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Old January 7th, 2004, 04:14 AM   #1
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Thoughts? Equal or better 16:9?

vs. the Optura Xi, do you think I'd get equal or better 16:9 with a DV852 and the consumer model of the Century Optics adapter?

Notes:
- I'm looking for a $1,000 vacation cam and I mainly want 16:9.
- I had decided on the Optura Xi because I like the Canon color, but the low light on the 852 + decent 16:9 is very appealing.
- Just wanted some last minute thoughts, before I head down to B&H Photo this Friday.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 04:24 AM   #2
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You'll probally get better 16:9 with the Optura Xi. I'm not sure how good this consumer version Century is; and I bet it's going to steal a lot of light. But to confuse you even more, if low light is concern, consider the PV-DV852 because it's one hell of a good cam at this fantastic price---just use it's built-in 16:9. The results should be okay. Perhaps Tommy can comment further. You may also want to consider the GS100---if you can handle the Japanese menu. What would I do if I wanted a good low cam and good 16:9? Wait.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 04:39 AM   #3
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The Wide adaptor costs half as much as the cam! That's pretty dis-proportional.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 05:36 AM   #4
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How much does this Century cost? Is it any good? No zoom-through, I bet. And will it even work right with the PV-DV852? Vignetting? How sharp is it? I'd go with the 852 and use it's 16:9 if low light is a concern. Keep in mind the 852 plays back a whopping 530 lines in 4:3, so it's 16:9 shouldn't be too bad---plus you can't beat the price.

Between the Xi and 852, the 852 is a lot more cam---solid, better built than the Xi, in my opinion.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 06:12 AM   #5
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If you want 16:9 plus a wider field of view right now for cheap, you ought to consider the DV953 plus a Raynox .5 wide angle adapter (or Canon .7). Since the 16:9 on this camera has no loss in resolution, you don't gain much except a wider field of view from an anamorphic lens. You will have to shoot in 4:3 anyway with the Century to stay 16:9 because using it and 16:9 mode on the camera gives you 2.35:1. The 953 and Raynox should price out pretty close to the 852 and Century.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 08:14 AM   #6
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I think I called Century Optics about the DV852 and 37mm anamorphic adapter and if I remember correctly they insisted that I would need the larger (58mm) anamorphic adapter along with a proper step-up ring.

Quote:
before I head down to B&H Photo this Friday.
Maybe you could verify the above? I would be curious to know if the 37mm is possible on the DV852 and Century was trying to lure me into the more expensive lens.

As for the Xi vs. DV852 with widescreen removed from the equation. The DV852 has better color accuracy (IMO) than the Xi and as Frank mentioned the DV852 has better build quality. I've never liked the mode dial on Canons or the last minute look of the LCD panel housing.

I've had the DV852, DV953, Xi, and now the GS100 and they were all vacation cams that shot exclusively in 16:9. The DV852 has a resolution robbing 16:9 mode and regardless of anamorphic adapter I would probably consider the DV953 or GS100 unless low light is a must. I will mention that while the DV852 is noticeably better in low light than the other three cams I still was removing lamp shades to get a good shot with any of them. Only my VX2000 seems to thrive in low light (too bad its so freaking huge).
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Old January 7th, 2004, 08:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
The 953 and Raynox should price out pretty close to the 852 and Century.
DV953 $1099 + Raynox .5 Wide $139 = $1238

DV852 $569 + Century 16:9 37mm $319 = $888

DV852 $569 + Century 16:9 58mm $699 = $1268 (absurd)
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Old January 7th, 2004, 07:51 PM   #8
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i think the canon optura xi has superior 16:9 to any of the panasonic cameras.

i have a 953 but if i'd known this i might have bought an optura xi instead.

with the 953 in 16:9 mode, the field of view doesn't get wider, the top and bottom get cropped. so it seems like you're always right on top of your subject. i think i need to buy a wide angle adapter.

with the 16:9 in the optura xi, the field of view gets substantially wider. this would be very nice.

the only things the 953 has going for it is the 3 ccds which probably leads to better color in the long run, and most people say the low light performance of the 953 is slightly better.

the still images from both camcorders are disappointing.

i think i'll look into the raynox .5 wide angle adapter.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 08:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
i think the canon optura xi has superior 16:9 to any of the panasonic cameras.
Thats pretty accurate except for the imported GS100.

Quote:
i have a 953 but if i'd known this i might have bought an optura xi instead.
I think you have the better cam. I couldn't wait to sell the Xi and my DV953 tapes are much more pleasing to look at.

Quote:
the still images from both camcorders are disappointing.
Drop the resolution to 640x480 and both the DV953 and Xi take decent email sized stills. The DV953 has a great macro range and OIS is active for stills (same as Xi). Only a handful of digital still cameras have any form of stabilization.

A few still from my past DV953

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...Picture360.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...Picture370.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...Picture455.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...Picture046.jpg
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Old January 7th, 2004, 09:41 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tommy Haupfear :
DV852 $569 + Century 16:9 37mm $319 = $888

-->>>

That's what I meant, the lens is half the price of the camera.

But really, is 16:9 really that much more important? It's 4:3 here for now!

Whatever it is, please remember the following facts:
1. All the cams we are considering here is 'consumer' grade, the price is low and the optics are 'optimally' (read: minimally) designed.
2. Since everything is 'optimal', adding lenses will only be detrimental, with light loss, distortion, non-zoom-through, vignetting, camera imbalance, etc.

So, the issue is to consider your needs first, then buy the cam. If your needs are met at a price much higher than your budget, sorry, but sacrifices must be made.

Using the 852 with a 16:9 lens will probably mean shooting only in wide angles (1x to 3x zoom). You'll lose the range and the shallow DOF of the 10x zoom (I'm sure that the lens will 'soften' the image as you zoom out using such a lens).
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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
But really, is 16:9 really that much more important? It's 4:3 here for now!
No 4:3 TVs in my house and if you're in the market for a TV larger than 40" then you had better like 16:9 because 4:3 choices are slim to none. LCD, DLP, and CRT rear projection sets (along with plasma) are predominantly widescreen.

The majority of my family has 4:3 sets now but most of my footage is archival and I have a feeling widescreen will be around for quite some time.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
But really, is 16:9 really that much more important? It's 4:3 here for now!
sure, most people don't have a 16:9 tv yet. but most will in a few years and then i bet many people will wish they had widescreen video to fill their screens.

why just shoot for today? consider the future!
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Old January 8th, 2004, 01:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
consider the future!
Panasonic - tomorrow's technology today. ;-)

That's why Tommy dumped his Xi, realizing that darn PV-DV953 wasn't so bad afterall, but opted for a little more oomph with the even better GS100. :-))
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Old January 8th, 2004, 06:46 AM   #14
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The quality of the DV953's image in DV Widescreen is so good that uprezzing it to 1280x720 HD holds up very well (you can see this on two of three clips I posted on my website-one is MPEG2 and two others are WMV 9 HD). I believe this this due to the quality of the optics and electronics and because of the way Panasonic kept the 16:9 resolution the same as 4:3. So, video you shoot today in DV Widescreen can be compatible with future HD when the compression and delivery standards are set and we have the HD media. To me, that is a compelling reason to shoot everything you can today in 16:9 with this camera.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 01:29 PM   #15
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1. 16:9 is my top priority.
I like the flexibility when composing and editing. I can always crop to 4:3 or scan and pan if needed. Plus it's more aesthetically pleasing to me - there is a wow factor that's very difficult to achieve in 4:3 - especially with a vacation cam.
2. Low light is my 2nd priority - for shooting flexibility
3. Color rendition/quality is 3rd

X. Still video shots don't make my list because I still enjoy still camera photography (click here to see why :-)
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