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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 March 9th, 2004, 12:28 PM   #1
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New dvc80 questions

I make theatrical shorts, etc as a hobby and decided on the dvc80 because of all the manual features, good reviews, etc. I've had it a week and have found I like the look of a little more chroma and a little less detail on most (but not all) shooting situations. Oh, and I found I really like the blacks crushed just a little. I also generally go a stop less exposure than where the auto iris sends me. I see I can program that, and might do so if I keep changing it. The auto iris just seems to overexpose things a little bit.

Having never used a 3 chip cam before, I don't have anything to compare it to, but it certainly looks better than the 1 chip cams I have. I think I would see even more of a difference if I were projecting it on a DLP or at least a better television than the one I'm using.

My question is, would I lose very much quality by using the internal 16:9 setting on a feature I'm making this summer? I like the look of 16:9, but understand I lose something unless I use a px10 (a contender in my mind for the dvc80, but lost out) with "native 16:9 chips" or buy the anamorphic adapter for another 800 bucks (which I'd rather not do, as I spent good $ on a me66/k6, boom, lights, and other stuff. What would be the downside of shooting the 16:9 setting on this camera? I've switched back and forth and can't seem to see a difference. The last film I made was on 16mm film, and I used a filter in Adobe Premiere to make it 16:9 and really liked it.

Any thoughts?

Oh, and I found I have to add ND filters (2 built in) to keep the 60th shutter speed and an f5.6 on a sunny day. Is that normal? I could increase the shutter speed, but I read somewhere it is best to keep it low.

Thanks so much,

Steve.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 12:33 PM   #2
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Steve:

Welcome - your name sounds familar. Have you been on other forums/list in the past?

Per 16:9, just like adding the filter in Premiere, using the incamera 16:9 will crop off 120 lines of resolution. The loss only really becomes noticable on large-screen TV's and projected images. It's a substantial loss if going to film.

I'm curious - if you make dramatic shorts and came from a film background, why did you not get the DVX100A (or even a DVX100 used)?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 12:52 PM   #3
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Stephen,

Thanks for your quick comments. The decision to go with the dvc80 over the dvx100(a) was not an easy one. It has taken me 3 years to decide on a dv camera to make the switch from shooting film. I often read posts on dv.com and recently found this forum when I decided to go panasonic over sony (was going to get vx2000). It came down to whether I would really use the 24p or not. In the unlikely event I ever make something someone might want to pay to transfer to film, well, I've seen pros and cons, and it seems tranfer houses go both ways on what they want. The most important thing to me was manual controls and pristine video, and this camera seemed to give me that. For the extra $800, I got a better mic and some new lights/flags stuff like that. I'm really not trying to make dv look like film, if it ends up on film it will look that way in the end anyhow. I've worked closely with a friend who shoots 30i over 30p, so the progressive feature was something I ruled out...or could deinterlace in post if I needed to. Or adjust gamma, for that matter. So there ya go. It seemed like the right decision, and I've only had the camera a week, so we will see if it was the right one in the end.

Thanks so much for the 16:9 thing. Since I do use DLP to show my stuff, your feedback would indicate I should keep the 16:9 off and perhaps shoot with a little room at the top and bottom of the frame in the event something is picked up for distribution.

Steve.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:10 PM   #4
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Steve:

[note - Take the following with a grain of salt. The DVC80 is an excellent camera and the type of footage and look you are going for is subjective and this may not be worth the hassle or expense in your case, but I want to it to highlight some confusion over issues that arrive with DVC80 vs. DVX100(a)]

You may have got some bum advice on your camera purchase. Since you plan on showing projected via DLP and your camera is only a week old, you might want to see if your reseller will let you upgrade.

Here's why. The DVC80 only shoots interlaced. If you deinterlace in post, you will lose resolution. You can buy high end deinteracing tools (Magic Bullet) etc. that reduce the loss, but they end up costing as much as the price difference between the cams and shaft you with brutal rendering times.

The DVX100 series shoots both the same pristine video the DVC80 shoots however, with far more control over the picture (especially gamma modes) and the DVX100a feature a number of improvements over both the DVX100 and DVC80.

But critically, it also shoots both 30p and 24p. The key is the progressive capture increase resolution over interlaced video. (see links at top of this forum for more info). Additionally, because deinterlacing decrease resolution, the difference between deinterlaced DVC80 footage and DVX100 progressive footage is dramatic.

Finally, for 16:9, the DVX100a features squeeze mode 16:9 which the DVX100 and DVC80 lack. Squeeze mode, especially when used with the thin detail mode in 30 or 24p, it is much sharper than any 16:9 possible with the DVC80.

In other words, 16:9 squeeze on DVX100a progressive is equal or better than DVC80 deinterlaced with anamorphic. I don't have this exact test shots for this scenario available but I've been working with all this stuff for several years.

Bottom line is the DVC80 is well suited as a rugged camera for pros who live in the 60i broadcast world. It's not the right camera (IMHO) for those who shoot narrative, filmlook styles and need flexible creative image control over images. That's what the DVX100(a) is for and the price difference is tiny once you factor in the time and expense of processing DVC80 footage.

For people that like doing a lot creative, professional post processing, the DVX100a will save them time and money over any other DV camera available right now.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #5
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One more note. If you project off DVD, shooting 24PA and authoring a 24p progressive DVD will allow better MPEG-2 rates and a better image, especially when projected on a large screen.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I don't like thinking I got the wrong camera though. I got a good deal at Profeel, and I don't think they would exchange it for the other one, so I think I'm rather stuck. If I don't deinterlace the video shot on the camera I have and use After Effects or some such program to alter the gamma, would that decrease the quality? Part of my reasoning was also that most feature films shot on dv were done so on an xl1, pd100, and other cameras that used 60i. I figured this one was even better than those.

Buyer's remorse now. Hmmmm.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:58 PM   #7
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I almost did not want to post it because I know what buyer's remorse is :)

Again, the DVC80 is a great cam. If you don't deinterlace the video but do alter the footage via color correction, the quality will decrease, but it ranges from imperceptable to noticable depending on the post process, codec etc. that you use. However, this loss affects all post production. With a good codec, correct setting and good plugins, loss is not noticable at all. It's not a resolution loss and much as a recompression loss.

Feature films shot on DV used the XL1, PD150 because the DVX100 was not available. It takes a long time for feature films to get finished and also time for people to get experienced with the DVX series.

However, that is changing. "November" just won cinematography prize at Sundance, shot 24p on the DVX100.

In the next few years, you will see most film blows done with 24p or PAL 25p DVX100's, especially now a mini-35 is available. Note that film transfers with 24pa mode should eventually cost less than interlaced transfers because no deterlacing or motion deartifacting is required.

From those who have seen side-by-side comparision, the DVX100 wins hands down for blowups vs. PD150, XL1 etc. As the DVX100a gets out there more and people optimize shooting and transfers for it as they did with PD150 and XL1, expect more improvements.

Note DVX100 also uprezzes to 24p HD better than 60i footage as well for future HD distribution.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #8
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Hi again,

You said, "With a good codec, correct setting and good plugins, loss is not noticable at all." I'm using Premiere Pro and have a copy of After Effects 5.1. I used to use a Canopus card (DVRapture), but it won't work with PP, so I don't think I'm using that codec anymore. Is there one you would recommend for adjusting in post?

Thanks for your help.

Steve.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 03:19 PM   #9
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Hi Steve,

It's hard, but you might just want to call Profeel and see if there is anyway to do an exchange. Even if it meant taking a couple of hundred dollar hit, in the long run I can guarantee you'd not be sorry.

BTW - Stuff happens and sometime you have to take a loss on this stuff. Stephen could tell you if he wants to.

-Rodger
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Old March 9th, 2004, 03:36 PM   #10
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Yes, nothing like a Nigerian counterfeit cashier's check scam to set you back :)

Steve - what codec choices do you have in Premiere Pro?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #11
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Uhm, I am at the office and don't know. I'll look when I get home. I know I tried to change it once and there were no options on the pull down menu, so right now I think there is whatever came with it. It makes nice dvds whatever it is.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 05:04 PM   #12
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Rodger,

Thanks for the comment. I really don't have another grand at the moment to throw at another camera. This feedback makes me quite sad, as I was happy with the new camera and thought I made a good decision over the vx2000. Won't this one work well if I do my usual film-style lighting and good camera work? It looks quite nice with the settings I've made.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 05:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Taylor : Rodger,

Thanks for the comment. I really don't have another grand at the moment to throw at another camera. This feedback makes me quite sad, as I was happy with the new camera and thought I made a good decision over the vx2000. Won't this one work well if I do my usual film-style lighting and good camera work? It looks quite nice with the settings I've made.
If you came from a 1 chip camera you are way head of where your were. If you didn't plan on shooting progressive anyway, all you basically left behind is cine-gama. As for processing footage, you can work with 60I, just not a cleanly as with progressive. You will loose some vertical detail because of the lower rez, but depending on what you plan to do with this, it may only make a minor difference to you.

Hey, if you don't got the extra bucks why sweat it. I've been trying to get the DVX100 since it first showed a WEVA in 2002. Finally pull hard enough and managed to get the DVX100A about a month ago. If I had got it back then, it maybe broke already.

So, just do your stuff and it will be fine.

-Rodger
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Old March 9th, 2004, 05:46 PM   #14
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You made an excellent decision over the VX2000 -- just in the audio department alone, the DVC80 is leaps and bounds better than the VX2000.

You have, simply put, the second-most-awesome prosumer camera on the market. It is a magnificent camera. And it's a thousand dollars less than the only camera that can be considered "better" than it, in the prosumer arena.

That is a completely professional camera that can do anything any other prosumer camera can do, except the 24P/30P thing. And you can use it to shoot weddings & events and make some money with it too. Learn it, use it, make brilliant works with it, use it to get hired, make some money, and by then you could upgrade to a DVX200 if you so choose.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 06:12 PM   #15
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Don't feel bad, just keep shooting and stop getting bogged down with quality, loss, and look. If you want film you should shoot with film. Film is a conglomerate of elements, not a "look"; the movement, the lighting, the composition, the story, and the craft are much more important than the " look". If the story isn't great the film "look" doesn't matter.

Light well and compose well; far too often the folks in the DV world spend all their time trying to find the holy grail of the DV filmlook, and wind up spending all their time typing on a forum looking for the perfect solution. You can shoot 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, HD, or DV and make it look like shit; spend your moments on the composition and the craft, not the technology.

I recently bought a DVC80 to replace my aging XL1s. I really enjoy this versatile camera, no frills just clean images and professional sound. I am hauling it across China in May for a film, and regardless of the fact that it lacks 24p/30p, my money was well spent.

Cheers,

Dick Steele
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