buying used dvx100b-but how should i check the camera?
buying a used dvx100b from local.
camera pix provided show 50 hours
owners response to how was camera used was:
"used for 2 music videos and LOTS of Doc. interviews. This camera was used exclusively by me. It was never loaned out or rented out."
as to what tape: "Sony Premium tapes. never used no-name media.
So, how should i check out this camera?
Is there a on-site sticky that I'm missing which i could use as a checklist?
how to test the lens?
record some footage-with and without movement-and play back on his provided monitor
do zoom test and see if lens holds focus
how do i look for dead/stuck pixels?
i thought i read somewhere shoot an all-black cloth and see if there is any light bleeding thru. make sense?
for sound, engage each of the xlr channels?
check headphone output?
transfer footage to edit system to ensure the firewire is performing properly?
any and all thoughts would be VERY helpful.
thanks in advance in sharing your ideas
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04-05-2008 10:04 AM
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- New York City
04-05-2008 03:03 PM
I was once in the same position as you, so I hope the information below can be of some help.
If your buying from ebay, make sure your covered by PayPal. Your only covered 100% by Paypal if you have a PayPal credit card AND/OR the Ebay seller has a good rating. If the Ebay seller has a good rating (98% and above), PayPal will cover you for a max amount of 2000.00. To see what your covered under PayPal, check underneath the sellers rating. There's a box there that says how much PayPal is going to cover your purchase. I advise you not to buy from a buyer who doesn't have 2000.00 Paypal coverage or a rating below 98% (just my opinion).
If your buying from Craigslist, or any other classified, make sure you get a receipt for you purchase. And ask for some sort of ID to verify the seller. This is in case, you buy a lemon and have to go to court. You'll want to know the sellers name and address.
If your buying from an online shop. First check the sellers reputation and rating. You can get a good idea about the sellers business practices by looking them at BBB and/or reseller.com
Things to Check For:
1) Check to see if the lens is scratched.
2) Turn the camera on and off. When you turn it off you should hear a click. That clicking noise means the OIS IS WORKING.
3) Check the zooms. There's two zoom functions. The first zoom is on the handle (there's three speeds 1,2, and 3, check all of them), the second zoom is above the tape deck. Check manual zoom, the button to turn the manual zoom on and off is underneath the lens. When you zoom in auto focus, a certain part of the image will shake for about 5 seconds, this is normal, but only in auto focus.
4) Check if the audio is working, usually you'll see in the LCD menu a sound meter, snap your finger near the mic and see if the meter responds. Also bring a pair of earphones and test the quality of the on board mic.
5) Check the LCD menu for any warning signs. Most warning signs are in red.
6) Pop in a tape and record something. Also, if you have a laptop with firewire bring it and check if the camera's firewire is working. Also, connect the camera to a TV using video cables and look at the image.
7) Check the focus. Manual and Automatic focus. Again when you zoom in auto focus the image will shake for about 5 seconds, this is normal.
8) Make sure the LCD screen is working.
9) Regarding the image, if you view it on a TV, make sure the image isn't jumpy/shaky and that there is no dead pixels.
10) Check for any dings, chips or deep scratches. If you find many, then that means the owner didn't care for the camera.
Before you buy a camera, I suggest, you go and rent one for a day. I think it only cost 100.00 at the most, some non-for-profit art centers rent it for as low as 40.00 bucks a day. Play around with the camera, get familiar with it. That way when you go and check out a camera you want to buy you'll be confident in your purchase.
If you can't rent one, or don't have access to one, bring someone along with you that has some knowledge regarding DV cameras. That way, their trained eye can catch something that you might have missed.
If you buy your camera from a shady character (there's many of them on Craigslist), and afterwards your not confident in your purchase, then get your DVX100 to a Pansonic Service Center. They charge 150.00 to do a complete diagnostic check. This will let you know, from a professional Panasonic technician, if there is anything wrong with the camera.
Regarding hours, most used DVX100 camera's will have 100+ hours. What is more important then the hours on the camera is how well the tape head has been cared for. Ask the seller if they used different kind of tapes (if they say yes, it usually means that they didn't put to much thought into maintaining the camera), ask what kind of tapes they used (brand name and model of tape), ask how often they had the heads cleaned. If they say they had the heads cleaned every 50hrs, which is recommended, then ask for invoices. Also, ask the seller if they get a lot of dropped frames. Most of the time, dropped frames are due to dirty heads.
As a guide line, if the camera has 500+ hours, its a safe bet that down the road, you will have to have the heads cleaned professionally or have it replaced.
All the best,
Last edited by Fliques Osman; 04-05-2008 at 03:18 PM.
04-06-2008 05:49 AM
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- New York City
thank u for sharing your thoughts.
i will try to create a checklist for me to use as i slowly put a used dvx100 thru its paces.
aren't u surprised that no one on this site has ever created a sticky about checking out a used camera?
any and all thoughts are appreciated.