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Old August 19th, 2005, 06:41 AM   #1
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Moderator note: this post was split off another thread in the PDX-10 forum and moved here for further discussion
_______________________________________________________________

1. If funds/grants available:

Which would be best for creating spots for local TV station (in rural area)?

PDX-10...or VX2100?
--------------------------------------------------
2. If can secure larger gr
ant:

Which would be best for creating spots for local TV station?

PD170 or Panasonic AG-DVX100A

OR other in similar price range. Or even the PDX-10...are there reasons that would be better...even in competition with the Panasonic DVX100A.
_________________________________________________

LONGER VERSION OF QUESTIONS

PLANS...ADJUSTMENT
My plan has been to get the PDX-10 and use it for projects...to save up for the Panasonic DVX100A (or comparable model).

WHAT NEXT?
However, because the PDX-10 has been described as a discontinued camera on this forum...it did get me considering other options.

CURRENT GOAL
I've been developing 30 second TV "spots" as they call them...focused on humanitarian issues...to be aired on local TV stations. The local stations are fairly flexible in working with different standards.

However, that part of the project is on hold...as I wait for next step...to find camera that will accomplish goal...within budget constraints.

GRANT POSSIBILITY

It did occur to me that I could perhaps obtain a grant to get a better camera than the PDX-10...since the project is community-oriented (children issues, homeless, etc.).

_________________
SO...HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS...

QUESTION 1:

IF SMALL GRANT could be obtained...

Should I get the VX2100 instead of the PDX-10?

Following is my understanding of some strengths/limitations related to my intended use. (I believe I have access to equipment that would enable me to make adjustments if necessary to satisfy local TV standards.)

VX2100--

MAJOR CON
lack of XLR audio input
I do a lot of interviews...with lavalier microphones...so that is a big concern...but I've worked with XLR adaptors...just prefer not to.
MAJOR PRO
Better picture quality (I care very much about that)
Better low light. (I tend to use lights w/interviews so in majority of shoots...not an issue)
PDX-10

MAJOR PRO
Has XLR input
More affordable...could get one soon
MAJOR CON
Smaller chip
Reported to have inferior picture quality to the VX2100 if you study the tests...but still many report being very satisfied with the picture quality of PDX-10.
I'M ASSUMING THEY BOTH HAVE THE REPORTED "vertical smear" problem. Do have concerns about that. But it is my understanding that it can be avoided if I don't point camera into light. But would it be problem when doing interviews with Lowel lights (the standard key, fill, etc. set up)?

_____________________________
QUESTION 2.

If more substantial grant could be obtained...then


WHICH BETTER FOR BROADCAST ON TV?

The PDX-170 or the Panasonic AG-DVX100A...or something comparable (in that price range)?



To be honest...it does seem that the Panasonic would be a better choice.

The reviews make a convincing case that the 24 frame per second recording is not just a gimmick but results in a superior image than the PD-170. HOWEVER, I understand that "The highest quality widescreen images results from the addition of the anamorphic lens adapter. " is translated that you have to purchase anamorphic lens adapter r for 749.95

So, I do wonder if the superior quality is dependant on obtaining expensive accessories.

The PD170 is somewhat comparable in price to the vx100A (after rebate)...but lacks the "film-like 24-frame per second recording."

Not sure in what ways the PDX-170 is better. Would appreciate others' opinions.
______________________________________________________________

THANKS!!!!! in advance to anyone who can offer some opinions/experience related to these choices.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #2
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Phew Sandra, my head is spinning! You've come a long way from the HC-1000. Here are my personal opinions:

PDX-10: Lots of bang for the buck. Excellent 16:9, but do you need 16:9 for the situation you describe? Probably not. Very good audio. Somewhat more limited in low light, but for what you describe probably not an issue. Also smaller than the other cameras you mention, which might be either good or bad. Uses 37mm filters and lens adaptors which are much cheaper than the 58mm variety on the PD-170 and VX-21000 or the 72mm used on the DVX. In 4:3 mode the image may be slightly worse than the PD-170, but not a big difference. In 16:9 mode the PDX-10 is far, far better than the PD-170 or VX-2100. The vertical smear problem on the PDX-10 will be more pronounced than on those other cameras (but all cameras have it to some degree). It can be avoided most of the time if you're aware of the issue.

VX-2100: I'd just cross this off the list. If you want that kind of camera spend a few bucks more and get the PD-170. Rumor is that the VX-2100 went out of production awhile ago and they are just selling off inventory. When you consider that the PD-170 includes a short shotgun mike, XLRs and a wide angle adaptor the price difference isn't that much.

PD-170: A standard for the kind of stuff you describe. Only downside is that the 16:9 is poor, but that probably doesn't matter for you. Or does it? The anamorphic lens is going to make your life much harder and has a lot of limitations so I wouldn't even consider that as a way to get 16:9.

DVX-100a: Haven't used one, but they sound like fantastic cameras. Only problem here is that they're really slanted towards filmakers and not the type of thing you say you need. The 24p and 30p are great, but I question why you'd need them in your application. They will help give you a "film look" and they do increase resolution, but it sounds like you may want more of a "video look". Also (someone can correct me if this is wrong) I don't believe you can use autofocus or auto exposure in those modes, not sure about image stabilization. See my comments above about the anamorphic lens. If you want 16:9 get a camera that shoots it natively.

I would add the Sony FX1 to your list however. IMO it beats the PD-170 and VX-2100 in just about every dept - better manual controls, lots more picture control options. Maybe very slightly less sensitive in really dark places. The Sony Z1 is the same basic camera (like the PD-170 is to the VX-2100) but adds lots of nice upgrades, including XLR's, but it costs around $4,800. These cameras can shoot DV just fine, but are also capable of HDV if you want to use it in the future. The BBC is replacing their PD-150's with Z1's and using them for regular DV because they feel the image and controls are better. These cameras will give you excellent 16:9 too.

Another one you might consider is the Panasonic DVC-30. Its form factor is like the PDX-10, and it gets very good user reports. Only downside is the lack of good 16:9.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
1 - Which would be best for creating spots for local TV station (in rural area)?

PDX-10...or VX2100?
From a 480i broadcast perspective, I think either would be fine as far as IMAGE QUALITY is concerned. But if you're wanting to do 16:9 work and/or you want a bundled XLR audio, then it's a NO-BRAINER; get the PDX10.

The PDX10 has a lot more bang-for-the-buck, and personally I'd rather spend the extra money on other shooting equipment (handheld support, tripod, more audio equipment, lights, etc).


Quote:
2 - Which would be best for creating spots for local TV station?

PD170 or Panasonic AG-DVX100A
While I'd love to own a DVX100a, for the purposes of TV production i'd probably stick with the PD170. The Panny really shines in film-style work, whereas the Sony is best suited for TV work.



Of course, if I were in your situation and got the "more substantial" grant, I'd *still* just buy the PDX10 (because it's plenty for your needs) and get spend the extra money on even MORE camera support equipment. Heck, I'd go buy another cheap Sony handycam just to use as a deck, so as not to wear out the PDX10

:-P

Either that, or get the Z1 like Boyd suggested.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #4
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Having played around with the DVX100 a little, here's my impression:

A- It has adjustable gamma curve and color controls, which makes it produce some really nice images. The colors and contrast look a lot better.

Some of this can be duplicated in post, but then you gotta render.
If you do have time for rendering in post, the DVX100 is nice since its cinegamma mode allows extended exposure latitude which will give more detail in highlights and shadows (which sort of of increases contrast... you can get higher contrast without looking as garish).

The Z1 may have similar controls over the picture.

B- 24p:
If you have Sony Vegas, you can convert 60i to 24p and 30p and see results yourself. 60i has this weird soap opera / "video" look to it compared to 30 and 24p.
If you have a 60i camera, it's not a big deal to use a smart/adaptive de-interlace filter to get non-video motion. Your editing system may not support a free plug-in like that though.

2- Nothing really wrong with discontinued cameras. Sometimes they are better than the new ones in some ways (i.e. the PD100 has better low light than its successor, the PDX10).
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
Having played around with the DVX100 a little, here's my impression
Glenn, I know that some of the automatic controls don't work in the progressive (24p, 30p) modes on the DVX. What are the limitations on autofocus, auto iris and image stabilization when shooting progressive?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #6
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The shoot I used it on was for a dance recital, so I was using a tripod and manual everything. For commercials you probably won't need autofocus or autoiris (probably want to use manual focus and manual iris to avoid focus hunting and unwanted exposure changes). Image stabilization would be good if you weren't on a tripod (i.e. glidecam, steadicam, or handheld).

2- I wouldn't get the DVX100 (or similarly priced camera) if it means you can't afford important accessories like...
good tripod that does smooth camera movements
sound gear
lighting gear
?polarizer filter? - darkens skies (helps to prevent it from turning into a big white blob), or cuts a reflection. May need circular polarizer instead of linear.
books
(optional) professional CRT-based broadcast field monitor, so you see what your image looks like and can check focus on it. On the PD100, I find that aggressive exposure makes the colors more saturated, accurate, and vivid compared to conservative exposure. You need a monitor to evaluate that.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 05:51 AM   #7
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WOW!!!! THANKS!!! for thoughtful answers to questions. I printed them out and have been seriously considering them to arrive at decisions.

AND...the answers are very reassuring.

My original plan was to purchase the best camera I could afford (with very limited budget)...and use it generate income for the better camera... So...it's more than reassuring to hear that the PDX-10 can hold its own...for the projects I'm working on. And it sounds like a good back-up camera to own...anyway. So...based on information provided here...I'm going to go with that now.

And it is possible that if I can identify the right camera for the next step of project...I could find a grantor..to assist with purchase...if funds are not available in other ways. So...I found the information about the next level camera...very informative.

As to the next camera...

I got to tell you. I'm always reluctant to go with the most popular camera...just because it's popular. So...my interest in the DVX-100a was not based on its hype as the camera to have...or because it can achieve film-like quality But one reviewer claimed that the 24p mode resulted in superior picture quality because it captured an entire image as opposed to half images...typically captured...at 60 fields per second.

But...as Glenn Chan explained...it's not just the 24p that gives ithe DVX100A the film-like quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan

It has adjustable gamma curve and color controls, which makes it produce some really nice images. The colors and contrast look a lot better.
But...the reviewer at camcorderinfo also reveals in his review of the DVX100A, "The best video you can put on film is that which shot with HD."

So...now...for the next camera...FX1 goes to the top of the list..based on the reviews and the high recormmendations it received here. It's one thing to try to make a decision about a camera based on the reviewer taking it on a test drive. It's much more compelling to read that Boyd or others like their particular camera...after using it.

PLUS...I appreciate the advice about focusing on the accessories.
Years ago...I began a video project for simple kinds of shoots... While the equipmnt is relatively old...(and not worth much on the market)...some of it has held up fairly well. The Lowel lights. And an older model video monitor JVC 550U. I use the monitor on almost ALL shoots. And found it's the one way to know what I'm shooting.. So...it's a good reminder to budget for the accessories. I have found...too that...if on a limited budget...getting (and using) good accessories can do more to improve the audio/video quality than purchasing the most expensive camera.

In fact...just getting back on my feet...so having to rebuild. So, this information is totally helpful...for making best decisions with limiited funds.

So thanks again! If I don't reply immediately...it's just because I'm taking time to seriously consider information here.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #8
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Pdx-10

I own a PDX-10 and it is a wonderfull camera. The only draw back is that it does not do well in low light situations.If you are going to do a lot of exterior shots at night i would not suggest the PDX-10.But for exteriors shot during the day, the picture you can capture will knock your socks off.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 03:30 AM   #9
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Matt, Thanks for the input. Your experience is very reassuring.

Sounds like the PDX-10 is a great basic camera.

And then...for the next level...it sounds like the FX1 is a better choice than the Panasonic DVX-100a...for the purposes I've described above.

But, the Z1 would be an even better choice...if funds become available.

(Of course...if won a lottery...would be having a different discussion.)
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Old August 30th, 2005, 09:00 AM   #10
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I work in the news business and 90% percent of the people I know who use prosumer stuff use the Sony camera's. There's two simple reasons for this, the Sony is tough and reliable and its picture looks like a bigger news camera's footage, which is not suprising because it uses the same CCD.

The PDx10 is ok for shooting tight indoor stuff, but really you want to go for the FX1 or if you have funding, the Z1.

Dont worry about the PD170 or the VX, they are going cheap because they are end of line products.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 09:25 AM   #11
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Aren't the CCD's from news broadcast footage cameras often bigger then 1/3?
I know sometimes they use 1/3, but I find it hard to believe they use the same CCD's, exept if you mean that one cam, don't know how it's called, that model of Sony that like a shoulder mounted big thing, but is indeed a 1/3 cam, just like the PD-170 if I'm not mistaken.
I could be wrong, just questioning.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #12
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A lot of big newscameras in use from the past 4 years use the same chips as the PD170 I think. The XDCAM, has different chips , I don't know what chips these are or if they are the same as the ones in the FX1/z1, or if they still the PD170 chips.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #13
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I think the more expensive "shoulder cameras" will have 2/3" CCD's, or possibly 1/2". Mathieu, I believe you're refering to the DSR-250 which is actually a repackaged PD-150:

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...sp=11&id=57127
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Old August 30th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #14
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Now, so...if larger grant ($4000 - $6000) could be obtained...which is better option for broadcast TV (in market with less stringent standards than some regions)?

the Sony HVR-Z1U or DSR250
____________________________________
Regarding SONY versus PANASONIC...first wanted to say that the following was very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Poore
I work in the news business and 90% percent of the people I know who use prosumer stuff use the Sony camera's. There's two simple reasons for this, the Sony is tough and reliable and its picture looks like a bigger news camera's footage
Felt validated reading that...because actually that's the impression I'm starting to get...incressingly...even though reviewers on some forums give the Panasonic higher ratings. Also, sellers seem to favor Sony. But it REALLY helps to hear evaluations from the field. Though I have to say that the Panasonic users (whether GS400 or the DVX-100a) often sound very passionate/enthusiastic about their cameras...on forums. And Panasonic does seem better at making cameras that satisfy consumer's priorities/passions (like the so-called film-like look).
__________

Regarding the SONY Sony HVR-Z1U versus DSR250,
I'm reading up on them. (We don't have any retail suppliers in our area.)

Right now...with my current budget...the PDX-10 is at my limit...

BUT...I am going to be working hard to find ways to purchase the better cameras...so TOTALLY appreciate hearing about others' experience and advice regarding the best camera for the job!!!! (Well, best camera below $6,000)

IMPRESSIONS SO FAR. The DSR250 does sound like a solid field camera.. However, get impression that the Sony HVR-Z1U probably has better picture quality because of the HD format. (based...at least... on what some reviewers say about the HD picture quality). But I use Premiere 6...so it sounds like the DSR250 would be compatible with my editing system. Not sure if Z1 would be as compatible.

(I'm sure I'm showing lots of ignorance here...but then how do else do you learn (I console myself). I just ask that you be gentle if I'm writing something really really stupid. And yeah...as it shows...I have big budget dreams...on a low budget. So I try to get best use of equipment available.)

Anyway...I trust you...forum users...more than the reviewers...since you are the ones working with the equipment. And I know there are often factors that reviewers never mention...that become apparent when you are actually using the equipment. As noted...I KNOW I've been saved from really bad decisions based on this forum.

So, thanks in advance for any advice you can offer regarding those two choices (SONY Sony HVR-Z1U versus DSR250)...or a better choice.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #15
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Hello Sandra,

if you are on a low budget, don't forget to not spend al your money on the camera, and get a good tripod too, and some extra accesoires (a bag, some extra batteries,...)
Maybe you already thought of this, just wanted to check, to make sure. These can be pricey indeed, but they are a must.
EDIT: sorry, I just read this thread again, and you already spoke of accesoires. In that case, just ignore what I said ;-)

And editing HD is indeed heavier for your computer then editing regular DV.
Best regards,
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