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Old November 27th, 2003, 06:26 PM   #1
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new camera/audio advice - pd170 or dvx-100 ?

Hello.

i have been reading every message in just about every forum trying to absorb the incredible wealth of knowledge available here...

i am looking to get a 3 chip camera (i have a good amount of experience with 1 chip mini-dv and digital 8 cameras)

i have it narrowed down to the pd-170 or the dvx-100(a?)

i want to do some short's for film festival submission and i really want to do some short/medium length documentary/event type stuff. some travelouge's etc.

i also want to get a realy good uhf wireless mic both the lavalier type and the adaptor that goes on a handheld.

so i need camera advice and i need wireless advice.

also, how bad are both of the on camera mic's and what is a pretty decent on camera mic?

my budget for the camera and the mic's (both wireless and improved on camera) is $5,000

i already have a pretty serious premiere pro editing system.

matthew
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Old November 28th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #2
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Re: new camera/audio advice - pd170 or dvx-100 ?

"<<<-- Originally posted by Matthew de Jongh : Hello.

i have been reading every message in just about every forum trying to absorb the incredible wealth of knowledge available here...

i am looking to get a 3 chip camera (i have a good amount of experience with 1 chip mini-dv and digital 8 cameras)

i have it narrowed down to the pd-170 or the dvx-100(a?)

i want to do some short's for film festival submission and i really want to do some short/medium length documentary/event type stuff. some travelouge's etc."

Either camera will do what you want very well. Neither will prevent you from achieving what you want to do so pick the one you like best. Hand's-on is truly the only way to do this. So get on the train and visit B&H or someone that will have both cameras in-stock and willing to let you play with them for a while.


"i also want to get a realy good uhf wireless mic both the lavalier type and the adaptor that goes on a handheld."

The Sennheiser 100 package with lav & transmitter and plug-on transmitter is just under $500 at B&H. Although I might be inclined to look at the model 500 because the plug-on transmitter will also supply phantom power. You can get the 100 system and add a 500 plug-on transmitter if you want. The transmitter will work just fine but it cannot remotely give you a battery condition readout as would happen with a 500 transmitter / receiver pair.

"so i need camera advice and i need wireless advice.

also, how bad are both of the on camera mic's and what is a pretty decent on camera mic?"

Neither is great as it happens.

You have to get the microphone close to get good sound. Were I you, I'd get a reasonably priced shotgun (AT835B or ME66), and a wired lavaliere like the Sony ECM44B. Then you almost must have a shockmount and windscreen for the shotgun. Maybe a boom pole too.

" my budget for the camera and the mic's (both wireless and improved on camera) is $5,000"

I assume you already have an acceptable tripod, right?

"i already have a pretty serious premiere pro editing system.

matthew -->>>"

P.S. It would be great for us readers if you would capitalize in the normal places. Not mandatory but nice. :-))
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Old November 28th, 2003, 01:42 PM   #3
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thanks for the replies.

the sennheiser 100 is at the top of the list for me to check out, i will also look at the 500.

as far as on camera mic, a lot of what i will be doing is on the go and a boom mic just wouldn't be practical...

for the shorts i want to do i will use a boom.

for the on the go stuff, i was planning on putting a lav on the primary subject and upgrading the on camera mic, with that in mind, what is a good upgrade for the on camera mic for the pd-170 or the dvx-100?

matthew
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Old November 28th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #4
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If you put a lav on one and the other person is close and doesn't move around a lot, the single lav will work. This is done all the time in Weddings where the groom wears a lav and the bride does not.

You have to get a microphone very close for good sound. Merely upgrading the microphone but leaving it on the camera will do you no real good.

One person would then have fairly clear sound and the other would have all the room noise recorded on that track. Not good.
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Old November 28th, 2003, 02:15 PM   #5
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is there any way to put a more directional mic on the camera for occasions where you don't have the lav setup? or you need to record something other than one primary person?

so much of what i have done in the past was impromptu travel stuff without any real opportunities to predict what would happen.

i have to make a day trip down to b&h

i am fortunate to know someone locally who has a dvx-100 so i can spent a bunch of time using his and playing with the footage afterwards, i just don't have any local access to a pd-150/170

one thing in the favor of the dvx-100 is that if i were to do a multi-camera shoot i am pretty sure i could rely on the other guy to help out with his and vice versa.

matthew
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Old November 28th, 2003, 09:29 PM   #6
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Another trick is to put a lav and a MD recorder on the other person if you don't want two lavs, one wired and one radio running at the same time. But that's nearly as expensive as two radio lavs. I'd probably opt for a one or two wired lavs and not remove all the interference and other worries from the sound setup. Outside of a sound stage with a good overhead boom, those are probably the best sound you will get.

Directionality isn't what you need. Proximity is the issue. Sure the directional characteristics of a shotgun will help but it will sound fairly bad except in a quiet environment compared to the lav which is sitting 6 inches from the other person's mouth.

You might think of a shotgun or better yet a small condenser cardiod held low in front of the subjects and pointed just between them. A microphone stand with a short boom just might do the job.
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Old November 28th, 2003, 11:36 PM   #7
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ok.

i guess in the future i need to just focus on being prepared with a good wireless.

the sennheiser 500 looks really good and it isn't that much more than the 100.

one stupid question, it seems that all of the wireless stuff has an 1/8th inch plug to go into the camera?

how come none of them seem to have an xlr?

and do the dvx-100 and the pd-150 have 1/8th inch mic/line inputs?

i know the beachtek does, but not sure about the cameras.

thanks for the advice. i need to spend some time with the dvx-100 and then goto b and h and play with the 150/170 etc.

i am pretty sure i'm settled on the sennheiser 500 for wireless and the me66 for a shotgun.

matthew
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Old November 29th, 2003, 12:10 AM   #8
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If the camera and associated audio are so important to you i suggest getting out and A/B ing the two finalists. I'm not being a smart ass but just suggesting you do what i did.

Why ask some one else when only you can make that decision. I made the rounds of every available 3 CCD camera available in my area. Eventually I had a tape filled with comparisons of the available cameras for that time frame. After I bought my camera i did the same thing with mics.

I damn near drove the wife batty, but I made my own decision (the only one that counts). If there are no local outlets (retailers) then take a weekend trip. This is too big a purchase to flip a coin over.

Con the wife or girl friend into believing that it'll be a romantic weekend.

Your choice, believe some sleezy type like me or spend $200 on a little side trip. If the cameras are available in your area then buy some extra gear with the mad money.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 12:15 AM   #9
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i know. i have to make a day trip to b and h.

it is just so hard to test stuff and really compare the results.

at least for me...unless you have the stuff in an environment like what you would be using it in, and you run them nearly simultaneously and then compare the output.

when i have tried things like this they always seem to look or sound the same.

matthew
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Old November 29th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #10
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If you've got that kind of cash to blow, you might want to take a look at the Sanken CS-1 (~$700) mic. Not quite as sensitive as the ME66, but probably better sounding. It's main claim to fame is extreme off-axis rejection. Perhaps a bit wider pick up area than ME66. One CS-1 owner described the sound as "sweet". I certainly wouldn't say that about the Senn MEs. If audio isn't that important, just get the Senn. According to the LA sound guys, the CS-1 is suppose to be a good value. Some people have speculated it will replace the ME66 as the main ENG mic.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 02:15 PM   #11
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Matthew,

Both of my Senn outfits came with both 1/8" and XLR output cables. You can certainly order one as an accessory but ask the sales folks to check first.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 09:41 PM   #12
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ok thanks.

all of the things i had read only listed the 1/8th inch.

i just read the b and h wireless catalog and it definitely mentioned the xlr.

matthew
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