Saturday, December 25, 2010
Panasonic TM700: Best HD Camcorder of 2010
I've always been into filming on some level or another. I find it awesome that you can capture a moment in time and relive it whenever you want. I started out with a simple Xacti camcorder. It did a fine job for the time but I wanted more.
I've heard so many good things about the Panasonic TM700. "Sharpest image out there!" and "Best camcorder of 2010"..things like that. I'd like to share a few feelings about this camcorder.
So, I got one and indeed the video is quite sharp. The Panasonic TM700 has progressive frame output up to 1920x1080. Manual focus is pretty nice. I don't use it all to often but it's nice to have. I definitely plan on using it more in the future. I used to have a Sanyo HD1000 which could only do 1080 interlaced and had dismal focusing system in my opinion. So, this is definitely a big step up for me.
Oh, yeah..5.1 sound! :) One of the reasons I bought it. Home theater has always been something I've been into. So, to have my typical or extraordinary videos with surround sound was most cool.
No complaints about the LCD screen. Some folks out there feel perhaps it could've been bigger but..whatever. I'm fine with it.
I haven't used this camcorder to take still pictures. I have a dedicated DSLR for that. But based on some of sample images that are out there, let's say I'd stick with a dedicated still camera.
Now, to the all too popular topic of the fan noise. It is audible in quiet settings. No question about it. :( It's not overwhelming but no doubt I'd rather it not be there at all. I tried cupping my hands around the cooling fan inlet for a few seconds while recording. The sound of the fan was diminished in the video's audio track. However, I can't film like that for long periods of time. One suggestion I've read is to turn off surround sound. A second suggestion was to use an external mic. Like I said above, 5.1 was one reason I bought this so those ideas were out of the question. In any case, I'm going to research and see if anyone's come up with anything new in solving this issue.
Having no moving parts I feel is one reason why people were glad to move away from tape based formats. I've never used tape based cams but I can imagine how it would be a hassle. Anyway, what's going to happen in the long run? Will I have to send my cam in every several years to get a replacement fan if/when the camcorder's fan wears out? Is this the future of palm held camcorders? For example, the Canon 7D DSLR camera has video capabilites..from what I've read, it overheats all the time. I read one story where people said they would put ice packs on the 7D to keep it cool. :D If built-fans are the future for camcorders, at least find ways of making quieter fans. Ultimately, let's hope they can find fanless solutions. Only time will tell..
This camcorder does have 24 frames/sec feature BUT it's wrapped in a 60i container. In other words there's pulldown to be removed. From what I understand, Panasonic didn't want to undercut their professional line of camcorders which have native 24P. I understand this...but it still sucks that it's not on this particular cam. :(
The battery life is kinda short. I plan on getting a bigger capacity battery.
For now, it hasn't been a big deal since I haven't had to film any major events or what not.
I'm still reading the manual to learn as much as I can. I want to be able to work this cam to the max! Personally, the fan noise and lack of native 24p are the only gripes I have with this product. Overall, definitely a great camcorder. I look forward to using it more. I'll be posting a video later on today on my youtube channel. See ya then. Peace.