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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


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Old April 14th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #1
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DVX100 buying questions

Hi,

I currently have a Canon GL2 and Canon XL1s but I've been reading more great things about the Panasonic DVX series. I finally came across a classified ad to get one at a pretty decent price ($1800 with Manfrotto 501/755b tripod). Never having owned a Panasonic camera before, I have a few questions before I go ahead and make a purchase:

- I'm sure most will say it should replace my GL2 but should it replace my XL1s? (I do some multi-cam shoots, would there be any thing wrong with using two different cameras at the same shoot?)

- I'm looking at a DVX100a with 175 hours. How many hours to the heads last?

I had one somewhat bad experience with a DVX100 when I tried to rent a GL2 but they were out so they gave me a DVX100 instead. Knowing it was a better camera than the GL2, I accepted it. When I looked back at the footage shot by the DVX100, it was considerably darker than the same reception shot with my GL2, but I'm more positive that I just didn't really know how to use the camera.

If anyone can give me advice on what to look for or what I should consider, I would appreciate it!
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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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Mixing cameras

Canon and Panasonic process color differently and you'll be spending some time in post trying to match them up. I've shot two church productions using my church's XL2 and my own DVX. I'd have to admit that I was unable to get a perfect match.

I'm also looking at buying a second camera this year and I think staying with same model of camera is better. I shot a wedding this last weekend and was able to bring in a second DVX. Editing - without having to match footage shot on two different cameras - was a breeze.

Marty
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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #3
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Mixing cameras

Canon and Panasonic process color differently and you'll be spending some time in post trying to match them up. I've shot two church productions using my church's XL2 and my own DVX. I'd have to admit that I was unable to get a perfect match.

I'm also looking at buying a second camera this year and I think staying with same model of camera is better. I shot a wedding this last weekend and was able to bring in a second DVX. Editing - without having to match footage shot on two different cameras - was a breeze.

Marty
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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #4
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Mixing cameras

Canon and Panasonic process color differently and you'll be spending some time in post trying to match them up. I've shot two church productions using my church's XL2 and my own DVX. I'd have to admit that I was unable to get a perfect match.

I'm also looking at buying a second camera this year and I think staying with same model of camera is better. I shot a wedding this last weekend and was able to bring in a second DVX. Editing - without having to match footage shot on two different cameras - was a breeze.

Marty
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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:34 AM   #5
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Please delete...

Moderator, broswer posted my response several times. Please delete the duplicates. Sorry.

Thank you,

Marty Arndt
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Old April 17th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #6
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Chris - maybe it's time to think about 16:9 cameras? The DVX100A is getting on a bit now and doesn't do widescreen at all well (Panasonic do an anamorphic for it), though 175 hours is nothing really.

It's a mighty fine camera and I'm sure you just weren't used to it. In the auto mode the iris wheel can override the iris, so you may have made a change without realising it.

It's certainly a step up from the GL2, but has only half the zoom (10x) though much bigger 1''/3 chips. Flare is beautifully controlled, and the menu will offer you countless settings to try.

I like the DVX better than the XL1 simply because of the side-screen, but I'm a weddings and events man, and I can't go up to complete strangers with 2 kg of glass and magnesium sticking out of my forehead; it changes reality.

So - what do you shoot? Are your clients still turning on 4:3 CRTs?

tom.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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I have the DVX100B and GL1. I have used both at the same time/same event and the video came out completely different. To be fair, the GL1 was on auto (if i remember correctly) because the cameraman using it was new and didn't know anything about settings and manual controls.

I like the DVX a lot better than the GL1 overall. So much so that I sold 2 GL1s to get another DVX. I did keep one GL1 though, and the reason for that is the zoom. I am constantly disapointed with the zoom range on the DVX. it is very short and practically useless. With the GL1, man that thing has some great zoom. With the DVX my feet become my zoom (ie,walk closer) which is not always possible.

If you need to match the footage for the edit, good luck. Would probably work best if you had filters (b/w, or something else) on both so that you could match it up that way. I don't know that the natural colors will ever really match. I did notice that the blues in the DVX vs GL1 were a lot darker/richer with the DVX, for instance.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 12:16 PM   #8
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Your 10x zoom 'is very short and practically useless' Lisa? That seems a bit unfair. You've not used many DSLRs then?
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Old April 17th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #9
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Your 10x zoom 'is very short and practically useless' Lisa? That seems a bit unfair. You've not used many DSLRs then?
The zoom on my DVX compared to my GL1, the DVX zoom is practically useless (IMO). Yes, I've used SLR/dSLRs and the X factor on a zoom for an interchangeable lens doesn't really matter. If I want a longer range, I get a longer range lens. No, I don't have a one-lens-for-all for my dSLR - that would be pointless (again IMO).

I'm not sure why the comparison between a fixed lens and dSLR ?
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Old April 17th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #10
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No, it wasn't a comparison - only that not so many years ago (say 30) a 10x zoom that went from a decent wide-angle to a good telephoto would have seemed amazing. To have it go from f/1.6 to f/2.8 with so little barrel distortion and flare is equally amazing. To have it remain sharp throughout the range and to have maximum aperture very usable is just wonderful, but I can still see where you're coming from.

It's easy for us all to get blasÚ about the zoom fitted to our camcorders. If it's a 12x then why isn't it a 14x? And 20x? Huh - some diddi-cams out there have 32x optical zooms, so I want one. That sort of thing.

Mind you, it does Raynox, Century and Kenko good business - people queue up to buy add-ons to stretch the focal lengths available to them.

tom.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #11
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It's easy for us all to get blasÚ about the zoom fitted to our camcorders. If it's a 12x then why isn't it a 14x? And 20x? Huh - some diddi-cams out there have 32x optical zooms, so I want one. That sort of thing.

tom.
That is very true. I was really suprised when I first used the DVX after having a GL1 for about 6 months, surprised by the zoom.

The DVX is a really Great camera and of course you can't have the best of all worlds. I would not trade my DVX for GL1 or GL2 that is for sure.

Also, to the OP the price for that setup seems decent. Just take a laptop with you to test it out and check EVERY setting and download via firewire to make sure that works too. A lot of times someone might sell for low $ because they busted the firewire port, so definately check that.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #12
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Wow, thanks for all the responses guys. For a few days I thought this thread would never get any reponses :p

So, since I had to make my decision the day after I posted, I decided to get it. I also really needed the tripod, which alone would be almost $500.

Yes, I learned the hard way that you can't mix a video with GL2 and DVX100 footage ;) However it seemed to me while I was editing that the GL2 came out with the better footage, with the more accurate coloring. Again, that could be because I didn't know how to use the DVX to it's full potential.

I've also decided to sell the XL1s. It's big, bulky, will probably be tough to lug around in weddings/receptions when I need to get around to places quickly, does about the same stuff and it's not like I have a bunch of lenses to make it worth it. Plus, only being able to use the viewfinder is getting annoying. That's pretty reasonable reasoning right?

Tom -- with what you said, are you saying you favor the DVX or the XL1 for your weddings and events? It sounded like DVX but I wasn't quite sure. As for widescreen, I'm on a pretty tight budget...is there a camera comparable to the DVX/GL2 that can do true widescreen? Or will I be paying an arm and a leg for a camera that can? I swear I read recently about one that can...can't remember if it was the XL2 or HV20 or something...

Lisa -- I didn't check the firewire on the camera unfortunately. However, I never use my cameras except my consumer miniDV cam for rewinding and playback/capturing.

Now to get some batteries. eBay here I come! Does anyone know what mAh capacity I should look for?
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Old April 17th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chris Estrella View Post

Lisa -- I didn't check the firewire on the camera unfortunately. However, I never use my cameras except my consumer miniDV cam for rewinding and playback/capturing.

Now to get some batteries. eBay here I come! Does anyone know what mAh capacity I should look for?
Glad it all worked out for you and you got what you wanted. Hopefully you will be good on the firewire, I actually had one cam (GL1) that had a slight head misalignment. Basically it recorded and played fine, just that I could only play that cams tapes on that cam - so it had to be used for a deck for it's own tapes. Everything else I use a little miniDV cam for also.

As for batteries, I just try to match all the numbers on the Panasonic battery that I have. If those match you should be good. The one that comes with the 100B (not sure about your cam) is the extended 5hr battery, so i just get that same style.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:35 AM   #14
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Chris - go for the biggest capacity batteries available I say. They're the best value in kwhrs/$, and halfway through the (long) speeches you'll be glad you did.

I certainly favour the DVX over the XL1 for wedding shoots. Many reasons. First it's as you say less bulky. Has a far better wide-angle coverage right out of the box and top of the list has a decent sized side-screen that means I can approach kids and strangers with the camera at hip-height. Far less intrusive and reality-changing than approaching strangers with an XL1 poking out of your head. Proper XLRs into the side too.

But folk who can afford my services for the day and my editing skills for a week certainly don't watch 4:3 TVs (leastways here in the UK they don't). The camera that comes closest to the DVX and GL yet is true widescreen is the FX1 - quite a bargain now the stocks are dwindling.

The Canon HV20 is just wonderful, but it's no wedding cam. It looks too much like a picnic-cam and its low-light performance is iffy. But what a bargain - half the price a TRV900 cost 10 years ago, and in real terms ╝.

tom.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #15
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Chris,

An alternative to cheap (I didn't say inexpensive) batteries you'll find on ebay you might want to look here:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?f=73
I bought one of these and have nothing bad to say about the buying or the battery. I can shoot for about 4 hours with it with my dxv100b.
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