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Old May 20th, 2004, 12:38 PM   #16
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
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While it is very nice, the 3.5" LCD screen tends to make everything look great when, in fact, some of the time it won't look so great on a big screen. I think focus is the main problem here since the panel only has 370x220 pixels (not bad for a built-in LCD, but not enough to really see detail). The problem is further compounded in 16:9 mode since the image is letterboxed which is going to only give you about 165 lines of vertical resolution.

Manual mode can have its pitfalls as well. For example, adjusting exposure while rolling tape causes noticeable "bumps" in the level. This only bothers me when shooting live stage productions personally, since otherwise I wouldn't normally change exposure in the middle of a shot. And to be fair, my VX-2000 has this same problem (Sony addressed this with the PD-170 which offers twice as many iris "clicks", but evidently the VX-2100 suffers from the same weakness).

The zebra settings are calibrated in IRE units (Institute of Radio Engineers), not percentage points, but I suppose I'm just nitpicking here :-) Simplifying things a bit, a level of 0 IRE is black in the digital world, and 100 IRE is white. So setting the zebra for 100 (which is what I like to do) means that anything with stripes will appear pure white. You can then use your judgement as to whether this is really what you want. But Bill's suggestion is a good one as well, so try both approaches and see which you prefer. It probably has a lot to do with the nature of your compositions and whether you're main priority is skin tone. Like I said, try doing a search on "zebra" and you'll find copious discussion of the topic.

The Petrol hoods are actually made in Israel so I imagine you'll be able to find local vendors. This is the model I have, B&H sells it for $20 USD. It's very simple and just consists of a nylon sheath and a piece of plastic, but it works fine. But you may need to hone your origami skills to assemble it! Mine came with no instructions and I ended up searching the net until I found a photo of an assembled unit!
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Old May 21st, 2004, 05:22 AM   #17
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Location: Berkshire, UK
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OK, I'll experiment with the two zebra settings. As you suggest, it will depend on the composition. I'm sure there is lots of useful info here on it.

I expect to be using 16:9 almost exclusively as I much prefer the format. In fact widescreen TV is the norm here now, and anything else doesn't look right to me. The letterboxing isn't great, but obviously unavoidable.

Thanks for the Petrol link. There doesn't seem to be a list of distributors there though, so I'll keep looking. I already found this on the B&H site but the shipping is more than the cost of the hood! Luckily we don't have too much sun here in the UK :)

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