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Question on Panasonic TM700


Standard Member
I've just bought an HDC-TM300 - my first camcorder - and it has the option of "intelligent zoom" meaning you can extend the zoom range to 18X (beyond the lens zoom range of 12X) without losing quality. Is there any disadvantage in leaving the camera on this setting or are there advantages in using the 12X setting if you don't need the extra zoom?

Also what's the difference between the various quality settings in video mode HA/HG/HX/HE. TIA.


Standard Member

Your header reads TM700... But you say you have the TM300 now??? Well, doesn`t make any difference, they are basically the same, only 700 is this years model. ;)

The 18x intellignet zoom is added yes, without losing HD quality so it says. But why then not just make the standard lens zoom 18x instead of 12? If it doesen`t effect what pixels needed to keep it in HD?? This I never understood. I have the HDC-SD700 (drivefree version) and I just leave it on 12x. Doesn`t make that much visual difference adding the extra zoom, but you shouldn`t lose quality leaving it on 18 either.

I don`t know if you have the 300 series or the 700 as you mention both. But the 700 series now comes with 1920x1080/50p mode (progressive filming with 50 frames pr second, 60 for the U.S.)

This mode records in 24 Mbit pr second. This is a real heavy mode and is meant for future software. The PC world and consumer editing software has yet to catch up to this standard and power. Your processors and PC will struggle with the format because of size of file and the fact that the picture mode is progressive and not interlaced. Google progressive VS interlaced if you`re unfamiliar, takes a while to explain.

Anyways this is an optional mode and the naked eye can`t really tell the difference, at least I can`t tell comparing 1080p mode to 1080i which all Full HD cams until now have used, on my HD tv (which reads 1080p btw...)

Don`t bother with the "p" mode if you have TM700.
Now if you have the TM300 which is the same just without the 1080p option here is your answer:

Recording modes:

HA 17 Mbit pr second (Best Quality)
HG 13 Mbit pr second (What Panasonic calls standard quality)
HX 9 Mbit pr second (OK quality)
HE 5 Mbit pr second (Lowest quality, and not good for fast movement filming, action etc. It will blur)

These are all Full HD modes in 1920x1080i (interlaced. 2 frames to make 1 as opposed to 1 for 1 in progressive mode, as I said read up on it.) 1080i mode gives you 25 frames pr second, 30 for the U.S)

I have 16GB SDHC cards to record on so I leave mine on HA in order to obtain best possible quality. It depends how big you want your files to be really, makes no difference when editing, they are all working fine. But you can film much longer if you lower the quality settings. HA mode gives aproximately 1 hour 40 min filming on a 16GB SD card. And HE mode gives you over 6 hours of recording time on the same card, simple as that.


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Standard Member
Thanks for the answer. I meant TM700 not TM300 - I was going to get the 300 but I was hanging around for it to get cheaper for about a year and it never did because the Pound has devalued so much. I lucked out though because the 700 looks a much better deal.

Like you say, if setting it at 18X IZ doesn't affect quality why bother with setting it at 12X?

One feature is a bit annoying. The TeleMacro setting gets turned off the moment you go below 12X so you keep on having to turn it back on again for close focus, which is a pity. Apart from that I reckon it's an incredible little camera for the money.

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