Update to DVX100 vs PD150 DVD Comparision at DVinfo.net

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Old February 11th, 2003, 09:33 AM   #1
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Update to DVX100 vs PD150 DVD Comparision

Hey,

one of my cohorts here at The Media Union found this website that answered
my questions concerning Promax's DVD side by side comparision of the
Sony PD150 and the Panasonic DVX100.

Go here: http://www.lafcpug.org/review_dvx_pd150.html

to see the different modes and technical set ups for the cameras. For those interested in buying a camera for film style video shooting, I highly recommend getting the DVD and/or checking it out.
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Old February 19th, 2003, 01:02 PM   #2
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It's hard to tell by the comparison but how does one compare to the other in low light situations?
I ask this because I currently am looking to upgrade my 2nd camera (a GL1) to either a PD150 or the DVX, or possibly the JVC DV300. I'm leaning toward the DVX100.
Let me explain my situation.

I'm a weddin/event videographer using a JVC GY-DV500 and a GL1 as a second camera. I got the GL1 to complimant my XL1 before I sold it and got the DV500. I'm a long time reader of Chris's site here even though I don't post here often you can find me at the Canopus forums daily.
I just finished a video for Yamaha Golf car division so my cameras need to be able to fill many different types of projects.

The DV500 is very good in low light so I'd like something a little better than the GL1 to compliment it. I think I'd like the 24p mode for artistic shots every now and then in my projects and that's why I'm considering the DVX. I don't plan on doing any short films (although I may do one.. who knows?).

I've used a VX2000 and like it's low light ability. If the DVX comes close then I'll probably get one.
Anyone have any opinions?


btw.. Heya Chris... been a while. Did ya see Canopus leaked it's new Storm/Rex editing software name and some clues to a NAB announcement? It's called "Edius".
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Old February 19th, 2003, 02:05 PM   #3
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I have asked that same question: How does the DVX100 do in low light when
compared to the VX2000? No one has as yet reported back ;(

I agree that if DVX100 can match or even come close to the VX2K, I
will strongly consider buying one, but low light handling is a BIGGIE.
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Old February 20th, 2003, 02:11 AM   #4
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In 60i mode, the DVX can gain up just as much as a VX2000, with a little bit more noise in the picture.

Overall, it's very comparable that way to the VX2K.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #5
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I know it doesn't answer your question about the low-light capability, but I've had the opportunity to play with the Panasonic DVX100 at the Video Forum.
Care to hear why I'd dump the Sony VX2000 and buy one?

Great looks. Only the side-screen is silver, the rest is Judge Dread Black.
Proper zoom ring which had the focal length marked in mm, has end stops, works with the camera turned off (i.e. doesn't use battery power) and allows creep to crash with ease.
Wide-angle focal length of 4.5mm That's a lot wider than the VX2k's 6mm.
No silly digital zoom, no "sepia fade", no mega chips, no memory card.
Huge 3.5" side screen. Love it.
Aperture control in manual fades the picture up or down beautifully - none of the half stop kicks so visible on screen with the 150 or the VX.
Two XLR inputs and independent level knobs - no menu twiddling.
Much better VCR controls - the "toggle lever" is so much nicer than the VX's touch panel.
25p mode.

Sounds good, doesn't it? When do I do the swap-out?
Well I won't be changing, and here's why.

The VX2k feels so hewn-from-the-solid alongside the Panasonic. The Panny may have a 3.5" screen but the nasty plastic door on an equally nasty plastic hinge is toy-town squeaky.

The lens is only 10x zoom, so a max of 45mm (against the VX's 72mm) means that even with 1/3" chips it's goodbye differential focus.
No slow shutter speeds. Nothing below 1/25th (only accessible in 25P mode).
Top speed 1/2000th against the Sony's 1/10000th.
Vibrating element OIS against the VAP of the VX. I bet (if my MX300 is anything to go by) that the level of stabilisation is a lot worse. I'm guessing here.
72mm filter thread. Extra lenses, polarizing filters, hoods - all a lot
more expensive than for my 58mm thread.
No Info lithium batteries. Horrible zoom ring action ~ sloppy yet sticky - how do they manage that?
And lastly, it costs 50% more than the VX. I'm being kind - it's more like 70% but I'm guessing the early adopters are being targeted and the price will fall.

tom.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 12:58 PM   #6
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Hey Tom,

thanks for the report. I was really impressed with the DVX100 images,
but recently when it came to recommending a camera to someone who's
budget was under $2500, the VX2K got the call. I have been very pleased
with the VX2K.

Yours was the first report of someone who said that they would go with
the VX2K for reasons other than low light handling and price.

Happiness is a 15 hour battery (how does Sony do it?). You got that right!
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Old March 6th, 2003, 01:21 PM   #7
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Tom, what do you mean by a "vibrating element" OIS? As far as I know all OIS systems use vibrating giro's, including the VAP types.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 01:23 PM   #8
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The one big plus on the Panasonic is the manual aperture control ring, and I positively hate the fact that all Sony cams show (on screen) the half-stop incremental changes you make while filming. I'm sure it's because the dial on the Sony is only energising a stepper motor, whereas on the panasonic it's actually controlling the mechanical movement of the aperture blades themselves. Excellent.

Another thing while I'm here. I like to use the VX2k at waist level for discreet filming. I have the side-screen open and turned to face upwards. What do I find? Well, the screen now shutters the aperture control dial and the exposure button, making it very difficult to make adjustments on the run. Much better if the ND filter and the exposure control had swapped places.

tom.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 02:12 PM   #9
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I haven't seen a tear-down drawing of the DVX lens as yet, but if past Panasonic OIS (optical image stabilisation) is anything to go by and my observations are correct then they are using a cemented doublet, one surface of which is aspheric, fitted behind the main zooming group. This doublet is activated by the camera movement sensing gyros and vibrates in an effort to take out the camera shake.

The Sony VX2000 (and the Canon XL1s and the XM2) all use the VAP OIS. This vari-angle prism technique has one main advantage - it can be made very powerful indeed. In comparison to the vibrating elements it is big, heavy, expensive, noisy, won't work well at high altitudes and low temperatures and uses more battery power. Not only that but it occupies the place that all wide-angle converters want to have - i.e. right in front of the front element of the zoom.

The vibrating element idea (also used in the TRV900 and 950) is good in that being small the elements have very little inertia, and they can react very quickly indeed to camera movement. The down side is that they cannot move far off axis, and it's this fact that places limit stops on the OIS's efficiency.

The VAP method really is bulky - have a look at the "box" under the front of the VX2k's lens and know that all this space is taken up with VAP activating pistons and electronics. So too with the Canon cameras.

Neither of the two systems are without their side effects but for all intents and purposes the technology is totally transparent, leading to Sony giving viewfinder warnings only when the Steadyshot is turned off. The effects of OIS are visible on certain shots - have you been able to spot them yet?

tom.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 04:03 PM   #10
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I am familiar with the lens shift techniques (which you call "vibrating elements" I think). Could you explain why they would need to "vibrate"(sinusoidal?) instead of just shift according to the camera motion in order to counteract the shakes.
Further on " the vibrating element idea (also used in the TRV900..." . I don't own such a cam, but from the block diagram here http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/docs/schem1.jpg I can see that it uses an "active prism actuator"...Do you have different information?
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Old March 7th, 2003, 01:20 AM   #11
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Ah - I only use the term "vibrate" because that is what we humans generally do when we hand-hold a camera, and the OIS elements have to vibrate in equal and opposite sympathy and synchronisation of course.

If you tripod the camera however and (with the OIS turned on) simply move the camera in a left pan, the OIS elements will move to counteract this, smoothly hitting their end stops and remaining in this position until your pan ceases. You can see the effect of this on the vignetting caused by a too restrictive a lens hood.

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