Panny DV53 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant > Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant

Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
...and other Panasonic DV camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 9th, 2003, 10:16 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Panny DV53

Anyone here actually done any shooting with this cam? I was wondering how is the auto focus? Is it inclined to hunt? And I know that the on-board mic is mono, but how is the mic's sensitivity? Does the mic have okay sound quality? Anything else that stands out to you about this cam? I assume the front of the lens is threaded?
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 621
I think this is a good cam for the price -- I paid $299 including shipping for mine. It's mostly my "fun" cam -- something to play around with; a camera I can have out around the dog. It's also useful as a miniDV deck so I don't wear the heads out on my DVC80.

It's not in my hands at this moment, but I am 99.9% sure that it is threaded for filters, etc.

Focus, white balance, etc. are all fine -- again, pretty much what I would expect from this price range.

My favorite feature is the "MagicPix" effect -- a sort of saturated blur that (to me) at times resembles a "true-crime reenactment" (the "Unsolved Mysteries" effect). It's pretty cheesy, but I've actually found use for it for a pro-bono promo short I did for a carnival. The effect looked really good on the bright, multi-colored rides set against the night sky.

The mic is OK -- my one heavy-duty use of the mic was cluttered by the sound of crickets. It was at an outdoor seminar and *no one* remembers hearing crickets (cicada, etc) during the event but man oh man did they overtake the audio.

I had to do some heavy-duty EQ-ing to bring out the speaker's voice, but you can find a RealPlayer video of the seminar at http://www.uga.edu/eecp/seminars/. It's the first link, "Philosopher's Walk Along the Greenway." Nothing professional -- this event was part of my day job and I just wanted an excuse to bring my DV53. Most of our seminars are shot on whatever cheap equipment is available that day from the school (such as old, old VHS camcorders). I shoot 'em, encode 'em, and put 'em on the website. Wasn't an official part of my job at first, but I wanted to make things interesting around here...

Anyway, about halfway through the footage, the speaker is standing at the corner of a road. This part is pretty much untouched audio w/ almost no tweaking. It isn't the best video out there (I don't even know if I bothered to white balance that day), but it will give you an idea of the audio capabilities of the DV53.

What kind of shooting do you plan to do? Work or home movies? I think this is a good camera for a cheap one-chipper, but I don't know that I would use it as a primary camera for any important work.
John Britt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2003, 01:00 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ocean Springs, MS
Posts: 103
Does the DV53 support add-on lenses? I know it's got filter threads, but what about extra glass?
Ted Bragg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2003, 02:56 AM   #4
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
Alex (our high school member) owns a Pana DV53. He's dome some amazing stuff with it and posted the footage on the Internet somewhere a couple of times. I believe he's also using a Tiffen wide angle adaptor with it.

I looked at the DV53, it seems like good bang for the buck. It's a very small cam, similar with one of the lower-end Sony 1 chip models.

If you want to spend a little more, see if you can find a deal on the PV-DV702; and another good model to look at is the Canon Optura 20. It's just been replaced so they're going cheap.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 13th, 2003, 11:50 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
John, thanks for the "Walk" clip. The 53 seems okay. I was able to hear that the mic seems to have a pretty wide angle of pick up.
I've been trying unsuccessfully to find out what the slowest shutter speed is that the DV will go down to in normal, full auto
mode (w/no AE adjustments such as "nightshot"), say, when the lens cap is on. Don't suppose you'd know the answer to that one?
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 12:50 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 621
Quick test in my hand...


Seems surprising. The slowest shutter speed for this camera is 1/60 -- I would've assumed that it would default to that in auto mode...

But, it looks like the shutter speed defaults to 1/125 and the f-stop to Open + 15db (highest gain is 18db) with lens cap on.

In a moderately-to-low lit room, the auto settings are the same.

Pointing the camera directly at the ceiling light in same room produces the same shutter speed as above (1/125) and an f-stop of 3.4

These settings were checked by pointing the cam at said objects in Auto mode, then switching to Manual to check the settings.

The owner's manual for this camera isn't the most helpful or descriptive as I have found, but I assume that since this camera was probably made for point-n-shoot consumers that they never expected some of these questions to arise.

Thanks for asking this question. I hadn't bothered to check the auto mode settings yet. Now we both know. Probably.
John Britt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 11:24 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
John,
I've heard that the shutter on most will go lower than 1/125th
if the default-to-"on" electronic image stabilizatin is turned "off".
Does the DV53 have EIS and the ability to turn it off? This characteristic of cams with EIS may be good info to know for others who shoot tripod w/auto exposure. Also good for those who use some type of "stabilizer" (e.g. Glidecam), as image stabilization should be turned off anyway when "flying".
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 11:48 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 621
Mmmm...lunchtime is dvinfo time...


Dave -- good point; one I hadn't considered -- until now.

And guess what? Turning off EIS results in a 1/60 shutter speed default in auto mode.

Thanks for pointing that out. That teaches me to post here at 2 in the morning!


(BTW, EIS is easy to turn on and off on this cam -- a fair-sized button on the top left of the cam is easily accessible)
John Britt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 12:12 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
John,
So the default for your camera is "on" then, correct?
And thanks for all the help you've given.
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 621
Dave --

I will check when I go back home tonight, but I don't think that the EIS has a default setting. I think it just stays at whatever you last set it at. Now, i don't remember what it was when I first opened the cam, but I seem to recall that it maintains the last used setting between power-ups.

*FOLLOW UP*

Hands-on test: Yep, the EIS setting stays at whatever you last have it set at when you turn the camera off. There does not seem to be a "default" setting, per se. Removing the battery doesn't seem to affect the setting, either.

John Britt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 26th, 2003, 08:22 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Not that anyone really cares, but I picked up a DV53 and I payed attention to the EIS aspect. The closest I think you could say about this camera's default EIS setting is that when you power up the cam for the very first time, EIS is "on". The "factory setting".
Like John found, the cam retains it's last settings, even when the battery is removed, so the switching from on to off must be mechanical. I guess.
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2003, 10:12 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Loveland, Colorado, USA
Posts: 292
this is my first cam

And I both love and hate it.
I'm actually pretty stoked to see somebody else talking about it.

I have shot about 10 hours worth of footage with it, out of which the first five were on full auto, for what it is worth, I have never seen the auto focus hunt at all. not one time, which is a more than I can say for the GL1 I get to play with from time to time.

I have, however, had problems with the audio. I shot some video of my son riding a little train they have about a mile from my house. I was sitting next to him on the train, which had quite a bumpy ride. During play back, some of the audio dropped out, almost like a skipping record. I need to do some more tests.

The manual focus "ring" is less than optimal, although the zoom control is fairly smooth. Low light performance is, as has been said before about what you would expect.

This is a great cam for beginners. Among other things it helped me figure out what I really wanted from a cam. I also made some rookie mistakes with it that I would not want to make with a more expensive unit- such as changing tape brands and gumming up the heads...

I had planned on shooting some shorts with it, but my wife offered me next year's tax return to buy a more expensive cam with- so I think I'll buy a used XL1 instead, after all, who am I to fight the will of a good woman?

After that I suppose the dv53 will become my playback deck. And when my boys get older I will probably give it to them, along with the video bug it gave me.

MG
__________________
" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
Michael Gibbons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2003, 10:43 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Hey Michael,
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one of a couple around who has it. A guy named Alex has one too.
About that audio drop out, did it seem like it wasn't recorded at all or was just playback the problem?
Don't know if you caught it or not, but camcorderinfo.com posted some low light tests of cams under $800. Many people weren't able to see the results, they were so dark. I *was* able to and I compared the DV53 to about 16 other cams. I posted my results over at that site under the "$900 Cam" comparo. The 53 was the second least expensive cam in the test and did quite well.
You say you haven't noticed any focus hunting. What type of light have you shot in? Anything low light at all? If so, how'd the pics turn out? I've been too busy lately to mess with it much.
Regarding that "focus wheel", have you noticed that there's a lag in the focusing and that, when using it to scroll through the menu that sometimes you turn the wheel and nothing happens?
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2003, 11:36 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Loveland, Colorado, USA
Posts: 292
As far as the audio drop out goes, I think it may have been a play back problem, I haven't encountered it since.

For the most part the lighting I have had has been really good, by the time I started fooling with low light, I was using the manual focus zoom in trick- you know turn on the AF, zoom in let it lock and then switch to MF and zoom out.


that said, I shot a scene from my terrible, terrible short with a GL1 , in full day light (overcast on a bright day) and it went hunting on me twice in the same 15 second shot- I will never use AF again.

MG
__________________
" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
Michael Gibbons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2003, 05:28 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 991
I had the DV53 for a while and it seemed like a great camera. Unfortunately, it can't output stereo via the A/V cables. So I exchanged it for a cheapo JVC.
Yang Wen is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant > Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:57 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network