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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:20 PM   #16
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I don't know why Sony doesn't claim the VX series as professional but they don't and thus when problems arise they aren't very supportive of repairs. (like the infamous audio hiss problem)
The PD-170 is a little more expensive (about $700 more than the GL2) but it's still not quite as much as the DVX100a (which is $1500 more than a GL2). They are all decent cameras and the Sony has the best low light ability of them all and comes with a wide angle adapter (not fisheye though). I think the new HVR-Z1U looks promising but even it has a few things I am not crazy about like;
2 lux (compared to 1 lux of the PD-170)
Built in microphone (like I care! It just adds cost and gets in the way. I have mics)
HDV isn't really proven (or supported) yet. It's just a new craze for now but we'll see where it goes. (the HDR-FX1 falls into the same category as the VX series)
What I DO like is shooting NTSC and PAL with one camera. I also want a native 16:9 chip. As far as progressive or interlaced, whatever.
Go to a rental house and look at a few cameras. Rental places will sometimes even apply the rental fee towards a future purchase but it's not usually very expensive to rent one of these. (I think it usually runs about $150 a day with Fri-Mon counting as 1 day and weekly rates are rarely over $500)
You can always set your budget and then sell the camera you have (the fisheye should still fit if it's a 58mm screw mount) or you can sell it and get the bayonet mount.
...or... get the GL2 and keep on truckin but it's not really that big of a step up from a GL1 to a GL2 considering the price of a new camera.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #17
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Does the PD-170 have interval recording?

I would plan to buy my GL2 off of ebay, they [used ones] are going for about $1,000-1,500

sold used PD170 I saw was about $2,000, and Century makes a .3 ultra 180 degree fisheye for it.

My .3x ultra mkII is bayonet mount [58mm on GL1 right?]

I definitely cant afford to rent a camera @ 1/10th the price of the camera I hope to buy.

Now I am beginning to think Pd170, and if not that then GL2.

Hopefully I have enough $ to get the PD170.

are there any downsides to the PD170? compared to say VX2000/GL2?

once again, all info is greatly apprecciated
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Old December 27th, 2004, 06:31 PM   #18
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The GL2 is a nice camera don't get me wrong. I love the 20x optical zoom but I would rarely use it. The progressive mode is really nice, but I would rarely use it.
The reason I use a PD-170 is, under real situations there is never enough light and it has great low light ability (1 Lux .vs 6 Lux of the GL2). The image it captures is razor sharp and the colors are superb. I can add filters or work in post if I want a different image.
The differences between it and the VX2100 is varied. Different viewfinder, no DVCAM, no XLR input. Those were the biggies for me. No built in XLR and I won't look at it anymore, that's just me, but the internals are supposed to be very similar otherwise.
Yes it has interval recording at durations of .5 sec, 1 sec, 1.5 sec, 2 sec, and intervals of 30 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 10 min. It also has something called cut recording for stop motion animation if you're into that sort of thing.
Downside to a PD-170 vs a VX2100? I couldn't think of anything but the price. It is by far the most common camera found in field journalistic settings these days. It is rugged and powerful and delivers an image that rivals cameras 10 times the price. There are many TV shows currently being shot with them and lots of videos and even a few movies as well. It's a fine camera and I would save your money for one before I would jump into another GL series. Not because the GL2 is not a good camera but because it is too similar to the camera you already have that doesn't satisfy the one major need you require, low light capability.

As far as thinking you can't afford $150 to try a camera out imagine this. When you made the decision to get the GL1 if you had spent the $150 to rent a camera (and most rental shops are VERY flexible, you could probably hang out and try several cameras for free if you wanted) and found out it wouldn't give you the low light ability you need you would have maybe purchased a different camera. Then you wouldn't have missed all those shots, you might not be looking to spend a couple of grand on a new camera today either! It's an investment in your craft. You can't look at it like a waste of money. Heck I rent equipment all the time because I don't like to fly with ALL of my own stuff (since 9/11, flying has turned into a complete PITA). I charge the rental to the client so what do I care. I charge them if I use my own equipment too so it's all the same.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #19
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Progressive mode? I barely use the 20x optical zoom. What is the lux rating of the GL1 [so I can compare that to 6lux GL2 and 1 lux PD170]? DVCAM? I dont care about XLR.

I didnt search around and get a GL1, a high school kid I know stole a GL1 from the DV department, and I bought it from him for $200. It was a "steal" to say the least, and thats why I got it, other than the fact that I was well familar with it from my previous years in the High Schools DV dept.

1 lux! damn that must be great. Is there any pictures that could give me an example of the difference of the amount of light being picked up by different cameras, in similar conditions?

PD170 is starting to sound very lucrative to me

@Rhett Allen - what do you film for?
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Old December 27th, 2004, 07:56 PM   #20
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1 Lux sounds great but in real life it's all relative. They claim 1 Lux with the aperture wide open and the gain maxed out at +18db. I have shot in a movie theatre before and under the normal lighting inside (quite dark indeed) the footage was grainy and dark but usable (and It looked like a dark theatre onscreen). Other times when I have been shooting outside nearer sunset (under flat light, meaning no shadows because it was overcast) I still think it's too dark but then again I am a bit of a perfectionist. It will give you a usable image under darker circumstances than many other cameras but I still own lighting equipment.
I don't know the specs of the GL1 but as I recall it was supposed to be decent.
DVCAM is a recording format from Sony. It's available on the PD-170. It's big selling point is that it holds up to repeated play head contact better because it records more data across the tape. Instead of getting 60 minutes on a tape you will get 40 minutes. The other advantage is that you will get locked audio with the video and better timecode.
Progressive mode is a different method of recording that captures a whole image at once instead of in 2 separate fields as traditional TV signals do. I don't use it but if I did it would be for web video (one of the things that I would like about the upcoming HVR-Z1U).
I film for training and promotional videos mostly but I have done some commercial work and some work for musicians as well. I am currently wanting to start doing some short stories and documentaries too because they are really fun to work on. Yes, I have shot some skateboarding footage as well but it was quite a few years ago.

As far as buying know stolen camera gear, I can't say as I approve of that since I have had my camera gear stolen before and it really sucks. Also be careful in the future because even if you paid for it the police can take it from you and then not only are you out the camera and the money but you could even face "receiving stolen property" charges. Just try to stay legit in the future, it's better all around.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 08:38 PM   #21
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Of course legit is better, but who could pass up a GL1 for $200? Especially when the cam was brand new when I was a senior, and I know exactly how much use it has received [most was by me LOL]

That sucks your gear got jacked, I think taking someones personal cam is diff, than say stealing a cam from a High School or an organization [thta can afford it], the dam high school has 7 GL1's and 5 Gl2's they didnt even know it was gone for 6 months.

Anyways I just sold it for $1250 on EBAY so im good

DVCAM sounds tight, as I never watch footage before capping it, due to fears of tape degradation or artifacts. Even tho the skaterz want to watch it, they are only the skater, I am the film god [relatively].

Locked audio? what is audio on GL1?
Better timecode? whats diff than timecode on GL1?
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Old December 28th, 2004, 01:05 PM   #22
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Of course there are situations with so little light that the image is crap, but if any camera is going to get ANYTHING worth a damn in a difficullt light situation, it's going to be the PD170/VX2100. That's your cam, I would say. Plus it's rugged as hell, which can only be a good thing while skating. The 170 is going for a good price right now, but be sure that the VX2100 won't cut it just as well, for less.
I would find out the differences between them and try to understand whether they are meaningful to you or not.
You might also get some home depot 500w work lights and throw some light out when the sun goes down. A little money and a little planning can get you the shots.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 06:56 PM   #23
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<<<-- Originally posted by Shawn Mielke : Of course there are situations with so little light that the image is crap, but if any camera is going to get ANYTHING worth a damn in a difficullt light situation, it's going to be the PD170/VX2100. That's your cam, I would say. Plus it's rugged as hell, which can only be a good thing while skating. The 170 is going for a good price right now, but be sure that the VX2100 won't cut it just as well, for less.
I would find out the differences between them and try to understand whether they are meaningful to you or not.
You might also get some home depot 500w work lights and throw some light out when the sun goes down. A little money and a little planning can get you the shots. -->>>

thanks man, thats what I was thinking. Whats the lux rating on the vx2100? Yea, I have halogens, I just dont have a truck or a van, as a matter of fact I only have 1 car, [which my wife uses on the daily]

I plan on getting a panel van to hold all the lights/ stuff.

I also need to get a generator, I've been using 4-5 100ft extension cords to snake power from the nearest outlet. LOL

Thanks guys you have been a great help!
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Old December 28th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #24
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The lux of the VX is the same as the PD170, 1 lux.
Sort out your power sources and your set!
Good luck and good shooting!

Shawn
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Old December 28th, 2004, 09:28 PM   #25
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thanks guys.

no need to reply in this thread.

you were all a great help!
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