Need Help to Replace TM700 - Anyone? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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ok, the TM700 is being ousted but that is another story. I was considering a TM900 and then saw reference to a TM800. In short, I would like to pick up another 1080 60p camcorder that looks fantastic (at least in bright light) like the TM700 and perhaps get better low light than the TM700. Also, a wide angle (or wider) than the TM700 would be even better. A little afraid of the noise in the Panny models. Can anyone recommend a replacement for the TM700. Not stuck with Panny, can go Sony or Canon as well.

I actually thought about the Panny Lumix (lens changing line) as well to replace an aging dSLR and the TM700. Totally confused and any inspiration would be great! Or maybe even a Nikon D5100 with stills and video. Again, so confused. Budget is about $1100. As a quick background, I have Nikon dSLR lenses so that is a plus but love the dedicated camcorder video quality and OIS.

Any ideas?
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

ok, the TM700 is being ousted but that is another story. I was considering a TM900 and then saw reference to a TM800. In short, I would like to pick up another 1080 60p camcorder that looks fantastic (at least in bright light) like the TM700 and perhaps get better low light than the TM700. Also, a wide angle (or wider) than the TM700 would be even better. A little afraid of the noise in the Panny models. Can anyone recommend a replacement for the TM700. Not stuck with Panny, can go Sony or Canon as well.

I actually thought about the Panny Lumix (lens changing line) as well to replace an aging dSLR and the TM700. Totally confused and any inspiration would be great! Or maybe even a Nikon D5100 with stills and video. Again, so confused. Budget is about $1100. As a quick background, I have Nikon dSLR lenses so that is a plus but love the dedicated camcorder video quality and OIS.

Any ideas?

No ideas, but I feel you on this one. I have a TM700 and a GH2, and I'll _never_ part with the TM700 because of that wonderful 60p at full hi-def. The GH2 can't do that, even with the software hacks Vitaly's developed for it.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BrianSiano3 View Post

No ideas, but I feel you on this one. I have a TM700 and a GH2, and I'll _never_ part with the TM700 because of that wonderful 60p at full hi-def. The GH2 can't do that, even with the software hacks Vitaly's developed for it.

I read up on the GH2 as well so thanks for the heads up on a direct comparison with the TM700. I am hesitant on the GH2 just because if I wanted to a "dSLR" type, I would consider the Panny Lumix series or just a Nikon D5100. But as I mentioned, the OIS in dedicated camcorders are much more friendlier to use and performs better than any dSLR OIS would in my opinion.

Thanks for your thoughts and please, anyone with feedback, please chime in. This is bloody stressful!
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 12:54 PM
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"I would like to pick up another 1080 60p camcorder that looks fantastic (at least in bright light) like the TM700 and perhaps get better low light than the TM700. Also, a wide angle (or wider) than the TM700 would be even be..."

Those are exactly the upgrades Panasonic made with the new X900 model: wider-angle lens and better low-light performance with a new processor (and they threw in a much better LCD and significantly improved OIS). Still the highest resolution consumer camcorder by far.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

"I would like to pick up another 1080 60p camcorder that looks fantastic (at least in bright light) like the TM700 and perhaps get better low light than the TM700. Also, a wide angle (or wider) than the TM700 would be even be..."

Those are exactly the upgrades Panasonic made with the new X900 model: wider-angle lens and better low-light performance with a new processor (and they threw in a much better LCD and significantly improved OIS). Still the highest resolution consumer camcorder by far.

Do you know the price of the X900. I have a feeling it's going to be much more than the $1K of my budget. Plus, this conclusion did not give me any confidence in the X900. Anyone else?

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...Conclusion.htm
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 01:30 PM
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The camcorderinfo review is rather a downer, but they missed the point. Of course the quality of the video is not much better - it was already at the frontier - the best - of all cameras in good light. It is as good as pro cameras in resolution and color.

What they missed was important to you: the wider angle lens. Changing the lens is a big deal; improving the OIS is also very real. They also made a mistake in assesing low light performance by not using the widest aperture (zooming in).

See the slashcam.com review of the XC900 - they rate it higher than any consumer camcorder (including the Canon G10), and found, with a proper test, that the low-light performance improved over the TM900.

Street price is not known, as it is not out yet. Any other camera of lesser cost will be worse in quality in good light than the 700 you already own.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

Plus, this conclusion did not give me any confidence in the X900. Anyone else?

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...Conclusion.htm

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...0&postcount=74
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks you too. Unfortunately, the XC900 will be out of my price range unless it's the same price as the TM900. Prices outside of the US can be ridiculous for camera gear!
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

Thanks you too. Unfortunately, the XC900 will be out of my price range unless it's the same price as the TM900. Prices outside of the US can be ridiculous for camera gear!

bowmah - where are you located? If you're in the States, the pre-order price for the X900M is only a little above your $1100 budget at $1199. If you wait, I'll bet the street price ends up being a little lower.

You're right, though, prices outside of the United States are higher. The X900M is available now in:

Japan for ¥98,000 ($1203.90 at today's exchange rate)
The UK for £849.99 ($1340.98 at today's exchange rate)
Germany for 1211.98 ($1599.95 at today's exchange rate)

If you don't want to wait - maybe you should grab a TM900 for $770 before they're sold out.

Good luck with your decision,

Bill
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 03:25 AM
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bowmah - I am a little confused when you say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

"...I am hesitant on the GH2 just because if I wanted to [buy?] a "dSLR" type, I would consider the Panny Lumix series...

You realize that the GH2 is the top of the line Panny Lumix camera, right?

I have the GH2, in addition to a TM900, and if you are willing to work a little harder, you can get some fantastic images with it. And, with a $20 adapter, you can still use your Nikon lenses in manual mode. Right now, you can get the GH2 with the 14-42mm kit lens for $900.

I would not get the D5100 for video (even though it is only $750 with a kit lens) - because it doesn't give you full manual control of your video images and it has a 20 minute continuous video recording limit. The GH2 is more like a camcorder in this regard, it can shoot continuously for as long as you need it to.

Here are a couple of unhacked examples of what the GH2 can do (make sure to watch the YouTube clip in 1080p and the Vimeo clip in HD):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OC8YXQYc1M
http://vimeo.com/34880271

And here are a few hacked examples (make sure to watch in HD):

http://vimeo.com/38136426
http://vimeo.com/37324685
http://vimeo.com/37401106

OIS and autofocus on the GH2 are pretty good - not as good as a dedicated camcorder, though. And it shoots 1080/30p, not 1080/60p. I carry the GH2 when I want "cinematic" shallow depth of field or when I might take either video or stills.

I carry the TM900 when I'm sure that all I will be doing is shooting video in the studio, or when I don't need shallow depth of field & I don't want to worry about lenses or sound or focus - I just want to shoot clean, shake-free 1080/60p video.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

bowmah - I am a little confused when you say:
You realize that the GH2 is the top of the line Panny Lumix camera, right?

I don't see any confusion. Bowmah originally wrote that he liked the TM700's ability to shoot 60p in full hi-def-- which, sadly, is one thing that the GH2 cannot do, even with Vitaly's hacks. (I have both cameras.)
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 05:33 AM
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If you want 1080p60p forget Canon. Your only choice is Panasonic and Sony.
Canon will only do 60i which does look great to me but it's also out of your price range.
Your best bet is to buy a TM900 or wait for the prices to drop on the X900.
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info here gang. Totally appreciate it.

So as far as the GH2, I am very interested in this. I am just stuck in that if I was to reinvest in a dSLR type body, I should stick with Nikon so I can fully utilize the lens and speedlight that I already have. I am afraid that a adapters for the Nikkor lenses to fit on the GH2 will diminish image quality somehow Maybe this is just a psychological aspect?

I noticed Best Buy had 1 unit of the TM900 left for $699, which is the lowest price ever anywhere. I almost pulled the trigger yesterday but had cold feet. Today, sold out lol. Just was not meant to be.

I still cannot believe how difficult this process is. Thought I knew what I wanted and needed and when it comes time to make the $1K purchase, now I am not so sure! Yikes!
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-10-2012, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

Thanks for all the info here gang. Totally appreciate it.

So as far as the GH2, I am very interested in this. I am just stuck in that if I was to reinvest in a dSLR type body, I should stick with Nikon so I can fully utilize the lens and speedlight that I already have. I am afraid that a adapters for the Nikkor lenses to fit on the GH2 will diminish image quality somehow Maybe this is just a psychological aspect?

I noticed Best Buy had 1 unit of the TM900 left for $699, which is the lowest price ever anywhere. I almost pulled the trigger yesterday but had cold feet. Today, sold out lol. Just was not meant to be.

I still cannot believe how difficult this process is. Thought I knew what I wanted and needed and when it comes time to make the $1K purchase, now I am not so sure! Yikes!

I feel your pain. I dithered on ordering the TM900 for $599.99 new from B&H last month and ended up having to buy a refurb for the same price :-(

It has worked out so far, but still bothers me not to have the new camera warranty.

And don't worry about using the GH2 with adapted Nikon lenses - they work great - image quality is arguably better than with native Panasonic lenses (although you'll have to set your aperture and focus manually with adapted lenses).

Here are a couple of examples from Vimeo:

http://vimeo.com/18334947
http://vimeo.com/18357962

If you find a deal on either the TM900 or a GH2 body, I say go ahead and pull the trigger - you won't regret it.

Bill
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-10-2012, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

I still cannot believe how difficult this process is. Thought I knew what I wanted and needed and when it comes time to make the $1K purchase, now I am not so sure! Yikes!

The biggest mistake you could make right now is ordering the X900 for $1199 because it's value will plunge to $700 by Thanksgiving and never recover.

So if you can find a TM900 right now for between $700-775, I'd grab it and then if you later lust for the X900, sell the TM900 on ebay in Oct for $700 and then order the X900 from Amazon around Black Friday at Thanksgiving time for $700. Using this strategy you can practically enjoy free state of the art high end consumer camcorders every year for the rest of you life after the initial $700 investment.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-10-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

So as far as the GH2, I am very interested in this.
...
I noticed Best Buy had 1 unit of the TM900 left for $699, which is the lowest price ever anywhere. I almost pulled the trigger yesterday but had cold feet. Today, sold out lol. Just was not meant to be.

One huge advantage of the TM900 over the GH2 is the image stabilization, which is very impressive on the TM900.

The image quality with the GH2 is really sharp and you can get great low light with something like the 1.7 pancake lens, but the rolling shutter/jello is awful when you move the camera. You can get a Lumix lens with "stabilization" but this won't be anywhere near the kind of stabilization you can get with the TM900.

It may depend on what you are going to use it for - a camcorder, in general, is a better choice for video especially for event shooting with the high capacity batteries. Plus you never have to switch out the lens.

You can get the TM900 for $769 at Amazon - just $70 more than that Best Buy price.
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-15-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: Looks like I will be getting an X900. Let's see how the wider lens and better low light performance works out.
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