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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 February 22nd, 2004, 10:18 PM   #1
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Need a Camera Now

Please excuse me but I am a "still photographer" with 20 year of documentary experience, I have recently run across two stories that need to be told on film. So what should I do? My gut feeling is that I should just go all out and buy a DVX100x (I would rather have the best raw footage and worry about the post production later) but from the documentaries that I have seen, the camera, is of not much significance. So maybe I shoudl just get a DCV80 and not tax my disposable income?

The ultimate venue for my projects are Public teliviison and dvd. But I do not want to shut down the types of viewings.

PS these stores that I want to do are immediate, If I sit around much longer the stories may be lost, forever.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 02:39 AM   #2
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It sounds to me like you could really get into everything that the DVX100 offers. Go for it! The DVC is great camera for the money, though; you will do good work with it as well.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 03:29 AM   #3
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DVC80 only does 60i, which is good for tv. $2,199.95

DVX100(a), gets 30p and 24p and shoots 60i as well. $2,999.95/$3,499.95

For what you need, you could get by with a DVC80 @ 60i, and if you wanted to convert it to 30p you could use Magic Bullet to convert it.


$800 or $1300 more for a DVX100(a) or get a DVC80, I guess it depends on your budget and motives
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 03:41 AM   #4
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If it's a doc, consider who is going to buy it. Then see if the want it in 4:3 or widescreen. If it's widescreen they want, then you'll need a 16:9 adaptor, ot a cam that captures good 16:9.

I doubt you'll need a cam with 24P or 30P. So a DVC80 or something similar should work.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 07:12 AM   #5
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If youíre use to the look of 16mm for your documentaries, then the DVX100 is the camera to have (or the DVX100A.) Iíve shot 16mm shorts before, and the DVX100 is extremely comparable to the look of 16mm (in 24p mode.)
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 09:27 AM   #6
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Yeah my first response is to just cut the crap and buy the 80 but I have been waiting around for the 30, but then I hate to limit all the possiblities that leaves me with the 100a.

I think what I am gong to do is to rent the 100a for a week shoot enough for a demo and see how much in seed money I can find which will determine my ultimate decision.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 10:48 AM   #7
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Only get the DVC80 if 60i is all you shoot. If you are gong to use Magic Bullet on DVC80 footage, remember it's $1000 piece of software plus is brutal in rendering time, so you are much better off getting a DVX.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 10:53 AM   #8
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Good point Stephen. Magic Bullet is 1000 PLUS the cost of After Effects, and the cost of a fast processor. So all together youíre looking at an additional 1,800 dollars for this approach. And turning interlace footage to progressive footage is never a guaranteed hassle free process anyway (not to mention the fact that the footage can never look as good as true progressive footage.)
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 10:58 AM   #9
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I speak from the pain of someone huddled over a Pentium III trying to figure out why FilmFX still has the X$#&#$& red X over my rendered AE footage :)
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 11:31 AM   #10
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Too be perfectly honest, I don't know what we are going to do with the film. When I first approached this subject, a government agency which runs this program in conjunction with AFL-CIO they thought I did, that it would be better as a film, but based on th people involved there is no telling at this point as to where the thing will ultimately end up. So I'm am thinking what is the most painless and versital format? Each time I look into answering the question the 100a seems as the way to go. Shoot the damned thing in 24p and figure it out later. Maybe thats the blabberings of a a naive, nyophite but that's the direction my head his sending me.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 11:57 AM   #11
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24fps is the most universal format, hands down.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 12:28 PM   #12
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"Buy the best, and you only cry once."

It seems like you know deep down you want the DVX100 -- that's why you're still struggling with the question. If you settle for one of the lesser models, there are going to come times when you curse yourself for "cheaping out". You'll never regret getting the best, which will have everything you want. But if you settle short of that, you'll regret it every time you use it. Save a little longer and get the camera you really want, or consider buying used.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 03:18 PM   #13
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Yes you are all correct, I know deep down that I must bite the bullet and buy the damned thing.

I am thinking that if I rent one, shoot the demo, prove that i can acutally do this I can beg borrow or steal the money from a sponsor to buy it.

I have done a ton of "award" winning still docs, I just hope my arrogant belief that i can just jump into video is well founded. I mean after all what is a film but a series of still photographs.... Yet in the front of my mind I know there is a lot more to it than that, but they say that ignorance is the best motivation.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 03:43 PM   #14
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dont forget this, if you shoot in 60i you can convert to anything else, But if you shoot in 24p you cant convert up to anything else.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 03:59 PM   #15
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Right now...if you MUST buy in February 2004...you only have one choice...the DVX100A.

There are features through out--12-bit ADC, lens quality, etc.-- that no other camera in its class has.

That said...would you be better off renting a 1/2"CCD (DVC200, DSR390) or 2/3" CCD (HL7, DSR590, SDX900) for this project? If you only have a 2-3 day shoot, why not even rent the DVX100A?
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