Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

London night Hands v2

Heading down to London to get my first look at the new 4K DVX-200. As I type I am getting ready for my 4 hour train journey down to the big smoke. Panasonic have asked a select party of bloggers to meet in London city centre on Tuesday to have a hands on with the DVX-200.

As usual HD Warrior will be recording it both photographically and video on a GH4 and an FZ1000. We used the FZ1000 at the Spirit of Edradour and was very impressed with the quality, its a fast no nonsense camera for photographs and as long as you use one of Sonys UWP-D radio mics you can monitor your sound via the receiver itself.


There is still time to ask Panasonic questions, I will check my comments on this page on Tuesday morning, if you have any questions leave them and I will ask Panasonic on your behalf.


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.

9 thoughts on “Hands on with the new Panasonic DVX-200

  1. 1. Why is there no way to turn of the auto viewfinder detection switch?

    2. Is it really necessary for all the information in the viewfinder to disappear, such as audio levels etc, when the Waveform Monitor is selected?

    3. Is it too late to have those rather inconvenient plastic doors that stick out when using the headphone socket and I/O ports changed to flexible rubber covers like most manufacturers have done.

    4. Will the iris ring’s rather delayed response to adjustment be tightened up?

    5. Will the camera be quieter in ISO noise than the first versions we have seen?

    6. Why is there no DNR available in LOG mode?


    7. Why on earth have Panasonic crippled the 1280 x 720p recording to 9mbps proxy levels. For the corporate world a lot of businesses DO NOT want 1080p video masters. 720 50p being very well established. Sony, Canon and JVC are all still offering high bit rate 720p. For a lot of us not having 1280 x 720 50p at 50-mbit Long GOP is going to put this camera right out of contention.

  2. I’m interested in two of these cameras for theatre work, especially in the low light capability.

    Here are a few questions:

    What kind of information can you get on an external monitor as I usually use the pull out LCD for using the wav graph to keep an eye on exposure, which I believe this camera has? I like to see all the info on the external monitor including the exposure levels and the rec light. Be nice if the focus assist (coloured highlights) could work on the external monitor and even the zebra would be nice?

    If the plastic side panels protecting the sockets (on far side) could be removable it would be great as with the HC-X1000, I find if you have anything plugged into the sockets and you need this panel open, it could very easily be snapped off in gun and run situations. I can see the 200 having this same problem? Plus the open panel cover tends to get in the way of using the start stop button! Try with this open and see if the X200 has same problem? I think you need to plug headphones into this panel so it’ll definitely need to be open.

    Wish I was going with you.


  3. Thanks for opportunity to suggest questions, Philip. If you don’t mind, there are a couple of things I’d like to know from Panasonic:

    1) is there any chance Panasonic will develop an “AF200” interchangeable lens version of this camera to compete with the JVC GY-LS300?

    2) the 14-42 and 45-175 power zooms are very reasonably priced lenses, but their zoom ranges are limited – is there any thought of a 10x parfocal power zoom for micro 4/3 similar to the Sony 18-200 power zoom for E mount?

    Thanks again,


  4. Philip… a question for Panasonic. Can we have V-LOG and Cinema 4K for the FZ1000 and G7?

  5. No video sampling info included with specs. I called B&H in NYC and they don’t have it either. This is critical information for most of us.

  6. Since NAB we know that there is a good wide-angle in FullHD (28mm) or 4K (29.5mm) and only a very bad one in UHD 50p (37.2mm). Unfortunately I was not able to find any information about the shortest focal length available when shooting UHD 25p though.
    Specifications regarding resolution and sensor crop seem to indicate that it might be somewhere around 32mm which would be acceptable to some degree. But who knows? Panasonic hasn’t released a final spec sheet of the DVX200 yet.
    Would be great if you could get some kind of official confirmation. Thank you!

  7. Hi Philip,
    if I can refer you back to some of my previous comments relating to the DVX-200 here:

    As I said then:

    “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.”

    “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.”

    With those comments in mind, perhaps you could ask Richard Payne & colleagues whether Panasonic are aware that many potential buyers of the DVX-200 are put off by the fixed lens but would be seriously interested if an interchangeable lens version (DVX-300?) might be offered in the future?

    Also, on a more technical note, I read recently that the 13x servo-zoom lens of the DVX-200 is “not parfocal” …to me it would seem extraordinary that a ENG type servo-zoom lens on a camera of this design might be partially crippled by the use of a non-parfocal design (effectively making it a variable focal length lens rather than a true zoom). Whilst I’m not a big fan of zooming during shots, the need to refocus after every slight change in focal length (remembering we’re talking about 4K on a large [by video camera standards] sensor, meaning exact focusing will be critical!) would seem ridiculous, and I doubt the auto-focus could be trusted to keep up and get things exactly right.
    The article including this information (?) is here:

    Perhaps you could ask the Panasonic team to confirm whether or not the lens is actually parfocal as, if not, this could suggest a potentially serious limitation to the usability of the camera?

    I don’t know if you’ll get the chance to compare the DVX-200 directly against the GH4 and FZ1000 but I’d be interested to know just how the image quality compares (in good light …I’d expect the smaller sensored FZ1000 to be noticeably worse than both the GH4 and DVX-200 in low light conditions).

    Looking forward to seeing what other information and impressions you can find out about the camera.

    Thanks… Peter

  8. Good news to hear you will be getting some hands-on with this cam.

    I wonder if you could check out the 5-axis stabilization (it is hype or does it really have the potential to improve hand-held recordings?)

    Secondly, has Panasonic made any changes to their auto-focus?

    I hardly ever need/want auto-focus but one very important exception would be tracking my granddaughter playing in soccer matches.

    The auto-focus on my AG-AC160A was not anything to rave about.

    Thirdly, what does Panasonic have to say about the technical complexity of auto ND filtering. Easy/difficult? Soon/not soon?

    And, last of all, re the new DVX200, will buyers still be stuck with a fail on one SD card shutting down the recording on the other?

    Looking forward to reading your review.

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