DVC80 Newbie's First Impression at DVinfo.net

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Old May 31st, 2003, 03:33 PM   #1
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DVC80 Newbie's First Impression

After having my mind set on buying the PD150 for the last several months, I made a last minute decision and bought the Panasonic AG-DVC80 instead. ( I know...maybe not best idea )The 2 things that pushed me over the top were the audio and new metal case for the 60i only version.

I have no experience with this stuff previously, but here goes...

First Impressions

Yep, it's metal alright. Solid black. Feels just a solid as the VX2000 I had my hands on. Definitely much better than the DVX-100 I had my hands on.

Balance feels good.

This was an early A.M. delivery, have to go to work, back in the box it goes. Get home from work, start charging battery. Run it off the AC power adapter for a few minutes without tape. Lot of options on all of these menus. Need to read book in entirety first.

Next day...finished reading book. DOH! I shouldn't have manually turned that zoom ring yesterday with the switch in servo position. Oh well, all is working fine. Found out that the 4 pin to 4 pin 1394 cable I have coming is going to be wrong.

Shoot 4 minutes of footage around the house. Forgot to forward fast and rewind the tape to fix slack. Footage is fine though.

Feels a little funny shooting with a camera that costs near $3000. I'm holding a big screen TV and a progressive scan DVD player in my hand!!!

Sit down, go through every menu option. Defaults are desirable in 99.9%.

Still have to figure out this User Bits thing though.

Play back video though TV. My white balance sucked if I had it balanced at all. Didn't have camera in full auto so the Auto White balancing wasn't in effect. Looks good except for colors (I'm sure this is my fault). Lighting conditions were insane.

Audio is very low with onboard mic at levels set to default 50%. Don't know if Auto Gain was on or off.

Battery level already dropped a little. I can tell it is not going to be great with the included 1600mAH battery. Have a 2800mAH one on the way. Will buy the 5400mAH when it comes out in a month or so. That should eliminate that issue.

Many controls are very well placed. Also, it doesn't look like I would have to go to the on screen menus for most things.

Zoom is definitely sufficient for my purpose. I can't see how people would not be happy with 10x (325mm equivalent). Also, it appears sufficiently wide (better than the Sony and others I looked at). Wide is more important to me than tight anyway.

Overall, I would say I am happy. It's going to be a month before I feel comfortable shooting something that I would want to show someone because I still have much learning and practice to do.


I still have Ken's comment about not buying 1st generation products in the back of my head. But, technically since the DVX-100 came first, I could say this is 2nd generation. 8-)

So far, no buyer's remorse about not getting the Sony.

I'll let you know when I figure out what the heck I'm doing.

Carl
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Old May 31st, 2003, 09:26 PM   #2
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hey the dvx100 is metal too.. just has a layer of plastic.

I almost bough the dvx80 as a b roll last week, but the price drop on the dvx100 thursday to $3000 changed my mind.. the color gamma and the 24p are worth the extra $200 in my mind.

I do however thing that the dvx80 is perfect for broadcast, and if you never want to shoot at progressive.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 06:40 AM   #3
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Carl,
Thanks for the information and please do post more of your experience with this cam as you learn more about it. Sure is nice to get some "hands-on" information.

Good luck with it, Nick
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Old June 1st, 2003, 09:29 AM   #4
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the DVX100 can be had for $3000 at couple of reputable vendors. No reason to get the DVC80. It's better to have the progressive modes than not.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 10:53 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jarred Land : the price drop on the dvx100 thursday to $3000 changed my mind -->>>

Hmm... are sales just soft or might this mean that a new model is coming soon?
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Old June 1st, 2003, 11:37 AM   #6
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Yang,

When I bought the 80 on Wednesday, the 100 was going for $3300. Honestly, if the price was with a couple of hundred dollars, I still would have bought the 80. Even now that the 100 is only $250 more, I'm still glad I got the 80. One of the biggest reasons I didn't want to buy the 100 was because of the build quality and plastic housing. Plus, I don't care about 24p.

I think with the better audio and the $350 less price tag, it can be a pretty serious competitor to the PD-150 which is what Panasonic appears to be positioning it against. This was also what I was comparing it against.

The point it is that different needs for different people. And while the 100 may get you all in the ether, it may not do the same for others.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 11:40 AM   #7
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Boyd,

I would doubt either. The DVX-100 just came out. My guess is that a replacement would be at least next year. From what I have heard from various merchants, the sales of the 100 are great. I think any price drops would be to gain more market share or because more units are moving and paying off the cost of the R&D is taking less per unit.

just my 2 cents
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Old June 1st, 2003, 11:56 AM   #8
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hey the dvx100 isnt plastic by the way; but the dvc80 has a more solid gear box for rough use in harsh enviroments.

The DVC80 has its place, for people that dont need 24p, the dvc80 still arguably beats every single other 3 chipper out there in the price range, including all the sonys, canon xl1 etc...

Some people dont shoot for film so there is no need for the extra film features, or people that actually have a real camera dont need to pretend to have a film camera and the dvc80 is very good second or third BTS camera.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 06:17 PM   #9
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The DVX100 is not plastic, a Magnesium Alloy body, whats the weight on the DVC80? I'm pretty sure they are of the same material but the DVC80 just doesn't have the plastic skin. DVX100 is about 4.4 lbs, I suspect DVC80 is about the same. Plus the body material shouldn't be the deciding factor of which of these two to get, the DVX100 offers much more options (currently only unique to DVX100) for only $200 more.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 06:31 PM   #10
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Why would anyone buy a camera that only does interlace for 300 less then one that does both interlace and progressive? *scratches head* And even if one doesn’t care for 24p there is always 30p. Is progressive that evil? Old habits die hard...
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Old June 1st, 2003, 06:47 PM   #11
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its more durable than the dvx100... inside and out. the DVC80 was designed for those Warmongers driving around in Humvees.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 08:50 PM   #12
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Well I suppose another advantage of NOT having the DVX-100 is that I don't have to be one of those people who keeps running around yelling 24P 24P 24P 24P 24P.

Yes, we get it. It does 24P. So what.

I have held both in my hands and I feel the DVC-80 is more solid.

Finally, I believe the topic of this thread is about the DVC-80. (not the DVX-100)

If you want to find out about the difference in construction, call Panasonic Broadcast. (I did)

More on the DVC-80 Soon. 8-)
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Old June 1st, 2003, 09:07 PM   #13
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well said Carl.. but since most people are gonna compare it to the DVX for obvious reasons and since you have had both in your hands, can you explain a little the differences you have found so far, and also maybe share what panasonic told you?
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 04:36 PM   #14
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Whats wrong with going around yelling 24P? alot of projects, even if it's predominately 60i can benefit from 24P video. You've seen plenty of examples of cuts of film footage inserted into a video program for different asthetic or emotional goal. The fact is, you've just locked yourself into interlaced mode with that camera. Without any really added benefits, other than the $200-$300 in savings
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 04:43 PM   #15
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I assume this cam is aimed at people that only shoot broadcast stuff to intercut with other 60i material. In other words, companies not individuals. Any freelance videographer that makes his living off a variety of projects would be much better outfitted with the DVX100 to get both 24 and 30p.

But, for a company that was buying PD150's to intercut with beta and DVC Pro or DVCAM, this cam might be a good alternative.

But I agree - unless you are so absolutely sure that you will never is million years shoot progressive, it would be silly not to buy the DVX100.
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