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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every time I look into getting the Panny TM700, I get sidetracked at how well some of the SLR's out there shoot such amazing quality video. For example the EOS 5d MkII, however that camera is 2500 dollars.


I am purely interested in shooting amazing video and not much into still photography. However, I am looking to spend around 1,000 to 1,500 dollars. The TM700 is great because it can shoot 60p and I am going to be shooting purely outdoors wildlife and human movement + sports. The EOS 7d shoots great video as well, it seems like the picture quality is far superior to that of say the CX550V. correct me if i'm wrong, but SLR's around the same price range of the TM700 and CX550V shoot a lot better quality video. Wow also looked at some of the footage from the new T2i and it looks amazing for only 800.


Can any of you guys recommend a SLR around the 1,000-1,500 dollars that would fit my shooting needs, I am totally lost in this world of the consumer life. Also all the SLR's have full manual controls which I am into but prob not as good battery, storage, and stability. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated thanks guys.
 

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I would suggest you find a local pro photo shop close to you that rents camera equipment and see if you can rent a 5D II and a 24-105 lens.


If the quality of the footage you get after spending a day or two convinces you that the usability and form factor are not an issue. Then go look at the specs of the new Canon T2i (or the older and probably more applicable Panasonic GH1) and see if that fits your needs.


Personally, I wouldn't even think of cross shopping something like the TM700 and an SLR for video. Their features and capabilities make them applicable for different things all together.


-Suntan
 

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As has been pointed out in other threads, the form factor of a DSLR is not conducive to long-term handheld video shooting, especially by the time you add enough lens to equal the zoom of a camcorder like a TM700.


Then there's the file size limit. Most DSLRs don't handle video files larger than 4GB. For example, the T2i will only shoot full-quality for 12 minutes before it stops automatically and you have to manually restart recording. On the other end of the spectrum, camcorders like the high-end consumer Panasonics and Canons support relay recording, so even if you exceed the capacity of the built-in memory, the camcorder will continue recording to an SD card without a break.


IMO, the only area where a DSLR has a practical advantage over a camcorder for video is when you want to shoot with a shallow depth of field.
 

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Actually, interchangeable lens cameras aren't as good as traditional camcorders since the resolution is less, theirs more moire and more aliasing. Their are 3 reasons why the've become so popular and that's the fact that you can change lenses, get better low-light capabilities and DOF control. If your shooting mostly during the day then the low-light compatibilities aren't that important.


When it comes to comparing the GH1 to the T2i their are some things to consider. With the 1080 24p mode of the GH1, you get higher resolution, less moire and less aliasing than the T2i but if you move the camera to fast the codec will break up a little bit more than the T2i especially if your trying to shoot action. Another thing to consider is that with the T2i, you don't have to remove the pull-down like you do with the GH1. Your footage wont look so good if you don't remove the pull-down You can also shoot in 1080 60i and in PAL modes with the T2i.


In the 720 60p mode, just about everybody will say that the GH1 is far superior by a landslide. That mode is perfect for sports shooting. It still wont be nearly as good as the 1080 60p mode of the TM700.


Things unique about the GH1 is the fact that you get an articulating screen that gives you a lot of freedom in your shooting styles and it comes with a 10x lens that has a very good stabilizer and very decent auto focusing for video.


Those things have helped my shooting by a lot. If I'm at an event and their are a crowd of people in front of me I can easily put the camera over my head and frame the shots that I'm trying to get. I once had a gig as a Boston Bruins fan photographer and was given a Nikon DSLR. Most of my shots were very good but some of them would have been better if I had a camera with an articulating screen. I mean it can be difficult trying to take pictures of fans in very awkward positions.


Another unique thing about the GH1 is the fact that you can attach almost any lens on because of the way the GH1 is designed.


One big benefit of the T2i is the fact that theirs external output. With the GH1, external output is disable once you hit the record button. This can make the T2i much more studio friendly since you can hook it up to monitors.


Theirs obviously a limit that determines how long can you record each clip and if it's anything like the 7D, theirs also heating issues if you use the 720 60p mode for a very long time although I'm assuming that maybe Canon fixed it for the T2i.


Here's an article to a guy comparing the 7D to the GH1.
http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/26

Personally I view it as a fair article because its true, you can't really say one is better than the other. He uses both for different applications.


Anyway, I'm planning on selling my GH1 and get either it's successor or a successor to the HMC40.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_Skywise /forum/post/18271006


Also note that (at least with a T2i) you won't get image stabilization and auto-focus as you would with a camcorder.

With the 5D2, 7D and T2i, image stabilization and auto-focus is done in the lens, buy a IS lens.


Buy a USM (ultrasonic motor) lens, and the response is essentially instantaneous.


I understand that whilst the auto focus is good for stills, it is fairly poor for video.


The TM700 widest angle is only 35mm (35mm film equiv) - this is hardly wide enough for in room use - 25mm (equiv) is better. And this reveals the great strength of the DSLR - the ability to choose the lens that suits the occasion. Good sharp lenses for the T2i start at $100 (50mm Canon fixed prime) and the sky is the limit. The other great strength of the DSLR is the ability to control the depth of field.


So, at one end of the ease and convenience / quality scale is your mobile phone, and at the other end is the DSLR - the consumer camcoder is somewhere in between.


A good an indication of quality, is the data rate - the T2i is 45Mb/s H264, the TM700 is likely to be 25Mb/s.
 

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The best news for all of us is we have choices and with the relatively low prices we can have both.


For sports shooting with deep depth of field and times where you need quick auto focus you can go with a camcorder. On a really tight budget ? How about something like the Sanyo FH1 and HD2000 for 60p under $500.


Want shallow depth of field to tell your story ? Canon T2i with kit lens $900. Add a $100 50mm 1.8 lens for low light and more shallow depth of field.


That's $1500 bucks for both systems. The quality of video these systems put out at their price points is amazing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrosa /forum/post/18274088


The best news for all of us is we have choices and with the relatively low prices we can have both.


For sports shooting with deep depth of field and times where you need quick auto focus you can go with a camcorder. On a really tight budget ? How about something like the Sanyo FH1 and HD2000 for 60p under $500.


Want shallow depth of field to tell your story ? Canon T2i with kit lens $900. Add a $100 50mm 1.8 lens for low light and more shallow depth of field.


That's $1500 bucks for both systems. The quality of video these systems put out at their price points is amazing.

And that is EXACTLY what I'm thinking and the route I plan on taking, for now. Can't wait till I can get my hands on a T2i to COMPLEMENT my HS20.
 

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Just going by the bit rate wont tell you the whole story. With the GH1 you'll notice the codec issues in 1080 24p compared to the T2i only when you move the camera very fast and from what I've seen and heard, the 720 60p mode is junk compared to the GH1.


A lot of people will argue back and forth over which camera has the better 1080 24p mode but for sports, 720 60p mode is what people should be using anyway and for that reason alone the GH1 can be considered much better and never mind the fact that you can shoot in far more creative ways because of the articulating screen. You can also use it's viewfinder.


Believe it or not, the stabilizer and the auto focusing is very decent.


Here's proof:

I had nothing but the GH1 and the bundled 10x lens in my hands.


Compared to a conventional camcorder such as the TM700, not only is the encoder much better, but the codec has B frames which makes the compression far more efficient. Plus like I said earlier, theirs far less aliasing and moire than both the T2i and the GH1. When it comes to auto focusing and stabilization, the GH1 is the closet compared to a conventional camcorder but still not as good.


The $1190 includes a 10x lens that's worth over $800 alone so if you think of it that way, the GH2 can be considered much cheaper.


Anyway, with all that said, it does look like you'd be better off with the TM700. I usually recommend the Sanyo FH1A or the HD2000A a lot for the people who can't afford that much more money because it's an incredible value but the stabilizer and the focusing wont be anywhere near as good as the TM700's. Basically the TM700 is far better for event shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys for all your opinions...It seems like its really split down the middle. I pretty much want to get the best image quality for sports movement and landscapes/wildlife for the amount of money I am spending (1,000-1,500). I have had people recommend the T2i with the kit lense and it seems like on here at-least the TM700 is what people are recommending. I really want to see test footage of the TM700 because all the footage I see from the T2i is incredible. If anybody wants to weigh in on this debate just post away...As much help is needed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
pretty much Paul, I want to do know if I shot some of the same scenes you just showed me, with the TM700, T2i, and the GH1. Which would look the best? I will most likely be moving the camera and panning with it handheld to follow action, but not recklessly. So for this type of shooting would a TM700 or SLR best suite me. A SLR will probably always look better stationary or on a tripod but in terms of movement? Or is it the same?
 

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if your going completely handheld the IS of a camcorder will be priceless (I do not know how good the TM700 IS will be), ala the newer Sony models in comparison videos.


I guess it will depend on what is acceptable to you.
 

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For fast action scenes, 720 60p are usually used the most and it's what a lot of sports are shot in. Since the GH1 shoots 720 60p much better than the T2i, you'll get better quality out of the GH1. Plus the GH1's lens has a good stabilizer and auto focusing. The camera was auto focusing when I shot those. I was also using the GH1's articulating screen which allowed me to hold the camera in a comfortable position. I would have been severely restricted if I had used something like the T2i.


Now if it was shot with the TM700, it would have been even better because it's a dedicated camcorder. Their are B frames in the codec, the stabilizer is much better and the focusing is much better. You're obviously capable of making slow-motion sequences in 1080p rather than 720p.



Anyway, if you don't want a camera now, you can always wait. I'm assuming that the successor of HMC40 will get 1080 60p and all of the new technologies of the TM700 which would make it the perfect event camcorder. As far as the successor of the GH1, Panasonic is working on a completely re-deigned chip that's rumored to have much better low-light capabilities than the GH1 and to have an electronic shutter. Because of that, not only will the auto focusing be much quicker than the GH1's but you will no longer hear a shutter sound when taking pictures. That's a very big deal for a lot of people. It's also rumored to get 1080 60p. I'm just hoping Panasonic does the right thing and offer a 24p mode without pull-down added.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira /forum/post/18278456


Anyway, if you don't want a camera now, you can always wait. I'm assuming that the successor of HMC40 will get 1080 60p and all of the new technologies of the TM700 which would make it the perfect event camcorder.

Yes. Right now does seem to be a bad time for an aspiring prosumer shooter to be entering the market. The video capabilies of still cameras are still too half baked for prime time, and there is still quite a gap in the $1,000-$3,000 range of camcorders that is being held together mostly by the aging HDV contenders (Panasonic's model line not withstanding.)


-Suntan
 

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I own the GH1 and an HD camcorder, so I have no axe to grind. I have given up on the GH1 for video: it's stablization is inferior to the camcorder and zooming is far less controllable than on the camcorder (GH1 kit lens) and it is large and heavy relatively. And the quality of the video is inferior (I compare 108060i on the camcorder with 72060p on the GH1, which is its best).


Shooting sports at 72060p is not necessary to get good action video (useful for slo-mo though) - the Olympics were 108060i, and they were great. The above three posted examples of "action" shot by a GH1 are conspicuously shaky and often badly framed due I would guess to the impossibility of controlling well the manual zoom, even in the hands of an experienced photographer. The action in any case is wimpy.


Real action is hockey and basketball (among other sports) in terms of speed and quick movement and range. Here are two examples shot with the camcorder handheld at 108060i. The zooming, when not deliberately fast, is so smooth it is hardly noticeable, and no obvious shaking either. I think despite the mauling by YouTube, at least at 1080p (please select), you can still see the quality (only fixed the shutter at 1/60th). The first hockey shots are behind glass, so you will see a few odd spots. Both sports are indoors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU95lNvgLQo&fmt=22
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EDqpTsPCt8&fmt=22
 

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to add/agree with the above, I am waiting on 1080p60 for a DSLR switch.

Tripod or a spider-brace will be my IS. Mainly it will allow me to get more in-depth with the hobbie



Pending used market price for a HG20 I may sell it
 

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Those video examples were partly to prove that it's not that bad at least compared to DSLR cameras when it comes to focusing and stabilization. I even said that a dedicated camcorder such as the TM700 would be better.
 

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Paulo: My post was not meant as a criticism; I know they were just examples. I have seen your work all over the web and I am impressed.


One other point about the GH1 - the audio is lousy. No manual control of audio, and the auto-leveling, while not terrible, is conspicuous at times. Comparably priced camcorders now have manual control of audio, meters and of course an external mic capability (which the GH1 has too, but you cannot control the level). Other than for neat DOF effects for relatively still shots that are set up in advance, I am going with a good camcorder for video (but not stills!).
 

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Don't worry, I know it sounded like I took it too far.


It seams that every time I post a few video, the last one usually get far less views. Anyway, I do agree that the audio goes bad sometimes. With the camera being so hard to hold at times, I felt good about the way the first video turned out even though I was experimenting with my shots but it's a bummer that the audio decided to go haywire every time their were testing the music in the background. A lot of my other videos don't do that. I never tried using the Panasonic mic attachment yet.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...phone_for.html
 
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