video shooting question: panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 vs Canon M500 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-05-2013, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I am considering buying a video camera to shoot video for different scenes and have good quality videos. I read good things about Canon M500 camcoder, but its zoom is only X10. I also looked at the bridge camera panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 which seems very capable at video shooting, constant low aperture at any zoom, fast focus, good stills images, and the zoom is more than twice than that of Canon M500. Does anyone know which one is better regarding video ?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-05-2013, 03:34 AM
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Hi Abe and welcome to the forum. Yes, with all of the options out there, it is a challenge to decide what kind of video-capable camera will best meet your needs. Here is some info on the two cameras you may find useful.

First - the HF M500 is last year's model, and at its best, can only record at 24mbps at 1080/24p. This year's Canon camcorders, such as the HF R40 series, have a 53x optical zoom, record up to 35mbps (1080/60p MP4) or 28mbps (1080/60p AVCHD) - and they are less expensive, so I will substitute the HF R40 for the HF M500 in this analysis.

The FZ200's highest quality recordings are at 20mbps (1080/30p MP4) or 28mbps (1080/60p AVCHD).

If you're a Mac/iOS guy, the Canon's high quality MP4 recording will be the better option.

The HF R40 also has a headphone jack, which the FZ200 lacks - a standard 3.5mm microphone jack (the FZ200's mic jack is a non-standard 2.5mm and requires a $5 adapter) and a longer maximum continuous recording time (8 hours at maximum bit rate with a 128GB card - versus about 2 hours for the FZ200 no matter how big the card is).

That said, the FZ200 has a standard hot shoe for accessories such as mics and external flashes, while the HF R40 has no accessory shoe at all (not even Canon's silly proprietary "mini advanced" shoe).

The FZ200 also has a viewfinder for sunny days when LCD screens have a tendency to wash out - something you have to spend a lot more money to get in a camcorder.

Plus, the FZ200 shoots at 720/120p - for high quality, smooth slow motion. Something no Canon camera can do.

And it is a much better still camera - with a built-in flash.

As far as video image quality goes, here is what the two cameras can do:

FZ200 Slow motion and special effects (please watch at 720p):



FZ200 Documentary:



Sit down interview shot with the pro Canon XA10 and the HF R40 (the focus seems a little off on the HF R40 shots, but you get the idea):



If budget allows, and you don't absolutely need Mac compatibility or a headphone jack, I would get the $499 FZ200 (if you can find one - they are backordered at $499 for one to two months - if you need one right now, they're marked up to almost $600 frown.gif ).

If budget is an issue, and you need a camera right now, the $349 Canon HF R40 may be the better option.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-05-2013, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Bill,
Do you know which is better regarding
1. focus speed
2. zoom speed
3. picture quality

?

Thanks,
Abe
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-05-2013, 12:50 PM
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Camcorderinfo has posted their standard video tests of these two cameras using the same test subject (please watch at 1080p).


FZ200:





HF R40:





Others may disagree, but it looks to me that the FZ200 has the edge in this scenario.

I have the FZ150 and its autofocus and power zoom speeds are fast enough for anything I've tried to do with it. That said, I cannot tell you how fast or slow the zoom speed or autofocus is on either the FZ200 or the HF R40 from personal experience.


Cheers,

Bill
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-05-2013, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe20132013 View Post

Does anyone know which one is better regarding video ?
Depends on what you find more impressive: 1) fancy sounding video recording specs (Panasonic and Sony fans boast about them all the time) and performance in a lab setting (e.g. camcorderinfo.com) or 2) actual real world video image clarity, detail resolution, accurate color reproduction and rich, refined sound quality?

Example: My Panasonic LX7 has all the top notch video recording specs the video geeks drool over, but as you can see from this Youtube video, my "lower spec" Olympus OMD, E-M5 delivers slightly better video image detail resolution, more accurate color reproduction and much more refined sound quality than the LX7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxp7Y6ENjxs

Likewise I personally find Canon M500 video image quality more appealing than Panasonic FZ200 even though the Canon has less impressive video specs. Here is a great quality M500 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsgPrLOlpY Then there are some other considerations as well such as auto focus speed and accuracy (Panasonic's do well in those respects).
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-05-2013, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

Camcorderinfo has posted their standard video tests of these two cameras using the same test subject (please watch at 1080p).
FZ200:

HF R40:

Others may disagree, but it looks to me that the FZ200 has the edge in this scenario.

I have the FZ150 and its autofocus and power zoom speeds are fast enough for anything I've tried to do with it. That said, I cannot tell you how fast or slow the zoom speed or autofocus is on either the FZ200 or the HF R40 from personal experience.

HF R40 is an entry-level camcorder. The HF M500 is a mid-range camcorder with the HD CMOS Pro sensor. HF R40 doesn't have that.

One thing I would consider between the FZ200 and HF M500 is the ergonomics. The HF M500 is easier hand-held; small and light camcorder whereas the FZ200 is a bulky DSLR form factor. If on a tripod most of the time, wouldn't matter.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-08-2013, 05:45 PM
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the canon and pana have similar end focal lengths, the pana just has a much wider beginning focal length
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-09-2013, 02:27 AM
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Hi Abe,

This is probably the best the $550 HF M500 can do.


Well-lit documentary/interviews on a tripod:





Or this music video (POV shots are with a GoPro):





And here is a well lit self-portrait from Tony Carretti on Vimeo shot with the FZ200. It's just an audio test, but it is interesting to compare how sharp it is when compared to the HF M500 examples above.





Cheers,


Bill
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-09-2013, 09:53 PM
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Here's a road trip I took one afternoon late . This is all handhelt . Not perfect video but can help with motion focus and movements your curious about .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOtSql9PJ9Y


Mainly I was testing to see how well my HF M50 handled vibrations and focus from a moving vehicle . I did no editing other than placing all the strips into one video . Oh BTW , what no one ever seems to mention as with any video cam is that even tho it has 10x zoom which not sure your familiar with but that is just standard settings . You can go into the settings and adjust up to40x or 200x zoom and there is 4 different zoom speeds ( Zoom 1 , 2 , 3 , and variable ) you can adjust how fast you want the zoom to react . I'm not into the pro stuff and i'm not that concerned on having the best camcorder (consumer level) that can match your High $$$ professional camcorders . I'm an ordinary person that likes taking video for hobby and pleasure and to build memories for my past . I suggest if your looking for quality videos your going to get what you pay for so go for the highest price camcorder you can afford for what ever pleases your needs . I chose Canon cause of reputation and Optic glass quality . That's something most wont mention . Canons glass quality for lenses surpass any other glass on the market of comparable lenses . My first camcorder was a Sony HDR XR260 and had a 160-gig HD . Had 51x optic zoom and loved it but I took it back cause the glass quality produced so much Chromatic Aberration (Blue or Purple Halo cast) that was not acceptable to me . I was told it had to do with settings in the camera but I know enough about glass quality that settings do not adjust Chromatic Aberrations . Also too the software that came with the Sony never worked right on my computer . When I asked Support about it they said right now the update to fix it was not available .... not available ?? Why would you sell product that software is not available for ??

And one last thing about not seeing the LCD display in sunlight....... , well everyone should know that all you have to do is go into settings and adjust the LCD screens brightness to adapt to outside in sunlight . I adjusted mine and on the brightest days I can see my LCD screen as good as I can inside at night in low light . Read your manual .... , learn your camera , play with settings til you find what best suites you . Video in all formats from highest quality to lowest quality and compare on your own computer and see what your opinion is . Your the one buying the camcorder . You have one mind like a snowflake , there is no two alike . And when your looking for opinions , remember there is no two alike . You can take the Canon or the FZ200 that is your choice BUT if you don't learn your camera it doesn't matter which one gets better reviews , if you don't know your camera and learn how to take videos and edit clips into a nice video all the above does not matter , your video will not ever satisfy you . You'll always want better .
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe20132013 View Post

Hi,

I am considering buying a video camera to shoot video for different scenes and have good quality videos. I read good things about Canon M500 camcoder, but its zoom is only X10. I also looked at the bridge camera panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 which seems very capable at video shooting, constant low aperture at any zoom, fast focus, good stills images, and the zoom is more than twice than that of Canon M500. Does anyone know which one is better regarding video ?

Hey Abe,

I have both of these you are considering. I've had my HF-M41 for over 2 years and the FZ200 almost a year. They are both great and perfect for their purpose.

The Canon M500 will give you the best indoor low light video you can get. This alone makes it a winner and the first choice.
I always desired more zoom than the 10x but when I started using the FZ200, I realized that at past the 10x power a tripod is definitely required. No one wants to watch shaky video not even the guy who shot it.
I mainly use the FZ200 for high speed video at sporting events. The FZ200 takes good video but to me not as good as the Canon and the low light is not even close to the Canon M41/M500's sensor.

The M500 with the DM-100 mic is a great combo. The built-in mic on the canon is not good but after you use the DM-100 you will never leave home without it. Now, comparing the built-in mic on lthe FZ200 to the built-in on the M500, the FZ200 is horrible. So the point is that you can get by with the built-in mic on the Canon but the Panasonic... no way. but that's just me.

For the best non-DSLR pictures and awesome 720p 120fps video the FZ200 is about as good as it gets but for around the house, birthdays, parties and all around family memories get the M500 or the earlier version M400, M40 or M41. Same sensor and most of the same set up.

Read the Canon HF M4xx Owner's Thread
And these videos. Please remember that Youtube over compresses video and the original looks 4x better.
Most of the videos are with the M41 unless they have extra slow motion in them.
M41 with DM-100
Canon M41 Outdoor
FZ200 720p 120fps @ 20x zoom

Get the M500 and don't look back.
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