Sony DSR-PDX10 vs Panasonic AG-DVC30 at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 10th, 2004, 10:35 PM   #1
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Sony DSR-PDX10 vs Panasonic AG-DVC30

I might have my choices narrowed down to 2 camcorders that will basically cost the same once I buy the XLR box and mic for the Panasonic AG-DVC30 so both will also be similarly equipped.

The basic advantages I see for each are:

Panasonic AG-DVC30
- maybe lens flaring not an issue
- top handle for carrying and low angle shots
- better low light resolution
- able to negate gain totally (0 db) which isn't possible on the Sony
- IR mode for black and white recording in near dark conditions
- more manual control override if required

Sony DSR-PDX10
- (much?) better 16:9 with wider angle of view and greater native resolution
- more pixels so maybe more detail
- more accessories available
- DVCAM if required
- MPEG capability
- still shot memory to card rather than tape
- "known" design in terms of operation, limitations, etc.

Anybody care to voice an opinion or give me some words of wisdom before I spend my cash?

Thanks
Don

p.s. I have a couple of similar posts in the Panasonic section but I felt I need the Sony crowd to comment on to see both sides of the story.
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Old April 10th, 2004, 11:09 PM   #2
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Don, we know the PDX10 issues but we know nothing about the DVC30, other that its specs. You should wait until there are some decent DVC30 reviews available. I'm sure DV Magazine will have one coming. I would never consider buying a new cam fresh off the line.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 12:08 AM   #3
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Agreed. Wait if you can.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 09:40 AM   #4
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Don, I think your list is pretty good. But as Frank and Shawn have said, we don't have any real field reports yet on the DVC30. Beyond just the reviews, I'd like to read about hands-on experiences with the camera in the forums here. That's where it will really get put through its paces and we'll find out about the inevitable glitches.

I haven't seen actual pricing on the DVC30, but the mike and XLR adaptor are separately priced accessories. If you include these then I suspect the DVC30 will cost a bit more than the PDX10.

The PDX-10's MPEG capability is something that I've never even tried, I think it's limited to 320x240. Does the DVC-30 have a BW viewfinder like the PDX-10? I don't think so, but that probably isn't a big deal one way or the other.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #5
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Yeah, the only review I've seen for the DVC30 is at camcorderinfo's web site.

I'm a little confused over their PDX10 review which got more points than the DVC30 in their scoring matrix but was subjectively rated lower.

Some reviewers and users have noted the flaring issue on the PDX10 (but others haven't) and I guess more reviews in different situations by different people may reveal some issues on the DVC30 as well.

My costs for either will be pretty much the same once I buy the XLR box and mike for the DVC30. I've seen and held both in person but they're at different vendors so I can't really swap one for the other to do some more hands-on testing.

I think the viewfinder on the DVC30 is switchable between colour and B&W.

The point is by the time something becomes "proven" enough to feel comfortable to buy then there is something new that seems to be better on the immediate horizon (same problem in most products due to the continually advancing technology). In your opinions it seems that it would be safer buying "yesterday's" proven technology at a discounted price (due to product obsolescence and new model replacement) and always be slightly behind the curve.

Eventually I just have to pull the trigger and buy something!

Thanks
Don
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Old April 11th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Leung : by the time something becomes "proven" enough to feel comfortable to buy then there is something new that seems to be better -->>>

Actually you can save a lot of money with this philosophy, because you would never buy anything! ;-) But the good thing is that camcorders stay on the market for much longer than computers. New models of prosumer cameras only seem to be updated every 3 or 4 years whereas there are new computer models being introduced every few months.

Those unfortunate people that bought the first batch of PD-170's with the audio hum problem probably wish they'd waited a few months. But if you're an "early adopter" type then by all means order your DVC-30! We'll be interested to read your impressions and hear your bug reports.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 03:49 PM   #7
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Don, what type of shooting are you going to do? Do you need a PDX or DVX30? Pana has some good cheaper 3-CCD cams and Sony has some good 1-CCD cams. If you told us what you want to do with a cam, perhaps something cheaper is all you need. I presume you don't need XLRs because you were leaning toward the DVC30 without the XLR adaptor. As Boyd said, the DVC30 with its other half is probably more than the PDX. Another question I have is when do you need this cam? If it's right now than you're going to miss other options with the newer right around the corner models. Around the corner meaning the 2004 line which becomes available May/June.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 04:33 PM   #8
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I'm pretty interested in the DVC30 as an upgrade from my DV852. Nothing wrong with the '852, but I'd like a 3-chipper with XLR. I'd keep the 852 as a family cam and deck for the DVC30 tapes.

A couple of things that appeal to me about the DVC30

- You can dress it up and down by removing the XLR adapter and even the handle to make it a family-friendly everyday camcorder, yet go full-featured when you need it (mostly for audio and field work).

- The infrared would be nice for some ENG/stringer work I've just started doing.

- The 16x zoom would be good for ENG tto, sometimes you just need good reach.

- It seems like Panny is at the top of their game right now, my subjective feeling is that their products are a notch above the competitive products (this year). Of course, this may all change when the next gen of products come out. I'm sure Canon has something very enticing up their sleeves. And, Sony is never far off the point.

I'm a little leary about the manual control of the DVC30. The DVC80 and DVX100 are so good in this regard, I'm hopeful the '30 will be convenient in manual mode, but I'm waiting for the reviews. I don't think the Sony is a very good manual camera, from what I've read, there is a fair bit of menu navigation required.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #9
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The PDX menus are generally very easy to use, and most of what's in them is customization preset stuff that you'd want decide on before rolling anyway, in my experience. But the dvc30's controls look really good, independent of each other and button based. Very nice. I eagerly await to hear what people's experiences are like. I love these small form, high quality cams!
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Old April 11th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #10
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Frank:

My needs in a camcorder are as follows:
- may tape a couple of weddings in the late summer time period. From where I'm likely to set-up I'm assuming I'll be too far to get good sound without a shotgun/outboard mic
- record family get togethers and vacation trips. As we have an infant on the way the camcorder doesn't have to be all that small as it now appears that we are required to take half the house with us anyways on a long trip.
- may record some of the industrial projects that I work on (special tasks such as equipment setting, etc.), thus the supposed ruggedness of some of prosumer versions has some appeal to me.

I've wrapped my mind around a 3CCD camera for the generally better colours and picture (from what I have seen and read).

The Panasonic NV-DV953 or rumuored GS-400 are contenders. I'm not that impressed with the extremely small form factor camcorders (PV-GS120) as I don't want to sacrifice picture quality for extreme portability.

If I bump up to the next price class (Sony TRV950) then I can buy the Panasonic DVC30 for the same price (without XLR and mic), which is the crux of my previous inquiries.

This price class is probably as high as I want to go (which is probably 2x-3x as high as my wife thinks I'm going to spend!).

Thanks
Don
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Old April 11th, 2004, 08:48 PM   #11
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Hi Don:

Just curious about what you think about the Panny DVC80. For $2100 it seems like a really great camera for the money. Is it too big for you? Lacking some features you need?
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Old April 11th, 2004, 10:49 PM   #12
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> may tape a couple of weddings in the late summer time period.
> From where I'm likely to set-up I'm assuming I'll be too far to
> get good sound without a shotgun/outboard mic

This means you will need better low light performance. The Panny is probably better than the PDX10 in this respect, but not by much.

> You can dress it up and down by removing the XLR adapter
> and even the handle to make it a family-friendly everyday
> camcorder, yet go full-featured when you need it

Well, the PDX10 does the same trick with the included XLR/mic mount/preamp assembly, so this does not make for much of a difference.

Check out the zoom on the Panny and how wide it goes. It might go as wide or wider than the PDX10 even with a WA adapater on the latter. If hand held documentary work is a priority, the Panny might be much better because of it's presumably wider lens.

If you need real 16:9, then you will have to go for the PDX10.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 10:50 PM   #13
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Don, it sounds to me that you either want a good wedding cam, which the DVC30 and PDX10 aren't, or something to goof around with like a good 1 chip.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 01:47 PM   #14
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Frank:

Your approach probably makes sense except for several personal issues:
1. I'm an engineer so I'm also a technophile. I usually buy something somewhat better than it appears I need and eventually learn to get the most out of it.
2. I can buy anything once and get the wife to accept my purchase. However, I am FORBIDDEN to ever upgrade anything that isn't totally broken and non-working. This is another reason why I don't want to buy something extremely entry level (I have used but never owned various camcorders) as I may be stuck with it for a very long time.

I'll probably end up getting a DV953 at clearout (maybe out of the US as you suggested in another thread) or a GS400.

I don't really need to purchase now (can wait a month or two) so maybe some new 2004 product will be announced at NAB and become available by the time I want to buy.

Thanks for your input
Don
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 02:17 AM   #15
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Dear All,

The DVC-30 is a 1/4" 3CCD and the DPX-10 is a 1/4.7" 3CCD...
Does that means the resolution will be higher on DVC-30 compare with DPX-10???

By the way, gentlmen, I would like to know is the DPX-10 really equipped with a 16x9 3CCD or it simply squeeze the image and fit it inside the 4x3 3CCD like some anamorphic adaptor?

I want to purchase one camcorder that can shoot in 16x9... my budget is around 3k... Is the DPX-10 my only option that fit my bill? Definitely i want 3-CCD... if not native 3CCD, i think squeeze is exceptable... (Or is there any sony digital-8 camcorder that have 3-CCD and squeeze mode?)

Edmond
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