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Thread: Panasonic TM300 upgrade question

  1. #1
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    Panasonic TM300 upgrade question

    In my limited experience with this camcorder the Panasonic TM300 provides many high end features in an affordable package including fine performance in low light, very fine detail in good light, fine audio with my MKE300 mounted on the camcorder's standard hotshoe, fast autofocus, etc etc

    However I have also found a few limitations that make a difference to my intended use of it as a semiprofessional tool:

    1) while filming headshot interviews autofocus occassionaly has difficulty focussing on dark skin and sometimes (not often) jumps to focus on the background instead that may be because the background has more contrast and moves less than the face of the person.





    2) manual white balance using a white object does not always give satisfactory results; for example when I do a manual white balance using an A4 sheet of white paper held about 50cm from the lens with nothing else in the frame apart from the paper the color balance is sometimes too blue that of course may be caused by the paper. Is white paper really yellow?



    3) The "10" MP stills captured with the TM300 are ok for small prints but nothing to get excited about

    I would like to know if you figure these 3 concerns are due to operater error or normal issues in the current generation of prosumer AVCHD camcorders and/or if could I overcome them by upgrading to a different camcorder?

    To be more specific could the autofocus issue be remedied by moving up to a progressive scan camcorder that would autofocus more often or one that has a more accurate type of autofocus system, such as...

    Do higher end camcorders such as ..... have better auto and manual white balance than the TM300 and its brethren?

    Could I get to keep all the good features pointed out above yet better stills by moving to a combocam or would I lose as much in terms of flexibility and smooth hassle-free shooting as I would gain by moving from the TM300 to a new generation DSLR-type camcorder with a larger chip?

    Maybe what really needs to be upgraded is the person behind the camera???

  2. #2
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic TM300 upgrade question

    Overall I would say that having a camera that can do both stills and video well hardly works. At least not with the larger sensors of HDSLRs. The TM300 is so small (I think my TM700 is the next version) that you easily also can take a small Pansonic GF1 and get real nice stills.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    apples and oranges

    Uwe,

    Are you implying not only (1) babyboom hybrid camcorders are not much use for serious photography but also that (2) same generation bigger sensor combocameras are also not yet really worth considering for serious video?

    Looking elsewhere on this and other photography forums the first statement seems to be gospel while the second is heresy.

    Now why is that??

    Agree at the moment two rigs seem to be better solution than one from a gear viewpoint but also requires not only two cameras but also two sets of batteries, chargers etc not to mention the difficulty of removing one from the tripod and replacing it with the other then starting all over again with white balance, focus, etc etc...

    I guess it ends up a choice of quality versus convenience, chicken or egg?

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic TM300 upgrade question

    >(2) same generation bigger sensor combocameras are also not yet really worth considering for serious video?

    Unfortunately it is a bit complicated. Lets take a 5D Mark II:

    1. Top stills camera
    2. Can produce stunning video too

    But(!) these HDSLRs show aliasing and moire. The filmmakers know how to use the 5D2 to avoid aliasing. Also handling is not great. Again filmmakers buy expensive rigs to work around it.

    I would say right now the Panasonic GH2 maybe one of the best compromises (only luminance moire and it has an EVF).

    In the end it all depends on your needs and goals.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    double trouble

    Isn't auto-AGC of GH2 not a major drawback. As far as I can follow this has been resolved with the hack of the 5dMKII but isn't it still a problem with the GH2.

    If so best current solution may be shooting with two DSLRs at same time: Canon 5dMkII for audio and GH2 for video!

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic TM300 upgrade question

    I have the TM700 and I would not use it for stills.

    It's wonderful for video.

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    better than nothing

    Agree would not want to depend on still images from my Panasonic TM300 camcorder for anything serious though produces ok snaps for web and small prints when the wind is blowing in the right direction, as you can see from this sample


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