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Can anyone recommend a comparable HD replacement for my current camcorder ?

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  • Can anyone recommend a comparable HD replacement for my current camcorder ?

    Hi,
    Can anyone recommend a comparable HD up-to-date replacement for my current camcorder:
    Panasonic CamCorder AG DVC200E

    Thanks

  • #2
    Hi, I remember the DVC200 - on a back shelf, I still have the PAL version, in 4x3 aspect - good for set dressing but alas no longer useful for jobs. The replacement I have is the (now couple of years old) AG-AC90, which is the first in the 'professional' Panny camera range. It's the more compact physical format, much lighter than the shoulder mount, and does shoot HD formats (progressive or interlaced). Incredible low-light performance. I record both on the internal SD cards (in AVCHD format) and on an external Atomos solid-state (CF card) device. You get what you pay for, of course - this is a small sensor chip camera, but the quality is outstanding for the money. Not sure what the current model number is though. The other option is the DSLR route, but I prefer having the controls a dedicated video camera supplies.
    Phil Ashby | 2-pop guide
    Bright Filament, Bath UK | www.brightfilament.com

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    • #3
      Hi Phil
      Thanks for your input:

      My AG DVC200E has 3 x 1/2inc CCD, and different lenses can be used.
      Yours has 3 x 1/4inc CCD's, and I believe it's a fixed lens?
      So I guess the lens will be smaller, so less light.

      Did you ever use the AG DVC200E ?
      Wonder how it would compare to your AG-AC90?

      How comfortable do you find your AG-AC90, when used off the stand?

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      • #4
        My AG DVC200E has 3 x 1/2inc CCD, and different lenses can be used.
        Yours has 3 x 1/4inc CCD's, and I believe it's a fixed lens?
        So I guess the lens will be smaller, so less light.


        Bit of confusion here - the DVC200P (european model) is the camera that's now an ornament on my equipment shelf - and yes it's a 3 CCD sensor with 1/2" interchangeable lens format. But it's a 625-line (ie 720 pixel SD) standard, 4x3 aspect ratio - just about OK for 16x9 PAL days thanks primarily to the lens. But not good if upconverted to HD, and I never did find a usable anamorphic adapter for the lens I had.

        And to be honest, it's years since I used tape to record on :-)

        Did you ever use the AG DVC200E ? It's the same camera as the DVC200P
        Wonder how it would compare to your AG-AC90?

        How comfortable do you find your AG-AC90, when used off the stand?


        The AC90 (and by now, I'm sure, it's been superseded by newer models at the same price point) is a single-chip 1/4.7" 3MOS sensor - resolution and sensitivity are much better than I had expected from the spec! You're right to ask about comfort - I was initially resistant to having a camera that didn't sit on the shoulders, but instead needs support from the forearm all the time. But because the camera is so light, that hasn't really been a problem. There are all sort of rigs that can be fitted to make it a proper shoulder mount - and if you have a lot of add-ons (radio mics, bigger battery - not that you'd really need one, external recorder) a rig would be a good idea.

        For a couple of shoots (in theatres) I've been on a tripod, with magic arms to connect the extra stuff, but otherwise the AC90 has been fine. One thing that has helped is the top arm design, which means you can grip the camera from above, for low-angle moving shots. (The LCD viewfinder screen pivots fine, though the hinge has always worried me as seeming flimsy - but it's still fine).

        The main difference otherwise is because of the weight - the old DVC200 made for easier, more stable hand-held work, just a matter of inertia, and what you're used to I suspect.
        Phil Ashby | 2-pop guide
        Bright Filament, Bath UK | www.brightfilament.com

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