WOW how did they make the MX3000 so great!

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by DV shooter, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. DV shooter

    DV shooter Guest

    I just found a deal on ebay for an MX3000.
    It was the NTSC version with japaneese characters.
    I only bought it because I was looking for a small camera to carry
    places my PD-150 was difficult to bring along.

    Today was the first time I used this camera as I was doing a multi
    camera shoot and thought it would be cool to have some overhead shots.
    I mounted this camera up high and when viewing the footage, it was
    obvious that this camera outperformed the vx2000 and the PD-150.

    In fact, the video going to the screen was noticably better than ANY
    mini DV camera I had ever seen.

    I am just wondering how and why they are keeping this technology under

    I am now considering selling the PD-150 if I can get a decent price for
    it. I still need the XLR's but love that MX3000 picture.

    p.s. is there any way to convert this camera to english words?
    DV shooter, Dec 14, 2003
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  2. DV shooter

    rqo Guest

    rqo, Dec 14, 2003
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  3. DV shooter

    Big Pig Guest

    You sound a little too enthusiastic. Are you sure you
    aren't trying to *sell* an MX3000 ?

    I own both the Sony VX2000 and the Pana MX3000. Each has
    it's own strengths & weaknesses. The VX2000 is WAY BETTER
    in low light, the comparison isn't even funny. Check it out:

    However, I must say that the little MX3000 is probably the
    best small(er) 3 CCD camera I have ever used. It's a sort
    of "stealth" camcorder. In Vegas, the casino security tossed
    me out in a matter of seconds when I attempted to shoot video
    of my friends while gambling, but no one has ever said a word
    when I used the unassuming MX3000. In good light, it's image
    is quite comparable to the VX2000. In auto setting mode, the
    colors a touch overly pumped up and the color temperature is
    a bit on the warm side, but both of these can be toned down
    using the manual control screens. If you're going to shoot in
    auto mode, just make sure that you get it well white balanced
    and most of the color issues will be closer to what the "pro"
    shooters call neutral. I've found that most untrained video
    viewers actually prefer the MX3000's warmer picture over the
    more neutral VX2000's auto setting.

    Here is the foremost authority's comments on the

    Your best bet is to print out a copy of the photo
    below, seal it in plastic (laminate), and carry it
    around with your MX3000:
    Big Pig, Dec 14, 2003
  4. The edge resolution and illumination evenness in the image and overall
    color fidelity (not to mention low-light range and better ability to render
    near-vertical lines smoothly) is superior in the Sony cameras you mention.
    The MX3000 (and the older AG-EZ1U/950) is a good little camera, but
    I would wait until the novelty wears off before selling the better cameras...
    David Ruether, Dec 14, 2003
  5. Didn't know that a MX 3000 ever existed, so I cannot say any thing about
    it. But if it's the Pana MX 300 David is referring to, I can assure that it
    is superior to any Sony camera of this class (including the famous TRV 900)
    under normal light conditions (and its optical stabilizator works great).
    Under low light conditions not that good: many including some one CCD
    cameras outclass it. BTW a later model: the MX 350 has the same optic as the
    MX300; the MX500, cheaper, is not as good, I tried it. The latest Pana 3
    CCD: NV GS-70 is rather disappointing: but it is the cheapest of the 3CCD
    group, I tried it too.
    Jacques Ciana, Dec 14, 2003
  6. It was sold in the US as the MX300, I think - but I prefer the smoother image and
    better color of the TRV900 in good light (and its greater low-light range) - and,
    it was being compared in the original post with the VX2000 and PD150, which
    are clearly superior to the MX300/3000. I'm always mystified by some people's
    preference for red-biased and over-saturated video images, while image resolution
    and relative freedom from artifacting are overlooked. As I pointed out in my earlier
    post, a couple of older small Panasonic 3-CCD cameras were rather nice for their
    size, but not better than the specific Sony cameras mentioned, as is sometimes
    claimed. With the TRV950, though, you may have some agreement from me...;-)
    David Ruether, Dec 14, 2003
  7. DV shooter

    DV shooter Guest

    Ok I checked that out, and have owned the sony trv900 and I can say that
    it was mediocre at best in low light. Yeah it saw the stuff in low
    light but it was grey and washed out with grain.

    The vx2000 was better but still grey in low light.

    The mx3000 is solid and smooth in the video captured.
    It may not been able to "see" in no light, but for my type of shooting I
    would always have some light and in that kind of condition, the image
    the mx3000 has is the best.

    Remember I was runing all sources through a switcher and every time i
    went to a different camera the resulting image was displayed on screen.
    I think that made for a better comparison than still do.
    If you try moving video output to a monitor such as this, I am sure you
    would agree that the mx3000 CLEARLY was the better picture.
    Dont get me wrong, I still love my pd-150 and I probably won't sell it.
    but I will be looking at the new Panasonic cameras a lot closer from now


    Thanks to the guy who provided the link to the english menus
    DV shooter, Dec 15, 2003
  8. DV shooter

    DV shooter Guest

    So you say you THINK... so you never tried the camcorder.
    The mx300 was a PAL camera not sold in the U.S. The NTSC version was
    only sold in Japan.

    I am willing to do a test for you if you provide a dv tape and postage,
    I will record the same image using the sony PD-150, vx2000, trv900 and
    the MX3000.

    You mention not liking artifacting and you have owned and praised the
    trv900. My friend, I have owned the trv900 as well and I can tell you
    for certain that it has artifacting or at least a grainyness to it that
    the other cameras do not have. The pd-150 can see similarly to the
    human eye I will give you that, but the mx3000 is more similar to a
    digibeta look ( and I am not talking about the punched up color -but
    even that is hard to obtain wih the other cameras.)

    If you are up the the challenge, I will tape equal images with the
    cameras mentioned and let you rant and rave about them so I won't have
    to. I know you use to have an ez30 and if you remember that camera,
    then just imagine it tuned and made clearer.
    In fact, I will try to get switching footage of the event i just shot
    and let you see that.
    DV shooter, Dec 15, 2003
  9. DV shooter

    Big Pig Guest


    I respectfully disagree in regard to your assessment above about
    "illumination evenness". In my opinion, and I regularly use both
    the VX2000 & the MX3000, one of the MX3000's strengths is it's
    ability to handle contrast. Note the difference in the girl's
    face in the example photo web page below. Which one looks most
    "natural" to you....honestly?

    Yes...yes...I know that one can adjust the settings to correct
    for the Sony's over exposure, but these tests were done in complete
    auto mode to showcase the difference between the cameras when
    totally unadjusted.
    Big Pig, Dec 15, 2003
  10. Uh, this URL is for both the flower images and the girl's face - and in the
    flower images, the differences are quite clear, and they "clearly" favor the
    two Sony entrants over the MX3000. If you look at these, the Panasonic
    has very little differentiation in the red flower - it is just a mass of the same
    bright red (both Sonys [especially the VX2000] show tonal variation in
    the flower). Look also at the shadow areas of the leaves - in the MX3000
    image, the shadow areas go black; in the Sony images, shadow detail is
    retained (again, with the VX2000 being better). People often like overly
    contrasty video images, mistaking it for sharpness; I prefer to see a greater
    tonal range, and I prefer to depend on inherent resolution in the image for
    the appearance of the presence of picture fine detail. Exaggerated contrast
    is a characteristic also of the GL1, the TRV950, and most 1-CCD
    cameras; greater tonal range is characteristic of better cameras...
    As for the face, the exposure differences predominate, with the color and
    tonality of the VX2000 being preferable to the MX3000, and TRV900
    being second best, but with some tendency to burn out the highlights. As
    for face color, none is perfect, but the slightly too red VX2000 and the
    nearly-neutral (but a bit too light in the highlights) of the TRV900 are
    preferable to the cyan tinge of the MX3000 face image. I'm surprised to
    see this predominance of blue-green in the MX3000 image in this sample,
    since the MX3000 often tends strongly toward red...
    BTW, as for "illumination evenness", this is the ability to present a uniformly
    even tone in the image when shooting an even subject tone - in other words
    (for example), a sky does not show darkening towards edges unless this
    occurs in the subject - and these samples do not reveal illumination evenness
    characteristics for these cameras...
    On a monitor set up to best-match a good monitoring TV, this is what I
    found with these images on that monitor (and the VX2000 appears to have
    the best exposure of the three, with the MX3000 having the worst). BTW,
    the VX2000 face image shows camera motion; the other two do not. These
    are not ideally set up samples, but they still show useful characteristics - but
    these definitely show me the order of image quality to be 1) VX2000, 2)
    TRV900, 3) MX3000...
    David Ruether, Dec 15, 2003
  11. I'm not looking to try to match a format "look" (like DigiBeta, good
    as it is) so much as to shoot images that look good on their own. And
    by "artifacting" I mean digital effects like near-horizontal and near-vertical
    line discontinuities, scan-line "flapping", etc. that vary among DV models.
    "Gain-grain" is inherent in all cameras, though this also varies considerably
    among models. As I recall, the MX3000 limits gain to +12db. If you also
    limit the VX2000/PD150 to +12db, it will be at least as smooth as the
    Panasonic. The TRV900 has greater low-light range than most, but its
    "gain-grain" and brilliance characteristiscs are not the best. But, which is
    preferable, a camera with little ability to shoot in low light, or one that has
    it, but as a result, shows less than ideal picture characteristics when used
    near its low light limit? (Or one that can both shoot in low light, and do it
    with good picture quality, the VX2000...;-) I prefer to be able to shoot
    in low light, and repair the image later, if necessary, than not to be able
    to shoot at all...;-)
    I prefer judging original footage, not something that has been through a
    switcher - but, thanks anyway. As for the TRV30, it has a VERY sharp
    picture, with surprisingly good color, but it has serious problems with
    motion-artifacting, and some with tonality. BTW, you may find these
    David Ruether, Dec 15, 2003
  12. DV shooter

    Big Pig Guest


    Thanks for the excellent reply. As always, your technical
    analysis is impeccable. However, I'm certain that your educated
    opinion (for which I have a genuine respect) is out of touch
    with the *vast* majority of video viewers. Literally all of
    the clients (dozens), who I have asked to join me in post for
    editing sessions (picking out important shots from their event),
    prefer the raw footage from the Panasonic MX3000. When asked
    why they prefer the MX3000 footage, the usual adjective used
    is that the footage looks more "natural". The girl's face is
    an accurate example of this phenomenon. Educated eyes like the
    VX2000 image better, but more than 90% of the folks who have
    given me money to shoot their events prefer the MX3000 footage
    when asked to choose between two alternate shots. I can adjust
    the Sony's more neutral footage to mimic the MX3000's "look",
    but why when it's just more work and the clients seem to prefer
    the unadjusted Panasonic footage?
    Big Pig, Dec 16, 2003
  13. Ah, yes - the client's preference for the more-colorful/more-contrasty is
    well known in stills circles, too...;-) I finally accepted that Fuji Velvia was
    going to make more sales than much more accurate films would, but that
    is the way it is. BTW, I did take the individual images from the web page
    and applied my usual -5% red correction to bring the TV-monitor image
    to neutral, and had to admit that the face looked good from the MX3000
    (but the relative exposures still predominated - these should be equalized
    for the best test in the original shooting). The flower still looked very
    wrong, with little color variation showing (the TRV900 image looked
    good with this, and the VX2000 image had the most tonal range and
    color variation). BTW, I consider the Panasonic DVX100 color slightly
    more accurate than that of the VX2000's - but here again, the more
    accurate will probably almost always lose out to the more immediately
    Thanks for the post.
    David Ruether, Dec 16, 2003
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