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The Official Panasonic HC-X900M Owners thread - Page 5

post #121 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

It maybe the test subject but the quality drop doesn't seem as obvious here.
I've uploaded another test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp4cqLPCJd4 which again clearly shows the "problem" around the f/4 iris setting. Where the quality drops there seems to be fine horizontal banding on the video (I've noticed this on most of my tests) which makes me wonder if the problem is at least partly in the camcorder's electronics, not just down to the lens.


I've repeated my last test but with still image capture instead of 1080/50p video - results shown in video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DAtN7my5Dw

Still image capture (5120X2880 pixels) does NOT show the quality drop around f/4 which 1080/50p video does. Looks like the lens is not to blame, but what is???
post #122 of 231
Does the X900 have a wireless remote?
post #123 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by joms View Post

Does the X900 have a wireless remote?
Yes.
post #124 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by joms View Post

Does the X900 have a wireless remote?
Yes, but be aware that "wireless" in this case means "Infrared", not "radio frequency". As such you need to be in line-of-sight of the front of the camera to use it.
post #125 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

I've repeated my last test but with still image capture instead of 1080/50p video - results shown in video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DAtN7my5Dw
Still image capture (5120X2880 pixels) does NOT show the quality drop around f/4 which 1080/50p video does. Looks like the lens is not to blame, but what is???
Yeah it's fairly consistent up to 4.8, though open does seem the best with a small degradation at each stop to 5.6, then falls off a cliff after that. What shutter speed were you on at f13?
I may have missed something, but when in still mode, my aperture only follows the shutter to 5.6, thereafter any further slowing of the shutter does not cause the aperture to stop down, it remains on 5.6
I can manually stop the aperture down to correct exposure, but as soon as I go back to the shutter menu, it opens back up to 5.6. Does yours respond like this as well?
Also, I can't get a f13, it's either f11 or f14
post #126 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD pixels View Post

Yeah it's fairly consistent up to 4.8, though open does seem the best with a small degradation at each stop to 5.6, then falls off a cliff after that. What shutter speed were you on at f13?
I may have missed something, but when in still mode, my aperture only follows the shutter to 5.6, thereafter any further slowing of the shutter does not cause the aperture to stop down, it remains on 5.6
I can manually stop the aperture down to correct exposure, but as soon as I go back to the shutter menu, it opens back up to 5.6. Does yours respond like this as well?
Also, I can't get a f13, it's either f11 or f14

Shutter speed at f/13 was either 1/50 or 1/25.
Your description of the shutter/aperture beyond f/5.6 is exactly what I found. I had to set the approx correct shutter THEN set the iris (ie there is no shutter priority mode beyond f/5.6 in still capture, only full manual and full auto).
f/13 is my guess at the setting - it shows f/11 and f/14 but there is a setting between the two which still SHOWS f/11 but must be around f/13.
post #127 of 231
Greetings and HNY..

I've been doing research for a new vid camera and stumbled across this forum in my searches, and from what I've read thus far, shows me a lot of informed individuals who might be able to help me out with a few queries regarding the HC-X900m camera which is on my short list..

I currently shoot with a Panasonic DVC30 MiniDv camera for quite a few years and now ready to jump into the tapeless field of cameras, and HD.. but have little to no experience with them.. Last year I test a few I was looking to purchase and got a small taste of what they have to offer.. but had to give up that quest for deployment reasons.. Now I'm back..

I do apologize in advance in my terminology is a little askew..

A few features I'm looking for the genre of video shoots I typically do would be a time indicator (time code?) display that tells me how many minutes of footage has already been recorded. I do a lot of short scenes that then get edited into one video so the length of the over all recording is important. Some of the cameras I tested last year didn't have that feature, or they simply only recorded the amount of time of each recording from pause to record each time.. hard to keep track of when on a tight schedule (studio rental time etc) so they were off the list. Does this camera have time code display?

Wide angle lens.. are they available for this camera or, as I've been reading, is the standard lens rather wide enough for small space recording?

As some did mention in this forum, one thing I did notice with other cameras is that when the 4Gb files were written in a 30 minute shoot, that there was a noticeable video and audio glitch where the files were stitched together..

Most, if not all of my videos go online in WMV format, usually looking for a 10 meg per minute video size.. typically 640x480, where a typical 30 minute video is usually around 300 to 500 megs in size.. how does HD formats compare in this scenario?

I used MovieEditorPro. which has all the bells and whistles for gain, colour correction, brightness correction etc. It has the capabilities of editing HD but I haven't had the opportunity to try it yet.. has anyone tried this editor with this camera and .MTS files yet?

I enjoy using my DVC30 but feel it's time to move up into the next level of technology, and away from MiniDV tapes..

Any info would be greatly appreciated..

Thanks in advance.
post #128 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaking406 View Post

has anyone tried this editor with this camera and .MTS files yet?
Go to the "Movie Mode" section of this review http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-fz200/11 and click on the yellow link beneath the Trolley car video. Clicking on the link will let you download the original .mts file. Then you can try to work with it using your movie editor program.
post #129 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

Go to the "Movie Mode" section of this review http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-fz200/11 and click on the yellow link beneath the Trolley car video. Clicking on the link will let you download the original .mts file. Then you can try to work with it using your movie editor program.

Super MANY thanks! its one thing to shoot nice quality video but ya can't handle the files, ergh!? This will help a lot!

edit: I was able to DL the two files (trolley and jet) to see how they edit and yes, the Magix Movie Edit Pro MX works well with it.. Converts to WMV rather nicely etc.. The only hiccup I encountered is with the process is when fading one scene into another for a transition (something I need to do quite often).. when previewing to make sure the cuts and transitions are in the right place, the software can't seem to do it smoothly.. though it exports it properly.. The software has the ability to import the digital file as an MPG4 file so I'll have to check that out as well should I get a chance to test out the camera. so far so good though...

A couple of questions about the camera if I could..

While filming / recording with the camera, do you have a time code showing on the LCD panel showing you how long a footage you've just recorded? If so, does it reset if you pause and resume recording, or does it continue counting when you resume? I know this is old tape mentality where the time code is showing you how long of tape footage you've gone through (1 hour tape) but it's something I require in a camera for the genre of shooting I do..

I know that when you pause the recording and resume, a new MTS file is started, is there any hiccups between these files when editing? I tested a few cameras last year that when you were recording straight past a certain point it would finish a file at the 4gb point and start a new file and you would lose a portion of a second between the files which was very obvious when editing.. and into the final product..

Can a Rodes Mic be mounted on this camera?

I read somewhere along the lines that this camera will try to auto-white balance as it goes along, is there a way to lock that down? I tend to do all my colour corrections while editing which works great for me.. any issues like that with this camera?

my only other concern is handling.. whereas the DVC30 is a much larger camera but with a handle and suits my needs as I typically hold it at arms length by that handle and shoot viewing through the LCD, does this camera have a similar set up or is it a " two hands hold it steady" kind of set up?

My apologies for the weird questions, there aren't any cameras like this in my area where I can physically see one or test one. A local shop lets me 'borrow' various cameras to test out but they can't seem to find them either.. Rare camera or simply so popular no one can keep them on the shelves?

Thanks again for the files, it was very helpful indeed.
Edited by Seaking406 - 1/1/13 at 10:37am
post #130 of 231
Has anyone used the camcorder to broadcast video to the internet? If so, what kind of cable does one need to connect the camcorder to the laptop to accomplish this? I keep reading a lot about firewire, but there is no fireware ports on the camera. Thanks for any help you can give me.
post #131 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaking406 View Post

I've been doing research for a new vid camera and stumbled across this forum in my searches, and from what I've read thus far, shows me a lot of informed individuals who might be able to help me out with a few queries regarding the HC-X900m camera which is on my short list.

Let me tell you what I can.

There is no counter for "total time recorded", at least not that I've been able to find (but there IS a display of time used so far for the clip CURRENTLY being recorded).

If you touch the LCD screen it will bring up a "R hh:mm:ss" legend that shows you the total time remaining on the memory card. If you know how much you want to shoot, you could note the remaining time when you start shooting, subtract the amount of footage you want, and then watch for the remaining time to get to that figure. For example, if the display showed "R 01:15:00" (1 hour and 15 minutes) before you started shooting and you wanted to shoot 30 minutes' worth of footage, you'd watch for the remaining time to drop to "R 00:45:00". Note, however, that this isn't totally precise because the amount of compression (and therefore remaining memory card space, upon which the remaining time is based) can vary from shot to shot.

But I have to mention that in normal circumstances this kind of measurement isn't really a very practical tool because you'd typically want to shoot a few to several seconds of "head" and "tail" material (footage before and after the actual action you want to capture) in order to give yourself some flexibility when editing the individual clips into a timeline. So "total recorded time" would normally be greater than the time that would end up being included in your final edited result.

There is a wide angle lens available called the VW-W4907H. I haven't used it myself, but it's doubtless like the other wide angle lenses available for a whole slew of video and still cameras - it enlarges the field of view but adds some degree of barrel distortion. The camera has a reasonably wide field of view (equivalent to a 30mm lens on a 35mm camera), but whether that's wide enough for your needs is very subjective. If you have a still camera that you can set to a particular 35mm-equivalent field of view, set it to 30mm and see if that seems wide enough for you.

The 4GB file limitation is a restriction of the FAT file system used on SD memory cards. The Panasonic X900 shoots in AVCHD format which puts a tree of folders on the SD card that includes metadata to show which files are part of the same shot even if you shoot so long that the clip goes over 4GB and is therefore split into multiple files. Most modern editors recognize this format and can import the footage as a single, seamless clip even though it's physically recorded in multiple files. For those editors that don't recognize the format, you can burrow into the folder structure on the card, import the individual ".MTS" files and join them together. I've not seen any audio or video glitches when doing this sort of thing.

Typical data rates for 1920 x 1080 HD video are around 18 to 24Mbits/sec, which works out to around 130 - 180MB per minute.

I use Adobe Premier Pro. Both it and the latest version of Premiere Elements can handle .MTS and AVCHD files without any problem. The Movie Editor Pro website says that the current 2013 version handles AVCHD, so it should work just fine.

I think you'll love solid state capture and once you start you'll wonder how the heck you ever managed to deal with tapes. Best of luck!
post #132 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by B and B View Post

Has anyone used the camcorder to broadcast video to the internet? If so, what kind of cable does one need to connect the camcorder to the laptop to accomplish this?
You connect the camera to a PC using the USB port. But there's no provision for the camera acting like a "webcam" - it simply presents itself as an external drive which allows you to copy files from it to the PC.

When you connect the camera via USB, it presents a choice of "[PC]" or "[RECORDER]", which at first I thought might mean it has the ability to act as a PC-attached camera. However both options simply connect the camera to the PC as a storage device. The "[RECORDER]" option appears to make the camera act as a USB host so that it can write clips to an attached DVD burner.
post #133 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaking406 View Post

I know that when you pause the recording and resume, a new MTS file is started, is there any hiccups between these files when editing?
In my reply to your earlier post above I said that there's no hiccups when you record beyond the capacity of one file and it "spills over" into a second file. But if you actually pause the recording and then resume it, then of course you're going to miss whatever sound and video occur while the camera is paused. If you need to have "all" the material but you need it in separate clips than you should just record continuously and then break it up during the editing process.
Quote:
Can a Rodes Mic be mounted on this camera?
The camera can mount anything that fits into a standard hotshoe (the camera doesn't normally have a hotshoe but it comes with a hotshoe mount that attaches to the front right side of the camera body) and it has a standard 3.5mm microphone socket, so I see no reason why a Rodes mic wouldn't work.
Quote:
I read somewhere along the lines that this camera will try to auto-white balance as it goes along, is there a way to lock that down? I tend to do all my colour corrections while editing which works great for me.. any issues like that with this camera?
The camera has a "manual" mode that lets you choose a specific white balance (sunlight, cloudy, various fluorescent types, tungsten, etc.) or do a manual white balance using a white card. The "manual" mode is a little peculiar to me since I was weaned on still cameras - when you select "manual" mode on the camera everything is in fact still automatic until you specifically override it. Selecting "manual" mode brings up menu selections which let you override the white balance, focus, shutter speed and aperture settings. If you don't actually adjust any of those settings then they remain on automatic by default. You can set a specific shutter speed and let the aperture auto-adjust, but you can't set a specific aperture and let the shutter speed auto-adjust. Gain (which is called ISO on still cameras) and aperture are coupled together on the same control - it adjusts aperture from minimum to maximum and beyond that gain is increased. So you can't, for example, choose a small aperture and a large gain.
Quote:
my only other concern is handling.. whereas the DVC30 is a much larger camera but with a handle and suits my needs as I typically hold it at arms length by that handle and shoot viewing through the LCD, does this camera have a similar set up or is it a " two hands hold it steady" kind of set up?
When I'm not using a tripod, I sometimes use the camera by gripping the camera body with my right hand inserted through the strap (the "typical" consumer camcorder method), but I find it less steady that way. I usually handhold the camera with my right hand on the body and my left hand on outboard edge of the LCD, either near eye level or near waist level, as this gives me a much steadier grip.

The camera has this weird "Optical Image Stabilizer Lock" function which is an icon at the left edge of the LCD screen. You press the icon to "lock" the stabilizer, which steadies the image over and above what the normal stabilizer does. What's a little weird about it is that it only applies while you press the icon, if you move your finger away it disengages the lock. So you pretty much have to hold the camera with two hands if you want to use it. I find it to be pretty effective, even when zoomed in to the maximum optical zoom amount. I THINK what it does is disable the "drift correction" that normal stabilizers have (they will tend to try to re-center the stabilizer over time to allow for further movement), but I haven't completely sussed it out. If anyone reading this can illuminate me on exactly how it differs from the normal stabilization I'd be appreciative.
Quote:
Rare camera or simply so popular no one can keep them on the shelves?
My own personal theory is that camcorders are going out of style because more and more still cameras are getting pretty decent video functions (and of course there's the smart phones...). I suspect that the manufacturers are cutting back production in anticipation of this. But that's just a guess, I have no inside info.
post #134 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaking406 View Post

I know that when you pause the recording and resume, a new MTS file is started, is there any hiccups between these files when editing? I tested a few cameras last year that when you were recording straight past a certain point it would finish a file at the 4gb point and start a new file and you would lose a portion of a second between the files which was very obvious when editing.. and into the final product.
DVD-Video uses 1GB files. Do you see hiccups when you watch a DVD? So the answer is: "depends on software". MTS/M2TS files are headless and are supposed to be joined together smoothly. This is pretty much the same format used for broadcast, only with additional bits of information for easier scanning on media. Good software can join the segments without hiccups. Try tsMuxer. But it has its own issue, which is audio and video may go out of sync on long segments, so you need to use another tool to fix that.
post #135 of 231
Sean, many thanks with replying to my many queries about this camera.. We all have our different styles and needs for filming and while mine are particular to what I do most, it would seem like this camera might fit the bill..

I have a short list of other cameras to peruse through, some Canon, some Panasonics.. If I were able to record onto digital medium with my DVC30 I would certainly continue using it.. (no, the Firestore solution isn't a solution, it fails more than it works for what I do.. egh!)

Again, many thanks for your insight..

Cheers
post #136 of 231
Thanks, Sean, it looks like I should have done some further research into camcorders serving as live streaming devices, but I still like the quality of the camcorder. I have read that it is possible to use it for broadcasting if you connect it to a device such as the dazzle for video conversion. Would you happen to know anything about that?
post #137 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by B and B View Post

I have read that it is possible to use it for broadcasting if you connect it to a device such as the dazzle for video conversion. Would you happen to know anything about that?
Yes, the camera has a special "multi AV" jack and comes with a custom cable that lets you connect it to any device (TV, AV receiver, PC capture card, etc.) that takes composite (L/R/Video) or component (Y/Pr/Pb) inputs. It also has a standard mini-HDMI jack that you can use to connect it to anything that takes HDMI input. It's possible (using the "Ext. Display button on the included remote control) to configure the video sent over those connections to include the same information as is on the LCD display or to remove all the overlays so that it's "clean" and can be used for recording.
post #138 of 231
B & B: "Has anyone used the camcorder to broadcast video to the internet? If so, what kind of cable does one need to connect the camcorder to the laptop to accomplish this? "

The new Panasonic X920 is the camcorder for you - it does live streaming to the internet using the standard Ustream service (also you can control the camera and have remote viewfinder over wifi).
post #139 of 231
Great news. I will put it to the test this weekend. Thanks everyone for the help.
post #140 of 231
The TM-700 batteries will NOT fit the HC-X900M. Voltage and milliamps are the same, so is the size, but the connectors are ever so slightly different. This annoys me, because there was no valid reason to do this other than the greed of selling more batteries. When are manufacturers going to learn that keeping things compatible with older makes their newer models much more desirable? In fact, they should even advertise that batteries and cables are compatible when they are, encouraging buyers to upgrade to their new model as opposed to changing brands. If all the cables and batteries are going to be different anyway, I no longer have brand loyalty and will look to purchase a different manufacturer if I like their features, as opposed to staying with Panasonic because all my accessories would fit the new model.
post #141 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by fineartvideo View Post

The TM-700 batteries will NOT fit the HC-X900M. Voltage and milliamps are the same, so is the size, but the connectors are ever so slightly different. This annoys me, because there was no valid reason to do this other than the greed of selling more batteries. When are manufacturers going to learn that keeping things compatible with older makes their newer models much more desirable? In fact, they should even advertise that batteries and cables are compatible when they are, encouraging buyers to upgrade to their new model as opposed to changing brands. If all the cables and batteries are going to be different anyway, I no longer have brand loyalty and will look to purchase a different manufacturer if I like their features, as opposed to staying with Panasonic because all my accessories would fit the new model.
In a interesting turn of events, the new professional models AC160/AC130 do not use the same batteries that the HMC150/HMC40 used, but older form-factor that the DVX used! Now THIS is rather lame, because AFAIK batteries from the HMC150 (and from all Panasonic hi-def consumer camcorders from 2006 to 2010) can fit the DVX after minor work with a file, while the DVX battery will not work in the HMC150 because of encryption. Idiocy.

I wonder what batteries does the AC90 use. Paulo?
post #142 of 231
post #143 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

It came with a battery that has the same model name as this.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/282863-REG/Panasonic_CGAD54SE_1B_CGA_D54_Lithium_Ion_Battery_Pack.html
Right, so they switching their pro models to pre-2006 battery type, while have switched consumer models to post-2006 battery type. How sane is this?

pre-2006 is CGA-Dxx,
2006-2010 is VBG,
2010+ is VBK and VBN.

So they make the AC90 more attractive to DVX100 owners than to HMC40 owners. On the other hand, maybe this makes sense, because the AC90 is no much better than the HMC40 aside of a higher-res LCD screen.
post #144 of 231
When I tested both the SD600 and the AC90 at 0dB in indoor lighting, I noticed the AC90's image as being much clearer. The HMC40 would have to be clearer than the SD600 at 0dB for the AC90 to be not much better. It also obviously have 1080 60p although I do wish it had an ND switch. Thinking it over, it depends on what you need so you could say that. the body size is slightly bigger on the AC90 and to me, that's also a negative.
Edited by Paulo Teixeira - 1/11/13 at 2:55pm
post #145 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

When I tested both the SD600 and the AC90 at 0dB in indoor lighting, I noticed the AC90's image as being much clearer. The HMC40 would have to be clearer than the SD600 at 0dB for the AC90 to be not much better. It also obviously have 1080 60p although I do wish it had an ND switch. Thinking it over, it depends on what you need so you could say that. the body size is slightly bigger on the AC90 and to me, that's also a negative.
The real differences are minor, but who am I to argue. I bought the HMC40 almost two years ago on eBay, used, with 47 hours, with XLR adapter ($300 extra) for only $1250. Because I got it this cheap I did not want to sell it, but finally I did, because I shot only two videos with it. Sold it for the same price. Yep, it does not have 1080p60, but 720p60 looks no worse resolution-wise, and is much more robust in terms of artefacts, having twice smaller frame size but only 15% lower bitrate.
post #146 of 231
It all depends. If the real resolution of both cameras was no more than 720, then you may not notice much of a difference rather you record to 1080 60p or 720 60p even on a 1080p screen but since they both resolve higher real resolution than that, it should be noticeable on a 1080p screen. Also, the bit rate ratio may favor 720 60p, it still have to then upscale on a 1080p screen unlike having 1080p to begin with and not needing to upscale. Again, it wouldn't make much of a difference if the real resolution wasn't that high to begin with.
post #147 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

It all depends. If the real resolution of both cameras was no more than 720, then you may not notice much of a difference rather you record to 1080 60p or 720 60p even on a 1080p screen but since they both resolve higher real resolution than that, it should be noticeable on a 1080p screen. Also, the bit rate ratio may favor 720 60p, it still have to then upscale on a 1080p screen unlike having 1080p to begin with and not needing to upscale. Again, it wouldn't make much of a difference if the real resolution wasn't that high to begin with.
I prefer artifact-less 720p to strained 1080p. I hope Panasonic fixed their encoder and you will never see ugly macroblocking I saw from the SD600.
post #148 of 231
Hi Sean,

I noticed you mention that you use premiere pro and this camera. I just purchased the camera and I was wondering if you could point me toward any resources regarding getting the best results using this camera with PP as an editing tool. My knowledge is not extensive and I just want to ensure I don't make any mistakes in terms of quality/import/export settings which could negatively impact my final product.

Thanks for all your posts - reading this thread has been very informative.

Sano
post #149 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanosuke1981 View Post

I just purchased the camera and I was wondering if you could point me toward any resources regarding getting the best results using this camera with PP as an editing tool. My knowledge is not extensive and I just want to ensure I don't make any mistakes in terms of quality/import/export settings which could negatively impact my final product.

My first piece of advice is to get a copy of "Photoshop Premiere Pro CS6 Classroom in a Book" and invest the time in working through all of the material on your computer. I originally started out with Premiere Elements which has the same basic editing methodology as Premiere Pro. With Elements I was mostly able to figure out how to do what I needed through trial and error and Google searches, but I was never really comfortable with it. I used the above-referenced book so that I'd really understand Premiere Pro and now I feel far more competent. It's allowed me to approach editing with anticipation instead of a vague sense of unease. I now wish I'd spent the time learning Elements way back when.

Secondly, one of the things I found confusing was the fact that you had to specify video settings (resolution, frame rate) twice - once for "sequences" that let you preview the material you're editing and then again when you export your project into the final result. The important thing to know about this is that the settings you choose for your sequences really have nothing to do with the final result, so you don't have to sweat them too much. You don't have to worry that your end result is going to be inferior just because you didn't use, for example, "maximum bit depth" or "maximum render quality" in your sequence settings - that affects the editing preview only. What I do is to use the same resolution / frame rate for sequences as the original source material coming out of the camera because that's supposed to improve the speed of previewing the material as you're editing it.

Generally speaking, I'd recommend shooting the material on your camera using the same video resolution and frame rate that you're planning to use for the final result. That way you can keep all of the video settings the same throughout your Premiere Pro project and not worry about it. You'll also have the least amount of conversion going on, which will lead to a better result.
post #150 of 231
Hi Sean,

Thanks for the advice! It's good to know that the initial sequence settings won't have a large bearing on the final output. I'll certainly get that book and go through it to get a better feel for everything. It would be great to approach the editing process with some degree of certainty rather than the unease that you described!

Take care,
sano
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