What happened to the Pana AG DVC200 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 23rd, 2006, 03:06 PM   #1
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What happened to the Pana AG DVC200

I purchased the AG DVC200 a few years ago and have been very satisfied with the performance and quality of the cam. (the only cavet is that it's almost impossible to shoot from the shoulder....balance?)

I never seen any mention of this camera on the forums and wondered, am I the only person that bought one of these?

I still see some ads for the cam (new) but never any accessories...camera cover, carrying case ,etc. Did Panasonic quit making the DVC200, is it obsolete....anybody have any comments?

Thanks - David Bird
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Old August 24th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #2
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I have two that we've been working with since 2001, I think. My understanding is that Panasonic discontinued the model. They may still have the 410, which is the DVCPro version of the camera. It's a shame because it is a great camera. They must have decided to focus on the HVX200 and their higher end cameras like the 900.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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Not sure if you guys are likely to see my post but I am thinking about buying one (used obviously).

Any further thoughts on if this is still a good idea?

Alex
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #4
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Alex,
The AG DVC200 is still a great cam and can be purchased at a very reasonable (used) price.

The issue I'm dealing with is the cam is also NTSC 29.97 frame rate and not HD. It seems that with the advent of the upcoming HD broadcast requirements, the 4:3 only format presents a severe future limitation. Compound that with the inability to shoot at 24P, and I don't think the DVC200 would be a wise investment. I may be wrong.... not everyone is going to transition to HD overnight just as B/W tv's hung around for a long time after broadcast went to color (showing my age, now).

Panasonic makes a cam that is virtually identical to the 200 in appearance. It has the 1/2 inch CCD's, can shoot 16:9 or 4:3, and has the capability to do 24P frame rate. The major problem with that cam is price....I think it's around $12,000 for the body plus the cost of a lens. I'm not willing to make that sort of investment for an upgrade.....I'll probably be forced to purchase a 1/3 CCD cam with all the bells and whistles.

Hope this helps...

Regards - David Bird
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:17 AM   #5
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Hi David,

Thanks for your response, I wonder if I can trouble you to comment on my postings over at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=95252

Thanks once again

Alex
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #6
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"My main requirements are:

- Will be used mainly for interview/documentary work
- Prefer interchangeable lenses
- Need progressive option as most work is to be used on the web
- Shoulder mounted option is required
- HD is not essential at this stage"

Alex,
If you're doing interview/doc work for viewing on the web, this cam is actually a bit of overkill. Yes, it can be purchased at a very good used price, but I gotta tell you, shoulder mounting the 200 is next to impossible. Maybe it's me, but the balance is such that it's very, very difficult to get usable footage when shooting from the shoulder. Interchangeable lenses...hummm, you talking some major bucks. If you're need wide angle, you might look into a Century adapter...they're not inexpensive, but it beats paying for a dedicated w/a lens.

If the majority of your work is actually for the web, you can find a good used, smaller cam that will fit your requirements. I can't direct you to any specific model, but since you're a DVInfo member, I'd review the forums and try to get a handle on which model will best serve your needs.

Hope I've helped...David
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Old May 30th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #7
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Hello again David,

I guess I am purposely overkilling my requirements as I do not really know at this moment in time what I will be doing with it and maybe I need to allow a little bit of flexibility. I always need to allow for the option of making a DVD version of the web clip in case it is requested for other purposes.

Interesting your comment re the shoulder mounting of the 200. This is something that I did not pick up anywhere else. Are you saying that you don't do it or just prefer the balance of other cameras?

Have you any experience with de-interlacing the clips you have shot and doing web versions?

Out of interest do you still have your 200 or is it long gone? I am interested because I wondered if I bought a used one for 1 or 2 years how it might hold it's value.

I am slightly put off the smaller 'prosumer' looking cams as I really want something that is well built and solid rather than plastic and fragile. Also I am not convinced these cameras look professional on site especially if they have rear mounted viewfinders.

Maybe I will just have to find the extra 1K and buy the JVC after all.

Thanks again.

Alex
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Old May 30th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #8
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Alex,
As I indicated, I have never been able to shoulder mount this cam and get decent footage. Maybe it's me, I know the camera is front heavy, and the shoulder pad is hard as a rock. All of the aforementioned have long ago convinced me to use a rock solid tripod for footage.

I've never de-interlaced clips...all of my footage is either for corporate work or for cable tv commercials.

I still have my 200....I've got a shoot this week for a bank....3 commercials for cable broadcast.

As respects holding value, my opinion would only be a guess. I would think that within the next 2 to 3 years, virtually everyone will be shooting HD. I could be very wrong. My thoughts on this issues.....buy a good used 200 at the very best price you can find and assume that the camera will have zero value at the end of 2 years. Resign yourself to that fact and if I'm wrong, you'll have a pleasant surprise.

You are right about some prosumer "appearance". And, there's a plus to the 200 in terms of perception by the client. When you walk in, carrying the 200 it LOOKS like a professional video camera. Perception is a big thing in sales and the 200 can be a selling tool. I was doing a shoot at a local rodeo and the pro still photo guy the rodeo had hired came over to look at my setup. We discussed equipment (he also shoots rodeo video) Although the specs on our stuff was similar, he remarked that I would get more work with my 200 than his rig, simply due to the look of my camera. (that, of course, assumes I can frame, focus, and deliver good footage.)

Bottom line....the 200 is an excellent product. Short of the shoulder balance issue, it will more than adequately serve your needs.

Sorry to be so long-winded...

David Bird
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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:05 PM   #9
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Excellent info.

I shall continue pondering.

Thank you.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #10
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If you really want to buy a used camera that doesn't shoot in 16:9, I'd rather look for a Sony DXC D35 DVCAM (it's 2/3" with excellent shoulder-mount capability). At least here in Germany everyone is now selling their non-16:9 cameras and you can get them for cheap. I've seen one D35 on ebay recently, 240 drum hours, 7,5mm 18x Zoom Fujinon wide-angle lens (which alone sells for 4,900 Euro) and it was sold for under 6,000 Euro.
Everyone is trying to get rid of their non 16:9 equipment because at least half of the tv jobs now require 16:9. You don't need HD, but 16:9 is a must.
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