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Old May 29th, 2004, 08:56 PM   #1
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Pan DV953 or DVC80 or Sony PDX10?

Ok, I am a still photojournalist. There have been several times where I have arrived at a disaster scene that would have regional of national interest. Many times I arrive with the EMS and have the opportunity to shoot exclusive footage of the event. I want to expand my horizons and carry a video cam with me.

After looking at all of my options at or about $2000, I have narrowed my search to Pan DV953, DVC80, (I am pretty sure that these can still be had) or the PDX10.

Can anyone offer any help or opinions?

Most of the stuff is in good light but there may be dust or smoke or possibly early morning or evening light.

Thanks a lot!
Kirk
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Old May 30th, 2004, 02:18 AM   #2
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The DVC80 will offer you the greatest latitude, with it's 1/3" chips and it's manual control.

I love my PDX10s, but am happy to have the PD170 to turn to, for the same reasons that I recommend the dvc80, firstly. The PDX is a solid unit, though, and compact, with brilliant video and essential audio options.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 02:23 AM   #3
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And Hey! The PDX is going for $150 less than I paid for either of mine, at B&H.
If mostly shooting in good light, I really do recommend this little cam.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 06:27 AM   #4
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Why was the DVC80 Disc?

I really like the specs on this cam but having been disccontinued makes me nervous.

Does anyone have firm info on this? Was it a Panasonic biz decision or a techincal problem with the camera?

Does anyone know of any sample DVC80 video on the web?

Thanks
Kirk
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Old May 30th, 2004, 09:13 AM   #5
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I beleive it was discontinued because Panasonic wanted to push the 100 more. Im sure others can clarify.

Here are full-res samples. http://karatemedia.com/video/dvc80.html

I bought one about 2 weeks ago and I love it, deffinately a great camera.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 08:42 PM   #6
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Man, I should start an affiliate program -- I already have people pimping my site for me! Thanks Aaron! :)

http://www.karatemedia.com/video streaming Quicktime 6 video and RealPlayer downloads of commercials -- "Marti's at Midday" and "Musician's Warehouse Christmas" (as well as others) were shot with the DVC80.

http://www.karatemedia.com/video/dvc80.html Quicktime 6 video of some other, non-commercial stuff shot with the DVC80, as well as the full-res, 720x480 DV .avi samples that Aaron mentioned.

As always, I offer the disclaimer that I am no great cameraman, so this footage is not the DVC80 at its best.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 08:19 PM   #7
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I have the DV953; it is probably too noisy to be used professionally.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 04:23 AM   #8
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I have the PDX10. I got it because I wanted a 16:9 camcorder. I use it for non-profit purposes.

When you arrive at a disaster scene you'll get out of the car in a hurry and you grab you PDX10 camcorder - wait - grab? Where? The PDX10 doesn't have a top handle and thus it is hard/slow to get out of a camcorder bag. It is also uncomfortable to carry. You must keep it either at chest or eye level or let in hang upside-down in your hand hoping that it won't fall off. It works, but it puts some strain on your fingers. At a disater scene your primary concern should no be the safety of your camcorder...

It is also diffucult to get low level shots with the PDX10 because of a missing handle. It's a very nice holiday camcorder, though, and suitable for less hectic scenes.

I'm not so fond of the "wide" angle of the PDX10 either. The 32,5mm of the DVC80 would definitely be better.

It looks like the DVC80 has a larger viewfinder, too. Am I correct? It might be more comfortable to use... The PDX10 has a worse low light performance than the DVC80, right? The PDX10 offers low shutter speeds, of course, but it will compromise resolution and frame rate...

If you do require 16:9 then you might want the PDX10, afterall.

Panasonic probably guarantees the availability of a repair service for the DVC80 for some years. You should ask them about such support programs.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 04:32 AM   #9
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Also, the DVC80 seems to have a built-in stereo mic on the handle -> less noise from the running tape. You could use it to record ambience. Stereo sound would probably work fine on a disaster scene. Then use the mono shotgun for interviews...

The built-in stereo mics on the PDX10 are useless and horribly positioned. You need to support the PDX10 with two hands really, and the left hand fingers wrap just around the mics.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 12:01 AM   #10
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The DVX 80 was replaced by the smaller AG-DVX 30. Make sure you look this one over. It has nearly identical form factor as the DX10 (of which I am an owner) but has some very nice features.

The PDX 10 has better imager performance but doesn't handle the dark so well.

Look at the Panasonic 30.

Sean
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Old June 8th, 2004, 09:33 AM   #11
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Sean

I would hesitate to say that the DVC80 was "replaced" by DVC30 -- only because that might imply that the two are substantially similar. Instead, these are two fairly different cameras.

The DVC80 has larger CCDs and phantom power XLR mic inputs, which alone are enough to make it worth more than the DVC30 to someone like me. The DVC30 has frame mode and CineGamma, as well as a night-vision option and a longer zoom. That might be useful for someone else, as well. For some photojournalists, the night vision and longer zoom might be a benefit.

The DVC80 is more like the PD150, and in fact was gaining headway into some college Journalism programs before it was discontinued and was considered by some professionals to be the equal of the PD150 (I've mentioned this ad naseum in other threads). In my opinion the DVC80 would be better suited in many cases for television work than the DVC30 (which, as you said, is more like the PDX10). But I say this based purely on specs; I have not yet used a DVC30.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 09:38 AM   #12
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I think Sean meant that the 30 has "replaced" the 80 in Panasonic's marketing. Your points are of course all valid, but the Panasonic literature seems to be positioning the 30 in the same manner as it previously did with the 80. Leave it to those marketing guys to mess up a good thing... ;-)
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #13
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As an authirized Panasonic Broadcast reseller, I know the products - somewhat. We can't know them all completly, there are too darn many of them out there.

We deal directly with Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon, Hitachi, Thompson/Grass Valley, etc.

Perhaps I should have said, as Boyd said, the 30 has replaced the market hole left by the demise of the 80. Be that as it may, the 80 is gone and the 30, which we have in the shop here for demo purposes, looks pretty nice.

I wish my PDX-10 had scene files. I don't give a hoot about the super night vision capabilities but some nature photographers and unsavory types that like to peek around in the dark (as well as law enforcement) will like it.

Anyway, be sure to look over the 30s features. It looks like a contender for the PDX-10.

Sean
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:57 AM   #14
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Boyd and Sean --

My comment was equally directed towards Panasonic as well; sorry I wasn't more clear on that. They have helped foster the idea that the DVC30 is a "replacement" for the DVC80, whereas I look at it more like, the DVC30 just happened to be released when the DVC80 was discontinued :)

And don't forget that DVC80s are still available -- B&H, for example, still has the camera in stock (although I would agree that the DVC30 looks like a contender for the PDX10, if you are leaning in that direction instead)
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Old June 8th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #15
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It does look very nice in a number of respects, however last I looked it was more expensive than the PDX-10, and the XLR adaptor and microphone are extras which further widen the gap. But the main difference in my mind is the lack of the PDX-10's high quality 16:9 mode.
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