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Old March 17th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #1
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VX2100 discontinued

I phoned around a couple of days ago here in the UK, wanting to get some prices on the VX2100, the DVX100A and FX1. Many stores told me the VX2100 was now unavailable, and discontinued.

It's a bit of a sad day. Can the PD170 be far behind? Still, the FX1 picks up the baton and runs.

tom.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 06:24 AM   #2
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This wouldn't really surprise me too much, and I don't doubt your word Tom. But until someone can point us to an official statement from Sony this thread has been moved to Area 51...
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Old March 17th, 2005, 09:48 PM   #3
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In NYC B&H lists both the NTSC and PAL versions of the VX2100 and PD170 as IN STOCK.

I do not think the FX1 or Z1 can replace the above models yet. If they discontinue the above models many will get the DVX100A which has useful 24p & 30p (here in NTSC land) and I think otherwise exceeds the FX1 and Z1 as miniDV cameras at significantly less money than a Z1.

HDV has a LOOONG way to go since I can't deliver Events or Corporate work on any common HD playback medium and probably won't en mass for more than a year.

How long do you think it will be until the MAJORITY (or even a large plurality) of households have HDTV AND BluRay and/or HD-DVD players?

My "gut" tells me the 2100 & 170 will hang on for another 8 months to a year. NAB 2006 will see a second generation HDV camera by Sony which will have specs (low light) at least closer to the 2100/170, maybe added TRUE 24p and / or nice 16x9 image in DV/DVCAM mode. BluRay and HD-DVD will be out but it will take some months more as their prices drop and HDTV prices drop and market penetration picks up.

I just don't see the FX1 (let alone the more expensive Z1) outselling the 100A. If Sony drops the 2100/170 now they'll bleed off more market share. For all we know, the competition may ready to trump the FX1/Z1 at this year's NAB.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 12:04 AM   #4
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Lots of VX2k1 cameras in store stock here in the UK Craig, it's just that when they're gone, they're gone.

Over here, (PAL) HD isn't the big thing, but native 16:9 sure is. The PDX10 has carved out a real notch for itself, due mainly to its demonstratively better (than the VX) 16:9 performance. You simply can't buy a TV larger than 21" which isn't wide-screen, and this has been so for a good few years.

I'm surprised to hear you think the FX1 won't outsell the DVX100A. Here in the UK the Panasonic is more expensive, yet it's 4:3 and SD. Spec to spec it doesn't compare well, but then folk in PAL land are much less concerned with the 24p and 30p options, much more interested in true 16:9.

I had the Z1E and the VX2000 alongside oneanother 3 days ago. It's a real shame, but the Z1 is always working a stop wider, sometimes pushing 1.5 stops. So I hope you're right about NAB 2006. Sony sure need to claw back that low-light crown.

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Old March 18th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #5
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"In NYC B&H lists both the NTSC and PAL versions of the VX2100 and PD170 as IN STOCK."

That doesn't mean it hasn't been discontinued. I remember when the XL1s was discontinued, B&H still had them in stock until the XL2 was announced at DV Expo.

"folk in PAL land are much less concerned with the 24p and 30p options"

Probably because you are already shooting at a 'close enough' frame rate of 50i or 25P. And with more resolution in SD to boot!

Lucky.

"I had the Z1E and the VX2000 alongside oneanother 3 days ago. It's a real shame, but the Z1 is always working a stop wider"

That's really not a fair comparison.
Same sized chips, yet the Z1 has FAR more pixels than the VX2000. Smaller pixels = more light needed.

I don't think it's a problem with sony's design of the Z1, it's probably just a limitation of HD chips at 1/3"

Then again, I may be WAY off.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 12:35 AM   #6
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''That's really not a fair comparison.
Same sized chips, yet the Z1 has FAR more pixels than the VX2000. Smaller pixels = more light needed.''

Quite correct Luis. But as so few TVs exist that can display the HDV in all its glory, many FX1/Z1 users here in PAL land are shooting in HDV and downconverting. DVD distribution most certainly requires this.

Which is why the Z1/VX low-light test is very relevant. If you're going to be shooting in the gloom for the next couple of years and you don't mind 4:3 (the wedding videographer springs instantly to mind) then the PD170 looks to have a lot of life left in it.

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Old March 18th, 2005, 01:57 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Hardwick : ''That's really not a fair comparison.
Same sized chips, yet the Z1 has FAR more pixels than the VX2000. Smaller pixels = more light needed.''

Quite correct Luis. But as so few TVs exist that can display the HDV in all its glory, many FX1/Z1 users here in PAL land are shooting in HDV and downconverting. DVD distribution most certainly requires this.

Which is why the Z1/VX low-light test is very relevant. If you're going to be shooting in the gloom for the next couple of years and you don't mind 4:3 (the wedding videographer springs instantly to mind) then the PD170 looks to have a lot of life left in it.

tom. -->>>

Tom,

What you and others are saying about non-available delivery format for HD at present is true. However, I personally feel that if you go ahead and shoot your current projects in HDV, you are future proofing your business. I think it would make a great marketing tool to tell your clients that you can give them the project down the road in HD (for a nominal extra fee). FWIW, 16:9 sets are just now becoming available in the mainstream retail stores here in the US. But, a lot of the commercials being aired right now are being shot in 16:9 and shown in letterbox format. You can bet they are just waiting for the 16:9 form factor to become the norm like it is for you folks in Europe. Then, they won't have to re-shoot the commercial as it will already be 16:9 HD format. Funny thing is, it's almost become a 'fashion trend' over here with clients who seem to like the letterbox format.

regards,

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Old March 18th, 2005, 02:18 AM   #8
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Spot on Greg. To 'Future protect' is indeed good planning, but to shoot with gain-up at weddings is not, and all I was pointing out was that the PD170 is still king in that area.

I also agree with you about the (pretty mild) widescreen aspect ratio. I find 1.78:1 only luke-warm wide, but even so it's a far nicer format in which to position your object. Having come to movies from 35 mm photography, I certainly missed the slide's 1.5:1 shape when being forced to use DV's 1.33:1.

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Old March 18th, 2005, 03:18 AM   #9
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Hi

Yes Tom, couldn't agree more.. I too come from a still photography background.. and last year found shooting 4:3 awkward to frame after 35mm. In much the same way I never felt happy with 6x6.

The FX1 in 16:9 gives a much more pleasing balance to the framing..

Regards

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Old March 18th, 2005, 10:07 AM   #10
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Adding and expanding on what Greg has said.

Corporate work does not have a long life span so there's little reason to shoot HDV. Most corporate offices and their employees don't have HDTV. Those that do are more likely to have the budget to shoot in DVCPro HD.

Event work isn't likely to bring in HDV work except with higher end clients who have HDTV (and you still have to deal with delivery) or will want an HD version down the road (and how much are they really going to pay 2 years from now vs your cost of buying HDV now?). You're also still dealing with low light issues during those shoots too.

Yes commercials are being shot in DVCProHD and HDCAM. These are big budget spots. They won't be using HDV. Do you think there's a big competitive market to do local cable spots in HDV right now? I don't know but given that TV spots also have a very short life, I'd suspect this is a VERY SMALL niche (that may change) right now.

I'm not "down" on HDV. I just think that 1) the market won't be large enough for more than year to make it that profitable. 2) By then technology will advance and low light issues, compression artifacts etc. will mean much better cameras at similar prices to today's early birds.

Speculation, but what should happen if Panasonic were to come out with a DVCPro HD camera for $5000 . . . in 1996?

Unless you concretely have clients who will pay for your move to HDV NOW I just can't see making that transition until the market is right.

Indy filmmakers is another story. They have GOOD REASON to shot HDV now since it will mean their films MIGHT have viability as things change (but being a good movie has more to do with it's survival).
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Old March 18th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Craig Seeman : Speculation, but what should happen if Panasonic were to come out with a DVCPro HD camera for $5000 . . . in 1996? -->>>

They would have been about 10 years ahead of everyone else.

...or did you mean 2006?
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Old March 18th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #12
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Ooops

I meant 2006 for Panasonic DVCPro HD for $5000.

Just a "gut" feeling but given the GOP and compression issues and compressed audio in HDV, I think someone is going to try to work to a "solution" on those issues whether it's a low cost DVCPro HD or simply improvement in HDV camera.

The reason why I think 2006 is that end of 2005 will be the start of BluRay and HD DVD. Depending on the price point, depending on the prices of HDTV sets, it may drive the market. The demand of HD amongst "independents" even Event and Corporate video will open up and thus a big openning for increase in HD type camera sales. It may still be HDV or might be low end DVCPro HD, but in any case I think you'll see a BIG JUMP in the camera technology at that point since ROI for both user and manufacturer will have big payoff.

I guess another way to look at it is the HDV camera you buy now will be like the VX1000 compared to the PD-170, DVX100A or even the PDX10 (16:9).

The market is really primed for low cost HD once it becomes pervasive in the consumer market. THAT will determine when things happen for low cost content creation/delivery. If it happens faster than the time it took to go from VX1000 to VX2000/PD150, people buying the FX1/Z1 will lose on their investment. If one is buying IN ANTICIPATION of 2006 . . . wait until 2006.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #13
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I can confirm Tom's original report, Sony Japan are selling off the 'completion of production' on these great cams - when the're gone...

proof:

http://www.ecat.sony.co.jp/tourist/videocamera/acc/index.cfm?PD=15537&KM=DCR-VX2100E(JE)&LG=1

time to restore the thread?


Of interest is that the spec declares progressive scan (rather than field doubled) which explains why the picture gets a little noisy in this mode even though the frame rate is halved.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #14
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Time to restore the thread. It could mean readers getting a good discount on their new VX2100.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #15
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The thread isn't really gone from the VX-2100 forum; take a look at the index and you'll see it - there's a redirect there so it has the same visibility as anything else in the forum. Personally I'd like to see an actual Sony press release, and not something confusing from a Japanese site. But maybe one of the other Wranglers sees this differently and will move the thread back....
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