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Old January 31st, 2010, 11:15 PM   #1
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SD still doing the job?

it has been a few years that I got a Panasonic GS400 and had much fun with it, but then got into photography and have not used it since 2 or 3 years.
Now I want to do some video again and see that in the meantime it seems to be HD only.

my question:
how much am I missing out continuing with my SD GS400?
I will make DVD, and also show some on e.g youtube for which I guess HD doesn't make any difference? right?

( and out of curiosity, sorry, I know I should research myself, but you guys know, so why not simply ask?: if I wanted a HD camera, possibly budget, which camera would be your choice if wanting similar features as the GS400, specially being able to use an external mic and adjusting it's recording level?

thank you for any input,
cheers,
Andreas
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Last edited by Andreas Griesmayr; February 1st, 2010 at 12:16 AM.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:04 AM   #2
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Hi Andreas, I traded my (backup) GS400 on a Canon HFS10, because I needed a travel cam. The Canon has at least the same amount of control as the Pany, but sometimes not as easy to set. For my purposes I have not regretted the decision. Tapeless is so much more convenient, and the HDMI picture on a HD TV looks much better. Editing is a bit painful (I use proxies). DVDs (even using better encoders than the standard Mainconcept ones in Vegas and Premiere Pro) do not look any better. I suspect you know all the pros and cons. Rationally, for your purposes, you would just keep using the GS400. But none of us are always rational.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:40 AM   #3
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I know the GS350 didn't have proper 16:9 chips but I'm not sure if the 400 had them. My point is that going HD probably isn't as important as going 16:9 in your case, and that I feel is the real reason to move on. Cameras like the Canon HV30 or 40 would let you stay with tape and shoot HD or SD depending on what you wanted, and not mean you'd have to ditch your computer as well.

tom.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:24 AM   #4
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Ah nostalgia. The GS400 captured proper 16:9 (unlike even the DVX100), just with an anamorphic LED/viewfinder, which was easy to get used to. It also had frame mode. No comparison with the 350. Apart from HD, and XLR mic input there's really nothing the GS400 didn't have (but not all good: the low light performance was abysmal and autofocus went to bed before sunset). Still, going tapeless would be a major reason to upgrade.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 11:34 AM   #5
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thank you very much for your responses!
for now I will stick with my GS400.

Besides tapeless, small size, specially for traveling, would also be another reason for upgrade, yes? I don't know the new models, but when I see some in shops they all look so very small!

Rainer you say: the GS400 captured proper 16:9. Did it really? I never have used it, and I remember there were two different modes to achieve 16:9, each having some pluses and minuses, resp. one being the better way? OK, I am not afraid to out myself as dilettante :-), so in addition, what is 'frame mode' for?

thank's...
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Old February 27th, 2010, 08:06 AM   #6
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over heard

Hello,
Came across this conversation looking for people who still use the GS400. I recently bought one instead of the HS100 I was dead set on. I found to go HD was not as easy as just buying a new camera. My research to still get great footage brought me to the GS400.
So in short I'm looking to make contact and discuss with those who know this camera well for tips and tricks.
Thanks
Scott
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Old February 27th, 2010, 08:59 AM   #7
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Hi Scott,

congrats on the camera!
as you con see from my last post I hardly qualify to answer many questions, but if you have any particular one I can try.
searching the forum there are also many threads about the GS400: The Digital Video Information Network - Search Results

cheers,
Andreas
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Old February 28th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #8
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Thanks Andreas,
I plan to do lots of work with it over the next month. So I'll get lots of time under my belt then ask some questions.
I'm doing an ice race today and it's overcast so this will be my first test in these conditions.
I'll let you know how it comes out and see what happens.
Thanks for the info.

Scott
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Old February 28th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Griesmayr View Post
Rainer you say: the GS400 captured proper 16:9. Did it really? I never have used it, and I remember there were two different modes to achieve 16:9, each having some pluses and minuses, resp. one being the better way? OK, I am not afraid to out myself as dilettante :-), so in addition, what is 'frame mode' for?

thank's...
Sorry Andreas, I missed your post (now almost a month ago) so you probably have the answers by now: Use the pro cine mode to get full 16:9, the letterbox mode is pointless. The frame mode was progressive before progressive was understood on consumer cameras, and some people complained about a "strobe like" effect at high shutter speed, but now its more widely available anyone with this available tends to shoot progressive all the time. Eventually and probably quite soon we all will go fully tapeless HD, it has too many advantages to ignore, but right now a consumer DVD produced by SD is as good as one produced by HD. The advantage of waiting is you will get the latest at a much better price.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 09:13 PM   #10
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Ok. Here is my fist try with the GS400. I found the viewfinder is very difficult to see in the daylight. I think I need to get a hood. I could have gone a little brighter.
I had to leave town on business but put this one together real quick.
Question. Do you find when in auto mode you get this strobe like effect?

Dirtbike Michigan
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:03 AM   #11
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Those sure are crazy dudes in your film, and you pan beautifully smoothly with them - often fearing they'll slippy-slide right into you I suspect.

Yes, a Hoodman will be a great plus for that camera.

I suspect that the bright white snow had under-exposed the footage a tad, but nothing that couldn't be corrected in post. I'd want to 16:9 it in post as well, to make it look more today and not 2003.

The GS400 has auto ND filtration, and when that bottoms out I suspect the camera ups the shutter speed in an attempt to avoid using small (diffraction inducing) apertures. The higher shutter speeds might be what you're seeing as a 'strobe like effect'.

If you run the tape in the camera with 'display' turned on you should get a readout of the aperture, w/bal, gain and shutter speed. Have a look at the latter and see how fast it goes.

tom.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:31 PM   #12
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Tom,
Great information and much appreciated. Can't wait to get back into town and do some more testing.
Thanks again! Take Care.
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