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What is your take on this?

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Tom Laughlin
What is your take on this?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 4:43:29 pm

It's actually been a while since I've been back on this site, so it's good to come back and see all the traffic. Ok, recently I've been in talks with a friend who is selling his DVX-100, which I've not used since film school, back 5-6 years ago. How I used to love that camera, the film look it gave, and remembering how it was such a grandiose phenomenon back then.

Since then, I've moved on to using various other cameras, mostly the Sony EX-3, using it extensively for the past 2-3 years as "work" cameras. I was asked if i was interested in purchasing a DVX-100 from my friend, who wants a DSLR.

I thought to myself "What would I use a mini-DV 24p camera for nowadays?" Then I thought about posted this question to you all, who still uses this camera and it's format and are people still using it, and for what platform and media output? I think it'd make a great straight to web camera, but everything now is HD or in higher res. Can anyone out there let me know if you are still using it, for what purposes, and potentially what value still is there in this camera? As a home video camera maybe, it'd be nice, but, please let me know as I might be interested in acquiring it, but not sure what I'd use it for still? Either personally or professionally. Are they still in demand, in active use, still being shot with, still an all around industry camera?

Opinions welcome,

Tom

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel


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Michael Sacci
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 8:07:29 pm

There are plenty around, plenty being used every day. I would say they are used in a closed loop company video, people that just don't have the budget for a new camera.

The thing if you shot with this camera it is a short lived product. Not many people want there video shot in SD unless you are giving them an unbelievable discount. But it cost you no more to shot on HD so why would you want to give a discount. They are also 4:3 cameras so even if you are going to DVD you really want to be shooting 16:9 which a camera like the HVX200 can do to tape.

I don't see these cameras bringing even a $1000 these days. The price that comes to mind would be no more than $500 but I'm just grabbing that out of the air.

So I just my thought would be I would never buy one of these cameras now, if I need one and someone did only want a SD video I would use it if I didn't have a real HD camera.


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Trevor Ward
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 8:16:45 pm

I still occasionally use mine for:

1. as a b-camera and for capturing audio. In a DSLR world with no good audio options, why not record to tape.
2. For customers who can't afford my equipment costs, I say I'll throw in SD for free (some non-profit work mostly).
3. For work going directly to web. Still looks good on the web at 100%. Remember that HD gets compressed before it is streamed to someone's computer screen. I'll bet with good lighting, you could be fooled.
4. You can "uprez" the SD and upload to YouTube or whatever your "HD" project. It will think it's HD. Still looks ok.

Lots of other uses too, I'm sure.

-trevor ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
orlando, fl


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:04:49 pm

One area where the DVX100 is still useful is live video streaming, which is one area where SD resolution and Firewire output is very useful.


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Tom Laughlin
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 3:21:30 pm

If I can get it for $600, is that too much? Also, does it require Panasonic studio quality tapes, or can you should with alternate brands of mini-DV tape?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel


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Trevor Ward
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 3:52:01 pm

Sure, seems like that's an ok price. Is it in perfect working condition? How many hours does it have? Has it ever been professionally cleaned?

-trevor ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
orlando, fl


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Micah McDowell
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 4:12:34 pm

Sounds like that'd be a great deal at $600, as long as it's in great condition with no issues.

You can use any MiniDV tape brand you desire (it used to be rumored that the lubricants of different brands didn't intermix well, so once you pick a brand you should probably use it consistently).

Regardless of how good a deal it is, make sure you NEED the camera before you buy it. It's never going to be worth more than it is now, so you don't want it just gathering dust on a shelf and depreciating. Since purchasing a Canon DSLR, my DVX has ONLY been used as a roving stage camera for live video at a couple concerts, grabbing B-roll at a few events where the zoom range of the DSLR wouldn't cut it, plus being brought along on a few shoots as a backup. If you have regular access to an EX-3 and don't need a B-cam or backup, I'd lean towards not purchasing it. Is $600 a good price if you do need it? Yes it is.


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Tom Laughlin
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 26, 2011 at 4:32:54 pm

So, if shooting on the DVX-100, is the max resolution 720x480p or it is 853x480? With stock or non-stock, it's all 480p wide screen and that's it right? Has anyone every seen what it looks like up-res'd? Also, using 35mm lenses on it, it's still pointless shooting on this camera cause it's all SD in the end huh.

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: What is your take on this?
on Jan 26, 2011 at 4:56:05 pm

It's an SD camera and will always be an SD camera. If shallow DOF and HD are your end goals then you need to look at other cameras.

The documentary "Iraq in Fragments" won the Best Cinematography category at the 2006 SunDance Festival, and it was shot with 2 DVX-100 cameras. Talent and story are far more important than the gear.


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