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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We take a lot of road trips and have endless hours of road scenery, stops etc. . .tapes (1 hr.play). We end up with 10-20 tapes from our 2-4 week trips. They seem cheap compared to what it is going to take nowdays. I (think) I we want to tape in HD, but it seems the price of memory is going to be steep. . . We have been looking at a few $500-$600 models (Samsung, Pan SD 90, Can M400) What to do? It seems there are quite a few very qualified experts on this forum to help some old timers trying to modernize! Are we going to have to search -ebay for mini-DVD tapes? Thanks in advance!
 

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There are no mini-DVD tapes.


If you want a tape-based HD camcorder then the Canon HV40 is your best bet.


Tape is dying, it is almost dead on consumer market. Get an AVCHD camcorder and several external hard disk drives. If you record up to 20 hours in one trip, you may consider a camcorder with built-in HDD. On another hand, memory cards are resoanably cheap and reusable - you by 5-7-10 cards and you keep using them, unlike tapes. Also, you can remove bad clips during your trip, hence the quotient of good clips on a card can be higher than number of good clips on tape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply and very helpful information. I will miss my tapes, but will relish in being a part of the 21st century. We are going to have to upgrade our computer too...but as I told another, the new technology will be fun to learn/use. Thanks again for the advice!
 

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Like Ugermann said tapes are a dead format. There are HD camcorders with huge internal harddrives that can hold a lot of video, i dont recommend them either. I agree that memory cards are a bit pricey. Although if you bring a laptop or netbook with you on your trips when a card is filled or your charging your cam you can transfer the video from your card to your laptops harddrive, so the memory is empty and ready to be reused. If you do this i still recommend you have a spare card or 2 on you. You can get a 128GB SDXC card for like $180 on amazon which will hold like 12 hours of HD 1080p video filmed at 24Mbps (max quality on the M400) or if you film at like 5Mbps you can fit 48 hours of HD 1080p video on a 128gb memory card. The M400 has 2 slots for memory cards. I recommend you bite the bullet and invest in memory cards. (Make sure the memory card you buy is the correct kind for your cam and has a high enough read/write rate for the HD film to be recorded to)


If you want you can put the videos that are on your mini-tapes on your laptop with a compatable firewire cable. And store all your film on an external harddrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK 420 kid!
Between you and ungerman I have a plan. . .now how about some buying advice (please
) Cannon M40, M400 Pani SD90 or really break down and go Pani TM 800 or 900?!?! Thanks again for the advice. . .too cool!
 

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Only differents between the Canon M40 and the M400 is the canon M40 has built in 16gb memory, the M400 has none.


The M400 is way better then the panny SD90. The SD90 lacks the 3 sensors that the TM900 has which makes the TM900 so good. The M400 has better video quality in light and low light over the SD90. The M400 has instant auto focus (two focus sensors) which works wonders when set on auto. M400 has 2 card slots so after one fills it automatically starts recording to the 2nd slot, or you can record to both cards at the same time so you have an extra copy in case. If you want the panasonic brand get a TM900 skip the TM800 it lacks a external mic input port. The things the SD90 does nicely is it has 60fps, more zoom, cheaper, widerangle.


Canon M400 or spring for the TM900 if you insist on having a panasonic..


420 BLAZIN'
 

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The M40 is on sale in a few places for $550 so that should be considered over the M400. Also, theirs the SD600 which currently cost $650 at B&H probably because Amazon doesn't have any in stock. I have a guess that once Amazon gets it back in stock, the price will be slightly lower than $600. Same internals as the TM900 except it's missing a traditional focusing ring, viewfinder, no memory and doesn't have the ability to shoot in 5.1 sound.


The TM900 costs $850 by the way unless you actually found the M400 for $500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, I am going to bed to sleep on it. . .so I am still wondering about the canon m400 vs. the pani tm 900. . .EVEN though I watched the test vids. . .and just to throw a monkey wrench in, my friend swears by his Canon HF s21 (I think that is the # he said) anyway, I will check the forum b/4 i push the buy button tomorrow, just in case there is a "definite" favorite in the group! Again, thank you SO MUCH for all the groovy informationand opinions. I feel educated an its all b/c of some awesome folks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristhegirl /forum/post/20876163


OK, I am going to bed to sleep on it. . .so I am still wondering about the canon m400 vs. the pani tm 900. . .EVEN though I watched the test vids. . .and just to throw a monkey wrench in, my friend swears by his Canon HF s21 (I think that is the # he said) anyway, I will check the forum b/4 i push the buy button tomorrow, just in case there is a "definite" favorite in the group! Again, thank you SO MUCH for all the groovy informationand opinions. I feel educated an its all b/c of some awesome folks!

the TM900 has a better LCD, is has a greater wide angle, records in progressive not interlaced, and has a focus ring which can come in handy. If you have the cash then i reckon splash it on the 900
 

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I remember years ago when a manual focusing ring used to be very common and then started fading away. The Panasonic GS250 is a perfect example of a focusing ring being put in a lower class camcorder. Heck, that camcorder even had a view finder.


At least I'm extremely glad things have started to get back on track. Panasonic decided to bring back the focusing ring in their top camcorders such as the TM900, Canon put's a focusing ring in the G10 and Sony finally puts a focusing ring in the NX70 although that's sort of different since it's a more professional camcorder. Hopefully, Sony will put a traditional focusing ring in the successor of the CX700 next year and JVC should do the same with their top consumer camcorders.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristhegirl /forum/post/20876106


OK, I am going to buy in about a minute. . .Can m400 or spring the extra $350 for the Pani tm900!?!?! Can I tell the difference?


One thing to keep in mind is how are you going to use it? The TM900 is ok indorrs in low light the Canon is much better. Ouside in bright light the TM900 is better. Also the TM900 is a point and shoot camera with few manual controls. The TM900 in 1080p60p mode also produces videos with a very high variable bitrate so playing them back on your TV will take a media player than can handle it.


The Canon is 60i so the bitrate is much slower. Both produce MTS files. You can't keep the videos in the camcorder forever.
 

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The TM900 has few manual controls compared to either an M400 or M40? Is that what you meant?


I would say the TM900 is better when it comes to manual controls and not just because of the focusing ring since it can also control the Shutter and Aperture independently unlike the M40. That's just the basics. Plus, I don't think theirs even a shutter of 24 or 48 on the M40.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristhegirl /forum/post/20876163


OK, I am going to bed to sleep on it. . .so I am still wondering about...

You can't make a mistake. Road trip videos will be stunning on an HD TV compared to anything you've done before. Nobody watching them will ever be able to identify which make and model you took them with. Have fun pushing the button.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira /forum/post/20876517


The TM900 has few manual controls compared to either an M400 or M40? Is that what you meant?


I would say the TM900 is better when it comes to manual controls and not just because of the focusing ring since it can also control the Shutter and Aperture independently unlike the M40. That's just the basics. Plus, I don't think theirs even a shutter of 24 or 48 on the M40.


I found the controls on the TM900 that I ha to be rather minimal. Yes there were adjustments but nothing that impressed me very much. It did very well on Auto mode for most things as longas you had enough light.

I don't have an M40 so I can't speak to it's manual controls which is why I did NOT say compared to an M400/M40.
 
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