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The Official Panasonic HC-X900M Owners thread

post #1 of 231
Thread Starter 
The Panasonic HC-X900M HD Camcorder is about to his the streets so here is an official owners thread to keep all conversations in one place.

Looking forward to testing out:

- low light performance given the faster (& wider) lens.
- the new Power OIS
- macro recording where subject is 2-3cm away from lens

Apparently, all of these are supposed to be better than the TM700 and TM900. You Tube videos in low light does seem there is a dramatic improvement. What do you do with your X900M?
post #2 of 231
Thread Starter 
Reserved for future add on posts about the X900M
post #3 of 231
Thread Starter 
First question already. Anyone know if the TM700 battery will work with the X900M?

What about the TM7000 charger?
post #4 of 231
The "official" part always cracks me up. As for your question, have you already looked at the Panasonic site?
post #5 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

First question already. Anyone know if the TM700 battery will work with the X900M?

What about the TM7000 charger?

No it will not. TM700 takes "G" battery, X900 uses "N" battery. TM900 battery's can be used in the X900m though, since they both use the "N" battery. At least Panasonic did not change battery's again this year.
post #6 of 231
Thread Starter 
So anyone have one to test it? it will be a few weeks before I get one.
post #7 of 231
Thread Starter 
Guess this unit still has not hit the store shelves yet?
post #8 of 231
B&H say March 25. Amazon just says "pre-order".
post #9 of 231
I'd trust what B&H says, over what Amazon says.
post #10 of 231
Thread Starter 
Then I am extra excited. Panny says I will get a unit within 2 weeks. Can't wait!
post #11 of 231
Camcorderinfo.com has reviewed the X900M, and rates it BELOW last year's model, the TM900. They say the X900M has poorer low light ability, for example, and is less easy to hold. However, the X900M has better 3D capability (in which I have no interest), and some other improvements that are said not to have much practical benefit over the TM900. The TM900 is now significantly cheaper, of course, but camcorderinfo.com says it is the better choice even if it were not cheaper. I'm torn between the two, and would appreciate any thoughts on this issue.
post #12 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by chashertz View Post

.... I'm torn between the two, and would appreciate any thoughts on this issue.

About 18 months ago I was torn between the SDT-750 and the TM900. The 750 was being discounted heavily because of the included, and ugly, 3D lens. As near as I could tell, there were few differences in the guts of the cameras. Being cheap, I bought the 750 and saved about $100.

My only regret has been that the "official 750" thread is a dead one and anything I learn comes from the 900 thread. If I post to it, I have to start with, "I have a SDT-750 that is a cousin of the TM-900...."

You seem to be in the same spot. You are looking at two cameras that are so close to the same that videos you take would be indistinguishable.

My thought would be to go for the cheaper one.

Bill

PS: Regarding low light, I was in a dimly lit museum yesterday and was not disappointed with any low light issues.
post #13 of 231
Thread Starter 
@chashertz, I read that review as well and also found it odd that low light was poorer than the TM900. Based on some Youtube videos, I think the X900M has fantastic low light capabilities. Of course, this may be because the settings were adjusted properly. Not sure until I get the unit in my hand.

One big welcome is the wider angle lens. I find sometimes the TM700 (same as the TM900) was not wide enough for indoor shooting.
post #14 of 231
Hi

The TM900 and X900 are essentially the same camera internally with the X900 having a wider angle lens. Despite the wonderful PR spin and adding the word 'pro' onto everything on the X900, Panasonic have made no real changes in this newer model to improve noise (hence the same model number), which is also going to be similar to the 700 series as well as the last years 900 series. Noise comes from the sensor, and until Panasonic change the sensor (unchanged since the TM300) then noise can only be tinkered with using noise reduction in the chips software where you can only remove so much without removing lots of detail.

YouTube removes noise during uploading and compression (as well as a lot of detail), so noise just isn't resolved on playback from YouTube.

Regards

Phil
post #15 of 231
So, Phil, if you were to have to choose between the TM900 and the X900M, the wider angle lens would tip you towards the latter. If price were not an issue, are there any other features that would tip you one way or the other?
post #16 of 231
Thread Starter 
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that the wider lens also comes with a faster aperture? Not sure, but if this is true, in theory, if you stay at the largest aperture, it should help with better grain. Since more light is now hitting the sensor. Wasn't there a comment out there stating that when Camcorderinfo did their test, they zoomed the X900M to the equivalent focal length of the TM900 to do their tests, thus by doing so, stopping the aperture of the X900M down a bit -- leading to no better grain results? Can anyone confirm the larger aperture on the X900M?

Also, I placed a TM700 beside a TM900 and noticed the TM900 was larger in size. I have also read the X900M is larger than the TM900 due to a wider lens. I actually preferred the shape and size of the TM700 to the TM900. Let's hope the X900M size is a non-issue. We will just have to wait and see.
post #17 of 231
I have a TM900 now, but I would be tipped toward the X900M if price was no object because of both the slightly wider angle lens and slightly improved image sharpness.

But price and depreciation are important to me so I would never consider buying a X900M now because it's current $1199 price will be $599 or $699 during the 4 week period between Thanksgiving and Xmas.
post #18 of 231
IMO, I doubt you would see a difference in sharpness between the two on a big screen. I think the only reason to get the X900m over the TM900 right now is if you wish to shoot 3D with it. It's much improved in this department over it's predecessors.
post #19 of 231
Isn't the crystal engine proII change with pixel shift technology going to be worth 400$? Doesn't sound like it. Going to wait to read the reviews when the camera is released 3/25.
post #20 of 231
Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Packer15 View Post

Isn't the crystal engine proII change with pixel shift technology going to be worth 400$? Doesn't sound like it. Going to wait to read the reviews when the camera is released 3/25.

Pixel shift is just marketing. There will always be pixel shift as it is next to impossible to line up the mirrors and three CMOS chips that accurately. Also there are camcorders using many more pixels than that required for HD with no improvement in picture quality. It is physically impossible to resolve more detail than 1920x1080 of HD no matter how many extra pixels you start out with! HD camcorders can't even resolve full HD at 1920x1080 due to limitations in processing and the extreme compression down to H264 at around 28Mbits/sec. Shifting the green pixel by half, even if I believed that were really possible and was happening, makes zero difference to the final outcome.

Quote:


So, Phil, if you were to have to choose between the TM900 and the X900M, the wider angle lens would tip you towards the latter. If price were not an issue, are there any other features that would tip you one way or the other?

If money were no object I'd get both Apart from a wider angle lens, there is nothing that would push me towards the X900, and the wider angle lens alone isn't enough for me to upgrade from the TM900. It's clear Panasonic have just produced a camcorder cheaper to manufacture for them, it might even be the case the less compact wider angle lens is cheaper than the one on the TM900.

This year hasn't seen any R&D from Panasonic on its camcorders, but they are not alone in that, Canon is a similar story.

Regards

Phil
post #21 of 231
Thread Starter 
If someone already has the TM700 or TM900, I would say it's not worth it to upgrade to the X900M. But if you had to buy a new HD camcorder now, you would have to decide if the savings is worth it for you. TM900 is being blown out now and if you can find a new unit, it should be a very good deal. If you want the latest model, then you have to pay more today. Having said that, there is no need to always chase the latest model. In 12-18 months, this thread will die off too just like TM700 one. In fact, the TM900 will begin to slow down soon.

The TM900 is already at a point where it is high enough in consumer quality that you will need to pay a lot more to gain significantly better image quality. This is now the 3rd or 4th gen of HD camcorder from Panasonic that has achieved very high quality in a consumer product. It will be tough for Panasonic to come up with anything much better anytime soon. Note: There are glitches and annoyances with most HD camcorders, including the TM700 and TM900. The biggest selling point of the X900M is that consumers can hope that since it is similar to it's predecessors, that Panny would have fixed most / all annoyances. Fingers crossed!
post #22 of 231
Does anybody have any idea when this will actually be available? The Adorama page suggests it's in stock, but it's not; and everybody else is just taking pre-orders. B&H had listed March 25 as the available date, but has now taken that down. Panasonic does not list it on their website (you can find it with searching, but it doesn't show up on the main camcorder page).
post #23 of 231
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chashertz View Post

Does anybody have any idea when this will actually be available? The Adorama page suggests it's in stock, but it's not; and everybody else is just taking pre-orders. B&H had listed March 25 as the available date, but has now taken that down. Panasonic does not list it on their website (you can find it with searching, but it doesn't show up on the main camcorder page).

No one knows to be honest. Panasonic does have inventory and shipping them out in rotation. It will take some time but who knows how long it will take.
post #24 of 231
Actually, B&H does have it in stock. Won over by the wider angle lens, I've ordered one, for delivery Thursday.
post #25 of 231
I currently have in my possession both the X900M and a new Panasonic TM900. I'm a pretty unsophisticated user, but thought I would share my first impressions, for what they're worth.

The wider angle lens on the X900M makes a significant difference, and is a big improvement, at least for my needs (currently making videos of the construction of a new house, interiors are more easily captured).

Low light performance (using just the auto settings) seems to me to be slightly better with the X900M.

The TM900 is easier to grasp, and slightly lighter, but it is not a big difference to me. The X900M is still a very small device, compared to its competitors, and easily slipped into a jacket pocket.

The EVF on theX900M is brighter.

The eyepiece corrector dial on the X900M seems more stable. With the TM900 (and the TM700 before it), I had to adjust the dial almost every time I pulled out the eyepiece. However, the mechanism appears identical, at least externally, so this may just be a random difference between the particular units I have.

The sound recording on the X900M seems richer, based only on recording my voice as narrator.

The exterior of the TM900 is glossy black, the X900M matte black. Conceivably this would make a difference if the user was in sunlight and wanted to be unobtrusive, the X900M might be marginally less obvious.

Based on the above, I'm going to keep the X900M, and return the TM900.
post #26 of 231
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chashertz View Post

The wider angle lens on the X900M makes a significant difference, and is a big improvement, at least for my needs (currently making videos of the construction of a new house, interiors are more easily captured).

Thanks for sharing. That is great info from a first hand perspective. I can't wait till my unit arrives and I get to enjoy the wider angle lens. As you mentioned, sometimes indoors, the TM700 is just a tad tight.
post #27 of 231
Thread Starter 
Wow, the X900M is massive when compared to the TM700. I compared the TM700 and TM900 at a local store and noticed the TM900 was larger. the X900M is even larger then the TM900 so for me, it's jumping up 2 sizes. Looks great, not sure it's better when on vacation.
post #28 of 231
Some tramcars from Prague, Czech Republic

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXTlOUoBEyo

Original 1080/50p file:
www.embedupload.com/?d=5FQWWIRBMI

Amazing quality. :-) Screenshot from videofile looks as regular 2Mpx photo.
www.img24.eu/images/vwgy1857.jpg
post #29 of 231
I just bought an X900M a few days ago. I'm pretty happy with it so far. The picture quality is stunning (when there is plenty of light).

Here's a short video of some test shots on the Tennessee River (watch in 1080p!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SONwLAj1doI
post #30 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubefreq View Post

I just bought an X900M a few days ago. I'm pretty happy with it so far. The picture quality is stunning (when there is plenty of light).

Here's a short video of some test shots on the Tennessee River (watch in 1080p!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SONwLAj1doI

Nice...thanks for sharing. Congrats on the purchase. What program did you do the editing with?

Do any owners of the X900 know if HD Writer 4.0 (supplied with the X900), has the ability to burn 1080/60p files to a AVCHD 2.0 Blu-Ray disc?
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