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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 April 8th, 2004, 11:36 AM   #1
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Possibly purchasing a DVC80 soon...

I am starting to get some job offers. If I keep getting them and decide to do them I'm gonna want to buy a second camera to go along with my trv950. The DVC80 is what I have chosen to purchase. But I cant find any reviews on it anywhere. How do you like this camera? I heard that the dvx100 has a problem with syncing audio/video but is there a problem like this with the dvc80? Are there any other flaws about this camera that I should know about? The 4 big things that draw me to this camera are, the true manual zoom and focus rings (no servo motors), xlr input, the markings for the focus ring, and of course, the incredible price! Also another thing, I will be buying an AT897, will this mic work okay with the dvc80?
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Old April 8th, 2004, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Possibly purchasing a DVC80 soon...

<<<-- Originally posted by Dustin Waits : I am starting to get some job offers. If I keep getting them and decide to do them I'm gonna want to buy a second camera to go along with my trv950. The DVC80 is what I have chosen to purchase. But I cant find any reviews on it anywhere. How do you like this camera? I heard that the dvx100 has a problem with syncing audio/video but is there a problem like this with the dvc80? Are there any other flaws about this camera that I should know about? The 4 big things that draw me to this camera are, the true manual zoom and focus rings (no servo motors), xlr input, the markings for the focus ring, and of course, the incredible price! Also another thing, I will be buying an AT897, will this mic work okay with the dvc80? -->>>

If you want to mate a second camera with the 950, perhaps you should wait for the DVC30. Its CCDs are also 1/4" and has all the things you mention. Price should be around the same, and for a bonus you get a longer zoom. The mic would work with both cameras.


Carlos
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Old April 8th, 2004, 01:02 PM   #3
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I've been pretty happy with my DVC80 so far. You can see some samples of it in action on my website at www.karatemedia.com/video -- "Marti's at Midday," "Musician's Warehouse Christmas," and "Gardens at Eden Christmas" (and some others) were shot with the the DVC80, as well as miked through the DVC80 -- I believe all of the speakers are wearing the ECM44B lavalier, which was plugged straight into the DVC80. I'm definitely not the greatest cameraman, but it will show you the DVC80 in action under ambient lighting conditions (no keys/fills/etc, just existing light)

I also have a *very* poorly done short I did for a class at the University I work at -- I may post some of that in the near future just to have more "DVC80-in-action" footage for people to see.

You are correct that there are few reviews of this camera -- it's a great cam, but it was overshadowed by it's DVX100 big brother.

As I've stated previously, I have had broadcast professionals tell me that the DVC80 is the equivalent of the Sony PD-150, for what that is worth.

The XLR inputs (and overall sound quality) were big selling points for me, too.

The DVC80 does not have the sync problem that the DVX100 had -- the sync problem only occurred with 24p footage, which the DVC80 does not do.

Unfortunately, the DVC80 does not have the "markings for the focus ring" -- the DVX100 has repeatable focus with a corresponding display in the viewfinder. The DVC80 does *not* have this -- or if it does, it has eluded me

There is a servo motor for the zoom (I believe...I mean it has a zoom motor, I only assume that it's a servo motor) -- but you can disable it via a switch and go into a very good manual zoom mode.

Regarding the DVC30: The DVC30 does not have the XLR inputs that the DVC80 has; you need a separate adaptor. If you plan to shoot in lower-light conditions, then the DVC80's 1/3" CCDs will benefit you more than the DVC30's 1/3" CCDs.

The DVC80 is a near-PD150. The DVC30 is more like the PDX10. The DVC30 has features that the DVC80 does not (night vision, longer zoom), but I'd say that the DVC80 is a better production cam, in my personal opinion. It would be a step up from your TRV.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: Re: Possibly purchasing a DVC80 soon...

<<<-- Originally posted by Carlos E. Martinez : <<<-- Originally posted by Dustin Waits : I am starting to get some job offers. If I keep getting them and decide to do them I'm gonna want to buy a second camera to go along with my trv950. The DVC80 is what I have chosen to purchase. But I cant find any reviews on it anywhere. How do you like this camera? I heard that the dvx100 has a problem with syncing audio/video but is there a problem like this with the dvc80? Are there any other flaws about this camera that I should know about? The 4 big things that draw me to this camera are, the true manual zoom and focus rings (no servo motors), xlr input, the markings for the focus ring, and of course, the incredible price! Also another thing, I will be buying an AT897, will this mic work okay with the dvc80? -->>>

If you want to mate a second camera with the 950, perhaps you should wait for the DVC30. Its CCDs are also 1/4" and has all the things you mention. Price should be around the same, and for a bonus you get a longer zoom. The mic would work with both cameras.



Carlos -->>>


I've looked into the dvc30 and its just not for me. I need to step up from the trv950. Eventually I will probably sell my trv950 and buy a second dvc80 that way I'm running two of the same camera. But that wont be for a long time.

John - Thanks for all that info. I'm looking forward to purchasing it now. Hopefully these jobs pull through so I can have an excuse to credit it. = ]
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Old April 8th, 2004, 03:02 PM   #5
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<<<--
Unfortunately, the DVC80 does not have the "markings for the focus ring" -- the DVX100 has repeatable focus with a corresponding display in the viewfinder. The DVC80 does *not* have this -- or if it does, it has eluded me -->>>



Maybe I'm confusing it with the zoom ring. Here's a pic that shows the little markings on it...


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/l...ges/277532.jpg
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Old April 8th, 2004, 03:52 PM   #6
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Those orange numbers (though kind of hard to see in the pic) are on the zoom. I *wish* the DVC80 had the same repeatable focus and focus display that the DVX100 has; it would've been a great addition...
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #7
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I have owned the DVC 80 and it is a wonderful camera..i sold it only to step up to thew DVX100 A I was talking to the professor at the University of Colorado where-in he teaches journalism I believe. He told me they are all getting the DVC 80 or DVX100 A as opposed to the Sony product. Great low light capability comparable to PD150 and great on board audio (XLR) .. If I were to choose between PD150 and DVC 80 .. there is no comparison.. As the price is so far apart yet the quality is so close.. It kinda seems for me anyways to be the camera of choice for your budget
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:58 PM   #8
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Possibly purchasing a DVC80 soon...

<<<-- Originally posted by Dustin Waits : <<<
I've looked into the dvc30 and its just not for me. I need to step up from the trv950. Eventually I will probably sell my trv950 and buy a second dvc80 that way I'm running two of the same camera. But that wont be for a long time.-->>>

Now, that's a different story!

Even the DVC30 will probably be a step up from the 950.

But you are probably in the right direction going for a DVC80 now. Until recently that's the camera I was mostly interested in, as it's probably better than the PD150/170.

Although in my case I need a camera I might be able to rent from time to time, and my customers in Brazil might be looking for a name (Sony) instead of a better camera. Until someone told me that, which I should have realized by myself, my only concern was the "tape trickiness" the semi-pro Panasonic cameras seem to share.

Last week I was talking to a friend of mine, where they own and rent several DV cameras per week, and the Sonys seem to be much better than the Panasonic or Canon in that tape sensitivity aspect.

Living in the USA you may send the camera back and solve the tape issue; and the name shouldn't be a problem for you. So you can get a very nice camera for a great price.

Remember the DVC80 was supposed to be selling for just a few hundredths less than the DVX100, but the market didn't let them. So it's really in the DVX100 league minus the 24p. Panasonic is probably taking it out of the market (as it seems to) so as not to harm their DVX100 potential market. That is many people considering the 100 but not totally into 24p might go the 80 way and save almost $1500.

If I were in your place and country I would go for it. But do test it plays all tapes, mixed and without cleaning the heads, right after you get it. If it passes that test you should have a winner cam.


Carlos
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Old April 8th, 2004, 07:51 PM   #9
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Posted some excerpts from a shoddy, silent short on the website:

http://www.karatemedia.com/video/dvc80.html

Quicktime version was slightly tweaked in After Effects -- just put an "S curve" on the video. RealPlayer version is untouched, but the RealPlayer compression is not as good. Nothing great, just more DVC80 footage to look at (there's not much of it on the web as it is).

The silly Brak video was shot on a DVC80 as well, tho' I guess it wouldn't really sell you on the cam :)


Scott --

That's interesting about UofC -- the Telecom/Broadcast Media department at the Univerisity I work at also switched from PD150s to DVC80s. After years of Sony, they decided that the DVC80 was just as good for less money. No "pro" DVCAM support, but they say that's simply not as important, as most stations as moving to FCP, et al, for editing as oppossed to linear digital editing.



Carlos --

I believe we've discussed this point before privately, but I wanted to comment on the "Sony is less 'tape-sensitive'" statement -- the aforementioned University created a "no-Sony tape" rule during the PD150's reign at the department. According to them, the PD150 is just as "sensitive" to the gunking caused by tape mixing as any other cam. They were requiring the use of higher-end Panny tape before they even bought the DVC80.

You recommended:

"But do test it plays all tapes, mixed and without cleaning the heads, right after you get it. "

This is simply bad advice, I'm afraid. Head "gunk" caused by tape mixing happens to all miniDV cams -- is it due to the mixing of lubricants in the tapes, not by the camera. I *would not* recommend mixing tape brands just for the heck of it. The standard line is standard for a reason: "pick one brand and stick with it." Dustin, I do not think that most members here would recommend mixing tape brands in *any* miniDV cam.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 08:06 PM   #10
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From a military perspective we stopped using wet lube and went to dry lube.. I can put 100's and 100's of rounds through my Rifle with dry lube and then just simply clean it with a brush.. add no more lube.. put it back together start over.. With the old oil lube it gummed everything up when mixed with the powder and becomes unmanagable.. Dry lube is the only option in my opinion.. My 2c
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Old April 8th, 2004, 10:52 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Britt :
I believe we've discussed this point before privately, but I wanted to comment on the "Sony is less 'tape-sensitive'" statement -- the aforementioned University created a "no-Sony tape" rule during the PD150's reign at the department. According to them, the PD150 is just as "sensitive" to the gunking caused by tape mixing as any other cam. They were requiring the use of higher-end Panny tape before they even bought the DVC80.-->>>

I think we did comment about this point by mail. My old mails are stuck on another HD and I can't go see what we did say. But I do remember about that University and the great results they were getting with the DVC80 and not using Sony tapes anymore.

What I did find out, talking directly with a friend of mine who is technical chief engineer in an important Argentine production company, is that the Sony DV cameras seem to deal better with the tape question. Right now I don't recall what he said about Sony tapes. OK: it's his experience and maybe you can not generalize from it.

But from MY experience I can say that Sony tapes, which apparently caused a "head gunk" on a Canon GL-1 camera probably due to mixed tapes, could only be READ in Sony machines: Sony PD-150, Sony DSR-11 and Sony DSR-40. The tapes did not play on the Canon GL-1 and on a Panasonic DV-2500.

<<<-- You recommended: "But do test it plays all tapes, mixed and without cleaning the heads, right after you get it. "

This is simply bad advice, I'm afraid. Head "gunk" caused by tape mixing happens to all miniDV cams -- is it due to the mixing of lubricants in the tapes, not by the camera. I *would not* recommend mixing tape brands just for the heck of it. The standard line is standard for a reason: "pick one brand and stick with it." Dustin, I do not think that most members here would recommend mixing tape brands in *any* miniDV cam. -->>>

This is what a guy who bought a DVC80 told me he did and it worked for him: mixing any kind of tapes on the second camera he got after returning the first.

Maybe you consider it bad advice, but I am suggesting it in good faith. I will never accept, and will complain on it over and over again, that you can not mix tapes on a machine. If you can't then the machine has to go back and be re-designed. The design is flawed.

It amazes me how this matter is taken as a "fact of life" that you can't mix tapes on a DV camera. Some years ago it was found out that certain audio tapes, after several years, oozed some goo that stuck to the recorder heads and ruined the heads, or at least blocked them from working properly. People had to bake the tapes in order to make a new copy and then throw those original tapes away. If I am not wrong were tapes manufactured in the late '70s that did that, which brands I don't remember. But I think the manufacturer went broke.

That was poor technology due to poor research. This DV tape thing seems very much like it and it's being accepted as if it was "normal", a price you have to pay for this technology. I just don't think we should.

So my advice still goes: when you buy a DV camera buy 4 or 5 different tape brands and test them all, one after the other. If the camera doesn't cope with them, keep returning the camera until you get a good one.

If most members here don't agree with this there's not much I can do. It's just that I can't accept consider this tape reaction something we have to live with. Sorry, I can't.



Carlos
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