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Old September 22nd, 2002, 11:47 PM   #1
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Why the MX3000, or MX5000? What's a MX?

Why the MX3000, or MX5000? What's a MX?

The MX3000 and MX5000 are small, Panasonic 3 chip handhelds which deliver outstanding quality video. They all have great manual controls, good sound, an optical image stabilizer and a Leica lens. They are also built very well. If you need small, then the MX is the ticket. Unfortunately, these MX cams are sold everywhere in the world, except North America. For more information about these cams, plus where to buy, check out:

www.dvfreak.com/pana_mx5.htm

(You can even download the MX500A, PAL user manual, or hit the www.mycen.com.my/inbox/mx2.html link for the MX300/0 manual.)

Note: the MX3000 and MX5000 are NTSC whereas the MX300 and MX500 are PAL.
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Old September 23rd, 2002, 02:29 PM   #2
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Hey, Frank

I doubt it that MX5000 deserves the glowing reviews its predecessor (MX3000) got.
It's got those teensie-weensie 1/6" CCDs, which everyone (rightfully) derided in the past.

Tiny CCDs do produce sharper edges (because pixels are closer).
It's all downhill from there because the smaller the pixels the less photons hit them, and the consequences of this are:
-- Poor low-light performance,
-- High noise (or low Signal/Noise ratio),
-- Reduced sensitivity and exposure range,
-- Poor dynamic range (the diff and gradations between dark and light areas),
-- Reduced resolution at small apertures (because of lens diffraction).

Have the laws of physics changed while I was away :)

M.M.
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Old September 23rd, 2002, 03:35 PM   #3
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You may be correct. But from what I've read, the MX5000 resolution is over the playback 500 line resolution of the MX3000, and color saturation is improved. Of course the lux requirements has increased. So as an indoor home cam, the MX3000 would be a little better. Nevertheless, I'm planning on buying a MX5000 this Christmas. For outdoor shooting (in good light), I'm sure the footage will be exceptional. Again, I don't like the fact Panasonic down-sized the CCDs. But then, what can you do? Sony has done the same with its TRV950; and I'm sure next year, we'll see more new cams with smaller CCDs.

One other thing, the MX5000 has an improved formula for 16:9. This is explained at:

www.dvfreak.com/pana_mx5.htm

I should have more information there posted soon, including actual wave-form monitor playback results (for the MX5).
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Old September 24th, 2002, 12:55 AM   #4
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OiMeMine, here's where electronics trump conventional limitations

The TRV950/PDx10 has slightly smaller chips (1/4.7") than the older TRV900/PD100, but it's dynamic range is noticeably better than it's predecessor. Highlights hold better, and shadows are cleaner. Sharper, smoother renditions overall, w/fewer artifacts. Not as low of a low-light threshold as the 900, but it's circuitry has less noisey gain, giving the 950 a much better looking (in about All ways) picture in what it can see. A significant improvement, using a smaller chipset (of course, had they wanted to make a few dollars less profit on each one -or raised the price- they'd have done the same thing designed w/larger chips, and the result would be an even better camera). Progress marches on.

The 950 has a little better low light ability than the MX3000 (haven't seen the MX5000, which is reputed to be a little less light sensitive in turn than the previous MX3000). The 950 and 5000 are actually about the same size, but 950 weighs a good amount more. (On a digital scale at the Post Office, 950 w/out battery weighed in at 2lb 4oz. Every spec I've seen on it seems to claim different weights...)

Most obvious difference is in the viewfinders: TRV950 has 180K pixels, vs. MX5000's 113K pixels.
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Old September 24th, 2002, 03:15 AM   #5
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Well, I can't disagree with what you say. And honestly, I'm still waiting for the details about the MX5 viewfinder. However, the MX5 is a much smaller cam than the TRV950. The MX5 is also lighter, and much easier to hold and grip. So I guess it all depends on what kind of cam you want. There are drawbacks dealing with the Japanese menu, if you live in North America. For PAL, there is no such problem.

The MX5 has a 3.5" high resolution LCD. You won't even find that with the new GL2. I guess Panasonic put the beef in the LCD, opposed with putting it into the viewfinder.

A year ago, I almost bought a PD100A. I spent many long hours shooting with one and quite liked it. However, I went with the MX300s instead, and was happy I did. I loved the progressive scan of my DVL9500s, and liked the fact that the MX cams had the similar frame mode. In fact, I like everything about my MX300s, except for 1 thing: no slow shutter speeds like the TRV900 / PD100A and the newer TRV950. But for the sake of high resolution, portability etc, the MX route was the best route for me at the time...until something better comes along. Mind you, I sure like that GL2. And it's both easy to hold/grip (unlike the TRV950), and it also has frame mode (unlike the TRV950), and the slow shutter speeds (like the TRV950). See? You can't win.

Everyone's priorities are different with a cam; and no cam will ever be the perfect cam. So the trick is to pick the one that's comes the closest to being that perfect cam (for you/for me etc).
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Old September 24th, 2002, 05:02 AM   #6
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I just checked. Yes, 113K pixel viewfinder for the MX500/0. Bummer. Oh well. Panasonic should know better. They give us some more with one hand, they take some with the other hand. Nevertheless, the new version of the TRV900 and new version of the MX300/0 have both taken some (CCD size).
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Old September 25th, 2002, 01:08 AM   #7
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One MX5000 owner just e-mailed me about this, and this is what he had to say:

"Frank,

MX-5000 Viewfinder has 110K Vs TRV950 180K. Does this make the Camera? How many pixels does it take to reproduce a good picture, quite frankly I couldn't care how many pixels the EVF had as long as the Camera performed - and that it does!.

Bob,
one happy MX5000 owner."
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Old September 25th, 2002, 01:58 AM   #8
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Last word, then back to your regularly scheduled programming...

There is really very little difference in size (you can see that when the 2 are pictured together). The 950 is more bulky (and Heavier), but when measured without it's standard lens hood (the MX does not come with one), then the Sony is barely 7" long - nearly identical in length to the MX5000. The 950 is wider, but Very little of its body is anywhere near 4", and the fraction seperating the 2 in height is negligible. It's probable that the MX "feels" smaller in the hand w/it's trimmer contours, but the real difference in size of these two small (for 3chip) cams should only count to astronauts. They both can serve well as less-noticeable high-quality acquisition cams, that attract about 1/4 the attention in public of a pd150 or GL2.

And about the high res LCD screen of the MX; The 950's LCD is finer, currently the best out there, at 3.5" with 246K pixels, vs the MX's 200K pixels. Not a huge difference like over the MX's viewfinder's res, but the LCD is a visible step up in color accuracy and tone gradation from the 900's, which was very decent.

The 950 is way beyond the old 900 in picture quality and control for me. It's far from perfect, but as a niche camera, it's tough to beat.
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Old September 25th, 2002, 03:01 AM   #9
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Actually, the MX5000 is only very slightly larger than the MX3000, and the MX3000 is a way smaller than the TRV950. I think I know which picture you looked at to make this comparison. With this picture, the MX5000 is more out in front, and it fools the looker into thinking that they are about the same size. I have the measurements of the MX5000---a lot smaller that the TRV950, I assure you.

I don't want to get into which cam is better. They are both good cams. It's just that the MX5000 is smaller, and you can actually hold the thing! Personally, I like the Canon GL2 a whole lot more than the TRV950, and I liked the TRV900 a whole lot more than the TRV950.
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Old September 25th, 2002, 02:18 PM   #10
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Additional comparison info-

For those interested, here's a link to a (longer) comparison of points between the trv950 and mx5000, posted on Yahoo:
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TRV900/message/26218>
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Old October 16th, 2002, 08:32 PM   #11
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The MX3000 is around US$250 more expensive than the MX5000. Is it worth it? I'm getting very very familiar with the MX5000 but only played with the MX3000 in the stores.

Thanks in advance.

Regards
Allan Rejoso
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Old October 17th, 2002, 01:18 AM   #12
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This is a decision only you can make. The MX5000 has a bit higher resolution, bigger LCD, better OIS, side loading miniDV, along with a few other extras. The MX3000 has beefier stuff on it. I think that the MX5000 is an improvement over the MX3000 with things that count (except for the smaller CCDs, slightly lower lux, and less of a viewfinder). If it were me, at this point in time, I'd go for the 5000.
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