Got my DVX100 TODAY! First impressions..... at DVinfo.net

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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
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Old April 30th, 2003, 06:26 PM   #1
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Got my DVX100 TODAY! First impressions.....

I read all the positive and negative comments about the camera here so I was pretty prepared when I got it. I actually was "looking" for the negative things people complained about.

My initial impression was a bit on the dissapointed side regarding the build quality. I mean this thing is ALL plastic. It definitly gives it the feeling of being flimsy. On a lighter note, pun intended, it's quite light- actually incredibly light....it's a fairly considerable size larger than my GL-1 and feels just as light.

The manual zoom ring feels a bit weird- there's a little play in it and is a bit touchy. I was working on a rack-focus shot and my hand brushed it and moved the ring within the slack/play and it affected the zoom ever so slightly. If there is play in it I wish the little area it does move before getting taunt doesn't affect the zoom.

The focus ring IS indeed very soft. However after using it a few times it makes it quite easy to pull of intricate rack focus shots with a single finger.

The audio seemed really good- though I was using an external ME66/K6. Other than some annoying digital buzz/flutter whenever the camera was bumped even slightly.

After hearing all this your probably thinking I'm not quite happy with it- what made up for it was the footage it shot. It was absolutly stunning. The ND (1/64th) does an incredible job of keeping the blues in the sky and not blowing them out. The footage shot in 24p does indeed look very film-like.....more than I had expected with everyone complaining about excessive strobing. Shooting outside yeilded the best footage I've shot to date. Interior shots with lesser lighting seemed, for some reason, less cinematic like and took on the characteristics more like a typical 3ccd. I must say though the low light performance dwarfs that of my GL-1....by a mile. I'm sure the 1/3" CCDs help in that area.

So overall I'm really excited about taking the next few weeks to experiment with it in different settings and beginning to navigate the extensive and somewhat cryptic menus. I'm just going to feel insecure taking it into the feild 1.It's brand-new and costs over 3k ....2. "Feels" like it's going to break. lol
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Old April 30th, 2003, 06:28 PM   #2
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...oh yeah- speaking of manual/servo zoom....I was playing with the zoom ring when the camera was off (waiting for the battery to charge) little did I know it was set to servo and not manual. Thus the reason the zoom felt very taunt and made a mechanical noise as I turned it. I hope I didn't do any damage turning the zoom ring without it being in the manual setting!!! Anyone have any input?
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Old April 30th, 2003, 07:51 PM   #3
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Hey Glen, hope you're enjoying your new camcorder. No idea about what kind of damage if any - does it work properly still? It does mention in the manual on page 15 under the Servo listing on item 44:

"For motor-driven zoom operations (At this position do not attempt to perform manual zoom operations or malfunctioning may result)"

Let us know, I was always curious about that. Hope everything is okay.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 09:32 PM   #4
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Yeah I read that tonight as I smacked myself. I didn't like crank it or anyhting I just sorta turned it slowly. What else was I going to do- waiting for the darn battery to charge. UGH

Anyway my zoom ring has a tad bit of play in it when it's in between the wide and close setting. When it's zoomed all the way out or all the way in the zoom ring is tight- it's just in between these two settings the zoom ring feels like it has play. I watched thru the lcd as I wiggled the play in the zoom wheel and it DOES affect the zoom slightly. Sorta annoying- hopefully it's just a quirk of this camera, and not my doing from turning it while it was off in the servo mode!

Does anyone know if the DVX100 is known to have a bit of play in the zoom ring in servo mode?
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Old May 1st, 2003, 11:48 AM   #5
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No worries

Glen wrote:
"Does anyone know if the DVX100 is known to have a bit of play in the zoom ring in servo mode?"

Yes, this is something that was being talked about back in October of 2002. Just a small annoyance, but mant have complained about it.

BTW, I did the same thing when I first got my camera regarding turning the zoom while NOT in manual mode. I have not noticed any ill effect, although you can bet I will never do it again.

I hope this helps,

Regards,
Aric
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Old May 1st, 2003, 03:08 PM   #6
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Great that makes me feel alot better! I did, however, read a rewiew from a guy on a different thread that was trashing the DVX100 that he mentioned the zoom ring having play. He was talking about the zoom ring having play front to back though. Mine has play in both planes- front to back and side to side (the way it turns to actually operate). Does yours have play in the direction it operates? I'm asking because it seems like it might be an annoyance if I'm not carefull. I was working a carefully set up rack focus and my finger brushed against it ever so slightly and must have moved the zoom ring within the millimeter or so play it has which in turn zoomed the image ever so slightly. Can you verify that yours has play on the axis it spins to operate while in servo mode? Like I said if it's zoomed all the way in or all the way out it's tight to the touch but anywhere in between it's very touchy....even if it's not meant to be "touched" (in servo mode)...even light brushes nudges it.

Another thing I noticed in initial footage was how darn shaky it was. I'll have to take more footage today and make sure the OIS is on. Does anyone know if the DVX100's OIS is as good as the GL-1's?...because I can practically run with the GL-1 and it stays smooth. Thanks in advance!
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Old May 6th, 2003, 10:33 PM   #7
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My zoom ring seems to not have any play but it is very responsive I am thinking about taking the little handle off because I think it is smoother without it.


Does this cam (dvx-100) have an automatic mode that will handle all the functions? Or do you just use the Scene File and tweak from there?
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Old May 7th, 2003, 01:37 PM   #8
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"Interior shots with lesser lighting seemed, for some reason, less cinematic like and took on the characteristics more like a typical 3ccd. I must say though the low light performance dwarfs that of my GL-1....by a mile. I'm sure the 1/3" CCDs help in that area."

err.. dont both these cameras have 1/3 CCD??
Id be interested in knowing how well this cam fares under extreme low light.. without the yukky blue or red filtering of the Sonys...
but even with those, the VX2000 image is VERY impressive...
the sound department leads alot to be desired however...

Ive used the DVX but havent had much exposure to the canons
I wonder what teh results would be from a 3 cam comparison...
using the same audio environment, lighting, location etc...

does anyone know of any links to anything like this?
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Old May 14th, 2003, 02:22 PM   #9
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<<<-- Id be interested in knowing how well this cam fares under extreme low light.. without the yukky blue or red filtering of the Sonys...
but even with those, the VX2000 image is VERY impressive...
the sound department leads alot to be desired however... -->>>

Okay, newbie dumb question here... what "yukky blue or red filtering of the Sony's"? I apoligize if this has been done to death. (If it has, could you post the link to where you guys discussed it?) I'd pretty much narrowed my search to the PDX-10, resigned to the fact that I'd have to rent a VX2000 for any campfire/extreme low light stuff for my doc, but have been wavering about the DVX100 after reading that the XL2 will come out later this year, complete with 24P and native 16 x 9, which seems like (in theory) the DVX100 would then make a better B cam than the PDX-10. Though the PDX-10 does have native 16 x 9, and isn't cropped to get it like the DVX100 does.

Would the poor audio you site for the DVX100 be enhanced by much if I slapped on my MKE300? How bad is it? Seems like another thing to make the PDX-10 appealing. (Am tiring of this search...)

Thanks in advance, guys.
Marcia
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:13 PM   #10
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The audio from the DVX100 is probably the best of any mini DV camera, in my opinion. The stock mic is probably as good as, if not better than, the MKE300.
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