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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old June 27th, 2003, 03:36 PM   #1
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Questions from a Newbe

I've been reading around the forums here trying to grasp a better understanding about choosing my first mini DV camcorder. It's been a difficult month, reading this thread and that. I have even gone to stores and tried and get a feel for them. I must confess, I find most 1 ccd camcorders look and feel like plastic toys. To make a long story short, I've have half concluded to go with the Panasonic PV-DV953. The reason I lean toward this model is because it feels solid, unlike a plastic toy. Everything also feels and looks right about this model, except that I noticed it requires more light than some of the 1 ccd models I tried in the store. Since I am mainly going to shoot outdoors: picnics, weekend outings and my upcoming holiday at the lake, I don't think the lack of good lighting will be a problem. So my first question is, is this a wise choice?

My second question is about filters. I know I must use a UV or other filter to protect my lens. Should I also purchase a circular polarizer? Will it improve my video footage? Are there any other filters I should consider?

Thank you taking the time to read this. I look forward to your responses.

Zach.
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Old June 27th, 2003, 05:46 PM   #2
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The PV-DV953 should suit your needs well. It's OIS is very good. Also, since you're going to shoot in good lighting, the video should look fantastic. I'd certainly get a circular or linear polarizer on top of the UV---but since you will be mainly shooting outdoors, perhaps go with a skylight instead of the UV.
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Old June 27th, 2003, 10:54 PM   #3
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what alot of people fail to take into consideration when looking at low light, is the fact that low light shooting is exactly that...
low light...

the pv/mx has an ok low light range, not the best but it doesnt pretend to do something when it knows it cant.
but as mentioned is normal to low light it IS a fine camera.

ive shot weddings with it in relatively low light and to this day i have not had a complaint, but the point of the matter is that even though low light shooting is convenient, in the end, your shots will still be dark.
This is a fact regardless of what camera you use...
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Old June 30th, 2003, 01:32 AM   #4
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It's highly unlikely that you'll need a circular polarizer - go for the much cheaper and just as effective linear version. But do remember that it will give you continuity headaches on the edit bench as it works at its hardest perpendicular to the sun and doesn't work at all on axis with the sun. This can look really strange when you pan through 90 degrees on a blue-sky day.

Worse, it can effectively remove the shine from the talent's hair and skin can take on a rather matt and dull look. It's a filter for very special occasions, so beware.

Much better (in my view) to get an ND8 filter. The Panasonics - even with their rather feeble inbuilt NDs often like to shoot at f11 in sunlight. Fitting the ND8 will allow you to shoot the same scene at f4, a much sharper aperture.

You can use a Skylight filtyer in place of the UV but in reality it will absorb more light and give your auto white balance more work to do. If you always set your w/bal manually then it's slight pink cast will affect the colour of your footage.

tom.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 02:49 AM   #5
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Thank you Tom. I'll just purchase a UV and ND #8. Will that suit my needs for the Panasonic PV-DV953 during outdoor shooting? I think I will skip the polarizer altogether. I have one more question. Will the built in microphone be good enough or should I buy some sort of external mic?
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Old July 1st, 2003, 03:02 AM   #6
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If you do go for the ND and the UV, don't be tempted to use them stacked. The UV is simply there for mechanical insurance protection, nothing more. Use them one at a time.

Is the mic good enough? Not if you're filming school plays and you're on a tripod at the back of the hall. It's ok for what it does best - gathering up-close sounds and atmos.

tom.
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