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Old September 15th, 2003, 01:14 PM   #1
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Comparisons of GS100K/Optura Xi/TRV950

I thought it will be very useful to compare these three models side by side, using the following criteria (for the video part only):

- Resolution
- Low light performance
- Overall performance
- Major gotchas (e.g., did you notice that Optura Xi is "bottom-loading"!?)

I've listed only these three models as they seem to be the most relevant "pro-sumer" models in terms of:

- Availability (so TRV900 is out)
- Size (so VX2000/GL-2 are out)
- Performance (953 is borderline due to its poor low-light performance, so it might be included)
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Old September 15th, 2003, 03:11 PM   #2
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Nick, a lot of this has been discussed already by Allan. Allan lives in Japan and has played with these cams extensively. Perhaps he may respond with the short answer, though this basically his short answer (from his posts):

The GS100 is better in low light than the Optura Xi and TRV950. In good lighting, the Xi has the superior video quality, followed with the GS100. In lower light, the GS100 is superior in video quality. (Makes you wonder because the Xi is only a 1 CCD cam.) Furthermore, the GS100 and Xi have better 16:9 than the TRV950. In terms of resolution, they are all up there, well over 500 lines with playback. Overall performance? All are good performers. The Xi is bottom loading? Didn't know that. However, this is no biggie for me. My MX300 is a bottom loader---still a great cam.

Yes, the 953 isn't that good in lower light, but I would rather buy a MX5000/953 today than spend a year's salary on something that'll be obsolete tomorrow, like with buying the discontinued TRV900.
Quote:
- Availability (so TRV900 is out)
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Old September 15th, 2003, 04:22 PM   #3
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Frank,

Allan thinks the gs100k is better than trv950 in low light? which means it is also better than pdx10 then... now with trv950 and gs100k ,how about the color reproducing? how about the detail exposing? If gs100k is nicer than trv950, then I might consider it instead of pdx10, what is your opinion?
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Old September 15th, 2003, 04:32 PM   #4
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The PDX10 has a smear problem.

The GS100 is more advanced, like the "gamma" as with the Pana DVX100. Another factor is that the TRV950/PDX10 is difficult to grip, and pulls forward and to the left.

On the plus side, besides having English menus, the PDX10 has XLRs, DVCAM and slow shutter speeds in manual. Personally, I'd pick the GS100 over the PDX10.
Quote:
,how about the color reproducing
It doesn't get any better than this, with the GS100, except with the Optura Xi, according to Allan and some Japanese Magazine reviews---and reviews from Japan are far from the garbage reviews we see in the mainstream American and UK magazines.
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Old September 15th, 2003, 07:17 PM   #5
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Frank,

I could hardly believe that optura xi has better color reproducing than 3ccd trv950 or gs100k. It just does not make sense, 1ccd always needs interpolation for the color while 3ccd is the exact color reproducing theoretically, so why oputra xi is better?????

another thing I am confused is that gs100k is better in low light than trv950, the gs100k has only 1/6 ccd while trv950 has 1/4.7, so how come gs100k is better? I even do not understand why the newest sony pc330 is so bad in low condition... anyone can explain it? Thanks.
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Old September 15th, 2003, 09:27 PM   #6
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Hi Cooleye Hu,

I think that the Optura Xi employs RGB filter instead of the usual ones used in single CCD cam. RGB filter can get very close to 3CCD quality but needs lots and lots of light, just like the new Sony PC300. This tiny new cam, although has a huge 1/3" CCD but the low-light capability might just close to a 1/4.7".

GS100K has about the same optics as MX5000/953, but it has a more powerful post-processing engine (Crystal) which reduces noise in low-light situation. This doesn't mean it produces brighter images but just cleaner and useable ones.

I had a 950E, I loved it - it procduces pretty clean videos in low-light, very sharp and saturated images outdoor. I'm disappointed with its vertical smear problem so I sold it in exchange for a 1/3" camcorder.

I guess GS100 would be the ultimate choice for camcorders in this range.
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Old September 15th, 2003, 09:29 PM   #7
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I can't explain it. Perhaps because of those extra pixels designed with a not so good lens and coupled with poor engineering to boot?
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Old September 15th, 2003, 10:27 PM   #8
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In my opinioun GS100 is about equal to TRV950 in low light exept the mentioned heavier smear for the later. Yik Kuen explained very well why the difference is not big.

All new cams with "large" 1/3" CCDs doesn't imediately lead to a better low light. The pixel size is imoprtant here and as these cams are bound for Mega Pixel stills you can make the math. Their pixel sizes are very small - not good for capturing all that important to us light.
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Old September 15th, 2003, 10:37 PM   #9
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One more thing Cooleye Hu,

It depends what are you going to do with the cam. Pro work?

Image quality at it's own is not everything. I would prefer to have TRV950 with the LANC connector, separate mic, phones, high resolution viewfinder, LCD better viewed at different angles.
You can always buy XLR box and mic of your preference to achieve better than PDX10 results. No DVCAM though, but price is lower.

Again that smear. Well to repeat - if you are more consumer than Pro - GS100 is the perfect cam. If you are more Pro - TRV950 is big compromise - you should aim at VX2000 or even better DVX100.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 01:23 PM   #10
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hi Bogdan Vaglarov,

Thank you for your advise. I buy camcorder mainly for my family use, not pro work. but I will need the camcorder for some local operas so I need to shoot stage performance. well on most cases the performance on the stage will have a good lighting condition.I also will do some indoor shootinf for my family and those are somewhere I will worry about the vertical smear...

to be frank I would prefer trv900, it has no smear problem and has better low light shooting. vx2000 is of course satisfying all my needs except one----it is too big and heavy for me. I am planning to bring the cam with me while travelling, I think vx2000 will benightmare for me to carry it all the time. I want the small size that is why I focused on pdx10 instead of gl2 which is in the same price range. Your advise on trv950 is nice, however the 16:9 screen on pdx10 is so far the best ... plus the price of trc950 is still 1699 on j&R , I feel that if trv950 goes to $1400 , it will be a good choice since someone can get pdx10 in $1800 something...

gs100k looks nice, but three things bother me, first of course is the japanese menu, not only me, but also my wife hates japanese menus, that is pain for learning. second, I have sony F717 , so if I buy sony trv950 or pdx10 , I do not need extra bettery since I alredy have two FM50, and no need for memory stick, and it saves me $100 at least, if I buy pana, then ....need extra bettery at least... the last thing is I am a bit worried about buying from japan, I know both pricejapan and allan have good fame for their reliability, however I am a bit picky with the machine, and I do not like bad pixels on my lcd or evf screen, if it happens that I get a gs100k with some bad pixels, what shall I do??? since pricejapan has the no return policy and for allan I am not clear but I guess the same, so I feel it is too risky...

well it is very hard to make decision, I feel haedache...:(
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Old September 16th, 2003, 02:27 PM   #11
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Well, If you see for battery and memory stick,

You miss the quality GS100 provides, better lowlight capability, better 16:9, lot of features, including(to name a few) skin tone, burst mode, better sound quality, LESS smear , compact construction, frame mode(equivalent to progressive), Cine gamma Pro cinema mode, Mega OIS(still), nice OIS for video, low or almost nil motor noise.
Ofcourse, its the latest model than the two year old( i guess) sony model.

In my opinion even image quality of gs100 is CRISP AND SHARPER AND better than trv 950.

Quote:
I do not like bad pixels on my lcd or evf screen, if it happens that I get a gs100k with some bad pixels, what shall I do???
As far as I know, no one complained about this bad pixels.

Lot of people initially hesitate about the japanese menu, including me. But now I know by symbols, what is what, I dont need a english translation now. because I corelated each of the symbols with the appropriate english menu.

Because you want a good quality video and you never always work on the menu like a word processor editor!!!

Finally its your TASTE ;-)
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Old September 16th, 2003, 02:34 PM   #12
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As far as I remember, Allan did mention the Xi being almost as good as consumer 3-chippers (MX5000/GS100) in colors reproduction, but still suffer in low light lagging behind GS100.

Alex
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Old September 16th, 2003, 02:47 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Zabrovsky : As far as I remember, Allan did mention the Xi being almost as good as consumer 3-chippers (MX5000/GS100) in colors reproduction, but still suffer in low light lagging behind GS100.

Alex -->>>

And it's "bottom-loading" to boot. For people working with tripod all the time, that's a non-trivial inconvenience.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #14
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Probably, but what I I just was telling is that if my memory serves me well, Allan did not say the Xi is actually better then GS100 in color fidelity, but persumably approaching this range of 3-chippers in this respect. On low-light, the GS100 is still leading for his opinion.

Loading is different pan of the issue.

Alex
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Old September 16th, 2003, 02:55 PM   #15
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LP vs. SP

<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Zabrovsky : As far as I remember, Allan did mention the Xi being almost as good as consumer 3-chippers (MX5000/GS100) in colors reproduction, but still suffer in low light lagging behind GS100.

Alex -->>>

Another thing about Xi I noticed is Canon recommends NOT recording in LP mode (esp. for "important" recordings) in their Xi manual if users want to upload to a computer.

I wonder if this is specific to Canon models (as my old Vistura does have problem with uploading LP tapes to a PC) or a general recommendation for other vendor's products (like GS100K).

Any GS100K owner want to answer this one?

thx.
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