Any plans you might have to pip James Cameron to the post for an Avatar sequel might have to be abandoned at this point. Still, the 3D effect is undoubtedly fun. The SD card with 3D footage can be played back and viewed on any 3D Panasonic TV, alternatively you can route via the HDMI output to any other 3D display device.
Great performer with SD storage recording that'll keep you shooting if you've cards aplenty
You can edit the side-by-side footage in a regular video editing package. I used Pinnacle Studio. The software sees the squished double images as a regular HD frame. Of course you’ll need to be able to force your display into a side-by-side mode when playing back any edits; there will be no control codes in your footage. It’s worth noting that the SD900 cannot take 3D digital stills.
Overall, the HDC-SD900 is great value for money. I would rate its 2D picture quality as outstanding for the price and the feature spread ticks all the right boxes. As a hobbyist shooter it’s well above average, and for prosumers (needing 1080/50p) it could be a handy acquisition tool. The ability to upgrade to 3D is a novel final incentive, should you need one – although you may well be disappointed at some of the creative limitations that will accompany any journeys into the third dimension. ®
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I just bought one. It's great
I keep it set to 25p. In the camera's menus, 25p is called 'Digital Cinema' mode.
But the camera can also do 50p, which is incredible, if you have a device that can play 50p video. Some computer monitors can do it.
It also does 25i, like most other camcorders, but I personally don't like interlaced video, which was really designed for use on a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor. Progressive 'P' is better for the computer era.
The US version of the camera does 60p, 30p and 30i. I think there should have only been one model that does all framerates.
Anyway, to sum up, this is the best consumer camera on the market. Its 3 image sensors (one for each colour) give it the best picture quality of any consumer camera. Professional cameras do this, but the Panasonic 900 is the only consumer camera to do it.
Other cameras (eg Sony) have gimmicky features like GPS, but the Sony only has one image sensor, thus lesser picture quality.
The VLC media player (open-source, free download) can play back AVCHD movies on any computer platform, so you don't need to pay for extra software.. Alternatively, you can import your AVCHD movies into Final Cut Pro, which converts to an intermediate format for editing, then you export it to any format.
Anyone thinking about getting this camera should search the model in Google, then click on Videos, and take a look at some of the videos people have made with it. Videos on Vimeo look better, but there are lots on YouTube (but YouTube compresses them a lot, losing a bit of quality).
And is there a version of the 3D adaptor for those people whose eyes are further apart than 20mm?
Focus / Zoom Ring.
The focus and zoom ring use the same ring. You can switch between them with a press of a button.
AC: I believe the SD900 doesn't have the issue of fan noise that some previous models had. Have you actually used a SD900 yet and tested it?
So where is the focus ring?
Looking at that device I don't see where the focus and zoom rings are supposed to be.
Sort it out
The 900 is a great camcorder and a significant improvement over last year's 700, but Panasonic STILL haven't fixed that damned fan noise problem.