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HELP! Panasonic AG-DVX100B or Sony HVR-Z1U??


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#1 terrain-vague

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:56 AM

Greetings,

I desperately need your wisdom on whether to purchase the Panasonic AG-DVX-100b or go Hi-DEF with Sony's Z1U.

I'm in Film School in Chicago, but am investing in equipment to do my own indie productions (shorts and features 10k and under) on the side. I recently purchased the IMAC G5 and have Final Cut Pro on the way.

I've done a fair amount of research and prosumer feedback on both, and I was leaning more towards the Panasonic camera...BUT...and this is where my experience is greatly lacking,

Will I get left behind from not investing in Hi-def? I know Panasonic also has a new Hi-def camera for the same price as the Z1U, but the solid-state memory looks far to costly for my budget. Ultimately I want as authentic of a film look as possible.

Your help is appreciated.

Warm Regards,
Michael Simon
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#2 Häakon

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:21 AM

In my opinion, if you're going to be investing in a camera to do independent narrative filmwork, 24p will be vastly more valuable to you than HD. Hi-Def definitely has its value for printing to film, but if your shorts are going to have budgets of 10K and under, then it's a moot point anyway. The DVX also has the best color of any DV/HDV/quasi-HD cam I've ever seen, and its biggest downpoint (no interchangable lens) isn't resolved with the Z1U, so there's no advantage to buying the Sony there either. Honestly, the only thing keeping me from moving from the DVX to the HVX is a tapeless workflow - which to me is of unparalleled importance - but if the HVX didn't exist, I wouldn't make the move to HDV, regardless of the camera. The Z1U is 60i only, the JVC suffers from split-screen effect and has terrible chromatic abberation on the stock lens, and the Canon XL H1, although very sharp, is still an HDV camera at the end of the day with no true progressive recording option and is unbelievably expensive. My advice to you is get the DVX. You will be unbelievably happy with your camera for many years to come.

Edited by Häakon, 17 January 2006 - 11:25 AM.

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#3 Sam Wells

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:16 PM

I The DVX also has the best color of any DV/HDV/quasi-HD cam I've ever seen


This is marketing.



How many professional cameras have you worked with ?


Why don't you say who you are, who you work for ?

-Sam
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#4 Marek Stricek

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:50 PM

Hi,

I am just a hobby documentarist, shooting video for 2 years (I was doing editing only for 3 years before that), so maybe my experience is nothing when comparing with professionals here.
Anyway just from the start I was looking for the HD to come. I was checking the specs of the JVC's first HDV camcorder but I was disappointed from the results shown in reviews (September 2004 if I remember well).
Finally the SONY HDR-FX1 hit the market, showing quite good results and the Z1 was around the corner.
I was checking the specs of both, being still undecided which one to buy - in the end I went for Z1 to not regret in future that I am missing some important feature.

And so what might be interesting for you on the Z1 is its capability to use 50i beside of 60i. If you shoot in HDV 50i then you can easily do deinterlacing by removng one field, and by scaling you can get real 25p in standard resolution, then you can slow it down a bit to get the 24p - thus no need for DVX-100.

I am using the HD resolution for 95% of my material, and I really like the picture when compared to standard resolution when shown on LCD projector.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I do video just as a hobby, but I thought it might be worthwhile to publish bit of my experience with Z1.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 02:13 PM

Hi,

I think the results of downconverted HD, even very bad HD like the consumer cameras we're discussing, are very good. Particularly, they take colour correction well, somewhat akin to a very good SD origination.

So, not so great as HD, but they make very good SD cameras. And of course, you can deinterlace 10801i material and still have more than adequate vertical resolution for an SD finish, if you must have a deinterlaced result.

Phil
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#6 Canney

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:04 PM

I never cared much for the DVX-100s. They didn't impress me that much picture quality wise. The HVR-Z1U is a native 16:9 camera and it's pictures has the ability to do pan and scans in post production to a high degree. Also HDV acts a lot like film converted to video in post production in terms of color and gama. The only draw back to HDV is that it is a bit slower in terms of render time and it takes a while to render it out in post but the picture quality I got from the HVR-z1u beats the pants off the picture from my friends DVX-100. Get the HD-camera and set yourself up for the HD world of the future. I use the HVR-Z1U myself.
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#7 Riku Naskali

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:21 PM

The AG-DVX100 is a wonderful camera, but it's terribly noisy. At least the A model is, don't know if it's improved on the B model.
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#8 Michael Collier

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:36 PM

The AG-DVX100 is a wonderful camera, but it's terribly noisy. At least the A model is, don't know if it's improved on the B model.


How did you get noise? Both of the features I shot on the DVX looked great.

IMHO (keep that part in mind) I would recomend the ZU1 and even better than the ZU1 is the JVC HD-100U better than that (maybe, I have no practicle experience) is the pannisonic model.

The DVX gives great colors and I love the 24p. Very easy to use and has powerful color matrix options.

The ZU1 in my opinion is just as good as the DVX in image quality. The 24pfs (or what ever they call it these days) looks ok, but not enough like 24p to shoot on it. The best part is the resolution. Even for projects that end up in SD, they look much sharper than the DVX. also when you downres from such a high res original, the 4:2:2(?) that the ZU1 shoots gets put into a 4:4:4 colorspace (due to supersampling) and allows for even greater color correction possibilities than the DVX. The HD-100U offers great 24p capture, and because of the combination of the lower res and lower frame rates, the compression is about 1/2 that of the ZU1 (given the constant 19.2 Mb/s data rate) Comparing them side by side, I had a hard time choosing a cam, so I would say the HD-100 just by virtue of the lens included, and the 24p function.
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