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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old February 18th, 2004, 05:15 PM   #1
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Shooting with MX500

I never wrote to this forum but found many useful info-thanks for all. I'm using Panasonic MX500 or I'm trying at least. It would be nice to hear some experiences on the quality of the movies you did with this cam. My friend is using a Sony Digital8 TVR740 and it seems that the colours of his cam are better than MX500's?? I used auto mode on MX500 then I tried manual mode where the picture can also be adjusted in sharpness and colour. Also manual iris and gain can be obtained. I don't know what to say. I'm not disappointed because on the outlines of the images on the film are no doubt better than the 1 Mega's Sony but I feel that the colours could be more intense. Any hints for me please? Thanks in advance :-)

I'd just like to add that based on Frank's I'm using Fuji's tapes - the pretty colour series.
At least they sold like that around here - 3 tapes in one pack 14.95 / pack.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 04:25 AM   #2
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Welcome to DVinfo, Attila!
Quote:
It would be nice to hear some experiences on the quality of the movies you did with this cam. My friend is using a Sony Digital8 TVR740 and it seems that the colors of his cam are better than MX500's??...I'm not disappointed because on the outlines of the images on the film are no doubt better than the 1 Mega's Sony but I feel that the colors could be more intense...I'm using Fuji's tapes - the pretty color series.
The Sony TRV740 records nice sharp footage, but not quite as sharp as that from the MX500. From seeing PV-DV953 footage, I believe the colors/color saturation is very pleasing, more pleasing than TRV730 footage. (I haven't seen TRV740 footage, though I'm somewhat familiar with this cam.) In "lower light," MX500 footage would lose some of its color. In really low light---soft indoor lighting---I noticed PV-DV953 footage looked like black and white. You should be able to shoot incredible footage with the MX500. Get a "protective" UV filter, a polarizer, a lens hood and a good tripod with video head. These days I'm using the Manfrotto 055 pro legs with the Manfrotto 128RC video head. The legs are sturdy, but not too heavy, and the head is solid and smooth---though it is a fluid-action head opposed to a true fluid video head. These 4 pieces of gear will help you create great video. Of course, improving the audio is also important; and I think I've come up with a very good audio solution which won't break the piggy-bank (thanks to my friend, Bryan Beasleigh of Barrie, Ontario). I first heard of the colored Fuji's from Allan (in Japan). I have never seen them. I'm sure Fuji is Fuji and the different colored cases are no different in quality. For shooting tips, I suggest reading dvinfo threads which spark an interest. I also suggest exploring the informative links I have posted here:

http://www.dvfreak.com/links.htm
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Old February 20th, 2004, 02:46 PM   #3
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I agree, the 128RC head is made for the MX500. As to the quality of image, do remember that the Panasonic needs lots of light to perform at its best. Take both cams outside into the daylight and you'll see the sparkling performance that 10x Leica lens is capable of. The lens has two motor-driven neutral density filters that work continuously, but it's still advisable to fit an ND8 when the sun shines.

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Old February 20th, 2004, 03:30 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. Here in Helsinki lights are pretty nice, probably because of the angle of the Sun, the lights are bright. I've got ND8 - from B+W (paid a lot :-) and an UV filter from the same brand. Anyway what I have discovered was that my television is too old and perhaps can't give the colours back as they're shown on the camera's LCD. Is there anyone out there to have experience on how to check the reliability of the LCD in general I mean if the footage looks nice on the cam's LCD is that the final quality?
Will they show up the same way on other e.g on modern TV screens- or now days on LCD flat TV screens?
Once I tried to adjust the picture qualities menu's colour and sharpness option but noticed only a minor change.
When you're shooting with MX500 are you relying on the LCD or the viewfinder?
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 11:14 PM   #5
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G'day Attila.

I have a MX-500 and have just finished my first short film using it. I have to agree with what has already been said, the MX-500 needs a LOT of light. I've found my best results have been from using the "Zebra Lines" function and lighting the subject so that the lines are just starting to appear.

Also don't trust the LCD display. Even on default settings it shows a picture a little hotter than what you will get on tape. I'm also using Panasonic "Professional Series" MiniDV tapes (about AUS$17) and they give a really great result.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 03:16 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Shane Kinloch : G'day Attila.

I'm also using Panasonic "Professional Series" MiniDV tapes (about AUS$17) and they give a really great result. -->>>


I am pretty sure that tapes has nothing to do with the colours. :)

Attila, play around with the white balance and saturation settings. And do all that while connected to a TV that is already tuned to the colours that you like (you don't have to bother with my liking). From there, you can try adjusting the LCD a little to match your TV. When you hit the limit of possible adjustments, at least you'll know the 'offset' you get between the LCD and the TV.

As for the MX colours, I find Panasonic colours much warmer and true to life than Sony colours (Sony seems distintively 'blue').

But the MX500 REALLY needs lots of light.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 05:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
I find Panasonic colours much warmer and true to life than Sony colours (Sony seems distintively 'blue')...But the MX500 REALLY needs lots of light.
Yes, and if you factor in the MX5's low price, it makes it well worth it...until someone's paying you to shoot a wedding. :-))
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Old February 25th, 2004, 03:11 AM   #8
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Don't get too hung up with the "MX500 needs lots of light" talk. All the new breed of mega-pixel chipped camcorders are afflicted in this way, and Panasonic, Canon, Sony are all affected. The TRV950 is a particually bad example, but for those wanting the convience of such a small camcorder, sacrifices have to be made.

tom.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 04:19 AM   #9
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When I bought my MX500 I too was a little afraid about the low light stories I was reading here. But it looks fine to me, I was shooting a carnavals party at my children's school. They had a kind of disco with the light going on and off. The dark parts look good, I see as much as I did myself when I was shooting. Last year I made the same shots with my Sony TRV15, and those of the Panasonic looks much better. You should not worry about this.

The LCD has an "A.I." choice in the menu. I think that you have to set this into Off, I found , in the dark that it shows more than I (and the MX500) can see. But, if not on a tripod, I prefer the viewfinder, not as sharp as the LCD, but it's okay and also an extra steady way to hold the camera.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 10:19 AM   #10
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Yup, view the results for yourself to decide, compare on a TV between different models.

That's how I chose my MX350 over the MX500.
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