The DVC30 vs. the Sony VX2100 at DVinfo.net

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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 July 25th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #1
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The DVC30 vs. the Sony VX2100

Tough choices.
Upgrading from a Sony TRV900.
Had been considering a DVX100A but can't afford it and it is probably too heavy.
So now I'm down to the DVC30, the front runner, and the Sony VX2100.

The DVC 30 is lighter, cheaper, has better sound, a longer zoom and I like the feel and looks.

VX2100 has larger CCD chips, better night viewing, and an easy access ND filter.

But what am I missing?

Your wisdom, or even your unwise quick thoughts, appreciated.


Thanks.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 05:32 AM   #2
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The 30 and the 2100 really aren't in the same class Craig, as I'm sure you realise. This is what spaces them apart:

The VX has bigger chips, more depth of field control, a zoom ring, info-lithiums, switchable ND filters, keeps you informed as to shutter speed and aperture values, has wider apertures and works better in low light.

The 30 is smaller and lighter yet sports a much bigger side-screen, but that's where the competion ends if you're a serious photographer. The camera has built-in ND filtration and there's nothing wrong in that if you're an 'auto-everything' type of guy. But if you want control over the shutter speed and aperture and gain settings, forget the 30. You'll be filming 'blind' and I feel this is just not good enough. Go for the DVX100A by all means - it's a much closer match to the 2100 in my view.

tom.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 01:26 PM   #3
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Tom,
I'm a little confused by your post....I've been using the 30 for several months and am very happy with the quality. I also shoot with a dvx100a and it is definitely better. What I'm not sure about is your statement that indicates the user has no control over the shutter, aperture, and gain. In the manual mode, the dvc has user adjustable settings for all of the mentioned as well as several others you have not mentioned. And as far as being "blind" to what they are, I have not had an issue because they show up clearly on the oversized display. Is there something I'm not understanding about what you are saying in your post?
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Old July 26th, 2005, 01:48 PM   #4
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Add the 100A to the mix

Nathan:

I'd love to hear your hit re the DVC30 and the 100A since you use both.
My concerns re the 30 A vs. the 100A, apart from the $$$ (will I need to go into my Bonnie and Clyde mode?) are: portability since I use it for travel videography a lot, ease of hand use (a lot of classroom shooting and I need to be mobile), ease of quick candid shooting, image stabilizer (I have a slight hand tremor and also hate to travel with a tripod), and quality of the viewfinder image (I'm big on big bright viewfinders for composition).

Robbing a bank might be worth it if the gain of the 100A makes it justifiable re my needs but if the 30A will do I can use the extra money for valued accessories.

Thanks alot.

Mark (Craig is my son and we share the use of this community)
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Old July 26th, 2005, 02:21 PM   #5
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I do apologise if I've criticised the DVC30 unfairly. I looked at this camera about two years ago and it may well have been updated since then. Panasonic did a big improvement on the 100, turning it into the A version and correcting many silly faults in the process.

Having come from a VX2000 I immediately realised that any camcorder without switchable ND filters must have automatic internal NDs, and the DVC30 is just such a model. As you say Nathan, this doesn't harm the performance, it's just that you're not informed as to what aperture you're shooting at - neither when you shoot or when you replay the tape with 'display' turned on. Any camcorder with internal NDs statrts to bring the first of these into the optical path at around f/4 - as it gets brighter more and more ND is applied, though the 'display' later will extrapolate and tell you this frame was shot at f/16 (say). Nonsence, of course.

But as I say, if the DVC30 has been updated by Panasonic, then I wasn't aware of it. I still say that a photographer needs to know that he's locked down the shutter speed and that the aperture he's shooting at is correct for the dof required and the focal length he's working at. With 1/4" chips it's really important you don't shoot at f/8 or smaller, and especially so with a wide-angle converter where diffraction losses are at their greatest.

As you say Nathan, "the dvc has user adjustable settings for all of the mentioned...I have not had an issue because they show up clearly on the oversized display."

So I take it that your 30 shows you the shutter speed, the aperture and the gain settings as you film and when you replay the tape? In which case, I do apologise; I was wrong.

tom.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #6
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Craig,

I sent you an email in reply to the 30 vs. 100a.

Tom, I have not used the internal ND filters so I'll admit not knowing enough to reply to your information about that. As far as the shutter, gain, and aperture, yes they are displayed as you are shooting and I have never tried to display them for play back so once again I admit ignorance. I am pretty new, and my post was more of a question than a statement of correction to yours.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 03:13 PM   #7
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DVC 30 vs 100A

I know this has gotten away a little bit from my original post but new info keeps effecting my thinking on this.

Tom, do you have any sense of the 100A visa vis the 2100?
Given my great experience with the TRV900 I am still open re a Sony
camcorder.

Also, how is the sound quality, image stabilization, slow zoom control, and eye viewfinder size and brightness on the 2100?

Thanks.

Mark
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Old July 26th, 2005, 03:53 PM   #8
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Nathan, if you've used the DVC30 in anything approaching 'good light' then you have indeed used the automatic internal ND filters - there's simply no getting away from it. So you can set (say) 1/50th sec shutter speed and then set an aperture of f8 and have these displayed on the v'finder and side screen? Trouble is it isn't shooting at f/8, it's much more likely to be f/4.5 and a dollop of ND.

Craig - I've used the VX and 100A pretty extensively. I also had two TRV900s and loved them both.

The VX2100 has pretty good on-board mics in my opinion, though some folk don't like them. Better than the 900's mics, that's for sure. As with most such cams, they're better fed by XLR mics and a Beechtek DXA-4.

The VAP Sony Super Steadyshot (SSSS) is quite wonderful, and I've written at length on the subject. As an affordable technology it's as near a transparent miracle as you and I will find, and being able to toggle the SSSS on and off convinces non-believers as to its excellence within one whole second.

The slow zoom control is fine, and of course the Zoe remote LANC controller can access the 'push auto' function of the manual focus as well. Not possible with either Canons or Panasonics I might add.

The v'finder is the VX2100's dissapointment in my view. The VX2000 had a better one as it didn't suffer from the ''you must be on axis'' syndrome of the 2100. On the other hand the side-screen is OK, and with a Hoodman it's all you'll ever need.

tom.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #9
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Thank you Tom, I understand what you are saying.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 04:18 PM   #10
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Thanks Tom.

How does the viewfinder on the 2100 compare to the TRV900?

Mark
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Old July 27th, 2005, 12:58 AM   #11
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I haven't got both side-by-side, so I can't tell you. But then I'm a side-screen man, and I still haven't forgiven Sony for putting such a tiddly little side-screen on my VX.

tom.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 03:41 AM   #12
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Hi,

I've worked with the two (DVC30 and VX2100) side by side and very low light situations and the DVC30 holds it's ground very well and you have much better control over color and IMO with DVC30 than VX2100. If you're going with a Sony, have you looked at a PD170 instead? It's a pro camera.
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