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Old December 8th, 2006, 09:12 AM   #1
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Christmas Camera Buying Guide (<$1,000)

Hello everyone,

Over the next couple of days I'll be doing research for the best camera (pound for pound) to purchase under $1,000. The primary task will be for short films.
Low light situations such as recording concerts and weddings is a possibility as well.

I have a fully functional editing machine with Premiere Pro 2. Firewire enabled.

I'm sure this has been asked on here before but the "search" function doesn't seem to work for me on these forums.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 03:52 PM   #2
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The Panasonic GS line. 3-chip cameras, adjustable aperture and shutter speeds...great cameras.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:16 PM   #3
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Ironic you mention that. I was just checking videomaker.com's "BEST OF" and the Panasonic GS-400 peaked my interest. Is the 500 a major upgrade? I'm seriously considering the 400....or perhaps a used "VX1000" because I have a wide angle lens that fits that camera.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #4
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Well, the GS500 is essentially the same electronics and the same image quality but not necessarily an "upgrade". They've automated it more, many of the externally controlled manual functions are now accessed through menus. You still have a manual focusing ring when you want it, but the iris is now manually controlled by selecting manual mode with a switch under the fold out LCD screen and then using the joystick on the back.

Manual mic gain level is set by pushing the menu button on the back, selecting the appropriate menu with the joystick and setting your level with the joystick; you do have vu indicator in the viewfinder.

You still have external mic input but no headphone jack.

The 400 is discontinued, I have a brand new 500 and so far like it quite well. It is for me a dramatic improvement in image quality and with a good external mic audio quality as well (over what I have been using)
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Old December 15th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info Bruce. The more "automated" features kinda scare me off as a short filmmaker and I'm currently looking at some auctions for the 400.

Can anyone chime in on the ProCinema mode and if it's worthy of using? I've been looking around local stores to see if I could get a hands on with it but no luck.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Akers
Thanks for the info Bruce. The more "automated" features kinda scare me off as a short filmmaker and I'm currently looking at some auctions for the 400.

Can anyone chime in on the ProCinema mode and if it's worthy of using? I've been looking around local stores to see if I could get a hands on with it but no luck.
I just finished my entry in the DVC7 "challenge" with my GS500 and Rode StereoVideoMic; this is the first semi serious thing I've done with mine and I have no regrets about purchasing this camera.

Procinema Mode...I like it. For instructional videos I'll still use standard 16:9 mode but for any storytelling it will be Procinema! I think it's well worth using.

I had the same misgivings you express at first but ordered the camera anyway. The manual controls are there, just accessed diffrent. And I use them. I just had to adapt a bit and start using the camera.

I start out with camera in auto to set the initial exposure and then go to manual to prevent the camera from making automatic changes as slight changes in the scene take place. Manual iris control lets me "dial in" exact exposure for effect. Manual focus (on the ring at the end of the lens barrel) keeps the camera from "hunting" for focus.

With the new models to be brought out in the spring there will be no more GS500's produced. Supply is drying up, B&H went up in price from $730 to $900 and they are out of stock.
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