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Sony HDR-CX550V or Panasonic HDC-TM700?  

post #1 of 810
Thread Starter 
I am new to this forum and not knowledgable enough to choose between the two very well. I am looking at getting one of these models and have tried weighing the pros and cons. I think there are so many considerations that I just dont know enough about, that I would turn to this forum for help.

Here is what the camera will be used for in order of how often it will be used.
1. Outdoor sporting events with variable lighting. Some of this footage from a boat that will often be moving.
2. Vacation footage of both indoor and outdoor events from different distances.
3. Some stationary footage (interviews etc.) indoors using a tripod.

Some of this footage will hopefully make it onto DVD or eventually Blue-Ray picturing future possibilities.

I see and read so many reasons to get one or the other, but havnt seen a whole lot directly comparing the two in a way that helps me comfortable choosing one over the other.

Does anyone have a good way to help me make this choice?
post #2 of 810
I have a similar dilemma, except that I need something that can handle fast moving objects (RC helicopters) as well as very low light (RC heli night flying), so I'm leaning toward the Panasonic to get the 60p framerate and presumably at least as good low light performance as last year's HDC-TM300.

Either camcorder is probably sufficient for your needs, but specifics strengths and weaknesses won't be known until someone gets units to test.
post #3 of 810
From what I can tell from the Panny is that the max bitrate is 17 mbps and the other specs I got off the review on cnet tell me that the CX550 beats it out
post #4 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustindu4 View Post

From what I can tell from the Panny is that the max bitrate is 17 mbps and the other specs I got off the review on cnet tell me that the CX550 beats it out

Specs on the Panasonic UK website say that the maximum bitrate is 28Mbps at 60p. However, it appears that 30p and 60i are stuck at a maximum 17Mbps.
post #5 of 810
For sporting event's, having 1080 60p will be a huge benefit over the Sony. You can keep it at that resolution and frame rate or convert it to either 720 60p or slow it down to 1080 24p and have full HD slow motion. If Sony did not improve the chip much then I'd expect the low light capabilities of the TM700 to be better. I mean going from f/1.8 to f/1.5 is a breakthrough. It also has traditional focusing ring which I find very important in a lot of situations.

If you intend on using a camcorder in only 1080 60i and mostly keep it on auto than the Sony can be better because of it's higher bit rate in that mode. Another Sony benefit is the wider lens. You'd be able to get more in the frame.

When it comes to the stabilizer, it's a tossup. The CX500V is said to be better than the TM300 but Panasonic claimed to have made the stabilizer much better with the TM350 and now with the TM700, Panasonic claims that it's much better than the TM350. It would be interesting seeing who has a better stabilizer.

I'd pick the Panasonic over the Sony and Canon but you may want to include the Canon in your option because it has 2 SD card slots and a pure 24p mode. The 24p from the Panasonic may have pull down added although I'm not sure. The only 2 problems is that the stabilizer and the low light capabilities isn't as good as the Panasonic and the Sony.


Now about that 1080 60p mode, I don't think that the maximum because on Sanyo's camcorders, it's advertised as 24Mbps but that's the average and it peaks to around 29Mbps. The version on the Panasonic may be more advanced and I wouldn't be surprised if it peaks to slightly over 30Mbps.
post #6 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBum View Post

I have a similar dilemma, except that I need something that can handle fast moving objects (RC helicopters) as well as very low light (RC heli night flying), so I'm leaning toward the Panasonic to get the 60p framerate and presumably at least as good low light performance as last year's HDC-TM300.

Either camcorder is probably sufficient for your needs, but specifics strengths and weaknesses won't be known until someone gets units to test.

There are some YouTube videos of a CX500V mounted on an RC helicopter. Search for CX500V and helicopter and you should find them. Not sure if you're talking about doing that, or filming one from the ground as it flies.

The low light performance of the Sony is pretty much unbeaten based on last year's models, as they released a technological edge in the Exmor R chips. You get very low noise at low normal light levels. Not sure how well any cam will do at very low light levels at high speeds. Again, YouTube and presumably Vimeo has clips demonstrating how the last year's Sony models performed. Same is probably true for the Pannys.
post #7 of 810
post #8 of 810
Thread Starter 
Those are pretty good. I wont be buying an RC plane any time soon, but that was some good video. I may be running down a lake at 70mph though, so those videos gave me some good info.

Thanks for all the responces so far. I am guessing as time goes we will hear more about each camera. Hopefully I have it made by 3/8.
post #9 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

There are some YouTube videos of a CX500V mounted on an RC helicopter. Search for CX500V and helicopter and you should find them. Not sure if you're talking about doing that, or filming one from the ground as it flies.

The low light performance of the Sony is pretty much unbeaten based on last year's models, as they released a technological edge in the Exmor R chips. You get very low noise at low normal light levels. Not sure how well any cam will do at very low light levels at high speeds. Again, YouTube and presumably Vimeo has clips demonstrating how the last year's Sony models performed. Same is probably true for the Pannys.

I'm just talking about filming from the ground. Onboard camera rigs are expensive, and that's not counting the expense of a heli big enough to carry it.

Some of those hot-shot pilots make their helis zip around the sky pretty fast and I'd be somewhat concerned by the quality at 60i. The Sony doesn't have a 30p framerate, does it? At least at 30p, I'd just get blurring.
post #10 of 810
Panasonic USA has the TM700K model listed @ $999 (32G Flash) and the HS700 (240G HD) @$1399

My question...the posts in this thread all relate to 1080 60p or 60i, but on the Panasonic site, the specs are all 1080 50p or 50i, what's up with that?


Rick
post #11 of 810
"Panasonic today introduces two additions to its 2010 line of camcorders, the Panasonic HDC-HS700 and HDC-TM700, both Full High Definition (HD) 3MOS camcorders with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The new Panasonic HD camcorders combine 1080/60p recording – allowing them to capture expressive video without detail loss or Moiré pattern"
http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs...OS%20Camcorder

The TM300 has been a mixed bag. Some say it was better than the Sony and some say it was worse. What I do know is that with the camcorder on intelligent Auto, it adds extra noise in the picture when shooting in low light situations and I think some people had it on that mode when they compared it. Panasonic has released the TM350 since than and now their releasing the TM700 with a much faster lens. Going from f/1.8 to f/1.5 is a big difference when it comes to low light capabilities so it should be much better than their previous camcorders.
post #12 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich121 View Post

Panasonic USA has the TM700K model listed @ $999 (32G Flash) and the HS700 (240G HD) @$1399

My question...the posts in this thread all relate to 1080 60p or 60i, but on the Panasonic site, the specs are all 1080 50p or 50i, what's up with that?


Rick

Here is a link to the Specifications:

http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-e...702#tabsection

Also for the Panasonic TM700K:

Signal System:
1080 / 50p, 1080 / 50i



Recording / Playback Mode:
1080 / 50p (28Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HA (17Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HG (13Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HX (9Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HE (5Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080
post #13 of 810
They made a mistake in your link. 50p is Pal. If you click the overview tap. It clearly states 1080 60 Progressive.
post #14 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

They made a mistake in your link. 50p is Pal. If you click the overview tap. It clearly states 1080 60 Progressive.

That makes sense...

What I'm wondering, is what sort of physical media would this be best recorded on using the 1080 60p format?

I have a Sony MC10, but I'm sure it won't be usable for this camera, only in the 1080 17p format?

Using MPEG or JPEG, would I be able to record onto DVD-R media at the full 1080 60p format with the use of software? If so, would the recording time be too short to warrant other than short video clips?

Would this be better for Blue-ray media recording?


Rick
post #15 of 810
I'm in a guessing game too. I'm looking to pick up a full HD camcorder to mount on two different race cars and wondering 1) if 60p would be the best option not to blur the image excessively and 2) which will have a better low light performance for night races. Any help in this area on which to go for would be appreciated. I'm just flip flopping on both of these, but its what it has been narrowed down to.
post #16 of 810
For pure playback, you would have to use either a hard drive or a Data Blu-Ray discs. Blu-Ray media have been coming down in price to under $2 if you buy in bulk of at least 15.

For memory cards, class 6 should be the bare minimum for the 1080 60p mode.

Since Panasonic is using Sanyo's technology for 1080 60p and maybe for extra low-light capabilities, I wonder if it'll be able to directly hook up straight to an external hard drive without a computer.
post #17 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrnuke34 View Post

I'm in a guessing game too. I'm looking to pick up a full HD camcorder to mount on two different race cars and wondering 1) if 60p would be the best option not to blur the image excessively and 2) which will have a better low light performance for night races. Any help in this area on which to go for would be appreciated. I'm just flip flopping on both of these, but its what it has been narrowed down to.

Unfortunately, there is no clear winner between the Sony HDR-CX550V, Panasonic HDC-TM700, and Canon HF S21. Even though the Canon is the worst in low light, I'm not sure I've eliminated it from consideration. It is arguably the best of the three in good light; it certainly has the most framerate options. The Sony will only do 60i and the Panasonic will only do 60i and 60p. The Canon will do 60i, 30p (in a 60i stream), 24p in a 60i stream, or 24p native. According to CCI, it also does much better in low light at 24p and 30p than at 60i.

On the other hand, the expense of the Canon together with the marginal low light performance is pushing me away a bit. The Panasonic's 60p combined with the Sony's lack of any progressive shooting modes is pushing me toward the Panasonic at the moment, but that may change once the reviews are in. The Sony is #3 on my list right now.
post #18 of 810
Actually, the TM700 have 24p as well but I believe pull-down is added just like the TM300, TM350 and the GH1. You'll have to remove it before you start editing to get pure 24p. I would be very happy if I'm wrong.
post #19 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

Actually, the TM700 have 24p as well but I believe pull-down is added just like the TM300, TM350 and the GH1. You'll have to remove it before you start editing to get pure 24p. I would be very happy if I'm wrong.

I had to dig into the TM300 manual (PDF), but I finally located the description of the "Digital Cinema" mode. I searched for "24p" in and it didn't come up with anything useful. I guess they have to simplify the terms for the general consumer.

Another thing the Panasonic and Canon have going for them is the touch-and-track feature, which as much as anything helps you to get the exposure and focus where you want it and it's not limited to faces as the Sony face detection feature is. It may not be useful for my RC heli shooting because I doubt it can keep up, but it would be quite nice for shooting a lot of things (not just faces) in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.
post #20 of 810
Thread Starter 
I am leaning toward the Sony now. I was leaning toward the Panasonic, but I decided in my inexperienced state, I will probably be happier with the better stabilization, low light conditions, and honestly some of the Auto functions.

I dont know that the people watching my videos will be missing some of the finer points like 60p.

Does that make sense or am I confused?

Also, is any class 6 high speed SDHC okay or are there brands or things to stay away from? Does anyone have recommendations on cards for these cameras?
post #21 of 810
if youre hoping to use the camcorder for distant objects, keep in mind the sony is using a very wide min focal length. it may say 10x zoom, but compared to the pana or canon its only around 6x
post #22 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTU16 View Post

I am leaning toward the Sony now. I was leaning toward the Panasonic, but I decided in my inexperienced state, I will probably be happier with the better stabilization, low light conditions, and honestly some of the Auto functions.

I don't think we can make an easy determination on the stabilizer yet and when it comes to low-light capabilities, I think the TM700 will be better. I did mention that the lens is much faster than the TM300 and Panasonic may be using some of the low-light technology that Sanyo has. The HD2000 has been praised in many places for it's low-light capabilities.

What we can be certain is that the Sony still has a wider lens and a higher bit rate in the 60i mode while you'll get much smoother motion in the Panasonic because of the 60p mode, theirs a focusing ring around the lens and a 24p mode. Personally I like the fact that I can easily down convert to 720 60p or make full HD slow motion at 1080 24p. Maybe you can use slow motion in some of your clips?
post #23 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

I don't think we can make an easy determination on the stabilizer yet and when it comes to low-light capabilities, I think the TM700 will be better. I did mention that the lens is much faster than the TM300 and Panasonic may be using some of the low-light technology that Sanyo has. The HD2000 has been praised in many places for it's low-light capabilities.

I'm kind of skeptical that any cam of matching quality/price has better low-light performance than those with the Sony Exmor R chips. I define that not as "how low in lux can you go and still get a picture" but "in something other than darkness, which cam gives the best video with regular exposure in terms of color fidelity, detail, and lack of noise". I've got one of the Sony CX500Vs and its performance based on that criteria is just fantastic. I've done the comparisons of pictures from various lux levels posted on the German website and none of the equivalent model Canons or Pannys matched the quality level of the Sony 500s.
post #24 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich121 View Post

Here is a link to the Specifications:

http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-e...702#tabsection

Also for the Panasonic TM700K:

Signal System:
1080 / 50p, 1080 / 50i



Recording / Playback Mode:
1080 / 50p (28Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HA (17Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HG (13Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HX (9Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080)
HE (5Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080

It's a mistake by a moron that updates Panasonic US website.
post #25 of 810
Since the specs are obviously wrong on the Panasonic US site, I decided to check out the UK site. Assuming those specs are correct and comparable specs are available on both the US and European models, it looks like the TM700 will at least support 1080p60, 1080i60, and 1080p30 in the US; on the UK site, they list 50p, 50i, and 25p, although you have to dig into the specs a little bit to find it.
post #26 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTU16 View Post

I am leaning toward the Sony now. I was leaning toward the Panasonic, but I decided in my inexperienced state, I will probably be happier with the better stabilization, low light conditions, and honestly some of the Auto functions.

I dont know that the people watching my videos will be missing some of the finer points like 60p.

Does that make sense or am I confused?

Also, is any class 6 high speed SDHC okay or are there brands or things to stay away from? Does anyone have recommendations on cards for these cameras?

There are so many subjective opinions in this thread so just take the facts and decide which camcorder is better for you

Canon Camcorders for this year are useless (Since you are only interested in panasonic/Sony so i wont talk about canon much)

Sony Camcorder for this year got a lot of upgrades however there is still no 30p/24p or even 60p mode, anyway 60p and 30p are not supported by bluray discs or even AVCHD codec so you can't burn these videos on a bluray as videos (But can burn them as Data) so no wonder why Sony refuse to add them and 24p (officially supported in AVCHD) is too slow with these 1000$~ camcorders,plus Sony camcorder "Noise" during low light is extremely low compared to other camcorders

Panasonic Say they have improved their stabilization system and did add 60p Mode (Pretty much Future proof, since nothing will replace 1080p60 for decades "Human eye factor/TV Resolution Ratio" and their camcorder low light got improved too,

Now the thing is Sony has already delivered with their Stabilization system (By faaaaar is the best in the industry) so unless Panasonic match that (Or come a little close) i say you are better off buying the Sony camera, 60i (Equal to 30p~) wont kill motion (Other factors does), almost every movie you watch is 24p and no one complain about the motion, i did a mistake and bought a canon camcorder a year ago now most of the time people will say WOW for first min or two (HDTV/HD Feed effect lol) but then they will get a headache because of the camcorder shake.

Stabilization is the most important thing when you are buying a new camcorder, no one will ever complain about 5% less video quality when it comes to HD Source/HDTV "Everyone will go WOW" but people will complain when your video shake a lot plus without a great stabilization you seriously need to never move while recording so it does limit what can you do with a camcorder)

Panasonic won Camcorder of the year in 2009 so they might do it again so wait a read the reviews when they arrive i personally will buy Sony CX550V unless panasonic step up with their stabilization power.



About the SD card question i use this one http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Clas...6562426&sr=8-3

Got 3 of them and never had any problem with them
post #27 of 810
Another thing to be sure of, is if the Panasonic when recording 60p , like the sanyo hd2000 did, can breake the 4gb limit.
I suppose yes, because on my hs350, the panasonic record 4gb chunk movies that can be joined together.
Anyway, something else to think about.

thank you

ps:

I own a hs350 and I am going to buy a xr550.
I may later on sell the hs350 and buy the hs700, but for now, I am going to buy the sony, and the main reasons are :

- 37mm ring of the sony
- no/low noise in low light

I am going to miss from the panny maybe the low lux with noise.
Who knows
Thank you
post #28 of 810
I'd never buy the Sony as I have no intention to record in interlaced. It's retarded not to support progressive recording at this point.

I'm most likely going with the Panasonic (depending on the reviews when it comes out). The only thing I have 2nd thoughts about is that it only has 32 GB memory. I may still go with the Canon, but I think the Panasonic will be a better camcoder
post #29 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by st_o_p View Post

I'd never buy the Sony as I have no intention to record in interlaced. It's retarded not to support progressive recording at this point.

I'm most likely going with the Panasonic (depending on the reviews when it comes out). The only thing I have 2nd thoughts about is that it only has 32 GB memory. I may still go with the Canon, but I think the Panasonic will be a better camcoder

I agree with this part
Progressive would improve Low light and even colors also it's easier to upload online or watch it on a computer.

60i is better than 30p only for viewing on HDTV and that's it (60p is better though), i would take progressive over interlaced any day but I'm spoiled with SONY unbelievable stabilization quality (86% shake reduction versus 5% on the Canon "DATA from Camcorderinfo.com)

My dream Camcorder would be Sony stabilization+Sony wide Angle+Sony BIS for better low light/Low noise Combined with 1080p60

Panasonic promise to improve low light and did add a little wider angle (not as wide as sony though) with 1080p60
post #30 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishywishy View Post

it may say 10x zoom, but compared to the pana or canon its only around 6x

Please people, don't be fooled by the catchy marketing one-liners like 10x lens (And even more important, don't be confused by people incorrectly making dumb statements like their 10x zoom is more like a 6x zoom.)

To get an idea of what zoom range a camera is going to have, figure out what the video cameras 35mm equivalent focal length range is and then go to one of the various focal length comparison sites to see what the relative difference looks like.

Tamron has a good one here:

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/learnin...comparison.php

-Suntan
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