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Old November 29th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #1
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why to chooe GS400 vs HC1000?

Hi,

Iím seriously thinking to upgrade my DV953, mainly for its poor law lite and 16x9 and handling issues. There are 2 consumer cams that IMO would fit the bill - GS400 and HC1000 , well - little surprise here.

I went thru all the info that there is on both of these cams - professional reviews on CCI, dvspot, cnet, some other more obscure sites that google led me to. I 've been checking the forums on dvinfo.net, here - everywhere. And Iíve been doing it for a lil short of a year, so I've been with you guys thru the GS400 and the HC1000's anticipations phases, 1st units deliveries, 1st feedbacks, reviews and all. And still there are some doubts in my mind that stop me from dropping 1000+ USD for a new cam. Of course there r much more info on the GS400 than on the HC1000, (as an example there r 22 user reviews on pricegrabber.com vs. only 2 on the Sony's) and that fact alone tells in favor of Pana, but aside from hype (and touch screen) - why a point and shooter would choose Pana over Sony. Video is probably the same - very good to excellent. But apparently Sony is better in full auto mode. All the reviews that compare these 2 cams seem to agree on the above as on that Sony's OIS/EIS is better than Pana's and autofocus /exposure are more responsive and faster. Again - Iím talking from a point and shooter point of view and those issues are very important to me, more so than stills or even frame mode with ProCinema (which are very sweet).

Also manual control is good to have but I find myself shoot handheld only and usually in a hurry and therefore got no time or desire to do any setting adjustments except maybe for backlight or sometimes Program AE.

I would like to hear opinions on these cams from the people who tried 'em both personally, played with their controls, recorded and played back the videos and then explain their reasoning as to why they decided to go with one cam over the other.

thanks to all
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Old November 29th, 2004, 04:16 PM   #2
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Hey Mike, hopefully your post will attract a HC1000 owner as I have yet to hear from one.

Unfortunately I don't own either the GS400 or HC1000 but did have the pleasure of owning the DV953, GS100, and PDX10. I would like to comment on low light since you mentioned it as one of the reasons you're wanting to upgrade. The PDX10 is similar to the GS400 and HC1000 in that it has the same size CCDs (1/4.7") and the same number of pixels per CCD (1070k). Having said that I wasn't overly impressed with the low light performance of the PDX10 over the DV953 or GS100. There was really never a situtaion where I felt I could use one cam over the other in less than ideal lighting. Thats one of the reasons I'm using my ol' reliable VX2000 for low light shooting (with its low res 16:9).

I definitely understand the widescreen issue as its one of the main reasons I upgraded to the PDX10 and eventually GS100.

My vote goes for GS400 for HQ 16:9. Too bad that quality widescreen and above average low light performance don't go hand in hand.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 05:04 PM   #3
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The HC1000 is a solid built cam. I can'r see anything wrong with it other than the touch screen thing and the lack of a couple features found on the GS400. I don't own one but I have played with the Sony a couple of times and shoot about 5 minutes of test footage.

Both the PV-DV953 and HC1000 are more solid feeling than the GS400. However, I still lean toward the GS400..., if the price is right. Here in Vancouver the GS400 is priced way too high, as usual.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 06:48 PM   #4
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The one thing that I didn't like about the HC1000, was that the battery is housed entirely inside the body of the cam. That was a major negative point in my book. The other big thing, like Frank mentioned, is the touch screen. I would have bought one, but Sony messed it up, IMO.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 07:36 PM   #5
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Here is a Russian site that did a review on the HC1000 comparing it with the GS400.

http://world.altavista.com/babelfish...fhc1000%2f.%2f

I choose the GS400, but before you decide look at the forums on http://www.pana3ccduser.com There are audio problems with the GS400 that you need to be aware of.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 10:03 PM   #6
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big hands

Wow! that guy on the russian comparison page has HUGE hands. HE makes the hc1000 look like a mini mini dv. hope you take that into account. THe sony I found to be not as comfy to hold and use as the GS400, and I have normal sized hands.
I haven't either of the cams but from testing for a couple of hours in the store I would choose the GS400. Handling is easier, no touch screen menu, and I think the Gs400s auto fucus was more quick to focus and the zoom is faster than the sony. I don't know if these aspects are important but for me the better handling and access to functions of the gs400 were enough to make me decide on the gs400.
pity it's hard to get the black one eh?
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Old November 29th, 2004, 11:24 PM   #7
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Thank you all for ur replies. And that unbiased comaprison of 2 cams is really what i was lookin' for. Did you notice how HC1000 clips, i think much more than the GS?
In fact , additionally to the above review the same russian site published another comparative review and now its a 'trisome' : GS400 vs HC100 vs TRV940(PAL ver of TRV950). This review has 2 parts - subjective comparison and objective one, the latter based on Imatest program. Subjective comparison doesnt produce a clear winer, only clear loser - TRV950. On the other hand objective review had its winer - HC1000, primarely due to its 'useful' dynamic range, althou max DR is the same in all of the cams. Reviewer also noted that Pana had better white balanace, but colors are more true in the Sony HC1000. All in all the HC1000 has better colors indoors while Pana regns in outdoor shots. The GS400 is sharper than the Sony, but as correctly noted in the review, this can be adjusted either way .
Ok, going back to that Imatest. Remeber how SONY bragged about the improved dynamic range of their HC1000? I think they cheated , in a way. They tweaked their software to match that of the Imatest program, so thay would have an 'objective' prof of their claim to fame. Pure speculation on my part part, i kno, but even the review mantioned how suspiciously close the HC1000's results followed the one of the Imatest.
Anyway, basically both cams are excelent with their own lil srtrenghts and weaknesses. I personally think that the HC1000 is kinda funky and cool looking, but the touchscreen is a nuance to say the least, no doubt bout that.

Well, now i think i got my answer. Again thank you all for your replies.

Mike
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Old November 29th, 2004, 11:32 PM   #8
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Some more points for the GS400:

- 3.5" screen over 2.5" at the Sony
- uses SD-Cards for stills over expensive Memory Sticks
- bigger lens diameter and IMO better low light performance
- as mentioned earlier you can use bigger battery packs, even waist packs or self mades
- IMO the OIS is also better
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Old November 30th, 2004, 12:27 PM   #9
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Played with the GS400 in B&H. One of the major selling points for me was a ridiculously slow, zoom crawl; an absolute must for dramatic shooting. I think it's something like :40 fom full Wide to full Tele.
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Old December 1st, 2004, 12:42 PM   #10
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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
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Old December 1st, 2004, 01:02 PM   #11
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Unless you lose exposure with Procinema on, it shouldn't be too dark. Procinema affects the color curve of the image, trying to fake more dynamic range look. It doesn't really turn down the exposure. If it is exposed properly without it on, it should look alright with it on.

I think the real question is how is the GS400 in indoor (low) lighting. I can't imagine a 1/4.7" chip being a vast improvement over a 1/6" chip (although my cam has a 1/4" inch chip and that was a vast improvement over a 1/6"er).
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Old December 1st, 2004, 01:36 PM   #12
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I've seen plenty of the GS400's indoor frame grabs, not perfect but as many here noted - ok, passable. I wonder how ProCimena changes the look and feel of the footage. Cuz indoors Id guess theres not much contrast to work with due too lack of the avail lite, so ..
thank you
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 01:33 AM   #13
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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 -->>>

Mike,

I will put some video at weekend for you to compare. What kind of indoors lighting you want to see? 60w lights on? Do you want camera movement or on tripod?

Regards
Leigh
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 06:03 AM   #14
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If you want to see some excellent examples of video from the GS400, look here: http://www.fortvir.net/p3u/. I highly recommend ScotlandAutumn because it is full quality MPEG2 and shot all in procinema mode. These will be up for as long as I can sustain the bandwidth usage.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 04:57 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rokta Bija :
I choose the GS400, but before you decide look at the forums on http://www.pana3ccduser.com There are audio problems with the GS400 that you need to be aware of. -->>>

What are the audio problems you mentioned? The tape transport noise?

How many people here had a "problematic" GS400 over that?

That is a major concern for me, as it would be difficult for me to take back the camera to be replaced by a new one, as seems to be solution to that problem.

In a week or two I should be carrying on some tests with the GS400 and HC 1000 against VX2100 and PD170, so hopefully I will come back with some results of my own here. And a camera too...


Carlos
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