PDX-10, PD-150, DVX-100 or just a GL2? at DVinfo.net

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Old October 9th, 2003, 06:00 PM   #1
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PDX-10, PD-150, DVX-100 or just a GL2?

Looking for opinions on these cameras, I'm getting back into the biz after a 2 year hiatus and looking to upgrade from my travel TRV-10 to something more professional. Work will be mostly commercials, web content, concert footage, maybe a music video or two, documentary and within a year an indie film that will stay digital, no film output. Don't really need the size of an XL1s, but I do need something that will give that professional "look" and impact when showing up for jobs. I like the idea of native 16:9 and I do have a Sony housing that would work for both my TRV-10 and the PDX-10, but not looking really to base my decision on that, just a bonus. Any comments would be appreciated, Thanks!
Ryan
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Old October 9th, 2003, 06:20 PM   #2
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You said " I like the idea of native 16:9 [...] but not looking really to base my decision on that".

I love my PDX-10, but based on the above statement I imagine you will be happier with one of the other cameras on the list. But aside from the GL-2 I think the other choices are significantly more expensive.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 06:58 PM   #3
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In regards to the native 16:9, I should have said that I didn't want to base my decsion on the housing compatibilty. 16:9 native is a more significant factor in my opinion, but is it really that much better than the PD-150? I really like both, but would consider the VX-2000 as well if it compares to the PDX-10 in overall quality. Forgive me for being so naive, there's just not a place like B&H anround here to compare all these cameras.
Thanks again
Ryan
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Old October 9th, 2003, 07:18 PM   #4
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<<<-- 16:9 native is a more significant factor in my opinion, but is it really that much better than the PD-150?-->>>

Yes... see http://www.greenmist.com/pdx10/chart for some examples.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #5
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The DVX100 has the nicest look, especialy with the 24p, if you are doing music videos, commercial, or indie film.

However, none of these cameras look nearly as impressive as the XL1 if you want a pro looking camera.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 07:38 PM   #6
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dv.com has reviews of all but the PD150. The PD-150 is the professional version of the VX2000. It's main advantage is XLR inputs and some miscellaneous "pro" features (settable timecode, DVCAM recording, etc.).

You can get a rough idea of the image qualities of various cameras by looking at this Japanese site. http://babelfish.altavista.com/babel....html&lp=ja_en

dv.com has a review of the various cameras in regards to audio. the dvx-100 comes out on top, followed by the rest.

The DVX-100 can probably give the best image quality as you get the most control over its image and its image is nice to begin with. lafcpug.org has a review comparing the DVX100 to the PD150 and they came out about equal. Both these cameras are tops in terms of low light.

For frilly features only the PDX-10 has 16:9. The DVX-100 has progressive shooting mode (24fps progressive too), while Canons have quasi-progressive shooting with frame mode. For web delivery 24fps progressive and progressive shooting modes may be a slight plus since the computer uses progressive displays. However you will may not be sending high resolution movies (over 320X24) over the internet anyways.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 07:43 PM   #7
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Attaching a shotgun mic with a fancy microphone mount (Lightwave) and fancy windshield and a light onto your camera can make it look more pro. But the Canon does look nifty.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 09:41 PM   #8
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PDX10 get's my vote!

The PDX10 is considered to render the best 16:9 footage under $4000- it does it natively within the CCD and not via an electronic mask or upsampling. It's an extremly sharp camera with excellent resolution (530 lines+ tested!!) and fares very well when footage is viewed on big screens (tv's.) It's biggest drawback is it's underpar low light shooting abilities (allot of grain)...but if your source footage will be shot under good lighting or controlled conditions- you wont find a better 3CCD camera anywhere doing native 16:9- and at $2000 or so- it's a great deal!

For a lower price and almost identical performance- you might want to look at Panasonic's DV953- same low light "sub-par" performance drawback but for $1300 and less- it's a fantastic 3CCD camera that has a great following on these boards.

(forgot to mention the PDX10 has XLR inputs and can record to DVCAM tapes- in case this matters)
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Old October 10th, 2003, 02:53 AM   #9
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Options are limited for good, true 16:9 in this range of cams, as you have probably gathered, and the ones that have it are lacking in low light ability, to say the least. Of course, you could get an adaptor for either the dvx or the 150, but otherwise you face something of a dilemma: the more flexible, more pro cam or the built-in 16:9. Perhaps someone can speak for adaptors, and/or perhaps you could do a search on them. I know that they are expensive!
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Old October 10th, 2003, 08:41 AM   #10
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I think a DVX100 with a 16:9 would be the ultimate rig- problem is I've learned you can't fully zoom within it's range with the 16:9 lens on......the Century 16:9 is around $700, and others seem similarly priced- but you'd get true optical 16:9 as opposed to the electronic masking we're getting now.

The PDX and DV953 aren't the best in low light as documented- but I think it's relative to intended shooting conditions- they may suit the videographer if they're shooting under controlled lighting- again research is the key!

Good luck with the search!
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Old October 10th, 2003, 09:12 AM   #11
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I have used the panasonic with it's 16x9 adapator, panasonic one, and had no problems with focus all the way through the zoom range.

Zac
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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:42 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : You said " I like the idea of native 16:9 [...] but not looking really to base my decision on that".

I love my PDX-10, but based on the above statement I imagine you will be happier with one of the other cameras on the list. But aside from the GL-2 I think the other choices are significantly more expensive. -->>>

If you are considering the GL2 have a look at the Pana DVC80. It is a non-24p DVX100. One word of caution, it is also missing some additional features of the DVX. The DVC80 pales in comparison to the DVX100 but the near $1000 price difference is hard to justify. Comparing the DVC80 to the PD150, PDX10 and even the GL2, well, it shows favorably.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 12:17 PM   #13
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Ryan I can only reply regarding GL2 and the DVC80. I own those at the moment. I will give you a run down on my current comparrisons. I can't speak about the xv2000 but I wish I could.

I own a GL2 and I recently sold my GL1 and purchased a DVC80. I wasn't sure if I wanted a second GL2 or a DVC80 or a VX2000. I purchased the DVC80 but I still don't know which one I want as my additional cam. I use 2 cameras for weddings.

THE ZOOM/LENSE
Both lenses are great. The 20x zoom is great on the GL2 especially if you are not alowed to get stationed close to the action as is sometimes the case at weddings. 10x seems pretty shallow compared to 20x. Battery life is better on the GL2. The 80's mechanisms are more noisy than the GL2 so you pick up the sound of the zoom and autofocus in the onboard mics. The Panny obviously has a wider angle.

ERGONOMICS AND APPEARANCE
The GL2 is much more ergonomically designed and lighter than the 80. The GL2 conforms nicely to your hand. THE 80 looks more professional because it is a bit uglier. The GL2 is prettier and so a bit more consumer looking, if that matters.

PICTURE AND COLOR
The picture quality is actually very similar in both cams so don't decide on the cam based soley on the picture quality. There are some differences, however. The Panasonic is slightly sharper on the close objects. The GL2 is slightly sharper in distant objects like small lines and text. The color reproduction on the Panasonic is more accurate especially given the pink shift present in the GL2. You will notice the difference mostly in skin tones. Most people probably will not find the pink shit an issue, but it is there. The Panasonic is slightly undersaturated sometimes but that can be adjusted. The GL2 can be a bit oversaturated, also fixable in adjustments but you can't fix the pink shift except in post. White balancing may help but it won't eliminate it. The Panasonic has a bit more tweaking that can be done in the settings.

THE AUDIO
The on board XLR's are good on the 80 if you need them. There are various audio selection options like mic level line level etc that are nice. The 80 has only manual audio controls not automatic so you have to pay attention to them. Both cams have external audio level dials so you have to be careful not to nudge them inadvertantly. If the GL2 is in auto mode for audio you dont have to worrry about that. Because of the way the Panny's audio dial are positioned you will probably not move them accidentally but the GL2's are very easy to accidentally move.

LOW LIGHT
The Panny does have the edge over the GL2 in low light. It is as good at 12db gain as the GL2 is at 18db so you get less grain on the Panny but there is some chroma noise noticable. I understand the VX2000 is better than the Panny in low light but I have never had the chance to compare a VX unfortunately.

PRICE
Right now you can get the GL2 at buydig.com for less than $1750 after the rebate. That's where I would buy a GL2 if you don't buy any accesories because the base price w/o rebate and B&H is too high. The Panny is $2299 at B&H. That is 550 more than the GL2 at buydig. If you were to buy the Panny I would buy that from B&H because although the base price of the 80 is lower at buydig you will need an extra larger battery for the panny and buydig will cost you 2x what the battery the shipping would cost you at B&H.


I still wonder if I should have gotten a VX2000 or waited for the 2100 but have never tried a VX.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 12:53 PM   #14
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Rob --

Do you know for sure that the rebate on the GL2 is valid at buydig? I seem to remember (during my research before buying my new cam) that the GL2 rebate was only good for purchases through "authorized Canon dealers" and that buydig is not considered an "authorized" dealer. A lot of online retailers were putting the rebate .pdf on their sites (to push GL2 sales), but I remember reading that most of those purchases wouldn't be valid for the rebate.

Of course, I could be wrong...
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Old October 10th, 2003, 01:15 PM   #15
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Thanks for everybodys continuing input on this topic. I wish the PDX-10 had some better low light abilty because I think that would be the direction to go. Now, I find myself leaning in the DVX-100 and VX2000(with upgrades, Beachtek, etc.) direction. PD150 seems a bit too pricey and not a huge step up from a modified VX2000. Not that the DVX-100 isn't pricey, but I think the extra business, i.e. indie film camerawork etc. could offset the extra investment, or? Any thoughts comparing the VX2000 and DVX-100 even though they are a bit apple to orange?
Thanks again!
Ryan
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