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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 18th, 2004, 09:46 AM   #1
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How different?

How different is the Low Light capabilities of the Dvx 100a compared to the PD 170 especially when shooting in 24p.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #2
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While (I believe) the original DVX100 wouldn't allow gain boost in 24p mode, the DVX100A does. However, popular consensus seems to be that the PD170 is the winner in the low lux realm. Anyone have a link or an article on a reasonable comparison study? I haven't seen one personally.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #3
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DVX100 vs PD170 low light

I've made the comparison by eye, and here's what I found:

In interlaced mode without gain, the two cameras do about the same.

It's the quality of the gain that really separates their low-light capabilities -- the PD170's gain is very very clean, while the DVX100's gain quickly mucks up the image.

Also, shooting in the DVX100's progressive modes seems to take away about a stop of low light performance.


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Old March 18th, 2004, 04:52 PM   #4
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The PD170 does have an edge with better gain from what I've seen but the loss in progressive mode is offset by being able to shoot at 1/24th shutter without motion artifacts (just extra motion blur, usually not an issue in very low light anyway). The 1/24 gives you back a stop vs. 1/60th on the PD170.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 02:28 PM   #5
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Well maby you guys have guessed, I'm trying to make a decision between the pan. and sony. I typically shoot action things with my steady cam jr. and weddings. Although I would like to move toward commercials, training videos, etc., something else to help support my hobby. Durring the summer I shoot fire related things as I am a communications unit leader on a national incident management team and I also help the fire information officer by shooting stills and video. I like thinking that one camera would help in low ambient light and possibly be quicker to set up (sony)
but the 24p thing which I guess yields a more pleasing non Days of our lives look and has progressive scan which ??? I have read helps give you something to print a better photo from as compared to an interleaved frame??? any truth to all of this? I use a 10D and hopefully a 1ds mk II this summer for the stills but would like to be able to make something out of a frame of video in the case I didnt get it with the still cam.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 08:46 PM   #6
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There is no question that the DVX100A will give you far better stills, because it does progressive video. With this cam you have the option of 24fps, 30fps, or the same as the PD's - 60i.

If low light takes precedence for you, and we're talking really low light, then perhaps the PD is the right choice for you - you could always, after all, deinterlace to 24p in your editing software. And Sonys tend to be the most popular cams for wedding and other event video folks.

One thing you should also note is that if you do a lot of action video (fast motion and such) then you'll probably be using the 30fps on the DVX100 more than the 24 - after all, it doesn't sound like you'll be going to film with any of this stuff, and 30p will give you smoother footage while still giving you that nice 'filmy' motion look.

Another thing you should know, is that the auto-focus on the DVX100a is of only slight use in 24fps mode - it's called focus-assist more than auto-focus. In the older DVX100 (pre A) it didn't even have focus assist in 24p mode. For this reason, if you plan on covering footage in crazy atmospheres such as emergency situations, 24p would be slightly difficult for you unless you are good with manual focus. It's not difficult at all with the cam once you learn it because it has a focus scale which helps a lot, especially once you learn the camera well (you just dial in the right number displayed on the LCD and boom, you're in focus without having to go cross-eyed).

But remember, you can still shoot in 60i with the DVX too.

Good luck in choosing - it really is a tough decision.
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