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-   -   DVX100B(E) (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasonic-dvx-dvc-assistant/50997-dvx100b-e.html)

Rob Lohman September 13th, 2005 03:43 AM

At the IBC event there was the "new" DVX100B as well (BE in Europe). It's a
"minor" upgrade from the DVX100A. From what I can remember it had these

- Updated menu system (popup menus)
- Higher pixel count LCD screens in both the popout and viewfinder
- Remote focussing ability (with remote controller)
- More sensitive microphone
- New tape mechanism (the older ones had something in them that is not allowed in Europe), this dropped the interval recording feature (!)
- Tape door locking mechanism changed to prevent problems with stopping recording because the camera thought the door was being opened
- Should be out in October 2005

That's what I can remember. There may be some more little changes.

Mathieu Ghekiere September 13th, 2005 04:34 AM

Didn't it have native 16/9?

Rob Lohman September 15th, 2005 01:28 PM

Didn't hear anything about it. It did also have an option to switch the audio
stream from either directly from the mic (no echo ) or listen to the audio stream
after it has been recorded to tape (with echo).

Bob Costa September 15th, 2005 09:56 PM

That is more changes than I was expecting. Nothing to get me upgrading though....

Peter Jefferson September 16th, 2005 07:54 AM

hmm.. i think the changes are to do with that IBC thingy in europe.. where all electronic goods have to comply or something like that.. ?? i dunno anythgn about that..

as for the B, that door locking problem was an issue i had with an A model iused to have...
my biggest concern is these units collecting dust and crap on the lense element inside the main front lens element.. i have one hair from my softie stuck in there and i cant get the buger out.. in normal light its ok, but when its gets all bright forget it.. i have to zoom through to run it out of focus.. not happy..

as for pop up menus, id rather not.. if theyre going with the gs400 look, i dont want a bar of it.. its so tedious.. at a shoot when running and gunning i can now fly through the menu system in a matter of seconds... i dont see how pop ups will increase or streamline my workflow.. to me its a waste of bios memory space which could have been put to use on other things, such as a refined battery life meter showing minutes rather than bars, (such as found on Sony cameras) ALso having the Record indicator flash up LARGE bfore being placed in the corner (as found in the MX500) would also help as there have been plenty of times where i thought i had pressed the record button, but in fact didnt.. its quite common among DVX owners to err in such a manner.. and moving it BELOW the timecode marker (as in the MX500) would also make it more visible while shooting...

a native 16:9 ccd would be good, but DV is not the way Pana is going.. i dont see any purpose for 16:9 when the HVX us due out so soon... it would kill sales and also not sell many units considering that th ecompetition have all gone 16:9 WITH HDV... 16:9 with SD would be redundant very soon.. the reason i use Z1's and the HDV format is simply for the colour sampling... i personally prefer the "look" i get off the dvx image with an anamorphic lense, however the colour sampling jsut doesnt give me the latitude i need for advanced colour grading in Avid.... the only redeeming factor of this is cinegamma and true full res SD progressive scan...

lets see what Pana bring with the 100b before we add it to our wishlist...

Tom Hardwick October 7th, 2005 02:46 AM

Peter - you have a hair from the softie stuck between the zoom elements? Explain further, as this sounds highly unlikely, even for an inner circle poster such as yourself.

This B version sounds very much like Sony's facelift of the PD150, where they changed it into a PD170. I don't know of a single owner who took the little upgrade step (unless their 150 was clapped out) but it enabled Sony to write N.E.W all over the adverts, and this gets people's eyes watering.

The 170 was still 4:3 as the 100B appears to be - so each manufacturer is simply pumping out more of the old and making full use of the high compression die tools before everyone switches to their 16:9 HiDef models.


Peter Jefferson October 13th, 2005 11:47 AM

oh yes, its definately a hair... or more like a fibre from my lens cleaner and is about 2mm long...
its between the outer lens element, and sittin on the first dome of glass on the moving zoom element... which is visible.. on bright intense light, even though its out of focus, the spec is visible... i think i may have shaken it off by switching off the rocker and literally hammering away at the zoom ring until it hits (with force) and let gravity do the rest..

Pana have just dropped the price (again) of the DVX down to 5000AUD, which is $1700 less than what i bought it for last year..(which at $6700, was a lil over cost price as im a supplier)
6 months after that, they offered the cam at $6k with a 1500 tripod and bag/battery bundle...
and now, they dropped it again...

To me this sort of price dropping depreciates the value of our investment and to say im pissed at the constant devaluing is an inderstatement.

Dont get me wrong, im all for cheap gear, but when u consider most of us are using this gear for business purposes, its not boding well for those us who will be relying on the re-sale of our old gear (which is now depreciated... again) to upgrade to the new gear... which is where most of the profit on this new gear is made...
Now if i cant get the $$ i want for my old gear, i wont be upgrading to a HVX.. simply due to its obvious drop in value every year... based on Panas behaviour with the DVX....ill be jumping ship to another manufacturer

To date, i could not fault the DVX themselves, however, even though technology prices continue to plummet, it still makes it difficult for those of us to trust that our investment is worthwhile for the future.. which at this time, im afraid to say that it isnt worthwhile..

as for the 100B camera itself, i think its a waste of time and money... if anything, they should be focussing on offering accessories to keep the current DVX active in todays mainstream market.. such as widescren adapters...

as this is more than unlikely to occur, the DVX100b needs afew things to make it stand out form the 100A,
Heres afew things which need adressing...

- An optical stabiliser which works better and is smoother than the current one. At the moment, anything more than 75% zoom is useless handheld. Now im good with a camera, and have used the DVX since the initial release, so for about 3 and a half years ive had enough practice with these units to know how far i can go with it. The Sony units (Z1, FX1, PD170, VX) are all consistant with their stabilisers. the DVX is the only camera which ive ever used which fluctuates in its optical stability... this is from 3 DVX units used almost everyday...

- Noise levels. Something needs to be done about it. The new 12bit RGB processor in the 100a is far noisier than the 100 @ 12db, my old dvx is MUCH cleaner, although not as sharp...

- a minus 3db gain is required

- Focus ring should not be infinite. At least put a lock on the focus ring.
it doesnt need an external focal range grid printed on the lens, as the meter in the viewfinder is perfectly sufficient. Most users wont be having a regualr focus puller... and those that do, can deal with that later..

- SLight off topic. The anamorphic adapter should have a metal screw thread. ive had 3 adapters which have all failed on me simplyu due to the threads being inferiror cheap plastic whereby the screw chews the threads to uselessness. All have been returned, thats 4500 that pana has lost from me... not to mention the numerous reports of dust and crap gettin stuck in the elements.

- a faster cpu. During progressive shooting, sometimes going manual jsut doesnt cut it, so having the assistance of auto helps. It just needs to be a wee bit faster

- 16:9 tag recording when squeeze mode is on

- a gentler zoom rocker. The DVC30 is supersmooth, however thats using electronic algorythms to shift the lens, as opposed to an actual manual lens, so i doubt this can be rectified simply due to the mechanics of the DVX lens.

- a better record on off indicator. I was recently shootin with my MX500 and when u hit record, a huge "record" pops up on the screen, then shifts to the top corner. hit stop, and huge PAUSE sign pops up. This helps when shooitng run and gun, as when your focussed on the footage, your eyes arent scanning the top of teh DVX frame above the timecode to see whether ur recording... which leads me to the next point..
-METAL BUTTONS.... damn i hate the DVX power switch and record button.. theyre so plasticy, that half the time u cant even FEEL that youve hit record...

- Battery life indicator. I buy new batteries every year. however al my DVX units CANNOT READ the continual drop in power. were talking cameras powered up for hours on end here.. with standby turned on... THe only way to assertain battery life, is to switch off the camera and turn it back on.
I like Sonys minute reading for battery life... that works really well..

- stick with the old menu system. Popups suck. if theyre anything like the GS400, i dont wanna know...

- focus. The dvx really does need a focal point indicator within the image (like the JVC HD101's focus outline). The evf detail is pretty useless for intricate shots, and the physical limitations of the CCD and lens for DOF make it even harder to achieve a good DOF on the fly.

- As for the remote focus, if pana actaully went with canon/sony agrement on LANC, wed already have this.. hell i can get a Canon lanc which does all this and more for less than 350... at the moment, the cheapest lanc for DVX is a manfrotto for $600.. thats just not good enough conisdering that it only sooms and powers the recording...

ok, im bored now, im goin to bed... lol

Tom Hardwick October 14th, 2005 12:55 AM

Interesting read Peter, and it raises a few points. Your business NLE computer is reckoned to have breathed its last after four years, so why not view your DVX in the same light? Buy it, use it, make money from it and bin it, just as with your computer. If it fetches a bit on the open market so much the better, but the 16:9 cams are upon us, and anything that only shoots 4:3 is going to be like trying to sell Hi8 kit.

Same with your cassette, CD or Minidisc walkman. Ever tried to sell one of those recently? Some things retain their value well over the years. Senheisser microphones, Manfrotto tripods, houses and Rolex watches. But I think you can view anything with a Mini DV deck inside it as something that has a designed in life-span that you should be happy to pay for and then accept its natural death. The DSLR gang all have perfectly good film SLRs sitting in cupboards back home, and fortunes were spent on edit controllers and S-VHS decks just a few years ago.

Panasonic are reducing the price simply trying to remain competitive out there, and they know that Canon and Sony are constantly hounding them in the hearts and minds of people just like you and me. Interestingly Sony (over here in the UK) never found it necessary to drop the PD170's price, even with their own fierce pricing of the much more advanced FX1.

A lot of this is down to reputation of course, and Panasonic did themselves no favours by caesarean sectioning the DVX100 before it was fully formed. The PD150 gang took a quick look and went back to their Info-lithiums, while Panasonic smarted and got it right (or at least a lot better) with the 100A model.

I like reading your list of changes required as I go along with a lot of them. I've used the 100A extensively but still like Sony's competitor more, although I have to concede that the Leica lens is a cracker, and happily outperforms the Sony down the wide end. That hair in between your elements is unacceptable though, and I've not heard of that one before.

But at the price points we're talking about a camcorder ends up being a compromise solution. With just a few thousand dollars a piece, there's all sorts of trade offs to be engineered into place to get the camera accepted, competitive, reliable and loved.

Sony nailed it with the 150 (as any TV war footage will show you) and only bolstered their reputation further with the 170 and the Z1. The PD series are not the sharpest, but the manufacturing compromises have meant that it's toughness, reliability, reputation and longevity ensure returning customers. And when you have these you're not forced to continually drop the price.


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