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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old July 30th, 2003, 12:09 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 21
Looking for new camera

Hi,

I have been looking through different forums and have just registered in this one.

I'm currently looking for a new camera and allthough the information available in several forums is helpfull, it does not make my decision process any easier.

In the past, I used several Sony models and must say that I was quite happy with overall video quality and image.

Now, I'm more inclined to go for Panasonic, to a 3CCD model. I have never used any product of this brand, but after reading several reviews, they do seem to offer a good value for money.

Sony, as far as I'm concerned has always been overpriced.

Anyway, there are 2 main issues that I need to decide:
1. Which camera/brand?
2. PAL/NTSC

For 1., I'm mostly concerned about video quality. Stills/other gadgets for me have no interest. Low light capabilities can be a concern, as I do a lot of underwater video, without lights, but generally not deeper than 20m/60 feet. I live in Thailand and conditions are usually with sun shine and clear water. I do not know how this can compare with low light situations discussed when shooting video indoors.

Anyway, as for brands, I eliminated JVC because of their lousy customer support and after sales service. If something needs to be repaired, this can become a nightmare. I also found out that after testing several of their new models, it takes noticeable time for the autofocus to adjust if you are panning.

Sony, allthough a safe choice in my opinion, you are getting overcharged (ever wondered how they can support so much marketing campaigns...)

So, Panasonic comes to me as a good choice. Good quality, reasonable prices.

This narrows my choices to 3 models:
GS100
MX500/5000
GS70

I'm no video pro, but would like to keep my options open, should I ever decide to do some stuff for weddings or corporate use.

Initially, I was considering the MX. Than the GS70 came out and I thought "great, cheap and small size" but then I hear things about lower resolution and bad EIS. Then the GS100 comes out. The most expensive of the bunch and appearently battery hungry. Not sure which one I should go for.

For 2., the NTSC models are usually at least $500 cheaper than PAL. I live in PAL country but multisystem TV's seem to a lot out there. Additionally, I will use the footage mostly to convert to VCD/DVD. Therefore, I believe that having NTSC in PAL country will not be so much of an issue and leave me with spare money for accessories.

Looking forward to some ideas/suggestions. Thanks in advance.
Joao Oliveira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2003, 02:37 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
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Panasonics are just as good as Sonys---just depends on which models you are comparing.

NTSC or PAL? What is Thailand's broadcast system? Go with that. Of, it's PAL. That's what I thought. So stick with PAL.

The GS100 is only NTSC. The GS70 isn't as good as the GS100 and MX5. Go with a MX500 PAL. Or, consider a 1 chip, like the Sony TRV70. Or perhaps an older MX350? MX8?

Quote:
Anyway, as for brands, I eliminated JVC because of their lousy customer support and after sales service
Ha! it's like that in Canada too.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2003, 03:27 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 21
Thanks Frank for your input.

Regarding the PAL/NTSC issue, I'm sure you are right. One should stick to the norm of the country you are in.

The thing is that in Thailand, the MX500 goes for USD 1550, the GS70 goes for USD 1150 (PAL).

If I get the NTSC from Japan (never mind the language), the MX5000 is USD 1100, including extra charger, sd card and med size battery (xtras worth $250). GS70 goes for around USD 800.

The other alternative would be going to Malaysia/Singapore. I hear that the MX500 goes for around SGD 2000 (USD 1150). Proportionaly, the GS70 is probably around USD 850-900.

I'm sure that in terms of vdo quality, MX5 is much better than GS70, but allthough the MX5 is not that big in size, the GS70 is really so small that you can carry it anywhere, anytime.

Taking into account travel expenses, it would only be worth to go if I buy loads of other things as well (add accessories, other electronics, ..., ouch, my poor wallet).

The other problem in Thailand are customs. While you hand carry stuff, no problems with tax/duties (hahaha).

Getting things shipped is another story. Sometime ago, I had an insurance replacement from Europe. Customs wanted 60%!!!!!! duty on the item in order to release it.

Recently I checked with DHL and they informed me that if I get stuff from Japan/Singapore (ASEAN zone), there would be only 3% duty. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I can trust this information.

Alternatively, I might be able to find some older models, such as MX300 or 350. I hear that those can are actually better in terms of vdo. Newer model does not necessarily means better.

Anyway, I appreciate any additional comments/ideas.
Joao Oliveira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2003, 03:37 AM   #4
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You can probably get a PAL MX500 from Japan. Perhaps our good member, Allan, can assist you. (He lives in Japan, and sells the odd cam if someone asks him.) Tim is another fellow who does this.

If you're going to go with NTSC, you are going to have all sorts of problems. So don't.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply
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