1st camcorder, Panasonic 852 or Sony TRV? at DVinfo.net

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


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Old January 15th, 2004, 01:38 PM   #1
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1st camcorder, Panasonic 852 or Sony TRV?

I am having a bit of trouble determining what camera fits my needs, and how much difference the cam makes vs my technique.

My main purpose film salsa practice to help understand and learn the motions we're working on. For Salsa, I need to be inconspicous and not distract others. I will have permission to film - nothing surriptitious - but it's desirable that little attention is drawn to the camera.
Lighting is modest; 100w bulbs overhead maybe 10' apart. There's a few dark spots under a dead bulb for example. Another student who occasionally tapes with a Sony PC101 gets an image OK near the light and nothing under a dead lamp. It doesn't seem to be a major headache for him, though. The PC101 is hardly noticable; it doesn't draw your eye or attention.
I'll also film outdoors; mostly catching the many shades of light and surf throughout a day.
I bought an 852 which arrived yesterday, and checked out a Sony TRV22 in store. That was tethered so I couldn't move to a dim spot. I checked the infrared mode, but couldn't set or even monitor it's shutter speed. It's green image was ugly but clear enough. It seemed like the TRV is much "quieter" to look at - the small size and lens don't say "hey you're on camera!!". From other posts I gather that the 22 works a bit better in dim light. Can I just clobber the light issue with a _soft_ on camera lamp? <not very quiet!>

* Would the Sony or the Panasonic fit my needs better, or does my tecnique more important than the equipment? Keep the 852 or not? *

The 852 has an optical stabilizer so I don't have to trade quality for a stable image, and I've read of many happy users here in this forum. I gives the impression of being a more serious machine. The TRV looks like it's intended for the casual user.machine, but it's smaller and doesn't present to big eye of the 852.


Thanks for reading this long post! Any comments from folks with more experience are appreciated.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 05:21 PM   #2
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TRV22 verses the PV-DV852? The PV-DV852 is 3X the cam.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 07:15 PM   #3
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Come on Frank, 3x is harsh, I'll say 2.9x! hahaha

Keep the 852 for stability, colours, nice off camera sound, and good handling (I like horizontal format long cameras, the term here is 'poker').
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Old January 15th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #4
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I'm not disputing that DV852 is much more of a camcorder than TRV 22. But I've been to many Salsa practices and I've been to Salsa clubs. You don't want to attract too much attention. And you definitely don't want to turn on your video light. Maybe every once in a while you want to sneak your camcorder to a club, or to a Salsa contest, and record those guys' moves. For these purposes I'll take TRV22. It's much smaller, and perhaps a tiny bit better in low light. I have low light frame grabs from both camcorders (actually from a TRV 19 and DV852).
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Old January 15th, 2004, 08:18 PM   #5
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The PV-DV852 is a hand-held cam, which is easy to hold, unlike some "shorter" Sonys. It's not like the DV852 is protrusive, it's just pokerish---no big deal. Afterall, it's just another consumer 1-chip cam, it just happens to be one of the best ones ever made, if not the best ever made. :-))


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Old January 15th, 2004, 11:02 PM   #6
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Thanks all for your insights. Fred:

I'd like hear more about your experience. I'm having a rough time learning new patterns well enough to lead them. I feel them and can get them to work in class, but afterwards I can't remember exactly what we did, or picture the way we move in space. I'll record will other students doing the pattern we're working on, usually by asking them to run it for me. Sometimes I'll need to catch a pattern quickly in a short break between classes. On those occasions I'd have to get their OK later... or could do that before class. I need to think this through in advance. I do see the same people week after week.
* Do you think the 852 itself is conspicuous enough to be trouble? Forget the video light.

I hadn't thought of taking it to a club, that might be a good use for it if I've arranged in advance to give the video to one of the Salsa sites. If the people I dance with *want* a club night video then I'd enjoy doing it.
I do enjoy using and handling something well made, like a Snap-On socket. BUT: Salsa is more important than gadgets, so if something's going to detract then I don't need it.

btw, are those frame grabs posted, or would you mind emailing them?

- Larry
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Old January 15th, 2004, 11:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Do you think the 852 itself is conspicuous enough to be trouble?
No. No more than any other hand-held cam, except for maybe the Optura---the first one, that looks like an SLR.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 01:37 AM   #8
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Larry,

To develope a good lead at the beginning is very difficult. One of the females from my class and I split the cost of taking private lessons from a latin couple. He'd demonstrate a few moves with his partner. Then he'd let me dance with his partner and he'd dance with my partner. He would also correct my lead. It took about four or five lessons with them until I started feeling it. Then lots of practice.

I think you can actually take both camcorders to a class. With the TRV you may be able to put it in your girlfriends purse. But the 852 is a bit bigger. Most stores have the TRV22 and the Pana DV953. The 852 is about the same size as the 953, I think.

The first couple of days I got my DV852, I took it to a friend's house. His daughter has a TRV19. I borrowed her TRV and shot some footage in low light with both camcorders on my tape. Then I brought it home and grabbed a few frames from Studio 8. I shot them both in full auto mode, as at the time I wasn't familiar enough with the DV852 to shoot in manual. Honestly, I think TRV22 did better. I don't have a place to post them. You can send me an e-mail to falberni(at)yahoo(dot)com and I'll send you the pics.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 02:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
The 852 is about the same size as the 953
The 953 is noticeably smaller---not much bigger than my DVL9500.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #10
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Thanks again for your input. I don't have the luxury of comparing cams the best way - by using each for a few weeks - so the opinions here are valuable.

I believe I'll keep the 852. The TVR could go places I might not take the 852, and is a hair better in dim light (though I don't know if the Sony EIS was on, or if manually controlling the 852 would bring up it's performance). The Panasonic is better otherwise, and in Fred's frame samples delivers a sharper image. It's also a nice bit of machinery.
For those occasions where the 852 is too large, I'll be on the floor dancing instead... which is the point of this excercise.

Now it's time to get a clue on using the cam, and more importantly on how to shoot decent video.
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