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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 January 27th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #1
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Panasonic AG-DVX100a vs Canon XL1/ S :)

I have been reading alot about about these 2 camcorders on the web. I am leaning torwards the DVX100A.

I read the review in DV magazine (Feb 2004) with Walter Murch on the cover. Cool article with Murch and FCP.
The review talks about how the DVX100A is an evolution not revolution from the DVX100. There is now an autofocus mode when shooting in 24p mode ! It is called focus assist. He talks about how you can use the auto mode for 24p shooting but you must watch the LCD closely to make sure the camera stays in focus. I've read that XLS have problems with maintaining focus for long periods?

I am very new to prosumer camcorders such as these. So I am looking for a simple way to just start shooting. I don't believe I will need the multiple interchangeable lenses, flexibility, andtweaking options offered by the Canon. At least I don't think I will need these features?

I am going to be shooting a documentary. And like many on this board would graduate to shooting my own feature movie ;)
And thus,like many here, I am in search of THE FILM LOOK on DV.

From what I have read, the DVX100A seems easier to obtain filmlike picture. Plan to use the 24p mode with focus assist. Will also purchase the Panasonic Anamorphic lens and a decent mic. Not sure which mic yet though. Suggestions?



A good link with movies shot with each camera is below. The DVX100 picture looks wonderful IMO. Fairly filmlike. But so does the GL2 pictures.

shot with Panasonic DVX100

shot with Canon GL2

nice link with good pics of "FULLY LOADED" DVX100 :)

http://www.saferseas.com/vsd/eye/eye13.html

SO, does everyone like their DVX100A? No regrets? Still happy?

BTW, I have read the many posts about the DVX100. But I wanted to address the issue of shooting from a beginner's standpoint and if it really is easier to use than the XLS?

Thanks,
Peter :)
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Old January 27th, 2004, 09:41 AM   #2
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Hello Dr. Nguyen,

The biggest advantage of the Canon XL1S is its modular design and interchangeable components. If you have established that you don't foresee a need to change lenses, etc., and that you're going after the "film look," then I think it's safe to assume that the Panasonic DVX100A is the right camcorder for you. I don't know that it's any easier to learn, but you can start with the automatic settings and graduate to various manual functions as you become familiar with the camera. Hope this helps,
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Old January 27th, 2004, 01:00 PM   #3
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...Another great surprise was the Cinematography Prize bestowed upon the MiniDV feature, NOVEMBER, which was shot with a Panasonic camcorder. How awesome is that?
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Old January 27th, 2004, 03:50 PM   #4
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now that you can use the mini35 adapter on the DVX... there really is no reason to use the XL1 unless you own it.
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Old January 27th, 2004, 07:02 PM   #5
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Peter,

1) Both cameras are good cameras, and can give a good result.

2) Both are "relatively" easy to master the basics of operation on. They have a different feel, so actually touching them (renting for a day or at least going to a store and fiddling with them) would give you a better sense of which is a better fit for you. I myself will probably get a DVX100a within the next couple of months.

3) The DVX 100a is several years newer technology, so if that's important (and you seem to be a bit of a "techno geek") then buy it and move on to...

4) Realizing that making movies is more than knowing how to turn on and point fancy equipment. Just as you can give a medical student a microscope, silk suture and a vein graft and not expect that he'll be able to competently sew a patent CABG, so too does it take more than the equipment to make a decent movie.

I do not feel that shooting films is a mysterious art, only to be passed on in a traditional academic setting, or by working your way up the ladder for years in Hollywood. But like medicine, making movies is part artistry and part technique, and if you're going to be somewhat "self taught", then there is a lot of work ahead of you.

I would recommend obtaining and reading a few texts on script writing, cinematography, lighting, and audio production before starting your documentary. Understanding some of the basic rules of framing, motion, editing and lighting as well as the technical problems in obtaining good audio will go a long way towards making the lowliest of camcorder's output "film like".

I would also recommend shooting several short subjects and getting people to critique them for you before starting a big project. You may find that your first films will turn out much like the first H and P that you did as a medical student (too long, moves along too slowly, rambles a bit, sometimes unfocused). But as you apply the same rigor to filmmaking that you applied to the study of medicine, your work will undoubtedly improve tremendously in a short period of time, and you'll be much better prepared to tackle a documentary.

I apologize if the above sounds condescending in any way, as it is not meant to be. I am only a novice myself when it comes to producing anything worth seeing with my camera. But I have seen enough to know what I don't know yet, and to see the areas of my work that need improvement.

Regards,

Joe Kras
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Old January 27th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #6
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well said joe.. if the story is good and shot well you can make a stellar movie with a web camera.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 02:14 AM   #7
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Diagnosis: "DVX newbie-itis" ;)

Joe Kras, thanks. The medical analogies you made were extremely well written and particularly insightful for me:)

You're correct, my first films will probably be me like my first H&P's - long and rambling. Much like my rambling posts here!! But I can't help it, I've contracted a well known disease process called "DVX newbie-itis!" It is a condition where one is unable to stop talking about, thinking about, or dreaming about the DVX100a upon purchasing one. Not really, it's probably more new toy/hobby effect ;)

Chris, Jarred thanks for the replies. Both of you of guys are fortunate to be owners of some priceless websites. IMO, EVERYONE will be referring to the posts from your forums in the future ie- when cheaper costs enables everyone to purchase their own DV camera and make movies with film look.

After reading everyone's advice today, I ordered the Panasonic DVX100a from B&H for $3499.
I asked them for a discount and the salesman said no chance because BOTH DVX100 and 100a are selling like hotcakes.
He said that the 100 is selling just as well as the 100a!

Well, then I told them my birthday was this Thursday and I will be 33. And guess what? They took $30 off the order! Not a ton of money but a slight discount. :)

BTW- I purchased their Mack 2 year extended warranty for $99. I was going to get it later but salesman said it was better to get it now with camera order so it will always be linked on their computers and your receipt. Just someting to keep in mind for new buyers. They said they have used Mack in New Jersey for extended warranty service for "many many years and thus you will not have to worry about your warranty company shutting down." :)

Oh, I also orderd the training DVD for the DVX100 from B&H.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 11:12 AM   #8
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You're welcome!

Good luck with the new cam. Let us know how it turns out.

Also let us know if the DVD is worth getting.

Now go and see the GI bleeder in bed 7 :)

Joe
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Old January 28th, 2004, 05:46 PM   #9
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hey as for the DVD.. it is very very very basic, good if you just got the camera and need to know the menus. Its not really a training DVD, more of a Manual on DVD. I reviewed it here www.dvxuser.com/articles/BSDVD/
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Old January 28th, 2004, 08:38 PM   #10
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Thanks, Jarred!

Guess I missed that review the first time.

I suspect that I'll pass on it.

Joe
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