Originally Posted by markr041
Phil, I have a TM900 and I agree with you that upgrading from a TM900 to an X900 is not worth it.
But I am not in denial of the changes/improvements, nor do I resent Panasonic trying to improve.
They haven't improved anything though. The clue is in the fact it carries the same model number. They've done the same as Canon and just tinkered around the edges and looked at reducing manufacturing costs. There simply isn't money being made on these products with the economy as it for manufacturers to spend on R&D, so they haven't.
Here is what Panasonic says about the *new* processor:
"The X900/X900M/X800 features the newly developed, ultra-high speed Crystal Engine Pro II. By using this engine to perform high-speed processing of the huge number of pixels – approximately equivalent to four times the pixel count of Full-HD – that are obtained with pixel shift technology, superb Full-HD image quality is achieved even in detailed image parts."
But it's all marketing blurb. You also don't need to process 4 times the amount of pixels of HD, what is the point of doing that, and I think they said this with the TM900 as well? The biggest losses are in the compression to H264, so whether you start off with exactly the right number of HD pixels or 4 times the amount, the end result is the same, even if the video was recorded uncompressed, you don't get any more resolution just because you started of with more pixels, in fact the scaling to reduce the pixel count will introduce artefacts and result in less detail, not more.
They also don't say when this engine was newly developed and what range of cameras it was introduced on. I'd put money on it being the exact same LSI as in the 700 series to the present day. It's all marketing, you can't believe a word of it.
You cannot increase processing power with a firmware change. They may be spinning the improvements we will actually see, but I think it is inappropriate to claim they are straight out lying about whether there is a new processor.
They've not said there is a new processor as Panasonic don't define what they mean by the Crystal Engine Pro II. They go on to claim a 40% reduction in noise, but don't state how that is measured. In tests the noise levels are the same or within tolerances for typical variation of performance between units between the TM900 and X900, despite Panasonics claim of a 40% improvement. Unless you know how the measure is made, that 40% claim is meaningless and just marketing, as it has turned out to be.
I prefer to deal with the facts. Facts are the cold specifications show that there would be no improvements (same 3MOS, same F1.5 lens, same recording formats and bit-rates), and that is proved to be the case. Whether its got a new LSI or not, its made no difference to performance. It's not a bad camera, although at least one person has returned it for the SD900 which they felt was better, but it isn't anything different than the TM900 except for a wider angle lens really.
I like Panasonic cameras, I'd have upgraded if there were real improvements, but this way they've saved me and many others a nice sum of money, so not all bad.