PDA

View Full Version : used the dvx200 for a run-and-gun shoot this weekend : (



wgzn
05-22-2016, 09:01 PM
disclaimer: i'm judging the dvx200 against my hpx170. and i know that that's not apples-to-apples.
and i also know that every camera comes with it's own individual list of compromises. what may be a deal-breaker for me (and in THIS situation) may not even matter to you.
so, as always. YMMV.

used the camera for an event shoot (graduation speaker / ceremony / reception) this weekend.
didn't care for it at all. while it has lots of interesting features that sound good on paper or in a more controlled-use scenario. none of it mattered for my purposes when the rubber met the road.
in a run and gun situation.

here's why:

1. autofocus seemed to suffer from ADHD. even subtle motion in the subject sent the focus to searching. NOTE: in post-shoot, online searching, i have found that there are autofocus settings i was unaware of. so this may or may not be as big a deal as it seemed in my situation.

2. it's heavy for a camera designed for hand-held use.

3. aperture ramping is a downer

4. monitor placement is clumsy and not as "flexible" as it is on my hpx170. while manipulating the monitor for various shooting angles, due to it's placement, i found myself actually supporting the left / fore weight of the camera by holding the monitor. i'm very afraid that this will cause eventual failure or even possibly break the monitor off. it also sticks out to the left of the camera pretty far. i can imagine a variety of situations (hectic news, crowded party, live music performance, etc...) where it could be broken off or damaged.

in addition, i often shoot with my hpx170 in what i call "semi-stealth" mode. by flipping the screen and folding it back to the body. leaving me facing the side of the camera rather than forward. that way people don't as readily see me aiming the camera at them. this is a huge plus for me in getting quality candids at events.

5. SHINY SCREEN!!!! the shiny screen makes it very hard to use outdoors without some kind of sunshade. this is going to make manipulating the screen even more crucial. which will in turn make my fear of breaking it off even more of an issue. the screen is pressure sensitive rather than capacitive, so i'm not sure why making it glossy was required. whatever the reason. glossy screens + outdoor use = not optimal.

6. one meter minimum focus distance. HUGE, HUGE DOWNER. yeah, you can switch into macro mode. but i'm not used to having to (and in a run and gun situation, you may not have time to). i was trying to do a rack focus from a cocktail buffet to the person serving themselves. i couldn't get far enough away from the food to get it into focus. minimum focus with my hpx170 is like a foot (or less).

additional concerns:
- in doing some more research it seems that there is considerable propensity for moire in UHD and 4k modes. reminds me of the 5d2 days.
- display / output lag.

i had plans to buy this camera this coming week. now, i have no immediate plans to buy it at all. nor even use it again in a run and gun scenario. : (

Jonny Gross
05-23-2016, 01:36 AM
disclaimer: i'm judging the dvx200 against my hpx170. and i know that that's not apples-to-apples.
and i also know that every camera comes with it's own individual list of compromises. what may be a deal-breaker for me (and in THIS situation) may not even matter to you.
so, as always. YMMV.

used the camera for an event shoot (graduation speaker / ceremony / reception) this weekend.
didn't care for it at all. while it has lots of interesting features that sound good on paper or in a more controlled-use scenario. none of it mattered for my purposes when the rubber met the road.
in a run and gun situation.

here's why:

1. autofocus seemed to suffer from ADHD. even subtle motion in the subject sent the focus to searching. NOTE: in post-shoot, online searching, i have found that there are autofocus settings i was unaware of. so this may or may not be as big a deal as it seemed in my situation.

2. it's heavy for a camera designed for hand-held use.

3. aperture ramping is a downer

4. monitor placement is clumsy and not as "flexible" as it is on my hpx170. while manipulating the monitor for various shooting angles, due to it's placement, i found myself actually supporting the left / fore weight of the camera by holding the monitor. i'm very afraid that this will cause eventual failure or even possibly break the monitor off. it also sticks out to the left of the camera pretty far. i can imagine a variety of situations (hectic news, crowded party, live music performance, etc...) where it could be broken off or damaged.

in addition, i often shoot with my hpx170 in what i call "semi-stealth" mode. by flipping the screen and folding it back to the body. leaving me facing the side of the camera rather than forward. that way people don't as readily see me aiming the camera at them. this is a huge plus for me in getting quality candids at events.

5. SHINY SCREEN!!!! the shiny screen makes it very hard to use outdoors without some kind of sunshade. this is going to make manipulating the screen even more crucial. which will in turn make my fear of breaking it off even more of an issue. the screen is pressure sensitive rather than capacitive, so i'm not sure why making it glossy was required. whatever the reason. glossy screens + outdoor use = not optimal.

6. one meter minimum focus distance. HUGE, HUGE DOWNER. yeah, you can switch into macro mode. but i'm not used to having to (and in a run and gun situation, you may not have time to). i was trying to do a rack focus from a cocktail buffet to the person serving themselves. i couldn't get far enough away from the food to get it into focus. minimum focus with my hpx170 is like a foot (or less).

additional concerns:
- in doing some more research it seems that there is considerable propensity for moire in UHD and 4k modes. reminds me of the 5d2 days.
- display / output lag.

i had plans to buy this camera this coming week. now, i have no immediate plans to buy it at all. nor even use it again in a run and gun scenario. : (



Hi,

I understand all of the above, believe me, it was a shock to the system back in November. I was looking for a halfway point between a DSLR look, an FS7 which I had recently worked with and a handheld form factor. I was scared that the camera I was replacing (Sony HVR Z5 with MRC-1) actually handled better than this one. Even when comparing footage, I could imagine that the Sony's compression artifacts weren't there and that the colour and contrast et al were better. Even the lens was faster. BUT. And that's a big butt, it's not the case. With the firmware updates, constant use and general learning, the DVX has started to impress me.

1. Yes, there are ways to make the auto-focus behave better but the easiest thing to do is get to grips with the focus ring and learn it's sensitivity (and that can be adjusted in the menus as well). If I have a subject who is walking around for example, back and forth and falling out of focus, it helped me to switch to auto focus and adjust the focus ring on the subject. It seemed to follow her after that. But the auto focus is not terribly reliable and I trust my hand eye coordination more.

2. Yes, it is. But it means business and it makes people respect that there's a camera there. If you're trying to be more unobtrusive, a GH4 companion to this cam would be a way to go. Depends on your application. So far, the weight hasn't killed me when running around handheld. And I always know that the stabilsation (I'm British, I refuse to spell it with a 'z'!) is going to serve me well.

3. It is, but that's the downside of this lens and the reason why it seemed darker compared to smaller chip cameras. I noticed that the stock lens of an FS5 also starts at f4 and that the Sony Z150 has a similar ramping lens as this one. I think it's a way of keeping the cost down. I usually stick it at 4.5 and chuck on a light or up to 6db of gain to compensate. It's about adjusting to it.

4. I would have loved to have a monitor that folds back, but I'm used to the Sony cams that don't. The screen flips down from the handle and can only really twist, not bend back. It's a very standard design. My main issue here is that if I have the cam on my shoulder, the screens so big I have difficulty focusing my eyes on it. But that's something else...

5. Yes, I hear you with that one. I bought an LCD hood that is so tight it messes with the touch screen. So I've been using the EVF for now. It's a pain.

6. I assigned macro mode to a user button. Most of the time I have it on. I haven't noticed major difficulty focusing at a distance in wide with macro engaged but I hear it makes it easier to turn it off, so sometimes I hit the button.

Haven't noticed moire in 4K and UHD. The opposite in fact. In regular HD mode, when using pixel mixing, I noticed it a helluvalot. I've been shooting dual codec UHD - HD and the results are great.
The output lag is minor. It's there, but I haven't come across a situation where it's actually screwed me over.

These are just my thoughts here. It's a great camera once you get to know it, but it's first impression isn't great. All I can say is that I have had shoots where I get frustrated with it (or the conditions, then I wonder if I would have been frustrated with any other cam on the same shoot) but the results are fantastic. And as a side note, almost every shoot I'm on is run and gun! I wanted a cam to boost the quality of my output and this cam has done it.

TDCat
05-23-2016, 05:17 AM
Just thought I would add my views on these topics.

1. I haven't used it much but I find that it works well. Seeking that is frustrating when using it just never seems to be a problem when I view the outputted footage rather than search for focus problems.
2. Totally agree. It is a bit too big and heavy for what it is. I don't mind a larger camera but it's just a little cumbersome to carry, transport and use.
3. Aperture ramping is always a pain but the camera works well at f/5.0 and can happily live at 6.0dB with the larger sensor. For run and gun use, I prefer the smaller aperture anyway to give me more DOF.
4. I don't find the placement clumsy as such but I miss the flexibility I have on other cameras. It just never quite goes where you want.
5. Totally agree. The screen is useless in sun. Way too shiny and nowhere near bright enough. I have found that to be true for external monitors too though in some cases.
6. I don't find this a problem. I just see macro mode as 'normal' mode and only turn it off if you know your subject will be fixed at further than 1m (quite likely).

That's my impression so far but I'm still in the playing and learning stages. When my full time job gives me time to get out and pick up projects I need to, this view may change!!

mapper65
05-23-2016, 06:23 AM
disclaimer: i'm judging the dvx200 against my hpx170. and i know that that's not apples-to-apples.
and i also know that every camera comes with it's own individual list of compromises. what may be a deal-breaker for me (and in THIS situation) may not even matter to you.
so, as always. YMMV.

used the camera for an event shoot (graduation speaker / ceremony / reception) this weekend.
didn't care for it at all. while it has lots of interesting features that sound good on paper or in a more controlled-use scenario. none of it mattered for my purposes when the rubber met the road.
in a run and gun situation.

here's why:

1. autofocus seemed to suffer from ADHD. even subtle motion in the subject sent the focus to searching. NOTE: in post-shoot, online searching, i have found that there are autofocus settings i was unaware of. so this may or may not be as big a deal as it seemed in my situation.

2. it's heavy for a camera designed for hand-held use.

3. aperture ramping is a downer

4. monitor placement is clumsy and not as "flexible" as it is on my hpx170. while manipulating the monitor for various shooting angles, due to it's placement, i found myself actually supporting the left / fore weight of the camera by holding the monitor. i'm very afraid that this will cause eventual failure or even possibly break the monitor off. it also sticks out to the left of the camera pretty far. i can imagine a variety of situations (hectic news, crowded party, live music performance, etc...) where it could be broken off or damaged.

in addition, i often shoot with my hpx170 in what i call "semi-stealth" mode. by flipping the screen and folding it back to the body. leaving me facing the side of the camera rather than forward. that way people don't as readily see me aiming the camera at them. this is a huge plus for me in getting quality candids at events.

5. SHINY SCREEN!!!! the shiny screen makes it very hard to use outdoors without some kind of sunshade. this is going to make manipulating the screen even more crucial. which will in turn make my fear of breaking it off even more of an issue. the screen is pressure sensitive rather than capacitive, so i'm not sure why making it glossy was required. whatever the reason. glossy screens + outdoor use = not optimal.

6. one meter minimum focus distance. HUGE, HUGE DOWNER. yeah, you can switch into macro mode. but i'm not used to having to (and in a run and gun situation, you may not have time to). i was trying to do a rack focus from a cocktail buffet to the person serving themselves. i couldn't get far enough away from the food to get it into focus. minimum focus with my hpx170 is like a foot (or less).

additional concerns:
- in doing some more research it seems that there is considerable propensity for moire in UHD and 4k modes. reminds me of the 5d2 days.
- display / output lag.

i had plans to buy this camera this coming week. now, i have no immediate plans to buy it at all. nor even use it again in a run and gun scenario. : (



Here is my view on your points:

1. I've only shot about 30 minutes of run and gun stuff where I absolutely had to use auto focus, everything else has been manual. It was almost perfect in auto focus although I did have one quick instance of the focus hunting but I think it was my fault because of how I composed the shot. I had something that was a little more in the foreground just to the right of the right third that I was expecting to be in focus but the residual part of the shot was to the left of the right third. I should have quickly switched to manual and it would have been fine. Or I could have touched the screen on the subject that I wanted in focus. I still haven't tried that feature yet.

2. It's a little heavy now that you mention it but that's not something I've ever really thought about.

3. I've shot a lot with a DSLR over the past few years and more often than not I'm using a non-prime lens for convenience. Aperture ramping is part of the deal in that scenario.

4. The monitor is pretty much in the same spot as my other camera. Those things are delicate on just about every camera. Definitely not something that should be used to support the camera but I can honestly say that on my Sony there have been a few times that I used a finger or two on the monitor just to steady a shot while holding an odd position for a long period of time.

5. I agree that the monitor is too shiny in bright sunlight. My old camera wasn't shiny, it had a nice matte finish but you still couldn't see anything on it while in the sun.

6. After 6 or 8 shoots hitting the user button for macro while moving around quickly is no big deal for me. The way i'm supporting the camera, it's not too far from my left thumb.

I don't think any camera is perfect. I think it's like any other piece of equipment, the longer it's in your hands the more you adapt to it. Granted we have to like what we buy but in every case you end up taking some kind of concession on user operability but it all comes down to getting a respectable image. I would rather adapt to a device that's going to give me the image quality that I'm looking for than have something that might be more user friendly that will give me a lesser image quality. The people that view anything that we produce from our cameras don't necessarily care what our struggles are as long as the end result looks good to them. It's kind of like playing an instrument, if we like what we hear we really don't care what instrument the performer is playing. I don't really care for the menu system on the DVX200 but part of that is because I was a Sony user and the other part is that they just aren't as intuitive as they should be. I'm adapting.

I think we all have deal breakers and some of them can be completely on different ends of the spectrum from each other. I've been a Sony user for a good number of years. When I was in the market for a new camera I found that the camera in the price range that I wanted to be in was going to break up clips into 10 minute increments. That was completely out of the question for me. I couldn't see myself handing off footage to someone and explaining that. From what I remember, some editing packages would handle that fine and others would need a sort of pre-processing to stitch the clips together. If it was me editing all of the stuff that I shot and the camera was going to give me the IQ that I was expecting then I would adapt. Since this was going to impact someone other than me more often than not, I didn't want to go down that road. That was such a disappointment to me but at this point in time, even after the initial release debacle, I'm very happy with the camera. Is it perfect? No.... But we're bonding pretty well.

JRJphoto
05-23-2016, 09:08 AM
i often shoot with my hpx170 in what i call "semi-stealth" mode. by flipping the screen and folding it back to the body. leaving me facing the side of the camera rather than forward. that way people don't as readily see me aiming the camera at them.

I prefer the DVX200 to the HPX170, though I like that one, too. However, I have to agree: I do miss "semi-stealth" mode. I hope my muscle-memory doesn't break the DVX200's LCD one day! lol

What I really miss is the old HPX300 from back in the day; the first HD shoulder cam ever assigned to me...but that's another story. Because I do enjoy squishing into the camera from the smart side and pushing my face in the viewfinder. Left hand on the lens, the other hand on the back of pan handle. Or, if it's on your shoulder, the right hand on the servo zoom or a grip somewhere if it's a cinema rig. I don't get to do that with any of these palmcorders, but that's ok. I didn't buy mine for that. I already do that and wanted a camera that was all-in-one and small and light and didn't really need a lot of junk to work. DVX200 is great when you're trying NOT to use a complicated rig, as I do quite often in narrative fiction work.

I understand your points, but a lot of them are reasons I bought the camera in the first place.

1. I never use AF so this doesn't apply to me, nor have I tested the function on this camera. I understand how spotty AF would be a downer, though.......which is why I never use AF.

2. It's not heavy to me. Especially considering it's size, DVX200 is quite light for me. Of course, anything light will start to become heavy after a while, but I've yet to become exhausted operating the camera after an 11-hour shoot. But, keep in mind, I'm used to cine rigs and full-size ENG cameras. It still freaks me out I can get okay 4K footage from my phone.

3. Aperture ramping is a downer, but I tend to shoot around f/4-5.6, anyway. Habit, i guess. If I know I'm zooming a lot then I'll just keep it at f/5 and let that be it. Considering the price and weight of the DVX200, aperture ramping through the zoom range is expected, and actually, well implemented. I have some expensive B4 Fujinon lenses that do the same. In fact, the only time I've seen constant aperture glass that was worth a good golly gosh darn was ~$45,000+ cine glass. Even my Canon stills lenses, the fancy white L lenses, that claim to have constant apertures, actually do ramp. The 70-200 2.8 loses at least a stop at the far end. The 24-70 2.8 loses about half a stop. The 17-40 4.0 is actually pretty decent at holding true, but it's a bloody f/4.0! My XP as a cinematographer has taught me in Super 35 you try not to shoot much more open than T4/5.6, otherwise it's too hard to nail focus and it slows the whole process down. That means about T8 in 135, T2.8 in 4/3, T1 in 2/3 or smaller, for the same basic DOF. I like the look of DVX200's 28mm at f/2.8. It's similar to 28mm at T4 in Super 35 or APS. It's very comfortable, and it's a shame that it has to go away the moment you start to zoom in. But, again, considering price and weight, it was to be expected. And I'm okay with it for the most part as I don't have $45,000 to blow on gaining ~2 stops. Renting's good, though...

4. Don't hold the LCD to support the weight of the camera. There's lots of other places to grab onto.

5. Yeah, shiny screens suck. Sometimes you just have to throw a furnie pad or duvey over your head.

6. Assign the macro function to one of the user buttons, then leave it on. The lens now performs like any traditional broadcast zoom lens. Macro function should actually be normal function, and turning macro off should be more for sports or events where you're basically far away from your subject anyway and don't want to have to rack this massive throw to keep your subject sharp. Like the focus area selection toggles on the sides of big white expensive Canon L lenses. It's really for AF so it doesn't search through the entire range of the focal length...which, by the way, is never constant in anything but cine glass.

7. I haven't been exposed to as much moire in 4K or UHD as I've seen in FHD. It is there, but it doesn't make me want to kill myself. And clients don't know what moire is or looks like. Tell them not to wear anything tweed to the interview! lol But, when downsampling to HD, there are ways of minimalizing the artifacts like blurring a duplicate layer and subtly comping it in over the hero layer. Stuff like that. Still, kind of a pain, and the moire IS there, but, again, it hasn't ruined anything yet.

8. There is a pretty big lag sometimes, depending on what modes you're shooting in and the settings therein. It all just sort of depends. That's why I like optical viewfinders! But, that's, like, not cheap and I've gotten used to a little bit of lag from EVFs over the years. I can feel it's longer than some camcorders I've used, but not as long as others. It doesn't bother me and I've yet to lose a shot because of the lag. Though I haven't shot sports or anything like that, yet. I bet if the subject were moving fast enough, even with my reflexes that ~3/4 of a second or so of lag might piss me off. But, hasn't become frustrating at all, yet. I think it depends on what you're shooting.

Anyway, that's my counter-thoughts. I don't know what you were shooting this past weekend, but DVX200 clearly wasn't the right tool for you in that instance. And that's perfectly fine. But, I would suggest giving the camera another spin on a different type of shoot and see if you still dislike it afterward. I've only been using mine on run-and-gun work (that's what I bought it for) and I've been more than pleased. I haven't used it on, say, something more dignified...like a TVC or music video...but I will. Maybe I'll hate it on that kind of shoot? Maybe I'll never want to use any other camera again? But, to each his own. It's too bad you had a bad experience. But, again, that's perfectly fine. Everything's not for everyone. :D

wgzn
05-23-2016, 10:09 AM
for those who do so: how quickly does the machine toggle in and out of macro-mode?

mapper65
05-23-2016, 10:52 AM
for those who do so: how quickly does the machine toggle in and out of macro-mode?
When I used it last week, it seemed instantaneous. I was shooting people cooking while standing at a counter and then I would move in closely on what they were working on. I would press the button as I moved in for the closeup and everything was fine. I would press the button again as I stepped back. I was actually unaware that you could leave it in macro. I need to try that.

wgzn
05-23-2016, 11:26 AM
thanks guys for (intentionally or not so) talking me down off the ledge to some degree. having been a very, very early adopter of both the hvx200 and hpx170, i really want to love this camera. i just don't so far. maybe it's my late forties. or just a decade-ish with a camera that i love in nearly every way.

JRJphoto
05-23-2016, 06:08 PM
for those who do so: how quickly does the machine toggle in and out of macro-mode?

Immediately.

JRJphoto
05-23-2016, 06:09 PM
thanks guys for (intentionally or not so) talking me down off the ledge to some degree. having been a very, very early adopter of both the hvx200 and hpx170, i really want to love this camera. i just don't so far. maybe it's my late forties. or just a decade-ish with a camera that i love in nearly every way.

It's okay to love the HPX170. :D

Barry_Green
05-23-2016, 07:46 PM
The HPX170 was a pretty much perfect implementation of features, size, balance, weight, ergonomics... the 170 & 150 are pretty much my favorite Panasonics ever. So I can understand how moving to the portly (by comparison) DVX200 would be a bit of a shocker.

The other guys have covered most things, but I'm curious about why the iris ramping is such a downer. The 170 ramps from 1.6 to 3.0, which is actually more ramping (about 1.8 stops) than the 1.33 that the DVX200 does. Why is it so much worse on the DVX200? Is it just because it ends at 2.8, whereas the DVX200 starts at 2.8 and goes down from there?

Jonny Gross
05-24-2016, 01:44 AM
The HPX170 was a pretty much perfect implementation of features, size, balance, weight, ergonomics... the 170 & 150 are pretty much my favorite Panasonics ever. So I can understand how moving to the portly (by comparison) DVX200 would be a bit of a shocker.

The other guys have covered most things, but I'm curious about why the iris ramping is such a downer. The 170 ramps from 1.6 to 3.0, which is actually more ramping (about 1.8 stops) than the 1.33 that the DVX200 does. Why is it so much worse on the DVX200? Is it just because it ends at 2.8, whereas the DVX200 starts at 2.8 and goes down from there?

I would imagine that it's the difference between 1.6-2.8 and 3.0 to 4.5. We always seem to want things to be brighter and obviously that means a faster lens. For an early adopter this can be a shock to the system. I was going nuts in November comparing my Z5 with the DVX and complaining that it's losing light and why is that an upgrade? Because other factors have to be taken into account. The DVX isn't a low light hero, but a pro knows how to compensate for that. The pluses far outweigh the minuses. The final result is what's most important. The older Sony and Panny cams I've used cannot even compare to the output I'm getting from my DVX.

And a word about the firmware update - I shot two groups of old people in a dance therapy class three weeks apart. The first was with v1.51 and Barry's GH4 looks and the second with v1.65 and the new GH4 look. The difference is astounding and I'm getting DSLR looking footage out of the camera without the DSLR hassle. This is a client I need to turn things around for quickly, so baked in is imperative. It looks great basically. I have the tool, the rest is up to me. Disclaimer - this is after 7 months of hard work and learning the cam...I'm not suggesting one firmware update and voila.

To the OP - maybe try to rent it a few more times, get used to it and if you don't love it after that...it's a preference thing. This cam won't be for everyone or every application.

wgzn
05-24-2016, 07:17 PM
"The HPX170 was a pretty much perfect implementation of features, size, balance, weight, ergonomics... the 170 & 150 are pretty much my favorite Panasonics ever. So I can understand how moving to the portly (by comparison) DVX200 would be a bit of a shocker."

yeah. that MAY be where my unhappiness starts. i've been working with the 170 (as i did with the hvx200) from the first few days it was available. and they both just did what i thought they should do. the way i thought it should be done.

certain things i accept come with a pretty fundamental change in paradigm. but i have to wonder what would happen if they put the audio controls out there where the current 200 monitor is (hmmm. interestingly near the MICROPHONE...)and brought the monitor back to the side with it's flippy capacity?

wgzn
05-24-2016, 07:28 PM
"To the OP - maybe try to rent it a few more times, get used to it and if you don't love it after that...it's a preference thing. This cam won't be for everyone or every application."

certainly. and i fully accept that a few of my complaints may fall into growing pains. but there are some fundamental "WTF?" issues that i just can't get over (monitor placement and glossy screen) ESPECIALLY relative to barry's comment about the 170+150 being favorite devices... "hey. let's take something that works exceedingly well and just phoq it the he11 up!"

one of the things that i'm noticing in many of the "OMG, it's so awesome!" posts (as well as their congratulatory responses) here (and in other forums) is a lot of fairly inexperienced users with a lot of bouncy / swimmy footage that i consider garbage.

wgzn
05-24-2016, 07:40 PM
all other things aside. PHOQUING GLOSSY SCREENS?!?!??! WTH?!?! i truly thought that was a dumbshyt consumer tv (along with that smoothmotion) horseshyt thing. i think we can all agree that screens in general = crap to see outside. so let's take a device that by design (and experience) is used half OR MORE outside and make it even harder to see!

YAY!

if the screen was capacitive touch. i could at least buy the reasoning. but it's not. it's like my 2005 prius. but at least those numbnutz had the sense to use a matte screen : (

JRJphoto
05-24-2016, 09:10 PM
I have lots of fond memories of never using the HVX200 or HPX300 LCD flipout monitors outside; preferring, instead, to button up against the EVF. Hoodmans help, sure, but it's just one more thing to lug around, isn't it?

Jonny Gross
05-25-2016, 02:05 AM
"To the OP - maybe try to rent it a few more times, get used to it and if you don't love it after that...it's a preference thing. This cam won't be for everyone or every application."

certainly. and i fully accept that a few of my complaints may fall into growing pains. but there are some fundamental "WTF?" issues that i just can't get over (monitor placement and glossy screen) ESPECIALLY relative to barry's comment about the 170+150 being favorite devices... "hey. let's take something that works exceedingly well and just phoq it the he11 up!"

one of the things that i'm noticing in many of the "OMG, it's so awesome!" posts (as well as their congratulatory responses) here (and in other forums) is a lot of fairly inexperienced users with a lot of bouncy / swimmy footage that i consider garbage.

It's not so much an "OMG it's so awesome" as an "OMG it's the right tool for me and I found it". It's realising you made the right purchase for your needs. I'm a quality freak and I need everything to be perfect, but in the case of my day job which is mainly promos etc, the FS7, Red Epic, ARRI Alexa are like bringing a bazooka to a knife fight. The other option was the FS5 but I realised I needed a certain form factor, basically a continuation from my Sony Z5/Z7/EX1 days and that interchangeable lenses wasn't going to be a viable option in the kind of situations I find myself in daily. Nor was another DSLR setup, which is painful. The cine-cameras I can rent when necessary, the DVX I need on hand at all times, so when the firmware updates are released and you see the picture quality improving, it's definitely a cool thing. So it's more about realising that the tool you purchased has great picture quality and potential for great shots within the confines of the package you purchased.

Larry Chapman
05-25-2016, 05:43 AM
It's not so much an "OMG it's so awesome" as an "OMG it's the right tool for me and I found it". It's realising you made the right purchase for your needs. I'm a quality freak and I need everything to be perfect, but in the case of my day job which is mainly promos etc, the FS7, Red Epic, ARRI Alexa are like bringing a bazooka to a knife fight. The other option was the FS5 but I realised I needed a certain form factor, basically a continuation from my Sony Z5/Z7/EX1 days and that interchangeable lenses wasn't going to be a viable option in the kind of situations I find myself in daily. Nor was another DSLR setup, which is painful. The cine-cameras I can rent when necessary, the DVX I need on hand at all times, so when the firmware updates are released and you see the picture quality improving, it's definitely a cool thing. So it's more about realising that the tool you purchased has great picture quality and potential for great shots within the confines of the package you purchased.

Exactly! My primary camera since 2007 was the Canon XH-A1. I still have, and use, it (with a add-on CF unit) when appropriate but I needed a modern replacement. I do primarily corporate and event (dance) work. I bought a DSLR setup in 2012 when clients began asking for shallow depth of focus. My shortlist for a new camera came down to the FS5 and the DVX200. I opted for the DVX200 because my work does not demand interchangeable lenses or super-shallow DOF. I have fully embraced the DVX200 and have no regrets on the purchase.

mapper65
05-25-2016, 07:09 AM
Exactly! My primary camera since 2007 was the Canon XH-A1. I still have, and use, it (with a add-on CF unit) when appropriate but I needed a modern replacement. I do primarily corporate and event (dance) work. I bought a DSLR setup in 2012 when clients began asking for shallow depth of focus. My shortlist for a new camera came down to the FS5 and the DVX200. I opted for the DVX200 because my work does not demand interchangeable lenses or super-shallow DOF. I have fully embraced the DVX200 and have no regrets on the purchase.

This sounds exactly like me. Been using my Sony FX-1 since 2006. Bought a Nikon D800 about 3 years ago and fell in love with the shallow depth of field that I could get with it but it's just too cumbersome to use after rigging with an audio adapter, external monitor etc. I wanted that same look but in the familiar footprint of a video camera. After dealing with an audio adapter on the FX-1 and D800 then losing a few projects because of not having time code I went on a quest for a new camera. The DVX200 had everything that I was looking for. I couldn't say this in the beginning but I can now.....I'm very happy with it.

Sure would be nice to have a few more options for scene files done in the new firmware and possibly a couple more firmware updates before Panasonic moves on to their next project. I don't have anything specific in mind for what I'd like to see in a firmware update but a firmware update typically means improvements and I'm always open for that.

slidemaster
05-25-2016, 10:35 AM
I have a hpx170 and I love it as well. Sort of a cresent wrench of video cameras. JRJ, how does low light compare between the 2?

JRJphoto
05-25-2016, 12:03 PM
I have a hpx170 and I love it as well. Sort of a cresent wrench of video cameras. JRJ, how does low light compare between the 2?

Well, they both kinda suck...and I say that because nowadays we have true lowlight cameras like the Sony a7s. I don't have an HPX170 available to test against my DVX200, but I never really had a complaint using it on a TV show or two. HVX200, also. Back in the day, those 3 CCD chip cameras weren't really bad at all, considering price and weight. DVX200, with it's much larger sensor, is comparable. Read: they both suck at lowlight, but if you absolutely have to shoot in the dark you can...but it's gonna be noisy. Plus, DVX200 has IR mode, if you need it. If you know you're going to have to shoot something in the dark, rent an a7-something and a fast lens. Or, some cine-camera with a fast lens.

More words, but less on-topic:

Second day I had my DVX200, a few weeks ago, I shot something at night with a guy addressing a small crowd of people, lit by just the garage light...and he was facing out into the darkness...and it looks awful...super high ISO, ultra-positive gain, even at f/2.8 it was....just awful...but the story trumps the image quality, and it didn't really matter...being that it's for a documentary. It's perfectly fine. Audio is fine. It's fine. But shooting a proper video with lighting, I would never want the camera to need to do lowlight work in the first place. Yes, DVX200 can shoot in the dark before you get to use IR mode, but it's ugly. If you do 4K and resize for HD the noise gets much less pronounced...but it's so bad up close I wouldn't want to use Neat Video or something else to clean it up because it would kill the detail that tells you it's in focus. At least it is in focus. But these are problems I saw in the HPX170. They just aren't lowlight cameras.

There was some other stuff from the same film that took place underneath a sodium-vapor street lamp so everything was ugly orange-yellow, but I could use ISO800 at f2.8 and it looked fine, exposure-wise. Noise was acceptable. And if it wasn't, then it could be cleaned up. You could see the clouds at night, as lit by city and moon, in the background, as the subject is orange from the street lamp. But, if you establish the orange street lamp early, then it makes sense and you don't mind because street lamps are orange and it's taking place under a street lamp. So, it's fine. Again, documentary. If it were a movie, I'd get a movie light on a condor and gel it orange for the same effect. So, it's ok.

But when you step out past the area of effect, it gets dark in a hurry. Now you're stretching your gain way past an acceptable signal-to-noise ratio and everything just gets near-monochomatic and ugly. You would never shoot anything but a docu this way. And even then, it's because you can't get it any other way so you need to just get the shot, no matter what...because it won't happen again and you have no control over it...so you just shoot it and do the best you can. At least everyone's mic'd and it sounds good. Good sound actually helps make a crap image look better. And you CAN see what's going on. The exposure itself is acceptable, the colors and noise are what's ugly. But, being that the story is more important in a docu, it's acceptable anyway. We understand they're in the dark. You can still see them. It's just noisy and gray. And it's only for a little while...turn on the external on-camera light and you can drop your ISO and all is good again.