MX5000 Pre-purchase questions at DVinfo.net

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Old March 14th, 2003, 12:07 PM   #1
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MX5000 Pre-purchase questions

I'm looking at buying the MX5000, but can't find the answers to a few lingering questions:

1) What is the actual pixel count is in widescreen 16:9...853x480? The slideshow at dvfreak.com has an odd aspect ratio...720x576...that's 1.25:1.
2) How would you qualify low light performance in an environment like a 10x12 room lit by normal room lamps (home movie scenario)?
3) Does it have some form of manual focus, and if so, how does it work?
4) How does video image quality compare to the GL2 under normal daylight conditions?

I appreciate your help in figuring this out, and any additional insight that could help me with my decision.

Thanks,

Brandt
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Old March 14th, 2003, 03:41 PM   #2
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720x576 is for the PAL MX500. The MX500/MX5000 has a focusing ring. Low light? How low? If you had a few 100 watt bulbs instead of 15 watt bulbs, the video would look much better. The image would look way better than the GL2's image in daylight---it has almost twice the video effective CCD pixels! But then the GL2 requires slightly less LUX.
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Old March 14th, 2003, 06:47 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : 720x576 is for the PAL MX500. The MX500/MX5000 has a focusing ring. Low light? How low? If you had a few 100 watt bulbs instead of 15 watt bulbs, the video would look much better. The image would look way better than the GL2's image in daylight---it has almost twice the video effective CCD pixels! But then the GL2 requires slightly less LUX. -->>>

Nope, even with the increased number of pixels, the graininess is still pretty bad, and the gain is +3db from the MX300/350 which has lower pixel count. This is not from maths, but actual observation of footage from the MX500. The higher resolutions ensures 540 lines and edge sharpness, very good for good lighting. But sharpness will also make grain from digital gain more visible.

Having more pixels in a smaller CCD will mean that each CCD-pixel recieves less light.

In a 10x12 room, assuming 1 daylight-flourescent tube, the grain would be noticeable. That goes the same for my MX350. But looking at the shooting data, the MX500 would probably be +9db while the MX350 is at +6db. In daylight outdoors shooting, the MX500 needs about 1 stop more light than the MX300/350.

That said, the MX500 has many good features that the older Panasonic cams and other brands have not. The 3MPix stills are good enough for home use (4" x 6" printing). The compact size, top loading, 16:9 which is not stretched, very affordable, etc. I am negative to the Mx500 only on the video quality (my priority), low light performance (another must for me) and some ergonomics.

I have not gotten hold of the GL-2 (XM-2), but I'll look out for opportunities to try them side by side.
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Old March 15th, 2003, 12:19 AM   #4
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How about with using 200 watt light bulbs?
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Old March 17th, 2003, 10:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help. I'm a little concerned about indoor use...this will serve as a household camcorder and as a personal project production camera.

For projects I have a lighting kit, but the rooms in our house are lit by 75w and 100w bulbs. My JVC camcorder has a lot of problems with anything below about the 200w mark in that room.

Yow, you mention that the video quality is a concern of yours. Are you talking about graininess per f/ stop compared to the XM300, or is there something else about the overall video quality that you weren't impressed with?
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Old March 17th, 2003, 06:12 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brandt Wilson :

Yow, you mention that the video quality is a concern of yours. Are you talking about graininess per f/ stop compared to the XM300, or is there something else about the overall video quality that you weren't impressed with? -->>>

Quoting from my other posts, my two complaints on the MX500 vs the MX300/350 would be:
1. needs more light (hence more gain, hence more grain). If you are shooting without gain, under good lights, there is no noticeable grain.
2. Colour saturation higher than the MX300/350, which after quite a while of tweaking, still couldn't match my Panasonic TV's usual viewing colours. My previously owned MX8 is pretty close to my TV, and my current MX350 is set to be close to my TV.

You'll only face these two problem if you compare teh MX500 with other cams. Many friends who have bought it are very happy with the results. Moreover, considering teh price, the MX500 is really the cheapest pro-sumer cam, with lots of features that are useful (and some which are not).
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