I thought I would share this with you guys and girls as it is something I have invested an extreme amount of time in researching. I have tried to avoid buying a $750 camcorder with hopes I could get away with acceptable quality at a much lower price. So, my journey began with many models of flash cams such as the FLIP, Kodak Playsport and the HiDef video modes in different makes of higher end point and shoot cameras, including Nikon, Panasonic, Casio and Sony. But, I have now found the now current ultimate camcorder for this lifestyle we are living, and it does cost $750.
Now, I am only talking about getting the best vid capture without breaking the bank, but obviously every one's bank is of a different size. Good results can be had for cheaper, and obviously if you want to drop $5000 or more, even better results can be obtained. Keep that in mind.
As with all hobbyists, needs are different for everyone depending on what you are trying to capture on film. This causes priorities to shift order depending if you are trying to film an outdoor tennis match or your hotwife in a dimly lit room. Obviously, we would like to have the best of all worlds. But as it is with almost everything, that is almost impossible. The lower end cameras require more things to shoot good video, especially light. There will always be compromises. Even this camcorder has a couple of cons which I will list.
But here are the main priorities for filming hobby level consumer porn (almost pro-sumer actually)-
1. camera must be above average in filming in extremely low light conditions and must do so without extreme 'noise' such as grain or lack of sharpness. This is the single hardest attribute to achieve. But because you are not shooting in a professional studio with controlled lighting, this is a deal breaker. If your camera can not do it, then your done, game over. Basically, its unavoidable and you will end up shooting in less than desirable lighting conditions. Whether it's the hotel room itself that has poor lighting or even lighting that doesn't work (50% of the time at least one light does not work), or its the 'performers' wish to not want it feeling like a tanning bed in the room with all the lights on, regardless, you will not have enough light.
2. Must be able to shoot at 60 actual frames per second (p- for progressive). Not interlaced (i) and not duplicated frames. Here is the skinny on this, once the 'performers' start to get rolling, they are going to be moving so fast at certain times that all you are going to see is one big blur at anything other than 60fps. Some may not consider this a sport, lol, but when it comes to capturing it on film, you need to treat it like sport filming. Trust me. All camcorders currently shoot 60i or 30fps or 30fps that are duplicated to look like 60fps. No No No. You have to have 60p - progressive. After saying all camcorders can not do this, this is not true, just the current rule, there are a few that can at 1280x720 but only one at 1920x1080. (note:Sanyo has a few models that do 1080 60p, but Panasonic just bought them so don't know what will happen to the Sanyo line at this point)
The setting you want is 1920x1080 60p or at least 1280x720 60p.
Every other feature other than these is just icing on the cake. And this camcorder has a lot of icing:
Panasonic HDC-TM700K Black 1/4.1" MOS x 3 3.0" 230K LCD 12X Optical Zoom Built-in memory (32GB)
Newegg.com - Panasonic HDC-TM700K Black 1/4.1" MOS x 3 3.0" 230K LCD 12X Optical Zoom Built-in memory (32GB)
$749.99, originally $1800 when it rolled out almost a year ago to $1100 just a few months ago
here is just one of the forums where they go on and on about every aspect of it since it first came out to what the experienced guys are doing with it up till today:
Panasonic HDC-HS700 & HDC-TM700 1080p60 cams - AVS Forum
some full reviews:
Panasonic HDC-TM700 Camcorder Review - Flash Memory - CamcorderInfo.com
Panasonic HDC-TM700 review - Camcorder reviews - TrustedReviews
Panasonic HDC-TM700 HD Camcorder Review
some user reviews:
143 user reviews last I checked on bhphoto's site
Panasonic HDC-TM700 High Definition Camcorder HDC-TM700K B&H
not really a con, just need to think it through - that an average computer has no chance in hell on processing this much data when set at its highest capture setting. And its true. If you are wanting to edit 28Mbps of 1920x1080 @60p, then you better have a very high-end i7 processor or mac equivalent along with Sony Vegas 9 or higher or other high-end editing program. But, remember this, you can always convert it to 60i or to some other easier to handle bitrate/resolution or even less frames per second BEFORE you start to edit. Do you lose quality when you convert? YES. That is why you are doing it, less quality so your POS computer can handle it. But, and the real gem is, you of course keep the original file archived for later editing. You now have an archived copy of the entire shoot that is now future proofed for at least a couple of years. So when tv's, computers, and software finally can handle this very high quality format, you are all over it. You will not be thinking , ah crap, I wish I would have shot that night in a better format now that all the common digital stuff can handle it. You will be saying, oh ya, I did shoot it in that format, lol.
fan noise - reports of the on board mic picking up the fan on camcorder. Mine is not loud like many described, send it back if it is. But there are 2 settings to over come any slight noise, easily adjusted to eliminate it. But an external shotgun mic eliminates the problem, not too expensive either and will do a better job then the on board mic and don't you want to capture all the dirty talk and screaming orgasms with as much clarity as possible? lol
as for what it does poorly - not anything really. It is so capable in the crappy situations, that when it finally gets in the good situations, it acts like a total flagship camcorder from one of the better known manufacturers, as it should, since it is their flagship model other then a new 3D model that just came out.
favorite things I like about it -
Able to take still pictures while video filming with no stopping.
The automatic controls are spot on, but if you want more, you can override any aspect. I found that it had great low-light ability with the auto settings, but if you truly want to see in the dark (not absolute dark, need a IR camera for that), it can do it with the candlelight setting. Lots of grain if its really low light, but hey, it sees more then your own eyes 'almost do'.
It's tiny, or at least very small.
Non 60p settings look fantastic, as good or better then all other manufactures flagship camcorders as this is their highest setting, they can't even do 60p. For non fast moving capturing, it saves on space by more than double depending on the bitrate you choose. Good for capturing anything other than some furious fast f#$%ing, lol while leaving lots of space on the SDHC card for when you need to fill it up with the 60p stuff.
Lots of other features that I have yet to play with.
If anyone has any questions about choosing this camera or comparing lesser quality cameras to it, I would be happy to help. Understanding the differences is important when making a larger purchase such as this and buyers remorse sucks, so I will help all I can.
I hope this helps someone out.