02.Colour & Noise Performance
03.Motion & Sharpness Performance
04.Low Light Performance
05.Compression & Media
08.Handling & Use
09.Playback & Connectivity
Compression & Media Summary
• The camcorder uses traditional AVCHD compression for every shooting mode other than the 1080/50p setting.
• The 50p setting uses a Panasonic original format based on the MPEG-4 codec. It is not compatible with most editing programmes, but Panasonic's provided software does allow you to view 50p clips shot with the TM700.
• The camcorder includes 32GB of internal flash memory and an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot.
• The provided editing software is the same programme that was included with the Panasonic HDC-HS60.
For regular 1080/50i shooting, the Panasonic HDC-TM700 uses AVCHD compression. This is the standard compression system for consumer HD camcorders, and it is used by nearly all of the major camcorder manufacturers (with the exception of Samsung and Sanyo). Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of AVCHD.
However, when you shoot with the HDC-TM700's native 1080/50p setting, the camcorder uses a proprietary MPEG-4 codec that isn't really compatible with anything other than Panasonic's provided software. Yes, the video shot with the 1080/50p setting looks stunning when you play it back on an HDTV, but the only way you can really do this is by playing back the footage directly from the camcorder. We couldn't find any third party software that would import or recognize the 1080/50p clips shot with the HDC-TM700, although we expect this to change if 1080/50p recording becomes more prevalent in the future.
Using the 1080/50p setting on the HDC-TM700 is somewhat of a conundrum. The video recorded in the mode looks great, the setting offers a very high bit rate (28Mbps), and the image is recorded progressively rather than interlaced. The problem is, if you want to edit or import the video to your computer your only choice is to use the limited software that ships with the camcorder.
|1080/50p||1920 x 1080||28Mbps||MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (original format)|
|HA||1920 x 1080||17Mbps||MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (AVCHD)|
|HG||1920 x 1080||13Mbps||MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (AVCHD)|
|HX||1920 x 1080||9Mbps||MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (AVCHD)|
|HE||1440 x 1080||5Mbps||MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (AVCHD)|
The Panasonic HDC-TM700 contains 32GB of internal flash memory as well as a memory card slot. The card slot will accept SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards up to a 64GB capacity. This is a decent set of media options for a high-end camcorder, but we're surprised Panasonic didn't load the TM700 up with more internal memory. The new flagship models from Canon and Sony both offer 64GB of internal flash memory. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of flash memory.
|The memory card slot is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards.|
The chart below lists the approximate recording times (as provided by Panasonic) for the HDC-TM700. Notice how much space the 1080/50p footage takes up compared to the other settings. This is important to note because if you want to playback the 1080/50p footage on a television you'll probably want to do so by running the footage through the camcorder itself.
|4GB SDHC card||19 min||30 min||40 min||1 hour||1 hour 30 min|
|8GB SDHC card||40 min||1 hour||1 hour 20 min||2 hours||3 hours|
|16GB SDHC card||1 hour 20 min||2 hours||2 hours 40 min||4 hours 10 min||6 hours 40 min|
|32GB internal flash memory or SDHC card||2 hours 40 min||4 hours 10 min||5 hours 30 min||8 hours 20 min||13 hours 40 min|
|64GB SDXC card||5 hours 20 min||8 hours 30 min||11 hours||16 hours 50 min||27 hours 30 min|
The Panasonic HDC-TM700 ships with HD Writer AE version 2.1 software. The software is essentially the same as its previous incarnations, but this new version does allow for importing 1080/50p footage. Having this feature is an absolute necessity as no other commercially available programmes seem to be able to handle the 1080/50p footage shot with the HDC-TM700. If you want to get that 1080/50p footage onto your Mac, however, you're out of luck—HD Writer AE is only compatible with PCs.
For an overview of the software that ships with the Panasonic HDC-TM700 and other Panasonic camcorders, see our article: 'Video Editing Software For Your Camcorder'
If you want to edit the footage you shot using the HDC-TM700's 1080/50p setting, there is an option on the software that allows you to convert the footage to regular AVCHD. Unfortunately, every time we tried performing this action the software crashed after about 15 minutes into the conversion process.If you want to shoot 50p, you're probably better off just playing back footage through the camcorder.
|Panasonic HDC-TM700 Comparisons|
|Canon HF S21||Sony HDR-XR520||Panasonic HDC-HS300|
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