I'm in a camcorder store yesterday and I was checking out an FX1, DVX 100B, and PD 170. As I looked at the parts inside (I opened the tape deck), everything looked so tiny. Are those cameras strong enough? Someone is selling his used DVX100 (without the "A"). Will it last with heavy use.. like using 3 tapes per day? Thanks.
I was told by a top Sony engineer sevaral years ago that they believe all of the small tape transports will fail over time. However, the cameras are so inexpensive that by the time it wears out, it's time for a new one anyway. Three tapes a day is around 1000 hours per year. The camera should be good for 1500 hours before any repair work is necessary and 3000 hours before it's time to replace it. This is an amortization of about $1 per hour. That's almost free in my book.
I can't speak to the other cameras, but I own a 100A and have been very pleased with it. As someone who cut his teeth on Panasonic 1st generation MII product, I swore I'd never own anything from them again. Well, now I do.
You should know the DVX is manufactured by the professional broadcast division of Panasonic. I've traveled w/the DVX across country and have shot a majority of my stuff outside. No problems to report.
Is the transport and the inners of the unit small? You bet. Are they prone to unreasonable failure? Define unreasonable.
There are sooooo many variables (original condition, care by previous owners, etc.)it's difficult to answer.
I will say, having been an avid reader of various forums regarding the DVX, I've yet to hear anyone complain about the durability of the DVX.