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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi mates,


I am making a thread because I am extremely conflicted between getting either the Sony CX550V or the Panasonic TM700. I have read up on the other threads comparing the two and it just makes me more conflicted. Here is the situation that I am in; I need to buy a camera before May 20th because I am leaving to go on an around the world trip this summer.


I want a camera with full manual controls with a ring or the dial that Sony has. The CX550V has added the manual shutter speed which is very important to me so in terms of manual controls they are both the same. I am not worried about the storage space because I have a 32gb SDHC card so that will give me enough space on both cameras for a decent amount of record time.


Here are my main likes on each camera


Sony CX550V:

-Wider angle lens (not by much)

-possibly better low light performance

-possibly better image stabalizer


Panasonic TM700:

-Records in 1080 60p

-$200-$300 dollars cheaper


Sorry for the massive thread, but I am struggling with this decision and want to get as many different opinions on what to get. Thanks guys...


Oh also do you guys think it is worth it to spend around 200 backs for a service warranty and stuff...THANKS
 

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I have similar problem Sony vs Panasonic ????


But here in Europe Panasonic will be slightly more expensive( but nearly identical)


I also need a camcorder for lots of traveling etc.

Thats why I like the GPS feature on Sony so much.

Wide angles are both ok.

Sony has also nice hi-res LCD useful for taking the right scenes with the right quality control.

Very important for me

-which is missing on Panasonic! is A/V remote for wired remote and tripod with remote control.


but besides this few things??? I prefer Pansonic in almost all aspects and especially video clarity.(Better brighter & larger Lens, 3x mos etc!)


After I watched several samples from Sony550 and even the previous Panasonic Tm350 I think Panasonic has better video quality but bit slower auto-focus.


I think that number 1 important thing in the camcorder is its video quality so the winner is Panasonic hdc...700! I MADE IT SIMPLE ;-) or maybe not ??


So if you do not need... lets say GPS it is even more simple
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks you DSLR for responding and giving me your advice. Yea I am leaning towards the TM700 as well, the wider angle lens on the sony is not a big deal to me and who knows about the low light performance if it has improved like they said im sure it will be good enough. Also, same with the OIS....any other opinions on this?
 

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When it came to low light capabilities their were a mixed bag. Some people were saying that the Panasonic's were that best while other people were saying that the Sony's were the best. What I do know is that with the GH1, if you change a certain setting, the low-light capabilities becomes much better so maybe the TM300 was no different. For all we know, the TM350 may have even been better than the TM300 but for this year Panasonic is using an f/1.5 lens verses f/1.8 from previous generations. That alone will give you a huge boost in low-light capabilities and combine that with it's new noise reduction technology, it may be much better than the Sony no matter what setting you put it on. Now that's if the low-light capabilities of the new Sony have not changed at all and for all we know, it may have gotten better as well.
http://www.panasonic.net/avc/camcord.../feature1.html


As for the stabilizer, Panasonic's marketing is saying that it's much better than the previous generations as well so I'm not so sure which will be better. Based on the testing people saw, the TM300/TM350 is crap compared to the TM700. Keep in mind that it was a test conducted by Panasonic, not from an independent person.


One thing that's not mentioned here is that the Sony uses a higher bit rate in the 60i mode so chances are you'll get slightly more detail if the encoder of what Panasonic users isn't better than the Sony although Panasonic do say that it's better than the previous versions but we'll see. Still, Panasonic does add 1080 60p and 1080 24p with pull-down.


I don't think Sony has ever had better auto focusing than the Panasonic's but than again, things might have changed. I want to see it for my own eyes in person. I mean I'd be shock to see a Sony with better auto focusing. At least for manual focusing, theirs a traditional focusing ring around the lens so the Panasonic wins by a landslide in that category.


For me the choice would be easy even if because of the 1080 60p mode alone although their are other reasons like the pre-record function. I mean it would be nice to make slow motion sequences at full 1080p while most everybody else has to use 720p for slow motion. For other people the wider lens of the Sony makes it an easy choice because they wont have to use a wide angle lens as much.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira /forum/post/18233740


..........

I don't think Sony has ever had better auto focusing than the Panasonic's but than again, things might have changed. I want to see it for my own eyes in person. I mean I'd be shock to see a Sony with better auto focusing. At least for manual focusing, theirs a traditional focusing ring around the lens so the Panasonic wins by a landslide in that category.

.........

Sony is claiming that the 550 autofocus is twice as fast as the 520's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira /forum/post/18233740


When it came to low light capabilities their were a mixed bag. Some people were saying that the Panasonic's were that best while other people were saying that the Sony's were the best. What I do know is that with the GH1, if you change a certain setting, the low-light capabilities becomes much better so maybe the TM300 was no different. For all we know, the TM350 may have even been better than the TM300 but for this year Panasonic is using an f/1.5 lens verses f/1.8 from previous generations. That alone will give you a huge boost in low-light capabilities and combine that with it's new noise reduction technology, it may be much better than the Sony no matter what setting you put it on. Now that's if the low-light capabilities of the new Sony have not changed at all and for all we know, it may have gotten better as well.
http://www.panasonic.net/avc/camcord.../feature1.html


As for the stabilizer, Panasonic's marketing is saying that it's much better than the previous generations as well so I'm not so sure which will be better. Based on the testing people saw, the TM300/TM350 is crap compared to the TM700. Keep in mind that it was a test conducted by Panasonic, not from an independent person.


One thing that's not mentioned here is that the Sony uses a higher bit rate in the 60i mode so chances are you'll get slightly more detail if the encoder of what Panasonic users isn't better than the Sony although Panasonic do say that it's better than the previous versions but we'll see. Still, Panasonic does add 1080 60p and 1080 24p with pull-down.


I don't think Sony has ever had better auto focusing than the Panasonic's but than again, things might have changed. I want to see it for my own eyes in person. I mean I'd be shock to see a Sony with better auto focusing. At least for manual focusing, theirs a traditional focusing ring around the lens so the Panasonic wins by a landslide in that category.


For me the choice would be easy even if because of the 1080 60p mode alone although their are other reasons like the pre-record function. I mean it would be nice to make slow motion sequences at full 1080p while most everybody else has to use 720p for slow motion. For other people the wider lens of the Sony makes it an easy choice because they wont have to use a wide angle lens as much.

Paul, thanks you for your opinion, I have been leaning towards the Panny as well. But i guess in the end we will have to wait and see some reviews, it sucks waiting with all this anticipation.


I just hope the TM700 comes out before May say 10th because I need one before I leave on the 20th.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffturn9 /forum/post/18234568


Paul, thanks you for your opinion, I have been leaning towards the Panny as well. But i guess in the end we will have to wait and see some reviews, it sucks waiting with all this anticipation.


I just hope the TM700 comes out before May say 10th because I need one before I leave on the 20th.

There are two websites that let you compare camcorders in various ways, including some posted stills. These will hopefully post new info on these cams. When I compared the stills for low light between the Sony CX505 and the Panasonic someone recommended, the former clearly looked better to me (noting that the CX505 was one of the first two Sonys with the new Exmor R chip). Between that and stabilization, all these manufacturers will be claiming parity with the Sonys this year. They almost have to to stay competitive. If they do that without technology changes, suspect hype. It will be very interesting to see the reviews, but also websites like the ones I mentioned and user reviews. For the Sony low light capability, I think users hit the nail on the head much more than the reviewers.


The two links I used last fall (posted by someone else - a bow to that person):

http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/compare.html

http://www.videoaktiv.de/Table/Testbilder/
 

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What I don't like about these tests is that it really depends on the settings that was used so it could have gone one way or another. I actually do think that the people who wasn't getting good low-light capabilities had intelligent contrast enabled. It does a very good job when theirs plenty of lighting but it's questionable at night. I've heard at least one user saying that the HS250 was just like my GH1.


Anyway I've already compared the previous Sony CX520 to the TM700 with that second link days ago and on first impression the Panasonic is much better than the Sony when it comes to low-light capabilities but you do see more noise on the TM700 so perhaps the gain was higher on the Panasonic intelligent could have also been enabled. In the first photo, the Panasonic has far more detail on the white toy animal but then again the gain on the Sony seamed higher than the Panasonic. You obviously loose detail when you do that. The best way to compare the camcorders should always be by trying different settings.


I wish I can review these new camcorders myself and to make it as fair as possible, I would actually pick people online who live close to me and who feel strongly about their camcorders to do the testings with me. The tests would include multiply native files to download. I had that plan to do that last year but it never happened.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira /forum/post/18239283


....

I wish I can review these new camcorders myself and to make it as fair as possible, I would actually pick people online who live close to me and who feel strongly about their camcorders to do the testings with me. The tests would include multiply native files to download. I had that plan to do that last year but it never happened...

It's also hard to be sure that stills compare accurately for a video environment. It definitely has limitations. Similarly, the professional reviewers tend to test specific things in a "scientific" way, which can miss entire new aspects of the video, such as sharp reductions in noise levels that are readily apparent to the eye but maybe not what the tests measure. So the kind of real-world testing you're proposing would be a great middle ground. That's kind of why I read user reviews - they're trying real things out and may come up with viewpoints and ideas that professional reviewers don't have time or the inclination to measure. It was great having multiple sources of input to read before getting the 500V (since the XR model shipped earlier I could read about it and that mostly applied to the CX model). I know a lot of people buy on specs but I like to check all those multiple online inputs and also simply like to hold the cam and play with it before deciding.
 
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