Pro DV Camera Questions

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by wrxguy, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. wrxguy macrumors 6502a

    wrxguy

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Location:
    Deepest Regions of Hell
    #1
    I am a film student at AI and I also do alot of filming for skate videos and snowboarding, I am deciding now between buying a Panasonic AGX100a or a Sony PD170. Does anyone have any experience with any of these that can help me out here? Right now I am leaning twords the panasonic
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #2
    Just out of curiosity .... How do you pony of the $$ ... Do you have a sponsor? WOuld love to have any of those cameras :p
     
  3. robx2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #3
    We use PD-170s for work. I'm really impressed with the image quality.. especially in low light situations. Some of the nicest looking DV stuff I've seen.

    That said, I'm not really happy with the layout of the camera. It's really hard to make adjustments to the iris, audio levels, etc. on the fly. Plus I do miss a bigger camera like the XL1. Easier to shoot with.

    Can't give you much on the Panasonic. But I like the Sony... good features, great image, but not so handy. If you're doing mostly tripod, fixed shots, it's a good camera to have.
     
  4. Whigga Spitta macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
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    Can you say Chi-City??
    #4
    my roommate just got a DVX100a that i've been filming with recently...it is amazing. i don't know what the sony has to offer, but the DVX's 24p mode is superb and all i can say is that i'm looking forward to using this for snowboarding.

    check out the forum at snowfilmer.com for more info.
     
  5. DrRock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    #5
    ^

    The PD-170 is nice, gives you DVCAM quality if you want it. The Panasonic does a "fake" 24p if you want it. It looks pretty good. Depening on your budget though, you might want to check out the HVR-Z1U from Sony. It goes for around five grand, about $1500 more than the Panasonic, but it gives you the option of DV, DVCAM, or the new HDV format. If I had the cash, that's the one I'd get.

    In the meantime, I'm looking at a couple of Panasonic's consumer end cameras, specifically the PV-GS250, but reviewers on amazon have stated that it won't work with OSX 10.4 or higher. This seems odd because firewire should be firewire. Has anyone heard of this problem with iMovie or FCP? I'd hate to buy a camera I like, and have it not work with m editing system.

    Also, does anyone know offhand if this model lets you send an analog signal into the camera for transferring old VHS tapes, etc. to DV? Someone on Amazon said it did, but I couldn't verify.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    There is no quality difference between a DVCAM signal and a MiniDV signal, and the Panasonic DVX100 does real 24p. The Z1U can't do 24p and it has less latitude and less light sensitivity because of the higher pixel density on the CCDs. In controlled conditions it's not as big a deal, but shooting outdoors or something it creates more of a problem.


    Lethal
     
  7. DrRock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    #7
    ^

    My understanding is that the difference in DV and DVCAM is the head pitch, which is what dictates the image quality, and ultimately DVCAM does indeed provide a better image than DV. I have used the PD170 in both modes, in addition to many other DV and DVCAM cameras, and I have yet to see footage that I shot in DV look as good as DVCAM. That may be due to the varying chip sets in the cameras, or the brand of tape. I'm not a tech, so maybe there's some test that proves me wrong if you put them up on scopes or something, but in my experience I have consistently found that DVCAM looks better than DV.

    As for the HVR-Z1U, no it doesn't do an actual 24p, but it does 1080i, 50i or 60i which all look pretty good. It also does 16:9 native, whereas the Panasonic does a "fake" letterbox. It provdes the same effect, but doesn't allow the same flexibility.

    I didn't mean to say that Panasonic's 24p was fake, in the sense that it wasn't actually 24p. What I meant was that you could record in 24p on a miniDV tape, and have the image in that mode on the tape, and it would play back as such in any miniDV deck, as opposed to other HD cameras, which need to be downconverted (like the high-end Sonys). I didn't mean to say that as a negative thing, rather as a nice feature.

    Anyway, they're all nice cameras, and I can't afford any of them, but if I could, I'd go with the new Sony. It gives you the most flexibility, and it would play tapes from either of the other two.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    The physical difference between DV recording and DVCAM, the pitch and record speed (DVCAM's tapes physically run at a higher speed), makes the DVCAM signal less likely to suffer a drop out than MiniDV. But the compressed signal is exactly the same.

    Compared to DV HDV can look very nice. If you want your video to have the 24p motion signature or you need to have your end product be 24p that can be difficult w/Sony's HDV cameras. But if you don't mind working in PAL I've heard shooting in Sony's CF25 mode and doing a speed change to slow it down to 24fps gives good results. Of course if you want a "reality" look to your stuff then it's all a non-issue 'cause you'll want 60i anyway. :)

    There's a camera for everybody out now. Of course not everybody can afford the camera they want. ;)


    Lethal
     

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