ATTN: Panasonic HDC-TM700 users

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Tony, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I have been shooting stuff semi pro for the past twenty years or so. I bought this camera last
    christmas and I cannot stand the small size of this thing. I seem to have no control over this
    camera like I did in the old days when a camera weighed 10 lbs. The worst part for me is the zoom. I
    cannot control it. It is never smooth for me. It is either too fast or varies too much, which of
    course, ruins my entire shot. What are you guys doing to get around this? Is this something that I
    can control after tons of practice or am I just screwed with the way it is? It is too sensitive for
    me. Thanks for your input.

    Tony, Jun 6, 2011
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  2. Tony

    Frank Guest

    I know exactly what you're talking about, Tony. These palmcorder-sized
    camcorders can be extraordinarily difficult to control at times,
    especially for someone accustomed to using a full-sized shoulder-mount
    camcorder. They're simply too light and too small and most of the
    controls are grossly undersized.

    I can suggest two things.

    One is to always use support, either a tripod or a monopod.

    The other is to trade in your HDC-TM700 for something a bit larger. In
    the Panasonic line, you might find the AG-HMC40 more easily
    controllable. Plus, the optional AG-MYA30G XLR adapter will allow you
    to attach real microphones, if you're so inclined.

    Further up the food chain, there's the single chip Canon XF100 and
    XF105 and the three-chip Canon XF300 and XF305 (all four models 50
    Mbps 4:2:2 MPEG-2) and, of course, there's always the 1/2-inch Sony
    PMW-EX1R and PMW-EX3 (both models 35 Mbps 4:2:0 MPEG-2).
    Good luck and hope this helps.
    Frank, Jun 6, 2011
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  3. It does take a bit of practice, but even I, with poor
    fine muscle control at this point, can fairly easily
    control this smooth rocker zoom control. Otherwise,
    try the very smooth lens front ring. This is *not*
    a shoulder-mount camera, but with braces and the use
    of its excellent stabilizer, good results can be had.
    (My brace is pictured here --
    <> )
    Of course a tripod (preferably with a really pro
    grade fluid head) would make all easier - although
    it is unfortunate that the camera lacks a Lanc port,
    which would help. Another solution is the Panasonic
    AF-100 4/3rds body, which will accept (with adapters)
    almost any lens (a friend, whose TM700 I now have),
    moved to this one with a 140 Mbps recording unit
    attached and using some of my Nikkor 35mm lenses,
    with spectacular results). Some samples are here --



    And some 60p TM700 video by the same person is here --


    BTW, one advantage of the TM700 is its 60p shooting
    mode, which with the excellent lens on the TM700, can
    produce VERY high image sharpness (the larger HMC40
    does not provide this capability, which can also be
    useful when slowing the video to half speed during
    David Ruether, Jun 6, 2011
  4. Tony

    mike Guest

    For about $2,000 less money than the PMW-EX1R and PMW-EX3, take a look
    at the JVC HM-750U.
    Unlike the EX1/EX3, it's a true shoulder-mount camera for those "run
    and gun" situations.
    It also uses regular Class 6 SDHC cards which are far cheaper than
    what Sony charges you for their SxS cards.
    My department at work has a pair of them and an HM-700U and I have
    very few complaints.
    They are 1/3" chips (3 of them) so low light performance is not quite
    as good as the EX1/EX3 but so far I'm not complaining.

    mike, Jun 7, 2011
  5. Tony

    Frank Guest

    For shooting standard definition or 720p, I have no problem with the
    JVC GY-HM750U, but I'm not so excited about the 1080 modes given that
    the camcorder uses under-sampled sensors and therefore pixel-shifts
    (JVC calls it "Triplex Offset") in order to get 1920 by 1080 images.

    All of the other six camcorders that I mentioned have sensors with a
    full 1920 by 1080 matrix of photo sites, thus no upconversion when
    recording in a 1080 mode of operation.

    Five or six years ago camcorders with under-sampled sensors weren't
    all that uncommon, but it's 2011 and I really feel that upconversion
    ought to be a thing of the past by now.

    Just my opinion.
    Frank, Jun 7, 2011
  6. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Thanks for the responses guys. I do use a tripod but it is still very difficult. The camera is so
    light, that just touching the zoom rocker causes it to have a slight bump in the picture. Instead of
    the HMC-40, I was about to buy the HMC 150. It looks more sturdy than this. Do you think it is as
    good as the other models you mentioned? I really dont want to spend more than $3000.

    I can always use the 700 as a family camera.

    Tony, Jun 15, 2011
  7. Tony

    Frank Guest

    You're welcome.
    I understand.
    While there are Panasonic products that I like, the AG-HMC150 was
    never one of them. It's also over two years old now and may be due for
    replacement, perhaps with something having full-raster sensors.
    In the under $3000 category, I think that the Canon XF100 (50 Mbps
    8-bit 4:2:2 MPEG-2 video with LPCM balanced XLR audio) for $2999 is
    the clear winner. I would encourage you to take a close look at it.

    Another product to consider, at a slightly lower price point, is the
    new Sony HXR-NX70U (8-bit 4:2:0 AVCHD video with LPCM balanced XLR
    audio) camcorder for $2799.

    Another point to consider, if like David Ruether you're in love with
    the 28 Mbps 1080p59.94 non-broadcast-standard, non-AVCHD mode of your
    Panasonic HDC-TM700, is that the Sony HXR-NX70U also offers such a
    recording mode (the AG-HMC150 and XF100 do not).

    Regards, and hope this helps.
    Frank, Jun 16, 2011
  8. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Thanks for those suggestions. Is this Sony good in the USA? It seems to shoot 50 and 25 fps. Isnt
    that PAL? Does that Canon use interchangeable lenses? It looks nearly as small as my TM700. Is it
    the same size as the HMC40?

    Tony, Jun 17, 2011
  9. Tony

    Frank Guest

    In the U.S., the model to buy is the HXR-NX70U. It operates off of a
    59.94 Hz timebase, as would be expected for a video product intended
    for sale in the United States and Canada.

    It Europe, it's the HXR-NX70E. In Japan, it's the HXR-NX70J. In China,
    it's the HXR-NX70C. In Australia and New Zealand, it's the HXR-NX70P.
    In South Korea, it's the HXR-NX70N. In Hong Kong, you have your choice
    of either the HXR-NX70N or the HXR-NX70P.

    The particular model being sold in any given country always reflects
    the timebase, either 50 Hz or 59.94 Hz, that's normally used for video
    equipment in that particular country.

    Note that the HXR-NX50N, just like the HXR-NX50U, has a 59.94 Hz
    timebase, but that if you purchase an HXR-NX50N in the U.S. or Canada,
    it's gray market goods and Sony will refuse to honor the warranty.

    As to your other questions, please avail yourself of my Documentation
    Index (URL in sig). There you'll find a number of downloadable PDF
    brochures and manuals that should help answer any specific technical
    questions that you may have.
    Frank, Jun 17, 2011
  10. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I was seriously considering the Sony and the Canon models you mentioned above. I decided on the
    Canon but at the last minute, realized it was a single chip camera. I was looking to stay 3 chip.
    Thanks anyway.

    Tony, Jun 23, 2011
  11. Tony

    Frank Guest

    Well, I'm certainly not trying to steer you toward something that
    you'll ultimately not like, and I don't have a dog in this race, but I
    think that you'll find that technology has progressed significantly in
    the past few years and that today's best single-chip CMOS camcorders
    run rings around similarly priced three-chip CCD camcorders of just a
    few years ago - and it isn't just the sensors that have been improved,
    the DSP is quite more sophisticated these days.

    A good three-chip model, as previously mentioned, would be the Canon
    XF300, or if you wanted to go 1/2-inch, the Sony PMW-EX1R, but they're
    both beyond your price range.

    On a side note, let me gently remind you that all DSLRs are
    single-chip, as are virtually all video cameras that are sold as
    substitutes for film-based motion picture cameras. This situation
    applies from the lowly Canon EOS 5D Mark II ($2500, body only) to a
    Sony F35 (over $100K), and includes lower-end camcorders such as the
    Sony NEX-FS100U ($4999 without lens) and the Sony PMW-F3L ($13,960
    without lens). These last two models, both of which support the use of
    interchangeable lenses, share the same single 35mm-sized CMOS sensor.

    Good luck in your hunting!
    Frank, Jun 23, 2011
  12. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Thanks Frank. I havent bought a 3 ccd camera since 1999 when I purchased teh Sony TRV900. I always
    thought you needed 3 chip to get more accurate colors and all. Do you think the Canon FX100 is as
    good picturewise as the HMC-150 I was originally looking at? If so, I think I may do it based on
    your input.

    Tony, Jun 23, 2011
  13. Tony

    Frank Guest

    You're very welcome.
    That was absolutely true back in the day, but times, along with sensor
    technology and DSP algorithms, have changed.

    Don't get me wrong, however. The XF300 *is* a better product, in terms
    of PQ, than the XF100, for example, but the XF100 is a great little
    camcorder for the price, as is the Sony HXR-NX70U.

    For the best possible results, all of these products have to be used
    within their limitations.

    If you want fewer limitations in a camcorder, get yourself a Sony
    PMW-500 ($25K) or better yet, a Sony PDW-F800 ($39K without lens or
    viewfinder). I don't say that to be sarcastic; I'm simply trying to
    point out that in the under-$3K price range, you're going to encounter
    some severe limitations no matter which product you choose.
    Ah, so you're looking for someone to blame, I get it! :)

    Just kidding.

    Now for the serious part: I would take one XF100 over two AG-HMC150's
    any day of the week.

    By the way, footage from the big bother of the XF100/XF105, the
    XF300/XF305, is actually accepted by the BBC for certain programming.
    Can't say that about the Panny.

    One of the differences between Sony and Panasonic is that Sony
    actually does basic research into sensor development, and has devoted
    some considerable effort toward producing high quality CMOS sensors.
    Their Exmor R sensor is an example of this. Even the PMW-F3 uses an
    Exmor sensor. Couple that with a cheap but fast 35mm SLR lens and you
    can (almost) shoot in the dark.

    Again, good luck to you with whatever you choose. For me, right now,
    I've got to go get some sleep before my head hits the keyboard.
    Frank, Jun 24, 2011
  14. Tony

    Tony Guest

    OK .You made your case. Quick question. I can get a Panasonic HMC-40. Please see the following:

    Panasonic HMC40 Video Camera for sale plus extras $1700
    Includes: Original Box, Battery, Charger, connection cables
    Hours used: 162
    Used just for work for the past year. Great Condition.

    Also included: XLR Adapter (Retail $280)
    Rode Microphone (Retail $150)
    Extra Battery (Retail $80)
    32gb Kingston sdhc memory card (retail $60)

    Is that camera the same as my TM-700? Do you think it is close to the Canon XF300? The 40 is newer
    than the 150, so maybe it is a bit better?

    Tony, Jun 25, 2011
  15. The TM700 can shoot 28Mbps peak data rate "60"p video; the AG-HMC40
    (which is similar except in form-factor (and the addition of XLR
    connections) cannot shoot in "60"p mode (it's limited to "60"i,
    at 1/2 the resolution per 1/60th second frame, and 24Mbps peak data
    rate). From other's input, the EVFs are equally poor (although the
    surround on the 40's eyepiece is an improvement). There are some
    other features that may be of use to some shooters (but not to
    me, but maximum image quality is...;-)
    The camera is described here --
    David Ruether, Jun 25, 2011
  16. Tony

    bob Guest

    Well, I'm certainly not trying to steer you toward something that
    To make rough comparison of low light performance of 3-sensor cameras you
    compare the sensor sizes.

    How do you make a rough low-light performance comparison between 3-sensor
    cameras and 1-sensor cameras?
    bob, Jun 25, 2011
  17. Tony

    bob Guest

    Get a camcorder with a LANC jack so you can plug in an off-camera zoom
    controller to finesse the zoom.
    bob, Jun 25, 2011
  18. Tony

    Frank Guest

    It's basically an HDC-TM700 adopted for prosumer use, hence support
    for the optional AG-MYA30G 2-Channel XLR Mic Adaptor.

    Sony does similar stuff (putting a consumer cam into a larger body,
    adding a few features, and selling it for more money).
    To the XF300? No, I do not. The XF300 is in a different league.
    In some respects, yes. In fact, I prefer the 40 to the 150.

    I do believe that the AG-HMC40P is an okay product for the price
    (although I liked it a bit more when it was selling for less than the
    $1795 that it currently does), but it doesn't compare well to the

    OTOH, you will find any of these camcorders to be easier to hold and
    control than the palmcorder-sized product that you're currently using.
    Frank, Jun 25, 2011
  19. Tony

    Frank Guest

    David, I've mentioned the 28 Mbps 1080p59.94 issue a couple of times
    in this thread and have received no indication from Tony as to whether
    or not this is an important point to him.

    I do believe, however, that if one is going to purchase a camcorder
    with such a capability, that it makes sense to own an HDTV that can
    support it. I did a very quick survey for someone a couple of weeks
    ago and one of the few televisions that I came up with where it was
    clearly indicated in the specs that it supported 1920 by 1080 at "60p"
    was the LG (formerly Lucky Gold, now Life's Good) model 55LW9500.

    Here are my "quickie notes" on the 55LW9500:

    "Latest 54.6-inch full LED backlit (not edge-lit) 480 Hz model with
    IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 1080 59.94p and 1080 60p via component (2)
    and HDMI (4), xvYCC, 10 Base-T/100 Base-TX RJ-45 LAN, and "Just Scan"
    mode (no overscan - displays all pixels in the frame of video with no
    cropping, and also has defeatable local dimming, making it very useful
    for editing purposes when attached to an NLE).

    Also has two USB 2.0 ports that support flash memory cards up to 32 GB
    in size and hard disk drives up to 1 TB in size. The HDDs can be FAT32
    or NTFS formatted. Up to four partitions are supported per HDD.
    Nero MediaHome 4 Essentials in bundled with the TV. HDMI is version

    And here's a link.

    The latest news, however, is that the 55LW9500 will probably never
    receive widespread distribution in the U.S. Instead, a replacement
    model will be released later this year.
    Frank, Jun 25, 2011
    David Ruether, Jun 25, 2011
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