I've been away from shooting and editing for about 3 years. I dusted off my camera, and re-familiarized myself with Final Cut Pro. In this 3 year period, it seems as though the camera technology has really changed. I was wondering, is my Panasonic DVX 100B a dinosaur now? Should I unload it (get something while I can) and get some new technology?
If that is the case, this is an appropriate semi-pro level for my work. A recommendation would be appreciated. Of course, if the camera is still suitable, then I'll save my money.
Depends entirely on what you mean by dinosaur and what your needs are as of today. The DVX100 is/was a solid camera but considering we're well into 4K cameras in 2012, 480p isn't exactly state of the art anymore especially when iPhones are shooting surprisingly good-looking 1080p. Get what you need...
Really depends on what you're doing. Could not agree more with Noah. Honestly I've been at major broadcast networks that use a DVX100B every day for small casting shoots and other various things like that so it is definitely a nice camera to have around. Honestly, I would keep it just because you probably won't get the type of money out of it that you would hope for. At that point, I'd be happier keeping it for that rainy day when a good looking SD camera that can shoot 24p to miniDV tape comes in super handy. That day will come...
But if you really need a new camera or you need to do modern work, then yes I'd say you should look to get something new (while still holding onto the DVX if you can). If you like the feel of the Panasonic, the form factor of the DVX, and you want to stay with the company, then I'd look to the HPX250 or the AVCCAM version, the AC160, for less money. Same everything, but different recording codec. Cost/Benefit, what's important to you? For more narrative driven work, check out the AF100 which you can get at a great price now. Someone even just posted a huge AF100 kit that he's trying to sell a few threads above. But the camera itself is running at about $3,500 now after rebates. If you want a great value camera, and don't mind spending on Canon glass, or if you already have Canon glass, look to pre-ordering the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. That looks like a very cool piece of kit. And with an unbeatable software bundle.
There are a lot of options out there. Find what works for you. But keep the DVX.
Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 8GB RAM
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, Final Cut Pro Studio 3, Avid Media Composer 3.5.4
The College of William and Mary