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Old February 10th, 2004, 06:50 PM   #1
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Recommendation for DV Camcorder

I was taking a look at DV Camcorders and I there was four models I was looking at:

Sony DCR-VX2100
Sony DCR-TRV950
Canon GL2
Panasonic PD-953 (correct model number?)

This is for all around shooting for DVD - internet use (video files for my website) The camcorder would be replacing my Sony TRV-11 which was my workhorse camera for the past 3 years. One use would be for filming live performances by my favorite singer , I would need it to work in low light conditions or dim stage conditions (she does not want me to use lights on the camera) . Also I need to be able to film interviews without light and with light. Another project I am working on is a dvd containing a co-workers card tricks (with good lighting) I am looking mainly at below 2500 (I can get all the camera's above below 2500) to spend on the initial camcorder itself. As for editing the footage I have a Apple G5 Dual 2.0 with 1.5 gigs for ram (another gig next payday). Please let me know if you have any questions to ask me to help with the recommendations or any recommendations even for models I do not have listed, thank you!
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Old February 10th, 2004, 07:28 PM   #2
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The VX2100 has the best low light of the ones listed. You might also want to look at the VX2000 (very small difference in low light, check out camcorderinfo.com) or the Panasonic DVC80. Check out the Panasonic cameras forum here. The DVC80 should have comparable low light once you use manual settings (this is based on Adam Wilt's review of the DVX100 on dv.com. The DVC80 has the same optics and CCD?)

The DVC80 has an XLR connector to attach professional mics. Do you need that? It should also have better audio capabilities.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #3
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When I was checking out cameras, taping in low light situations was an important factor in the decision. I went with the Sony VX2000. The VX2100 is apparently even better.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 08:23 PM   #4
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Looks like you'll want the VX2100 or PD170.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 08:57 PM   #5
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Last weekend, I was shooting a live concert with my XL1 and a borrowed PD-170 (share the same CCD and optic technology with the VX2100). The last part of the show, all the performers was wearing withe gloves with some blacklights as lightning. Great effect!

With my XL1, I had to increase the gain to +6db and put the iris wide open to be able to see something and focus correctly.

With the PD-170, without any tweeking, I was able to see the operators holding blacklights in place!!! I had to darken the footage in post!

If you are looking for low light performances, this cam is the way to go. It is truelly impressive!
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Old February 10th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #6
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Just recorded my first concert with my VX2k(small club semi bad lighting) and the footage is excellent.Iris was open w/ no gain boost - 1/60.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 11:54 PM   #7
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The DVC80 produces an incredibly clean image at low light- don't overlook this camera and it's large CCD's...it's a winner!
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Old February 11th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #8
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I have a DV953 and love it, its hard to beat for the price, but If I had the cash I would get a new Panasonic DVC-80 for $2k
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Old February 11th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #9
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Thank you for your recommendations, the reason I am limited to a few choices is I'm planning to purchase via Best Buy (My part time job). I'll take a look at the pricing and options for all those cameras. Another quick question is that all these years of taping stuff I haven't really used any manual controls/settings. With these "prosumer" and above cameras am I going to have problems operating them for everyday things, also are the sizes for any of these too large to pose a problem taking abord a plane or packing? Let me know, thanks!
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Old February 11th, 2004, 09:44 AM   #10
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If you buy at 'bestbuy' you are getting ripped off. Try http://pricegrabber.com or Bhphoto.com or http://buydig.com You will save 30-40%
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Old February 11th, 2004, 12:43 PM   #11
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Watch out for shady dealers, so check out resellerratings.com if their price is a lot better than B&H's because they're probably a scam shop. Reputable dealers include all the dvinfo.net sponsors (check out the sponsor page, it explains it pretty well).
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Old February 11th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Gaspain : If you buy at 'bestbuy' you are getting ripped off. Try http://pricegrabber.com or Bhphoto.com or http://buydig.com You will save 30-40% -->>>

I'm an employee at Best Buy, I maybe be paying a little bit more after discount but trust me, the price is far better than what retail is :)
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Old February 12th, 2004, 07:48 AM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jay S. Madlangbayan :With these "prosumer" and above cameras am I going to have problems operating them for everyday things, also are the sizes for any of these too large to pose a problem taking abord a plane or packing? Let me know, thanks! -->>>

When I moved up to a VX2000 I used it in auto for some time with no problems (beyond not getting all it had to give) as I slowly learned my way around it - a process that continues into my second year. I have flown with it and the core accessories many times, in a good camera bag that fits the carry-on regs in Canada. Airport security will certainly go through the bag, more often taking swabs these days than hauling everything out and having you turn it on, but they'd do the same no matter what cam you had in a bag.

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Old February 12th, 2004, 08:24 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Hurdon : <<<-- Originally posted by Jay S. Madlangbayan :With these "prosumer" and above cameras am I going to have problems operating them for everyday things, also are the sizes for any of these too large to pose a problem taking abord a plane or packing? Let me know, thanks! -->>>

When I moved up to a VX2000 I used it in auto for some time with no problems (beyond not getting all it had to give) as I slowly learned my way around it - a process that continues into my second year. I have flown with it and the core accessories many times, in a good camera bag that fits the carry-on regs in Canada. Airport security will certainly go through the bag, more often taking swabs these days than hauling everything out and having you turn it on, but they'd do the same no matter what cam you had in a bag.

David Hurdon -->>>

Thank you! Also do is the VX2100 or VX2000 a camera that's easy to use one handed or two? I'm not sure of the balance of the weight, for shows a tripod would be used. Also how is the built in mic? If it's closes to loud speakers will it chop out or is it fine? I think I may place my order shortly based on everyone's recommendations.

One more quick question, on the video it self do i need to change the mode or do it in post editing to get that different tv/film look? That way it does not look like I am using a 500 dollar home camera? I think I have the software (iMovie, Final Cut Express 2 ) but I'm not sure how to get that look, let me know , thanks!
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