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


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Old May 27th, 2004, 12:01 PM   #1
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The DV953 or GS200?

My demand for a camcorder is very high. I have a 6 month old son who is growing up way to fast. I really was waiting on the GS400 but it seems my son will be grown by the time of its release. I don't have a D.camera so the still option will be used a lot. Are the pictures on the the GS200 that bad. One last thing is the low light ability of the DV953 as bad as reviewed. I am open for suggestions and my budget is $1500. Thanks
Matt Ratliff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2004, 01:28 PM   #2
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DV953 all the way!

Don't get worked up over the differences in low light between the GS200 and DV953 because they'll be VERY similar and in either case you're going to want to add light for your indoors shots. Both the DV953 and GS200 are 1/6" 3CCD with 800k pixels per each CCD (not sure on the video actual for each).

As for the stills on the DV953. They're great if you only want them for internet, email, or 4x6" prints.

Another bonus of the DV953 is the optical image stabilization, quality 16:9 (very important to me), and a few more manual features over the GS200.

Here are a few widescreen (frame mode) frame grabs from my past DV953.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002-...DV953wide2.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002-...DV953wide1.jpg

Here are a few 640x480 stills from the same camera:

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

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

Where the quality drops off is when you use the 3 megapixel stills feature of the DV953 (same as with GS200 and most any camcorder with MP stills). I most always kept the cam set to 640x480 for stills and with a 16MB SD card you can shoot all day!

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-5/74415/BEE3MP.jpg
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Old May 27th, 2004, 09:59 PM   #3
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If you want more pix and videos for comparison, you can go to my site.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 11:05 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the info. Wow the 953 is an awesome camera, even though it is a couple years old. I am still torn waiting on Panasonic. The rumors of the "GS400" and its equals, keeps pushing my money back into my wallet. I am just seeking great quality under $1500. If I hear nothing by august I WILL purchase the DV953. Again thanks for all the info. Matt
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Old May 27th, 2004, 11:53 PM   #5
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Matt:

I really like the performance of my DV953 .... I think you will like it too. I truly believe too much is written about the DV953 and it's low light performance. It is what it is, especially for the price now. Quite frankly the DV953 was better than I expected after reading all the forums about the low light performance. Is it going to produce in a totally dark room ... no. Is it going to produce in a room with one light... somewhat. A little grainy but it is acceptable. Does it look better with more light in the room..... sure it does, but so do all cameras. Like Tommy mentioned, you can always shoot indoors and add a light. But I think you will be more than surprised with the DV953.

I also just took some stills in San Juan with this camera and they look great. One can been seen with a wide angle adapter at the following address:

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t95434.html

Some of the others I took were just outstanding. The detail and vibrance of the colors. If you want ot see a few I can email them to you as I have no place to post them here.

What I always tell people is .... this camera is a great bargain. I was lucky ebough to get it for under a 1000 dollars almost a year ago. Some of the prices are now even under 900 dollars which makes it a bargain for what you get. With prices on most everything going up today - take the 1500 you have and bank 600 or so for a rainy day. This camera will surely suite your needs for years to come.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 06:50 AM   #6
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Rick,
I agree with you completely. The 953 is an awesome camera for the price, right now. Basically, folks are in the same position I was in when I bought mine. I was trying to decide between the 953 and GL2 and chose the 953 because I couldn't justify the $700 difference in price. That is basically the situation for folks now who are waiting for whatever Panasonic releases as its replacement. You can do an awful lot with $700...accessories, buy wife a diamond as penance, etc. ;-).

BTW, you are a member at my site. You know you are welcome to create your own album and post pix and videos there anytime.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #7
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With a growing child, I would get the 953 now. That $1000 is better invested in a summer of family video and digital photos, than it is sitting in thebank waiting for the next great thing to be released. Remember, if you want a GS400 when it comes out you can sell the 953 on eBay. The 953 price has already dropped about as low as it's going to go, and the camera will hold it's value because it's quality so well known.

// Ric
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