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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 May 8th, 2004, 05:19 AM   #1
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here we go again...

gl2 vc agdvc30

i know not too many people know much about the dvc30... i was determined to purchase a xm-2 but with the dvc30 coming over i'm thinking. the dvc30 has 470kp like the xm-2, the chips are the same size,same focal length but it seems to me that the dvc30 got much more features than the xm-2:
-cine gamma which could be great for me(since i'm movie directed and no i can't afford a dvx100)
-better low light(seems as good as the pd100)
-bigger lcd

when you take a glance at this, what does the xm-2 has that the dvc30 doesn't have
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Old May 8th, 2004, 06:02 AM   #2
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when you take a glance at this, what does the xm-2 has that the dvc30 doesn't have
20X optical zoom? Lower price? Flourite Lens? Tried and proven?
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Old May 8th, 2004, 06:50 AM   #3
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the difference between a 16xzoom and a 20xzoom ain't that big

the price difference ain't that big either

ok for the fluorite lens

what do you mean by "tried and proved"?

thanx
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Old May 8th, 2004, 11:05 AM   #4
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I shoot still photography with Canon and I have for years. Also of note is that I've done a lot of work where Canon cams and DVX cams are mixed. Ironically I've seen better results with a GL2 then I've seen with the XL1s... which is no doubt in part to the operator.

On my current job we're using a GL2 with a DVX and in a couple shots the client preferred the look of the GL2 over the DVX. They felt that the frame mode of the GL2 looked more filmy then the 30p in the DVX. To compensate for this I took the detail preset all the way down, cine-gamma, normal matrix, and I softened focus a lot. My point? A GL2 is a fine camera that can get professional results.

Now for the other side. A 3.5" lcd is pure luxury when compared to a 2.5"... and the Leica Dicomar lens which is used on the Pannys is regarded as the BEST stock lens on any miniDV cam under $4K... Video Systems, DV, Adam Wilt, and everybody else says so. The fluorite has to be nearly equal... but I wouldn't consider that in itself to be an advantage over the Panny.

If you're gonna' throw down $2K on a camera I'd HIGHLY recommend you go someplace to check them out and take your time playing with them. Some cams just seem to feel right in your hands... go with the one that does it for you.

Personally I'd try to get a DVC80 while you still can... that cam is being discontinued 'cause it's not profitable for Panasonic to produce and sell at it's price-point. I.E. it's a bargain. If you're quick you can still get one for around $2K... try B&H or scramble for a better price.

One of the main considerations for a pro is CCD size... that alone puts the DVC80 in the next class up. 1/3 inch beats 1/4 inch ALWAYS.

The audio section of the 80 is in a class that you can't appreciate until you realize you're taking near-perfect sound for granted.

Have you noticed that in NO PICTURE of the dvc30 have you EVER SEEN THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CAMERA? That's because all there is to see there is MINI-JACKS! Adios XLR inputs, adios professional sound... Look at the right side of an 80 and it's beautiful, technical, and with purpose. I personally guarantee you won't see a Panasonic ad for the 30 that shows the right side of the cam. Not until everybody forgets that an 80 was the SAME price for MORE camera.

Call B&H TODAY or miss out... that's just my not so humble opinion.

Obviously you have an NLE or you wouldn't be here. So if you want progressive/film-look images and you can't afford the DVX then you can get the 80 which will give you the heart of a DVX. You'll get 90% of what we all love about that cam...

Once you order that cam CLICK HERE for a $100 program to turn interlaced video to progressive!

I've used RevisionFX for years and it's a little-known program for most "new" shooters. For a hundred bucks it's a bargain and in a moderate NLE it renders fairly fast. Before I was shooting progressive I'd just do my rough-edit and process the entire batch at once. Then reload my clips into the project and there's no additional rendering as you play with clips that the computer sees as progressive video. Easy no?

Trust me... if you DON'T miss out on one of those remaining DVC80s you'll be thanking me. DOF, low-light, and overall image quality are a direct function of CCD/lens size (among other things... which are almost all superior in the 80)...
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Old May 8th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #5
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thanks for your comments matt. unfotrtunately, there is no PAL version of the dvc80, so it's dead.
the dvc30 will only be available in june so i'll go for the gl2(xm-2 actually). about this film look programm, when you use your gl-2 do you still use the frame mode?
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Old May 8th, 2004, 04:01 PM   #6
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No.

Frame mode gives a look that's actually significantly softer then progressive video.

What "Fields Kit" is essentially for is turning interlaced video into progressive scan. It combines the two "fields" of which any interlaced image is composed.

I've always thought of interlaced video as kind of, slimey. The motion with some video has too slick of a character. If the production values on a shoot are low it gets pretty obvious. You know how you'll see some scenes and you definitely know it's video? You can just tell... know what I mean?

Well the Frame mode on Canon cameras is designed to mimic the film look. It does this by dropping one of the two fields thereby appearing like a progressive scan. For some uses it actually looks quite good.

For most of my work I mainly don't want it too LOOK like video. Frame mode doesn't LOOK like video.

The thing is though, that you are losing 50% of the overall resolution of the image. So when you're counting pixels and lines of resolution you may as well not worry about it if you're going to do mostly Frame mode, 'cause that DUMPS half of those numbers you cared about. Does it matter? I say NO, 'cause it's all about OUTPUT and for me it's ALWAYS about output.

Now to give you the other side of that argument, or to effectively give BOTH angles of the debate, there IS a significant difference between progressive and Frame mode video. Progressive doesn't see fields, it sees FRAMES. Frame mode is not the same thing. Progressive sees a WHOLE frame which is composed of ALL the information that the TWO HALVES of interlaced video contains... with no flicker. So if you have a shot which includes some amazing detail and you want to keep all that detail you better not switch to Frame mode.

Since BOTH the Panny and the GL2 have a Frame mode, and NOT progressive, I would STILL get the RevisionFX program and sometimes I'd use it, and sometimes I'd just go to Frame mode.

For interviews with average people I'd go Frame mode. That will soften the image and flatter most speakers.

For a film short or scenery I'd shoot standard and deinterlace it back on the computer.

I posted a video that's YEARS old and crappy... on my site, but I was trying to explain this same thing to somebody else so I popped an example into the middle of some old footage. If you click this link you'll want to choose the bottom clip, the quicktime one NOT the windows media one. If you have broadband this will only take a minute, if not forget it... it's 10mb or so but you can play it from the site... anyway, at about 3/4 through the video you'll see a still of a little yellow bird. Look in the upper right hand corner... see the yellow lines? Watch that corner and watch the change... THAT my friend is the difference between progressive and interlaced video via RevisionFX. If you watch the little bird that isn't moving it doesn't change much... but if you watch the upper corner you see what a difference progressive makes on details and movement.

Click here and choose the second clip down... go to 3/4 through if you don't want to suffer some old garbage... thanks!
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Old May 8th, 2004, 08:21 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier :
...
Have you noticed that in NO PICTURE of the dvc30 have you EVER SEEN THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CAMERA? That's because all there is to see there is MINI-JACKS! Adios XLR inputs, adios professional sound... -->>>

I generally agree with most of your comments, however the DVC30 is XLR capable via an add-on adapter box. You CAN see a picture of the right side in the Pana brochure, page 9, with the XLR adapter socket clearly visible. I wouldn't call that a mini-jack. The adapter itself is shown throughout :-)
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Old May 9th, 2004, 01:13 AM   #8
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Sorry, I got off on a tear... When I said in "no picture" I should have said in no current magazine advertisements.

Currently I get Video Systems, Digital Videomaker, DV, AV Producer, Computer Videomaker... and whatever I buy straight off a shelf, and I was commenting from what I didn't see in those magazines... maybe an over-generalization, but you get my point.

I'm familiar with the adapter. Don't kid yourself. That adapter isn't the same thing as having true-xlr in with phantom, not to mention the incredible SPECS of the audio section of the DVX or DVC80. I didn't mean to offend anyone... but I don't think we're going to see a dozen magazines bragging up the audio for the new 30 in the way it was bragged up for the other two.

A Beachtek DXA-6 is a dead-quiet adapter that will allow any xlr and phantom mic use, but it doesn't change the rest of the audio chain inside the camera.

Even if the adapter gets the audio CLOSE to that of the 80 or 100 (which I honestly doubt it will), it's an extra $237.50 added to the DVC30's cost of $2300... considering you can get an older model DVX for around $2800-2900 (tops) I think you'd be nuts to call the 30 and adapter a viable combo when for litterally a few hundred more dollars you coulda' got a DVX.

At this point my commentary almost belongs in one of the "DVC80 vanishing?" threads... but I really don't comprehend the logic behind the new 30... why did they make it and why should somebody buy it? The 80 was a bargain priced alternative to a DVX, but the 30 is a "high for what you get-not even comparable to the DVX" alternative to the other mid-priced competition.

It's like the execs at Panny decided they wanted a cam more like a pdx-10, gl2, or even trv950... I'd have expected EVERY potential buyer of one of those cams to get an 80 hands down... now Panny's gonna' see threads like this one where they no longer offer the "clear choice" at this price point. To requote myself the DVC30 is LESS camera then the DVC80 for MORE money.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 01:27 AM   #9
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To requote myself the DVC30 is LESS camera then the DVC80 for MORE money.
Sure looks like that to me as well, except for the "see in the dark" feature, frame mode and more optical zoom (not taking the smaller CCDs into consideration).
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Old May 9th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #10
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deoes your deinterlacing programm give you the same soft effect as the frame mode? and what you're basically saying is that you lose less resolution by deinterlacing in the software than by using the frame mode, is that right?
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Old May 9th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #11
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There are times when you want to prioritize the film-look over absolute resolution. Technically speaking, Frame mode is half the resolution of deinterlaced (progressive) video. When you hear that you think, "Oh that's BAD! HALF the resolution? Why would I want to throw away half the resolution?" When I say it's always about the output that's exactly what I mean. If you're doing an interview with an older lady, for example, and you want to flatter her age and minimize UNWANTED details then Frame mode is GREAT. You won't see the video and think, "Where's half my resolution?"... You'll see the video and think, "That lady looks pretty good for her age!" Frame mode is a tool, just like a Tiffen Soft/FX filter is a tool.

Using Fields Kit to deinterlace video is a means of creating progressive images from interlaced footage. It does this by blending the two halves, or two FIELDS, that make up the image. So logically, progressive video has twice the resolution of Frame mode, BUT THAT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU WANT A SOFT LOOK.

Frame mode yields the SOFTEST images due to halved resolution.

Another approach to keep FULL resolution but still end up with a soft look is to soften focus. A monitor really helps with this 'cause it's hard to to not push this to actually being OUT OF FOCUS unless you have a number scale like on a DVX. Basically you want to set focus for absolute sharpness, then pull focus a little closer so that your intended subject "softens"... and then (if you like) you can run the Fields Kit on that footage. This technique will yeild Frame mode style footage at twice the actual resolution.

The only risk in this technique is that you don't want other objects in frame that appear razor sharp as your subject is soft 'cause then it will just look like you focused on the wrong thing!
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Old May 9th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier : To requote myself the DVC30 is LESS camera then the DVC80 for MORE money. -->>>

Matt - I'm with you on this point. My only reasons for even considering the DVC30 over the DVC80 are size and perhaps better auto features. WHY? I intend to often use the cam for shooting impromptu, where set up time will be limited in many instances requiring use of presets or auto, and for less of an 'intimidation factor' for my subject using a smaller cam. Any thoughts on this? Would you consider the size differences material at all? I would like to hear more on the DVC30 before I decide, but am also worried all the DVC80s will dissappear! GL2 is an option, but I'd much prefer the mag chassis on the Pannys and the 3.5" LCD, even with the same pixel count. The GL2 is also larger then optimal for my needs.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:24 PM   #13
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Gary... all the cameras you're considering are good cameras. I like the GL2 and I know nothing about the new 30 other then what I've been reading. I expect it will be well-received in the category of the trv950, pdx-10, and GL2. This camera is designed for people who are unnecessarily intimidated by the larger cameras.

At first I LOVED my trv900... but as I used it more I found frustrating limitations that just kept it from being classified as pro gear in my opinion.

Really I'm not even blown away by 1/3" ccds, but I am satisfied with them... once you get into 1/2" or 2/3" ccds then you're talking professional! Cams in that category aren't very limited compared to what we're dealing with.

So I guess my point is mainly valid for those who have a choice and are buying NTSC.

It just so happens that at this moment the DVC80 has got to be the bang for the buck leader. It's ironic really 'cause THAT was their whole advertising campaign for the 80... and now more then ever it's true.

Really I can break down the ownership experience in a few simple things that have really made me happy with the DVX... without mentioning progressive or 24 fps...

Having TRULY adequate audio right in the cam is a boon! The DVX and DVC80 have limiting available, but NO AGC. Have you heard any really clear audio from a DVX/DVC80? If not then I'll post a short clip for you to listen to... if you have monitors or REALLY good headphones you'll be surprised. What I want you to listen to is the total lack of hiss... at any level... there is NO hiss that raises and lowers with voice or silence. Period.

Easy manual control. You will grow out of using automatic modes really fast! Believe me. In the auto modes all sorts of things go wrong and shout "AMATURE VIDEO". Let me give you an example... You're talking to a fine young lady dressed in a medium color and somebody in a white t-shirt gets into frame... auto-iris closes down for a second and your lady goes dark (as does the entire picture)... Doh! Or even if you're locked down on a busy scene the camera will keep searching for things to focus on... Doh! Trees are blowing in the wind and the leaves are continuously changing the level of light in the shadows... auto-iris is ruining the shot AGAIN... Doh!

I could type examples of how auto-ANYTHING ruins shots time and time again... but you'll find out for yourself if you don't commit the first few days of ownership to truly learn the manual power of whatever camera you decide on.

And as far as intimidating people with the camera? I sometimes wish I had an XL1s if only for the credibility it gives! When I have my BBG/Jammer on top of my DVX and I'm toting a couple Portabrace bags I can walk straight-faced into ANY SITUATION. Everybody assumes I'm SUPPOSED to be there!

Any camera that is clearly consumer level doesn't part the crowd in the same way. Rather then have a camera that blends in so it doesn't intimidate the talent... consider how nice it is to have a really pro setup that keeps ALL BYSTANDERS at a respectful distance...

Since I'm pulling this thread off topic. If I had to choose between the new 30 and the GL2 I'd probably have to go with the GL2... but you know what I'd suggest over that... cough! err80 cough!
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