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Old February 9th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #1
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MX300 vs GS400?

I currently have a MX300. Is it worth it to upgrade(?) to a GS400? As far as I know, the MX300 has slightly larger CCDs and a major factor in my decision-making is if there is any improvement to low-light performance in the GS400.
Phelan Kell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #2
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Hello Phelan and welcome to DVinfo!

I would think the MX300 would have noticeably better low light performance than the GS400 with its smaller megapixel CCDs. Unless there is a feature on the GS400 that is a "must have" then I would stick with the very capable MX300. Great cam!
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Old February 9th, 2005, 01:06 PM   #3
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I'm with Tommy on this one. (I would be with the same name, wouldn't I?). I have the MX300 and my good friend has the MX500 (a GS400 forefather). Side by side the MX300 is a lot better in the gloom, but only if you stick to the wide-angle end of the zoom. If you creep into telephoto the dreaded in-built ND moves up and on axis, robbing you of a lot of light.

The spec sheet for the MX300 always claimed it had 3 1/4" CCDs, but in reality I'm sure they're the 1/4.7" variety. Why do I think this? Because of the focal length of the lens - it starts at 3.55 mm and this gives the same angle of view as the 4.3 mm lens fitted to the 1/4" CCD chipped TRV900.

The TRV900 was a good stop and a half more sensitive in the gloom than the MX300, so if this is important to you, avoid camcorders with mega-pixel small dimension chips.

I'd stay with the 300 and accept the awful bottom loading and teeny side-screen. The 1.8 (extrapolated) megapixel stills are pretty darn good, and that Leica lens sees off the lens fitted to my Sony VX2000 - especially at the wide-angle end.

tom.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #4
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Re: "...that Leica lens sees off the lens fitted to my Sony VX2000 - especially at the wide-angle end."

Tom, I didn't understand this.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2005, 06:39 AM   #5
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The Leica Dicomar fitted to my MX300 is a cracker, even at maximum aperture. I use the 300 as a back-up second camera at weddings, where it sits on a tripod for an hour just ticking away and minding its own business. The cam's useless in the gloom, so I stick to wide-angle. My main cam is the VX2000, well over 2.5 stops more sensitive.

I put both takes on the timeline and cut between them, flipping to the wide view of the Panasonic when I'm zooming or panning or generally making mistakes. Making mistakes, me?

Anyway, this direct cutting between the cameras has really opened my eyes to how good the Leica lens is, because there's often a direct A / B comparison of the same church, same time, same light, same couple. Without a doubt the Panasonic gives sharper pictures than the Sony when they're both at maximum wide. No sharpening applied BTW.

Thing is though that the Sony will be at zero gain-up and the Panasonic will be at +12dB, and this sure does degrade the footage even though it's still sharp. I fogive it though as it's so tiny, so capable. Just goes to show that sharper lenses aren't everything.

tom.
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