Sony and Panasonic are the camcorder manufacturers offering high quality and attractive consumer-level camcorders like Sony HDR-CX550 and Panasonic HDC-TM700. If you are looking for a new full HD camcorder, the two models with similar pricing are difficult to choose.
Here is the comparison sheet between CX550 and Panasonic TM700.
While we have a brief look at the specification of Sony CX550 and Panasonic TM700, we can find out that Sony CX550 includes 29.8 mm wide angle lens with super optical SteadyShot. The audio recording output as Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound. Panasonic TM700 records 1080/60p full HD video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio with 35mm wide-angle lens and 3MOS sensor.
Panasonic TM700 includes more recording mode than Sony CX550, and even at higher bit rate 28Mbps, while CX550 only supports up to 24Mbps for recording videos. Another appealing point for recording with Panasonic TM700 is that the 1080/60p and 1080/50p recording, while the highest format for Sony CX550 is 1080/60i and 1080/50i.
The image stabilization system in Sony CX550 is great for recording without tripod. The output video is stable even you walk and film video without obvious movement on camcorder. While the playback on camcorder is smooth, there are some reports about problems watching TM700 60p videos on computer. Computer should play 1080/60p video, but the .mts file is not AVCHD-compliant, making it difficult to play the 60p or 50p MTS videos from TM700 smoothly on computer. Another reason is that the computer could not decode the TM700 1080/60p 28Mbps video fast enough.
To play the HD videos from TM700, while you are not going to update/upgrade your drivers, codecs, or other related elements, you may convert 1080/60p 28Mbps video to lower settings for iMac, MacBook or PC. Aunsoft Video Converter for Mac is the recommended as HD camcorder video converter for Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard users on playing around High-Def videos. The converter also deinterlaces Sony CX550 video, and makes videos compatible with most applications.