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Old July 26th, 2005, 10:49 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Austin, TX
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Need advice on 3CCD Mini DV choice

Hi all... I've read several of these posts already but would like a fresh round of opinions. I'm going through a very unexpected divorce so can't afford much. Use to have a GL2 and LOVED it. That's out of price range for now though :-(

Looking for the best 3CCD at the lowest price. Doesn't need to have a body that 'looks' more pro... like the PD150 or GL2. It can have a consumer body. I do have a few spare Canon batteries and accessories. But that shouldn't be the main factor. Just need something affordable w/3ccd so I can finish a project begun 7 years ago and put on hold during marriage. Would like to have the mini jack availability for an external mic. If anyone has one in good shape you'd like to sell I'm looking. Thanks & God Bless! Roze
"God is good, life is hard, Heaven is sure"
Camille Daily
Fat Cat Media
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Old July 26th, 2005, 11:47 AM   #2
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After months of looking for the best 3ccd came under 500, I settled on the Panasonic GS-120 for 512, last year. It's robust, has withstood many trips out without suitable carridge (bike bags, backpacks, ect) and hasn't a scratch or dent on it, the picture quality is great, by consumer standards (obviously incomparable to the DVX100a... the image resolution on the GS-120 is alot lower). It's excellent for a first MiniDV cam though, and was in my opinion the best in its price range.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #3
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I spent alot of time looking at cameras in this range as a way to fill in the gap while we're waiting for the HDV market to mature. I know you are looking at 3-CCD units but you might want to at least test-drive the Canon Opturas, I finally decided on the Optura 60 and while it's 1 CCD it has the RGB color filter and from what I've seen can produce comparible images to the GL2 under the right conditions.

I just received mine so I can't give you a complete personal evaluation yet but I've read alot of favorable information about it here in the Optura Watchdog section. It also has alot of the more "pro" features such as microphone input jacks (with manual level control), focus ring, etc.

I didn't take them seriously until I saw one in person, shot some tape and gave it a good once-over at home. For the price, it's definately worth looking at.

Alternatively you may want to consider renting a GL2 if that's what you project started out with. I've priced this as well and the rates around here are reasonable so I can imagine they are much better in more metropolitan areas.
Jason J. Gullickson
the second society
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Old July 26th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #4
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You can probably get a used Sony TRV900 for around $600. This is a 3 chip camera that has pretty good capabilities. The low light is not spectacular however (it's about comparable to the original Canon XL-1). It has a minijack for an external mic.

The "professional" version of this is the PD100A which originally came with a wide angle lens and an XLR adapter. It only records in DVCAM mode so 60 minute minidv tapes become 40. This might be an issue. The image quality is identical to the TRV900.
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