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    Is this camera still worth the money?
    #1
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    Hey,
    my dvx100b finally gave up , so I guess its time for an upgrade. I was thinking of buying one panasonic ag ac90 since my old batteries can work with it. So, I will be shooting 1080p video, but I dont know whether I should get this camcorder (which comes for 1.9k euros here) or I should go with a more expensive 4k camcorder (which means I wont be able to use batteries). I dont plan to upgrade unless the camera I will buy now gets really old (I was using my Panasonic DVX100B for a long long time) so I want a camera that will keep up with me for the years to come.
    What is your opinion about this camera? Is 4k camera a thing I should be looking into?
    Thanks in advance


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    Senior Member kwkeirstead's Avatar
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    I would go for the dvx200. I currently have an ag act60A. See Barry Greene's comments re the dvx200


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    #3
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    hi widder_,

    Well, my thoughts are as follows:
    If the DVX100B was accomplishing what you need and it's only Standard Definition, then the AC90 being 1080 60P is a big step as far as being a valid camera for time to come.
    Being able to re-use the same batteries will save you a fair amount of money as well. 4k is coming but do you really need it now or maybe several years down the road? If the AC90 will serve you for a period of time, you can get a 4K camera later and the current models will be cheaper in addition to new models being better than what are offered now.

    The other way to look at it is that you could shell out considerably more money now on a 4K camera and it will be a valid camera for longer than the AC90. So you would in theory not have to make a 2nd camera replacement purchase later when 4k is required and never spent the money on the AC90.

    If you need 4k then don't even consider the AC90. But otherwise lets pretend the DVX200 in year 2015 is 4,200 but you choose to buy the AC90 instead for 1,900. Then in 2017 you decide you need 4k. Now there is a DVX200B for 4,300 and it is better than the DVX200 was and remaining DVX200 are now selling for 3,900. Was that a good business choice? Did the money you made with the AC90 during those 2 years justify the decision?
    Of course that is speculation because we don't know the future, but that is a way to look at it
    I try to upgrade based off client demand.


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    #4
    Senior Member kwkeirstead's Avatar
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    For me, the big deal with 4K is you can crop and still have good output at 1080.

    It seems from the advertising that still shots from the Dvx200 were really nice but who knows unless you have a 4k monitor?

    I think I would have real problem with going away from my AG AC160A and its 22X zoom because I do a lot of theater work at a distance of about 65 feet. The DVX 200 has 13X.

    There seems to be two groups of customers - those who can write off cams in a year and others, like me, who have to stick with what we have until it starts to look out of date.

    I still see people coming up to look at my 160 and it is three years old now.

    Firehalk is right with "we don't know the future" - if we listen to the manufacturers, they are actively plugging 4k but starting to talk about 8K..

    I wonder if anyone has figured out that with a 100 inch 8K TV, unless you like watching pixels, you might have to build an extension onto the average house to be able to sit at a proper viewing distance.
    Last edited by kwkeirstead; 09-22-2015 at 07:57 PM.


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    #5
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    Good points. The crop zoom 4K provides when delivering HD I find very useful.

    I also dislike the 13X zoom when shooting theater. The AC90 only has 12X I believe, but it starts at 29mm instead of 28 like the DVX so it's not quite as wide.
    However, if the deliverable isn't 1080 HD then the AC90 could also be crop zoomed in to provide a tighter shot. And the DVX200 could crop zoom a lot more, of course
    It sounds like the old DVX100B was doing ok for widder with it's SD chips and 13X zoom until it died so that's all I have to go on regarding which new camera to get.
    I still mostly use HMC150s for event work and they are 28mm with a 13X zoom like the DVX100B but I have been able to use crop zooming to help overcome the short zoom.

    The AC90 has great image stabilization too


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    Senior Member kwkeirstead's Avatar
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    Yes, unlike the AgAC160A which does not have the 5-axis stabilization.

    I suspect the DVX200 has even better 5 -axis stabilization.

    Forking out $2K for a 1080 when you can for $4-5k get something like a DVX 200 to me makes no sense. I would lease the DVX 200 over 3 years and count on bookings to pay for it so at the end it would cost nothing.

    I have long felt that the day you decide to buy anything, as you are going out the front door, a truck is rolling up at the back door with a newer, better, faster, less expensive cam. Best is see what is available that fits your needs, then buy and hold.

    At the end of the day a camcorder is just a machine, what you do with it is really what counts.

    I figure sound to be much more of a challenge and lighting is not a piece of cake either. As for the cams, well, once you work out a routine for different fairly standard recording situations, it's quite easy.

    On stage events, I try hard to go from wide to a very smooth zoom to small groups, duets, solos and if they move around I try to track them.

    This requires a fair amount of concentration and attention to detail.

    My 160A is fine for this but if I were to move to nature recordings such as the excellent ones Mark Williams does, I would for sure want 4K.

    I notice a huge improvement in my work when I went to a Libec tripod/real fluid head and I would not leave the house without my Studio 1 Productions Remote.

    I hope one day to be able to afford a zoom F8 (assuming the pre-amps test well) and I also want a slider.

    I get fairly decent sound from my Tascam DR100 MKII but the usual finding is the instrumentation is over/under the singers so nothing can be done.


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    Senior Member Alchroma's Avatar
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    Another thing to factor into the buying equation is your NLE.
    4K requires more power and more memory space, a bit like moving from DV to HD.
    If your current setup is OK for 4k I'd probably jump for that.

    BTW: I own and use an AC90 and it's a nice camera, great bang for bucks, if you go that path.

    Al


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    Senior Member Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Old-ish thread, but - I've used the 130 since it came out. Every time I shoot with it, I think "damn, this is a fantastic camera".

    The fact that 4K is around doesn't make a 1080 cam suddenly less capable. And yeah, I'd like 4K for reframing, but I tend to use the 130 for event shooting and DSLRs/BMC/etc for planned and "pretty" stuff, and that will be my first 4K upgrade. But the 130/160 is capable of some very pretty stuff, and you can make scene files that intercut with more cinematic cameras fairly easily.

    The cost of a DVX200 seems pretty crazy to me, since I consider these more "video" cameras. I imagine I'll be shooting event type work with the 130 for at least another year to 18 months. You can find one dirt cheap these days, and they have few moving parts to go wrong.

    The bigger issue to me concerning upgrading - I've used the same focus, iris, and zoom controllers across many cameras now - that manfrotto focus control (along with focus-in-red or peaking) clipped to a shoulder rig handle make handheld shooting a breeze. Think about accessories that will last years - Panasonic's done a great job of keeping their camera controls constant.


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    Senior Member jamedia.uk's Avatar
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    As the AC90 is now discontinued the question may have been answered for the OP BUT I have an AC90 (very nice camera) and now need a second camera.
    I have thought to get a second (cheap) AC90 to have 2 identical systems but then thought make my current AC90 the second camera. So what is a logical replacement /upgrade for an AC90? (at a similar or *slightly* higher price point. The new HCX1 did cross my mind.

    Would the HC-X1 be a good option or are there other /better options?


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    At the same/similar price point, the UX90 is probably the best bet, $2095.

    The X1 and similar UX180 are more robust, feature-filled cameras, but they're also quite a bit more expensive.


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