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-   -   DVC 30 owners (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasonic-dvx-dvc-assistant/35389-dvc-30-owners.html)

Rob Jacobs November 23rd, 2004 05:33 PM

DVC 30 owners
I'm looking at this camera seriously. I'd like to hear more from owners or experienced users. I shoot a lot of wildlife video so the infrared adapter interests me. Is it only good for 100 feet? Also, Panasonic claims you can use the digital zoom 1.25? without noticable quality loss. I am currently using a Gl2, not overly happy with it. The xl-1 was to cumbersome and I didn't feel any advantage with it over the gl. The sony doesn't have enough zoom or I would use that in a heartbeat. Every camera seems to have their drawbacks. I've read a few dvc-30 reviews but there's not a lot of info out there from actual owners. Let's hear the good and the bad.

Mark Williams November 23rd, 2004 07:20 PM


I bought one from the first batch of DVC30s sold in the U.S. many months ago and it was the best camera purchase I have ever made. Before this I owned a GL-1 which I wore out and have used a GL-2, VX2000 and XL1. The DVC30 is a great quality cam and reminds me of the workmanship on my 35mm Nikons. Its 16x is pretty good for wildlife which I shoot alot of but to get that extra closeness I have had to become more proficient with using blinds.

I have never been satisfied with the image quality of digital zoom on any camera I have used including the DVC30. I think the Century 2x lens converter at $450 is too steep a price for me and would make the cam a little front heavy but it may be worth a try. You will need a step up ring to go from the cams 43mm filter size up to 56mm converter. If you go this route let us know how it turns out. Ideally, the XL2 with its 20x zoom and 1.6x extender in my opinion would be my dream setup but at over twice the price of the DVC30 I will have to wait for a while.

I messed around with the IR feature once but did not use the accessory illuminator so I can't give you accurate feedback.

Hope this helps....



Mark Williams November 23rd, 2004 08:16 PM

By the way. I don't know why you don't hear more about this cam. I know it is pretty heavily marketed. One thing I have noticed is that you rarely come across a post about someone having a problem with it which speaks very well for its build quality and for Panasonic. It could be that its not as big and glamorous as the other major cams. All I know is that it packs a lot of punch into a small package which I am greatfull for after hiking with it several hundred miles this past summer.

Rob Jacobs November 23rd, 2004 10:54 PM

Thanks Mark, I looked it over real close at NAB, the guy I talked to said at 1.25 digital it's not noticable. It does feel very high quality. I've heard some negative about menu control options. Does it feel to small to handhold smoothly? Yes compactness is very important for the type of video I do. That's why I got rid of the xl1. The xl2 does look intriguing though. I think the infrared would be great for filming leopard & lion at night.

Joe Tay November 24th, 2004 12:48 AM

I am a satisfied user.
I bought the camera a couple of weeks ago and I have produced two short films. The footage is amazing and low light is pretty good for the small size although it can't beat the sony VX 1/3 inch chips in terms of low light. However it is strongly recommended that you get the optional XLR adapter and put in a decent mike for the camera. The built in mike is quite weak in picking up sounds. That says I have the whole setup and it is quite good. I have not tried the IR lighting though.. otherwise yeah I am so happy with the cam.


Rob Jacobs November 24th, 2004 01:28 AM

Do you have to use the manufacturers xlr adapter or is there a mini-plug so you can use the beachtek or signvideo adapter?

Rob Jacobs November 24th, 2004 01:29 AM

It seems to me that most people overlook this camera or don't take it serious because of it's size. Do you guys agree with that?

Adam Folickman November 24th, 2004 04:50 AM

I too am interested in buying a DVC30.

Of course the VX2000/ VX2100 camera will be better in low-light because of the 1/3 vs. 1/4 inch CCDs. Have you shot much in low light with the DVC30 ? If so, in what kind of situations were you dissatisfied with the DVC30 and maybe wished you had a VX2100 ?

Joe, with the XLR adapter on, does that change the balance of camera ? In any negative manner ? I have read from a review on the internet (at camcorderinfo.com) that is the case.

Rob, you may be right about the size and not taking it seriously beacuse I think that many people look at lower end cams such as the GS line or else the higher end cams like the DVX100A or XL2 or PD170. The DVC30 falls in the middle.

I read the review on DV.com and it says that one of the things not to like about the DVC30 is that "Frame mode uses field doubling " so there is vertical resolution loss. Has anybody been disatisfied with the frame mnode ?

What about the 16:9 on the camera ? How does it appear ? Good or bad ?

Mark Williams November 24th, 2004 05:17 AM

It took me about 2 weeks of use to get used to its smaller size. But controls are well laid out and I now can quickly and easily manipulate the camera. I shoot mostly in deep woods and noticed that the DVC30's low light capability is much improved over the GL-1 I used for several years.

Adam Folickman November 24th, 2004 05:30 AM

Has anybody used an add-on Wide Angle adaptor with the DVC30 that can be reccomended ?

Joe Tay November 24th, 2004 10:11 AM

XLR Adapter
I have the glidecam 2000 and yah it does change the balance of the cam when you put it on.. However the XLR adapter is quite light, by putting the XLR at the top, it is easier to attach a boom mike and other accessories, if you planning to attach a beacktek, it might not work as well as it will add bulk to the slim cam. Honestly , the XLR adapter is not expensive as compared to third party XLR adapter plus you are getting true XLR signal instead of going through the stereo mike. Plus the panny XLR adapter fits on to the handle of the camera making extremely good looking.. . The signal is really excellent and I have no regrets purchasing it ,it could pick up any subtle noises that I cannot even see.. well i was using the panasonic condensor mike. I got it for about $76 US used, apparently they package this mike with someone who bought a DVX 100A and did not need it and it is practically brand new and it comes as though it is off the shelf. My dealer manage to source it for me.

Adam Folickman November 24th, 2004 10:12 AM

By the way, what is the filter diameter on the DVC30 ? It is 43 mm ? I was reading in an earlier post from March 2004 that people weren't sure if it is 43 mm or 72 mm.

Does the filter mount directly in front of the lens or does it have to mount on top of the supplied lens hood ? (hope not..)

Can a filter be mounted directly in front of the lens and then the supplied lens hood used too ?

Joe Tay November 24th, 2004 10:22 AM

the lens thread for the AG DVC 32 is 43 mm, I bought a filter lens and mount it directly above the original lens.

Yes I can mount the lens hood with the filter lens on.

You only need to unscrew the lens hood before you can put in the filter lens.

Hope this help.

Joe Tay November 24th, 2004 10:26 AM

Oh well,
I think with the smaller size, it is definitely easier to carry it around and go on short trips. I would not imagine myself carrying the sony VX 2100 on a holiday trip. It is so heavy ! I think with the added XLR adapter and Mike, it looks big enough for people to take you seriously when you go on production, otherwise the small size is certainly very handy.

Tommy Haupfear November 24th, 2004 10:31 AM


I read the review on DV.com and it says that one of the things not to like about the DVC30 is that "Frame mode uses field doubling " so there is vertical resolution loss. Has anybody been disatisfied with the frame mnode ?

What about the 16:9 on the camera ? How does it appear ? Good or bad ?
Frame mode has its place and although it does decrease resolution some still like the pseudo progressive scan look. The DVC30 takes a more noticeable quality loss in frame mode due to its already low pixel count per CCD.

The low pixel count per CCD also restricts the 4:3 CCDs from yielding quality 16:9. The widescreen footage I have seen is similar to that from a VX2000 in that its anamorphic but low resolution.

The compact size, long zoom, and good low light performance (in the 1/4" 3CCD category) is what I think sets the DVC30 apart from other cams.

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