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Sony DCR-PC330 or wait for Pana NVGS400?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by isaw, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. isaw

    isaw
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    Hey guys,

    I need some opinions here. I would like to get a camcorder and had basically decided on the Sony DCR-PC330. But recently I heard that the Panasonic NVGS400 (?) is coming out soon in July and would be quite comparable in feautures and quality.

    basically I just wanted to know what people would recommend - should I go for the Sony or wait for the new Panasonic? I recently lost (as in it broke) my 4 megapixel camera and would like something that could also replace that as well.

    Thanks
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Hi isaw and welcome to the forum!

    I don't believe that anybody can really recommend a cam that has not yet been released. The only specs & promise of its quality will come from the company that make it. Does this sound like a reliable method of deciding between makes & models to you? Well not to me!
    In the past I have always found that the Sony cams are the best for quality, but do tend to cost a little bit more. New models from others may well be excellent and beat the older Sony models, but the only way to be sure is to wait and see.
    IMO you can spend the rest of your life awaiting the release of a new model and therefore never bite the bullet and buy anything. You need to find a model that has all the features & quality that you require and go for it. In this world there is always going to be something better, or promising to be better just around the courner.

    As for replaceing a camera with a camcorder to take stills. IMHO you will never find a camcorder that will take pictures of the same quality as a dedicated camera. The cams are getting better, but they are just not in the same league for stills as a good 4mp camera. If money is tight then the cam will do for now, but don't expect it to be that good.

    Mark.
     
  3. isaw

    isaw
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    Hmm thats true. If i really *did* follow the 'wait-for-the-next-model' approach i'd never own anything.

    I was reallyjust curious if the new pana had people anxiously awaiting to a degree that it would be better than the Sony. The only real reason I was hesitant was because I read several reviews that the dcr-pc330 had not-so-good low light performance. But then, i think most suffer from that anywaze.

    As for the digital camera replacement. Well, it was more of an incentive for me to mentally justiofy the money spending on getting the vid camera =)

    Thanks for the advice tho. I think I might go with the Sony.
     
  4. Benfica

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    Well, I own a sony DCR-PC330, and i'm very happy with it.

    Don't know what are your requirements, but as a simple and costless advice, make sure that whatever camcorder you buy, it will do all the things that you want it to do.

    If you have particular questions regarding this sony model maybe I can help you (or not, if they very technologic ones).

    Best regards
     
  5. thebrummy_one

    thebrummy_one
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    I too own and am very happy with the PC330. I haven't noticed low light problems and I find the colour reproductions both inside and outside filming to be excellent.
    As for stills reproduction, I use a Olympus C-350 3.2Mega pixel in my work, and I can honestly say that the Sony images are easily on par with this. As Ben & Mark say, it's really a question of what you want from a cam. I have everything I could want in the Sony. One niggle though, is the view finder extension. It has a habit of retracting, the mic also picks up my breathing when using the spy hole rather than the screen. (As it's set near the back of the case) This could be because I'm left handed and the case is across my face rather than sticking out the side!! :suicide:
    Good luck with your choice.
     
  6. thebrummy_one

    thebrummy_one
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    Just read what i wrote, and that left handed bit probably doesn't make a lot of sense. What I'm driving at is because the cam is designed for use by right handed people, and I use my left eye to view, I'm breathing onto my hand that could make an echo box (or something like that). Somebody take away my spade, I've finished digging!!!
     
  7. jpetit

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    To be the question of the NVGS400 is best answered by finding out if Sony is going to come out with a successor to the PC330. Does anyone have good info on this???
     
  8. thebrummy_one

    thebrummy_one
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    Isaw, even the wheel will eventually be replaced!! :devil: It's time to take the plunge, after all, what £1000 in euros? :p
     
  9. gwoodroffe

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    I am in the same situation regarding the decision to buy Sony or Panasonic.

    For Panasonic:

    · I like the idea of having a 3CCD camera, as this is supposed to offer better realism.
    · I like the SD/MMC cards, as these are cheaper and smaller than the Sony Memory Sticks.
    · I already have a Motorola MPX200, which uses the SD/MMC format
    · I like the fact that you can record stills to the memory card with the Panasonic - apparently you have to switch to still mode on the Sony to record at 3MP to the Stick (can the PC330 owners confirm this?)

    For Sony:
    · I like Sony as a brand.
    · I read that the Sony was very good in low light conditions - apparently it has an infrared light on the front (can the PC330 owners confirm?)
    · The product has been out for some time and thus has been field-tested.
    · The Panasonic has not been released in the UK - though it has in France, however the website lists VERY few details.


    However, I don't seem to be able to get a straight answer regarding the still picture capability. The Panasonic definitely uses 'interpolation' technology to get a 4MP still image as the 3x1MP CCD's. This means the image will appear 'fuzzy' if enlarged much beyond A5. However, I could not get an answer from Sony as to whether the PC330 uses this technology to produce the 3MP images.

    So... I am going to wait until the NVGS400B is released in the UK, then I'm going to trot down to my local AV supplier and field test both systems by taking a memory stick and SD card and taking an identical photo and video clip on both cameras. I should be able to immediately see the difference on the video (if the shop will let me). Then I will then take my memory stick and SD card to a photo processing shop and have the images from both cards developed on 6x4, and 10x8 prints to see how they compare.

    Hopefully the retailer will be ok with this test, as they're potentially going to get £1000 ish of sale from me in the end...

    I'll post an update once I have triumphed!
     
  10. Benfica

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    Yes, I can confirm that you have to switch to still mode on the Sony to record at 3MP to the Stick.

    Best regards
     
  11. Cvar

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    Hello everybody,

    You can also wait for the DCR-PC350........
     
  12. gwoodroffe

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    Hi Cvar,

    What are the specifications and release date for the 350?

    Cheers
     
  13. Cvar

    Cvar
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    gwoodroffe,

    You can see the specs on www.camcorderinfo.com. It will be available in September.
    Great camcorder!!
     
  14. gwoodroffe

    gwoodroffe
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    After much deliberation between the Sony DCR-PC330 and the Panasonic NVGS400B, I have just bought the NVGS400 from Gultronics in London (on Tottenham Court Road) for £1050.

    I decided that the 400 was better on the basis that it's a triple CCD (better colour representation), it takes stills at up to 4.1Megapixels (note that this is acheived using interpolation/pixel shift technology referred to as AXIS - effective 990*3=2970k, 70k lower than the sony) and it supports 25 frames per second (progressive), none of which are features of the Sony.

    Overall the dimensions of the two cameras balance out to an equal, with the Panasonic being longer (depth) but shorter (height) than the Sony, so it's all up to whether you prefer the matchbook or compact.

    I know the Sony DCR-PC350 is due in September, but I couldn't wait - you have to take the plunge some time...

    If anyone has any particular questions, or wants to see some pictures or videos from this camera, please post your request and I'll see what I can do.

    Cheers,
    Greg
     
  15. Cvar

    Cvar
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    Greg,

    Good choice to buy the Pana. I also ordered it in the Netherlands for 1536,- euro. I wil get him next week, I hope. I also ordered a extra genuine Panasonic battery (DU14) on eBay for 9,99 Dollar. It is better then to spend 75,- euro in the shops over here.

    Have fun with the camara!! :thumbsup:
     
  16. Bill Macrow

    Bill Macrow
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    i have just bought the gs 400. still have the jvc gr dvl 9800(now 4 sale).
    my main complaint is that to keep the $$$ down Panasonic has created a long option list. the standard battery is a joke. 20 min max if using power buttons. i bought the 3.5 hour battery but it only lasts for about 40 min if i play with all the power options and of course with a new camera i am.
    Thats it 4 complaints so far
    ois is brilliant 12x. digital is 600x. 3 chips are far superior to any single chip camera i have seen. even when i view old footage shot with the jvc on the pana there is a notable improvement. you can also buy a wide angle lens and a telephoto conversion kit. although i have only just started taking 4 mega stills they look very impressive.no prints yet.
    if anyone is interested I could post the manual as an attachment
    regards
    Bill
     

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