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Old October 1st, 2002, 06:18 PM   #1
Jordi-San
 
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Gy-dv500

I have used the XL1s for a while now, and I have to admit I love its versatility and light-weight. I was thinking about buying a second one, but I also have my eye on the GY-DV500. I know that some of you who post here own or have owned this camera. I'm looking for feedback on it and your opinion on how it compares to the XL1s.

Also, anyone know if the GY-DV500 has anything similar to the XL1s frame mode?

Thank you. This user forum rocks!!

Jordi
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 01:42 AM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
 
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These cameras are in two completely different classes. The DV500 (to be superceded by the recently announced DV5000) is a professional shoulder-mount camera with 1/2" CCDs, using industry standard Canon or Fujinon broadcast video lenses. The DV500 requires professional (and professionally priced) add-ons such as power supply, batteries, zoom & focus controls, etc.

The Fuji 14x lens commonly packaged with the DV500 is adequate, but you'll need to replace the included mic with something better. The included viewfinder is very basic and should be upgraded.

In short, if you're ready to step up from a prosumer camcorder like the XL1S to a truly professional camera like the DV500, then by all means go for it, but be prepared to spend the money on some extra gear which is not cheap... a good pro tripod, power supply and batts, etc. Hope this helps,
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 06:57 AM   #3
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I've recently gone the the other way, moving from Betacam SP to mini DV. One of the reasons is my ability, at age 45, to move all the gear around. When I was 30 something I could stil out perform the 20 year olds. Not any more. My knees and shoulder are showing the stress from years of carrying all that gear. DV has breathed new life into me. The image quality of the XL1, when lit carefully, can match much of my Beta footage. The JVC is a wonderfull camera. I looked at it closely before I went XL.

Chris' comments on the support gear are dead on. Most people in the XL community purchase tripods in the $1,000 or less range. These are more than adiquate for most XL configurations. A Sachtler DV-12 runs around $4,600. You could try the DV-8 but it won't perform near as well, but only $2,500 (aluminum sticks). Batteries go the same way. No $60 Lenmar batteries for the JVC. You could easily have $1,000 or more in batteries.

Why the economics lesson? I looked at that same camera very, very hard. But most of my clients wouldn't want to pay the higher rates for only a slightly better image. Even if they did, what about the size and weight? So, for me, the XL1 was the better choice. Kinda like the guy who went in to buy a Rolls Royce and ended up with a Bentley.

Jeff
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 08:09 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
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Before going up to the more expensive cameras, why not try renting it for a project or two? See if your clients can "support" the increase in cost for shooting with that camera as compared to the XL1.

That way you will not ruin you on buying a truckload of equipment that you wont get paid for.

/Henrik
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 05:19 PM   #5
Jordi-San
 
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Great feedback! thank you.

how about the image quality/features of the camera...how do they compare to the XL1s?

is the climb in features and quality as clear and obvious as the climb in price? In other words, what things have you noticed you could do using the DV500 that you were not able to do with the XL1s?

I appreciate your input
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 07:51 PM   #6
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The JVC will have the better image (cleaner). But that may not matter, it depends on what you want to do with the footage.
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 09:30 PM   #7
Warden
 
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The JVC has a nicer image. No question. Everything be equal bigger chips always win. I've got some pretty high end clients. One, is a major consumer products company. They still shot a lot on film. But for what I do the little extra resolution and S/N ratio did not justify the price and weight.

I forgot to tell you what I bought with the savings (XL1 vs. DV500). I bought a Glidecam V-8 (steadicam). The XL1 works great on it. However, the DV500 is too heavy for the Glidecam V-8 and requires the V-16 ($4,000). Now there's an accessory that pays for itself. I have clients that insist on Glidecam shots. Now maybe you don't have a need for a Glidecam. But it's just one more advantage for the XL1.

Jeff
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 11:42 PM   #8
Obstreperous Rex
 
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The JVC GY-DV500 has the exact same CCD block as the Sony DSR300. It is a better image than the XL series, but that is as it should bem since the DV500 and DSR300 are professional cameras, out of the XL's class.

However, it is very important not to get hooked on superlatives. "Best" this or "best" that is meaningless if you're not comfortable with the ergonomics, form factor and feature set of the camera. The professional shoulder-mount gear can be intimidating for some people to use.

I'll tell you a quick story, when I was an undergrad in film school at UT-Austin, I sweated tears one weekend over a Panasonic 200CLE, because it was checked out to me without a manual. It took awhile just to figure out how to turn the damn thing on and even longer to get a good looking image out of it (due to my own operator error). Without the book it was almost more than I could chew, and it was a frustrating learning experience. I found out a lot in the process but hated feeling blind like that, poking around on that thing. I felt much more comfortable back then behind a little Canon A1 Hi-8 camcorder than I did with that big-iron Panny.

The right camera for you is the one which feels best in your hands (or on your shoulders). The right camera is the one whose video appeals to you on a pro monitor.

Everything else, including all the superlatives ("best" this, "best" that), is far less meaningful in comparison. Hope this helps,
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 12:55 AM   #9
Jordi-San
 
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Thank you all for your suggestions.

BTW, I did check out the DV5000 (as Chris made mention to it above) and it's got a pretty amazing set of features for the price (it can also shoot in frame mode, which I don't think the DV500 -- can anyone verify?).
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 12:57 AM   #10
Jordi-San
 
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sorry...I meant to say:

[the DV5000] can also shoot in frame mode, which I don't think the DV500 can-- can anyone verify?).
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