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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, 11:27 PM   #1
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dvc80 problems

I am ready to take the plunge. I am ready to smack down my cash for a 3 ccd camera, having busted my ass learning everything and anything i could, and i finally have enough money :)
The question comes down to two cameras, the vx2100 or the dvc80. I want to buy the DVC80, but since i saw scarce posts of it here, i thought id ask the users and people who have read about it to post what problems it has had with audio/video/make of the camera in a whole. Since my school uses a vx2000, i well know its capabilities in low light and just the overall use of it. does the dvc80 have as much exposure control as the vx2100 does? BTW, i will be making short and maybe in the future, feature films. (i know, i know, the dvx100a rules, but i dont have enough money.)
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Old May 8th, 2004, 11:55 PM   #2
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The question comes down to two cameras, the vx2100 or the dvc80.
They are about the same price, more or less, but you get more with the DVC80. However, the DVC80 has been discontinued, probably so it won't have to compete with the DVC30.
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ask the users and people who have read about it to post what problems it has had with audio/video/make of the camera....
I haven't come across any problems.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 12:12 AM   #3
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is there any disadvantage of its discontinue? (double negative?) at bh the dvc80 is 200 dollars less i think.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 01:11 AM   #4
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is there any disadvantage of its discontinue?
No, because:
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at bh the dvc80 is 200 dollars less i think.
All my cams have been long discontinued, and I don't have any problems with them. In fact, I bought them all just before they were discontinued because they were cheaper.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 02:00 AM   #5
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Michael... the DVC80 is the DVX w/o progressive scanning or 24p. That's it.

Beas (another guy on this board that you'll run into sooner or later) had his VX2000 professionally modded to get better sound... if you wanted your new VX2100 to sound really good you'd end up doing that too.

For the time being the DVC80 is the only cam in that price range that offers pretty damn good audio right out of the box. When you're looking at a new cam I understand sound is in the back of your mind... but it shouldn't be.

I've been on a shoot for the past few weeks where we have a GL2 getting audio via Beachtek and it's being split for double sound into a pmd670... good stuff. We also have my DVX running and I think it's getting better sound all by itself when it's got a dedicated mic.

So take your pick for great sound... double system or NO double system... Personally I like "easy" unless "hard" gains me something.

Panasonic has had SO much success with the 100 that they don't NEED the 80 and at the price the 80 was selling they don't WANT it as competition to the 100. An 80 is 9/10ths of a DVX for 3/4ths the money.

I'd call this one a no-brainer... the fact that it's a moment slipping away only sweetens the deal. About the only thing I can offer against doing this is I expect the Sony to have better low-light... but MOST of the time that won't be a problem and the difference won't be huge... just better in the Sony. That, and ultimately I think Sony probably still makes the most durable cameras... but I have no complaints about the DVX which is made of cast magnesium... same as the DVC80... if you haven't seen a picture of it then CLICK HERE for an inside look!
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #6
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When researching cameras, I also compared the VX2000 and the DVC80. In my eyes, the DVC80 won, flat out.

I'll agree with Matt for the most part. There's better audio on the DVC80 (with native XLR inputs and phantom power -- the VX2100 will need a $150+ adaptor), the DVC80 has solid construction; great image control settings -- including exposure and lowlight but also detail, chroma, flourescent, and other controls; and good glass on the front.

As I often mention, I have spoken to impartial broadcast professionals (such as one with over 30 years experience as an ENG cameraman) and they have said that the DVC80 is the equivalent of the PD150/170 -- which means it's at least on par with the VX2100, too. The aforementioned cameraman also loves the Leica lens on the Panny.

General opinion seems to be that the PD170/VX2100 has slightly better lowlight capabiltiy, but it really seems minimal to my eyes. If you are interested in making shorts and features, though, I don't think you'll find yourself worrying about lowlight -- at least not to the point where you are truly testing the limits of the lowlight capabilities; I assume you'll have control over the lighting of your scenes and whatnot!

I am by no means a seasoned cameraman, but you can see some examples of the DVC80 in action on my website. I have some excerpts from a silent short I did (as well as some tweaked "goofing around" footage) at http://www.karatemedia.com/video/dvc80.html. The first version of the "DVC80 Short" has some Curves adjustments to bring out the contrast -- you can compare it to the untouched version below it.

You can also see some local commercials I have shot with the DVC80 at http://www.karatemedia.com/video -- The "Marti's at Midday" spot was shot partly in a very dim dining room area with no added Gain; the interiors of the "Musician's Warehouse Christmas" ad were shot under flourescent lighting (and in one shot, a mix of flourescent and sunlight). Both ads only used existing lighting, no additional lighing was brought along for the shoots (although I wish I had for the "Marti's at Midday" shoot!) This is not mind-blowing stuff, but it will give you an idea of the DVC80 in the hands of a run-n-gun amateur.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 07:04 AM   #7
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Not to mention the DVC80 and DVX100 share the same near perfect ergonomics. They have the best weight and balance of any cam in the prosumer market. Compared to the VX, well the VX just feels bulky. If handheld shooting is important go with the 80!
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Old May 10th, 2004, 08:08 PM   #8
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thanks for the responses guys, does anyone have any real short film clips in full quality availible for me to see?
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Old May 10th, 2004, 09:15 PM   #9
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Well, just 30 seconds of DV avi is about 100 MB, so that's a hefty download for you. But if you're up to it, I'm currently uploading a 20-second excerpt from my Marti's at Midday commercial. It's around 75 MB, and should (hopefully) be uploaded in an hour.

So in about 60 minutes, right-click on this link and save to your desktop:

http://www.karatemedia.com/video/marti-edit-full.avi

Obviously, since the video is interlaced, it'll look better on a TV than on your PC monitor, so feel free to dump it to your cam and watch it on your favorite tube.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 09:18 PM   #10
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will do so. awesome, you rock!
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #11
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OK, it's up. 75 MB -- probably close to a 20 or 30 minute download with a broadband connection.

http://www.karatemedia.com/video/marti-edit-full.avi

That's a full DV 720x480 .avi file, no additional compression. Please right-click that link and save to your computer. That's the largest file I've ever uploaded to the site, so let me know if anything strange happens. Check it out on a TV for the best comparison.

As I said before, this ad was shot using only existing light. The dining room/front counter shots were very dim, lit pretty much only by the outside light coming in from the front windows. It was a very overcast and rainy day, so there wasn't much light to work with. The opening shot of the cook was shot under flourescent lighting. Basically, this was a run-n-gun shoot (albeit one that the owner was very happy with and which she credits in part for the increase in business she's having, if I may say so myself) -- so keep that in mind.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think (regardless if it's good or bad)!
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:37 PM   #12
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the footage looks great. the color can be compared to be the vx2000 i use, i think i think its just as good. thanks a lot!
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:42 PM   #13
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Holy crud! Did you already download it? I'm still downloading it myself! (and I was downloading it as I typed my last post!) What speed is your connection?
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:43 PM   #14
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haha im on cable, took me 3 minutes.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:47 PM   #15
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Huh, so am I -- although on a tier-one broadband service plan. 3 minutes for 75 MB? That's great! What do you pay for that kind of speed?

Anyway, if you like the colors on that, just imagine if there had been proper lighting!
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