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Old June 28th, 2004, 10:14 AM   #16
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Even though it is metal (magnesium alloy) the DVC30 only weighs about the same as the GL2, and fits perfectly balanced in the hand.

The Panasonic has 3 1/4" CCDs like the GL2, so low light and picture quality is about the same.

If you want to shoot docs and your decision has come down to either a Sony or a Canon I'd either go with the VX2100 for its bigger 1/3" CCDs and better low light range or wait a couple of weeks to see if a new Canon model is announced. As an XL2 looks just round the corner, maybe a 'GL3' will be too...
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Old June 28th, 2004, 11:16 AM   #17
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Dave,

Real good. Your logic resonates with me. One thing I've determined that I don't like in the XL-1S is that it has no viewfinder.

Dumb question #999. Can you 'effectively' use a viewfinder when zooming in from far away or does that require an eye-piece?

They used to teach people how to swim where I grew up by throwing them in the water. My approach to life is similar. I just jump in. I know it's not pretty but I keep on strokin'. : )

You know the XL-1S doesn't look that good to me anymore. RE: no viewfinder, heavy and a new model is about to be released. I don't suppose the VX2100 is similar, i.e., a new Sony just around the corner? How long has the VX2100 been out?
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Old June 28th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #18
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Jim, the swimming analogy has one problem. I'm sure somebody was waiting on the shore to keep you from drowning. Don't assume this is the case with camera shopping. You could end up a lot poorer and have the wrong camera with nobody but yourself to blame. Learn to swim before you jump off that cliff into the ocean.

The XL-1s does have a viewfinder, but it lacks a flip-out LCD screen. Maybe you have your terminology confused?

New models are introduced by manufacturers with little warning. And years in advance you will read lots of posts speculating on what the new models will feature and when they are arriving. This can be a fun game but is rarely accurate and isn't particularly useful. And even after a new model is announced it takes months before you can actually buy one and then there are the inevitable bugs that will pop up. Being an early adopter of anything high-tech is not for the faint of heart; you can get burned.

Be sure that you understand what you're buying, and be sure it meets your present needs. Then don't look back. But FWIW, the VX-2100 was just introduced a few months ago. However many people were disappointed that it doesn't represent much of an improvement over the VX-2000 which has been around for a long time.

I believe that the VX-2100, PD-170, PDX-10 and many (if not most?) of the better cameras have a metal body, but the outer shell is plastic. But is there some reason you should care? Don't buy into hype like this from the manufacturers. If you're looking at a specific model - like the GL-2 - do your research and find out if it's well made or if it's prone to breakage. If it isn't then who cares what it's made from? Some types of plastic may actually be stonger than the metal that other manufacturers use.

And you still don't seem to have resolved the question of what your budget really is for this purchase. If you can only afford a Hyundai then you simply shouldn't be test driving Mercedes...
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Old June 28th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #19
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Boyd,

>Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : Jim, the swimming analogy has one problem. I'm sure somebody was waiting on the shore to keep you from drowning.<

Lol. That's funny and clever.

>Don't assume this is the case with camera shopping. You could end up a lot poorer and have the wrong camera with nobody but yourself to blame. Learn to swim before you jump off that cliff into the ocean.<

My ambition is to change the world with video. Ergo, I wanted to buy the best camera with the latest technology.

>The XL-1s does have a viewfinder, but it lacks a flip-out LCD screen. Maybe you have your terminology confused?<

Yep. I meant flip out LCD.

>New models are introduced by manufacturers with little warning. And years in advance you will read lots of posts speculating on what the new models will feature and when they are arriving. This can be a fun game but is rarely accurate and isn't particularly useful. And even after a new model is announced it takes months before you can actually buy one and then there are the inevitable bugs that will pop up. Being an early adopter of anything high-tech is not for the faint of heart; you can get burned. <

Agree. This is why I'm focusing in on the VX2100 now.

>Be sure that you understand what you're buying, and be sure it meets your present needs. Then don't look back. But FWIW, the VX-2100 was just introduced a few months ago. However many people were disappointed that it doesn't represent much of an improvement over the VX-2000 which has been around for a long time.<

Understood.

>I believe that the VX-2100, PD-170, PDX-10 and many (if not most?) of the better cameras have a metal body, but the outer shell is plastic. But is there some reason you should care? Don't buy into hype like this from the manufacturers. If you're looking at a specific model - like the GL-2 - do your research and find out if it's well made or if it's prone to breakage. If it isn't then who cares what it's made from? Some types of plastic may actually be stonger than the metal that other manufacturers use.<

Excellent information.

>And you still don't seem to have resolved the question of what your budget really is for this purchase. If you can only afford a Hyundai then you simply shouldn't be test driving Mercedes... <

I've always had champagne taste and a beer drinker's budget.
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Old June 28th, 2004, 07:54 PM   #20
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Okay, thanks to Boyd and others I'm starting to get the picture. I'm slow but I'm not stupid. IOW, I'm not going to throw away money and that's what I've decided I would be doing by purchasing an XL-1S or any other $4,000 camera.

I went to the only two high end camera dealers in town this afternoon. One sells only Canons and the other only Sony's. I left the Canon store first leaning towards a GL2 and I left the Sony dealer leaning towards a VX2100. Which one is better? GL2 versus VX2100? Steve, have you made any determination is this regard?

The Sony dealer actually had a VX2100, one, in stock, very nice camera. Light, easy to handle, features look good, great zoom. FYI, I'm not going to be into swapping out a bunch of lenses.

I like to embrace an idea at least intellectually and try it on for size and see if it fits. Thanks to y'all I have a much keener sense of what I 'need.' I have not ruled out dropping back to a $1500 Canon type camera, e.g., oputura xi. Why should I buy the GL2 or the VX2100 versus the optura xi?
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Old June 28th, 2004, 08:13 PM   #21
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My personal opinion, having used only two of the three cameras mentioned, those being the GL2 and the Optura Xi, is that the difference is the picture quality. Not so much between the VX2100 and GL2, but the VX2100/GL2 versus the Optura. In other words, the Optura just doesn't look as good.

I played around with the GL2 at a local store, and then picked up the Optura Xi. I could immediately tell the difference between the two, and that was the quality. Now, I didn't get a chance to do any editing of the video or plug it into a TV to see it full-size, but it just seemed that the Xi was dull and the GL2 was broadcast-quality.

The Sony VX2100 I've only read about. The things I've read have led me to believe that this is the camera to have in this price range. Aside from its low light capabilities, it also has a zoom ring, which is something the GL2 doesn't have - in case you didn't notice that. All comparisons aside, they'll both produce excellent quality footage, and be equally fun to use. I've been experimenting with Sony cameras for years, and I know that I trust the brand, and have read only good things about the camcorders they've previously produced.

So, the decision is ultimately up to you (of course), but I will be going with the Sony, myself.

That is, until there is an XL2 ;)
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Old June 28th, 2004, 08:32 PM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Sawchuk :
That is, until there is an XL2 ;) -->>>
That's a $4500 camera, right? And like Boyd said, even after they announce it, the XL2 will not be available for a month or so. I have immediate recording requirements.

As I type this, I'm leaning towards the VX2100.

Thank y'all.
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Old June 29th, 2004, 01:41 PM   #23
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I've been researching just like you about the differences/avantages in the Canon GL2 and the Sony VX2100. Really, I've come to conclusion that the GL2 has a higher zoom and the VX2100 has better low light capabilities, so basically it comes down to which feature is more important to you and which camera feels comfortable to you. Now, I'm no expert, but really both cameras will give you the same picture quality if you set the scene up right, adjust the manual settings right etc. So, in your case, if your mainly shooting documentry's, short films and what not, I would lean towards the VX2100, just because it is newer technology(which isn't always good ;) ), and has better low light capabilities. Just my 2 cents. ;)
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Old June 29th, 2004, 02:34 PM   #24
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Jake, I agree with your assessment completely. I had it down to zoom and low light too as well as new technology and the VX2100. I would only add the Sony brand name to the list from my rookie and brainwashed perspective. I anguish over this because I'm a dang perfectionist and I want both low light and zoom. Alas, the world is not perfect. ;-)

How far can you go with a 12x optical? As one example, I want to be able to pull over on the side of the interstate, whip out my camera and record what whoever is doing doing on the other side.

And what about extended warranty? Yea or nay? And carrying case? Hard?
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Old June 29th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #25
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I notice B&H has a consumer and professional category where the DCR-VX2100 is listed in both categories? Is there a consumer DCR-VX2100 and a professional DCR-VX2100?
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Old June 29th, 2004, 07:48 PM   #26
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I could probably get by with less of a camera but I'm going to err on the side of over capacity and purchase the VX2100.

Who do you recommend I purchase this camera from?
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Old June 29th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #27
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The PD-170 is the "pro" version of the VX-2100 and is sold through Sony's broadcast/professional division. The fact that B&H lists it with the pro cameras may reflect their opinion of it's quality, but Sony has positioned these two cameras a little differently. The PD-170 has pro audio features, records in DVCAM mode and has a black and white high resolution viewfinder.

Also, regarding the GL-2 there are a couple other significant differences. The GL-2 has 1/4" chips as compared to the Sony's 1/3" chips. Probably the most significant thing here is the low light response, but some people feel Sony's larger chips offer other advantages. The GL-2 also features frame movie mode which gives more if a "film like" quality when used. It is similar to the DVX-100's progressive scan, but doesn't offer as high a resolution. Do a search here on "frame" and you will find lots of discussion. Many Canon users are very fond of this shooting mode (also found on the XL-1s) and the VX-2100 doesn't have anything comparable.

Where to buy?.... from one of DVinfo's sponsors, like B&H. A full list may be found here: http://www.dvinfo.net/sponsors/index.php
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Old June 30th, 2004, 09:25 AM   #28
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Boyd,

You up my anguish in not being able to have it all by mentioning the GL-2's "film like" quality. I would love to have it but the VX2100 still seems to trump the GL-2 from my perspective.

I think you said a few posts ago to make your decision and don't look back. I'm about to do that.

VX2100.

Thank you.

BTW, why doesn't such a large forum as this have the latest release of vBulletin?

P.S. I'm still willing to be talked into the GL-2 or . . . ;-)
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Old June 30th, 2004, 12:23 PM   #29
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Okay, I'm about to take the big plunge and purchase a VX2100 from B&H.

How do you recommend I make the purchase if there is an option to purchase on-line or on the phone?

BTW, what 'one' tape do you recommend using?
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Old June 30th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #30
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jim Giles : I think you said a few posts ago to make your decision and don't look back.

I think you missed the point and you're taking this out of context. That remark meant that after you've purchased a new camera, don't get upset when a new model comes out a couple months later that is cooler/cheaper/better. I certainly didn't mean to blindly charge ahead and make an ill-informed big purchase and then not regret it!

<<<-- Originally posted by Jim Giles : BTW, why doesn't such a large forum as this have the latest release of vBulletin?

I believe Chris has that in the works.

B&H has a terrific website if you like shopping online. If you don't feel it answers your questions you can always call.

The tape question is frequently discussed in the Long Black Line forum.
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