panasonic HDC TM 700 videocam

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    • #49288

      I am brand new to video. I am starting a personal history business recording chapters of life for preservation. Am working to learn how to use videocam to record the individual and/or family interviews and then will edit them adding music, stills, audio. So I’ve studied and researched MANY cameras. I have come to the conclusion to start with a middle of the road one that covers all my basic needs. The Panasonic HDC TM 700 seems to have great reviews on many sites. Does anyone have anything really negative to say about it? After I get a camera then I’ll come back and ask about editing programs when I’ve researched them.

    • #201797


      I’ve got one (HDC-SD700), and must say that’s really greatcamcorder with great video quality especially on 1080/50P mode! Recording indoors, for best results, you must remember to set your cam to manual mode to lower gain level. Using iA camcorder usually raises gain level even to +18dB making picture looks bad. What cons? I’haven’t notice yet. To operate 50P AVCHD files your computer must meets high hardware requirements. For best results: 64-bit system, 64-bit video software (e.g.minimum 8GB ram, modern multi-core CPU (Intel, AMD), high speed HDD, video card with CUDA (Nvidia) or equivalent AMD Radeon.

      PS Sorry for possible languwge mistakes. I’m not native english speaker.

      Best Regards

      Grunwald, Poland

    • #201798

      This post is quite old but I am also looking for a “prosumer ” camera and have listed down the Panasonic TM 900 /700 and the Canon HF G10. The Canon has an edge on low light, but the Panasonic has a multifunctional ring.

      Could anyone tell me if the ring in the Panasonic can be configure to control the manual zoom? I’ve read a review saying that the ring only controls zoom “in auto mode”. This is a major disanvantage.

    • #201799

      Yes, I have the TM900 and you can use the zoom ring in manual.



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #201800

      You can use the ring for manual zoom (I have the SC700 model, but I am pretty sure they are all the same). The thing is with mine, if you ask for manual _focus_ then the zoom is not available to the ring, because it is then used to focus. That’s what they mean by auto mode being the only way to zoom with the ring.

      It’s not anything to do with what Grunwald is saying about gain levels and being manual there. Separate issue.

      FWIW, as with all modern photography, the manual/auot debate is never cut and dried: under normal good lighting by far the most easy and versatile way to shoot is in auto or semi-auto modes, IMO, especially under changing light if you are shooting “general” scenes. ….however I rant, as usual.

      Actually it’s not a true manual zoom anyway and can be quite irritating, AFAIAC. You turn the ring, and to some extent the faster you turn that faster it zooms, but it has little more feel than the auto zoom button, for me. You can get used to either (I am still working on it), but the point is you can’t just zoom at your own manual rate then stop instantly as with focus pulling on a pro camera or DSLR camera. There can be a lag as well, if you try to turn the ring too fast. For that last reason I actually prefer the zoom controller.

      I think you may have some searching to do to find any better at prosumer level. It’s far cheaper to make an electrical zoom than true manual.

      I have not compared, but FWIW the OIS on this camera is uncanny. I can hand hold and you would swear it was either on a “steadycam” or a tripod. It can cause a “swim” effect if you stop a pan too suddenly, but I am willing to train myself for the sheer power of the OIS.


    • #201801

      Just another comment. I was caught out by the lack of any wider angle on this camera (35mm lens length-equivalent on 35mm film size SLR camera).

      As a keen still togger I feel a but ashamed actually, but there are just so many things to think about and the camera is a little beaut otherwise.

      If you were looking to do inside shots and crowd scenes, or building facades even, IMO you will need to look for wider zoom or get a W/A extender. That will cost money and degrade your image to a greater or lesser degree.

      So I reckon do what I did not and at _least_ look at shots at wide angle on the camera, (there are tests on youtube), or better try one out in a room and see what you think.

      I find it a problem even shooting vids of my dogs running about: if they come within a couple of metres I run out of W/A field and that’s that….well….that’s one of them. The other two are about 1/4 the size :D. I will definitely be looking at a W/A adaptor.

      The 12X zoom in to an equiv of 420mm is way powerful enough: if you are desperate you can always crop a bit in post process. You can’t get stuff from beyond the edge of a W/A shot! πŸ™‚

      Here is the camera with and without a WA extender. I have used Raynox and they are very good at HD video level. Only with a really good DSLR does the loss become critical, and I just will not use extenders at either end for DSLR work….but I am a snob, and reckon my photos are worth it, pixel peeper that I am. πŸ˜€

    • #201802

      I’ve used aninexpensive Vivitar wide angle adaptor with good results on my consumer HD camcorder. You can’t really zoom through it, but it works fine for HD as long as you’re zoomed out.

      Without it, the lens just isn’t wide enough to get a decent field of view for indoor video.

      The biggest drawback is that it’s a very fine screw thread and putting it on and taking it off in between different shotsis a royal pain. I find I don’t do a lot of that and instead move around the room to recompose shots whenever possible, or just live with the shot I’ve got.

      Also remember, the shorter your lens, the more distortion. So unless you want the fish-eye or big nose look, don’t get it too close to your talent’s face.

    • #201803


      Go for it! I purchased a Panasonic HDC-SD900 on the strength of very favourable reviews of the SD-700 and I find it excellent for my purposes, with first-rate image quality. I have one very minor and niggling criticismand that concerns the fact that there is no positive ‘lock’ function on the flip-out screen. However, I simply slip a rubber-band over it and around the camera at the aft-end. That situation arises only because I frequently carry my camcorder on a tripod, over my shoulder, when walking between shots. Otherwise, I have found my machine highly satisfactory in just aboutevery application, although my use, unlike yours,is predominantly out-of-doors and in a ‘natural-history’ context.

      Hope that helps.

      Ian Smith

      Dunedin, New Zealand

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