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  1. Originally Posted by Sillyname
    Panasonic is starting to sway me. The GS400 is about as much perfection a designer can fit into such a small place. You guys read about this one yet. It's MSRP is $1500 right out of the gate but that'll fall. It premiered at the beginning of this month. Very nice. Only thing it's missing HDV and XLR... It's got audio level control. Its got a ring that can be selected between zoom, focus, exposure and shutter!!! And 4MP stills and the ability to take 1MP stills while you record video!!! Which means, deep down inside, it's video circuitry handles 1Megapixel video at 29.97fps(HD quality camera, just not the ability to record it!!!)Probably could once portable HDV decks come out. SONY's making their HDV, so an HDV walkman can't be far behind.
    right man, but we're talking different price classes here...it's like comparing the Maybach with the Mitsubishi Colt.
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  2. Originally Posted by smoki
    i can definately say the GS22 sucked in lowlight...
    From what u listed above, i would go for the GS33, test
    Since the GS22/33 are the same unit apart from DV-in, then I would assume the GS33 is also bad in low light - not something I'm happy with.

    I cant find any UK proces for the Sony DCR-HC16 ... just the HC14 and HC18. Is it an old model ?
    I have found the HC18 for 309 - same local shot as the Panasonic GS15B
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    @smoki
    so you went with Sony after all... what is your impression of it? I guess (willingly or not) you just became one of the "Sony guys". Good that you've had Pana be4, you'll appreciate Sony even more. I hope now you know why I said what I said.
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  4. My best prices have changed again ...
    299 for the Sony DCR-HC18
    319 for the Panasonic NV-GS33B (with a free carry case worth 50!).

    I now have the manuals for both models and will get them printed and spend the next few days reading.
    I still cant find any reviews of these models (UK or otherwise).

    I'm beginning to move from the Pano to the Sony but not completely convinced yet. Only drawback is no DV-In on the Sony.
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  5. Ok, I've been doing some more searching.
    I have been put off Canon due to too many comments about noise.
    I was put off JVC for the same reason until I read a review stating that the GR-D73 is much improved in this area and it is no longer a problem.
    I now have 3 manuals to read through.

    So .... My list is now ...

    Sony DCR-HC18 10xZoom, DV-Out only - good low-light
    JVC GR-D73 16xZoom, DV-In/Out - good(?) low light
    Pana NV-GS15 24xZoom, DV-In/Out - bad low-light

    ... all within my price range - 300-350
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  6. @greenpig:
    the Sony HC16 is the same as HC18 but without the remote control
    HC20 it's the same as HC16/18 but has DV-in.

    yes i heard the JVC D73 looks good in lowlight, but after seeing this thing "live" in the store i didn't like it anymore. The form is weird, it's like holding a normal camera "upwards" (rotation around the z-axis in 3D). I almost was touching the objective with my right little finger.
    edit: ah sorry! it was the new DX model that i was talking about above....the older D model has the "classic" casing.

    You can read some reviews (although not always 100% clear in conclusions) here:

    Panasonic GS15
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/panasonic-pv-gs15-camcorder-review.htm

    Sony HC20
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/sony-dcr-hc20-camcorder-review.htm

    Some JVCs (American models, no idea what's the European equiv.)
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/jvc-gr-d72-camcorder-review.htm
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/JVC-GR-DX77-Camcorder-Review.htm

    I say again, the Panasonic GS22 was sucky in lowlight COMPARED to the Sony HC16... of course there are better cameras out there, maybe in the 1CCD range as well....the Sony was the best compromise for me. I don't need more zoom (yea ok, 16x would have been better!), i don't need DV-in (ask yourself do you really need it?), looks good, battery life is good (the GS22 could drain the standard battery before u finish filming a 60min tape in LP mode!).....those are things u need to judge and balance before u take the plunge
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  7. @smoki:
    Thanks for the updated info.
    I'll let you know what I choose in the next few days.
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  8. @smoki:
    The Sony has a touch screen for all of it's menu controls. I have read that this is a nice feature but it's awkward to used.
    What's your thought on this ?

    I have now changed my choice to: JVC GR-D53 vs SONY DCR-H18 (both below 300).
    I have gone through the JVC and SONY manuals and still cant choose.
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  9. well, since both cams are more or less point-and-shoot type, i can say that the LCD menu on the Sony is not THAT bad after all. I mean you set everything when you power up the camera, but after that i rarely used it.

    Besides if you use the "easy" mode on the HC18, you get bigger buttons on the LCD and fewer tuning options....which makes it easier, doh

    One thing that might bother you is that the HC18 is somewhat louder (in use) than the Panasonic GS22 i had....on the tape you don't hear it that much, so i guess it's not that much of a deal. It's like a sight "hum", which disappears with the slightest background noise (you will have that always, since you're not filming in a sealed-up closet all the time). There is no hint of "zoom" noise.
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    How about its picture? Satisfied?
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  11. Originally Posted by proxyx99
    How about its picture? Satisfied?
    Picture wise i like it, although it's different than the GS22.

    HC16
    - it has slightly lower grain in daylight
    - colours are more "constant", no more "in your face" reds
    - the greens look really good/sharp/alive
    - Nightshot plus is the bomb! (although colours are fading when using it)

    GS22
    - seems a bit more sharper overall
    - seems to adjust slower to different light conditions (filming the sky, the switch to the ground)
    - colours have slightly more "contrast" but combined with the sharpness you see some grain in the final video.

    Basically HC16 is a more of a "allround performer" with a constant quality, rather than the GS22 which was in daylight somehow better but sucked in lowlight. I guess on the TFT/CRT is where you see most of the subtle differences, but on TV is totally different. That's where the big picture is.

    I'm keeping the HC16.

    PS - the lens cover is sexier on the HC16...click! and it's covered. The one on the GS22 is on a string and it's a pain sometimes to take off.
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    Many Pana cams tend to oversharpen what may look OK on an average TV set but when displayed on realy sharp TV gives a white line beside the objects edge (also broadcast quality cams - huge turn-off). I can still see your reluctance in admitting that Sony is a better cam. Anyway you have tried both and the fact that you decided to switch to Sony shows that my take was correct. I'm far from underestmating Pana but in comparison to Sony their cams are inconsistant to put it lightly. As I stated before Sony offers solid performance without being gimmicky. For you as a Pana fan the decision must have been hard to arrive at. I did my homework several years ago so this was a no-brainer for me. Every month I get confirmation of my choice by friends and family watching my footage and saying "wow!". None of my friends cams (Canon and Pana miniDV's) has picture that can challenge Sony (in non-diplomatic terms: they pale in comparison). So, congrats and don't look back, you've made the right and the only choice!
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  13. Well, I still havent bought one yet.
    I went to Comet to get a demonstration of all three models I am looking at but they dont have exactly the same ones. However, I tried the closest for each one - JVC, Sony & Panaosonic.
    Firstly, Comet wouldnt install batteries or tapes so I could only really look and feel - guess where I wont be buying from when I finally choose.

    From what I did see, I must admit I was suprised at how small they all were. The JVC seemed a bit bigger and felt the better build. The Panasonic had something 'cheap' about it but I couldnt put my finger on it. The Sony was just ok. I tried my thumb on the Sony touch screen and I think I could probably manage just 4 buttons - any more and I would be pressing two at once. The bottom loading of the JVC and Sony does foul the tripod mount if used so that put me off too.

    I know this isn't any conclusive research but it's the first time I've handled any miniDV cam. The next stage is to find a shop that will allow me to use the cameras. I dont know any shop in the UK that will allow you to 'try-before-you-buy' (i.e. take one home). They may allow you to change model after a purchase but unless you have good reason (a faulty unit should be replaced/repaired), a refund is out of the question.

    Nearly all shops offer a price-match but when you mention internet prices they all say no - even Jessops cant come close. Even though Comet didn't sell the exact models I wanted to look at, their prices were about 30%-60% above all internet prices I have found.

    I beleive they see their customers in three groups :-
    1. I'll read the spec in the shop and buy one anyway (and probably buy the extended warranty!),
    2. Ill see what each shop has, not realise slight model differences and buy what I think is the best deal,
    3. I'll research all the models and buy a specific one at the best price.

    If you go in wanting a demo of a few specific models then they know you have already done your homework and will be buying cheaper elsewhere so why waste time setting up a demo.
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  14. Finally, I found a review with sample video files.
    The review is the Sony HC40. This has a 1/5" CCD and higher number of pixels but, as far as I know, the important stuff is the same - lens, zoom, low-light modes, steady image etc (forget stills, memory sticks etc).
    http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/sony/hc40-review/

    @smoki:
    I have looked at each of the sample video files.
    Can you confirm the quality is the same as your HC16 ?
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