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Old October 2nd, 2002, 03:43 PM   #1
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Why I like the MX miniDV cams

Why I like the MX miniDV cams

Before I bought my first NV-MX300A, I couldn't decide between the PD100A, GL1 and VX2000. I've used all 3 of these cams and liked them all. I recognized both their strengths and their weaknesses and noted both my likes and my dislikes. I leaned towards the VX2000 for it's higher resolution, the GL1 for its ease of use, and the PD100A for it's smaller footprint and more robust format. Then along came the Panasonic MX300/0 (PAL/NTSC).

The MX had the VX2000 resolution with even better color saturation. It was even smaller than the PD100A, which I liked. It had frame mode like the GL1. It had better sound than the other 3 cams. It had the best 16:9 mode---and had a good set of manual controls. Yes, an optical image stabilizer as well---even a Leica lens! All this came in a small package, a cam which I could easily carry around, but yet compete with the big boy cams. Well, almost.

Did I mention that the MX300/0 is also a much quieter running cam than the others? Okay, I just did. Anyways, another buying factor was price, and the MX300 was the cheapest at the time I was ready to lay down my cash. No brainer, right?

Today, we have newer models to choose from: The TRV950, the GL2 and the MX500/0. I rather like the GL2, more so than the VX2000. And I would not hesitate in recommending either the VX2000 and GL2. (But I still like my MX300 better, and the new MX500/0 even more (a little bit more).

The new MX500/0 has even higher resolution than the MX300/0, a better optical image stabilizer and a better 16:9 mode. And it's selling for even cheaper than what I had to pay for my MX300!

What do you like about your MX cam? What do you not like about your MX cam?
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2002, 05:57 PM   #2
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Though ive heard of it before, i havent had the opportunity to look into that camera...though from what you say sounds excelent. Ill have to check one out...sounds like it comes in handy!--thanks
Adam Lawrence
eatdrink Media
Las Vegas NV
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 08:57 PM   #3
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I too like most of the things about my MX300 - I love it's colour rendition and contrast - it eats my old TRV900.
I also love it's stereo audio separation and lack of hiss, it's lack of motor noise and it's wonderful 16:9 mode coupled with it's (PS) frame mode - the TRV900 can't get anywhere near the MX300 in this mode...
The main thing I don't like about the MX300 is the crappy optical stabiliser - OK it is better than the old eis that my old EZ-30 had but that's about all I can say in it's favour - it is nowhere near as good as the Sony & Canon OIS. The fact that the 'all-new' OIS in the MX500 is quoted as twice as good as the old MX300 OIS says that (IMHO) Panny sure didn't get it right first time - as a consequence us MX300 early adopters of this otherwise great cam are now stuck with a crummy OIS or spending yet more cash to upgrade to the MX500...
Not that Panny are the only ones to keep issuing new models but at least the Sony 3ccd models have a far longer 'current model' lifetime than the Panasoni 3ccd models.
I would have loved to see Panasonic offer a retro-upgrade to MX300 owners to fix what they didn't get right the first time....
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 09:30 PM   #4
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Yup. The OIS could be better. Mind you, it's not that bad---a big improvement of my cams with DIS! And with my steady hand or tripod, it works just fine.

This isn't my big issue with the MX300, though. What I miss are those lower manual shutter speed settings---found on the 3 chip Sonys and the new GL2. Other issues? Let me see..., yeah, one more. I wish the ridge for your fingers would be a little longer and deaper, for a better grip.

Other than those minor flaws, the rest is all great!
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Old October 12th, 2002, 10:38 PM   #5
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new mx500EG

Well i have to firstly say thanks Frank
the dvfreak page is cool and i use the english manual a lot just now.
I got the mx only the other day and It is great the only thing that from all the reading of these forums i am not liking so much is the shutter speed only going to 1/50
but time will tell and we will see
there is also no drivers currently available for the apple for the usb interface which sux but well hey thats life.
Will post new info when the euro pana guy calls back and tells me if japan are working on it.

The cam under fluros does give a nice grainy effect which makes it look almost like it was shot on film
looks kinda cool for the dirty bmx guys i filmed last night.

Thanks again Frank.
more as i use it some more.
by the way i am a newby with all this and it rocks just being able to do it.
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Old November 15th, 2002, 07:03 PM   #6
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I did a great deal of searching on the net before I bought my MX8 back in Jan 02. Reading reviews and forums like this helped a great deal. Being a poor engineer (financially, not technically :)), and ever wanting to help friends with their weddings, I borrowed many cameras from various people over the pass two years. Just to qualify, we are talking about mid to high priced 1CCD cams, and PAL (being in Singapore). Here are my way over-generalised findings:

1. Sony
Nice brand name, with plenty of features that I will not be using. Rather pricey. Super slow auto-focus recovery and the shots are VERY grainy (Auto shutter seems to be 1/125). I will probably never use things like Night-shot and blue-tooth. "Pay for things we don't need"

2. Canon
Very decent cams for the price, nice colours but tends to grey-out in low lights. Not as grainy as the Sony. Clearly my second choice.

3. Sharp
Not sharp at all, plenty of red-bleeds. But auto-focus is very fast. The removable LCD is great for spies! Cameras tends to be bulky. Cost-wise, generally cheaper.

4. JVC
I heard that they make very good broadcast cams, but the nome user cams are not that great in shots. The built of the camera bodies not as robust feel as other brands. Lens streak and flare often.

5. Panasonic
Great skin tones, even in low lights. Low grain even in low lights and great smoothing for grains. The Leica lens steaks little.

I normally edit from auto-mode shots, taken from whichever friend/relative at the wedding using whatever cam. It is very clear that, apart from the usual issues with the use of auto mode (affecting white-balance, exposure, focus, composition and grain), the shots from the Panasonic cams have the best skin tones and lowest grain, followed by Canon. You can actually tell the camera from the edited video (provided no 'cleaning' and 'matching' was done during edit). My decreasing preference for brand: Panasonic, Canon, Sony, JVC, Sharp.

I have no regrets on my MX8 and 8 days ago (8 Nov 02), I bought my second cam, a 3CCD MX350.

Now, I will get plenty of hate mail from non-Panasonic users :(
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Old November 15th, 2002, 07:55 PM   #7
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You'll get hate mail? Really? I hope not.

Thanks for your thoughts, by the way.

I agree, for both the money and the video quality, Panasonics are very good. But some Sonys are good too! Last year's Sony TRV30 is a great cam and so's the VX2000 (if you can afford it). The Optura 100MC is great...the GL2 is great!
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Old November 15th, 2002, 08:15 PM   #8
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Well, at the prosumer level, with 3CCDs and semi to full manual controls, it's generally the worth price that we have to pay for the features.

But for staring hobbyists and home users, the 1CCD cameras have very competitive prices. And Sony 'commands' a higher price by throwing in 'features' which in reality won't be missed.

Among my considerations back in Jan 02 when I bought my camera was the TRV30, a great camera, and noticably less noise than some other Sonys. But the Panasonic still gave better skin-tones. I shoot weddings, and the bride's make-up is, well, pretty important! :D

I also almost bought the Optura 100, just that it wasn't available here and the listed price was actually higher than the MX8. Also, knowing that I need to show videos on-the-go, the MX8 has a bigger and better LCD.

I guess that for the amateur market, the considerations are: cost, LCD size, video quality, still shots quality and handling. Panasonic will be value for money, in my opinion.

For the pro-sumer, I reckon that the considerations will sway more to: video quality, lens quality, manual controls and connectivity (USB, Firewire, AV in/out, S-video in/out). But putting pro-sumer considerations to the amateur range, I believe that you'll agree that Panasonic still stands tall!

Softer voice here: I am still disappointed by the MX500. I'll wait patiently for MX600 ;) Maybe we can start a wish-list here and hope that the Panasonic engineers read this forum!
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