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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old November 27th, 2003, 12:51 AM   #16
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See!!! I told everyone so. A professional camcorder needs to be used in automatic for good filming for television and all you have to do is read the manual and start shooting professional stuff for TV and for yourself. What does film stuff have to do with professional digital camcorders? Why do you have to go to film school to film with a professional Panasonic PV-DV953? You don't!
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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:04 AM   #17
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : I disagree with that by 100 percent. If it wasn't for people with small cams and shooting for the moment (auto mode), we wouldn't have even seen those 2 planes flying into The World Trade Center. And how many times and on how many TV stations around the globe was this footage played? -->>>

That is news, and the quality on such moments is not THE important thing. It's only chance that several people were carrying a camera or went to get theirs to catch that moment.

That stuff where those white LA cops beat the black man at night also went around the world and put the guys in jail, but the only reason it made it there was because it was news.

Automatic cameras can certainly be applied to that end, but that's very far from what you see everyday in 90% of the TV programs.

In any case it's certainly an option that you can pick from. Professional cameras do not carry any of that, do you wonder why?


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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:05 AM   #18
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Neumann : One of the reasons I did buy the DVC200 was the full auto mode. The JVC500 did not have this. I wanted to be able to open the bag and grab it if there was a major news item or another type of situation.

I do like what Frank has brought up, full auto has it’s place. -->>>

It certainly does: for news. Nothing against it.

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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:18 AM   #19
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However, "news" is professional TV broadcast, watched by millions worldwide. And what about all of those reality TV shows professionally broadcasting all those consumer clips? :-)
Quote:
Professional cameras do not carry any of that, do you wonder why?
Don't carry any of what?
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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:22 AM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Fred Garhart : See!!! I told everyone so. A professional camcorder needs to be used in automatic for good filming for television and all you have to do is read the manual and start shooting professional stuff for TV and for yourself. What does film stuff have to do with professional digital camcorders? Why do you have to go to film school to film with a professional Panasonic PV-DV953? You don't! -->>>

The Panasonic PV-DV953 is not a professional camera. You may call it that but not even the manufacturer does.

And when someone mentions professional features on these cameras as a selling point, they are never the automatic ones. Always the manual ones.

No one is stopping you from reading the manual and shooting stuff for yourself. Now for TV is a very different matter. If you were lucky to catch a certain event they may buy it, but as an isolated thing. On such circumstances they may let go of some demands. But try to sell other stuff that does not fit their demands and see what happens.

You don't need to go to a film school to learn how to handle a DV953. But you need to go there to learn how to tell a story with a camera. Any camera. And that involves a LOT more that is described on any camera manual.

The only relationship between film and digital cameras, particularly prosumer cameras like the DV953, is that filmmakers are using mini-DV cameras to shoot some of their films. Be it for economical reasons or for expressive reasons.

The only person that raised the question of using specifically the DV953 was me. Nobody is using it for film projects. But I only insist on it because it's a practical package and sometimes you have to find out how far technology can stretch. Right now I'm trying to get some help to carry on the due tests.


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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
You don't need to go to a film school to learn how to handle a DV953. But you need to go there to learn how to tell a story with a camera.
Our 15-year-old member, Alex, tells darn good stories with his miniDV cam, and he's never been there (film school).

"Nobody is using it for film projects." (PV-DV953)

I beg to differ. The Vancouver Film School has a dozen of them. Plus cams like the TRV900 and MX3000 have been used for film projects.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:47 AM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : However, "news" is professional TV broadcast, watched by millions worldwide. And what about all of those reality TV shows professionally broadcasting all those consumer clips? :-)-->>>

News have different demands. The engineering department on every broadcast will oppose any stuff that does not adjust to their patterns. Only that material whose content is really relevant will be aired.

Call any broadcast channel in a major city and ask them how many videos they get from amateurs every week? How many make it?

When a video is selected it has to be processed and improved to get to the standards a transmission demands. This process takes time and it's expensive, and only will be carried on if it's an important matter.

Reality shows are shot with professional cameras, real ones. Some specific on-the-action stuff, like climbing, swimming or running, may require prosumer cameras. But the results are expected to look as they do: overexposed, so so resolution, noisy, etc.

If by consumer clips you mean that stuff people send to broacast, with funny situations (falls, unexpected reactions, etc.), you said it: it's consumer clips. They look awful but are funny.

<<<-- Don't carry any of what? -->>>

Professional cameras, the real ones, have hardly any automatic control. You can not let stop, shutter and focus to work on their own. For such you provide proper control, like focus, diaphragm and zoom rings, with precise markings. This is what better prosumer cameras bring.

In any case this discussion is getting tiresome.



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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:51 AM   #23
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Our 15-year-old member, Alex, tells darn good stories with his miniDV cam, and he's never been there (film school). -->>>

Good for him!

<<<-- "Nobody is using it for film projects." (PV-DV953)

I beg to differ. The Vancouver Film School has a dozen of them. Plus cams like the TRV900 and MX3000 have been used for film projects. -->>>

Those cameras specifically have larger CCDs. I've seen scenes from a film shot with a TRV900 and they looked quite good.


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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:57 AM   #24
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But the PV-DV953 has both higher resolution and less noise than the TRV900 and MX3000. (When transfering to film, the old rule garbage in, garbage out still applies. ---John Jackman, DV.com Film look article.)

"Professional cameras, the real ones, have hardly any automatic control."Well, Tom just mentioned that his "professional" AG-DVC200 does have auto and that's one of the reasons why he bought it. Yes, and for broadcast too. ($$$)
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Old November 27th, 2003, 02:12 AM   #25
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The professional Panasonic PV-DV953 camcorder is a professional camcorder with automatic and manual controls. I read it in my manual Carlos. You don not have to use manual controls and you do not have to go to film school to film great professional video with a professional PV-DV953 camcorder. Just read and study the manual and you will soon see how to use the PV-DV953 in automatic and in manual and shoot great film. It is not difficult. You can do it Carlos! Go for it!
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Old November 27th, 2003, 03:30 AM   #26
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : But the PV-DV953 has both higher resolution and less noise than the TRV900 and MX3000. -->>>

Higher resolution, yes, less noise, depends.

If you compare between +3 db on the MX300/350 and +3db on the MX500 (sorry, I don't use NTSC here), the noise is les on the MX500. But for the same exposure, the MX500 will be +6db when the MX300/350 is at +3db. And the noise of MX500 at +6db is more visible than the MX300/350 at +3db. Sorry, again, I have no hard data, only what I have observed in the shops, testing the MX350 and MX500 side by side.

Good for you, Fred, to be a professional and film maker. I will write to you soon to learn from you. I am just a miserable wannabe with my MX350, a 2 year older camera, and shooting miserable weddings to stupid clients who doesn't know what the good stuff is.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 04:43 AM   #27
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Yow, I think the PAL MX500 may be more different than the NTSC versions. Look at the MX300 and MX3000. The MX3000 has less CCD pixels (than the PAL MX300), and there were no "firmware" glitches ever reported with it (like with the PAL MX300). Perhaps the 2 NTSC versions of the MX500 are designed better somehow? (I'm wondering.) Anyways, I noticed the PV-DV953 to have excellent video quality, compared with my PAL MX300. Just a thought.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 07:03 AM   #28
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : But the PV-DV953 has both higher resolution and less noise than the TRV900 and MX3000. (When transfering to film, the old rule garbage in, garbage out still applies. ---John Jackman, DV.com Film look article.)-->>>

Can't say too much about the MX3000 (what CCD size?), but technology certainly improved a bit since those times. Though my guess is if it's worst in low light (washing out colors, as most describe) then noise might be given a different treatment. Can't say much more until I see it myself.

<<<--[/i]Well, Tom just mentioned that his "professional" AG-DVC200 does have auto and that's one of the reasons why he bought it. Yes, and for broadcast too. ($$$) -->>>

There's an upper grade prosumer cameras, which cost in the $5,000/7,000 range, which are some of the very best. So they should share a few things with their poorer brothers, like auto settings.

Cameras like the Panasonic DVC200, JVC DV500 and Sony DSR250 belong in that group.

As an example of the problems with automatic control, let's consider two automatic settings, which are likely the oldest types: focus and exposure.

Focus works like a sort of "sonar", sensing what's in front of the camera and adjusting to it. What happens when there are several planes of focus? The sensor will adjust focus to the closer one, as you move the camera, on a pan or travelling, the control will re-focus all the time. Focus should be exactly where you want it to be, neither fore nor aft, and never move.

Exposure from the camera has one initial flaw which is common to all still cameras too: it measures reflected light. It's been a long time, probably around 40 years or so, since incident light measuring replaced reflected light measuring as meter lighting reference. This is both for film and video.

Even so, if you follow the same incident light rules and set your exposure by always measuring the same thing (a gray card or the back of your hand) with a reflected light meter, you can still get good results.

Video has another way to control things, through a waveform monitor, which is the way you control things on studios or really professional jobs. But you can rely on a good monitor (never a TV) to let you handle your contrasts, which is the main problem video has, and set your exposure.

In professional video and film you set your exposure level with an incident light meter first and then measure lighter and darker points with a spotmeter, which is a special reflected light meter type. Then you cut the light or brightness on the high points and improve detail on the darker ones. A good monitor will help you see exactly what you get.

All this requires a person taking decisions behind the camera, and they are never automatic.

We can talk even in more detail about these or all the other automatic settings so you can see my point of view. That doesn't mean you have to follow them.

Apparently there are few professional video people in this forum to share their experience on how things are set out there.

My comments are not to stop anyone from doing what they want, only help knowing what's expecting them. At the same time I firmly believe that rules can be broken and should, but do not expect the results will satisfy you. You only have to be humble enough about this and set your own limits.


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Old November 27th, 2003, 07:33 AM   #29
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<<<-- Originally posted by Fred Garhart : The professional Panasonic PV-DV953 camcorder is a professional camcorder with automatic and manual controls. I read it in my manual Carlos. -->>>

The manual defines the DV953 as a Digital Video Camcorder. There's no definition of professional for it in the whole manual, or I missed it. Having manual and automatic controls are certainly an assett, but they do not convert the camera into a pro unit.

<<<-- You don not have to use manual controls and you do not have to go to film school to film great professional video with a professional PV-DV953 camcorder.-->>>

If you believe so please do it. But when you were a kid you went to school to learn to read, write and a lot of stuff on what this world is. The first you got was a pencil or a pen: the camera is only that. Of course you can self-teach yourself, but it will take longer. Even a book won't teach how to do it. The camera manual is far from being an even basic book on what film making involves.

<<<--Just read and study the manual and you will soon see how to use the PV-DV953 in automatic and in manual and shoot great film. It is not difficult. You can do it Carlos! Go for it! -->>>

We are getting nowhere with these mails. You do not seem to listen to what I am saying or I am not being clear enough to pass on to you the fallacy you are falling into. I am legitimately trying to help you see things in a constructive way. Believe me I do know how far you can go with the automatic possibilities. I tried them and saw the results. They suck when compared to manual control.

The question is that to control them you have to learn your basics. When I say film school that doesn't mean you have to UCLA or NYU. There are a lot of decent places around that will teach you the basics and how to build from them.


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Old November 27th, 2003, 07:46 AM   #30
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OK time for me to chime in....

First in DV filming we DO NOT USE LIGHT METERS. That is for film. Please get this one straight as when you are on a set you may use the meter to get the right temperatures yet you do not use it for setting the scene. That’s why you use the zebras in the viewfinder.
If there is no such thing as pros using manual I hate to burst the biggest bubble of them all. When the embedded reporters who went into Iraq the cameramen used PD150s how you might say a few nope there where 1,000s used, as this was the camera of choice. This camera is a workhorse used in many a shoots as the handling is great and it is lightweight however there is a little trick that the guys use in the field and that is PD150s shot in manual good very good I might add.

However when your at a remote broadcast for any news station and I do mean any news station they use DVCPRO from Panasonic.

The following DVCPRO cameras have some form of another to shoot on the fly either in presets, auto iris,
AJ-HDC20A, AJ-HDC27A, AJ-SDX900, AJ-SDC915, AJ-D610WBPS1, AJ-D410A

So if there is no manual settings and there is no manual iris then why does Panasonic have a “Preset” (PRST) for the AWB for the cameraman, could it be that maybe just maybe there might be a shot they have to get when there is no time to do a White Balance.

From the manual:

When there is no Time to Adjust the White Balance
Set the WHITE BAL switch to PRST.
The white balance for the filter is automatically adjusted according to the setting position of the
FILTER knob (outside).
White balance memories

From the manual:

WHITE BAL (white balance memory selector) switch
PRST: Set to this position when there is no time to adjust the white balance. The white balance
value for 3200K is stored in the memory.

From the manual:

Select the filter in accordance with the lighting conditions, and when the white balance
has already been stored in the memory, set the WHITE BAL switch to “A” or “B”.
When the white balance and black balance have not been stored in the memory and there is no time to adjust the white balance:
Set the WHITE BAL switch to PRST and the FILTER knob to “1”.
A 3200K white balance is now achieved.
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