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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old January 4th, 2005, 06:33 AM   #1
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Disappointed in how long my Pannys are lasting

About a year ago I purchased four PV-DV53s.
In that time, two have started eating tapes and
stopped playing, and one has developed a white
spot in the center, which I imagine is some
type of pixel problem, so it's basically not
usable any more for recording purposes.
I contacted Panisonic on this and they said
the flat repair fee would be $150 each, which
I'm not putting into the cams.
So basically only one of the four is still
functoning after a year's time.
I'm thinking about going with some of the
3CCD models.
What has been your experience with the
consumer Pannys regarding how long they've
gone for you without problems? Is my
experience pretty typical as far as how
long they last?
Was hoping for a little better ...
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2005, 07:23 AM   #2
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I don't have a lot of hours on my MX300, but so far so good. The 2 DVL9500 JVCs, high-end 1-CCD cams for their day do have a lot of hours on them and so far so good. I think that if you buy at the bottom-end, the reverse would hold true no matter what the brand. However, the lower end Sonys do seem to last and last. I don't have a clue what the new bottom-end Sonys are like. Over the years I've seen both prices and quality go down hill with the lower end stuff. Just compare the older beefy PV-DV953/MX5 with the new plastic PV-GS400. Although the GS400 is a better cam, it's less beef, but then it entered the market at a cheaper price---at least here in Canada.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #3
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Well, you ask me, they expect this kind of failure
rate with the low-end cams. I base this on what
they charge for an extended warranty. Don't recall
the exact figures right now, but it is not cheap
(~ $120) to get an extended warranty on a $300
camera. I think that says something right there!
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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #4
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I know of a certain teenager (Alex Knappenber) that easily got his money's worth out of his DV53. That poor cam hardly got a moment's rest but I can't remember much breaking other than a faulty side LCD (probably from use/abuse).

I've owned a handful of Panasonic MiniDVs and I've never had a problem with any of them.

Panasonic MX1000 (aka PV-DV852)
Panasonic NV-GS100
Panasonic PV-DV953
Panasonic AG-DVX100A
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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:09 AM   #5
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seems my GS400 needs to be repaired :(

Recently I experienced the problem that my PV-GS400's FireWire connection to my laptop was not very stable. The cam often "disappeared" and caused the NLE to crash or at least get some serious problems and made further work without restarting impossible.
I thought it was a cable problem, and so I bought a new one. It worked for a short time. But randomly the same symptoms appeared again.
Since yesterday the cam is not detectable anymore. I also tried my girlfriend's Mac, but the cam was not recognised.
When I took a closer look the the GS400's DV-connector I found that the inner plastic part seemed to be broken somehow. I guess the small 4 pins can't get proper contact anymore. How could this happen?? OK, I often plug in and out the cable there, but nobody really can expect me to leave the cable plugged in there for all the time and never touch it again! IMO this small 4pin connector is a terrible misconstruction on such mobile devices like camcorders. A 6pin FireWire plug would give a much more stable connection and there is enough space for it!
I hope the repair doesn't take too much time, but I'm afraid they'll send it to Japan for several weeks or months. :(
I'm very disappointed to have received another piece of "consumer trash" for this amount of money!
Oh, i forgot to mention that my camcorder was bought around 4 months ago.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:09 AM   #6
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DV-53

Hi Dave,
Sorry to hear your having problems with your dv53's. I've got one that I have used the h3ll out of and all my problems were related to operator error. Recently it has become my second cam, but I still use it for all kinds of personal stuff. Road trips, outdoor events, anything that takes place around animals or little kids ect..

I've got a three chip cam now, but that little panna will always have a special place for me. I am sorry to hear that it is not a universally reliable model.
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old January 4th, 2005, 05:34 PM   #7
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Andreas, I would send it back for repair. Otherwise your warranty will run out and then you'll have to pay more money if you want to get it fixed.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 07:11 PM   #8
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Frank, yes I will! Today I'll bring it back to the shop where I purchased it. Let's see what they'll say... how long it might take to repair and so on...
Besides this defect I'm very satisfied with this camcorder, but as you said Frank, it could be more "beef"!
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Old January 5th, 2005, 12:36 AM   #9
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I don't know how long the repair job will take. Let us know what happens.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 05:51 AM   #10
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Michael, did you by chance get one of the consumer
3CCD Pannys? I'm wondering if any of them are
as good or better than the DV53 in low light.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 07:31 AM   #11
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Frank, I just brought the cam to repair. The guy in the shop told me usually it takes between 3 days and one week for Panasonic. I hope very much he is correct!
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Old January 5th, 2005, 09:45 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Largent : Michael, did you by chance get one of the consumer
3CCD Pannys? I'm wondering if any of them are
as good or better than the DV53 in low light. -->>>

No, ironically enough, I bought a Sony PDX10, the worst camera in the world for low light. I needed/wanted native 16x9 and I was sorely tempted by the GS400, but it came down to the audio for me... If I had it to do again I'd proabably make the same choice, but there are some serious manuel control issues with the sony that you just dont have with panna cams- at least not in my limited experiance...
If you want a idea of what I'm talking about go over to the pdx board and search for "apeture" or "F stop"....Arrrgh!
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old January 5th, 2005, 09:59 AM   #13
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micheal, you could have gone for a beachtek adapter if audio was such an issue.

the GS easily poos on the PDX10 in all areas. I used both of them as secondary cameras to the DVX, and to be honest, for the price, the PDX10 just doesnt cut it anymore when i can ge 1.3mp per ccd running at 1/4.7 block with native widescreen.
TO be honest, in VERY good light i even think the GS looks a little cleaner than the XL2, but thats just me playin around with the cameras (i do Pro Video Supplies) on a Plasma screen...
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Old January 5th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #14
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Peter,
Yeah I knew about the beach tech adaptor, but the gs400 was a brand new product at the time of my purchase and I avoid those whenever possible.
Frankly, I'm perfectly happy with the PDX, even if it is inferior to the 400, with patience and planning I can still get stunning video out of it... when I want to "run and Gun" I use the dv53. And if you have to attach an audio adaptor to it, the 400 really doesn't "poo on the pdx in ALL areas" now does it? Furthermore, the pdx10 has a bit more of the aformentioned "beef" and "pro look" than the GS400 and that is worth a bit of cash in and of itself...
Even so, the gs400 in a terrific camera and I'm glad you like yours so much!

Besides, which, I look at all camera/ camera related purchases as part of a series of purchases. Each time I buy I try not only to get a good product, but to learn something for the next time. The pdx is a great teacher.
In 2-3 years I will buy another cam, my time with the sony will prepare me for that purchase in the same way my time with the dv53 prepared me for my upgrade to the pdx10...
__________________
" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old January 5th, 2005, 10:33 AM   #15
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Just to put in a good word for my Panasonic 3 chip MX300, which I've used a great deal and which has performed faultlessly for years. Of course it's a pain with its bottom loading and it's low light patheticness, but out there in good light I prefer it's footage to that which I can get from my VX2000 - at least at wide-angle.

I know what Michael Gibbons is talking about (above) because I have been really tough in my reviews of the PDX10, slating it for it's lack of aperture control and lying 'display' in the v'finder. But I'm critical because Sony sell this as a 'professional' DVCAM, whereas the TRV950 gets away with the compromises in my view.

The Panasonic range is really no more truthful when it comes to displaying the shooting aperture on replay of the tape. The MX series all happily claim frames were shot at f11 and f16 in good light, and this patently isn't true. It's just that Panasonic is converting f4.5 plus lots of internal ND into numbers we can understand.

tom.
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