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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:57 PM   #1
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Trying to grasp quality/price levels for Panny's

So I've decided to purchase my first camera after borrowing/renting for a while. Unfortunately the cameras that I have been using are cheap 1 chip cams. Also on the unfortunate side, I don't have much money to spend. I'm looking at the Panasonic GS150, but I'm quite unsure about it. I'm afraid that I will just be kicking myself 4-6 months down the road.

I don't really have the money to step up to a GL2, VX2100, let alone an XL1/XL2. I'm not really concerned with the special features or too much manual control. The most important feature for me is the picture. I'm scheduling a few low budget weddings in the upcoming future, and I'm going to be mostly learning with this camera. I know that eventually I will step up to the bigger cams, but do I need to wait for it now, or will the Panny hold me over until I can afford this. And on that note, since the manual focus ring isn't that important to me, is the OIS worth the extra money over the EIS??

Any input will be appreciated. I'm just scared of making a mistake that I will kick myself for later.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:48 PM   #2
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Fear is your worst enemy. Just go for it. If you're waiting, you're not creating.

Any of the Panasonic 3-CCD camcorders will do fine for your purposes. Save the packaging, keep everything together and then sell it four or six months down the road. That'll boot-strap you into something bigger and better around that time.

EIS has improved a great deal and there is no longer such a big difference between EIS and OIS. Hope this helps,
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Old May 26th, 2005, 07:27 AM   #3
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Thanks Chris, I really appreciate your help. I figured I could sell after 4-6 months, and hopefully I'll get enough work to be able to do that. Since I haven't been around ANY 3 chip cams yet, I guess I'm a little fearful of them being similar to the cams I've been using already. I guess I need to spend a little more time at my local Circuit City getting acquanted with them.

I was hoping I could find one of these cameras on this board for sale, but it looks like I'll have to go with B&H.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 08:17 AM   #4
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There is a nice GS100 for sale in the Classifieds here but the menu and buttons are all Japanese.

My only concern about these compact 3CCD cams is low light performance. Most of the weddings I've taped require at least a 1/4" 3CCD cam (GL2, DVC30) due to very dim lighting.

Let us know what you end up going with!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Haupfear
My only concern about these compact 3CCD cams is low light performance. Most of the weddings I've taped require at least a 1/4" 3CCD cam (GL2, DVC30) due to very dim lighting.

Let us know what you end up going with!
Tommy,

I'm using my GS120 as backup camera (locked down, shooting a wide shot) at a wedding ceremony this Saturday afternoon. I'll let you know how it holds up in existing light. I'll post a few frames if I get time next week. From what I've seen in casual shooting (birthdays, etc.) around my house, it should perform just fine with shutter @ 1/60 sec and the Iris control full open with 9 dB of gain.

With a nicely diffused 50-watt on camera light and 12dB of gain, you could probably acquire adequate (not great) reception footage. But I'll use my DVC80 for that :) Best to save the GS120 for emergency use only at the reception.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 11:10 AM   #6
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The GS series of cameras are not good choices for weddings. They'll do OK, but expect the cam to be dialing in 12 or more db of gain in most subdued lighting situations, meaning a pretty grainy picture. The GS120 does slightly better than the other models.

As far as your camera dilema, I dealt locally and ensured that there would be a trade up option within a month. So I went from the GS200 to the GS400. I traded up specifically for HQ 16:9 and better stabilization (EIS to OIS) The pany OIS is much better than its electronic counterpart (IMO having tried both).

Good manual controls are essential if you want great shots in all conditions. I use manual mode all the time.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #7
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Maybe look at the Canon Optura cameras? I remember researching which cam to get and it seemed that the Panny 3CCD and Opturas with RGB color filter were the most recommended, with people saying the Opturas are slightly better.

I remember people saying the Opturas were slightly better in low light... but I might be wrong.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 02:34 PM   #8
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Well, my friend and I ended up going with the 250s and we were stoked about the footage we have in good light. However, we filmed a bit inside his apartment and it left much to be desired. The lighting conditions were extremely bad, but it was still below expectations. We'll definitely have to invest some more into some lighting and other accessories, but it's okay. We really didn't have a choice at the time, and it seems that these cams hold value relatively well, so updating in the future won't be too awefully bad. Thanks for the info guys, and maybe I'll post some of my examples soon.

Thanks again!
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Old June 30th, 2005, 01:55 AM   #9
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Try the 9db setting for low light situations. Digi cameras really make awesome pictures even with added gain. Gain=no grain. he he.
I know, really bad... sorry

I bought my lights at Adorama.com and my stands at Amvona.com.
Good prices.

Happy shooting,

Stephanie
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Fear is your worst enemy. Just go for it. If you're waiting, you're not creating.
Chris, I just want to remark on what a great guy you seem to be. You run the board fairly - even in terms of how you deal with steering discussions about non-supporting vendors to email, rather than just deleting people's posts - and you offer great encouragement and support like the above quote, to anyone and everyone. The mood and climate on a forum is a reflection of its moderator(s) and boy what a terrific and down-to-earth forum this whole place is.


Thanks again from a happy reader and student of dvinfo.net. You and your forum have helped me immeasurably and I know you've helped at least hundreds of others the same amount. Them are a lot of good deeds!
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 10:31 AM   #11
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Aw shucks, Bill... thanks... just trying to give the internet a good name.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 01:38 AM   #12
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Hey Bill,

You are SO right to give accolades to Chris. I've made every mistake in the book regarding posting to this site, and he hasn't thrown me off yet. Thank you so much Chris for your understanding. Love this site not only for the knowledge that I have acquired but how it helps EVERYONE who visits.

Many many thanks,

Stephanie Wilson
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Old September 10th, 2005, 05:57 AM   #13
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hi everyone.

i know im late posting to this thread, ive only known about this place for 3 or 4 days, was put onto it by a search in google for "camera lighting".

im glen, live in sydney aust, and im an absolute panny fanatic for the past 2 years and i cant believe i only just found this place.

anyway, just concurring what stephanie and others have said this is a great place, i have posted in other video forums and get truck loads of garbage and end up more confused than i was brfore posting threads :( at least i now have a place to call home especially that there are dedicated spaces for different camera users like us PANNY users etc.

matt, the GS250 was a great camera choice as a starter in 3ccd cams, unfortunately here in aust at least, cameras dont hold value very well, my first 3ccd cam was the GS70 which i got from hong kong for $1500au (retail here was nearly $2000au and now i cant get $700 for it, even tho very little use. at that time i got the bigger MX500 which was a great cam as well, used it to film heaps of stuff, i then sold that and got the newer GS400 which became my main cam but still wasnt happy with inside filming without specialised lighting (as per the comments here about weddings and receptions) i dont do weddings, but do everything else i can get.
i did a corporate video shoot for a small company and they hired a canon XL2 for me to use and thats when i decided i had to get the new panny DVX100-AE cos for me the XL2 was a bummer of a cam to use, i just hated it, looks nice but a mother to handle and i didnt like the baby lcd screen compared to the 3.5" on the DVX100 and the GS400 models, so my profits on that shoot bought me the DVX and man i just luv that baby, and my GS400 is my support act when i need one.
i should point out that the DVX100AE i got retails here in oz for around $5000+ and i got mine 2nd hand for $2500au with additional lens, 2 extra 3 hr batteries, and a beskor klk-50 on cam light kit (it was 4 mths old with 6 hours on the clock) so i got the deal of a lifetime that i couldnt pass up. ive already been offered $5000 for the complete outfit as it is now so maybe i could do another upgrade (just kidding, i luv this little girl too much)

anyway, thats my spiel, hope ya happy matt, the panny GS cams are about the best in thier price and specs range, and are without doubt the "best value for money" cams u can get.

cheers everyone, ill be about in here from time to time im sure of that.

regards and have a nice day.....GLEN
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