Panasonic TM900 v Canon Vixia HF G10 – Low light – Help to decide

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    • #49629


      I am struggling to decide between the Panasonic TM/HS-900 and the Canon Vixia HF G10. The camera will be use for family movies and ocasional very low budget documentaries and some work like live theater recording and industrial video.

      The G10 is said to have outstanding low light capabilities, which is a real plus for shooting indoor with ambient light for home movies and documentaries, but the G10 is USD 400 more than the TM900.

      People that have tried both confirm that the G10 is “significantly” better in low light. I wonder to what degree this is noticiable and worth the USD400 of difference now (with this difference I could buy the accesories for the TM900 like wide-angle lens, long lasting battery and even an external mic).

      Also, the TM900 has manual zoom ring which is a plus for the type of work I do, where I need precise zoomming (I hate zoom rockets!).

      Moreover, the HDD-based HS900 is cheaper than the solid-state TM900, which is also tempting.

    • #203079


      I have the TM900 and love it. I have shot indoors and have been very pleased with its performance. I would get a TM900 (or HS900) quickly before they’re gone. You can pick one up used at a reputable company with a good return policy like Adoramaor Amazon and save even more. I got mine refurbed at Amazon a few months ago, and couldn’t be happier.

      Good luck with your decision,


      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #203080

      The G10 is better.. but $400 I’m not sure.. i ended up getting the TM900, for the price it couldn’t be beat.. I got 2 of them, both at $600 from B&H, now they’re up to $800 I think.. I can only imagine because of the demand for them.. they’re solid cameras.

      I do notice that it does rely on gain quite a bit, without good to great lighting, my gain settings are always higher than I’d like, but the image ends up looking good still so it’s not that big of an issue.

      Good luck in your decision making!

    • #203081

      I just ordered the G10 and the final point in choosing it over the Panasonic came down to already owning two other Vixia Canon camcorders and they work well, The Panasonic was very tempting, but my experience with the Canons was to much to ignore. Both cameras looked so good that it wasn’t an easy choice. I have to admit that all cameras use the same battery’s was an advantage

    • #203082

      Thanks to all for your replies. One more question for G10 owners. Do you believe it is reasonably possible using the zoom rocket with the left hand while mounting the camera on a tripod (so the right hand is on the tripod head handle)?

      The TM900 seems unbeateable for its price, but yesterday I went to a performance like those I record and realized that stage lighting is dim most of the times (artist like that way!) so unless the zoom rocket of the G10 is not good for subject following I’ll go for the G10.

    • #203083

      Well, after a lot of thinking and tough time deciding between the Panasonic TM900 and the Canon Vixia G10 and I’ve got the latter. Without own experience in any of these I weighted the low light ratings of the G10 despite being $400 more.

      I must admit that the camera performance is outstanding, much better than expected. Although I have not performed an objective test I clear see that its quality in low light is excellent and totally surpasses my previous experiences with HDV video, including the well-known Sony Z1. For low light I mean a medium-sized room lighted with a 60W bulb aprox.

      My first impression with the G10 was that it was lighter and smaller than expected. Of course, not in comparison with a prosumer model (which is obvious) but for a consumer one. Having read that the G10 was much larger than the TM900 I expected something bigger. My last consumer model was a Hi8 Digital Handycam so I guess I was expecting something of that size.

      The unit is also very light, even the long lasting batteries (sold separately) are very small. So it is a great all around camera but for casual working probably it does not seem that professional. Even the pro version the Canon XA10 should seem small and not that so pro. The touch panel looks great and the image is very good, but the touch is not that sensitive. Don’t expect IPhone style.

      The lens ring is great and it is a sin that it cannot be used for manual zooming. Probably it is a feature for the future model. The built quality is good but being used with prosumer models, even low end like the Sony A1, it does not feel so sturdy. I also miss the XLR inputs and so on, but low budget is like that!

      In summary, I am very happy with my purchased. If the camera would had manual zoom it would be a dream.

    • #203084

      Congrats, Pablo – thanks for the quick review of the G10. Sounds like a great camera!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #204963

      I've been using it since May.  It has been the "dream camera", for me!   I shoot almost exclusively, political activist events i.e. lectures and talks, at night in low-light situations. *The camera shoots good footage in low light.*    Here are some successes: rendering with the Sony Vegas MP4 encoder, 4mbps setting they come out around 1 GB per half hour of footage. on YouTube.  100,000 views yay!




      Here is simple footages with the onboard mic. on the ferry from Seattle to the outer provinces,  This clip also demonstrates the full-automatic video gain.  When the backlighting is high, the faces darken.  But it's pretty good compared with my other cams.

      Here is in the afternoon daylight– this is definitely a HD camera, this is shockingly good when played back thru the HDMI port to the HD TV. — my rabbit!

      One caveat on this camera, the lens is pathetically short!!  All the 3 lectures were shot with the 1.5 teleconversion lens from my VX2000 camcorder.   If you wanna shoot lectures with this camera, plan on being within about 30 feet.



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