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Operating a Panasonic DVX 100-A


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#1 David George Ellis

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 08:16 AM

Hey guys,

I did a search but I could not find anything regarding this. I have a show coming up and I was looking for some advice on flying this camera. I know its weight is an issue b/c I have 3A, but I got my practice cage. And that if follow focus is used, I need to inform production to get an adapter kit. Is there something else I should be aware about this pokkalokkadokka? Thanks for all advice


David
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#2 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 12:41 PM

YO Dave!


Abel Cine in Zoo York has a manual focus ring for the camera lens. This costs about 335.00 bucks. Either get production to rent it (if that is possible) or if your feeling like dropping some bling then buy it for your future jobs. It seems alot of peeps are using this camera to do projects. This will solve your follow focus issue.
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#3 Kenny Brown SOC

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 03:09 PM

Hi there

I just worked with one on my EFP for the first time and it was a great little camera. Production hired the focus ring (which can be confusing to put on - angle it past the focus ring then pull it forward on to the widest part). Marking the lens is weird as it doesn't have any hard end marks, but I put it on 50, set the ends on my BFD and it worked fine.

I found the easiest way to compensate for the very light weight was to place a shot bag over the handle and clamp it on, had 2 Anton Bauer bricks on the bottom and the arm dialed way down.

Enjoy

Kenny
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 05:31 PM

It's not easy to get the DVX100a (or any 1/3" type DV camera, for that matter) to shoot out of focus! You need to be zoomed to the equivalent of at least 100mm (35 format), wide open and having to rack from a few feet away to the background to start to "need" a follow focus, for better or worse. Not to say it isn't useful--it just isn't THAT much of a necessity in this format.
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#5 David George Ellis

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 06:00 PM

Thank you gentlemen.

I figure that since my shots are mostly point-blank tracking shots, there may be no real necessity for the adapter, eh? Shucks. Just when I thought I may be able to get some gear on production's dime... I Can't propogate a lie.
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#6 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 11:39 AM

im "A" cam/steadi on a low budget feature and we are using these cams.. i dont have the focus ring on this cam as i have (yet) to need it. we have been in pre prod for a couple months and i have not seen a reason to worry about focusing. ill be doing mostly POV running shots and tracking a couple of walk and talks and the focus has not been a problem. we are also taking advantage of the advanced 24p mode with a 1/60 shutter and the results look pretty good.
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 09:58 PM

Yeah, it's a nice camera. I have some issues with the noise levels, but it definitely was revolutionary and you have to give it (well, Panasonic really) credit for advancing the state of indie filmmaking with this product.

I've used it in conjunction with the Mini35 a number of times and it's a great package.

Here's a couple of images of this setup on the rig; you don't need additional weights as it checks in between 15 and 20 lbs, and of course follow focus is the same as a 35mm camera setup.

The other two links on that page are a couple of projects I shot with this setup (first is a short film, with some nice Steadi by Ron Baldwin; second is a spec spot).
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#8 Kelsey W. Smith

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 07:43 AM

Yeah, it's a nice camera. I have some issues with the noise levels, but it definitely was revolutionary and you have to give it (well, Panasonic really) credit for advancing the state of indie filmmaking with this product.

I've used it in conjunction with the Mini35 a number of times and it's a great package.

Here's a couple of images of this setup on the rig; you don't need additional weights as it checks in between 15 and 20 lbs, and of course follow focus is the same as a 35mm camera setup.

The other two links on that page are a couple of projects I shot with this setup (first is a short film, with some nice Steadi by Ron Baldwin; second is a spec spot).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey Charles,

How much light level did you lose with the Mini 35?? I've been thinking of getting one, is it worth the money?? I have a Digi Beta as well and was considering the Pro Mini, but for $30K, I don't think so! Have you used the Pro35? Is it more or less the same set up? Any who, thanks in advanced.

Kelsey W.
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#9 Charles Papert

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 11:46 AM

Kelsey:

You lose about 1.5 stops with the current gen. Mini35.

I haven't used the Pro35 myself, was about to and we just pulled it from a shoot. It is the same technology. Thus it is a bit discouraging to see it priced 3x as much in a blatant play for the "pro" market.

I've had a great time with my Mini, certainly it hasn't paid off yet but that's the way it goes. I'm not out there pushing video production services so I shouldn't really expect to. It's a nicely made piece of gear and has a fantastic look. I've been planning to move on to the XL2 for a while, saved a bunch of my XL1 accessories with this in mind but now this little Sony HDV camera is causing me to hold off until I get a chance to play with it. The bummer is that every camera requires a unique $2300 relay lens to work with the Mini35, so it adds up.
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 03:43 PM

Charles--

I think the DVX100A is superior to the XL2 even for 16x9 finish, and I really don't think much of the Sony HDV camera, especially when using its quasi (read: bullshit) 24p mode. motion and interlace artifacts aplenty, and a lens that is visibly inferior to the chips' resolving power. But that's just me...

The Pro35 is a very nice piece of gear, certainly more refined than the Mini35. The groundglass is far superior as it would need to be and the device runs quieter than the Mini, although I understand that the later generations of the Mini35 ran a bit quieter than the first models. Nothing against the Mini35, just that the Pro35 is a nicer bit of engineering. 3x the price nicer? Not my call.
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#11 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 12:54 PM

hey chas,

yeah i failed to mention the grain(noise) in this mode on the night shots. the director doesnt care for it and we have had to relight a couple scenes just because of this reason. other than that, its been great.

cnn is testing the hdv camcorder and we have been for a few months... these will be used on the many videophone shots you see on air (currently using pd150's) if they decide to go with them... but i digress...
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#12 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 06:23 PM

The Sony FX1 (HDV) camera flies great on the Flyer!

I did a 19hour shoot (like 98% Steadicam - even for lockdowns cuz it was faster to keep set up..) for a short film with it the other day and it worked like a charm (not to mention didn't kill me in the long hours).
The footage that came out of it is really nice too, we were shooting in an old farmhouse with very little for lighting and it got real dark on us really quick, but the little Sony pulled it off!
We arn't trying to imitate fillm with it, infact thoguh we recorded HDV, we captured as regular DV and are editing with that. - Might do a batch upgrade to the HD version sometime in the future.
I have the partially editited video (no real audio work yet) online at http://mikko.n3.net/..._small-demo.wmv

Also check out the pic I posted of the set up on the SOA photo gallery the other day... (HD Steadicam for under ?11,000)


- Mikko
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