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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old April 25th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #1
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zr20 vs gs200 vs trv38

I have a zr20 and I want to upgrade to something newer and better but not too expensive. So far I was recommended the gs200 and trv38. Here are my questions: (1) how much better is the trv38 and gs200 from the zr20? (2) which is better, the gs200 or the trv38? (3) which is better made? (4) which has the best warrantee? (5) should I wait for any new camcorders? (6) when will the new camcorders be out? (7) should wait for a HD camcorder? (8) what other camcorders are good?
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Old April 25th, 2004, 03:02 AM   #2
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I think I'll let someone else have a go at this one, but in my opinion I think that the TRV38 is a good cam for the money. It's just too bad about the LUX requirements (with both the TRV38 and GS200). I really miss the old EZ1 days: small cam, BIG lens and BIG 1/3" CCDs.

My bet is on the GS400, though I only bet a bit of pocket change. :-))
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Old April 25th, 2004, 10:23 AM   #3
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I have yet to get my mitts on a GS200 but I'm a big fan of the TRV38 with its quality 16:9 mode (if that matters to you). I know you're in Canada but if there is anyway for you to get your hands on a PV-DV953 I think that would be the best bet since they are now under $1000 USD. As Frank mentioned the low light isn't going to be great on the TRV38 or GS200 but you're probably used to that with your ZR20. If low light performance is a "must" then you might want to scour eBay for a used PV-DV852 or GR-DV3000.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 08:37 PM   #4
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I am not going to spend my time on ebay looking for a camcorder and then maybe getting ripped off. A friend of mine bought some hockey cards from ebay and he never recieved them. Maybe you are right Tommy about the Sony trv38. I am going to look at it during my lunch tomorrow or after work. I would like a new camcorder sooner rather than later.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 09:02 PM   #5
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Go for it, but check out the low light first.
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Old April 30th, 2004, 08:34 PM   #6
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I checked out the Sony trv38. It looks nicer than my Canon. I pointed it to a darker area not well light part of the store and the video looked not so good. I had my zr20 with me and pointed to the same spot which looked much better. I asked the store guy if he had the black mamba and hes said "the what?" I explained to him it is the best 3 ccd panasonic. He then said "never heard of it, no such thing." Who sells the black mamba in Edmonton so I can kick the tires.
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Old April 30th, 2004, 09:36 PM   #7
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Tom, not sure how you compared the TRV38 and ZR20 but hopefully not in full auto and just with the side LCD panels. Bringing a tape along with you is usually best.

As for the Black Mamba (aka NV-GS100) its unfortunately only available in Japan and has been out of stock for a while. The Panasonic Japan website also reflects this now.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 02:00 AM   #8
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That is how I did test them. I pressed the record and watched the screen. This is how I record video. Did I do something wrong?
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Old May 1st, 2004, 10:22 PM   #9
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Is the pv-dv953 recording much sharper than zr20 recording or are they sort of close? I noticed on the pv-dv953 screen sharper but dark in less light.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 10:45 PM   #10
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That is how I did test them. I pressed the record and watched the screen. This is how I record video. Did I do something wrong?
Often what you see on the LCD panel is not what is written to tape. You'll want to take along a tape and make some footage to compare at home on your television.

With the PV-DV953 you'll want to be in manual mode to get the best low light performance.

Here are the settings someone in the past mentioned for the optimal low light performance from the DV953.

Quote:
Manual settings and focus.

Zebra Stripes on.

Use a slightly 'warm' setup card for setting WB.

In the 'picture adjustment' menu settings:

a)adjust 'sharpness' to two bars higher than the softest setting.

b)adjust color to two bars below highest saturation.

Set Iris to 'Open'.

Set shutter to 1/60

Stay away from Gain above +6.

If this is is still inadequate, and with the 953's 'lil ol 1/6" CCDs, it frequently is, try:

In the 'Digital Effects' Menu, set the Digital Effect in #1 to: 'Gain Up' (ps-no actual Gain is added)

Again, set Iris to 'Open'

Start with Gain to '0'.

Again, stay at or below +6 Gain.

Adjust for overexposure at and around light source(s) with Iris adjustment
(Shutter adjustment and both OIS and Auto Focus are disabled in Gain Up mode)...

The (I believe, undocumented) Shutter settings below 1/60 are 1/4 for MagicPix and 1/25 for 'Gain Up' Digital Effect.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 10:48 PM   #11
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The Canon ZR20 is a lot less sharp. This cam was the low end about 4 or 5 years back. Nevertheless, it was popular because it was cheap and reliable and came with a lot of features. If it works, keep using it. Should be good for "run and gun;" and if you drop it, don't worry about it. :-))
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 06:21 PM   #12
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I have to look for my zr20 user guide and read up on all this you mentioned Tommy. Thank you for this information. Frank I know this is a old video camcorder and wanted to know if it is any good still against some new ones like that pv-dv953. I know now it is not that good and the pv-dv953 is best.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 08:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have to look for my zr20 user guide and read up on all this
That's a good plan. I always keep my manuals handy.
Quote:
and the pv-dv953 is best.
You got that right, but the MX5000 is a bit better because it works with the all-weather housing and plus you get the skin tone feature. Because I don't have this skin tone feature, I'm forced to shoot B&W---kidding. :-))
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