Panasonic TM/SD 700/900 - Still Pics

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Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

I wonder if anyone could point me to some still photographs taken with 700/900 camcorders, please?

Consumer digital still cameras are steadily gaining better and better video facilities, to bridge the gap between still photography and videography. It's very easy to find examples of video footage from cameras such as Canon SX30IS and Panasonic FZ100 and, though pretty good, they aren't as good as dedicated camcorders. However those still cameras are around half the price of Panasonic's consumer camcorders and that is a hard fact that most ordinary consumers can't ignore.

Even so, to arrive at a better informed decision, I would be very interested to look see how well this dual purpose overlapping is being addressed by camcorders, despite them being about twice the price (and my serious reservations over the price of their batteries).

Finding examples of still pics from camcorders seems to be really difficult, so I would be very grateful if anyone could post links.

col lamb
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Joined: Jan 2 2010

I have a TM900

PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send some to you.

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

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

Many thanks, Col, that's very kind of you - will do! :-)

I'd still be very grateful for more comments or opinions on this

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

Not sure if Google scales the image or not - this is from an SDT750 taken in auto mode.

Link to full size image

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/oQOaBt9-ozIiuIDclAWme3cKsBJQByBxtftewWASYNA?feat=directlink

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

Thank you very much for that, Gavin.

It looks as least as good as, and maybe better than, stills from my present Canon S3IS - this is very encouraging!

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

You've got to remember that the 700/900 uses tiny chips just 3.3 mm across. Because of this the camera comes equipped with a very short focal length zoom, so generally every still photo you take will have gobs of dof. It's differential focus that often makes pictures look good and that's why every camera designed to take stills first and movies second includes a bigger chip to start with.

tom.

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

Thanks Tom

Although specifically asking about 700/900 camcorders here, I have a ton of options flying around in my mind before taking another purchasing plunge.

One of them is - how's about a Canon 600D, on the basis that I still have three EOS lenses from my, EOS film period, probably 15 years old now . . .

I'm trying (but haven't completely succeeded!) to talk myself out of the DSLR option, with the arguments that they are BIG, and humping a bag of lenses around is more of a chore than a pleasure, as the years advance. I also gather from reviews that Canon's DSLRs have poor auto focus under video zooming. I still half fancy the idea though . . .

I do apologise for straying off topic (900 camcorder), but the overlapping options make it very difficult not wander all over the place in my decision making process!

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

It depends what you do more of. If that's taking stills then the 600D will allow far more photographic creativity than the 900 - but as you say, with more bulk and shorter zooms. If movies are your true love then the 900 will trounce the EOS for ease of use, ergonomics and compactness.

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

Thanks again Tom for concise, wise words.
Though I love both, I am concluding that my inclination is (just) more towards movies.
It would probably declutter my mind a little if I actually got rid of these EOS lenses, ASAP!

It's hard to dump old friends . . . but I guess I'd better do it.

jgould
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Joined: Mar 28 2005
Tropi

Tropi I Have an as new Sony A55 for sale if you're interested AVCHD format cracking camera full autofocus during filming..upgraded to nikon D700

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000
jgould

Thank you - that's so very tempting!

But the DSLR option was only based on my already owning some EOS lenses and, with difficulty, I think I have to get rid of my lenses, in an effort to reduce my options, rather than open up yet more.
If I can force myself to do that, then it's looking like I should limit myself to either a 900 camcorder or one of the 'super-zoom' digicams.

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

Now, here is a clear cut question on the 700/900 camcorder - I think

Is the Panasonic supplied software able to facilitate basic video editing in Hi Def?
I would guess most of you have much more sophisticated software and quite likely have never looked at what Panasonic provide with the camera LOL!!!

But I really would like to know if anyone has checked it out and whether it would do to start with.

g3vbl
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Joined: Sep 9 2000

The answer is yes with the emphasis on basic. With the SDT750 I have HD Writer AE 2.6T but, as far as I am aware, the AE 3.0 that comes with the 900 series is not very different.

In short, it's enough to get started with.

g3vbl
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Joined: Sep 9 2000
mooblie
mooblie's picture
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Joined: Apr 27 2001

I know the Panasonic HDC-SD600 had the simple editing/Blu-ray Authoring package "HD Writer AE 2.1". See towards the bottom of this page:
http://panasonic.net/avc/camcorder/hd/hs700_tm700_sd700/feature3.html

The User Manual (7MB PDF file) can be downloaded here.

I guess the later camcorders have the same software??? Maybe someone can confirm?

It allows basic capture of clips from the camera's cards to your PC, trimming and assembling into chapters and authoring/burning to Blu-ray.
---
Edit: OK, the other guys got there before me! Download the manual anyway for a guide...

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

col lamb
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Joined: Jan 2 2010

You are going to have editing problems with any AVCHD camcorder if your PC is not up to the task, as a rough guide quad core 3GHz, 4RAM minimum. PLus editing software and the best affordable is Edius Neo 3.

Alternatively transcode the AVCHD files into AVI's using Cineform's Neoscene.

Before you buy the camcorder go to a dealer with a Class 4 SD card and test it by recording onto the SD card, if you try the TM model then make sure the menu is set to write to the card and not to its internal memory which it does by default. At home download trial versions of the software mentioned, transcode the files and see how it works.

As I know the spec of your PC it will not edit native AVCHD, it may play the files if you have a suitable player. Transcode the files and then see how it looks.

In Edius Neo do make sure you have the correct preset for the AVCHD files or for the 1080p files

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

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000

Phew!
Many thanks to everyone for your very helpful responses. There is a lot of useful info there that I don't think I would have found any other way, except by making expensive and infuriating trial and error mistakes! Again, this is very encouraging and I'll spend tomorrow reading that manual. I'm feeling more and more confident about a TM900 and thank you all again :-)

Bob Aldis
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Joined: Mar 7 2001

I thought the Panasonics would have basic on camera editing, at least deleting and splitting?

Bob Aldis

Tropi
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Joined: Dec 1 2000
Plunge taken

In spite of my absolute disgust with Panasonic battery confusion, iniquitous Pana battery prices and lack of an off-camera charger, I ordered an SD900 from Amazon yesterday. Would have liked the TM with on-board memory but the price difference was ridiculous - yet another black mark for Panasonic pricing. Good job the camera comes so highly recommended!

Amazon seemed the best deal at £644 - even better with a promised £50 Amazon voucher within a week or so. That can go towards a spare battery, later. So I'm in the club, or near enough anyway :-)

Many thanks to everyone who has posted a lot of very helpful information and advice while I was making up my mind!