02.Colour & Noise Performance
03.Motion & Sharpness Performance
04.Low Light Performance
05.Compression & Media
08.Handling & Use
09.Playback & Connectivity
Playback & Connectivity Summary
• The playback setup on the camcorder is very simple and there are a few built-in editing features as well as a highlight playback option.
• The camcorder has an HDMI terminal, USB port, dual AV/Component-out port, mic and headphone jacks, and a cold accessory shoe (with a slide-in adapter).
• The DC-input is inconveniently located inside the battery compartment.
|The mode dial switches between photo,
video, and playback modes.
The mode dial on the right side of the camcorder allows you to switch the HDC-TM700 into playback mode. The playback mode screen should be simple to figure out, especially for anyone who has used a flash memory camcorder before. Photos and clips stored on the camcorder are arranged as thumbnail images in playback mode. You simply tap the thumbnail image to open the video as a full screen image. In playback mode you also have access to a few editing features and a highlight playback option.
|Clips are displayed as thumbnails in playback mode.||All of the VCR controls on the TM700 are part
of the camcorder's touch screen interface.
We're not crazy about the fact that the TM700's VCR controls all exist as touch screen buttons on the bottom of the LCD. These buttons take up space on the screen and they aren't very responsive. We would much prefer to have dedicated VCR buttons on the base of the LCD panel.
The HDC-TM700 has all the ports you expect to find on a high-end consumer camcorder (although it's accessory shoe is not hot and it doesn't include a LANC terminal). Most of the camcorder's ports are inside the LCD cavity, and are grouped behind a rubberized, flip-down cover. Here you'll find an HDMI terminal, USB port, memory card slot, and dual AV/Component-out port. The rubberized cover does a good job protecting these ports and it flips down quite far, so it shouldn't be in the way even if you have multiple cables connected at once.
|The HDMI, USB, Multi-AV, and memory card slot
are all located in this cluster of ports.
|The mic and headphone jacks are located
near the very front of the camcorder.
On the right side of the camcorder, just behind the lens, you'll find a small flap that opens up to reveal a 3.5mm external mic and headphone jack. Just like the terminals inside the LCD cavity, these two ports are well-protected, but the hand strap and port cover do get in the way when you have cables connected here.
|The camcorder comes with
a slide-in shoe adapter.
|With the adapter installed the camcorder has a
functioning, non-powered accessory shoe.
Just above these two ports is the side-mounted accessory shoe slot. Unfortunately, to actually use a shoe-mounted device with the camcorder you have to insert the provided shoe adapter into this slot. The shoe adapter allows you to mount a device on the top of the camcorder and to the right of the lens (see the images below). We like this setup because it keeps the HDC-TM700 compact and it keeps your mounted devices out of the way. The problem, however, is that if you lose the shoe adapter, then you basically can't mount any accessories until you purchase a new one from Panasonic. Also, the shoe is not powered (it's cold), but it will fit any regularly-sized accessories.
|The DC-input is unfortunately located
inside the battery compartment.
The last port on the HDC-TM700 is the ill-placed DC-input, which is located inside the battery compartment. We hate this setup because it means you must remove the battery whenever you want to switch over to running the camcorder off of its AC adapter. This can be a problem if you're doing a long shot and halfway through you realize your battery is almost depleted. You'll have to stop recording for a minute, plug in your AC adapter, and start recording again—potentially missing out on capturing an important moment.
|Panasonic HDC-TM700||Canon HF S21||Sony HDR-XR520||Panasonic HDC-HS300|
|AV (Composite, RCA)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Audio Input (3.5mm)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Headphones||Yes||Yes (Shares with AV)||No||Yes|
|Accessory Shoe||Yes (cold, with slide-in attachment)||Yes (hot, Canon proprietary)||Yes (hot, Sony proprietary)||Yes (cold, with slide-in attachment)|
|S-Video||No||No||Yes (proprietary cable sold separately)||No|
|LANC (Wired Remote)||No||Yes||Yes (proprietary cable sold separately)||No|
|Card Slot||SD/SDHC/SDXC||2x SD/SDHC/SDXC||Memory Stick PRO Duo||SD/SDHC|
|Panasonic HDC-TM700 Comparisons|
|Canon HF S21||Sony HDR-XR520||Panasonic HDC-HS300|
Kodak Playsport Zx3 Camcorder Review
The Playsport Zx3 is an exciting ultracompact camcorder from Kodak that combines a Full HD recording capability with a body that is waterproof up to 3 meters. The camcorder’s durable construction, and did surprisingly well in our video testing. Read More...
Top Rated Camcorders
With the Legria HF G10, Canon's latest flagship camcorder, the company decided to use a completely different image sensor with a smaller amount of pixels. If you check out the results from our performance testing, you'll quickly see the change paid off—particularly in low light situations. Read full 16-part reviewTypeConsumer
Other than a new silver paint job, JVC's newest flagship model, the Everio GZ-HM1, looks exactly like its predecessor, the GZ-HM400. JVC's biggest alteration comes in the form of a back-illuminated CMOS sensor that did wonders in improving the low light performance of this new model. Read full 16-part reviewTypeConsumer
Canon's new flagship model, the HF S21, has a lot of exciting new features and controls. Its 64GB of internal flash memory, two SD/SDHC memory card slots, and the touchscreen LCD make the HF S21 one of the most appealing camcorders of 2010. Read full 17-part review£966.50TypeConsumer
Camcorderinfo.co.uk Select Awards 2009
It’s time once again for our annual CamcorderInfo select awards. Each year, we honor the camcorders that really rise above the rest during our review process. The camcorders you’ll read about below have all survived a battery of tests—tests that are designed to give every camcorder fair and equal treatment. These models have also been carefully compared to the competition. Read More...