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post #1 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been looking into purchasing a new camcorder.

My old one is a Sony DCR-TRV38 Digital Handycam.
It's breaking down, and it has no drivers compatible with win7 OS.

Served me well for nearly a decade,
but I want something with HD 1080p,
amazing quality, etc.

I just don't know much about all these new specs and what to look out for.

Did some searching but there's so many models out there.
Looking to spend anywhere from 400-800$ CAD.

The 'Canon Vixia HFM40' looked decent (700$).
Yet I'm lost when it comes to new technology.

Anyone who can share some opinions?
It would be very helpful, and possibly save me from making a bad purchase.
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post #2 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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It seems my decision to get the Canon Vixia HFM40
was conflicted today when I went to Futureshop.

The guy there told me to go with something else,
the Sony Handycam 240GB XR550. (850$)

I was told that this Sony model had a better lens.
Now I'm just confused about the whole thing.

I do like that the Sony has a view finder whereas the
Canon must always have it's LCD screen opened.

However I'm still not sure what I'm getting my wallet
into.

I'd provide specs according to the website, however
I'm unable to provide links yet. (thanks spammers)
(unable to provide links yet, thanks spammers..)
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post #3 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Mantra View Post

It seems my decision to get the Canon Vixia HFM40
was conflicted today when I went to Futureshop.

The guy there told me to go with something else,
the Sony Handycam 240GB XR550. (850$)

I was told that this Sony model had a better lens.
Now I'm just confused about the whole thing.

I do like that the Sony has a view finder whereas the
Canon must always have it's LCD screen opened.

However I'm still not sure what I'm getting my wallet
into.

I'd provide specs according to the website, however
I'm unable to provide links yet. (thanks spammers)
(unable to provide links yet, thanks spammers..)


test teh cameras out with your own flash card. Take a video in the store take teh flssh card home plug it in and compare the camers you are interested in.
Keep in mind that Sony is very slow to autofocus.
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post #4 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 03:15 PM
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The Sony XR500 is two years old. I'm not sure I would buy that camera. He might just be trying to get rid of the last cameras in stock.

The Canon M4xx series is supposed to be very good. It can't quite match the quality of the Panasonic SD800 (or SD/TM900) in daylight, but supposedly has better low light capabilities.

While Steve Cebu certainly has a point that one might try the cameras out in a store, I also think you are looking for feedback from others, right?

I have not yet decided if I will by the Canon M400/M406 (US/EU, same model, AFAIK) or the Panasonic SD800 (which is a bit more expensive). But the fact that the SD800 and its more expensive brothers supposedly have superior quality in daylight while Canon M4xx only has 10x zoom makes me lean towards the Panasonic.

But that better low light performance of the M4xx sure is tempting. And the Panasonic might be out of your price range. What is the SD800 over there?

Anyway, my impression is that the Canon M4xx series is an excellent choice, with particularly impressive low light capabilities for the price.
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post #5 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Cebu View Post

test teh cameras out with your own flash card. Take a video in the store take teh flssh card home plug it in and compare the camers you are interested in.

I don't have a flash card, however I did play around with the Canon and Sony Models a fair bit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect View Post

The Sony XR500 is two years old. I'm not sure I would buy that camera. He might just be trying to get rid of the last cameras in stock.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. It is possible he's just trying to get rid of old stock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect View Post

I also think you are looking for feedback from others, right?

Yes, I'm desperately looking for the feedback of camcorder enthusiasts and not salesmen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect View Post

And the Panasonic might be out of your price range. What is the SD800 over there?

Not sure, couldn't find it on the site.

Anyways, here are 3 sets of specs that I've been looking over.

Canon Vixia 16GB Flash Memory (HFM40) [$700]
Video:
Res - 1920 x 1080
Vid Format - AVCHD
xvYCC capable - info not avail
24p - Yes
60i - Yes
Audio:
12-bit - No
16-bit - Yes
Windcut - Yes
Mic Input - Yes
Camcorder:
Optical Zoom - 10x
Digital Zoom - 200x
Manual Exposure Control - Yes
Manual Focus - Yes
Electronic Software Image Stabilization - No
Optical Lens Based Image Stabilization - Yes
Lens Manufacturer - Canon
Slow Shutter Mode - Yes
Nightvision - No
Time Lapse Video - No
Still Shot (Effective/Interpolated) - 2.07 MP
Still Shot In Video - No
Support:
Built-in Storage Capacity GB - 16 GB
Built-in Storage Capacity Hours - MXP: 1 Hour 25 Minutes; FXP: 2 Hours 5 Minutes; XP+: 2 Hours 50 Minutes; SP: 4 Hours 45 Minutes; LP: 6 Hours 5 Minutes
Flash Max Capacity - SD; SDHC; SDXC X2
Flash Record Still Shots to Flash Memory - Yes
Flash Record Video to Flash Memory - Yes
Flash Card Compatibility - SD; SDHC; SDXC
Hardware:
Colour Viewfinder - Yes
LCD Size - 3.0 Inches
Speaker - Yes
Remote Control - Yes
Video Light - No
Hot Shoe Flash Capable - Yes
Hot Shoe Light Capable - Yes
Hot Shoe Mic Capable - Yes
Lens Cover - Yes
Battery Life Rating - info not avail
Battery Type - Lithium-Ion BP-808
Editing:
Custom Titling - No
Date and Time - Yes
Digital Special Effects - Yes
PC Supplied Software - Quick Guide
Mac Supplied Software - Quick Guide
Connections:
USB 2.0 - Included
HDMI - Included
Component - Included
Composite - No
S-Video - STV Cable Included
Docking Station - No


Sony Handycam 240GB Hard Drive (HDR-XR550V) [$850]
Video:
Res - 1920 x 1080
Vid Format - MPEG4 AVC/H.264; MPEG
xvYCC capable - Yes
24p - No
60i - Yes
Audio:
12-bit - info not avail
16-bit - info not avail
Windcut - Yes
Mic Input - Yes
Camcorder:
Optical Zoom - 10x
Digital Zoom - 120x
Manual Exposure Control - Yes
Manual Focus - Yes
Electronic Software Image Stabilization - Yes
Optical Lens Based Image Stabilization - Yes
Lens Manufacturer - Sony G Lens
Slow Shutter Mode - Yes
Nightvision - Yes
Time Lapse Video - No
Still Shot (Effective/Interpolated) - 12 MP
Still Shot In Video - 8.3 MP
Support:
Built-in Storage Capacity GB - 240 GB
Built-in Storage Capacity Hours - 100/23
Flash Max Capacity - 32GB
Flash Record Still Shots to Flash Memory - Yes - Flash Optional
Flash Record Video to Flash Memory - Yes - Flash Optional
Flash Card Compatibility - MS Pro Duo; SD/SDHC
Hardware:
Colour Viewfinder - Yes
LCD Size - 3.5 Inches
Speaker - Yes
Remote Control - Yes
Video Light - No
Hot Shoe Flash Capable - Yes
Hot Shoe Light Capable - Yes
Hot Shoe Mic Capable - Yes
Lens Cover - Integrated
Battery Life Rating - 90 Minutes
Battery Type - Lithium-Ion
Editing:
Custom Titling - GPS Geo-tagging
Date and Time - Yes
Digital Special Effects - No
PC Supplied Software - Picture Motion Browser
Mac Supplied Software - No
Connections:
USB 2.0 - Included
HDMI - Optional - Sold Seperately
Component - Included
Composite - Included
S-Video - Optional - Sold Seperately
Docking Station - No


Sony 220GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder (HD-RPJ50V) [$900]
Video:
Res - 1920 x 1080
Vid Format - Yes to All
xvYCC capable - Yes
24p - Yes
60i - Yes
Audio:
12-bit - No
16-bit - No
Windcut - Yes
Mic Input - Yes
Camcorder:
Optical Zoom - 12x
Digital Zoom - 160x
Manual Exposure Control - No
Manual Focus - Yes
Electronic Software Image Stabilization - No
Optical Lens Based Image Stabilization - Yes
Lens Manufacturer - Sony
Slow Shutter Mode - No
Nightvision - No
Time Lapse Video - No
Still Shot (Effective/Interpolated) - 7.1 MP
Still Shot In Video - 5.3 MP
Support:
Built-in Storage Capacity GB - 220 GB
Built-in Storage Capacity Hours - Up To 18 Hours HQ HD Mode
Flash Max Capacity - 32GB
Flash Record Still Shots to Flash Memory - info not avail
Flash Record Video to Flash Memory - Yes
Flash Card Compatibility - Internal Flash Memory; Memory Stick PRO Duo (Mark2); Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo; SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card (Class 4 or Higher)
Hardware:
Colour Viewfinder - No
LCD Size - 3 Inches
Speaker - Yes
Remote Control - Yes
Video Light - No
Hot Shoe Flash Capable - Yes
Hot Shoe Light Capable - Yes
Hot Shoe Mic Capable - Yes
Lens Cover - Integrated
Battery Life Rating - info not avail
Battery Type - InfoLithium Lithium Ion
Editing:
Custom Titling - No
Date and Time - Yes
Digital Special Effects - Yes - 90 Different Settings
PC Supplied Software - PMB Ver. 5.5 Supports Windows XP SP3 (32bit); Windows Vista SP2 (32/64-bit); Windows 7
Mac Supplied Software - No
Connections:
USB 2.0 - Included
HDMI - Optional - Sold Seperately
Component - Included
Composite - Included
S-Video - Optional - Sold Seperately
Docking Station - No


One thing I'm really looking for is 24p for cinema style filming.
Another is great Optical Zoom.
Sadly the Canon models don't have a view finder..
Anyways, if you spot any bad signs that I'd likely not notice, please point them out. I'm looking to buy one of these and I'd like it to be the right choice.
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post #6 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 06:57 PM
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Like you, I recently was looking for a new camcorder and the various specs were overwhelming. Luckily, this forum provided some great tips.

My first question for u is whether you want a camcorder with flash memory or a hard drive? Two of the models u listed have hard drives and, at least from my research, are appearing to be phased out.

I ultimately went with the Panasonic TMC-SD800. It has a 3mos sensor, great OIS and 12x optical zoom. I believe the Canon M series will give you better low light capability but the Panasonic seemed like a better overall camcorder. Plus, B&H had it on sale for $765 + a $100 gift card. I think that deal is still going on actually.

Good luck on your choice!
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post #7 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seinfeld1104 View Post

My first question for u is whether you want a camcorder with flash memory or a hard drive?

A flash memory wouldn't bother me, as I'd be uploading any footage I took. Having copious amounts of space for recording would just overwhelm me when it came down to rendering and post-editing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seinfeld1104 View Post

I ultimately went with the Panasonic TMC-SD800. It has a 3mos sensor, great OIS and 12x optical zoom.

I checked it out and it looks nice, especially with additional optical zoom. However I may just buckle down and go for the Canon, as having so many options does nothing but stress me out with indecision.
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post #8 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 03:00 AM
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My current thinking is that the Canon M400 (M406 in Europe) is probably the best purchase for most people:

The Panasonic SD800 lacks things like a microphone plug, and it is a bit more expensive than the M400. The M400 also has better low light capabilities, which is probably more noticeable than the better daylight quality for the SD800 (unless you compare them side by side).

However, I do think 10x zoom is a bit low, as I like to be able to zoom in on things. And the SD800 has a 20x hybrid zoom.

Yeah.. decisions, decisions
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post #9 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 05:03 AM
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The Canon HFM40 uses the same professional sensor as used in the HF G10, XA10, and the $4000, XF 100/105 models.
It does not however offer a usable wideangle mode (43mm). If that is important to you, avoid.
For me, wideangle was everything, there is nothing worse than not being able to fit something in a shot.

The Panasonic SD900 or SD700 (same cam, but within internal memory), offers the best image quality on the market sub $1000, and has a good wideangle and killer macro capability.

The Canon HF G10 and Sony HDRCX700V currently battle is out the best consumer camcorders money can buy. The Pana SD700/SD900 isn't far behind in image quality and almost half the price (and within your price range)
I opted to pay the most and get the Canon HF G10 because of it's pro sensor and optics, dual SD cards, and advanced external audio capabilities.
But if I only had your money to spend the Pana SD700 or SD900 is by far the best choice, and I looked at practically every datasheet on every camera on high end market.

Don't buy anything without external mic input and "shoe" mount. Audio quality is just as important as video, even more so. A $150 Rode Videomic will give you outstanding audio to match your video.

The greater the optical zoom, the smaller the sensor and lower capability of the optics. If you want top image quality, you MUST get low optical zoom.
That's why the super cheap $200 cams offer 40x optical zoom, but the $1500 prosumer ones only offer x10 or so.

IMO avoid the hard drive camcorders, there is just no need for it, more power consumption, can make noise in very quiet environments, and not a rugged as SD card. If you store all your vide o on camcorder hard drive and don't back it up, you are just begging to lose it.

Dave.
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post #10 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altzone View Post

The Canon HF G10 and Sony HDRCX700V currently battle is out the best consumer camcorders money can buy. The Pana SD700/SD900 isn't far behind in image quality and almost half the price (and within your price range)

Dave.

Not sure what you're smoking Dave, but the TM900 smokes the CX700v both in sharpness and colour reproduction. The HF G10 kills the TM900 in low light, but can't match the motion and sharpness of the TM900
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post #11 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 06:08 AM
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Not sure what you're smoking Dave, but the TM900 smokes the CX700v both in sharpness and colour reproduction. The HF G10 kills the TM900 in low light, but can't match the motion and sharpness of the TM900

I don't know about the TM900, it does not seem to be available in Australia where I am from, only the HDC-SD900 which is what I was talking about.
I presume it's different? If not then I've read the opposite to what you claim.

And quite frankly when it comes to these high end cams, I don't think the differences are that great in practice, and most likely will be of little relevance to someone who asks the usual "which is the best cam" question like this on a forum.

Let me guess, you are a TM900 fanboy?

Dave.
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post #12 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Mantra View Post

A flash memory wouldn't bother me, as I'd be uploading any footage I took. Having copious amounts of space for recording would just overwhelm me when it came down to rendering and post-editing.

Given that, you might wwant to make sure your cam has a 24P/25P mode.
If you want to shoot in progressive mode and it only has the higher end 50P/60P, then you might not like the extra bitrate and file size required.

Dave.
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post #13 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altzone View Post

I don't know about the TM900, it does not seem to be available in Australia where I am from, only the HDC-SD900 which is what I was talking about.
I presume it's different? If not then I've read the opposite to what you claim.

And quite frankly when it comes to these high end cams, I don't think the differences are that great in practice, and most likely will be of little relevance to someone who asks the usual "which is the best cam" question like this on a forum.

Let me guess, you are a TM900 fanboy?

Dave.

The SD900 and TM900 are exactly the same - they just differ in the medium in which they record to (sd card vs flash memory)

It is a known fact the Panny produces much better colours and a sharper image than the Sony... Check out any footage of the 2 cams, ask someone on this forum who has had experience with both (Ken, Steve), or go to camcorderinfo.com

I'm not trying to say the Sony is bad, but your comment stating that the Canon & Sony are the best camcorders is far from the truth
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post #14 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altzone View Post

I don't know about the TM900, it does not seem to be available in Australia where I am from, only the HDC-SD900 which is what I was talking about.
I presume it's different? If not then I've read the opposite to what you claim.

And quite frankly when it comes to these high end cams, I don't think the differences are that great in practice, and most likely will be of little relevance to someone who asks the usual "which is the best cam" question like this on a forum.

Let me guess, you are a TM900 fanboy?

Dave.


Dave, the TM900 and the SD900 are basically the same camera.
No idea if you can get a TM900 is Oz but I don't live there.
I had a TM900 and in bright light it's great, it does have some known issues with making the sky, cyan sometimes and the fan does make noise loud enough to hear in a quiet room.
Reviiews are very positive on the TM900. If it had better low light I would have kept mine.
The differences between the TM900 and the HF G10 which I own are night and day. Very low light on the Canon is nothing short of remarkable. The Panny just can't keep up. I tried everything and all you can do is add more light which it loves.
There is no "best" cam, it depends on what you will use it for. the midrange cams have no best either. Some are better in some areas than others.
I'd be wary of reviews that say the TM900/SD900 is crap.
I'd challenge that.
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post #15 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altzone View Post

It does not however offer a usable wideangle mode (43mm). If that is important to you, avoid.

Is wideangle the amount the lens captures on the sides
(for instance perched on my desk infront of me, would it get the sides of this living room rather than just my face?)
Or is wideangle just a mode you can select for bars on the
tops and bottom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altzone View Post

The greater the optical zoom, the smaller the sensor and lower capability of the optics. If you want top image quality, you MUST get low optical zoom.
That's why the super cheap $200 cams offer 40x optical zoom, but the $1500 prosumer ones only offer x10 or so.

Very good to know that.


So I guess it's either the Canon or Panasonic now..

But I'll be clear on what I'm looking for in a camcorder.
*HQ 1080p HD (just so I can get back into filming)
*a 24p mode for cinematic effect (or so I'm told)
*something can film in the evening or a dim apartment
*a lens that captures much of the sides for a wider view.
*HD pictures, regardless of the zoom (10x for instance)
*Doubt I'll get a cam with a viewfinder (But I love those.)
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post #16 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 11:29 AM
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There have been some arguments on prior posts that the Canon M series does not shoot in native 24p whereas the Panasonic does. Also, the Panasonic will give you better color and images due to the 3mos sensor and it has a wider lens. But across the board, people seems to like the Canon for its low light capability.
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post #17 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altzone View Post
I don't know about the TM900, it does not seem to be available in Australia where I am from, only the HDC-SD900 which is what I was talking about.
The 900s are all the same except:

SD900: No built in memory
TM900: Memory built in
HS900: Hard drive built in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altzone View Post
The Canon HFM40 uses the same professional sensor as used in the HF G10, XA10, and the $4000, XF 100/105 models.
It does not however offer a usable wideangle mode (43mm). If that is important to you, avoid.
For me, wideangle was everything, there is nothing worse than not being able to fit something in a shot.
I hadn't even considered this! The Panasonic SD800 (which is the SD900 without optical viewfinder, mic input and some other things) is 35mm. This makes the Canon M4xxx series less interesting indeed.

The SD800 has more zoom, better quality in decent light, and wider angle.

The Canon M4xxx is quite a bit cheaper, and has better low light capabilities. But 10x zoom is not good enough, and now the not-so-wide angle...

This moves me even closer to getting the SD800.
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post #18 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Cebu View Post
I'd be wary of reviews that say the TM900/SD900 is crap.
I'd challenge that.
I found this one:

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...ewsID=4727&p=4

It doesn't exactly say that the SD800 (800, not 900) is crap, but they claim that:

"larger screens tend to expose the graininess and artifacts in the video quality"

As if this is not a problem for other cameras in this price range? Am I missing something? If they point this out for the SD800, does that mean that other similar cameras do not have the same problem?

Quote:
The differences between the TM900 and the HF G10 which I own are night and day.
The price is different too. About $1000 for the TM900, and about 50%(!) more for the HF G10 - $1500. That's a huge difference.

And if I am not mistaken, the Panasonic 900 is not exactly a bad camera in low light?
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post #19 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Mantra View Post
*a 24p mode for cinematic effect (or so I'm told)
Why do you need this, though?
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post #20 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect View Post
Why do you need this, though?
I don't know, of all the things I've watched on youtube, people seem pretty sold on this whole cinema style feature.

I watched a few of them and I noticed that the M40's 24p cinema mode didn't exactly look like a real film, but still decent.
Whereas the G30's cinemode looked spectacular (The local stores don't sell the HF G series unfortunately and those models are way out of my price range.)

I'm also having a hard time finding the Panasonic 900s, and I've no idea what those range in price.
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post #21 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 01:18 PM
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I purchased a Panasonic FZ35 superzoom (<$250) and really like the HD camcorder built in... the newer models go up to 1080 though... better than most camcorders i've seen and the still pics are awesome... a 16G SD card will get you hours of video...

Here is the FZ40 for $300...

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-...p_ob_p_title_1
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post #22 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 01:59 PM
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I purchased a Panasonic FZ35 superzoom (<$250) and really like the HD camcorder built in... the newer models go up to 1080 though... better than most camcorders i've seen and the still pics are awesome... a 16G SD card will get you hours of video...
I'm not convinced that this camera can produce video quality that rivals the likes of Panasonic SD900 or 800, or the Canon HF G10 or M4xx...

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Originally Posted by Digital_Mantra View Post
I don't know, of all the things I've watched on youtube, people seem pretty sold on this whole cinema style feature.
I still can't figure out why. If you are shooting, say, a fast-moving target, wouldn't as many frames per second as possible be preferable? Why would the goal be to shoot something that might look like a movie?

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I'm also having a hard time finding the Panasonic 900s, and I've no idea what those range in price.
What about the Panasonic SD800?
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post #23 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Mantra View Post

Is wideangle the amount the lens captures on the sides
(for instance perched on my desk infront of me, would it get the sides of this living room rather than just my face?)

Correct. It is how much image fits into view at the widest zoom setting.
My old Sanyo Xacti 1010 had 48mm and it was very difficult to fit anything in frame unless the camera was way back form the subject.
For instance, I shot a car review the other week and trying to film the inside of the car with that (lack of) angle was almost impossible.
It was by far my biggest gripe with my old camera.

It is expressed in "35mm equivalent". Basically, under 35mm is good, over is bad. Lower the better.
You can often get screw on wide angle lens, but genuine ones are very expensive, and cheap ones are crap. Better to get this built in from the start.
Most Canons have terrible wide angle at >40mm.

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So I guess it's either the Canon or Panasonic now..

But I'll be clear on what I'm looking for in a camcorder.
*HQ 1080p HD (just so I can get back into filming)
*a 24p mode for cinematic effect (or so I'm told)
*something can film in the evening or a dim apartment
*a lens that captures much of the sides for a wider view.
*HD pictures, regardless of the zoom (10x for instance)
*Doubt I'll get a cam with a viewfinder (But I love those.)

Really, add external mic and shoe mount to that list. Trust me.

Dave.
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post #24 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect View Post

The 900s are all the same except:

SD900: No built in memory
TM900: Memory built in
HS900: Hard drive built in


I hadn't even considered this! The Panasonic SD800 (which is the SD900 without optical viewfinder, mic input and some other things) is 35mm. This makes the Canon M4xxx series less interesting indeed.

The SD800 has more zoom, better quality in decent light, and wider angle.

The Canon M4xxx is quite a bit cheaper, and has better low light capabilities. But 10x zoom is not good enough, and now the not-so-wide angle...

This moves me even closer to getting the SD800.

Consider getting the SD700, without built in memory. I found it much more affordable here in Australia (like $200 diff). And I believe it's got the same optics and features as the other ones.

Or is the 800 the same as the 700 here in Oz?

Dave.
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post #25 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect View Post

Why would the goal be to shoot something that might look like a movie?

Because it has gotten to the point now where a $1000 consumer camera is good enough to win the Cannes film festival. Anyone has the capability to become a "movie maker"
People love thinking that they can shoot a movie with their camera, it's a marketers wet dream.

Dave.
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post #26 of 72 Old 07-10-2011, 05:33 AM
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The top of the line canon M4XX series cam has a viewfinder, the

Canon M41 - $800 vs panny SD800 - $800
Viewfinder - yes - no
Widerangle - not as wide - a lot wider
Mic Input - Aux in - no
1080 HD - Yes - Yes
24p - yes - yes
Low Light - better - not as good
HD Pic's - Yes - Yes


Overall if i where in your shoes i'd get the canon M41. It has the viewfinder you want, mic in is a key feature, espacially when pannys are known for fan noise. It's shots better in low light. Has 32gb built in...
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If you are looking at the Panasonic 900 and 800, look also at the SDT-750. Based on Panasonics website and brochures it has all the same important guts.

It has:
*HQ 1080p HD (just so I can get back into filming)
*a 24p mode for cinematic effect (or so I'm told)
*something can film in the evening or a dim apartment
*a lens that captures much of the sides for a wider view.
*HD pictures, regardless of the zoom (10x for instance)
*Doubt I'll get a cam with a viewfinder (But I love those.)

Plus it has a mic input, viewfinder and shoe mount. It also has cheaper batteries than the 900 and an external charger. It comes with all the cords to plug into anything, including one to run the camcorder from the charger for extended use.

Last it comes with a 3D lens that is so ugly that the kit has been a market dud, hence good prices. The 3D logo peels off the camcorder and you can throw away the lens. On the other hand, it actually works and is fun if you have a 3D TV.

Bill --- a HDC-SDT750 fanboy.
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post #28 of 72 Old 07-10-2011, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect View Post

I found this one:

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...ewsID=4727&p=4

It doesn't exactly say that the SD800 (800, not 900) is crap, but they claim that:

"larger screens tend to expose the graininess and artifacts in the video quality"

As if this is not a problem for other cameras in this price range? Am I missing something? If they point this out for the SD800, does that mean that other similar cameras do not have the same problem?


The price is different too. About $1000 for the TM900, and about 50%(!) more for the HF G10 - $1500. That's a huge difference.

And if I am not mistaken, the Panasonic 900 is not exactly a bad camera in low light?


It really helps if you keep that review in context as they are comparing an MSRP SD800 to the MSP of the 900 series. So they figure spend an extra $100 is worth upgrading to the 900 series and I agree.
I quote

"The SD800 does what it's supposed to do and relatively well. But if you're willing to spend $849.99 on a camera that is lacking in so many departments, you might as well shell out the few extra bucks for any of the camcorders in the 900 series, which were clearly given preferential treatment and have many of the features that the SD800 is missing."
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post #29 of 72 Old 07-10-2011, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Cebu View Post

It really helps if you keep that review in context as they are comparing an MSRP SD800 to the MSP of the 900 series. So they figure spend an extra $100 is worth upgrading to the 900 series and I agree.

That context doesn't make sense, seeing as the SD800 is supposed to have the same video quality as the 900. That it lacks features is a different matter. The question is about the claim that there is graininess and artifacts, and if this is specific to the 800 (and therefore, by extension, the 900).

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Originally Posted by Steve Cebu View Post

"The SD800 does what it's supposed to do and relatively well. But if you're willing to spend $849.99 on a camera that is lacking in so many departments, you might as well shell out the few extra bucks for any of the camcorders in the 900 series, which were clearly given preferential treatment and have many of the features that the SD800 is missing."

If my understanding of this is correct (that the 800 has the exact same video quality as the 900), then this conclusion is complete and utter nonsense.

The reviewer assumes that people need specific things, and that there is no space in the market for the 800. Let's see what his complaints are:

1. Zoom mic doesn't work
2. Graininess and artifacts (is this true for the 800, but not for any other consumer camcorder?)
3. No accessory shoe
4. No external mic jack
5. No manual lens ring
6. No mini HDMI cable
7. No onboard storage

None of these, with the exception of #2, are a problem to me. I don't use accessories I need an accessory shoe for, no external mic, I don't bother with manual controls much, I already have mini HDMI cables, and not having built in storage is a plus to me because I can reuse the SD cards I already have in multiple devices.

Why on earth would I shell about another $100 for things I don't need? All I need is excellent video quality!

Now, I really only wanted to discuss the claim about graininess and artifacts, but when I think about it, it seems that the reviewer is desperate to find something to complain about. I'm quite disgusted, really. Of course you are going to get less when you pay less. But the thing is that the important part, the video quality, is supposedly the same as the more expensive models. Other reviews are far more logical, and conclude that if you don't need all those extras from the 900, the 800 is a great purchase and you get the highest video quality in this segment.

So back to the graininess thing: Is it exclusive to the 800? Does the 900 not have it? Do other camcorders in the same price range not have it? That's the question. Because then that would be a perfectly valid criticism, unlike the nonsense the reviewer desperately tried to come up with.
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post #30 of 72 Old 07-10-2011, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Altzone, thanks for the heads up on the lens.
"under 35mm is good, over is bad."
I'll add mic input and shoe mount to the list as well.

Crazzzy Stoner, thanks for letting me know that the M41 has a viewfinder!

All in all, it would be nice if these stores websites gave me more specs, like what the mm of the lens is..

I'll probably end up going for one of the Canon models.
The guy at the store only wanted to talk about the Sony.
So yeah, maybe that was a red flag cause he's trying to get rid of stock.

As for a panasonic model, there aren't many in the shops here. I'm also hearing pros and cons.
Infact, this thread about me getting a new camcorder has born an entire panasonic model debate. Heh.

Thankyou everyone for shedding some wisdom.
I'll take all of this into account.
I still have till the 19th to make my final purchase.
Maybe a Canon M40 or Canon M41 (cause it has a viewfinder).
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