The Good Great sound, progressive modes, and image control; professional-caliber viewfinder and controls; wide lens; particularly well suited for multicamera projects.
The Bad No high-definition capability; no 16:9-native chips; lens is short for some applications; moderately steep learning curve.
The Bottom Line Panasonic has listened. The third incarnation of the AG-DVX100 offers unrivalled bang for the buck in a prosumer standard-definition MiniDV camera.
The Panasonic AG-DVX100B may well be the last and best semipro DV camcorder ever built. No, I'm not predicting an imminent apocalypse, but rather the approaching obsolescence of high-end standard-definition (SD) video cameras. Sony, Canon, and JVC have all released HD cameras in the sub-$10,000 price range, and Panasonic has introduced its long-anticipated HD version of the DVX, the HDX200.
So why did Panasonic bother updating the groundbreaking and still category-leading DVX camera? Apparently, new manufacturing regulations dictated a redesign to eliminate lead-containing components; while they were at it, the Panasonic engineers decided to implement about 20 improvements, ultimately earning the redesign its B designation. If you own the earlier AG-DVX100 or AG-DVX100A, you probably won't opt to upgrade to get the relatively modest set of improvements the new model offers. However, if you're looking for a new or additional standard-def camera, the Panasonic AG-DVX100B represents perhaps the greatest value to date. The Panasonic AG-DVX100B looks almost identical to its predecessor; its most noticeable change is its darker Black Sapphire color. That's a good thing, as the AG-DVX100 camera has an extremely well-thought-out design.
In essence, the AG-DVX100 series combines a Handycam-like form factor with the full complement of external professional controls and connections usually found only on bigger, shoulder-mounted cameras. In many respects, the AG-DVX100B offers the best of both worlds: the light weight and easy handling of a home-video camera and the sophisticated controls of a pro rig.
Panasonic HX-A500 wearable 4K camcorder claims 'world's first'
The gnarly Panasonic HX-A500 waterproof wearable camcorder shoots sick 4K video of your extreme adventures.
Sony HDR-TD20 3D camcorder in hands-on video
The Sony HDR-TD20 is Sony's latest camcorder to shoot in three dimensions, and we've had a go in this here video.
Flip is dead, so here's some alternative cameras, camcorders and phones
Flip Video is dead, in the face of competition from big-name rivals, video-shooting cameras, and camera phones. Here's some alternatives.
Panasonic HDC-SDT750: 3D camcorder in shops in October
The first big-name 3D camcorder will be in shops in October this year. Will the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 make your Christmas list?
Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D camcorder hands-on photos
Panasonic is set to be the first to hit the streets with a consumer 3D camcorder, unveiling the Panasonic HDC-SDT750
Sony unveils Handycam NEX-VG10E, the NEX step in lens-swapping camcorders
The Sony Handycam NEX-VG10E is set to be the first lens-swapping camcorder to hit the market. We have the first picture and specs
Panasonic AG-AF100: Micro Four Thirds camcorder gets pro specs
Panasonic has revealed more details about the Panasonic AG-AF100, the first lens-swapping Micro Four Thirds camcorder
Panasonic AG-AF100: First Micro Four Thirds camcorder teased
The next chapter in the Micro Four Thirds story is on its way, with Panasonic's AG-AF100 camcorder accepting interchangeable lenses
Panasonic HS700, TM700 and SD700: HD camcorders come in threes
The Panasonic HS700, TM700 and SD700 are three new high-definition camcorders for 2010. Is it a case of good things coming in threes?
Panasonic bestows new HD camcorders with manual focus ring
Panasonic has announced six new high-definition camcorders at this year's CES, some featuring its 3MOS sensor set-up and a manual focus ring.
Photos: Hands-on with the Sanyo Xacti CA8 waterproof camcorder
The Sanyo Xacti CA8 is a go-anywhere sort of camcorder, with a sturdy waterproof constitution as well as 8-megapixel stills and a 5x zoom
Photos: Hands-on with the 3MOS Panasonic HDC-HS100
The Panasonic HDC-HS100 is a camcorder packing a manual focus ring, viewfinder and three CMOS sensors -- so the boffins have only gone and called it a 3MOS camera. Clever, eh?