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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 16th, 2003, 01:18 AM   #1
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Moving from Sony camp to Panasonic but have some questions.

Hey all. So Iím going Panasonic tomorrow! Been in the Sony camp but the Panasonic image and this sight have convinced me to dump the idea of the PD 150. So after much research, mostly on this sight, Iím gonna take the plunge. Hereís what Iím planning on buying and wanted get any last minute advice on it.

Panasonic DVX 100
Panasonic Wide angle Lens (not the Century)
501 bogen head/525 or 3181 legs
Eagle Imports 2800 mAh batteries
Pelican case
I already got a ME66 shot gun mic

Iíd love to hear any advice people have about any of the purchase. Gonna buy the camera tomorrow and the rest within the next week.

I was wondering what the difference between the Bogen 525 and 3181 legs?

Also I was told by a dealer who had both 503 and 501 that they are pretty much the same head, except the 503 is made for heavier cameras.

Heard a lot about Century wide angle lens. Tested at the store and itís so heavy it threw off the balance of the camera and my hand sore. The Panasonic seems to be a lot smaller so I was thinking of going with it but havenít heard anything about this wide angle lens. I think I read somewhere itís a full zoom adaptor with the least distortion and itís much, cheaper. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

Oh, Iím using the camera for both documentary and narrative.

Also, though this is a sound question, I thought Iíd add it. The documentary Iím working on will be shot at lot a lot of night clubs with loud music. Usually I just run and gun with my shot gun mic but was thinking of adding a regular hand held to get closer to people Iíll be grabbing for interviews. So Iíd have the shot gun sound on one channel and the hand held mic in the other and mix it in post. Does this sound like a good idea?

Thanks so much!
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Old October 16th, 2003, 11:42 AM   #2
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"Also I was told by a dealer who had both 503 and 501 that they are pretty much the same head, except the 503 is made for heavier cameras. "

The 501 has some tilt issues, it takes a good bit of pressure to initiate a tilt which makes it somewhat hard to use. Pans are great though. I've never used a 503, but given the choice I'd definitely go 503 which doesn't seem to have this issue. Do a search on 501 and 503 in the "Support Your Camera" fourm.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 12:09 PM   #3
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Try doing a search on this site; there have been tons of comments on all of these!

J
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Old October 16th, 2003, 12:55 PM   #4
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Nate--I'd get the Portabrace bag for the DVX100 instead of the Pelican Case, unless you really really want a hard case. I have the Porta Brace and love it. Everything I need to shoot (well nearly everything) fits in there--including the cam when it has my Senn ME66 WITH SHOCK MOUNT on it. The bag is incredibly well made, strong, flexible, and protects the cam well. I'm also shooting a doc and found it to be invaluable. I think you can get them for a little less than 200 (I got mine for 200 at Location Sound in LA--also a good place to get all your sound equipment--had the best prices for the Sennheiser that I could find). Good luck on your doc,

Peter


P.S.
A good choice on teh Panasonic--can't beat it. One issue you will want to consider, though, is that if shooting in clubs in either 24 mode, your low light capabilities are very limited. I shot a high school prom for my doc and it was challenging to find acceptable shots, though when I did they looked good. You'll probably want to get a portable light to mount on the cam or have an assistant with one (a small hand held softbox would look nice) otherwise you're going to find it difficult to get enough light on people's faces. Again, this is only in 24P mode, which is really the best reason to get this cam so I assume you'll be using that when you shoot.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #5
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i use a manfrotto 501 head, and the only isue i have with it is my lack of skill... it DOES have the tendency to jar a bit when initiating a pan, however that is usualyl coz i have it set to tight... apart form teh its a perfect sized head for the cam and u can even take it off the legs, and flip the arm upwards and make yourself a makeshift shoulder brace..

Obviously, not being a ball leveling head, it WILL have issues with horizoning certain shots, but if your creative enough, you can work around it :)

as for lighting, runnign progressive with a shutter of 1/25 (im in pal, ntsc would be 1/24) you can get some decent low light work done..
either way no camera in this world can film without SOME lighting, so i woudl recommend a small cam mounted light with a low 20w globe... this works a treat, and doesnt blind people..
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Old October 16th, 2003, 01:13 PM   #6
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oops as for teh 501 and 503 difference, the 503 carries an extra gear which is relativly smoother than the 501.. ive used both and to tell the truth, with this cam, i cant tell teh difference...
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Old October 16th, 2003, 04:38 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the quick and really helpful advice.

So I went to buy the camera today at birns and sawyer (in la), arranged for the investor to meet me there, everything was set up and they were out of stock! Ahhh! Guess theyíre getting more tomorrow though.

Anyway. Thanks for all the great advice. Looks like the 503 is really worth it.

Side note--Just checked out the Panasonic wide angle lens at the dealer. I haven't heard much about it's quality but I liked it, think I'm going to buy it from B&H since it's almost half the cost as the other.) It is cheaper feeling than the Century (Panasonic is plastic) but dealer told me there are no protective filters that fit right on the lens for either, so I guess Iíd rather scratch a $369 wide angle, rather than a $699.

Thanks again.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 04:46 PM   #8
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I only paid $350 for .6 wide CO at Zotz Digital.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 05:09 PM   #9
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Nate--How much is teh DVX100 at Birns and Sawyer?

Peter
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Old October 16th, 2003, 06:58 PM   #10
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birns & sawyer the DVX 100 is $3,199 plus tax. maybe on the higher side but like the fact that they're local but i'm open to suggestions.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #11
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Sounds like a good deal, Nate. And they do have great service.

Peter
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Old October 16th, 2003, 07:37 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Jefferson : i use a manfrotto 501 head, and the only isue i have with it is my lack of skill... -->>>

I have one also, and there's more of an issue than "lack of skill". I think it's a good value, and it will be fine for wide angle or medium shots. But at telephoto it's really hard to get smooth motion, especially tilting (as others have pointed out).

Really depends on your budget I guess. I recently got a Miller DS-5 and there's a world of difference - much, much smoother action. Much more expensive though...
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Old October 16th, 2003, 11:38 PM   #13
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i can agree about the 501 needing more tlc for smoother tilts...pay more get the 503
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 03:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
I was wondering what the difference between the Bogen 525 and 3181 legs?
The main difference in the tripods is that the 525 has a 3 section extension leg that folds to 28" for transport, and can go to a Minimum Height of 12.5" while the 3181 has a 2 section extension leg that folds to 37.5" for transport and can go to a Minimum Height of 33.1". The 525 also comes standard with a floor level spreader and is 1/2lb lighter.

The only advantage of the 3181 (that I can see) is that it can handle a 44lb load (which may mean it's a little more stable), while the 525's load limit is 33lb. The 3181 is also lower cost.

For a great write up on the 501, 503 and other Bogan fluid heads, see this thread (especially the great post from Manfrotto Rep, Marc Schotland, starting on page 2): http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=31151
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