Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Review 200 title

One week later and the review is in the bag, I will give you my thoughts later this week about low light etc.

Allan,me, Scott

Allen one of my broadcast buddies is thinking of getting a Panasonic DVX-200.

Me filming

The PTC were done with my Panasonic FZ1000 and a Sony hybrid radio mic system.

Allen film good

Allen was very complimentary about the DVX-200 and especially liked the OLED viewfinder.

Int Allen v2

Scott filming me

Me Stuart


The crew picture with Scott, myself and Allen with Stuart taking the picture. Here is the 20m review I hope you like it…


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.

14 thoughts on “The Review of the Panasonic DVX-200

  1. Panasonic is the first to shoot the big card (decent servo zoom from wide to tele on a decent sensor camcorder) but created probably the ugliest ergonomics on a product that makes a dsrl with 2 points of contact (loop and left hand) WAY more manageable for cameras to be held in mid-air. This “run & gun” on a TRIPOD camera gives a new life to the nonsense of cameras without a shoulder (and balanced) mount. Impossible to hold, even a DSLR do better. The other big card for camcorders is the low light : take a PMW400 and start comparing to understand where low light really stands (low light is just “processing”, people!) . And the real world low light is for sports under artificial lights , when the shutter speed must stay high : THERE you evaluate a low light performance (NOT in a hall shooting @ 1/50th or 1/60th !!!!).
    So for a tripod camera (I’m not even considering the frankenrigs that are already an obsolete nonsense of the past) this one gives a servo zoom over the others. And that’s it. For the other cards we all will see what Sony and Panasonic decided to do.

    The cards left are now the intentionally slow processing speed (RS and blur panning) and the poor low light : these are the cards to set back to the 10K (USD) marketing placement for prosumer camcorders (as it used to be before the Nikon D90 created the revolution of the DSLR , that made all the intentional restrictions on the old USD10K camcorders fall down in pieces).
    They want to be back, and they will . Using new “cards” to drive the market.
    Run & gun on a tripod, and that’s a good one (the line, not the camera)

    HDW : I really like the look of the DVX-200, certainly not ugly.

  2. I think this is a great camera for a guy like me who shoots multicam, live concerts, theatre and dance shows. I think there is also a market for a 4K AF100. Gerry in Calgary.

  3. is there any chance if you get time to do a review on the FZ1000

    cheers from roger
    WA australia

  4. So, 28 mm in FHD is the equivalente of 37 mm in UHD? So, the maximum wide angle in UHD is 37 mm?
    Thank you for the review, Philip.

  5. Hi can you comment on comparing the dvx200 vs the hc-x1000 you reviewed last year. I own the hc and don’t see the results you have in your review thus far but could be the sharpness setting I chose. However, I see other things you didn’t either notice or have in your video clips. Thanks Dave

    PS if you are paid reviewer I understand you will not be able to reply.

    HDW : I was very impressed with the HC1000 but it only works filming in 4K editing onto an HD timeline. The 200 would be my camera of choice as it has far more pro features plus a far bigger sensor.

  6. Thanks fpr the review. One of the main reasons I watch dthe 20 mins was to see low light capabilities.
    Sorry but i don’t think you exposed its capabilities in this area well.
    i am still not sure of its abilities in this area, did you intentionally stay vague on this?

    Maybe you could give it a comparison just in a reply to me me here so everyone can see how you think it compares to the yardstick of say the canon c100 or the sony fs7 7, for me i would only buy this camera if the dvfx200 was in the ball park of these two cameras, as that is what i am used to and i spend a lot of time shooting 3200 at f4. In other words would you be happy with the dvx200 replacing your sony fs7 in cinematic, backlit low light situations, seeing very little noise and, or pleasant not chroma digital type noise?

    HDW : Noise is subjective, many people have reported noisy blacks but this was with early pre production models, if you are looking for a relatively noise free camera in low light look no further than the Sony A7s. The DVX-200 is as good as you see in a very dark Scottish church like most of these cameras its the lens that lets it down in low light, once you zoom in the light is cut by about 1.5 stops so a 6dB picture at f2.8 will need 9dBs at f4.5 most cameras will start to produce some noise at 9dBs but due to its larger sensor 9dBs is more than acceptable.

  7. A review of the FZ1000 would be interesting. As I have said before, it is an often overlooked gem… as your review footage confirms. Can you tell us what LCD loupe you were using on the FZ1000? The off-centre tripod plate mount is a real pain.

    HDW : I will do a paper review as I do not have the time to produce a video review, the loupe used is made by Cambo and works well with this camera.

  8. Philip : my comment about the ugliness was referred to the ergonomics , not the looks. It does look good, but so does (did) the sony EX1 , another brick that made my arms suffer for 2 years and even more after that. All the heavy handycams are ugly (to me) : all of them, and by definition. and there are no frankerings on this planet able to ease the pain because on the opposite side of the handles (of any rig) must be a counterweight (and a heavy one, to compensate) and that’s the nonsense of all the handycams to be held in mid-air (or for run&gun on a tripod… I mean.. come on)
    the JVC 2000 (the orange beauty) was invented many years ago, already.

    See the smile ? handycams… oh my…. 🙂

  9. @ Mark, not sure what you mean by “a tripod camera” and “run and gun on a tripod” ? No such thing as a tripod camera until you attach a tripod. The DVX-200 in my opinion is not a large camera and I found it to be extremely easy to use in terms of both ergonomics and weight. A DSLR camera is not particular ‘ergonomic’ in filming modes, and nor were they designed as such.

    ‘Run & Gun’ can mean different things to different people I suppose, but I wouldn’t necessarily refer to that mode of use as being exclusively ‘sans tripod’ either. Any camera that can be picked up, switched on and can zoom through a fairly broad range of focal length from wide angle to telephoto on a single lens is probably what I’d call ‘run & gun’ something you can probably apply to a DSLR type set up with the appropriate lens attached as well.

  10. @ Steven Lyons… The low light test we did wasn’t entirely ‘scientific’ as you’ve no doubt gathered. It was a bit of a rush job given the church officer happened to be standing outside as we passed and we chanced our arm a bit to get in for a quick look-see.

    As Phil says, these things are a bit subjective and in my own experience, if you can get a decent exposure without additional lighting, using up to around 9db or so, then that’s perfectly acceptable in low lighting. Anything else, higher gain usage etc, would (IMHO) give it a poor low light rating, even with a bigger sensor than is traditional in these types of cameras. The church was certainly ‘dingey’ but with around 6-9db switched on the DVX-200 gave out some nice pictures.

    At the end of the day I suppose we’ll always need a light source, natural or artificial, until we go down the route of ‘night vision’ technologies applied to our camera designs… 😉

  11. The DVX200 looks a very useful camera. I would love to get a handle on the low light performance. The Panasonic website is not helpful quoting minimum subject illumination, a useless statistic. Better would be something that says what it’s ISO or ASA number is. At least that would give us a clue how it’s going to perform. Even your pictures inside the church didn’t really tell me enough, although they were helpful.

    As a long term Sony user I’ve always found the Panasonic menus a little more difficult to use. I just wondered how easy you found the menus to navigate?

    Ergonomics is the downfall of most of these cameras which is why I decided to make my own camera support, sadly it hasn’t taken off but I am in the happy situation of just needing to get a loupe to go over the viewfinder and then I’ll be able to go handheld on the shoulder. I’m looking forward to doing that sometime soon.

  12. Allen McLaughlin : my “run&gun on a tripod” line was sarcastic. That would be the most ridiculous nonsense of the year(decade). Who will buy these cameras? event shooters, some cheap broadcast but mostly event shooters. The “movie” people don’t buy anything, but rent. So that category is out. Holding a DSLR is a pain , and holding any heavier handycam is a pain as well. For events you need a shoulder camera.

    About the low light : again for events is important, but for sports is even more important. Low light is for the 90% processing the sensor and for the remaining 10% a good lens. Has been the “hidden” marketing tool to set the border between consumer and professional models. Take a look at this please, notice the difference (all in the processing), not much to do with the sensor size, all in the processing.
    And they know that (very VERY well): do you remember the difference between the FS700 and the ea50? 2 stops difference maybe more, basically the same hardware, but a very different processing.
    let’s try to tell it how it is, at least between us. Low light performance It’s marketing.

  13. Duncan Say : ergonomics and nonsense : the Sony EX1 was without a doubt the most hated camera in the history of all the cameras , like everybody else I too went into the “frankenrigs” mania , before going for a shoulder camera that solved all the problems instantly. I really don’t know where all this started and why : the concept of the first handycam was a disaster for us. And is still selling for reasons that I can’t understand. The VERY FIRST THING we all do is to try to put it on the shoulder and nuthing works, NUTHING. Then you ask yourself… how ’bout a shoulder camera instead? By then you already saw the light and you’ll live happily with a smile on your face while working. Turn around and look at the others on frankenrigs, look at their faces: notice the hate? I did. Seriously

    /rant off

  14. Hi Mark

    Couldn’t agree more about all the Frankenrigs out there which was why I completely ignored the present methods of rigging. Have a look at why website if you want to see how I did it ( I’ve sold some to medical photography department and there are a couple still on my shelf.

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