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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 June 16th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #1
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Final Thoughts on DVX100B

Ok, I'm sorry to kick a dead horse, but get out your boots and help me here.

I've been saving up for two years, and researching for the same amount of time, to buy some gear for a very light-footed video production setup. This is the fruit of a LOT of self-control, sacrifice, and planning. It's not a ton of money, but I'm damn proud that I saved it up. I would like to spend it wisely, and I would like your help. Here's the deal:

My market is classical music recitals. The price point that I've built the entire biz plan around centers around using SD workflow. Frankly, HD is going to push the cost up too far, and I'm aiming for volume, here.

I have ~$2000 budgeted for the camera purchase. I had thought to buy an HD cam and use it in 16:9 DV, knowing I would be able to upgrade my workflow to HD "later on". After reading about low-light situations, and seeing examples of cameras in that price range, I've become very concerned about noise while filming dim concerts. (These will be live events, a documentary video process, and I will not have control or input into the lighting, besides 'Turn it up!')

Having worked in audio for many years, I have to laugh to myself when I see people trying to split hairs at a budget level of this size - so much more depends on the operator. With the tools, you're getting what you pay for. But because this will be a single camera, fixed position shoot, I'm spending a lot of energy trying to determine what will be the best camera.

Given the possible lighting situations, should I completely disregard HD cams for now? I was wavering about SD cams since the product will be delivered on the web and DVD's, and clients will most likely want 16:9 - so why lock myself into 4:3 chips?

(Basically, I was considering the HVR-A1U or HDR-FX7, and now, I'm thinking about going back to the DVX100B or GL-2)

Am I going to regret purchasing a brand-new SD cam in 2009, in an increasingly HD world? With 4:3 chips instead of 16:9? Will the better low-light performance of the SD cams outweigh the "lost resolution" in letterboxing? It seems that the majority of my work will be in an uncontrolled, low-light situation, and as such, I should buy a camera suited to that environment.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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You're not delivering in HD, so why worry about getting source in HD? I tend to shoot HD regardless of my delivery, but only because I am hedging my bets that the material I am delivering will be asked for in HD later on. I am also working at a different price point where I don't have to sacrifice light sensitivity to get HD.

In your price range, The DVX makes good sense.
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #3
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Yeah that's a good choice. At the height of its popularity the DVX100 outsold all other DV cameras 10:1. So if you don't need high-def it's a great choice.

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Old June 16th, 2009, 11:21 PM   #4
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I have a pair of DVC30s that I use for SD shoots. Sorry to say but in my case, there is no need to "future proof" most jobs. Plus how many people have a blu-ray player right now? How much storage space are you (or better yet your customers) willing to pay for in order to retain HD video for possible future use? My DVC30s produce great stuff when put on a standard DVD - a DVX will do even better.

That said I recently purchased a Sony EX3 and the low light abilities of this camera blows me away! You can bet this low light ability will be coming to the lower price HD camera in the near future...
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Old June 18th, 2009, 10:04 AM   #5
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Ok, thanks, guys. I just wanted to run my thought process by you guys and see if there were any holes I hadn't covered. Everything is a compromise - I just want to make the right ones.

It's so tempting to funnel all my funds into the camera and trade up a few grand to the HMC150. But I'm resisting. A professional uses the right tool for the job at hand.
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