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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 October 13th, 2003, 02:48 PM   #1
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Was all about to buy a GL2....

Then I stumble over the DVC80.

Dang.

I know this isn't the place to get an unbiased opinion :D, but if I was planning on the GL2 and swapping to the DVC80, what will I be gaining, losing from the deal.

The kicker is that I've got to have XLR inputs, so any adapter I'd buy for the GL2 takes away the price difference from the DVC80 right there.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 03:52 PM   #2
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I too am considering the DVC80. I gave up on the viewfinder of the GL2 (ok if you're an LCD shooter)

The DVC80 shoots only 60i with no frame mode. The sound is reported to be better. It is missing more than the 24p its bigger brother touts but I think it compares very well with the GL2. One thing; it is heavier than the GL2 but has great balance.

I feel the biggest difference is the optics. The GL2 has 20x zoom but for my purposes I would need a WA adaptor (more weight on the nose). The DVC80 has a nice WA lens but only 10x zoom. Personnaly my shooting deals more with the WA so the DVC has more appeal.

Also the DVC offers no still shots onto cards or fancy mixing and titling effects found on the GL2 (all can be done oin post). The DVC80 offers greater control (options) over exposure and for me a better layout of controls (scene file is GREAT!).

Go to a Wolf Camera or other retailer and get you hands on BOTH cams before making any decision. That's the best advice I can offer..

Good luck on you shopping!
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Old October 13th, 2003, 04:04 PM   #3
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Note that the LCD screen on the DVC80 is 3.5" and 2.5" on the GL2.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 04:15 PM   #4
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Wolf Camera has the 80?

That's good to know. I'd like to hold it a bit.

I just got an email from someone at Zotz telling me not to even consider the 80 over the GL2 because of issues he can't discuss.

Anyone know what this is about?
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Old October 13th, 2003, 05:44 PM   #5
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No idea - who at Zotz? Brian or Tom?

Please find out some more details.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 07:39 PM   #6
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Search the forum. The search option works very well...but to help you out here is my experience so far. I have posted several things on this choice recently.


I own a GL2 and I recently sold my GL1 and purchased a DVC80. I wasn't sure if I wanted a second GL2 or a DVC80 or a VX2000. I purchased the DVC80 but I still don't know which one I want as my additional cam. I use 2 cameras for weddings.

THE ZOOM/LENSE
Both lenses are great. The 20x zoom is great on the GL2 especially if you are not alowed to get stationed close to the action as is sometimes the case at weddings. 10x seems pretty shallow compared to 20x. Battery life is better on the GL2. The 80's mechanisms are more noisy than the GL2 so you pick up the sound of the zoom and autofocus in the onboard mics. The Panny obviously has a wider angle.

ERGONOMICS AND APPEARANCE
The GL2 is much more ergonomically designed and lighter than the 80. The GL2 conforms nicely to your hand. When wielding the GL2 I think more about the shot but with the 80 I'm thinking more about the camera. Maybe because I'm not used to the 80 yet. The 80 does look more professional, it's a bit uglier. The GL2 is prettier and so a bit more consumer looking, if that matters.

PICTURE AND COLOR
The picture quality is similar in both cams so don't decide on the cam based soley on the picture quality. There are some differences, however. The Panasonic is slightly sharper on the close objects. The GL2 retains slightly sharper resolution in distant objects like small lines and text. The color reproduction on the Panasonic is more accurate especially given the pink shift present in the GL2. You will notice the difference mostly in skin tones. Most people probably will not find the pink shift an issue, but it is there. The Panasonic is slightly undersaturated sometimes but that can be adjusted. The GL2 can be a bit oversaturated, also fixable in adjustments but you can't fix the pink shift except in post. White balancing help's and outdoors white balanced I don't really notice the pink shift at all. The Panasonic has a bit more tweaking that can be done in the settings.

AUTO MODE
The GL2 in auto mode seems to be a bit easier to set it and forget it. When filming with the 80 I find myself not as confident with the auto mode and tweaking much more often. Doing weddings I need to run and gun a lot. Againg it may be because I am just not as used to the 80 yet. Not knowing how what I am seeing in the viewfinder and LCD will translates to what I will see on NTSC when I get home. There are a lot more things to tweak with the 80 so it takes a while to sort it all out.


THE AUDIO
The on board XLR's are good on the 80 if you need them. There are various audio selection options like mic level line level etc that are nice. The 80 has only manual audio controls not automatic so you have to pay attention to them. Both cams have external audio level dials so you have to be careful not to nudge them inadvertantly. If the GL2 is in auto mode for audio you dont have to worrry about that. Because of the way the Panny's audio dial are positioned you will probably not move them accidentally but the GL2's are very easy to accidentally move.

LOW LIGHT
The Panny does have the edge over the GL2 in low light. It is as good at 12db gain as the GL2 is at 18db so you get less grain on the Panny but there is some chroma noise and grain noticable. I understand the VX2000 is better than the Panny in low light but I have never had the chance to compare a VX unfortunately.

PRICE
The Panny is $2299 at B&H. If you were to buy the Panny I would buy that from B&H because although the base price of the 80 is lower elsewhere, you will need an extra larger battery for the panny and it will cost you 2x what the battery the shipping would cost you at B&H.

I am still evaluating the two cams every time I use them. Try not to sweat it too bad, although I am. There is always a resale market for these quality cams. I still wonder if I should have gotten a VX2000 or waited for the 2100 but have never tried a VX.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 06:36 AM   #7
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Bryan,
I don't think Wolf had the DVC80 when I was there, but they did have the DVX100. Since the bodies are identical it is a good physical model for ergonomic comparison.

Sorry, I should have stated more clearly :0
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Old October 14th, 2003, 06:42 AM   #8
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Rob,
It sounds like you know your way around the camera! I am disappointed to hear that the dvc80 offers no auto-audio controls.

I wonder if some of your concerns about the dvc80 aren't related to trying to make it work like the gl. You have used 2 gl's prior to the dvc. I certainly understand the differences, personnaly I found the buttons on the gl2 difficult to "find" with my fingers while looking through the viewfinder. Hunting for controls was not conducive to my run-and-gun experience with the gl. I guess my point is that ergonomics are so totally personal that it's impossible to judge from a forum thread.

Anyone buying a camera, especially if it will be predominently handheld, should get out and try it before committing to any model.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 08:29 AM   #9
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Well, i called Zotz 3 times before getting my dvc-80, and They eventually came back with a price of $2800! I got mine for $2200.
They didnt even know what the camera was at first, this was 3 weeks ago too. They obviously dodnt have them in stock, and I really felt they were just trying to push dvx. The dvx is great, but too much money for a fledgling camera man like myself.

I have the dvc-80, and I love it! Of course it isnt a dvx, but then again, I can achieve most of the differences(not all) in post. I will probably get a dvx 100 for primary cam next year, but maybe i'll just get another dvc-80 and invest in other gear.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 09:37 AM   #10
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Joe, let me say that the auto audio situation doesnt seem to be a real problem. Panny reccomends the default setting on the manual dials is straight up, and at this midway setting there is a little notch that the dial stops at. Although the dials are exposed, I don't find myself accidentally changing the dial settings without knowing. The dials are inset into the body a bit. On the GL2 every time I pick up the cam the dials are in a different position but since there is a switch for auto that's ok. Of course the auto/manual toggle switch on the GL2 can be bumped too inadvertantly as I found from experience this weekend at a wedding. I did the mother of the bride interview and then found that it was in manual audio and one level was down all the way and the other pretty low. I can salvage it however.

The manual audio on the 80 does alow you to modify the settings on the fly easily when needed, but you have to be mindful to put them back to normal again. The audio meters in the viewfinder work well.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 06:43 PM   #11
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Rob,

the Sony PDX10 is another 3CCD cam you might want to look at- it does native 16:9 and has XLR audio inputs!
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Old October 14th, 2003, 07:29 PM   #12
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Steve, Weddings is my main staple so the low light on that one is a bit weak.
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Old November 4th, 2003, 04:00 PM   #13
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One thing to keep in mind. The DVC-80 is not designed to compete with the GL2. It is close in price but, it is really designed for pro use. The controls are more obvious at the expense of 'pleasing looks'.

The lack of auto audio funstions is typical for the target market. Pros want control over audio and AGC is a bad idea to most. Having spent a good deal of time with the VX2K, I can say that I heartily agree with Panasonic in avoiding - for this market. All the audio gripes you hear about with the VX2K is in the auto features of the audio circuitry.

This is not a home camera by design. If that is what you want, go for the GL2 or even better, get the VX2K - much better imaging.

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Old November 4th, 2003, 04:30 PM   #14
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Funny.. As I was 1 day away form ordering the GL2 way back when then I read a DV article on the new DVX100... took a risk and dropped almost 2x the money and it sure changed my life.
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