We’re in the market to replace our aging Sony DCR-TRV900, looking for a new production camera for our in-college shoots. This article, by Jarred Land and Barry Green, provided an excellent review of the three leading contenders: The Sony FX1, the Canon XL2, and the Panasonic DVX100A. After reading this and looking around at other comments on the web, I’m suggesting the Panasonic.
Today’s video cameras are not what they used to be. Features like 24P recording, adjustable gamma settings, widescreen 16:9, and now high-def imaging are now on the market. For aspiring filmmakers, commercial producers, wedding/event videographers, and other shooters, there are three main cameras that are garnering all the attention: the new HDV Sony FX1, the almost-as-new Canon XL2, and the legendary Panasonic DVX100A (which is less than a year old, at the time of this writing).——-
Panasonic has sold a boatload of DVX100’s and DVX100A’s, they’re being used by networks, commercial producers, music video producers, independent filmmakers (and aspiring filmmakers) and videographers. A film shot on the DVX100 won the Best Cinematography award at the Sundance Film Festival. Clearly established as the camera of choice for many, it now finds its position challenged by two newcomers: Canon’s long-awaited XL2, and Sony’s first foray into consumer high-definition video, the HDR-FX1.
The cameras all share some factors in common—they’re all able to record in DV format, they all use three 1/3” CCD’s, they record on DV tape, and they all cost less than $5,000. How does a camera buyer choose among these three?