TM700 Depth of Field?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jwheeler, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    We are looking to buy a TM700, I know it has a focus control and an iris (aperture) and a shutter control.

    Can we create a reasonably narrow depth of field with this camera? Or would we require a DOF adapter (expensive & above budget).

    It's basically a hobby camera. We're filming a music video for my band. And also I will use it at work for the last month of my gap year. Bit of fun you know. Get some fitting instructions, an product "reviews" online.

    And (if we get round to it) My band members and I have also written bits for a sketch "show".

    So DOF would be nice, but we don't want an slr for their known problems.

    Perhaps, someone know of upcoming cameras that would be perfect.
  2. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    It's quite funny reading things like these.

    For example Robert Rodriguez (DP of Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Grindhouse and Planet Terror) had no problem shooting a music video with a Canon 7D.

    What known problems are you referring to?
  3. jwheeler thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    the 7d is too expensive
    to get the same video quality, you spend a lot more than our budget
    rolling shutter (one line at a time)
    no good optical stabiliser (except micro 4/3 cameras - eg GH1) - if there at all
    unpowerful processors
    little manual control in video mode

    All in all, we feel a dedicated camcorder would be better (for our needs). So back to my question, can we create a reasonable dof effect (eg focus on one person, then adjust to the background person) with the TM700 or upcoming camcorders expected soon?
  4. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    The video from the 550D is basically the same.

    It's not capturing one line at a time. It'll be a staggered start. And seen as the TM700 uses a CMOS imager it could have a noticeable roll too.

    I've not looked into exactly what you get with the TM700, but I don't see where there'd be room for more than the 7D.

    Not trying to fight you on your decision to go with a dedicated camcorder, BTW, just correcting some inaccuracies.

    It's difficult to give a quantified answer to your original question, but basically you're only going to be able to pull noticeable focus racks when very zoomed in. And even then it's not going to be like a DSLR. Same for any other 1/4 or 1/3" camcorder.
  5. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    There are lots of issues with DSLRs. Rolling shutter, moire, aliasing, terrible on board audio, etc. There's also the support gear needed to make it function more like a video camera. And of course the expense of the lenses.

    As for the original poster's question, it will be very difficult to achieve shallow depth of field with the TM700. It has a small sensor. It is also CMOS, so if you're really worried about rolling shutter, the TM700 will exhibit the same problems (although probably not as much as the DSLRs).
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Spike Lee and Steven Soderbergh shot entire movies in SD on MiniDV cameras but that doesn't mean the format is w/o any inherent flaws.

    The current crop of DSLRs can produce some stunning looking images but you have to know, and avoid, their limitations otherwise you are just going to end up w/crap.

  7. jwheeler thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    Thats a shame. Although this guys seems to have a good effect.

    I will try his settings when we've ordered & received (if, tho, lol)

    My other question still stands, are there any other competitors for the TM700 that might come out this 1/4?
  8. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Keep in mind that he probably had to get a good amount of distance between the camera and the subject and zoom all the way in to get that shallow DOF. That's why all of the shots in that video are locked down or have minimal camera movement.

    That could be a problem if you want to do any camera moves in your video.
  9. jwheeler thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    OK, does anyone know any details about the GH2 or the NEX9 then? (Not proper SLRs, but they do good stills and video apparently).

    PS, I suppose you can buy 35mm DoF adaptors in the future? Or are people saying I shouldn't buy a camcorder at all. I heard that thier starting to make camcorders with interchangeable lenses. Wouldn't that mean you get good DoF?
  10. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Have no idea about the GH2 or NEX9. The GH2 isn't even released. It's all speculative at this point. What is the NEX9? Is that Sony?

    Adapters will be around for a while. If anything, you'll always be able to get a used one somewhere. Camcorder vs. DSLR really comes down to what you plan on shooting. DSLRs take some amazing video, but there's a steep learning curve and more often than not it's not as simple as just buying a DSLR kit and going out to shoot. Added costs like lenses and support gear come in to play, and for the most part that stuff isn't cheap.

    Panasonic is developing a video camera that will use a big sensor and SLR lenses. I believe Sony and Canon are too. And yes, that will mean the ability to get shallow depth of field. But they aren't going to be cheap. It's been suggested that the Panasonic model will start at $6,000.

    The whole DOF craze is starting to get out of hand. Too many people are starting to equate shallow DOF with film, quality, etc. It's being overused. While it's true the use of shallow DOF gives you certain similarities to film, it should only be used for a purpose and not just because you can.
  11. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Or equate film with quality...

    It's not the interchangeable lenses, it's the sensor size. The Panasonic HPX300 will have similar DoF characteristics to the TM700, but the AF100 Panasonic announced at NAB will be more like a DSLR. Both are many times the price of the TM700.

    Less and less DoF adaptors will be made but you'll probably be able to get a good deal on a second hand one!

    It's truly not worth speculating on. If you have things to shoot, take your pick of what's actually available.
  12. jwheeler thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010

    Oh gr8. I still don't have a definitive answer yet.

    As the camera is for the company I work for, they'd kinda like a new DSLR (we have the Nikon D80). But also want really good, full hd, video quality. And my budget is less than £1000. One of the purposes of having the second SLR is so that if my Dad (who is good with cameras) and I leave base to examine a product in the field, then the guys at the warehouse / office have no camera. Now as no-one at base is good with cameras, perhaps a Point n Shoot is better for them.

    So thats a point n shoot plus the camera for less the £1000.

    We're only shooting cars, so depth of field is not the paramount feature. I will only use it if I borrow the camera from the company. Quality is what we're looking for. We will be shooting a bit of green screen and I've heard the SLRs have problems with green screen.

    So putting my personal wants behind my professional needs, should the company go for the TM700, a GH1 or a T2i?
  13. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    So you need 2 cameras? I'm confused. Does your company need a video camera or a still camera? If they need to do video, and aren't very good with cameras as you say, definitely go with a camcorder.

    SLRs are no worse than any other consumer camcorder when it comes to greenscreen. They all kind of suck at it.
  14. jwheeler thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    i think we'll go for a £150 point n shoot camera and a TM700
  15. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Not a bad final decision


    I've just read this thread with the amusement that comes with familiarity. We've all been there. Lots of different views on a subject are provided, but none gives the answer you'd like, the warm feeling of a definitive answer.

    One theme that runs through almost all technology is "If you need it today, buy it" and "It'll be cheaper or there'll be something better for the same price next week, month, or year."

    To throw in my two cents, I think your decision is valid. Most people would acknowledge that it's possible to get great images from a point and shoot camera and great video from a consumer videocamera. Of course as you go up in price you get more features, probably better lenses and technology (CPUs, sensors, etc.), and much more control of your shooting. OTOH, more control usually means more time composing a shoot.

    With your solution, you get easy and reasonable results. As you use these tools you'll figure out what they are missing and wish they had. Meanwhile, more advanced products will be released.

    Best of luck.

    P.S. If you get into video in a big way, you'll need a quality tripod with a head made for video panning (AKA a "fluid head"). These can cost well more than your entire camera budget, but for professional quality video they're almost a necessity. I won't even get started on the additional costs for lighting and audio and ... well, you get the picture. One step at a time!
  16. jwheeler thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    Cheers musique

    Although if I get into video in a big way, it'll probs be me, and not the company I currently work for.
  17. AWalkerStudios macrumors member


    Nov 25, 2007
    Just a few tips for creating a more shallow DoF with any camera. Get a couple ND filters and attach them to your lens. Open up the iris all the way and use the extreme range of the focal length. Won't be exactly what you're looking for since you wont be shooting on anything with the proper focal length to chip size ratio and youlll have to control your lighting a bit more but it's better than nothing.

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