point about the tripod Tom, I'll have a look for one this morning.

Thanks.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

Tony - hows the general sensitivity - without getting too involved - does it offer a similar looking result to how you remember the EX3 - I must check one of these thing' s out, I was impressed with Claire's test file I must say..

Paul :-)

Tony7
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Hi Paul, hard to say for sure not having the EX3 to test it side by side but I think the TM900 would almost be as good. It might bring in a wee bit more noise than the EX3 when pushed but is that any big surprise. We shouldn't even be comparing it to the Ex3 at all.
The Ex3 should leave it standing.
Goes to show just how good this wee camera is.

A quick bit if recording outside proved to be very pleasing too, just have to try and get used to the LCD screen in bright conductions. Other than focusing I set everything else to manual.
I'm sure, in the proper hands this camera would produce outstanding results.
So Paul I don't think I would have any great concerns in that department.

With just recording the usual bits and pieces around the house the picture quality is outstanding.
Like I said I don't know if I could say the same if it was to be used for real at a wedding but by the looks of things it should hold its own.

Do have a look at one Paul, you will not be disappointed, I know I'm not.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

colin rowe
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paultv wrote:
Tony - hows the general sensitivity - without getting too involved - does it offer a similar looking result to how you remember the EX3 - I must check one of these thing' s out, I was impressed with Claire's test file I must say..

Paul :-)

Paul. I used my TM900 alongside my EX1 at my sons wedding 3 weeks ago, see it here.
http://www.vimeo.com/23346333
This is all TM900 footage, straight out of the camera. It does match pretty well with EX footage. The difference between the two obviously becomes apparent in low light, where, as you know, the EX1 excells. I will put up some side by side comparisons when I get a spare half day. The TM900 is a remarkable little camera, particularly in 1080p mode, now that is something to see.

Colin Rowe

Ron Jackson
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Tony7 wrote:
Hi Paul, hard to say for sure not having the EX3 to test it side by side but I think the TM900 would almost be as good. It might bring in a wee bit more noise than the EX3 when pushed but is that any big surprise. We shouldn't even be comparing it to the Ex3 at all.
The Ex3 should leave it standing.
Goes to show just how good this wee camera is.

A quick bit if recording outside proved to be very pleasing too, just have to try and get used to the LCD screen in bright conductions. Other than focusing I set everything else to manual.
I'm sure, in the proper hands this camera would produce outstanding results.
So Paul I don't think I would have any great concerns in that department.

With just recording the usual bits and pieces around the house the picture quality is outstanding.
Like I said I don't know if I could say the same if it was to be used for real at a wedding but by the looks of things it should hold its own.

Do have a look at one Paul, you will not be disappointed, I know I'm not.

I'd be interested to read how 50p footage from a TM900 could be used as the basis for a wedding video. NLE issues spring to mind, as does "media' e.g. Blu Ray? and then how the does the "happy couple" view their "50P" video, any old 1080p TV?
I'd love a TM900 myself but wonder about these "50p" issues. Maybe I should be looking for a 25p camcorder with similar qualities if indeed there is one,

Ron
ps not a wedding videographer, just used this as an example of potential use

Ron Jackson

colin rowe
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Valid points Ron. Edius handles the 1080p files very well. As a playback option I have been selling media player packs, to wedding customers, for the last 18 months. I supply a new WD HD TV media player, and all files on a memory stick. Of course, I also provide SD DVDs. Edius 6 will import and edit 1080p files, and output to very high quality Mpeg2 file. These play back beautifully on the WD, from either memory stick or 2 1/2 inch USB HDD. And of course, the AVCHD that the TM900 produces is also stunning.

Colin Rowe

Ron Jackson
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Thanks Colin, FCP man myself. So if I wished to combine 50p footage ex TM900 (assuming FCP will handle) with 25p footage from my "main" cam, I'd need to use separate "media" devices?
I have a WDMP but not used it seriously yet . I would be looking to use my projector which I'm not sure is up to a 50p signal.
(Which came first, in camera software or ex camera hardware?)

Ron

Ron Jackson

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
Rode VideoMic Pro

I got the Rode VideoMic pro for my TM900 recently, plus the Rycote windshield they make for this new mic. Their windshield fouls the elastic bands on the VMP's mount so I did away with that one and fitted Rycote's InVision shock-mount suspension system. (actually I pinched the one from my EX1R). Still some wind getting in the back in very strong winds, must cover this area somehow, not sure how though... any ideas anyone?

Claire

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

Just a very quick question - does this camcorder have a remote socket?

Many thanks
Paul

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
Paul Jordan wrote:
Just a very quick question - does this camcorder have a remote socket?

Many thanks
Paul

No remote socket Paul.

Claire

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001

I know you can adjust the LCD for bright conductions (Power LCD +1 or +2) but I still find it difficult enough to make anything out, perhaps its just me.

I saw a demo but cant find the link for these "Fur windscreens"

http://www.thewindcutter.com/shop/index.php?main_page=shopping_cart

I'll post the link if I find it.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

colin rowe
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Tony.
Menu>
Setup>
LCD Set>
Option for adjusting Brightness and colour

Colin Rowe

Tony7
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Joined: Mar 21 2001
colin rowe wrote:
Tony.
Menu>
Setup>
LCD Set>
Option for adjusting Brightness and colour

Thanks Colin, I'll have a look.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

colin rowe
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Claire.
Something I always have is a piece of Rycote Windjammer material, available from Keene.co.uk http://www.keene.co.uk/electronic/rycote/rycote-diy-wind-jammer-kit/DIYKIT.html
You could either make a full size cover for the Videomic pro, or sew a small piece on the back, with a velcro flap, for switch access. This stuff works a treat

Colin Rowe

Claire
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Colin, you came up trumps I think, thanks!

Claire

colin rowe
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Its good stuff Claire. I have just, thats not true, my wife has just fashioned a small windgag for the built in mic on the TM900, it works very well, for those times that I dont want to use an external mic

Colin Rowe

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

To anyone here that has a TM900, do you usually record to the internal hard drive on a shoot or always to a SD memory card?

Just asking because I cannot decide whether to get a TM900 or SD900.

Many thanks.

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001

Hi Paul, since the TM900 doesn't have a hard drive like the SD900 there isn't that choice when shooting, one has to use either it's built in memory or a separate card.

If you are asking which camera to buy between the SD900 with inbuilt hard drive or the TM900 with 32BG inbuilt memory, then for me I am concerned a hard drive will be vulnerable to shock, partial loss of data or even total failure way before the rest of the camera gives up the ghost. I once had a tiny IBM Microdrive for an early Canon DLSR, it worked great until the bearings seized up, fortunately that drive was external and just went into the camera SD card socket and anyway by this time large capacity cards were cheap, so the camera was still very usable.

I know miniature drives are more reliable these days but I think Panasonic are aware of accidents happening to the camera and how it would affect it's hard drive adversely, since on this web page they explain what they do to try to keep footage intact in the event of the camera falling. It sounds fine but for me I prefer the immunity to such things happening that solid state memory provides. Just my opinion...

Claire

Dave Jervis
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Claire, I'm not sure Paul's question actually relates to "hard drives" because the SD900 has no internal drive or memory, just the SD slot.... I read the question more as "if you use a TM900, do you actually use the internal memory or just put everything onto SD cards?"

I'd be interested in your answer as well... :) (I never use the internal memory on my TM700, but I'm unusual in that I only do very tiny, bitty projects)

dave

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001

Oh, I see, well describing the memory as "internal hard drive" confused me, yes of course it's the HS900 that has a HDD, my mistake, the SD900 has only a card slot.

OK, well for me, since I download direct from the camera via USB I just fill up the internal memory first and let it overspill onto a 16GB SDHC card if needed which it does seamlessly. I can still download both memories direct from camera and not used mine for longer than that yet, but does it matter? Would need to either load up each card to download if they were several or use a card reader, is that what you use Dave?

Claire

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

Thanks Claire for answering, yes second answer was what I was aiming at. The only reason I ask is that Dixons seem to be selling the SD900 for £616 which I reckon to be a good price even although it has no internal memory, only SD card slot.

Good to know how you work with yours.

Many thanks.

Dave Jervis
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Joined: Feb 21 2006

Thanks Claire, I have an SD card slot (SDHC capable) on the front of my edit machine, so it's easy to pop the card in and transfer off the footage..... flip flopping a couple of 16GB cards suits my rather restricted usage, but it really is down to how you intend to use the camera isn't it. Apart from testing it to see if it worked, I have never used the built in memory... but I am aware it is sitting there for use in emergencies (like a card failure or some unexpected newsworthy event).

Paul, I would buy an SD900 if I bought one now (particularly with the 64GB SDXC cards starting to appear), but I must stress that is for my non critical, low volume usage. Your requirements might be quite different........

dave

ps (...Hmmm, now, is £616 too high a price to banish the Bondi Blue.....?) ;)

EDIT Paul, you have a Private Message.

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

Dave, go for it - £616 is a steal and you can sell your TM700! ( Just noticed it has gone up to £677 at Dixons, damn)

When editing and rendering, what is your workflow when using 1080/50p footage. I can edit in this format natively but when it comes to rendering out to disc what templates or custom settings are you using. Obviously for DVD a downconversion is needed to SD mpeg2 - for Blu-ray I guess it has to be interlaced (or 24p?) but do you choose mpeg2 or AVC, which gives the better result. (I use Vegas 10 for editing)

jgould
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

SD900 £609 at simply electonics UK spec. I've used them before & didnt have a problem

Paul Jordan
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Good to hear Simply Electronics are UK spec and OK. Did notice their price and website but had not come across them before so good to know, thanks.

Amazon have it listed now for £617 although not in stock just at the moment from them direct.

Dave Jervis
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Paul Jordan wrote:
Dave...........When editing and rendering, what is your workflow .............

I don't really make DVDs or Blurays, and I edit in Edius to a 24mbps Mpeg 4 codec (50i) for use off solid state or hard drive storage... (or sometimes to uncompressed quicktime for very short high quality sequences for subsequent editing elsewhere) . ....so I'm not much help to you I'm afraid.
( I always shoot in 50P on my TM700 though.....:) )
dave

Ron Spicer
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There have been some bad reports in the past regarding Simply Electronics (Based in the Northeast I think) and references to them supplying grey imports . . .

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

anyone with any comments regarding "internal Fan" noise getting into the audio on these cams?

Paul:-)

Claire
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Paul, fan noise is indeed picked up if you are using the cam's built in mic so if you intend to use one in a quiet environment you will need to use an external mic.

Claire

colin rowe
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Paul Jordan wrote:
Good to hear Simply Electronics are UK spec and OK. Did notice their price and website but had not come across them before so good to know, thanks.

Amazon have it listed now for £617 although not in stock just at the moment from them direct.

FROM THEIR WEBSITE. Check out terms and conditions at the bottom of the page.

You are responsible for paying any governmental taxes imposed on your purchases, including, but not limited to, sales, use or value-added taxes. SimplyElectronics.net will automatically charge and withhold any applicable tax for orders to be delivered to any jurisdictions that it deems is required.

This website is owned by.
SimplyElectronics Limited
1501-1508, Millennium City 5,
418 Kwun Tong Road,
Kwun Tong, Kowloon,
HongKong

All products come with "in house warranty"

I wouldn't !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Colin Rowe

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

I would agree after reading that. Safer ordering from Amazon or H Preston and worth the little extra money for peace of mind.

Thanks for the info.

colin rowe
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I dont know if the offer of a free battery is still running. Mine was delivered within a week of submitting the form to Panasonic UK. Very handy if it is.

Colin Rowe

col lamb
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I walked past Simply in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, whole areas are like Tottenham Court Road used to be stack em up and sell em cheap enough to consider but not if you live far, far away.

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

Tony7
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colin rowe wrote:
I dont know if the offer of a free battery is still running. Mine was delivered within a week of submitting the form to Panasonic UK. Very handy if it is.

I think the offer is off Colin, I was lucky too, I received my free battery last Friday.

Paul Jordan wrote:
I would agree after reading that. Safer ordering from Amazon or H Preston and worth the little extra money for peace of mind.

I bought my TM900 from Preston BTW.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999
Dave Jervis wrote:
Hmmm, now, is £616 too high a price to banish the Bondi Blue.....?

It is indeed Dave.
I ordered the SD900 last Thursday and it arrived first thing this morning, less than 5 days later. £554.99 delivered to my door with (why?) two British mains plug leads for the charger. I have nothing but praise for

http://panamoz.com/index.php/camcorder/panasonic.html

The 900 is charging up right now and I'm dying to try it out.

The last Panasonic camcorder I bought was the NV-MX300 back in 1999. Standard def, 4:3, £1400, MiniDV, 12x zoom, 1.8mp (lies) stills. How times have changed.

tom.

col lamb
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Tom

Welcome to the club.

Do have a look at changing the settings as per Claire's post, to me they make a great difference.

A secondary mike is a worthwhile addition, my TM 900 does pick up rather more wind noise than I would like.

My Rode Videomike Pro should be with me Thursday in readiness for a shoot outside on Saturday.

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

Julian Barnes
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tom hardwick wrote:
It is indeed Dave.
I ordered the SD900 last Thursday and it arrived first thing this morning, less than 5 days later. £554.99 delivered to my door with (why?) two British mains plug leads for the charger. I have nothing but praise for

http://panamoz.com/index.php/camcorder/panasonic.html

The 900 is charging up right now and I'm dying to try it out.

The last Panasonic camcorder I bought was the NV-MX300 back in 1999. Standard def, 4:3, £1400, MiniDV, 12x zoom, 1.8mp (lies) stills. How times have changed.

tom.

Are they UK based Tom ? , seems very good price .

Julian

tom hardwick
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Thanks Col - maybe now I can retire the FX1 that has served me so well these many years.

Already noticed that the 900 has a very crude two-bladed iris but that it hardly ever uses it - nearly everything's done using the twin inbuilt ND filters. From max aperture to f/4.8 everything's shot wide open - a testimony to the lens's performance. From f/5.6 onwards that crude diamond iris starts to close, going into the f/45 domain before shutting completely.

Now to source some after-market 900 batteries as I think 90 quid for a genuine Panasonic battery is stretching it a bit.

tom.

Mark M
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Joined: Nov 17 1999

Julian, I had a look at their website and after searching their FAQs discovered that they're Hong Kong based, but claim they pay all import duties and VAT to the UK. So yes, it's a good price (if you're not VAT registered) but a grey import. One would have to check carefully what the warranty really is. They imply on their website that it's with them.

Adobe Certified Professional Premiere Pro CS6, Premiere Pro CC

Adobe Community Professional

tom hardwick
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Yes, Hong Kong based. It was sent via UPS from Alice Yeung, Flat 20, 15/F, Tai Po, HK, on 30 July. Simply Electronics wanted something like 40 quid more.

Julian Barnes
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Does anyone know if this battery charger works with the VW-VBN batteries on the 900 series camcorders , spec says for all current Panasonic camcorders .

[url]http://www.jessops.com/online.store/categories/Accessories/Batteries%20and%20Chargers/All%20Chargers/products/Hahnel/Mcl%20103%20Video%20Battery%20Charger%20(Panasonic)-19254/Show.html?cm_mmc=GoogleBase-_-AllChargers-_-all-_-all&ovc=[/url]

Just had email from Hahnel , not compatable with VBN series.

Julian

Julian Barnes
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tom hardwick wrote:
It is indeed Dave.
I ordered the SD900 last Thursday and it arrived first thing this morning, less than 5 days later. £554.99 delivered to my door with (why?) two British mains plug leads for the charger. I have nothing but praise for

http://panamoz.com/index.php/camcorder/panasonic.html

The 900 is charging up right now and I'm dying to try it out.

The last Panasonic camcorder I bought was the NV-MX300 back in 1999. Standard def, 4:3, £1400, MiniDV, 12x zoom, 1.8mp (lies) stills. How times have changed.

tom.

Any feedback on the camcorder yet Tom ? , hovering to pull the trigger , but dont know whether to go to your supplier or dearer UK based one.

Julian

tom hardwick
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Feedback? Well it came with a free 'screen protector', is full UK spec, PAL, two UK mains charging leads and was unopened and perfect. You can pay £900 for the same thing at John Lewis or you can do what I did and spend an extra £340 on your holidays.

Paul Argyle
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Joined: Dec 14 2000

Hi all. I'm now in the "900" club :) Just arrived so haven't had much of a play yet but looking forward to it based on all the comments here. Great advice and info as ever!

Just to let you know the best current UK deal I found for the SD900 was Amazon - £629.99 at the mo BUT with a £50 amazon voucher for a future purchase, to be used by 31st August. Pretty good deal if you've got any other purchases lined up at amazon as I have.

Cheers
Paul

Claire
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Welcome to the club Tom and Paul :) Had mine since 11th February and still loving it.

Claire

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

Mine arrived a couple of days ago and I am VERY impressed, though lots to learn.

Sincere thanks to all the people providing helpful advice. Believe me, knowledgeable support really does help a newby's confidence :-)

Bob Aldis
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Joined: Mar 7 2001

If I buy am 800 can I be a junior member:D

Bob Aldis

Ron Spicer
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Bob Aldis wrote:
If I buy am 800 can I be a junior member:D

. . . and after initially looking hard at the Canon XA10, will I be ostracised if I buy and join? :D

Ron Spicer
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Ron Spicer wrote:
. . . and after initially looking hard at the Canon XA10, will I be ostracised if I buy and join? :D

I have a son-in-law who has a 900 series camera anyway and have had a run with it. Amazing pics. I've been pursuing the Canon XA10 information but with the price difference so great I'm now strongly tempted!

What I did find out is that, after putting the contents into FCP and editing then transferring back into an SD card, I can't play the card in my brand new Panny because Panasonic use Media Player and the SD card is Quicktime content. Maddening.

Bob Aldis
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Ron Spicer wrote:
I have a son-in-law who has a 900 series camera anyway and have had a run with it. Amazing pics. I've been pursuing the Canon XA10 information but with the price difference so great I'm now strongly tempted!

What I did find out is that, after putting the contents into FCP and editing then transferring back into an SD card, I can't play the card in my brand new Panny because Panasonic use Media Player and the SD card is Quicktime content. Maddening.

I have a Panasonic TV with an SD card slot and I am led to believe that not only will it only play footage made on a Panasonic camcorder but it also cannot handle 1080p stuff aat all.

Unfortunately I am not in a position to try it out yet ;)

Bob Aldis

Julian Barnes
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Bob,
Your Panny tv should replay Avchd footage from other makes , but it def wont play 1080P footage.

Julian

Ron Spicer
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Julian Barnes wrote:
Bob,
Your Panny tv should replay Avchd footage from other makes , but it def wont play 1080P footage.

Julian

The real problem, Julian is that of changing from Media Player acceptable quality to any other. The Panny (mine's brand new with Freesat/Freeview/3D/HD) uses Media Player. Provided any card content is the same it will play. I also found that from the SD card, it doesn't play as a film but as a series of selectable clips in the order they were filmed. After putting the stuff through an editing system and returning it to an SD card, it won't play in the Panny if it's other than Media Player acceptable, and of course from FCP it's QT.

TerryMaher
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Joined: Aug 24 2004

You can output to an SD card from an Edius timeline using its AVCHD writer option (available from Version 6 or Neo V3), and that card can be played either in a Panny TV or camcorder

However, AVCHD Writer does not allow the 1080p option

Ron Spicer
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TerryMaher wrote:
You can output to an SD card from an Edius timeline using its AVCHD writer option (available from Version 6 or Neo V3), and that card can be played either in a Panny TV or camcorder

That is understood, Terry. MY query regards the FCP and outputting for a Panny TV.

Ron Spicer
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TerryMaher wrote:
You can output to an SD card from an Edius timeline using its AVCHD writer option (available from Version 6 or Neo V3), and that card can be played either in a Panny TV or camcorder

That is understood, Terry. MY query regards the FCP and outputting for a Panny TV.

Maybe Flip4Mac does it, although I haven't got it?

tom hardwick
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This 900 is such an interesting camera. My earlier posts (page 1) were written before I had bought one but now having owned it and had a good play I've come up with some surprising results.

When it's used as a stills camera the aperture readout of the iris (in manual) is actually correct. 'Open' is maximum aperture (which is focal length dependent) and as soon as you start to stop down the two aperture blades (opposing Vs) mechanically step towards each other. The aperture readout stops at f/16 but the blades continue to close down to f/22, then f/45 and so on, till the blades overlap and act as a shutter.

It can do this because in the still camera mode the camera doesn't use small apertures, it simply shortens the shutter speed. But you can switch it to manual of course, choose a very slow shutter speed and happily shoot 14mp stills at f/45. It'll quickly demonstrate the image damage diffraction can do.

When the 900 is used as a video camera something quite surprising happens, as the camera wants to shoot at 1/50th sec generally. Because of this it brings the internal ND filters into play and for most of the camcorder's life it's shooting at maximum aperture. This design parameter shows the confidence Panasonic have in their 12x zoom lens and chip block assembly, and the production tolerances must be superbly controlled to shoot all day at f/1.5 and 3.45mm. At first I poo-poo'd a focal length stated to 100th of a mm but now I'm less sceptical. I now believe the tight production tolerances mean that all their cameras come off the production line with this focal length.

So what happens when you shoot movies? Well the camera shoots at maximum aperture and if it gets brighter more and more ND is applied. Its the same in manual or auto - you think you're shooting at f/4.5 (say) but you're not - you're shooting at whatever the maximum aperture is for the focal length you've set. That's f/1.5 at wide stopping smoothly (ramping) down to f/2.8 at full tele.

So the lens 'stops down' (using ND) to f/5.6 and only if it gets brighter still do the aperture blades start to close. You can see that scenes shot at an indicated f/8 are actually shot at f/4, bringing with it the dof that comes with f/4.

Another interesting point. Lots of camcorders are sold with a 20x zoom (say) and these long zooms ramp noticeably. Panasonic's idea of having a 12x optical combined with a non-degrading electronic zoom (using the bigger than necessary chips) mean that it effectively has a 20x zoom that stops ramping after the 12x point is reached. Very clever. Of course the dof characteristics are the same at 69mm as they are at 41.4mm, which seems slightly odd.

tom.

Alan Roberts
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My old Sony A1 is very similar. The combined exposure control runs from fully open to F/4, then brings in neutrals worth 3 stops, then carries on with the iris if it needs to. The idea's been around for quite a while (Sony didn't invent it).

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Ron Spicer
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Having had the opportunity to use it through the good offices of my son-on-law, I noticed that that automatic closure over the lens when one stops filming is not actually as efficient as some may believe. Quite a few dust spots on the lens surface so no better than placing a lens cap on it.

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
A better lens hood?

Has anyone found a better lens hood yet? Flare has been a problem for me recently.

Claire

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Do you mean a proper hood, Claire? It's a shame that the little flash gun has meant Panasonic have had to live with a very inefficient circular hood whereas on previous cameras they always had a bayonet-on aspect ratio hood.

Claire
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tom hardwick wrote:
Do you mean a proper hood, Claire?

Oops, missed the word "hood", corrected now.

Yes Tom, a proper hood would be a treat, seeing reduced contrast at times under midday summer sun, impossible to avoid if subject is a moving target, maybe make a cardboard one, held on with elastic band :)

Claire

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

It's probably a French flag you need - or a mattbox. Or just call the flare a 'feature'.

g3vbl
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Bob Aldis
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tom hardwick wrote:
It's probably a French flag you need - or a mattbox. Or just call the flare a 'feature'.

Make that "Artistic feature" :)

Bob Aldis

jgould
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

I bought one of these, OK if you just aim the camera straight ahead but you see the sides of the hood if you pan around..think its something to do with the image stabiliser. Tried sanding down the front a few millimetres but still comes into view

mooblie
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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Screw-Mount-46mm-46-mm-Digital-Video-DV-Lens-Hood-/280574357203?pt=UK_Photography_CameraLenses_Lens_caps_hoods_adaptors_ET&hash=item415388eed3#ht_2813wt_905

Do be careful of cheap attachments like that - I bought a matte box from India on eBay - looked a bargain, until I finger-tightened the screws, and promptly stripped the threads (and I'm not that strong!)

That lens hood from HK might be fine - I'm just putting out a warning in general against cheap stuff.

BTW: if flare is problem, you need a really DEEP hood, or a matte box/french flag really. A lens hood that's a few cm deep won't help much.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Flags are always the most effect, but by far the most troublesome to use. Not difficult to make though.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

I have one of those on my canon HF11 and it does the job and looks the part, it has a locking ring so is easy to fit and centre up.

tom hardwick
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Looks to be a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the more efficient 16:9 but even so, it looks a neat solution as the supplied hood is more like a filter with the glass removed.

You need to file down the hood into a petal shape jgould, cutting away the corners. It is indeed the OIS that's vignetting the image as you move the camera.

tom.

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

I was thinking of getting the Audio-Technica PRO24-CM stereo mic for having on camera due to it's small size and weight. Has anyone else been using this mic on the Panasonic 900 series?

I already have a mono shotgun mic for this camcorder but now looking for stereo mic which must be self powered or plug-in power compatible. Had a look at the Rode Stereo Video Mic but it is huge on this small cam.

colin rowe
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Paul Jordan wrote:
I was thinking of getting the Audio-Technica PRO24-CM stereo mic for having on camera due to it's small size and weight. Has anyone else been using this mic on the Panasonic 900 series?

I already have a mono shotgun mic for this camcorder but now looking for stereo mic which must be self powered or plug-in power compatible. Had a look at the Rode Stereo Video Mic but it is huge on this small cam.

Paul.
I dont think you will get any better sound from this mic, than the sound the inbuilt mic delivers. I played with one a month or so ago, didn't impress at all. The onboard mic is really quite good, once you have it set up properly. Keep a check on levels with headphones, as the inbuilt mic is quite hot. If you can find a dealer nearby, try one on your camera, you will see what I mean.

Colin Rowe

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

Colin

Thanks for the info, it is good to hear from someone that has actually tried the mic out, much appreciated.

Paul

David Pearson
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Joined: Nov 20 2000

If you go with the Rode Stereo Mic (I have two, love them) they're fine on the Panasonic (I'd guess - have TM700...) provided you "shave" the dead cat windshield a bit (otherwise you get stray hairs in the pic). Doesn't look that silly, either...

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
My 'never mind the strong wind' little rig

Hague Camcorder Steadymount
Manfrotto 190MF4 carbon fibre tripod, 494RC2 swivel joint and Quick Release adapters, also occasionaly add a Manfrotto 438 ball adaptor with 128RC pan & tilt but it's heavy.
TM900 camera
Edirol CS50 stereo mic
Rode WS6 windgag
JuicedLink XLR Adapter/Preamp

Claire

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

Claire

Well, that is most impressive! Thanks for sharing.

Paul

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001

My pleasure Paul, BTW I think Colin gave you good advice re the PRO24-CM stereo mic, I nearly bought one myself for the TM900 some months ago until I came across a review with sample recording, it was thin and weak. I have since read more or less the same elsewhere so pleased I didn't buy one.

Claire

Ian thomas
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Joined: Oct 23 2006

Well reading all these amazing reports on this little cam swayed me to buy one, and after doing some shots with it i agree it is a awesome little cam for its price shooting some stunning footage, but some comments on here saying that it shoots footage comparable to the EX camaras in my opinoin is way from the truth as the EX cameras are in a different league and should be they cost 12x more.

We must be careful coz some people reading some of the posts might think that the panny is as good as the sonys and why should we spend all that money when we can get one 12th of the price and as good, this is so far from the truth the panny has its place but not in the pro market:rolleyes:

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

I have the 750 and AFAIK the image quality is the same as the 900.

The Panasonic makes a much better handycam than the EX.

I know some here have said it beats the EX but I don't think that could be true. Trouble is I don't own an EX to prove it! I do have a Z1. Lower res and at least 5 years older technology BUT I'd take the Z1 over the 750 +XLR adapter any day on most jobs.

We have used the Panasonics on two corporate jobs (green screen) where they proved very effective at calming nervous talent. It also does very well as a dash cam.

Just my opinion but I think the Panasonic has smaller chips, less tonal range, poorer glass and that's before taking into account the ergonomics/user interface issues.

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001

Hi Gavin, not sure anyone here actually claims it beats the EX, just how such a cheap tiny cam works so well in comparison, please bear in mind I did add a question mark to the end of this thread's title so as to get opinions, assuming the TM700 to be the original "Giant Killer".

Ian, like myself you have both an EX and a 900 so I'd be interested in your conclusions, not so much ergonomics/user interface as we all know the EX offers more control but in the end result, ie: picture quality compared to the EX, in what ways does the EX surpass the 900 in this regard? Thanks much..

Claire

infocus
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Claire wrote:
.......but in the end result, ie: picture quality compared to the EX, in what ways does the EX surpass the 900 in this regard? Thanks much..

I can't claim to have done a side by side comparison, but I'd expect low light performance to be where the EX would have a clear advantage. The differences may not be as pronounced when the lighting is good, but when the light levels start to dip I'd expect something like an EX to still perform well where a TM900 turns to mush......

Claire
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Bigger chips work better in poor light, yes we know that so that's too easy :)

Claire

steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Surely the EXs have a better MTF which would show in almost any situation. They have native resolution sensors so there are no additional artifacts through in-camera downscaling from what is a stills photo feature.

Steve

colin rowe
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I have both the EX1 and TM900, and use them regularly together. As others have stated, the EX1 beats the TM900 in the low light stakes, but its not that clear cut. I shot a young woman singing during a wedding ceremony a couple of weeks ago. The EX1 was on the couple, and the TM900 was on the singer, she was in a much darker area of the church. The footage matched extremely well. I will post an example on Vimeo when I get a moment. Originally I purchased the camera for my personal use, but for the last couple of months it has been used on every paying job I have done. Its wonderful to be able to catch candid shots without lumping a heavy camera with tripod / monopod around. The OIS really is that good. Is it good enough for commercial work, most definately, it works wonderfully alongside my EX1. I used the TM900 exclusively on a shoot last week, web video for a doughnut making machine, the client was amazed with the quality, if he is happy, then so am I.

Colin Rowe

David Pearson
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Joined: Nov 20 2000

The OIS is/can be amazing. I tried filming a distant sailing boat - from another, heavily moving, boat - last year - and it nearly managed to hold it! Completely awesome...

Dave Jervis
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Joined: Feb 21 2006

Just want to have my say (I know it repeats some points others have made) but.....

I don't think anyone would disagree if I said that these cameras 'punch above their weight'. They can produce great results under lots of circumstances, but there are always going to be the times when you'll get that bit more from the "pro" kit.

To be critical of the 700/900 cameras, you could say that the non-tilting viewfinder is at best "alright"... (the flip out screen somewhat better bar the fingerprints...)... the lenshood is more of a token gesture, the bokeh is ...ummm... idiosyncratic, the image adjustments are pretty basic (you can't set up the response curve), there's no remote control connector and you're back to needing a Beach-Box for pro mics. The depth of field is big, the low light capability is, at best, alrightish. The thing I most dislike is the lack of access to fast, accurate, hardware manual controls, but this is as much a function of the small size as anything else. (..and I always felt the 41 suffered from this as well..). Good automation (or semi automation) does help, but there is always going to be that tweek that just takes too long via the menu structure...

BUT... the sensors appear to be purpose designed HD, the lens seems a good match for the sensors, the automation is fairly sensible and the pictures are really very good under most circumstances. Clean, sharp, relatively artifact free full HD pictures... and best of all, 50 of them per second into a seemingly half decent codec! ..and then, as David P said, there is that impressive OIS...

So please Mr Panasonic, can I have a PRO 900 please.... I had high hopes of the 160 and 130 when they were announced..... 1"/3 three chipper, AVCHD, good manuals (bit bigger but that goes with the territory), what more could I ask.... and then you go and leave the 50P off ..... and now I'm not going to buy one because of that!

dave.

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
SanDisk 16Gb SDHC Card £13.99

Amazon... SanDisk 16Gb SDHC SecureDigital High Capacity Card - Frustration Free Packaging Price: £13.99

So please 700/800/900 owners, is anyone successfully using class 4 cards recording in 50P?

I would much prefer to buy these "previous model" class 4 SanDisk cards to the current Transcend Class 10's. I don't care how long it takes to download from them, just want to know if Panasonic is telling the truth saying Class 4 is enough to record at 50P in these cameras. The job I am wanting them for is not worth the risk of the current Transcend's.

Claire

PaulD
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Hi
FWIW the Panasonic-branded card that came with my SD600 (free offer) was a Class 6.
They say this about their Class 4 cards (introduced when the 600/700 50p line was announced: "Panasonic will also introduce a SILVER line series with Class 4 speed specification and maximum speed of up to 20MB/s."
Does the SanDisk match this?

Paul Jordan
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Claire

Yes, I have used a class 4 card which was a Toshiba 4gb, recording at 1080/50p mode on the SD900 with no problems at all. All the footage was perfect, no glitches and no errors.

Hope this helps.
Paul

tom hardwick
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A lot of us here have bought Transcend 16gig class 10 SDHC cards from Amazon recently, and are getting emails that state thew following:

Transcend recalls the above product due to possible failure on data transfer with over 4GB usage.

Due to manufacture process issue, item subjected to this recall might cause read/write blocking if in use capacity is over 4GB.

Please follow these steps in order to determine whether your memory card is subject to this recall:

Printed at the back of the SDHC Card is a 10-digit serial number, look at the first 6-digits to determine if your product is subject to this recall:

http://www.transcend-uk.com/Support/ShowSNImg.asp?PartNo=ts16gsdhc10

Serial Numbers subject to recall are: 446136 XXXX and 446121 XXXX
(XXXX represents numbers from 0001 to 9999)

Customers with matched serial number product, please contact Transcend via email at techsupport@transcend-uk.com or telephone (01442) 265494 to arrange a replacement.

tom.
We regret the inconvenience this issue has caused you.

Claire
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PaulD wrote:
Hi
FWIW the Panasonic-branded card that came with my SD600 (free offer) was a Class 6.
They say this about their Class 4 cards (introduced when the 600/700 50p line was announced: "Panasonic will also introduce a SILVER line series with Class 4 speed specification and maximum speed of up to 20MB/s."
Does the SanDisk match this?

Hi Paul, I have no idea to be honest, it's very confusing especially as 20MB/s would according to [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Secure_Digital#Speed_Class_Rating]Wikipedia[/URL] make that Silver Line series faster than Class 10.

Class 2 : 2 MB/s
Class 4 : 4MB/s
Class 6 : 6MB/s
Class 10 : 10MB/s

Also they say some manufacturers use read-speed as the ×-rating measurement, other vendors, such as Transcend and Kingston, use write-speed.

Meanwhile Amazon only say for the SanDisk card "Speed performance rating: Class 4 (based on SD 2.00 Specification)".

Claire

Claire
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Paul Jordan wrote:
Claire

Yes, I have used a class 4 card which was a Toshiba 4gb, recording at 1080/50p mode on the SD900 with no problems at all. All the footage was perfect, no glitches and no errors.

Hope this helps.
Paul

Ah! Thanks for that Paul :)

Claire

Claire
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tom hardwick wrote:
Transcend recalls the above product due to possible failure on data transfer with over 4GB usage.

So I was right to be concerned :(

I might easily have bought a quantity of these little rascals and have them die on me at the worst possible time.

The motto "you get what you pay for comes to mind".

Sandisk it is for me then... Using Sandisk with an EX1R and a Canon EOS5D and they have never caused a problem so it's the expensive devil you know rather than the cheap devil you don't know.

Claire

PaulD
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Claire wrote:
...it's very confusing...

Hi
Agreed.
But the 32Mbits/sec rating for Class 4 brings it perilously close to the 28Mb/s variable bit rate of the 600/700/800/900's 50/60p recording. I've read of playback problems supposedly caused by momentary peaks of 40+Mb/s in the data stream...

Panasonic sell Class 4 cards specified for 'HD video' rated at 20MBytes/sec max.
They also sell a cheaper range of Class 4 for 'image sequence' use rated at only 15MB/sec - for computer or still camera use.

A bit of googling seems to show users buying SanDisk class 4 cards and not reporting any problems.

tom hardwick
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Claire wrote:
So I was right to be concerned

You were indeed Claire. I have quite a few of these Transcend 16gig cards and guess what? The only one I have that matches the serial nr for recall is the card that caused me all the heart-pounding over the weekend where battery shut-down caused read/write failure. Coincidence or what?

But the REAL concern would be if XX card manufacturer realised that some of their 16gig cards gave up at the 2 gig point, the cards didn't have serial nrs (many don't) and XX failed to come clean with the buying public about it. Full marks to Transcend for acting quickly and not hoping it would go away like Prius brake failures.

tom.

Dave Jervis
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I have used a couple of 8GB Class 4 HP cards with my TM700 and had no problem with them recording 50P files. (It's probably true to say I never got them even half full when I was using them... so not what you'd call "extensively tested"...)

I suspect a decent quality Class 4 is OK..... that's what is in the instruction manual specification.

dave

Edited ps... This Panasonic webpage confirms Class 4 Panasonic cards as OK......

http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/sd/connect/dvc_h/hdc_tm900.html

Paul Argyle
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I've just sent two transcend 16GB class 10 cards back to amazon, just received recall notice too. Both were faulty, one recorded almost an hour of short clips but decided to break when i came to transfer the files. The other card wouldn't even record or format, wish I'd have tried that one first!

Using a class 6 sandisk 16GB with my SD900 at the moment, all fine.

One slight concern - has anyone had problems with the card slot?
After ejecting the dodgy transcend card and re-inserting (well you never know!...) it wouldn't seat properly i.e. there was no "spring" feeling in the mechanism to capture or eject the card, this happened a couple of times. I doubt this made anything worse as the card was already shot but still a concern, not happened again though.

Cheers
Paul

col lamb
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I feel vindicated.

A while back quite a few of you wrote about Transcend and what good value they were, me I said that I would not buy them as I had previously two of the cheap damn things fail to work, one just stopped working and the other fell apart.

One "never to use Transcend again" videographer with a smile on his face who will stick with his Sandisks and Kingstons

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

steve
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I agree with Tom, ALL memory cards have potential failure modes. I have four Transcend class 10 16GB cards. They have all performed fine and probably have a life expectancy as good as any Sandisk or Kingston offerings at up to twice the price. Its naive to think that these other makes are or will be any more reliable, they are just commercial chips.
The important thing is that Transcend have handled the problem well. As Claire says, there are many out there who don't even serialise their card batches so wouldn't be able to organise a recall.

Steve

drgagx
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I bought a Transcend card the other day from Amazon. They sent out a recall note advising the numbers of the affected cards:

"Serial Numbers subject to recall are: 446136 XXXX and 446121 XXXX
(XXXX represents numbers from 0001 to 9999)"

The explanation:
"Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 Memory Card

Transcend recalls the above product due to possible failure on data transfer with over 4GB usage.

Due to manufacture process issue, item subjected to this recall might cause read/write blocking if in use capacity is over 4GB.

Please follow these steps in order to determine whether your memory card is subject to this recall:

Printed at the back of the SDHC Card is a 10-digit serial number, look at the first 6-digits to determine if your product is subject to this recall: "

The numbers are quite difficult to see; I had to tilt the card under a light to be able to read them. As it happened, mine was not from this batch.

jgould
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1080p vs 1080i

Do you gain anything by filming in 1080p & downconverting to 1080i in post to supply Blu-ray or DVD, or is it just usefull if you are playing directly to tv or storing on a media player

Alan Roberts
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What you gain by shooting in 1080p:

Extra sharpness in the vertical direction.

What you lose by shooting in 1080p:

Smooth motion.

Note that you can never recover what you've lost, so the extra sharpness of shooting in 1080p is immediately lost when you sub-sample to 1080i, and if you don't do that really well you'll be left with significant interlace twitter which you wouldn't have had if you'd shot interlaced originally. Also, the film-motion jerkiness you got in shooting 1080p will remain when you convert to 1080i, because you have only 25 images per second whereas 1080i delivers 50 images per second.

As always, it's far better to shoot in the format you want to deliver, if the camera can do it natively.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Claire
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Alan Roberts wrote:
What you gain by shooting in 1080p:

Extra sharpness in the vertical direction.

What you lose by shooting in 1080p:

Smooth motion.

Except the camera this thread is about shoots 1080/50P or 50i, doesn't have 25P mode.

Claire

jgould
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Hi claire..what are your thought on this? capture everything in 1080p & downres?

Claire
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Hi John, recording in 50P mode does leave all the options open for later :)

As you probably know the Panasonic HD Writer software lets you down convert it to 1080/50i anyway, attaching the camera while doing this also speeds up the process so you can have the best of both worlds and choose which to use at leisure. Also, I think you might finish up with better footage using 50P mode since the camera records at 28mbps as opposed to only 17mbps in 50i mode and with the compression system used it appears to me that this makes for a better final result than recording in 50i to begin with.

Furthermore for weddings where slow motion may be desired, the original 50P footage would give you amazingly smooth slow motion when on a 50i timeline.

Personally I never use any other mode than the 50P setting for these reasons even though I may chuck the footage away once done with.

Claire

Alan Roberts
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Sorry, yes, of course. In that case, you're relying on a good down-sampling from 1080p50 to 1080i25. That should be good and easy, but it all depends on how the software's written.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

StevenBagley
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Claire wrote:
Except the camera this thread is about shoots 1080/50P or 50i, doesn't have 25P mode.

REally? My SDT750 which is effectively the same camera does...

Steve

PaulD
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Hi
As 25p in 50i - in Digital Cinema mode.

g3vbl
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Any thoughts please on shooting 1080p50 and then sampling alternate frames in Vegas?

colin rowe
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Claire wrote:
Hi John, recording in 50P mode does leave all the options open for later :)

As you probably know the Panasonic HD Writer software lets you down convert it to 1080/50i anyway, attaching the camera while doing this also speeds up the process so you can have the best of both worlds and choose which to use at leisure. Also, I think you might finish up with better footage using 50P mode since the camera records at 28mbps as opposed to only 17mbps in 50i mode and with the compression system used it appears to me that this makes for a better final result than recording in 50i to begin with.

Furthermore for weddings where slow motion may be desired, the original 50P footage would give you amazingly smooth slow motion when on a 50i timeline.

Personally I never use any other mode than the 50P setting for these reasons even though I may chuck the footage away once done with.

Spot on

Colin Rowe

Alan Roberts
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If you shoot 1080p50, and throw away alternate frames, you'll get 1080p25, which means that each frame will have to be shown twice to avoid screen flicker, so you'll get film motion, exactly the same as shooting 1080psf25.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Bob Aldis
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HELP 50i, 50p, 24p, 17mbps, 28mbps?

I was beginning to sort of understand some of it but have got a bit of an overload now. ;)

To sum up then, film everything in 1080P and save files as 1080p. I can play them either through my media player or directly from my computer (HDMI) to my 1080p plasma?

If it needs downconverting can it be done from the files saved on the computer later?

What are the different modes HA, HG, HX, HE. I assume that the 1080p button overrides them and that they are different mbps settings for 50i?

Another thing that confuses me (not hard) is the blu-ray thing. I thought blu-ray was 1080p? what am I missing?

I missed out on this thread and have just been reading about the Transcend SD cards.
I am waiting delivery of one so I had better have a magnifying glass handy when it arrives. :)

Bob Aldis

Alan Roberts
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Shoot at 1080p50 and you're covered for everything, but will need to sub-sample somewhere for output. I presume you'll find the specifications of the different modes in the manual, that's where it should be, and I'd be amazed if selecting 1080p50 overrode that choice, it should be separate. BluRay does not (yet) do 1080p50, it does 1080p25, 1080psf25, 1080p29.97, 1080p25, 1080p23.98. We're all waiting for the format to be extended to cover 1080p50 and 1080p59.94.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Ron Jackson
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So could one film 1080p50 , and drop the sequence into a 1080p25 "project"? Slow motion or at least half speed but what would one need to do in FCP?

Ron

Ron Jackson

Alan Roberts
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Yes, you should be able to do that. What you'll end up with is a conventional 1080p25 sequence with film-motion, jerky. If you want to retain smooth motion, you need to reduce it to 1080i25. I've no idea how you'd do that in FCP.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

PaulD
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Ron Jackson wrote:
what would one need to do in FCP?

Hi
FCP 7 or FCP X can only handle standard AVCHD (which 50p isn't) so you need a rewrapper like Clipwrap ($49 or so) to transcode it to a .mov codec that FCP can work with - ProRes or AIC are the usual choices.
There appears to be a free conversion utility - I know nothing about it but here's the link:
http://www.aimersoft.com/convert-mts/convert-mts-m2ts-to-mov-mac.html

Claire
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StevenBagley wrote:
REally? My SDT750 which is effectively the same camera does...

Steve

Oh yes, I forgot about the Digital Cinema mode, shame it's only 17mbps.

Claire

Claire
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g3vbl wrote:
Any thoughts please on shooting 1080p50 and then sampling alternate frames in Vegas?

Hi, in Vegas I believe you need to undersample the clips at 0.5 to make it drop alternate frames, this will produce 25P.

Claire

Bob Aldis
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HD 1080-24p YUV

Is that the best setting in Vegas studio for output?

Bob Aldis

MAGLINK
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I find with these small cameras that they do not do cine mode or 25p very well, I have the canon HF11 and shoot 1920x1080i 50i for everything and then find that doing a 25p master in software produces better results and a less smeary image.

Not the ideal way but it seems to work better using my FCP software, not sure if 24p is a good way to go either as our system is 25 frame and it will not look too good at all.

Alan Roberts
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24p makes no sense unless you're either printing to film or direct to BluRay for playing at NTSC rates (60Hz).

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

StevenBagley
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Gary Nattrass wrote:
I find with these small cameras that they do not do cine mode or 25p very well, I have the canon HF11 and shoot 1920x1080i 50i for everything and then find that doing a 25p master in software produces better results and a less smeary image.

That's almost certainly because the shutter speed on the camera is wrong -- it needs to be 1/50th of a second (or 180o in film terms). Unfortunately, many cameras default to 1/25 in 25p mode which gives a smearier and less film like image. Force the 1/50 shutter, and your footage will look identical in motion, but with higher resolution to your post-diddled 1080i50 footage.

(It's also amazing how many TV shows get this wrong too.)

Steve

MAGLINK
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Thanks Steve I always shoot at 1/50th so was aware of that, the 25p mode in most budget camera's tends not to be very good IMO and my old V1 and Z7/S270 also had certain problems when doing it.

Dave Jervis
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Gary Nattrass wrote:
Thanks Steve I always shoot at 1/50th so was aware of that, the 25p mode in most budget camera's tends not to be very good IMO and my old V1 and Z7/S270 also had certain problems when doing it.

I know what you mean Gary, but the 50p mode on these cameras really does buck that trend and do the job very well.

Steve, I am constantly aghast at some of the things I see on broadcast TV these days..... !

dave

Alan Roberts
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Few cameras have the innate resolution to do full-frame progressive justice. Any camera with a 1920x1080 single sensor isn't going to deliver much more than 1350x750, so you get little benefit from shooting progressive. It's only 3-sensor cameras, and ones with at least 2880x1620 and a good down-sampling algorithm, that can do justice to 1080p. That's why the good ones are expensive.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

StevenBagley
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Dave Jervis wrote:
Steve, I am constantly aghast at some of the things I see on broadcast TV these days..... !

Don't watch Torchwood then! Badly standards converted from 60i to 50i, yet shot on the Arri Alexa... Looks awful.

Steve

Claire
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StevenBagley wrote:
That's almost certainly because the shutter speed on the camera is wrong -- it needs to be 1/50th of a second (or 180o in film terms). Unfortunately, many cameras default to 1/25 in 25p mode which gives a smearier and less film like image. Force the 1/50 shutter, and your footage will look identical in motion, but with higher resolution to your post-diddled 1080i50 footage.
Steve

Filming fungi late yesterday afternoon under a leaded rainy sky I was compelled to use 1/25 shutter for one or two shots. A very slow pan turned out rubbish due to the smearing caused by such a slow shutter but the final close up was fine since of course fungi dont generally move. So it has it's place when light is dim, example if one was in a cave while on holiday :)

What impressed me most though was the zoomed close up, even more light was lost due to the zoom which resulted in the TM900 going to +12dB gain. This is the first time I have come back with shots using such gain and I am quite surprised at how clean they are. Not as good as my EX1R by any means with it's 1/2" chips, but I couldn't carry that cam to where I was yesterday, rare plants normally living only on chalk soil in the Chilterns, growing happily on Northumberland acid soil due to chalk waste heaps from a chemical factory that operated on a nearby site until the mid 1960s.

Claire

Bob Aldis
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Bob Aldis wrote:
What are the different modes HA, HG, HX, HE. I assume that the 1080p button overrides them and that they are different mbps settings for 50i?

HD 1080-24p YUV

Is that the best setting in Vegas studio for output?

__________________

I am bumping these questions but wondering if I should start another thread.

The first is for someone who has a Panasonic SD800/SD900 and the other is for someone who is using or knows Vegas studio.

I also have a third question about file sizes. I took 11 mins of 1080p to see how it handled files over 4gb but it turned out just over 2gb. Is that right, if so it seems that the files are smaller than my HDV files?

Bob Aldis

jgould
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Hi Bob file size is right

Tibor Noszkay
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Bob Aldis wrote:
I am bumping these questions but wondering if I should start another thread.

The first is for someone who has a Panasonic SD800/SD900 and the other is for someone who is using or knows Vegas studio.

I would also like to know the best output in Vegas, but in my case its Pro 9c.

Sorry to but in.

Regards, Tibor

colin rowe
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Bob Aldis wrote:
I am bumping these questions but wondering if I should start another thread.

The first is for someone who has a Panasonic SD800/SD900 and the other is for someone who is using or knows Vegas studio.

I also have a third question about file sizes. I took 11 mins of 1080p to see how it handled files over 4gb but it turned out just over 2gb. Is that right, if so it seems that the files are smaller than my HDV files?

1080/50p = 28Mbps VBR
HA = 17Mbps VBR 1920x1080
HG = 13Mbps VBR 1920x1080
HX = 9Mbps VBR 1920x1080
HE = 5Mbps VBR 1920x1080
iFrame = 28Mbps VBR 960x540

There is a thread on dvinfo regarding output via Vegas, check out the TM900 forum http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasonic-avccam-camcorders/499640-tm900-editing-50p-files.html
HTH

Colin Rowe

Alan Roberts
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The general panning speed rules for film relate to the time it takes an object in the image to get from one side of the frame to the other

<1second is a whip pan, it doesn't matter.
>8 seconds gives gritty motion but generally considered to be acceptable
~3sec is worst case for dislocating motion.

That's all for 1/50 shutter. If you shoot with 1/25 shutter, the whip speed wont change, nor will the worst speed, but the speed to get out of trouble and just have gritty motion will doible, say 16 seconds. That's a VERY slow pan.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Bob Aldis
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Joined: Mar 7 2001
jgould wrote:
Hi Bob file size is right

Thanks. It seems that everytime I upgrade the file sizes get smaller. Not complaining though. :D

Thanks Colin. For the info and the link.

Probably will have to ask Vegas questions in another thread.

Bob Aldis

g3vbl
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Well, this arrived this afternoon. It's made by Mennon, whoever they are, the same people who produced the gray cards that I have.

Nothing fancy in the construction but, as someone mentioned, it's really for 4:3. At the widest angle on the SDT750 there's no obvious vignetting with the camera held still but the OIS produces some. One tiny snag is that the 'locking ring' tightens against the 'Multi manual ring'. This isn't a show stopper as it doesn't have to be that tight.

Claire
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Alan Roberts wrote:
The general panning speed rules for film relate to the time it takes an object in the image to get from one side of the frame to the other

<1second is a whip pan, it doesn't matter.
>8 seconds gives gritty motion but generally considered to be acceptable
~3sec is worst case for dislocating motion.

That's all for 1/50 shutter. If you shoot with 1/25 shutter, the whip speed wont change, nor will the worst speed, but the speed to get out of trouble and just have gritty motion will doible, say 16 seconds. That's a VERY slow pan.

For pans in good light, or even static shots, when I use 1/100 shutter in 1080/50P mode in bright sunshine I find my TM900 tends to handles skies and white objects much better than when shooting 1/50 shutter speed.

The interesting thing is I see a considerable jump in highlight handling with this faster shutter, easily seen while recording and especially on the waveform meter in Edius during editing. I am consistently finding 1/100 shutter results in a more pleasing overall exposure with a better spread of luminance into the lower and mid levels than 1/50 produces.

However I also notice that increasing shutter speed faster still to say 1/125 gives no such improvement indicating to me that possibly the chip that does the magic in the TM900 has reached it's happiest when the excess light has been reduced to a certain threshold and that threshold seems to occur in manual mode with iris floating (auto iris) when the shutter is shortened to 1/100th second. I should add that I only use auto iris when it's too difficult too access the iris control which does happen from time to time, in general I will lock the iris whenever the situation allows it.

1/100 shutter puzzles me regarding motion, I know slow shutter causes motion blur usually desired to fool the eye into seeing smooth movement as the frames flick by one by one. Playing the timeline back in Edius using my Storm 3G 50P capable hardware to my 50P capable HDTV I observe completely natural motion of people moving around, including climbing walls and doing acrobats, cars passing, etc. Pausing on a still frame shows sharp images.

So the puzzle for me is where is the motion blur? I don't see it, generally just clear still frames, yet while playing it looks completely natural in movement as how it is in real life.

Maybe motion blur is not needed with 50P? Perhaps not so much? .. or is it the Edius hardware.. or my telly? I don't know but I see no reason to stick to 1/50 shutter as recommended for 25P. Is this because showing 50 is like a cinema projector shutter and gate that shows each frame twice?

Claire

tom hardwick
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It's generally thought that if you shoot 50 different frames per second and take each still at 1/50th sec then you capture (record) everything that happens in front of the camera - as if you were shooting movie film with instantaneous pull-down.

If you then change to 1/100th sec you effectively reduce the motion blur to half but have to accept that the camera only records half of everything that happens in front of it. For the other half of the time the 'film pull-down' occurs.

What I can't fathom is why the 900 should give better highlight handling (when you halve the shutter speed) that you describe. My only thought is that this 900 is doing a lot of surprising things (such as shooting wide open for much of its life) that we're not told about. It could be that shutter speeds are linked into other chip processing capabilities that are there to give us all better pictures in different lighting conditions, simple as that.

tom.

Alan Roberts
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Claire could be right, the sensor reaches overload at one stop more open, so you get less problems that way. The frame sharpness should be exactly the same as shooting with a stills camera at 1/100, there's no practical difference.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

jgould
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Just found TM900 (with the onboard 32gig memory) for £649 delivered from Vennal Cameras in Ayr, available through ebay, seems very cheap compared to others & is UK model

Julian Barnes
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Shop display model , that why its cheaper than normal.

Julian

jgould
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That wasnt on yesterdays advert!! naughty. One went for £350 on ebay today, new in box, but seller said bank transfer or cash into account, wonder why only 1 bid

Dave Jervis
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Claire wrote:
For pans in good light, or even static shots, when I use 1/100 shutter in 1080/50P mode in bright sunshine I find my TM900 tends to handles skies and white objects much better than when shooting 1/50 shutter speed.

The interesting thing is I see a considerable jump in highlight handling with this faster shutter, easily seen while recording and especially on the waveform meter in Edius during editing. I am consistently finding 1/100 shutter results in a more pleasing overall exposure with a better spread of luminance into the lower and mid levels than 1/50 produces.

However I also notice that increasing shutter speed faster still to say 1/125 gives no such improvement indicating to me that possibly the chip that does the magic in the TM900 has reached it's happiest when the excess light has been reduced to a certain threshold and that threshold seems to occur in manual mode with iris floating (auto iris) when the shutter is shortened to 1/100th second. ...........................................................

Ahhh, interesting... You may recall I was discussing using external ND filters some time ago. That was because of specific highlight overexposure I couldn't control (TM700 in manual 1/50 sec. with auto "iris"). I have looked at this more closely and think I have spotted a characteristic that might explain it. This is long winded, but please bear with me...

Imagine a shot of a white painted cottage on a day with widely variable lighting conditions, going from thunderously dark overcast to brilliant full direct sunshine from about 45 degrees behind camera.

With full auto exposure, the shutter/iris/internal ND might be as follows....

VERY OVERCAST 1/50th f 1.7 No int. ND

LIGHTLY OVERCAST 1/50th f 3.4 Some int. ND

HAZY SUNSHINE 1/50th f 3.4 Max int. ND

DIRECT SUNSHINE 1/100th f 3.4 Max int. ND

..... so in direct sunshine, the auto exposure system has reached a point where it uses a faster shutter rather than stopping down and risking diffraction....?

Now this is what appears to happen if you fix the shutter at 1/50th with auto "iris"

VERY OVERCAST 1/50th f 1.7 No int. ND

LIGHTLY OVERCAST 1/50 f 3.4 Some int. ND

HAZY SUNSHINE 1/50th f 3.4 Max int. ND

DIRECT SUNSHINE 1/50th f 3.4 Max int. ND ...and overexposure !
...so the auto exposure system is not stopping down the iris proper to compensate for the slowish fixed shutter speed ???

These observations are based on several ad hoc tests on a TM700, and because the phenomenon only applies at the "bright sunshine hitting something white" sort of exposure levels, it's been quite difficult to identify. To further explore this I would have to start shooting into actual light sources that could force a fully auto exposure of 1/200th+ shutter speed, and for obvious reasons I am reluctant to risk that.

So, the question is, might this be what is behind the blown highlights Claire is noticing?

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this.....

dave

ps The observed stop at which the internal NDs start to switch in was f3.4 when I was testing my TM700 but I understand this may be different on the 900 series.... d.

tom hardwick
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Dave Jervis wrote:
ps The observed stop at which the internal NDs start to switch in was f3.4 when I was testing my TM700 but I understand this may be different on the 900 series.... d.

It does indeed seem to be different on the (my) 900, Dave. My camera shoots at maximum aperture for most of its life (as detailed on this forum) with all that this entails with miss-centred elements, vignetting and auto-focus accuracy. As the light levels increase more and more internal ND is applied until maximum is reached, whereupon the two crude iris blades start to close. They'll happily let you film at f/45 in manual - but hopefully (I haven't checked) they'll stop closing at f4 or so and shorten the shutter speeds to soak the light.

In your post you say ' the shutter/iris/internal ND might be as follows....' but is this wishful thinking? Of course the iris readout in the v'finders is an ND extrapolation, not an actual aperture formed by the iris blades.

tom.

Dave Jervis
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tom hardwick wrote:
......................................

In your post you say ' the shutter/iris/internal ND might be as follows....' but is this wishful thinking? Of course the iris readout in the v'finders is an ND extrapolation, not an actual aperture formed by the iris blades.

tom.

I don't think "wishful thinking" applies here... these are hypothetical descriptions (and therefore slightly "generalised") of a shot being auto exposed by the camera. It would make no difference if the f.number in the "DIRECT SUNSHINE" lines said f. 4 or some other value......

The point I am making (which is based on observation) is that at the point the "fully auto" version starts shortening the shutter speed to maintain correct exposure, the "shutter priority" version obviously can't... but instead of closing the iris to maintain correct exposure, the camera just allows the shot to over expose!

On the 700 you only get to see a shutter speed or "f number" when you have switched it to manual, and that makes detailed testing frustratingly tricky (well, for me at least....).

If I can think of a test routine that reliably demonstrates the inconsistency I'm talking about I'll post it here so people can try it themselves on a 900.

dave

Dave Jervis
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Further to my last post.... I have done some tests in the brilliant sunshine we had today, and I can confirm that, on the 700, in manual mode, with a shutter speed of 1/50th set manually, the automatic iris "tops out" at an indicated f 8.

Earlier discussions suggest the automatic ND filters probably account for a couple of stops (?).... so this would suggest a real aperture of around f 4 I think.

A non-hypothetical white painted cottage proved that at this exposure there was white clipping. An increase in shutter speed to 1/180 was required to avoid clipping.

dave

ChrisG
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OK this is interesting to me as I have to lock off hte shutter speed at 1/50 for video of aircraft with propellers.

I have seen and felt that my HV30 has struggled with this on sunny days. I have been contemplating an "upgrade " to the 900 so will watch what is said on this matter.

tom hardwick
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About the only thing missing from the 900 is some sort of super-smooth-slow recording mode, and I bet this is included on the TM1000. On my NX5 I can't use Active Steadyshot when I'm filming at 200fps but I bet Panasonic aim to show Sony how it's done.

Claire
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lens hood for 900 camera
tom hardwick wrote:
Looks to be a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the more efficient 16:9 but even so, it looks a neat solution as the supplied hood is more like a filter with the glass removed.

You need to file down the hood into a petal shape jgould, cutting away the corners. It is indeed the OIS that's vignetting the image as you move the camera.

tom.

Hi all, I bought this petal shaped hood from Amazon for a few pennies :cool:

I decided to buy a large 58mm one so as to minimize any chance of vignetting and used a 46 to 58mm adaptor ring.

Good points:
1) No vignetting at wide angle seen with IS either on or off.
2) Noticeable reduction in "glare" (going pale, reducing contrast) while panning to the south in winter sunshine, obviously still not pointing straight into the sun.

Bad point:
Poor threads! Resorted to scraping them with a fine blade before it would fit my adapter.

Claire

jgould
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Ordered one off Ebay with adapter, Thanks Claire

Dave Jervis
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Thanks Claire, ...hope they've got a couple in stock ...just placed my order. :) d.

jgould
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TM900 VW-VBN260 battery now available £31
tom hardwick
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jgould
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I'm just waiting to hear if the are decoded to show battery life left or not

jgould
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

Just received email to say batteries have decoded chip. Think I will wait a couple of months as I'm not desperate, I think then they will be half that price

colin rowe
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Another TM900 / EX1 Wedding

Another clip to show how the TM900 performs along side a Sony EX1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oq_JIOHdxM&context=C36e384aADOEgsToPDskJmpEd58IxNIigcMxrJIIU3
All the exterior shots + Brides house are TM900. The EX1 is used for the main service shots. The shot of the young lady singing in the church is the TM900. The difference between the cameras in the church/service shots is pretty obvious, but the little TM900 holds its own and is more than useable in most situations.

Colin Rowe

Claire
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How does the 1/25th shutter speed work?

Occasionally I use 1/25th shutter when filming in a dark place, taking care not to move the camera so to avoid streaking and blur from such a slow shutter speed.

Working within these limitations it's still a handy option to have at times.

My question is how does it work?

I always thought the maximum exposure time would be the same as the frame's duration, like a 360 degrees shutter angle or "OPEN ALL THE TIME", but according to my calculations, the shutter angle for 1/25 @ 50fps is 720 degrees?

Can this be correct or is my maths wrong?

Claire

Dave Jervis
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There's nothing wrong with your maths Claire. :) It's just a question of working out what is going on.

You could try the following simple test. In a darkened room, and using a very small torch pointing back at the (well irised down) camera, wave a tiny spot of light around in frame using sweeping arm movements. (...You can do this test by panning the camera around, but I find you get a good consistent speed by swinging the torch...)

Shoot small (50P) test sections at 1/25th, 1/50th, 1/100th (I would describe the shutter speed out loud so that the information is on the sound track for future reference).

(Note: It is usual at this point to have to break of and reassure people that you have not gone totally mad :) )

If you analyse this test footage frame by frame, it will point you in the direction of what is going on.

Assuming you are shooting at 50P, I would expect the short streaks of light to just touch each other as you step through frame by frame at 1/50th. (360 degree shutter)

At 1/100th, I would expect a shorter streak and a gap of similar length as you step through. (180 degree shutter)

At 1/25th I'd expect you to at least get a clue what is going on !

(I will test this myself when I get a chance and report back, but I can't just now...)

dave

Claire
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Hi Dave, I guess you have done this before, I have done your test and I now know the answer!

So simple :)

I shall keep it a secret for now ;)

Thanks!

Claire

Dave Jervis
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I have used this test before many times..... that was to help identify interlace and shutter issues way back when shutters first became available on video cameras..... but I've never tried this on these 50P cameras.

I really don't know what you will have found..... so have I got to do the tests myself or are you going to let me in on the secret....?

dave

Claire
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Dave, it appears to work in “frame-accumulation periods” like my EX1R does for very low shutter speeds.

When 1/25 shutter is used on my TM900 it accumulates two frames for each exposure.

Claire

Dave Jervis
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...ahhh, so you get two identical frames of 50P which both have the same 1/25th exposure.... and it will look like 25P with a 360 degree shutter when you view it... have I got that correct?
dave

Claire
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I think so Dave, at least it might look like 25P with no shutter but Edius tells me its 50P.

What I observe is that the image doesn't change for two frames, ie: 1/25 second, seemingly the light accumulated over two frames is used on each of these frames.

Does that makes sense?

Claire

Dave Jervis
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Yes Claire, that makes sense. :) d.

Paul Jordan
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Thank you Claire for the info on the petal lens hood and step up ring. Have just got mine form Amazon and it really is very good, like it a lot.

Have just ordered a VBN260 high capacity battery from China (Hong Kong) for £13 so will report here once arrived. Supposed to be fully chipped for showing remaining time so fingers crossed. Not much to lose if it does not work but better than spending £100 on the official Panasonic one.

Paul Jordan
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Another bit of info, I had asked Panasonic if using the SDXC cards in the 900 series would the camera use the exFat file format to overcome the 4gb file size limit, here is the answer:

"ISSUE RESOLUTION: Dear Mr Jordan,

Thank you for your enquiry.

In response to your email our camcorders do not use the exFAT system when formatting the memory cards. You can use SDXC cards with that unit.

The files are created in files of up to 4GB in size. If over 4GB is used in one scene then a new file will be created.

I trust that the above information will be of assistance to you. However, of course, if you should have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an email using this form: panasonic.co.uk/email please include your ticket reference in the message.

Kind Regards,

Joseph McLachlan
Online Support Team
Customer Communications Centre
Panasonic UK, a branch of Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH"

I was hoping for a different answer but not to be.

Claire
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Paul Jordan wrote:
Thank you Claire for the info on the petal lens hood and step up ring. Have just got mine form Amazon and it really is very good, like it a lot..

Hi Paul, just out of interest did it fit without fuss, ie: were the threads ok?

Claire

Paul Jordan
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Hi Claire, yes all the threads on the hood and step up ring were perfect, no extra work required, maybe I was just lucky. I just got a cheap step up ring from Ebay at £2 but it seems well made and metal (black). The petal hood is the same as yours from Amazon at £10 and is extemely well made.

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

Here is the new Rode mic, looks good and could be ideal for the Panasonic cams:

http://www.rodemic.com/mics/stereovideomicpro

And here is another new one that even records onto SD cards:

http://www.rodemic.com/news/announcing-the-videomic-hd-the-worlds-first-digital-recorder-video-microphone

Claire
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Just a thought.. always wanted a stereo version and had to take the mono one last year but I don't see an effective wind gag being available for this one, not with that funny bun shape. The raggy flea bitten one that came free with my mono VPMPro is useless in even a slight breeze, I had to fit a better one.

I think this stereo version will be a mic for inside use only.

Claire

David Pearson
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Joined: Nov 20 2000

I've found the wind gag on the original Rode Stereo Mic to be really very capable. Needed just a slight trim for the Panasonic...

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

I am sure Rycote will come out with a good wind gag for this mic, reckon it is going to be very popular going with past experience with Rode mics.

colin rowe
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Would one of these do the job http://www.rycote.com/products/miniscreen/ Available in 5 to 18 cm lengths. I have used one with an NTG-2 for a couple of years. Very effective on its own, and capable of dealing with a gale force wind on the cliffs here in North Cornwall, with the additional Windjammer attatched.

Colin Rowe

Paul Jordan
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Battery arrived safely from

Battery arrived safely from Hong Kong, took about 3 weeks. Very pleased with it, fully chipped and gives about 3 hours of power all for £13.94

tom hardwick
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
Just been having a play with my SD 900 putting it alongside the FX1 in a dimly lit room.  With both cameras on max gain, max aperture and 1/50th sec, the FX1 looks to be a stop brighter.  This is confirmed by letting the 900 choose it's 'slow shutter' mode of 1/25th sec, when they both match pretty accurately.
 
Interestingly the AWB on the Sony is a lot more accurate than the Panasonic, but the latter's picture has far less noise in it.
 
But my question is this - when I select the 'moon and star' icon - Colour Night View On, where does this camera 'find' its extra 2 or 3 stops?  Some of it comes from a slower shutter speed but not all of it.  Seems a bit like magic to me.  You can't access this from the manual exposure mode, only in iA.
 
In this mode it easily beats the FX1.
 
tom.
infocus2
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
tom hardwick wrote:
But my question is this - when I select the 'moon and star' icon - Colour Night View On, where does this camera 'find' its extra 2 or 3 stops?  .............Seems a bit like magic to me. 
Well, what's the saying about advanced civilizations, technology and magic.......? smiley
 
I can only guess, but you never get anything for nothing and the likelihood is that's it's effectively "averaging out" groups of pixels, which may be within the same frame or across several successive frames. There's no doubt it can be very effective at making a picture appear better than it should be without processing in extreme cases, but you never get anything for nothing. The intraframe processing is likely to come at the expense of sharpness, the interframe at the expense of "smearing" with movement, and maybe giving a rather plasticky look.
 
Try filming a scene in normal mode, then put in 2-3 stops of ND and film the same thing in Colour Night View and compare. Repeat the exercise with static scenes and then with movement and you should see how it's (explainable) technology and not magic!
Dave Jervis
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
Tom,
A brief test with my TM700 in Colour Night View mode and very dim lighting produced footage with an actual image rate of approx. 5.5 pictures per second with an apparent "360 degree" shutter. 
 
(....I did the test in 50p mode and got batches of 9 identical frames on replay. A moving point source light showed that there was no time missing, so the actual exposure was effectively 9/50 ths of a second.....)
dave
tom hardwick
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
So it might just be ok in this mode as the locked-off camera at the back of the dimly lit, small windowed church when it's raining outside.
Julian Barnes
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
Anyone used the Raynox 0.66 W/A converter much with the S900 and experienced vignetting at the wide angle setting ? , bought one last year couldn"t find a 46mm so got a 52 and use 46/52 step up ring , initially didn"t notice any sign of vignetting on static shots but noticed it today as I started to pan . 
 
Julian
 
tom hardwick
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
Sounds like you're seeing the OIS in operation.
I'm surprised the 52 mm version is so afflicted, maybe it's the 46>52 adapter,
is it very thick?
Julian Barnes
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
tom hardwick wrote:
Sounds like you're seeing the OIS in operation.
I'm surprised the 52 mm version is so afflicted, maybe it's the 46>52 adapter,
is it very thick?
 
You are right Tom , when I switch the OIS off the Vignetting dissapears , no the step up ring is fairly slim , do I keep the OIS off when wanting to use the converter or just zoom in a fraction till I cant see it ?
 
Julian
 
 
Julian Barnes
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
Just updating the thread to state that 50p footage recorded on the cam plays back fine in my new Vierra 42ST50 TV and the Panasonic BWT 720 Blu Ray recorder accepts 50p footage via the SD slot and plays/records to the hard drive as is shown as AVCHD PRO once archived .
 
Julian
Dave Jervis
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
I just spotted a report of this news from Panasonic.... It seems it might be an "XD900 Professional" kind of thing....
 
 
..... Is my bank balance in danger...?
 
dave.
Dave Jervis
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Re: Panasonic TM900 camera, Giant Killer 2?
Further to my post above, there is a brief (promotional) description of the AG-AC90 on youtube...
 

See video

 
....and it does look/sound like a "professionalised" X900.  XLRs, remote control sockets, 3 control rings, buttons for main features rather than touchscreen controls, twin SD slots with parallel recording ability, half decent lenshood, bigger zoom rocker on right plus a top handle one, etc etc.  ....all seem positive operational changes (but at a price of course).
 
I get the impression the sensors may be "new and improved" so jury out on that until I see pictures.
 
I hope they have solved the over exposure problem of the SD900 in auto exposure with a forced 1/50th shutter speed though.... couldn't see an internal ND switch, but they could have solved it another way... or don't they consider it to be a problem... . (I must admit that I don't know if this problem was corrected on the X900 and would be grateful if an X900 owner could tell me.)
 
RRP of maybe £1700 - £1800 inc. ? ...hopefully lower street price, but will it be worth the money over my £500 SD900?   ....have to wait and see....
 
dave