02.Colour & Noise Performance
03.Motion & Sharpness Performance
04.Low Light Performance
05.Compression & Media
08.Handling & Use
09.Playback & Connectivity
Audio & Other Features
• The built-in mic records Dolby Digital 5.1-channel audio, but it is positioned a little awkwardly on the top of the camcorder (your fingers may come close to rubbing the sides of the mic).
• The camcorder features manual audio level control and a variety of audio settings.
• The external mic and headphone jack are both located on the front-right of the camcorder.
• Time Lapse Record, Relay Record, and Pre Record are all useful features for specific shooting situations.
Audio Features (6.0)
The HDC-TM700 is one of the best consumer camcorders on the market when it comes to audio features. First off, the camcorder is equipped with a top-mounted, 5.1-channel Dolby Digital microphone. Our only issue with this built-in mic is the fact that our pinky finger sometimes came dangerously close to touching the back edge of the mic when we gripped the camcorder. If you don't like having surround sound audio recording you can always switch the mic to record basic 2-channel stereo.
The camcorder allows for complete manual audio level adjustment (from -30dB to +6dB), and a basic audio level meter appears on the LCD when you set the audio levels manually. This manual audio control can also be used in conjunction with an external microphone that is connected via the camcorder's 3.5mm external mic jack.
|The built-in mic records 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio.|
In addition to all this, the TM700's built-in mic has options for zoom mic or focus mic. Zoom mic boosts the audio levels for whatever the lens is zoomed into, while brings up the sound on subjects near the front of the frame (surround sound is reduced with this function turned on). The built-in mic also has a new Wind Noise Canceler feature, which uses an entirely different technology than the Wind Cut option featured on previous Panasonic camcorders. The new setting uses noise canceling technology similar to what you'd find on noise canceling headphones, rather than simply implementing a high-pass filter like the Wind Cut setting did. Lastly, the HDC-TM700 has four bass settings for adjusting low frequency signals—0dB, +3dB, +6dB, or Lowcut.
|Panasonic HDC-TM700||Canon HF S21||Sony HDR-XR520||Panasonic HDC-HS300|
|Headphone||Yes||Yes (shares with AV)||No||Yes|
|Built-in Mic||5.1-channel Dolby Digital||2-channel Dolby Digital||5.1-channel Dolby Digital||5.1-channel Dolby Digital|
|Accessory Shoe||Yes (cold, with slide-in attachment)||Yes (hot, Canon proprietary)||Yes (hot, Sony proprietary)||Yes (cold, with slide-in attachment)|
|Audio Level Display||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Audio Level Control||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Wind Cut||Yes (Wind Noise Canceler)||Yes||No||Yes|
|Other Audio Feature(s)||Bass Settings, Focus Mic||Microphone Attenuator||Mic Hi/Low||Bass Controls|
Other Features (4.0)
This has become a common feature on consumer camcorders that allows you to capture a few seconds of footage before you press the record button. This feature can be useful if you're shooting a fast-paced sports game and don't want to miss an important moment.
Auto Ground Standby (AGS)
AGS will automatically stop recording if the camcorder is pointed to the ground for a period of time (a few seconds). This is meant to prevent unwanted recordings of the floor when you've forgotten to shut the camcorder off. While this feature can be useful, we did find it a bit annoying on occasion. For example, what if you actually want to shoot something that is on the ground... well, then you have to turn AGS off or risk having your recording automatically discontinued.
You can add faders to the beginning or end of your video clips during recording. Faders can be set to white or black on the TM700.
Time Lapse Record
You set a recording interval and the camcorder will capture one frame of video each time this interval comes up. Interval options are 1 second, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes. With this mode, thirty frames make up one second of video and the maximum recordable time is 12 hours. We like this feature, but it's really only useful for recording things like sunrises, sunsets, or blooming flowers.
You can set the HDC-TM700 to continue recording from the internal memory (after it fills up) right onto an inserted memory card without any loss of data. This feature is useful if you're recording very long shots and are unsure if you have enough space left for the clip to fit entirely on your internal memory.
|Panasonic HDC-TM700 Comparisons|
|Canon HF S21||Sony HDR-XR520||Panasonic HDC-HS300|
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