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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 25th, 2004, 01:10 PM   #1
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B&W veiwfinder

I see that the 100a viewfinder is switchable from color to B&W. what are the advatages to this? when is a B&W viewfinder desirable?

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Old April 25th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #2
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Principally, monochrome viewfinders enable you to better judge contrast without being fooled by color.

In the case of true professional b&w viewfinders, such as the XL1's FU-1000 and those found on full-size pro cameras, the viewfinders are high-resolution CRTs that also serve as powerful aids in focus.

Although the DVX100A's version of a b&w viewfinder does not offer the resolution of a CRT it's not bad. It offers a "peaking" feature, as found on the big boys, that slightly edge-enhances objects that are in focus.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 06:34 PM   #3
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ic, thanks Ken. that peaking feature is clever. Does the peaking feature also show up in the fold out lcd? Sorry, im sure i could look someplace online for that info, im just being lazy.

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Old April 25th, 2004, 09:31 PM   #4
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Yes, it does. But it's more effective in b&w.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 10:59 PM   #5
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The peaking feature (EVF DTL mode) is one of, if not THE best new feature of the 100A.

One comment I'd like to add is this:

Spend plenty of time getting a feel for and use to your 100A's viewfinder and LCD in both normal and peaking (EVF DTL) modes. I've used a lot of professional CRT finders and even several of the (very expensive) "Studio Finders" (HD LCD's for HD rigs). And the one thing that I've learned from my experience is that LCD finders with peaking modes can be deceiving. Peaking modes in CRT finders make it almost impossible to not see the exact point at which the focus hits. The bright and sudden "flare" of the sharp outline pops into focus with no question. However with LCD finders, the peaking modes aren't as pronounced as they are in CRT's. They take some getting use to. And if you're not completely use to the point at which the image pops, you can sometimes think your image is in focus because the of the sharp outlines from the peaking. Yes, even on the very pricey 6" Sony Studio Finder HD LCD made for use with the HDW-F900. If you're not use to it, you can be fooled.

I mention this because I have noticed myself being fooled by my new 100A's LCD finders when using the EVF DTL (peaking). And I've been very aware of this issue with LCD peaking modes for quite awhile.

So definitely take some time to get a solid feel for your 100A's focus and LCD finders. I suggest that you practice by turning on the EVF DTL mode, placing your camera on a tripod, zooming in to your subject and focus (critical focusing), then zoom back out to your frame and note the Manual Focus number. Then repeat the same excercise with the EVF DTL mode off. See if you get the same number. If you do then you've probrably got decent feel for the "pop" of the EVF DTL mode. If you're a number or two (or four) off, then continue to practice. You may find it useful to have the camera connected a decent CRT television or professional monitor while doing this to properly evaluate the accuracy of the focus. And even after you get a good feel for the pop, it's always good to hit the button a time or two when focusing to see the A/B (on and off). Thanks to the excellent placement of the EVF DTL switch on the back of the camera right above the scene file dial, it's always easy and convienent to check and re-check what you've got.

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Old April 25th, 2004, 11:14 PM   #6
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Jon's recommendation is excellent. Compared to a crt viewfinder I have found that the 100A's peaking feature is, indeed, harder to discern on many shots, particularly when trying to spot it in the color lcd panel (fugettaboutit). Perhaps it's the low-res or pixel-based nature of lcd displays, or the lack of an adjustable peaking control found on pro viewfinders, but it will definitely take some practice and sharp eyes to get the hang of the DVX100A's peaking feature. But master it you can!
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Old April 28th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, i plan to purchase a 100a very soon, and this info will come in very handy.

Thanks!
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Old April 29th, 2004, 03:58 AM   #8
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I'm probably suffering from something, but I actually find it harder to focus on the viewfinder in B&W.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 10:48 PM   #9
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Just got the camera today, this feature is pretty amazing, makes it so much easier for me even when using the flip out monitor. i will try it in b&w to see the difference.
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