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Panasonic TM900, SD900, HS900 owners club

Discussion in 'Camcorders & Video Editing' started by PhilipL, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. 12harry

    12harry Active Member

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    Shutter speeds.... I suspect there will be differences between "Film" and digital, Shutter-speed is just one....as it isn't quite the same effect.

    In film-days posters are right, the individual frames were slightly blurred during fast movement - your brain can't keep up anyway and the blur stops it trying, making for a better experience. The sharpness is restored when the movement stops - Older readers will recall that women were often treated to a degree of "softening" of the image, wherreas men would be sharper, with more contrast from the lighting.


    Camcorder makers are trying to fool us into parting with money, for their "cinema effect" kit, when in reality most of the technique is only present on-set with folk that know their business. We, by and large, have to accept additional noises, unwanted "players" and so on. Even if filmed "sharp" there is always motion-blur - and I expect thre is some software that will do wonders for those panned shots.....
    Has anyone tried PanOptica? (not sure spelling) - it's software which is supposed to make pans super-smooth . . . . not expensive, but can only be purchased using PayPal - so I don't use it.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  2. pilsburypie

    pilsburypie Member

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    I hope I didn't come across as if I was telling you that you were wrong - I'm just putting down my thoughts as to be honest I am way behind on my video understanding compared to stills. What you have said, and others too, is very interesting. Something I will now consider.:smashin:

    Do you find sometimes you have issues with shooting 1/25 in bright light? I had my SD900 set to manual 1/50 the other day in the sunshine and it took me a while to work out why things looked blown out. I just increased my shutter speed and hey presto the exposure came down to a sensible level.:facepalm:
  3. flamesong

    flamesong Member

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    Yes, that can be a problem. On my XL1-s I had the option to adjust the gain too. I'm missing it already!

    I've been out testing my HS900 today though, and I am fairly pleased with the results. I shot some traffic tearing past down the A9 (in Scotland) through some trees - just to see what the 1/50th looked like for motion blur. I have to say, for me, it confirms what I said but maybe I'm just old school.
  4. flamesong

    flamesong Member

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    Am I missing something or is the still picture quality of the HS900 truly atrocious?

    It wasn't a prime reason for me buying the HS900 but boasting that it has a 14.2 MP still camera, I would have expected something a bit better than the pixelated over compressed and extremely unnatural looking images I got when I tried taking some stills today.

    My girlfriend has a nine year old Nikon 5700 which takes better photos than this!

    Everything I can find is set to MAX! But saying everything, I can only find one setting which gives the option of high or normal quality and it is set to high and I am not using the digital zoom. Surely this cannot be right!

    Anybody had decent stills results from theirs?
  5. PhilipL

    PhilipL Active Member

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    Hi

    Yes the picture quality as a camera isn't great, easily beat by most compact cameras, but then the Panasonic beats by a long way the video quality of a digital camera doing video.

    The 14Meg is interpolated and isn't really anything like the actual number of pixels captured, I had thought it wasn't allowed to advertised interpolated picture sizes (where would it end), however perhaps that is only a voluntary agreement in the industry and not applicable to video cameras. I think Panasonic might get away with it by arguing they have 3 sensors and so they have to interpolate all those pixels, but it certainly doesn't capture anywhere near the detail of even a 4 or 5Meg camera.

    Regards

    Phil
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  6. flamesong

    flamesong Member

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    Yep, I just set the picture resolution to minimum. I thought I'd set it to the same resolution as the video, i.e. 1920 x 1080, but that isn't possible. Ho-hum.

    Incidentally, Phil, did you see my earlier question asking how you went about discarding every other frame in 50p?

    I'd be grateful if you could share that.
  7. pilsburypie

    pilsburypie Member

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    What editing software do you use? Some automatically discard every other frame if you set the project to 25p. I use Vegas which doesn't automatically do that. If you set to 25 P it just merges 2 frames which gives a crap result. I have to set undersampling to 0.5 which then discards every other frame giving 25p
  8. pilsburypie

    pilsburypie Member

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    While I'm on here, can I just re-ask a question that I don't think was answered (possibly cos no one knows!). What decent W/A lens works well on this camera. Just sold my Raynox .66 lens as it vignetted on the SD900? I want a decent quality one that won't impact on image quality.
  9. PhilipL

    PhilipL Active Member

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    Hi

    I have done the above as well. Usually I export at 50p then use some software I wrote that utilises the really good X264 encoder which gives me options to produce 1080/25p or 1080/50i/50p or event 720/50p from the same master. See here for info Easy way to create Blu-ray/AVCHD using the X264 encoder at DVinfo.net

    Regards

    Phil
  10. flamesong

    flamesong Member

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    Well, there lies the knot.

    I was happily using Final Cut Pro v7 until I decided to go HD. Then I discovered that FCP7 did not support 1080 50p and so I started looking into using Premiere again - I had been using it to upscale SD to HD with a plugin which did not work in a normal way with FCP7. But I had never had occasion to discard frames in FCP7.

    So now I have the choice of using Premiere or FCPX, the updated and unfamiliar looking upgrade to FCP7 which even seems to have left industry professionals bewildered.

    And having tried both, I feel slightly biased towards Premiere because FCPX can only import from the camera, i.e. having copied the contents of the SD card to my hard drive to check the quality etc. without importing it via the software, it does not recognise the files - Premiere fortunately does.

    I have to say, I never expected such disruption to my workflow simply to use HD footage.

    And, as a footnote, I'm still standing at the crossroads as far as which format I intend to shoot in. I don't suppose Panasonic ever release firmware updates. Or there is a way to hack the firmware to permit full features for Cinema Mode (1080 25p).
  11. PhilipL

    PhilipL Active Member

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    Hi

    You don't need a hack, just video in 50p and convert later using a decent edtior. Sony MovieStudio or Vegas will handle it just fine given a decent computer. You get better picture quality than you would having shot 25p natively at 18Mbits/sec, plus the extra frames can be used for slow motion effects.

    Once-upon-a-time we all moaned about DV editing, having to get propriety cards to handle the DV codec and trying to stop dropped frames on "printing" back to tape. When I watch DV footage now it looks horrendous compared to modern HD cameras, even allowing for it being SD.

    When HD editing is as easy to edit as SD has now become, we'll be on 4k and having the same discussions about how to edit that :)

    Regards

    Phil
  12. flamesong

    flamesong Member

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    @ Phil

    I'm on a Mac - a MacBook Pro 17 2.6GHz - so Sony Movie Studio and Vegas are out of the question unless I boot in Windows which is something I only do for emergencies.

    I've been using Macs since 1984 and only ever used the video cards which the Mac came bundled with when I started editing and I only every had a problem with dropped frames when I was using a G3 in about 2001. After that and once I started shooting everything in progressive, I never moaned again about DV editing.

    Anyway, I've just been out shooting some 1080 50p - so I'm about to take a look at it.
  13. flamesong

    flamesong Member

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    Well, as far as using my Panasonic HDC-HS900 with Final Cut Pro 7 is concerned, my problem may have been solved.

    This has been around since last summer. It's meant for use with AVCCAM but I just installed it and imported a .mts file straight into FCP7:

    https://eww.pass.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/support/dload/avccam_impt/agree_e.htm

    I couldn't see why something like this hadn't been developed and I can't see why this isn't made more widely available.
  14. petet66

    petet66 Member

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    I'm having a nightmare exporting you to You Tube! Is anyone else using Premiere CS4 and if so what settings do you use for exporting files intended for You Tube uploads?

    In terms of shooting am I best to use 50P mode as the You Tube footage will be progressive or doesn't it make much difference? 50i is a damn sight easier to edit on my PC so I'd prefer not to go full res if possible.

    I can get good quality output files but they seem to play back very jerky (even though the files aren't that large). I have 20Mb cable broadband so it isn't my connection. Any hints? I'm wondering if it's a frame rate issue? If I shoot in 1080i should I be outputting at 25 or 50 fps?

    EDIT: Just got a good output file by using the 1440*1080i High Quality H.264 output format. This isn't using the full resolution of my original file though... help still gratefully accepted :)

    EDIT 2: OK I changed the resolution to full HD on those settings... and it's still good. Does this mean the issue is CS4 not being able to properly handle 1080/50P footage?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  15. 12harry

    12harry Active Member

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    Can't help with Mac platform, but I wonder that there aren't Posts on YouTube which might explore this issue?

    + Doesn't YouTube have an Uploading Techy Page?
  16. petet66

    petet66 Member

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    The issue isn't knowing what YouTube want it's getting Premiere and Adobe Media Encoder to produce something watchable. Having conducted extensive research online the answer seems to be that you need to go though a process of trial and error till you find what works for you and your system/requirements. There is certainly no one size fits all. Make sure you keep detailed notes! I ended up screen grabbing the Premiere export settings to save making copious notes :)
  17. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    It's a while since I used Premiere but pretty sure like all good editors you can save custom export presets with your own name so thereafter they appear in the list like any other.
  18. petet66

    petet66 Member

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    Thanks, yes I have now saved my own preset. The screen grabbing was while I was working my way systematically through the options changing one setting at a time until I got acceptable results. I didn't want to end up with tens of custom presets, most of which were no good :)
  19. V6HILUX

    V6HILUX Member

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    I'd just like to BUMP this one up the list a bit.

    I KNOW that most of you serious Pros out there will never use this useless accessory, but now I have mentioned it is rare as Rocking Horse **** to replace, notwithstanding the fact you will never use it besause of it's bad design, you's will be gaurding it with your life and will probably die with it!

    Anyone normal wanting to get rid of one, send me a PM! PLEASE!
  20. 12harry

    12harry Active Member

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    Sorry to be a dampener on this... but realistically most folk will have lost this part, or will want to keep it "just in case" . . . surely you can engineer a suitable part to provide a home for whatever it is you need?

    That way it is much more likely to fulfill its purpose - and you shouldn't have much difficulty in improving on the original, from what I read.


    Go for it!

    EDIT Kevo #711 - Ah, as I suspected, only "stronger" - folk do find it useful . . . . which begs the Q, why some consider it to be a poor design AND why Pana don't give them away at shows, costing them but pennies.
    (bear in mind I don't know what part this is, but it reads like a tiny item weighing a few grammes.).
    + Kevo, if you had to redesign a "better part" can you say what it might be?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  21. Kevo

    Kevo Active Member

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    I think you'll find that most serious/pro/pro-sumer users will use the shoe adaptor a lot for mounting an ext mic, hence why you're unlikely to find anyone willing to give it up. Any 'normal' user will keep it as it IS the accessory shoe for the camera, beit a seperate one and I can understand them not wanting to part with it.

    'Useless' it certainly is not.

    Incidentally, I'm probably jut below 'pro-sumer' level ('hobbyist') and the adaptor is ALWAYS attached to the camera regardless if it's in use or not.


    However, I'm surprised Panasonic don't supply it as a spare part.
  22. V6HILUX

    V6HILUX Member

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    Perhaps my rant was a bit tactless and badly worded.

    I'll clarify "useless"-(obviously I'm sounding like a used car salesman)

    It is too short - most shotgun mics are in frame when shooting wide.
    It wobbles about when fitted and the mic wobble is clearly distinguishable if there is movement.
    It is small and easy to lose.

    When I contact Panasonic - they offer a just under $200 (AU) replacement that is quite a bit larger.
    (no, I haven't lost mine yet)
  23. petet66

    petet66 Member

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    Top tip: a blob (big blob) of Blu Tac at the base stops the mic shoe rattling.
  24. V6HILUX

    V6HILUX Member

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    Great idea, but epoxy resin is better.

    I can't use either, as my setup is the subject of change for different situations. I have an old SLR accessory/grip I use to load-up my TM900 when wanting to look like a pro. It keeps the shotgun mic out of frame, however, I still need to workout how to stop my external screen acting like a Spinnaker in the breeze up on the hill! Might have to mount it on the tripod?

    [​IMG]

    Still looking for a spare Original supplied Acc shoe!
  25. petet66

    petet66 Member

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    Blu Tac is easy to remove if you want to take the accessory shoe off (if I mic up my subjects with tie clips I don't want the shoe in the way)
  26. 12harry

    12harry Active Member

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    Although i use Vegas Studio (cost man!) I understand FCPX has been redesigned and the sillyness has been removed (DYOR), but it will cost you an update.
    As for YouTube, Vegas Studio (PC only!), ... VS has an Output-to sites feature, provided you have a valid YouTube (etc.) Account - it will (it says here) do it for you.

    Another point I read (this Thread, earlier), was the inability of the Computer to recognise HDD footage on the PC, if it hadn't been imported thro' the Video-editing software (presumably involving much delay?)..... I can verify that Vegas studio take in whatever it's given and mostly plays it from the timeline as ordered.
    I can use Photo CD, SDHC card and stuff on an external HDD using USB - although the data-rate can cause play issues . . . so I copy-over to a fast internal HDD - but it doesn't need to be "through" the Editor; until later you want to edit it.
    Hope that helps - and VS v11 is about £24 (I'm still learning VS v10). The Pro version is MUCH more...about £400 I believe and has many more "must-have" effects.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  27. Starfungi

    Starfungi Member

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  28. V6HILUX

    V6HILUX Member

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    Clicked on the link - NO LONGER IN STOCK - Great news! - Bah Humbug - Rocking Horse Poo!

    If I wanted some free advertising on this site, I would advertise that part - knowing it will never be available, but provides a "Lead" to other stuff for sale!

    SPAM
  29. Starfungi

    Starfungi Member

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    Hi
    I posted this in good faith to help someone:confused: I am located in Australia I tried USA, UK who then gave me the lead to SK and I did take the last two units in stock along with other items for the sd900. Jack the Hat is a supplier I have used to get stuff unavailable in Australia a few times but was unable to supply these items but recommended the SK store. Sorry if you cant take help from a fellow videographer.
  30. V6HILUX

    V6HILUX Member

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    Your right!. Don't worry about it, as it just seemed a bit sus - you being a brand new member and all.

    I don't want to start a war about it. We are all here to help each other and thanks for the link.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1

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