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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
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Old October 24th, 2003, 02:20 AM   #1
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Panasonic DVC80 vs Sony PDX10 vs JVC DV 300

I would appreciate your input to help me on a camera purchasing decision.
I run a children’s wilderness adventure summer camp and want a video camera to: 1) shoot a promo video to be distributed via DVD and VHS, 2) shoot shorter clips for viewing over our Web site, 3) shoot stills and video for a “yearbook” to be distributed via DVD and VHS (I have a 35 mm film camera for stills, but scanning becomes a bummer after a few dozen photos), and 4) to convert an existing analog promo on VHS to digital. There will be some action shots, but they will be of activities like mountain biking and not of super fast things like car racing. There are likely to be some evening “camp fire” shots. Sound is as important to me as picture quality (which is why I’m looking at cameras with XLRs).
The DVC80 is appealing because of the nice Leica lens and 3 lux rating.
The DV300 is appealing because of the 700 line horizontal resolution (is this for real?) and the 2.65 lux rating.
And the PDX10 is appealing because of the million pixel chips and because it’s a Sony.
-Given my intended uses, what do you recommend, and why?
-How do you rate the sound on each camera?
-Does the size of the chip (1/3” vs 1/4.7”) make any difference in picture quality, or is the only important feature the pixel resolution?
-Should I consider another camera?
Thanks.
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Old October 24th, 2003, 04:31 AM   #2
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If you're going to do any indoor shooting and evening/morning shooting, and shooting in the woods with tree tops blocking out the sun, I would lean toward a camera that can handle the lower light conditions better. So I wouldn't consider the PDX10. Between the Streamer and DVC80, buy the one that's cheaper, because they both do a good job recording. I suggest looking them over before you pick one. If it were me looking at cams for this, I'd also include a GL2 with an XLR adaptor. The low light is pretty good, plus you have audio, along with the manual low shutter speeds. The Streamer and DVC don't have anything lower than 1/60th. And with setting the shutter at say 1/30th, mounted on a tripod, would be real useful for shooting indoors in lower light. Just my 2 cents.
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Old October 24th, 2003, 03:00 PM   #3
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Have you considered the Sony vx2000? It is the same price as the 80 or the 300, it's a Sony, and will do do very well in all light situations. It also will merit an XLR adaptor.
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Old October 24th, 2003, 05:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

If I went the GL2 or VX 2000 route, how much should I expect to spend on the XLR adapter?

I heard the VX2000 had some sound issues. Are they cured with the XLR adapter?
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Old October 24th, 2003, 06:26 PM   #5
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No, they're not cured by an XLR adapter, because the adapter still goes into the same mic jack as everything else does.

The DVC80 has the best audio of the bunch you listed, but: it doesn't shoot stills. No digital still camera provision is included.

For your intended use I'd suggest a closer look at the streamcorder, and at the VX2000 and GL2.
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Old October 24th, 2003, 06:49 PM   #6
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I have both the PDX-10 and VX-2000. You will spend ~$200 for a basic Beachtek box without phantom power. However, even with an XLR box the VX-2000 audio quality is significantly worse than the PDX-10.
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Old October 24th, 2003, 08:15 PM   #7
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Stills, shmills. Probably some of the best audio around right now lies in the dvc80/dvx100 and the pdx10/trv950. This is based on a census of my reading over the last four months. The Dvc80 really seems to me like the best bit of camera for the money. If lowlight and pdx10 compatibility weren't so dominating in my decision making for a next camera (I'm trusting the pd170 to be incredible for lowlight), I think there would be no question of what to get. It may win out still.
And that's another thing for you. If you aren't in a hurry for a cam, the vx2100 will be out in a few months, with improved audio (and low light).
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Old October 26th, 2003, 10:29 PM   #8
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Am I correct in assuming there are many DVX100 users out there who are happy with the low light performance of their cams? I know the DVC80 is not 'as' good as a PD-150 but, it still should be good enough. I am jsut seeing the DVC80 as the best bang-for-buck camera out there right now. feature-wise it seems to compete more with a PD-150 than with the group mentioned in this thread. It's just a lot cheaper.

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Old October 26th, 2003, 11:14 PM   #9
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I would definitely say the DVX/DVC have low light performance that is "good enuff".
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Old October 26th, 2003, 11:38 PM   #10
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"Am I correct in assuming there are many DVX100 users out there who are happy with the low light performance of their cams?"

Very happy here.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 12:37 AM   #11
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I've got both. First I bought the DVX100 and then later on, I bought the DVC80. I'll give both of them 2 thumbs up.

It's a heck of a lot smaller and more convenient than my GY-DVC500
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Old October 27th, 2003, 10:56 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by George Loch : I know the DVC80 is not 'as' good as a PD-150
GL -->>>

Yes it is. The DVC80 is more sensitive than the PD150. May not match the PD170, but it's definitely a match for the PD150.

The advantage the PD150 has is in that it can select the slow shutter speeds, but of course selecting those changes the look of the video dramatically (cuts the resolution in half, adds significant smearing, etc). For "normal"-looking video the DVC80 is every bit as good as the PD150.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 07:07 PM   #13
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Barry: Meaning the DVX100 (in 60i mode) would be just as good as a PD150, right? I'm meaning to buy the DVX100, but want to retain the quality of a PD150 for non-filmic shoots.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 08:39 PM   #14
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Hi Scott, One word of warning... If you are considering the JVC Streamcorder... then don't. It is possibly the worst camcorder I have tried in it's category. I've rented it twice, and on the second rental (only model left at the time), I've had it for 2 weeks. Even with substancial tweaking, the Streamcorder is really a poor performer.

I have long debated over which cam to finally buy (renting is starting to eat away at the profits). The PDX10 is a nice cam, but in low light it is not so great. I've considered the Sony PD170 (I have tested the pre-production model). But retained the Panasonic DVX100 as my final choice. The reasons? Synchroscan, 24 and 30p, large 3.5" LCD. The versatility of this cam makes it a hard to beat combo. My targeted purchase is in early December.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 12:27 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Mueller : Barry: Meaning the DVX100 (in 60i mode) would be just as good as a PD150, right? I'm meaning to buy the DVX100, but want to retain the quality of a PD150 for non-filmic shoots. -->>>

That's exactly what I meant. Obviously in 24P mode or 30P mode things change because there's no gain, but in 60i mode you get performance that equals or betters the PD150.
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