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Old April 16th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #1
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Sitting, Waiting, Wishing for my next paycheck...

Hello all,

Recently I've been getting a craving to start using a different cam from my current one, but at the same time I want something that won't kill my bankroll. I've basically narrowed it down to 2 contenders (just like every other warry consumer, or rather prosumer): Panasonic GS400 or the Sony HDR-HC3. I understand they are completly different cams (one being HD and the other being regular DV), but these are the 2 that have really caught my eye. Out of these 2, which is the most customizable (shutter speed/aperture/gain) as well as reasonable for the price. Chances are that I won't be doing too much HD, but the Sony is newer and if it has the same benifits as the GS400 PLUS HD capabilities, then why not?

Just wanted to know some input, I'm really looking for a nice came between 1k and 1.5k. Also I'm an audio fiend, a picture is only as good as the sound, so any info would def. be great.

Thanks for any help!

Jack

Edit: Sorry I meant the GS400 not GS500

Last edited by Jack Derman; April 17th, 2006 at 02:37 AM.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 01:10 PM   #2
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personally, I havn't used the HC3 but I have used a GS series camera (I forget exactly which one). In terms of image quality, I don't think you'll be disappointed since both are really good. However, you seem like someone who wants a lot more than either of these cameras offer. The manual controls on the GS series are controlled by a joystick/dial thing and I personally found them very finicky and if you're using them a lot, you may not be very happy with them. On the Sony, (and I know people around here are sick of me saying this everytime I speak of Sony consumer cams), but they do use a touchscreen to control most of the camera settings and in my opinion, it's a headache. You also say that you're an audio fiend which concerns me because neither of these cameras will have any audio control other than maybe a 1/8 mic input. I'm not saying either of these cameras aren't good, I think they're great for what they're meant to be, but I don't think they're right for you.

What I would suggest is, if at all possible, look at the cameras that are slightly more (just under 2000 but above 1500). You're now entering the prosumer market and you'll find exactly what you're looking for. If you want small size, go with the Sony PDX-10 - it's an awesome little camera with full manual control, XLR audio inputs and a small formfactor. From what you say, I would say that's the perfect camera for you.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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I'd also say the PDX-10 might be a good choice for you. It has the same sensors as the GS-400 in fact, and produces excellent 16:9. Only problem... it's been discontinued. But you might still find them in stock somewhere. I actually think the GS-400 has also been discontinued. So depending on availability, unless you are happy with a used camera then you might need to re-think your options a bit...
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Old April 17th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #4
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B&H still has the PDX-10 in stock, so I wouldn't worry about that. I didn't even know it was discontinued, so that was news to me.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #5
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Or you could look for a second hand GL2...?
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Old April 17th, 2006, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Khalil
I didn't even know it was discontinued, so that was news to me.
http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...sp=11&id=65263

Quote:
DISCONTINUED WITH no direct replacement. The HVR-A1U C-MOS 1080i HDV camcorder is from the same form factor as the DSR-PDX10 and records DV, DVCAM™, & HDV™ formats. It is a perfect step up from the DSR-PDX10.
You're right, B&H still has 'em, but that won't last forever... :-)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old April 17th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies guys, really have helped out!

You know, the funny thing is that I was looking at the PDX-10, but wasn't quite sure of the stability of the camera (seeing as though it is discontinued). Then again, I've always wanted a GL2, which is in the exact same price range....So assuming that I bump up the sticker to 1.5-2k looking at the PDX-10, GL2, and AG-DVC30....does the PDX still come out on top?

What i really REALLY like about the PDX is the XLR inputs, def. a plus...as well as the true 16:9 nature of the cam.

For me what is really dragging me towards the PDX is the XLR inputs, but of course any accessory shoe for the aformentoined cams can take care of that...

I suppose my perfect cam would have maximum customizablitiy, great audio, decent enough a picture that I could run it through Magic Bullet to get a 24p rendition.

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it!

Jack
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Old April 17th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #8
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okay, i just keep laughing at the title of this thread every time it pops up on my screen.

c'mooooon bank account! fill up faster.

i can relate.....
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Old April 17th, 2006, 05:20 PM   #9
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One other less obvious advantage of the PDX-10 is that it comes from Sony's pro division. This entitles you to a higher level of service with faster repair turnaround than consumer cameras like the GL-2.

And as you note, neither the GL-2 or DVC-30 shoot "true" 16:9.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #10
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I agree, the PDX is an all around good pick, but chances are I won't be able to purchase my cam for another few weeks which leads me to suspect that this sweet cam will be out of stock, which is quite strange. Anyone know why they called it quites on this line?

Assuming that I cannot find a PDX for a decent price, do you think the GL2 or the AG-DVC30 is a suitable replacement?

Thanks,
Jack
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:59 PM   #11
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yes, the GL2 and DVC30 are also excellent cameras and depending on what you want to do, one may be better than the other.
Neither have XLR inputs as standard, but they can be easily added to either one very easily and both have excellent manual audio control.

The DVC30's lens isn't as long as the one on the GL2 so if you need long reach or need to create a shallow depth of field, the GL2's lens can be useful.

On the other hand, the DVC30 is made of magnesium alloy, so it's probably more durable if that matters to you and the DVC30 has a couple of user customizable settings which can be useful.

There are a couple of other minor things that differ between them, but those minor things might be important to you, so make sure you find the camera that best suits you - both will have excellent image quality.


As to why the PDX10 has been discontinued, I really don't know why - I'm assuming it's because Sony wants people to buy the HD version of the camera and move people to HDV.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Derman
which leads me to suspect that this sweet cam will be out of stock, which is quite strange. Anyone know why they called it quites on this line?
I'm pretty sure it's because of the relatively new Sony HVR-A1U. This HDV camera has XLR module and a few bits and pieces on it that in essence make it the 'new' PDX-10, except that of course it shoots Hi-Def at 25Mbps.

Take a look at that cam - there is a $500 rebate available on it, that's just been extended to the end of September i believe, and with that rebate, it takes the price down to $1,999 which is more or less the same as the PDX-10.
So it's got an element of future-proofing in there as it can shoot DV, DVCAM, and HDV plus all the audio stuff you like.
And it's not discontinued like the PDX-10 and Sony HC1.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old April 19th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #13
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Wow, the AU1 seems like a pretty nice piece of equpiment, but then again I'll be spending around $2000 for this camera, granted I purchase it before September, which I most likely will (I'm hoping for end of the month).

But at the same time I am still very nervous about investing because these seem to be very turbulant times for cams. Every line in every company is being upgraded to newer tech such as HD capabilites.

This is where I am uncertain because it would seem that every company is making plans and annoucing their newer stuff, but Canon is leaving its consumers in the dark. If I assume correctly, then perhaps Canon will realse an HD version of its GL2....if this is the case, then I would hate to invest in the Sony without seeing Canon's performance in that sector.

But as it stands the AU1 is my most likely pick, I mean from looking at its stats and from what Stu has said, its basically a PDX with new parts and HD compatibility, and it seems I can purchase it for around the same price range. I'm just praying Canon doesn't realease something crazy in the next few months which will make me regret my purchase...
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Old April 19th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #14
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The PDX-10 was introduced at NAB exactly 4 years ago. That's a very respectable lifespan for a camcorder. We might expect something similar for the A1, but of course nobody really knows. But that would give you another 3 years before Sony might introduce a replacement. As for any competition from Canon, maybe we'll learn something at NAB next week?

The A1 sounds like a really nice little camera... and it is in fact significantly smaller than the PDX-10 which some would consider good and others might consider bad. It has a few other quirks (based on what I've read) which include limited manual image control, moving functions to a touch screen which used to have dedicated physical controls and bottom loading tapes which can be a nuisance.

If you want to shoot HDV it would be a good choice, but if you're happy with widescreen DV then I'd still consider the PDX-10. I'm sure someone will have them in stock for a few more months.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 10:26 PM   #15
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I totally agree with you on the touch screen issue (like that of the HC1) and bottom loading cam with A1, Boyd. I think thats really a problem, especially if you are set up on a pod and need to keep that position, but at the same time needing to switch tapes. Just makes life harder. Then again the thing is do I want a CCD cam with 4 year old parts, or a CMOS cam wth brand new parts?

What is the real take on CMOS? Is it really that much better than CCD? I know it uses less battery power, but I'm not sure I've heard anything phenomenal coming from its footage.

Also I really do hope Canon says something at NAB next week, but I'm not having high hopes becuase they've never had a history of releasing info at NAB, which is quite a shame.

Jack
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