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Thread: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 my best camcorder....?

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 my best camcorder....?

    Well I've had a play with the Lumix and gave it the ultimate test... Pub crawl, night, drunken operator.



    This isn't a "user video" in the sense that the content is unimportant but the quality is what's under scrutiny.

    The compression artifacts, which you can't really judge on youtube anyway, are there. I would say they're acceptable for this sort of video but too much for anything commercial. Ny next test will be in daylight to see how they handle something easier. In the original footage there's very little movement jitter or artifacts, so the AVCHD Lite seems to deal with that quite well. The youtube compression makes the pans and camera movement seem a lot worse than is evident on the raw footage.

    Those streaks caused by overexposed highlights are a pain. Luckily you can see them in the viewfinder when you're recording so they could be avoided, theoretically. In practice it's a bit hard to avoid point light sources in a city street at night!

    The sound is okay-ish. A curate's egg, good in places. There is a lot of handling noise if you change grip or get your fingers close to the microphone and it's far from directional, picking up everything. It's also vulnerable to wind noise, despite have a "wind filter".

    When it comes to non-professional gear my videomaking toys are the Lumix a Canon XH A1s and an HF11. The Lumix is the "best" for this sort of stuff because it fits in my pocket and, at the moment, I've got it with me all the time. The other gear may do better pictures but, on a night out, or day-to-day you wouldn't want to hump them around "just in case of a shot". So, the biggest plus is the fact that it's small and portable. Pilots say that the most useless thing in flying is the runway behind the aircraft. Videomakers know the most useless gear is the stuff left back at home.

    Finally the fact that it is a compact camera is a plus. People tend to get self-conscious when you start waving a camcorder about but this small camera goes unnoticed. Consequently it's not so annoying to those around you.

    All-in-all I think I'm gonna have a lot of fun with this...
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 03-23-2010 at 10:01 AM.

  2. #2

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    You've got very understanding friends. How long will that last if you bring your camera out every time you go out for a drink.

    Apart from the streaks caused by the street lights it's remarkable footage for a little pocket camera. It seems to cope quite well with the difficult lighting conditions. On YouTube there is a lack of detail in the blacks, is that the case with the original footage? Did you do any colour correction on this?

    I was a bit taken aback by the cultural difference between here and there. If I took a bag of chips into my local pub I'm sure I'd be asked to eat them outside.

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    I've got the US equivalent...DMC ZS3...Are you shooting in IA mode? You had a lot of vertical banding..I haven't had mine long and have done very little at night. I have seen great footage online and wonder if some of the more " manual" settings would alleviate the banding. I have had good success in the day and it is pretty easing to work around the banding issue that will occur in direct light there as well.

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    Bluey, the original footage shows a bit more detail in the shadows but not much. It loses some more when it was compressed to be uploaded onto Youtube and then more still from Youtube.
    At some point a comment was made by one of the ladies that I should stop playing with my toy but, because the camera's so small it's not that noticeable when you're filming and I got away with a lot more filming that would have been possible with, even a small, camcorder.

    Most people just thought I was taking a photo, or preparing to take a picture, not realising that it was video.

    Codda, as far as I can recall (this was not a scientific test) the camera was set on "Normal" mode as I'm not all that impressed with the way the IA (Intelligent Auto) works and some of the settings.
    The wierd thing is that, in photo mode, I got no banding at all, so it must be something to do with the way that it processes video. The still pictures were superb in low light, really impressive shadow details.

    Daytime footage is looking impressive at the moment, I'll have to edit some together and post it.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 03-23-2010 at 01:16 PM.

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    Your right about the banding in photo mode...you won't get any...must have to do with the sensors. I actually purchased the camera as an inexpensive ( got a great deal as the camera has been modified for 2010 ) video camera looking for decent quality ( I think I got it..) But the pictures from this camera have exceeded my expectations...they are quite good.

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    Very impressive. What with this and Marc being Flippant and Going Pro, I can see those of us with mid size cameras shooting SD are going to be a dying breed.
    Tim

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    Good quality, portability, spontaneity = FUN

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post

    If I took a bag of chips into my local pub I'm sure I'd be asked to eat them outside.
    It stunned me a bit too, but it makes sense. This chippy is well known and people come from all over to buy chips. Not many people want to eat standing up so a few of the local pubs have the agreement that you can eat in their pub providing that everybody buys one drink. You aren't allowed to bring any drinks into the pub (obviously).
    Needless to say, after a few salty chips and stuff you have a second drink.

    So the pub sells more drinks than otherwise, it can offer food without having the aggro of a kitchen and additional staff, the chippy sells more because the punters don't have to eat in the open and the customers are happy with the best of both worlds.

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    Seems like a good agreement where everybody wins. Far too sensible for us Brits to come up with.

  10. #10

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    nice little filum pleased to hear your enjoying the TZ7. Ive been looking for a more pocket sized replacement but there's nothing around that's smaller with a similar spec.

    how you coping with battery life ?

    btw, those chips are making me feel hungry

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