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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 22nd, 2004, 08:19 AM   #1
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DVC80 disco'd price reduced?

Is it true that this cam is being dicontinued? I see it is still $2100 at B&H this morning.

Let's keep an eye out for liquidation pricing, I'd love to grab one for $1400 or so.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 08:43 AM   #2
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First things first... so how come this thread hasn't been moved over here to the DVC80/DVX100 forum? I'm sure some people have yet to notice it because it's over in the general discussion area. (edit: by the way, Dan, that link goes to a dvinfo thread about the vanishing DVC80)

The word seems to be Yes, the DVC80 was discontinued on April 1. I've stated my dismay over in the dvinfo thread posted above, but I just want to say again how stupid this decision is. I'm frustrated because I made an investment in a product and the company couldn't even stand behind the product for a whole year. Not all investments pay off, I know, but what does it say about a company when they ask you to invest thousands of dollars in a product that they don't even have the cojones to stand behind for more than a year? Don't ask me to bet on your horse if you don't plan on at least trying to finish the race. As I stated before, this means it is less likely that a lasting DVC80 community will spring up -- less likely that the grass-roots level support that really helps camera owners will ever be truly cemented.

It seems the more I deal with Panasonic, the more I question whether I ever want to deal with them again. (Yes, I know, I'm just frustrated...)
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 11:34 AM   #3
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Liquidation pricing is over, it has been going on for a while on this cam. If you want one buy it now while they last.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 03:17 PM   #4
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but what does it say about a company when they ask you to invest thousands of dollars

Uhhh, don't look into buying a car or computer!

Seriously, even though the DVC80 is not a current model it will still be supported by Panasonic. Many components are shared with the DVX100. Also law requires service and parts for all discontinued products be offerred for 7 or ten years (something like that). A time that will likely exceed your interest in the camera (will be buying newer by then). So just enjoy the camera. It's a great cam with excellent features. It's being replaced by a seemingly less capable model with more (extra dollar) features.

If you time-frame is such maybe you could ease your mind by looking inot the Pana extended warranty...
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 04:13 PM   #5
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Joe, please look at my comments in the link to the other dvinfo.net thread that I posted above. As I mentioned here, it is the grass roots community that evolves around an *existing* camera that is the type of "support" that such an early death destroys. I am not concerned about the warranties or repair service.

And I don't think the car or computer comparisons really hold water -- a computer is a box of interchangeable parts; The Pentium 4 has been improved upon over the past 4 years, but it's still a Pentium 4, even if the newer ones are faster. And car manufactures may update models every year, but often the overall internal mechanics stay the same for at least a few years, with mostly exterior, cosmetic changes taking place.

The DVC80 could have kept pace with the PD150/170 in newsrooms and production offices across the globe (I've gone into all of this before and won't reiterate it here). It's not as though Panasonic released an updated DVC80A (as with the DVX100) and I'm simply complaining about not having the newest version on the block. They marketed the DVC80 towards ENG cameramen and other *money making* professionals. Professionals expect some form of longevity and reliability in a product line. Dropping the line after less than a year only shows these professionals that they were right to stick with Sony (after I bought my DVC80, one industry friend chided me, "Why didn't you stick with the tried and true PD150?")

An updated DVC80 would be one thing (like a 2005 Toyota Corolla being introduced), but instead there's the DVC30 -- a lesser camera in my opinion. The DVC80 was a good camera that could have gone far, especially in ENG. For Panny to give up on it just doesn't make sense.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 04:24 PM   #6
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I think Panasonic is thinking smartly be not updating or continuing the DVC80.

The end of DV as a tape format will be hear soon. Either HDV or DV to drive will be hear before they would have time to revamp this model.

My view is that the only DV cam worth considering is either a DVX100 because of 24p or a really cheap or resellable one because of a number of factors.

Of course, people who already have quality camera can use them for years to come, I'm only talking about those buying new cams today or tomorrow.

INDIE FILMMAKERS: 24p and/or HDV offer way more than 60i DV can, at the price 60i DV was yesterday.

CORPORATE INDUSTRIAL: Even here in NC, people are hot for HD content and look. By next year & 2006, it will be expected.

EVENTS: Your competition will be offer HDV and/or 24p for the same price as DV now or soon.

NEWS: Certain areas may still want DV tape, but DV to disk saves money, but even then, if you make money off shooting news, having 16:9 ready content is good, having HD ready content is better.

I fail to see any compelling arguments for spending several thousand dollars on a regular 60i DV cam now. Some may disagree, but I think Panasonic thinks that more people agree with me and thus don't see this a huge market in the future.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 05:26 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Stephen van Vuuren :
The end of DV as a tape format will be hear soon. Either HDV or DV to drive will be hear before they would have time to revamp this model.

My view is that the only DV cam worth considering is either a DVX100 because of 24p or a really cheap or resellable one because of a number of factors.

I think Panasonic thinks that more people agree with me -->>>


None of this explains, then, why Panasonic just released the DVC30 -- a camera that records to DV tape, does not offer 24p (only frame-mode), and is currently selling for $200 more than the DVC80 was.

I think you are being far too optimistic about HiDef and direct-to-disk recording. You forget that there are hundreds of smaller markets with stations that just bought their first miniDV deck. Seriously. And the current crop of ENG students are learning on PD150s and DVC80s. The Federal mandate is for digital television by 2006, not necessarily Hi-Def. There are a lot of smaller stations that will stick with DV for awhile longer. And these schools that are just now phasing out linear DV editing training aren't going to sink the money into HiDef education too soon. I have no fear (right now at least) that I will be forced to invest in HiDef equipment in the next two years; I think I'll be safe for a little while...

As for D2D? I'll believe it when I see it ("it" being a D2D system that economically viable for people like me to buy -- there's a lot more cheapo producers like me around than you think!)
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 06:54 PM   #8
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DVC 80 to be sold for less?

I think not. This is an absolute gem of a camera. It operates like a professional camera and has the image quality of 4-5K models. I tried to purchase one in the West...they are all gone. I purchased from B&H and was lucky to get one of the last few remaining. Don't be surprised to see the "out of stock" and then "no longer available" sign pretty soon. If you are not an indie filmaker then you can probably live with out 24p. If you want a good, solid, underpriced professional camera....don't wait.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 08:13 PM   #9
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I agree with everyone on the merits of the DVC-80. I got mine from Profeel less than a week before I found it it was discontinued and am so happy I didn't wait any longer.

It is a great camera and anyone would be best to seek far and wide to find the few that are left if you are not trying to make a film. I use mine for straight broadcast and never had any intention of trying to convert to film or use 24p. Nothing against those who do, it's just not a feature I am/was interested in.

But, there are some DVC-80 users on this forum and others and we are just going to have to try and close ranks to support/teach/share/learn from each other.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 09:18 PM   #10
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DVC 80 demise?

This is another example of accountants making decisions. Don't get me wrong, we need accountants. However everyone reading this post is probably an artist (or wanna be). We see things differently.

Unfortunately the DVC 80 crossed monetary paths with two other models. The DVX 100 and the DV 30.

There is some Japanese technician somewhere out there who put alot of effort into saying:

"How about if we offered all the benefits of a DVX 100 but took out the 24p" (yes, I know what you techy's are thinking, the 12...instead of 10 thing).

Do you really believe the benefit of having a 1/3" CCD instead of a 1/4" CCD. If not, don't think any further about it. If so, show me, tell me, where do you find another camera with 1/3" CCD at the same price?
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 10:24 PM   #11
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I never had any intention of buying a dvc80, but I'm sure as hell sad to see it go because it was comforting to think that I COULD buy one if I really felt the need.

I've been using a DVX for about a year now and there are times when I thought it would be nice to have a second cam of this caliber... and there've also been times when I'm shooting in conjunction with XL1s' or GL2s and those people DON'T WANT me to use the progressive functions just so everything is easier to match up.

At those moments I thought, "Hmm, I just shoulda' got the 80..."

Even just today I shot with a girl that was using a GL2 and more then once today I thought I woulda' been just as happy with the 80.

So good luck fellas... hopefully those of you who want one will get one.

As for the blokes who feel upset that it's no longer a current model I say screw those emotions... your 80 is worth more now then it was a month ago... plus it still looks almost exactly like either DVX model... so why sweat it?
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 12:10 AM   #12
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>None of this explains, then, why Panasonic just released the >DVC30 -- a camera that records to DV tape, does not offer 24p
>(only frame-mode), and is currently selling for $200 more than >the DVC80 was.

I think the DVC30 is overpriced and either won't sell well or Panasonic will have to reduce it. It's got some appeal, but not at the price, especially with options. My guess it was designed 1-2 years ago.

>I think you are being far too optimistic about HiDef and direct-to->disk recording. You forget that there are hundreds of smaller >markets with stations that just bought their first miniDV deck.

Hardly. I live in small market well behind the times. My points were only about people buying new cameras in the next couple of years. Why buy a 60i only came when you can buy HDV or 24p (that shoots 60i and 30p as wel) for roughly the same money?

I might be early or optimistic in my preditions, but I'm confident their on-track.

Just look at the changes here in DVInfo over the past year. Or two years. And run that out 2 years from now. The explosion of interest in getting better images than DV offers (mini35, Agus35, HDV, alternative imaging). Search for straight to disk etc.

People who don't have a lot of money to spend on a camera need to be sure to get the maximum life and/or earning potential out of it.

People who have plenty of money need to thing about their competition and the future.

>> I think I'll be safe for a little while...

Safe does not necessarily mean successful. Lots of business don't handle change well.

>As for D2D? I'll believe it when I see it ("it" being a D2D system >that economically viable for people like me to buy -- there's a lot >more cheapo producers like me around than you think!)

I got a 40G 5400 RPM 2.5" USB 2.0 portable disk drive that fits in a shirt pocket for $120. That's about the price of 12 tapes.

D2D is exploding - look at how many DVD, flash and other cameras are on the market now. And figure out how many will be in a year. I would not buy a lot of stock in tape companies. Between TIVO, DVD, CD and D2D, tape has no growth and sketchy future unless someone comes up with a new use.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 08:57 AM   #13
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Stephen, Your post there almost implies that you're able to use that hard disk you mentioned to record from your camera... surely that's not what you meant... but I wish it was!

You were just making a point about how cheap hard disks have become right?

It is kinda' weird that Panny would drop the dvc80 now though... they actually showcased it at IBC just this past winter.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 10:36 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Stephen van Vuuren :
I got a 40G 5400 RPM 2.5" USB 2.0 portable disk drive that fits in a shirt pocket for $120. That's about the price of 12 tapes.

...

Between TIVO, DVD, CD and D2D, tape has no growth and sketchy future unless someone comes up with a new use. -->>>


As Matt mentioned, there is a difference between your USB drive and an actual D2D setup. Obviously, I think many people wouldn't use (or be able to use) a 5400 RPM USB 2.0 drive. They'd want 7200 RPM (at least) and firewire. Plus you have to give it an OS, memory, etc, so that it can actually funtion as more than just a "dumb" external hard drive.

And, for me at least, $120 actually ads up to roughly 25 Panny PQ63 tapes (or 20 MQ63 for some of you). A "smart" drive that can function as D2D will obviously cost more (I don't have the prices of some of the existing ones in front of me) -- probably more like 100 tapes worth (and probably much higher actually, I wish I had some prices in front of me! :D ). For someone like me, the investment in a D2D system doesn't look like it's going to be worth it for a few years.

And even if the prices go down to a reasonable cost in two years, I don't see why that should concern someone buying a cam now. These D2D systems seem to plug into the firewire output, so they will be compatible with any tape-fed camera exisitng now. And as we always tell people who ask if they should wait for the next great camera: "Do you need to make money now? Do you need the cam right now?"

And as for tape having "no growth" because of hard drive recorders and optical media -- I must say that probably comes as news to the computer world, where tape-based archiving is still very strong (and considered by many to be one of the best ways to archive), despite the fact that HDD and optical solutions have existed for years.

I do agree with you that HD and D2D will become more prevalent as time goes by, but I don't think it will happen as quickly as you do , and I think that DV (and DV tape) will stick around for longer than you think. And while I do not question your insight, I don't know that Panasonic, et al, necessarily "agree with you." I would think that Panny, Sony, etc, (hopefully) have their thumbs closer to the pulse of technological innovation than we do -- why even bother to introduce the DVC80, DVC30, or even a PD170 or VX2100 (newer than the 80, but just a hair older than the 30) if these companies are so aware of the impending death of DV? I guess you could say that it's like being at the water park -- once you're in the pipeline, you're gonna come out the other end -- but both companies have been steadily marketing these 60i DV tape cams -- I was just looking at January's issue of Videographer and it had an ad for the DVC80 in it.

Anyway, I think I've done a great job of hijacking this thread... Sorry about that. Let me add that I too doubt that we'll see great "liquidation" offers on the DVC80...
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 10:55 AM   #15
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>As Matt mentioned, there is a difference between your USB >drive and an actual D2D setup.

My point was about the size and cost of storage, not that my drive (which I use for portable data backups) could be used for storage. But the adding the D2D electronics is fairly simple (see Juans 4:4:4 uncompressed thread for more info) . As volume kicks in, D2D may only add 10-20% to the drive cost. And unlike DV tape, storage is always getting faster and cheaper.

>For someone like me, the investment in a D2D system doesn't >look like it's going to be worth it for a few years.

My point is that in a few years, D2D is not going to be a "system" or "investment" but a "commodity".

>And even if the prices go down to a reasonable cost in two >years, I don't see why that should concern someone buying a >cam now.

Because unless you have to have a new camera now, it may save you money by waiting a year and make you more money by enabling you to get a better system that saves time in the future. Capturing DV footage is a real pain for NLE users.

> "Do you need to make money now? Do you need the cam right >now?"

I've never agreed that this line of thought was a pearl of wisdom. Short-term, narrow-minded thinking is at the root of much of what ails the world today. The key word is "now". Unless you have money to burn and can always buy a camera "now", it's worth thinking and planning for the future.

>And as for tape having "no growth" because of hard drive >recorders and optical media -- I must say that probably comes >as news to the computer world, where tape-based archiving is >still very strong (and considered by many to be one of the best >ways to archive), despite the fact that HDD and optical solutions >have existed for years.

I spent 10 years as an IT professional and work 15-20 hours a week right now as IT consultant because it pays way better than video work and no equipment to buy :)

Yes, tape is dominant for backup but it's pretty despised by IT pros. Visit Sunbelt Software for their recent survey of IT pros on tape backups. Note how often restores fail and how pros are actively waiting for something better. Or read Chris Meyers complaints about tape backup for in DV Magazine...

In fact, the problems with tape as data backup illuminates the reason tape is dead. Disk based backup and archiving are exploding in high-end shops and low end shops are wanting vendors to come up with replacements.

They don't exist right now, but the pent up demand for them is huge

Personally, I got rid of my 25/50 GB tape drive and changed to portable disk backups. No worrying about what backup program encoded the files. Per GB, the cost is still higher, but the reliability, longevity and application independence are much higher.

That's why tape is on it's way out. You might think it's going to dawdle at the door awhile. That's fine. But there's no argument it will be, sooner or later, in the same display as punch cards.
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