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Old February 26th, 2003, 07:52 PM   #1
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MX3000 questions: special effects, progressive scan

Hello

There are 9 options that appear in the menu that pops up when one presses the menu button on the side of the camera (MX3000) while in shooting mode. If I remember correctly, at least one of options 3 and 5 pertain to special shooting effects. Regardless, I have never been able to acess these two submenus; their lettering is blue, not white like the rest, and they do not respond to my pressing on the scroll button. Does anyone have any idea what I can do about this?

Also, my girlfriend, who went over the camera's menus with her Japanese-fluent friend says that when a small icon of "the letter P in a box" appears in the lower right corner of the viewfinder/LCD it means the camera is in progressive shooting mode. This icon seems to be controlled by the second option in submenu number 1 (below the different exposure settings). There are 3 settings to choose from, of which two will make the icon of "the letter P in a box" appear. Anyway, I'm wondering if it is true that the camera has progressive scan shooting capability, and what the 2 settings which make the "P" appear do.

Thanks everybody,

Paul
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Old February 26th, 2003, 09:25 PM   #2
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Hi, Paul.

It is unfortunate that the MX300 PAL (& the MX3000 NTSC) like most consumer camcorders are not able to cope with too many things going on at once.

Usually when you use digital effects, you cannot use some other camera functions together with it.

That's the reason for blue lettering showing that you cannot access this option at the moment. However if you manage to turn off some other options or use a certain mode, then the previously blue option will turn white & you will be able to access it.

It really takes some time to learn the limitations & which options restrict which options :( Or just shoot & learn by trial & error :(

It would help if you have an English manual. Then you can cross reference your Japanese Menu & figure out which option does what.

For the MX300 PAL (UK) manual (similar to your MX3000, BUT the MX3000 has a Skin Tone Feature), go to :
http://www.panasonic.co.uk/downloadcentre/default.asp
Main Product Category: Visual
Sub Category: Camcorder (Digital)
Model: NV MX300
Document Type: All

and also http://www.dvfreak.com, click on "MX5000 buying info", lots of info & more links...

You are right about the P in a box: It comes on if Progressive Scan is active. If you take a still shot by pressing the grey photoshot button near the zoom handle, it will either record on to your SD / MMC card a progressive scan still shot, or on to your DV tape (depending on the TAPE / CARD sliding switch).

It is also possible to record to DV tape in FRAME mode, which is Progressive Scan. But, when you are in FRAME mode, lots of other options can't be activated.... check out the manual...

Hope that helps.
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Old February 28th, 2003, 02:21 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot Steven.

The mx300 manual helped me greatly and you were exactly right about mutually exclusive functions being my problem. The menus no longer are inaccessible to me.

If I understand correctly, FRAME recording mode for the PAL camera is such that two fields are recorded simultaneously (as opposed to sequentially?) and this proceeds at the rate of 25 frames per second. For the NTSC camera, is the rate for the FRAME mode 25 or 30 fps? I have not intentionally experimented with this function much yet, but I do recall that for about 10 minutes my girlfriend and I thought something was wrong with the camera when the video image took on a strobe-like quality and then went away when we pressed some unknown buttons in the menu. That same strobe-like quality I saw again today when I turned on the frame mode. How do people think this function relates to the quest for film-look, given that it's not interlace-based (right?)?

Thanks for your time everyone.
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Old February 28th, 2003, 02:39 AM   #4
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The MX3000 (NTSC) cam is progressive at 30fps (29.97) in frame mode. When outputting via AV-out and S-video out, it's interlaced again but with a field missing here and there---unlike with normal interlaced mode---which is 60 fields a second. PAL works with 50 fields a second/25 progressive. If you want a film type look, progressive would do it, in either NTSC or PAL (SECAM and MESSECAM).

Strobe? Maybe you're in strobe mode.
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 07:20 PM   #5
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If your shutter is faster than 1/100 and using frame mode, the motion being non-interlace will ook a little strobe like.

I have shot (without ND filter) 1/500 out of a car travelling about 50mph, and the road side plants were blinkimg in and out (strobe-like) which is pretty interesting. That's because, for every 20 frames, the camera only records 1 (PAL is 25 frames). So the other 19 frames are discarded.

That's why ND filters are important to cut down bright lights. The reasonable shutter speeds, in my opinion are 1/50, 1/100 and 1/125. Less strobe effects.

Note that this only applies to fast moving objects.
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 09:21 PM   #6
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Interesting. It sounds quite beautiful. I am curious to know how you determined that the camera was recording only one of every twenty frames, by estimate or by equation? I looked up what an ND filter is after you mentioned it. I can see how having some gives one more choices with regard to aperture and shutter speed. Is there a particular brand of filters (yellow, blue, uv, etc.) or a merchandiser of them that you'd recommend to someone looking for an optimal balance of quality and economy?

Thanks
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Old March 3rd, 2003, 09:58 AM   #7
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The thing about frame-mode and taking one frame out of 20, I guessed that, but it seems to be what I was seeing. I was applying what I learned in still photography to video.

About filters, I use Hoya filters, mounted on a 43mm to 55mm adaptor to use my set of 55mm filter. These are threaded and they come with various grades and types.

Cokin is another good brand, where you slip pieces of gels/filters into a holder mounted on your camera.
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