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Panasonic AG-DVC80 Digital Camcorders
Product DescriptionMini DV Camcorder,1/3" IT 3-CCD, 3.5" Color LCD, Color Viewfinder, Firewire (IEEE-1394) I/O, 10:1 Leica Dicomar Lens, XLR Inputs
Submitted by James Jones a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2012
Strengths: Rugged construction, XLR inputs, firwire, three 1/3" CCDs, reliable like crazy!
Weaknesses: Use extenal mic as some motor zoom noise can be heard in quiet moments.
Panasonic's DVC80 was one of the best Mini-DV camocorder values ever. This semi-professional black beauty shares the same lens, CCD system and most features of the classic DVX100B which is the best in history. The DVC80's lifespan was only a year, as it was taking sales from its higher-priced 100B sibling during they year 2003. This is all anicent history, of course, and only those still committed to Mini DV will find interest in this review.
HD's gradual rise to prominence has made DVC80's available for a fraction of their original $3295 street price. I purchased my first, with only 48 hours on the heads, in the summer of 2010. A second was acquired later in the year, with 119 hours and a blown firewire port for $897. They are all I need for my rail-themed documentaries. Interior interviews look great, exterior scenes just as fantastic.
These are the most rugged camcorders built, with tough transport and laoding systems. I fail to understand why anyone wuold consider the Canon GL2 or Sony PD150 when they can have one of these babies with XLR and phantom. The audio is fantastic. These aer the last SD cams I planto own, and I suspect our grandchildren will inherit them in 30 or more years! :)
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $1250.00
Purchased At: Zoompoint
Similar Products Used: Panasonic PV-GS400 and GS500
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Wayne Pecinich a Professional
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2008
Strengths: Excellent Audio w/XLR inputs. Easy to use. Excellent Color. Smooth operation. Light weight. Pull out display larger than most. 3" display. One of the few cameras that will export and import via firewire and composite simultanesouly.
Weaknesses: Onboard Mic noise. Motor and hand noise.
Needs an eye piece on the side like a professional camera.
I've used the Panasonic AG-DVC80 for approximately 2 1/2 years. Purchased it used on Ebay and am totally satisfied. I'm partial to Panasonic products. All 3 of my cameras are Panasonic 3ccd SD cameras. The DVC80 is basically the little brother to the DVX100. I have never had a problem with the operation of the camera. Last year I shot 22 weddings and 18 other events with the DVC80 and they were flawless. The color is great and audio is exceptional. With the dual XLR inputs wireless and onboard mics work great. I rarely use the onboard mic but only in extreme situations. I either use 2 wireless or 1 wireless and external boom pole setup. I have shot independent film shorts with the DVC80. Other than the onboard mic noise I really can't complain.
Excellent choice at a very reasonable price. I'm looking to purchase a couple more DVC 80's for weddings and events.
Any further information or testimony please contact me. I would be happy to assist or offer views.
CSM Video Productions,LLC
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $1500.00
Purchased At: Ebay!
Similar Products Used: Currently use Panasonic AG-DV15 and PV-GS320 both 3ccd. Excellent!
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by CJ a Expert
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2004
Strengths: Light weight, easy to use and easy access to buttons on outside of camera, full manual controls, great in low light, all around awesome unit.
Weaknesses: Limited auto features, no internal digital effects.
I bought this camera not too long after owning a GL2 for over a year. I was looking for a camera that gave me a bit more manual control over zoom, focus and audio. This camera was definately the right choice! Panasonic has definately listened to consumers needs with this camera giving them almost every features we have been lacking with with the other big 3. (Sony, Canon, JVC) It's a nice balanced camera that feels solid yet not too heavy for long hand held shoots. The zoom and focus rings are total manual to enable you to rack focus and perform a slam zoom effect. If you are a pro shooter looking for a great unit with solid features this is the camera for you. Minor complaints I have with the camera are: - there are no internal digital effects -when in auto focus mode the camera hunts too fast for the image and gives a somewhat of a blurred image for a few secs -the stereo mic pics up interal camera noise at times when zooming. These are very minor considering this camera delivers top notch picture quality (even in low light), has 7 user preset functions, has XLR inputs with phantom power and comes with a wider lens then most camera's. If you are event videographer who needs internal special effects, the GL2 is the camera to get but if you can live without them and do them in post, this by far is the best budget camera on the market in it's price range.
Price Paid: $2039.00
Purchased At: Beach Camera
Similar Products Used: GL1, Gl2, XL1s, PD-150
Submitted by Richard a Expert
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2004
Strengths: Because of the button and switch layout; and its wide(r) angel lens, it's a great shoot-on-the-run camera. Don't underestimate this utiity - how may shots haven't worked out because you couldn't make adjustments soon enough?. The XLR inputs, and its capacity to record well over a broad range of light levels, are also strong pluses for this price range.
Weaknesses: For the price - none. The camera has a light feel and some internal lens component klunks slightly (tech support said this was normal). The unit also has produced (twice) some sort of very small, swirling, artifacts when the autofocus seems to be hunting.
I needed a camera that could work with higher and lower light levels than my GL1; the DVC80 can do that. It's strongest assets are its ease of use and professional features. The image is actually quite good for a unit with a street price under $3,000. I really like this camera.
Price Paid: $2149.00
Similar Products Used: Cannon GL1
Submitted by Nick a Expert
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2003
Strengths: low light pickup Manual controls. Light but even balanced weight
zoom and record start and stop controls on handel
This camera is great Had been looking to step up to a 3ccd cam for a long time Now that i have one the difference is very noticable The dvc80 has great low light pick up and perfect sound capture It is anout the same price as a canon gl-2 but has so many more feature/manual control. I was looking at either the dvc80 or the vx2000 The vx2000 was $600 more and is a 3 year old model therefore i chose the dvc80 This cam is great but before you purchase one make sure and figure out your needs and dont buy just by looks or popularity
Price Paid: $2299.00
Purchased At: B&H Photo
Similar Products Used: dcr-vx2000 dsr-pd150 gl2 xl1