Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

8 thoughts on “First look at the Panasonic DVX-200 from Richard Payne

  1. looks good, has everything but a shoulder mount. For me it will be FS7 to replace my current JVC HM70 for HD (in the future) but I’ll never go back to handycams to be held in mid-air or with frankenrigs. But that’s me…

  2. A fixed f/2.8 lens would have really made this sing. It would be a bit bigger, but worth it!

  3. Whoopeee, sounds just what I’ve been looking for. Looking forward to seeing all the footage these cams can produce and the reviews coming our way. Glad the potential for great low light was mentioned as this is important for theatre events!

    Only thing to worry about is the DOF, but at a usual f4 where we usually film shows, hoping it won’t be too bad.

  4. Sounds great, when will it be on the market? And, can’t wait to see some footage from this camera

  5. All well and good BUT –
    f2.8 – 4.5 – sorry but not interested.
    No 4.2.2 10 bit internal recording = no sale!

    HDW : If you record in 4K and edit on an HD timeline your picture will be 4.4.2 10bit !

  6. Looks like a logical upgrade to an AG-AC160A but my personal concern is likely to be the 13x zoom compared to the 22x zoom on the 160A.

    Next theatre event I will see what the impact is of only using 1/2 of the zoom at a distance of 70 feet.

    I need to be able to frame individual actors at times.

    Does anyone else have a problem with 13x?

  7. HDW :
    “If you record in 4K and edit on an HD timeline your picture will be 4.4.2 10bit !”

    That’s what I’ve been doing with my GH4 and agree it’s a great work around.
    But for a broadcast workflow, this method would not suit many clients.
    I’m more interested in the BMD UrsaMini which records ProRes 422 and appears to have a proper viewfinder.

  8. Tim,
    be aware that the BMD URSA Mini cameras are supplied (or will be when actually released) as body-only kit which includes the fold-out 5″ Full HD Touch-screen monitor but not much else.
    For example the BMD website says:

    “What’s Included
    Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF
    Turret Dust Cap
    Side Hand Grip
    LANC Cable
    Power supply”

    The viewfinder and shoulder-mount/top-handle are extra cost accessories (listed as £1005+VAT and £269+VAT on BMDs website).
    If I have correctly understood the website details, it also appears that no battery is supplied but only a “Power Supply” so away from a mains supply you’ll be needing to figure out a battery solution …?
    You might also want to check out the extremely high cost (and poor availability!) of the CFast 2.0 cards used by the URSA Mini cameras. Such a pity they chose not to continue the use of SSDs for file storage as in the earlier ‘Cinema Cameras’ …to me the URSA Mini cameras don’t look so ‘mini’ that a SSD dock couldn’t have been included.
    More details here:
    I’m not knocking the URSA Mini cameras, but they should probably be compared to something like the ‘Super 35mm’ Sony FS7 (or JVC GY-LS300) rather than the M4/3 sensor Panasonic DVX-200 which is an ‘all-in-one’ ENG-lens type camcorder (recording to ‘cheap’ SDXC cards!).
    Given that the sensor in the DVX-200 is still large (by video camera standards) the 13x power-zoom range and f2.8-4.5 aperture range are very acceptable (I wish I could get something similar for my GH4 where the longest range zoom I have is the 10x 14-140mm f3.5-5.6 (equivalent to ~30.5-305mm in Full HD, ~36.5-365mm in UHD) but the zoom can’t be moved while recording video as that lens is by no means parfocal!
    A constant fast-aperture (f2.8?) power-zoom with the range of the DVX-200 lens (it’s actually 12.8-167mm) would be considerably larger and more expensive …the bigger the sensor, the harder it is to produce high quality, fast lenses to cover them (take a look at the ‘Canon CN7X17 KAS S Cine Zoom Lens’ for example ..nice, but only 7x zoom range [17-120mm], not constant aperture [f2.95 at 17-91mm, f3.9 at 120mm] and an asking price of ~£25.000+!).
    My only real issue (and big disappointment!) with the DVX200 is that they have made the (nice!) lens permanently fixed rather than enabling the OPTION of using other lenses by some form of interchangeability …preferably by means of a large diameter breech-lock type mount for proper solid mounting and also giving the appearance that the camera/lens combination is ‘all of one piece’ (see the Sony EX3/PMW-300 cameras which, as well as providing ENG-style servo-zoom lenses as standard, can be used with an enormous range of other optics by means of adapters).
    Philip Bloom’s 2008 video review of the Sony PMW-EX3 (as compared to the otherwise almost identical but fixed lens PMW-EX1) describes exactly why a detachable lens variant of a camera is highly desirable for those of us who require the greater flexibility OPTIONS of wider/longer/closer/faster lenses than any fixed lens can ever offer:
    Panasonic could have used a similar large diameter breech-lock mount for the supplied zoom and offered a breech-lock to M4/3 adapter to enable mounting of their own M4/3 lenses and many others by means of third party adapters.
    I simply don’t buy the idea that the fixed lens was needed for in-camera correction for chromatic aberration, distortion etc. as Panasonic were amongst the first to enable such corrections, in their video and still cameras, even when using detachable lenses. So long as the lens is connected electronically and recognised by the body the appropriate corrections can be applied by the camera firmware/software, as is the case with most modern interchangable lens cameras (including the GH4 when using electronically coupled M4/3 lenses …try viewing uncorrected RAW images from the excellent 12-35mm f2.8 Panasonic lens and you will instantly see just how much distortion correction is applied to the JPEGs and video in the camera).
    My personal interests are mostly in nature photography where I might often need a much greater range of ultra-wide to super-telephoto lenses, as well as macro lenses for extreme closeups. The ~385mm (that’s equivalent, it’s actually 167mm) ‘long’ end of the DVX200 lens starts to look like the wideangle option when compared to using true 400mm and 600mm lenses (1,040mm and 1,560mm equivalents in 4K UHD on the GH4) or greater.
    As a GH4 user I have the optics (Panasonic & Nikon lenses) for most of my needs and would love to be able to use them (alongside the 13x servo-zoom!) on the AG-DVX200 to shoot in 4K 50p and Full HD 120p.
    Sadly, the fixed lens of the camera is simply too limiting for my purposes, and those of many other users, so we can only hope Panasonic bring out an interchangeable lens variant sometime soon.

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