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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old January 11th, 2003, 09:19 AM   #1
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Compared Mx350 /Mx500/DVX100

I sold my trusty MX300 as to upgrade to the MX500. Went down to my local store {TasmanAV in Melbourne} and compared the MX350 {which is heavilly discounted in an effort to sell back stock} and the MX500. After viewing both images on a studio monitor I have the following to report.

1. The MX500 having a 1/6 Chip is darker under low light with both cams @ max apertaure and no gain. Under studio light I could tell no difference between the two images. Although the Sales rep was trying to tell me the MX350 looked slightly better, ie. so he could get rid of MX350 stock.

2. The MX350 having 12X gets alot closer than the MX500's zoom.

3. Impressed with the MX500 true 16:9 image when compared to the MX350 16:9 - it looks sharper, as I expected.

4. I was very lucky in that I was able to see unoffically the new AG-DVX100. It is not yet released in Australia untill march/april. Strangly it was a NTSC and not a PAL model {Pal cam will be 25P and not 24P}. I was able to compare the MX500 with the DVX100 - the MX500 was blown out of the water!!! The image looked like it had originated from a studio camera used by the big TV networks. Again strangly the 30i looked sharper than the 24p. The 24p looked very strobe like, with a definite flicker. This might have been the result of the monitor [however it was NTSC/PAL compatible].

5. I was told by the rep that the DVX100 will be the Canon/SonyDV/DVCAM killer, as in their opinion it has the better image of all 3CCD camers in this range, including the cannon XL1s, sony PDX10p.

6. One very strange observation of the DVX100 is that a camera of this expense [will be approx. $8,000 Australian} does not have true 16:9. It only does black bars top & bottom!!!!!!! It does not even stretch the image like the MX300/MX350 !!!!!! This is either a major oversite or it's to prevent Panasonic being hurt in reduced sales of it's more expensive broadcast cameras. Because if the DVX100 had true 16:9 {like the MX500}, then why would you want to spend anymore money?

NB, the MX350/MX500/DVX100 were two at a time hooked up to a switcher box and pointed at the same image and then switched back and forth for comparison. All were set on auto exposure/white-balance/focus .

Note: a new review of the UK NV-MX500B can be seen at the following:

http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/11/14/2428.html
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Old January 11th, 2003, 05:02 PM   #2
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Wow! Thank you, and welcome to the forums!
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Old January 11th, 2003, 07:21 PM   #3
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Thanks Frank,

Also i forgot to add that strangly enough the Mx500 in frame mode [ progressive like look ] looked better than the Dvx100 in its 24p mode . As mentioned before the DVx100 image flickered and strobe like appearance in it , whereas the mx500 looked really good , but just a little less sharp. As i mentioned before it might have just been the monitor . And yes the Mx500 does frame mode & 16:9 .
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Old January 11th, 2003, 08:23 PM   #4
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Thanks again. Actually, I was always sure that the MX300/MX350/MX500's frame mode would look much better than the one with the PDX100. And that the 16:9 with the MX500 is a way better (than the one in the DVX). I kept posting this around, and even called the MX5 the poor man's DVX! However, I had to guess that in 25i/30i, the DVX footage would look better---it's got to: bigger CCDs, with lots of CCD pixels and a Leica lens. This was the case, right?

They should have left a 2.5" LCD on the MX5, though, the MX300 viewfinder, and coupled with even better audio. My 2 cents.... Oh, and it would have been nice if the MX5 had bigger CCDs and a physically wider lens. The high digital zoom? Man, that's lame! But I guess these high digi zooms keep the masses happy, Pana's bread and butter.

In conclusion, I would never consider a DVX100 unless they fixed the darn thing!
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Old January 12th, 2003, 09:41 PM   #5
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We're being spoilt for choice. But I like it :)

It's nice to know we have better technology for lower prices. Though sometimes you can't have everything. They give you something, and take something else out. :(

The reduction in CCD size gives sharper pictures in good light, but it can't "see" well in low light. Perhaps they'll fix that with better gain boost and even better gain noise reduction technology.

One comment about digital zoom: I was amazed to find that on my MX300 the picture on digital zoom is acceptable at 24x (twice the max optical range of 12x).
How's the digital zoom quality on the MX5000 - at how many x does it go too blocky?
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Old January 13th, 2003, 05:14 AM   #6
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Re: "How's the digital zoom quality on the MX5000 - at how many x does it go too blocky?'

I don't know. Perhaps Allan can answer this since he owns a MX5000. But why not just get a tele adaptor from Pana or Tiffen, etc.?
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Old January 13th, 2003, 08:57 PM   #7
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Hi, Frank.

You're right. I could get a Tele adapter.

But I'm a bit broke :( after shelling out for my MX300 & all the other cam & AV & PC stuff & holiday shopping.

Anyways, I was thinking, if the MX300 can do a reasonable digital 24X zoom, then there's one less adapter I need to buy and carry around. It's built into the cam. And I don't do much of long zooms. My priority right now is to get the Panasonic WideAngle since I do more indoor & close up shooting i.e. parties, weddings. Wideangle is something that can't be helped electronically. How about a -5x zoom, anyone? ;) ;)

Though I suppose the quality of a Panasonic 2X tele would be better than the 24X digital zoom. Confession: I've only seen Terrence's Panasonic 2X tele and my 24X digital zoom on the 2.5" LCD, no chance (yet) to hook to a big TV. My cam is still in Pana workshop.

The 24X digital zoom seem to be prone to very slight moving aliasing / staircasing on the edges of objects, if you don't hold it steady, compared to the 2X tele.


Does anyone have a Tele? Or a WideAngle? What do you use?

Is the Tiffen or Kenko multicoated? Are they good?

I had a bad experience with a cheap, non multicoated wideangle for my Sony: the flare & blue ghosting on the edges of objects near the frame boundaries was so bad... a real waste of money. Never again! I will spring for an expensive Panasonic, unless the other cheaper brands are just as good. Are they?
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Old January 13th, 2003, 09:04 PM   #8
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The Pana probably works best, however, the Tiffen is darn nice! I don't know about the Tiffen's coatings but its glass is much better than the Kenko's.

Welcome to the club. (The empty pockets club!)
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Old January 13th, 2003, 09:22 PM   #9
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RE: Welcome to the club. (The empty pockets club!)

;) ;) I'm glad membership is FREE ;) ;) 'cos I can't afford it ;) ;)

;) ;) And the goal of the club is: you have to spend as much of your money as soon as possible, to retain your membership ;) ;)


Anyways... Thanks for the brand advice, Frank.
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