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Getting ready to buy camera, PV-GS400 or DCR-VX2100?

Which camera do you use?

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Mike Gauldin

I'm getting ready to purchase a camera for chasing (as well as some other things) and I'm wondering what the opinions are of anyone that owns/uses one of these cameras (the Sony VX2100 or the Panasonic GS400). In the end, price will probably be my determining factor, but what do you all have to say about these camera's and where's the cheapest (and realiable) place you've seen them. Thanks.
 
I've heard the Sony VX brand camcorders were good. A couple years ago I almost bought the Sony VX2000, but because the place I was going to buy it from sucked, I ended up not getting it.

I have a Canon XL1S, if you can dish out the $$$ to get the XL1S I recommend it. I love my XL1S, you can bet your butt it'll be with me when storm spotting next year... woot.
 
I've only used the VX2100, but I can say it's an awesome camera. The instant "infinity focus" is nice, and the low-light sensitivity is up there with the best of the 3ccd 1/3" camcorders.
 
Well I just bought the Sony VX-2100 today, I looked at other ones but this Sony seems to be everyones favorite and I have used one in the past. I still have a Sony VX-1000 but will just use it as a back up now. You can't go wrong will Sony products IMO.
 
Lets us know how it pans out for ya Mike. I know how thrilled ya must be about getting such an awesome camcorder. I shared that same excitement when I was able to get my Canon XL1S a couple months ago.
 
The 2100 is truly a chaser's camera. Low light sensitivity allows for great storm pictures well after sunset.

One of the biggest factors in choosing a cam for chasing should be the lux rating. Get the lowest number you can. Important because a lot of tornadoes/storm structure opportunities happen late. I have a TRV900 (4 lux) and a VX2100 (1 lux) and the difference in low light performance is huge. The VX sometimes sees things in low light that I can't, even with no gain turned up. Crank up the gain and it almost has night vision.
 
Editing this because I misread Mike's last post, for whatever reason I read that but my mind registered it as you asking how it is in low lighting... I'm tired today....

:oops:
 
I'm surprised the PV-GS400 isn't getting a little more love in the poll. I will assume thise who voted for it really did their research or already own one.
Everyone has already seen me post my kudo's about this camera so I'm not gonna pound out another review tonight.
Those of you who have seen my footage have seen video shot from a GS400. I love that camera and wouldn't trade it.
If anyone is interested in more information, the answer to any question you could EVER ask about the GS400 is here: http://www.pana3ccduser.com/
 
Hi Steve

I think the two cameras are not comparable. The VX2100 is in another price range altogther.

I have a GS400, but have not had a decent storm to test it on.

Price was my deciding point, there is over $1000 Australian between the VX2100 and the GS400. If I had the money I would have brought the Sony.


...actually I have a couple of samples from the GS400, bear in mind these are first efforts and I am on learning curve.

Some very low resolution samples:


Some anvil crawlers - this is the extracts from about 10 mins - 0.9mb
http://ozthunder.com/temp/kiama_l.wmv

Timelapse of some weak congestus near Gerringong. Pitiful I know. That is how bad the season has been here. A 'autocolour' filter was applied in Premiere Elements to give more contrast. 2.4mb
http://ozthunder.com/temp/congestus1.wmv

Same day as above, just a little turkey tower breaking a weak cap. 1.1mb
http://ozthunder.com/temp/turkey1.wmv

Regards
Michael
 
Mike Gauldin:
Thx for the link, yeah I read up on it. I've found it for $1,299 on yahoo, http://store.yahoo.com/royalcamera/sondc3ccdmin.html. Might have to end up finacing next season and try to pay it back with some footage.

http://forums.photographyreview.com/showth...read.php?t=3858

Be careful mike, anyone that clams to sell a new VX2100 for under $1900 is likely trying to steal your money.

Before you buy it is a good idea to Google the companies name and find out what people are saying about them. I would suggest B & H Photo Video.

I have used both VX2100 and a GS70(The bottom rung of the Panasonic 3CCD cameras).

VX2100
Pros:
-Excellent picture in all lighting conditions.
-Loaded with easy to use manual controls.
-The best low light camcorder under $5000.

Cons:
-Price $2000-$2300
-It is big and difficult to use as dash cam in you vehicle.
-HD's are only $1000 more.

GS70(similar to GS400)
Pros:
-Picture quality is comparable to the VX2100 in 70% of lighting conditions (excluding -very low light conditions).
-Price $550 ($1100 GS400)

Cons:
-No infinity lock! It does however have manual focus ring. Is the GS400 the same?
-My GS70 and a friends GS120 both quit working after two months of use. Statistical anomaly or poor quality?

Scott Currens
 
Wow, thanks for lookin' out man! I was wondering why it was so cheap through them.
 
Scott:
The GS400 is the same. It has the focus/zoom ring and no infinity. That is the ONLY thing I do not like about the GS400.
 
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