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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old December 15th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Newbie Questions

1st Post Alert!

I've been lurking and digesting the dvinfo fora over the last week or so, trying to get up to digital speed - but I still have some questions. I recently had my Canon Elura2 (sweet lil' camera) lifted from my jacket at the Chatalet Metro station in Paris. If anybody happens to see one - sans any attachments, but with a monster battery - lying around a Parisien pawn shop, please let me know (or just retrieve the tape of my kid!), and I am trying to leverage this minor gadget-tragedy into a Christmas gift of the GS400. The Elura was only just shy of obsolescence, anyway - so let's upgrade, right? I'm sold on the GS400 (and have planted many, many hints with my wife), but I'm a little confused on some stuff. Please forgive the videographic ineptitude my questions will undoubtedly reveal...

Questions:

The 43mm lens threads. Can I attach anything more than a 43mm filter to this? I have a modest amount of lenses and filters from a Canon AE-1 SLR (ie - FD lenses). Would using these be just a $6.95 USD step-up ring away? I've seen vignetting concerns, etc. - I'm saying *mechanically* - can my set of Canon lenses/filters be made to work? I can handle the front-loaded weight thing, if the unit will "see" through them, and they'll fasten down more-or-less securely. (Warned ya'll about the newbie thing, remember)

The SD Card/MPEG4 deal. Does the GS400 capture MPEG4, and at what profile settings (eg: Simple, Advanced Simple)? Does it shoot stills to the card? Only to the card? Does capturing a still while shooting video (hard to imagine, in practice) limit one to 1mp, or is this delimter due to some other quirk? Does the thing come with an SD card? Accounts differ on these questions.

Is the accessory shoe hot? Cold? Again, accounts differ. Am I understanding that a "hot" accessory shoe means syncing an accessory to the camera (like, activating the flash during a still shot, say); or is this a power-related thing? What "accessories" fit? Can I plug the flash unit from my trusty Canon SLR into it?

PV vs. NV. Is there a difference in these two unit descriptions I've seen out there? Like, some of them say PV-GS400 and some say NV-GS400. Same/Same? Any known serial #'s that lack the tape-transport noise?

Can I really only capture 4 channels of audio at 12-bit, and meager Hertz? Has anybody done this? Any details on how these mic's would connect up to the camera?

That's probably more-than-enough questions for a 1st post, aye? Actually, some are simply informational - kind of offsetting my cognitive dissonance in advance, if you follow me... I will probably shoot very, very few stills. Will probably never want those other 2 audio channels (I can always dub in scoring and stuff in post, and then convert to ac3). But I do want to use extra lenses, preferably those I own!

Thanks to the collective expertise, hereabouts (in advance and for the advice already posted)!

I'm itching to shoot!

JBM
Julian Motheral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2004, 01:17 PM   #2
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Feel free to use step-up rings Julian. It's step-down rings you want to beware of because of vignetting. Your Canon SLR lenses won't be any use to you though I'm afraid.

Shooting stills to tape means they're the same quality as a single DV frame, so a lot less detailed than shooting to flash memory. The audio continues to be recorded normally of course. The cam should indeed come with an 8mB card.

No, you can't use a Canon flashgun on the hot shoe. It's hot for dedicated Panasonic accessories only.

Yes, the 12 bit mode records at 'half quality' to give you more audio tracks. Not recommended.

tom.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 06:06 PM   #3
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>>PV vs. NV. Is there a difference in these two unit >>descriptions I've seen out there? Like, some of them say >>PV-GS400 and some say NV-GS400. Same/Same? Any >>known serial #'s that lack the tape-transport noise?

Different version sold in different country. The menu is in different language too.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 06:10 PM   #4
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Just buy a Kingston 512mb sd card, it is quite cheap and really big.
Leigh Wanstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2004, 11:40 AM   #5
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Thanks!

Hey - thanks for all the info!

Pity about those lenses - but I'm happy that I can still get some video mileage outta my filter set with just a cheap step-up ring. I read elsewhere to be careful about polarizing filters, since shooting two scenes with a 90-degree rotation of the filter between them can change the color of sky, and so on. I may be shooting in snow occasionally, so I'm considering a dedicated (43mm) circularly polarized filter I've seen advertised, which is (somehow) adjustable by the number of turns. Don't really understand this, so it'll probably be a purchase necessitated by some faulty result or other.

Man, that Kingston 512MB card IS cheap! I can swing that, I think (for the few stills I may shoot).

On the PV/NV thing: I'm guessing I'd want an NV (for NTSC?). Panasonic is in Belgium, so their default (ie - on their website) model number would probably be "P", for the European market. I can always check further down in the product description, too - to be sure. I've read that it *might* be worthwhile to go PAL, anyway - since there is a slight increase in resolution (what, like a few horisontal lines?), and for the 25fps exportability - but then I'd have to convert and resize to use on a US DVD player. I've historically stayed with 29.97 right through the editing process, then did some esoteric thing or other (with Gordian Knot, I think - may have been called "inverse telecining" or something) to render in 25fps, before finally compressing to Divx avi for web use - but I've always kept NTSC resolution.

One more thing (dangerously close to a thread-jack): I've had issues using the Action and Title dimensions, showing DVD's of my DV on varying TV sets with the full image visible. Are there any tips or solutions to handling this *prior* to post-production? It'd be sweet if the same delineations were present in the viewfinder, then I could just frame the shot accordingly - and the "extra" image width on a higher-end TV would just be a bonus. And does this action/title issue occur in 16x9, or on wide-screen sets? If my threads are crossed, please ignore (wouldn't anyone woofing at my warp!)

Thanks again!

JBM
Julian Motheral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2004, 03:18 PM   #6
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"...to go PAL, anyway - since there is a slight increase in resolution (what, like a few horisontal lines?), and for the 25fps exportability..."

PAL is 576 horizontal lines as against NTSC's 480. Do the maths; the vertical resolution increase is a solid 20%.

tom.
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Old December 16th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #7
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I'd stick with NTSC if that is to be your final output.

Tommy Haupfear is offline   Reply
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