The Panasonic AG-EZ30U - a nice little cam at DVinfo.net

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Old September 23rd, 2002, 05:50 AM   #1
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The Panasonic AG-EZ30U - a nice little cam

Another good Panasonic hand-held, in my opinion, is the AG-EZ30U. It is now discontinued but can still be found sitting on dealer's shelves. Why the slow sales? Well, for starters, it came into the North American market over-priced, and with a whimper; and then there was the fact that it was selling for 1/2 the price in Japan. Another blow was its DIS opposed to a OIS found on cameras such as the TRV900. To make matters worse, the DIS considerably degraded the video quality, according to several reviews. There was also a consumer version introduced about the same time, which was around $500 US cheaper---and it was basically the same cam! (PV-DV950) This was yet another factor which contributed to the EZ30U's slow sales.

Let's look at the good now. Besides the difference in color, from the PV-DV950, the EZ30U is a bit heavier---a more rugged version. Today the cam is selling for much cheaper. With the DIS disengaged, the picture quality is both rich and sharp. It has a wide lens, and coupled with the 270K Effective CCD video pixels, the minimum lux is better than that of the TRV900. Oh, and one final word, the AG-EZ30U has frame mode. Yup. 30fps!

This cam is certainly a contender, in today's market. So what, that it is not the latest and the greatest, mega pixelled wonder. It's small, it's tough, it performs; and it's a darn good deal.
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Old September 23rd, 2002, 08:32 AM   #2
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This user tips site for the EZ30 is still online:

http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTri.../pananews.html
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Old September 29th, 2002, 08:25 AM   #3
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Actually, this is my main DV camera. It's called the DJ100 in Japan. The stabilization is horrible. Other than that it's been a great little work-horse. Last year we went on location to Indonesia with two DJ100' and a VX1000. Made two entire TV programs, broadcast all over Japan. Not a complaint about picture quality!
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Old September 29th, 2002, 08:04 PM   #4
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Ohh, that's the cam you have. It works great on a tripod, with the stabilizer off. I've always liked that cam. Good lux, too. I read 460 horizontal lines with playback - just like the GL1 and XL1.
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Old September 29th, 2002, 10:33 PM   #5
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Tim, have you ever worked with the AG-EZ1? That was the model before the AG-EZ30U. It had 1/3" CCDs and a wide lens. It was very small, but built like a tank. Two of my friends each had one, and I got to work with one for about 200 hours (over a summer), shooting instructional videos. D_mn. That was a nice cam. They were never brought into Canada, so both my friends (who do not know each other), bought them at Camera World, Portland, Ore. Go figure! - I posted another MX5 pic just now at:

www.dvfreak.com/pana_mx5.htm
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Old September 30th, 2002, 03:43 AM   #6
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Yep, I also own the EZ1 (DJ1, here). My high school daughter is into videos and iMovie and I got nervous everytime I let her borrow my EZ30. So I bought a used camera for backup/her use. I'd always liked the big viewfinder the EZ1 had, so I got one of those. Less than US$300.

Beautiful picture. Two drawbacks are no firewire port and during a zoom, the picture goes in and out of focus -- even if you're on manual focus. So the zoom can't be used when doing serious shooting. But, then, in my book, you shouldn't use the zoom hardly ever during serious shooting anyway!

By the way, what's the EZ30U going for in the US, and can you really still find them new?
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Old September 30th, 2002, 03:47 AM   #7
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Yes, you can sill get them...docking station included...for just under $2000 US. Ouch!
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Old October 6th, 2002, 11:22 AM   #8
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Where to find AG-EZ30U

Frank,
Do you know of any place in particular that still has the AG-EZ30U in stock?
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Old October 6th, 2002, 05:34 PM   #9
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That I don't know. I looked at some recent magazine ads and went to several sites, and several of these still have it advertized. You could try B&H for starters, and check with some of the dealers which sell discontinued models on e-bay.

I'll do a search later tonight and put up a list of places that still have them. Panasonic may still have some left in their warehouse, so also check with them. I know that discontinued cams often sit in the main warehouse, sometimes for a couple of years. Take for example JVC Canada. They still have a few older DVL9800s in stock, and may even have a DVL9500 or 2.

Phone Panasonic Pro, that would be a good bet.

* Also keep in mind that this model comes with a docking station.
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Old October 7th, 2002, 02:45 AM   #10
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You might try

buydig.com
profeel.com
cameraworld.com
cambridgeworld.com
vidicomp.com/Professional

Or other Panasonic Pro dealers.

The price should be under $2000 US
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Old October 7th, 2002, 05:59 AM   #11
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Thanks Frank. Profeel has it for $1839. B&H has the EZ50U for $1199. Is the EZ30U worth the price difference??

Thanks
Kalyn
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Old October 7th, 2002, 06:36 AM   #12
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The EZ50U is based on the MX2500. The EZ30U looks like a dark-bodied MX3000. The EZ50U has higher resolution and more features (it's newer). The EZ30U is more solid and shoots better in lower light. The EZ30U is a proven cam. I've read a lot of bad reviews about the EZ50U. They're both good cams..., and the EZ50U's price is certainly a steal. I don't know which one you'd like better, personally, I like the EZ30U. I've used it many times.

The EZ30U only has a digital stabilizer, but with the DIS shut off, the video is rich.

Keep in mind that the EZ30U has a docking station, the EZ50U doesn't need one. With the the EZ30U, you can get a Beachtek adaptor, I'm not sure if you can get one for the EZ50U. The EZ30U is a simple pro type cam, the EZ50U is a consumer cam---even though it's sold as a pro model.

If you want a good small but rugid cam, go for the EZ30U or a TRV900 (if you can still find one). Tim can also still get the MX3000. That's a newer version of the EZ30U, and a better cam than the EZ30U, EZ50U and TRV900. Check with Tim or Nic about pricing, if it's cheaper than the EZ30U go with that, or go with the EZ30U (or TRV900).

These are my opinions, and you have to decide for yourself. You can get Tim's/Nic's e-mail from my page here:

www.dvfreak.com/pana_mx5.htm

As far as small 3 chip cams go, I'd go for the 30U or better, the MX3000. But I like the 30U a little better for it's simplicity, and ease of operation. I have 2 PAL models of the MX3000. One I gave away to my wife's sister, though.

PS: I'm afraid I didn't help much with this one.
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Old October 7th, 2002, 11:58 AM   #13
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Actually that was quite helpful Frank. I already own a TRV900 and love it. I need another camera soon and the AG-DVX100 (assuming end-user reports are good) is out of my price range till next summer.

The price on AG-EZ50 is so good it is hard to resist but I want the video to be as good or better than the 900. Now I just have to wait for pricing from Tim. He's an excellent contact. I purchased a Sony WV-DR7 from him and love it.

Thanks,
Kalyn
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Old October 7th, 2002, 03:04 PM   #14
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Tim owns a AG-EZ30U, and he has handled many MX3000s. I'd also ask him what he thinks.
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Old October 10th, 2002, 03:55 AM   #15
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Frank,
I just gave in. I couldn't help it. Tim found an MX3000 for me. I sent him a deposit and he will hold it until I get the rest of the money. Thanks for your help and input. Hey, isn't this the cam that gives those dork blacks you've mentioned on DV.com?

Now...where do I find that fourth job and who do I talk to about making the days 28 hours long.

Kalyn
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