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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
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Old September 18th, 2004, 02:35 AM   #1
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DVX and heavy motion, is this a good match?

This is my first post in the opiate known as the dvinfo forum!

Here is my question:
I have a friend who is an accomplished martial artist/aspiring choreographer; he is interested in buying a DV camera to shoot some shorts. I am wondering how well the DVX 100A will be able to track the very fast motions of a martial artist.

Perhaps there is there a camera that would perform better under these conditions? I would like to limit the options to ONLY cameras under $5000. Some of the others would include the XL2 and the FH1, which are just hitting the market but may be worth waiting for. Thanks in advance for any insight. Lastly, for the sake of simplicity, assume that the optimal lighting conditions/tripod/etc. could be used for each camera.


P.S. If anybody can post a link to DVX footage that contains heavy character movement that would be awesome.

Thanks!!!
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Old September 18th, 2004, 10:51 AM   #2
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I shoot with the PD170, not with the DVX, but it seems to me that if you're at all interested in the film look (24p), why not go this route? With this cam, you also have normal 60i video at your disposal, as well as fast shutterspeeds, which may be very interesting to your study and representation of fast motion. Same with the XL2. You won't be without the things that most other cams in this price range offer (quite the contrary...).
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Old September 18th, 2004, 12:51 PM   #3
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Right -- the XL2 and the DVX both shoot in 60i, as well as 24P and 30P. You can pick which mode you want to use. You're not restricted, in fact you have more options.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies!

I guess I am wondering if any camera offers a feature that can help rid footage of the tell-tale digital blur associated with fast motion. For example, can the FX1 with its HDV (in other words: higher resolution) represent motion more effectively. Likewise, does the XL2 bring anything to the plate (it costs $5000 for a reason right?)? Basically, the FX1 and XL2 are newer, so I hope they are better, but I am inexperienced with video cameras and need one that specifically works well with fast moving objects on screen.

Keep the responses coming!
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Old September 18th, 2004, 04:10 PM   #5
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Fast shutterspeeds are really what you want, promise. Use a fast enough SS and there will be no motion blur on those lighting fast karate kicks,etc, no kidding. With faster shutterspeeds comes the need for more light. Combined with 24p and you'll need quite a lot of light, to be sure, although there's no reason to use both simultaneously for such shots. If you have talking head commentary or other kinds of non action shots, the 24p or 30p could sweeten the look of your video as well as provide startling/interesting contrast to the fast shutterspeed action stuff. Sounds like a lot of fun, initial experimentation with a pretty cool camera, to me! To repeat, though, lighting is going to be key (not to mention fill. hah!) to this production. I don't know what the fastest SS is on the DVX, or how fast you're going to need. Borrowing or renting some kind of cam with manual SS, in order to figure this out for yourself, might be a first step.

ps No one throw rocks please :-] but I know the PD170 to have more than enough shutterspeeds to suit your fancy, and at a about a $600 savings over the DVX. The PD170 is also arguably a bit more light sensitive than the DVX, and/or with a cleaner Gain, but it does NOT have 24 or 30p or some of the other image sweeteners that the DVX has, so be sure you know what you want.

Shawn
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Old September 18th, 2004, 05:48 PM   #6
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One very important thing to consider - the XL2's standard lense is not a wide lense. You will need to get a separate wide lense for around US$1,300 and switch it out when you need it. The DVX100's built-in lense is quite wide and you can make it even wider with an additional screw on lense.

Your shooting style will probably dictate which cam you pick.

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Old September 18th, 2004, 06:52 PM   #7
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Well the Canon XL2 has manual shutter speeds between 1/24 and 1/15,000. However, I am not sure if this in all shooting modes or not. The canon website mentions that the 24p cinelook is achieved with an SS of 1/48, but surely this must be adjustable?

The VGX only has the following in 24P/24PA: 1/24, 1/50 (OFF), 1/120, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000.

>>Is there anyone out there with experience shooting fast motion on the VGX? Surely somebody has come across this in thier DPing?

Are the SS's available sufficient?

P.S. I read you loud and clear on the "rent and discover" method, I'm just looking for insight.

Thanks again to all.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 07:25 PM   #8
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1/1000 would probably be sufficient for your needs. You guys are fast, but you aren't hummingbirds! :-) What do I know, maybe you are.
In any case, to reiterate, you really don't NEED to shoot in both 24p AND a fast shutterspeed, unless you fall head over heels (pun intended) for THAT look, but it's going to get awfullly hot in that dojo with all of the light you'll need to catch up to proper exposure levels. Unless you shoot outside in direct sunlight. Pardon my beating a dead horse.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 07:32 PM   #9
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Two other things popped up.

Autofocus - Do you feel that this is something you'll be relying on for what you're shooting? If so, something else to consider while camera researching.

Vertical smear - These 1/3" cams are generally pretty good about not smearing, but high shutterspeeds can exacerbate this phenomenon. It's the sort of thing that can come off of glinting metal objects (a reflected light fixture, etc.) and the like. Careful preshoot observation and preparation will take care of it.

Shawn
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