Experiences with Panasonic AG-DVC7?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by wiseguy27, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502


    I'm in the process of comparing different camcorders and would like to know if anyone has experiences/thoughts to share about the Panasonic AG-DVC7. This is available for around $1000 (US).

    I've also considered the Panasonic GS400 (which is also in the same price range) - this is a high end consumer camcorder.

    I've had a look at the tech specs of both but I couldn't find many reviews of Panasonic AG-DVC7.

    I'd appreciate your comments/experiences - it would help me in deciding which one to buy (I'm also considering some Sony models, both prosumer and consumer levels, but that doesn't matter for this discussion). :)
  2. macrumors 65816

    Hey wiseguy,

    I posted this in your other thread and I'll say it again...we need to know what you'll be doing with the camera. Are you looking to make movies, shoot weddings, do corporate videos or just shoot the kids birthdays and ball games? We need to know what you'll be shooting to help you find the right cam. There are very few that are good for all of these activites.

    I'm still confused as to how you can be down to a shoulder-mount cam vs. a fairly small handheld cam. Seems strange to me. That's why I need to know what you'll be shooting.

    I think the DVC7 is a older camera. It is a 1-CCD cam that is housed in professional looking packaging but the specs aren't very pro. The CCD is 1/4" so that should give good low light performance but true prosumer cams have 1/3" CCDs and they have 3 of them!

    I would say the GS400 is a better all-around camera. It has three 1/4.7" CCDs (small than the DVC7, but there are 3 CCDs), and the excellent high quality 16:9 mode and excellent manual controls. It is a consumer-level cam but it is very close to prosumer quality.

    I own the GS400 and it is a joy to use and I'm often stunned by the results.

    If you need the GS400 to look "professional" you can dress the GS400 up with an on-camera mic and a new hood. Check out:

  3. macrumors 6502


    I had written in the "prosumer camcorder" thread that I would be using it mainly for home/hobby use (for travels or home made "documentaries" too). I had also responded to your post there a couple of days ago - maybe I missed something.

    Actually, based on your post in that thread, I had added the GS400 to the top of my list (to decide on) and while looking for it in different websites I bumped into the Panasonic AG-DVC7. Since the price was almost the same as the GS400, I started looking at what a prosumer camcorder like that would have to offer. As mentioned in my previous thread (repeatedly), good low light performance is important to me. I also prefer to have more manual controls and better picture quality (I know this is relative).

    Yes, it is an older camcorder. I guess that's the main reason why the price is equal to (and lower than) the consumer model GS400.

    I got that. That's why it's currently on the top of my list. I haven't yet tabulated the different models I'm considering (along with the price, since my upper limit for my budget is around $1700 or so).

    Thanks for your responses.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Some views on the DVC7 from back in 2003:

    It also looks like the DVC7 only has digital (electronic) image stabllization. This is much worse than optical image stablization. But, I've seen confusion on this issue before because even the GS400 lists EIS in its menu, when it (the GS400) indeed does have Optical Image Stabilization. It may be a translation problem...

    Good luck with your selection.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    I've used one. The design gives you good stability, and the camera has good audio options, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    The camera is huge, and most of it is wasted space. Granted, that allows you to hold it on your shoulder, it feels poorly built, and doesn't look "pro" to even the uneducated eye. Because of it's size, I don't think that it would be appropriate for somebody who just wants to dink around with a camera. As a user, you would be discouraged from taking it most places that wouldn't be a problem with a smaller camera.

    I suggest you look into the prosumer offerings, but be honest with yourself. If you don't need a Sony VX or Canon GL, don't waste your money.

    What about a Canon Optura? (http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/canon-optura-xi-camcorder-review.htm). Cheaper, similar image quality, smaller, and more manual controls.

    Good luck.

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