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Old December 2nd, 2004, 06:09 PM   #16
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Yes, if you search on that site they have an audio of it which sounds like a cat purring. Mine doesn't have the problem.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 07:53 PM   #17
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All those posts about the cat made one of my friends paranoid. Well there was actually a slight misalignment of his tape bay that he never bothered about previously. We both looked liked fools trying too hard to listen to the transport sound while recording. I told him it sounded ok to me but he became too worried about the misalignment that he brought the unit to Panasonic service center. He got a call the following day from a Panasonic technician who couldn't seem to find any problem with his unit and so he explained about the misalignment. No further questions from Panasonic and in 4 days, he got his unit back with a replaced mechanism with no misalignment but sounds exactly the same. According to articles published before the GS400 was released in Japan in July 2004, Panasonic would produce 10,000 units of this model per month. I'm not sure if that figure is for the Japanese market alone or worldwide and whether they are actually producing and selling that much in a month. The only thing certain is that the black model is selling out faster than they can supply in the huge network of discount sellers in Japan. I still have not read anything about this issue in any Japanese board, and my cam, and those of my friends and customers appear to be ok. In my observation (because I have not actually measured the sound level of these cams), I find the motor sound of Pana consumer cams to be louder than that of Sony and Canon, but Pana must have their standard with regard to the tolerance level of that sound. I wouldn't deny that defects can happen but unless you are in absolute no rush to buy a cam (as Mike's case seems to be), I personally would not let this cat issue delay my purchase of a GS400 because other than this model, what other equally good or better consumer cams are there in this price range right now? If you don't mind waiting for the next iteration of the GS cam, then why not.

That issue made me very curious that I tested both my cams. Guess what, I found out that the motor and tape transport mechanism of my 3-year old Optura makes some "extra sounds" that could be heard when I stuck my ear on the cam but are not picked-up during recording. Next plan is to find enough time to make test recordings with an HC1000 just to hear how its motor and tape transport sound.

BTW, I like the HC1000 too and my opinion on that cam (posted previously) is still unchanged. It's more solidly built than the GS400, has a more comfortable grip, and produces equally clean but brighter video than the GS400 under less than optimum lighting conditions.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 09:32 PM   #18
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I would say if I will buy another video camera made by Japanese manufacture next time again, I will definitely buy from japan again, not buy from NZ shop.
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 07:57 AM   #19
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Alan,
you seem to be the 1 who have tried both cams 1st hand and as far as i understand you've picked the GS400 over the HC1000. What were your reasons for this decision? What you liked more in the GS?
Regarding the low lite - actually the russian review stated (with the frame grabs from both cams) rather the opposite or that the GS yields brighter pic under suboptimal lighting. Oh well - maybe thats cuz he used the PAL version? As for the noise level - metioned above russian review 'listened' to 2 Sony's - HC1000 and TRV940, and GS400 and found indeed Pana being more noisy but just as unaudible as Sony's.

Thanks again

Mike
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 08:46 AM   #20
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I agree with Allan's assessment of the HC1000 and the GS400, including that the Sony may be a tad better in lower light. The Sony is more quiet and built more solid. I found both cams easy to hold---unlike the TRV950, PDX10 and MX300/0.
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 11:43 AM   #21
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check this yet another russian review, it has low lite pix from the GS400, HC1000 and the TRV950. To me it seems that the Pana produces brighter footage. Of course brightness can be adjusted on both the GS400 and the HC1000 but these pix give you some reference point.

http://www.videomax.ru/tests/400-1000-940/
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Old December 5th, 2004, 02:03 PM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Sakovski : I wonder if any of you, GS400 owners in here tried to shoot indoors with ProCinema on. Does the footage turn too dark, how does it look like? Does it increase dynamic range of the cam?
I'd really appreciate if sum1 could post a frame grab or two of the indoor+ ProCinema.

Thanks -->>>

Hi Mike,

Here is my gs400(Japanese edition) demo video shot in low light.

divx file format

File size around 18m bytes

http://www.salenz.com/movie/food.avi

The video seems quite grain.

Tell me what do you think.

Regards
Leigh
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Old December 7th, 2004, 04:53 AM   #23
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Mike

I prefer the Pana color over that of Sony.

I'm thrilled with the 3.5 inch bright, clear and sharp LCD of the GS400, even though it is quite brighter than actual scene.

I have no major issues against the touch-screen menu of the HC1000 but I prefer the multi-function ring of the Pana. Pana manual controls are more convenient to access IMO.

The body shape of the HC1000 reminds me of Canon Autoboy AF cams in the early 90s. Not really ugly but quite unconventional that will probably be unfashionable in a few months.

I was coming from an Optura100 and a GS100 both of which have 43mm threads. All my filters are 43mm and bigger, while my spare batts are that of Pana. My lens attachments would have to suit all my cams as much as possible for practical reasons.

The GS400 is lighter. Weight is important to me as I normally carry around a heavy SLR and a G3. My 11 year old daughter has to shoot as well (otherwise, grandma would never see her only son in the video :-)).


The HC1000 got positive points for the following reasons:

I have a Sony RM807 tripod with remote that requires an LANC plug. The HC1000 has it, the GS400 doesn't :-(

I have normal-sized hands and I find the HC1000 to be more comfortable to hold with its rotating grip. The height of the GS400 body is too low that in order to properly position the tip of my fingers on the top grooves and zoom lever, more of my palm would have to be placed at the bottom of the cam resulting in a rather awkward hand position. With the HC1000, I am able to achieve a very comfortable grip if I rotate the grip at 45 degrees. It seems to me that in order to make the cam appear smaller physically (which is of utmost importance in the mainstream market now) Panasonic reduced the height of the GS400 body. The result is a sleeker looking cam that does not feel as ergonomic as its predecessors. You currently own a 953 and I predict your grip would feel rather awkward the first few times you hold a GS400. Well anyway, this relative grip discomfort may be trivial to most users (and to lefties like me). With the extra record/stop buttons for both cams (right side of the lens barrel for the GS400, left side of the LCD frame for the HC1000), you can find other comfortable ways to hold both cams.

Availability of low shutter speed settings under video mode.

Spot focusing with a touch of a finger.@I thought it was pretty cool.

More solid-built of the HC1000.

It's a lot easier and perhaps cheaper to get used accessories for Sony videocams.



I wouldn't argue about my contradicting findings with that of the Russian reviewer as regards low-light, but I stand by my opinion. I can try to email you sample comparison (compressed) videos if you want, as long as you keep them private.

By the way, there is a guy living in Japan who posted at CCI about some interesting comparison between the GS100 and the GS400. I totally agree with his findings regarding the relatively reduced sharpness of the GS400, but the resulting image does look cleaner, smoother and suits my personal taste more. He also mentioned about the slower AF response of the GS400 to which I also agree with.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 07:50 AM   #24
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Alan,
thank you for the relpy, although im sure i'll go with Pana nomatter what , i really appreciate your detailed comparison of the GS and the HC.
As a matter of fact i was in Manhattan this past weekend and as a side trip managed to pop in the Sonystyle store on 56th and Madison and had a chance to hold the HC1000 in my own hand. I must agree with you - the Sony sat nicely and comfy in my hands and it did feel real solid. Now, If you think about - this rotating grip gives you 2 form factors - traditional and match box - in one uinit. Slick ergonomis. Althou LCD 's too small the styling of the cam is really hip, wouldnt say its a girl magnet but looks sick nevertheless. I also took a quick look at the FX1 - reminded me a pipe with bottons :).
Oh btw, i read somewhere recently that the Pana GS400 was named Product of the Year by EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association), here's the link fo those who 's interested:

http://www.eisa-awards.org/history/2004-2005/video.html

thanks again

Mike
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