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Old May 24th, 2004, 04:27 PM   #1
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gs200, pdx10 16x9 conundrum

I got a problem...
I'm a narrative movie maker.
I'm about to pull the trigger on a buying a sony pdx-10. that native 16X9 has got my interest, as does the good audio. Then I start thinking about how much I like my little panna DV53, and I start looking at the panna 3ccd cams. The gs200 catches my eye. It doesn't have native 16x9- but it is rated better for low light and is $1000.00 usd cheaper and the (37mm) century 16x9 adaptor is only $319.95 at B&H. This would leave me $700 more dollars to spend on audio and/or things to go in front of the camera.
Also my DV53 gives a really impressive image, especially for it's price range, so I'm pretty bully for panasonic; my experience with Sony cams, however, is non-existant


It seems pretty cut and dry to me. The gs200 seems to be the choice.
I hate cut and dry.
Will somebody please help me muddle up this issue, otherwise I might not have the buyer's remorse that I so crave.

Seriously, though, am I totally wacked here, or have I stumbled on to something?

Thanks,
Michael
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Old May 24th, 2004, 04:36 PM   #2
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Just a few thoughts that led me to get the PDX-10:

1. Anamorphic adaptors have limitations that don't exist on the PDX-10; there are no zoom issues, you can add telephoto/wide adaptors or filters and the included lens hood works with all these.

2. The viewfinder and LCD screen show the picture in its correct aspect ratio, not squished like an anamorphic adaptor.

3. Great audio, and the XLR box is removable when not needed, making the camera very small.

4. DVCAM recording

5. High res BW viewfinder
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Old May 24th, 2004, 04:51 PM   #3
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I just ordered a Cannon Optura Xi for $820 (after the $200 rebate). It has the highest resolution 16/9 image for anything near the price. It's a single chip cam, but I think you' ll find the image very nice. It has has manual audio inputs, and optical image stabalizing.

I've spent months searching out every piece of info I could find on camcorders, and I finally made the decision today. The footage I've seen on it compares to the GL2, but with true widescreen resolution.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 01:45 PM   #4
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final image quality.

Hello Boyd,
Thanks for your response. You raise some very valid points- one of which, at least, I have no counter point for- that being the audio. In the interest of debate, however, if you are willing, let's set that issue aside and talk about the PDX-10 vs gs200, and a couple of other things a little.

1. I have my next three projects through the rough script stage and storyboarded in my head, and I cannot foresee any need for a telephoto lens. That said, What sort of issues are filters going to cause with an anamorphic adapter? Is it something that a matte box would alieviate?

2. I have made a desicion- independent of the camera purchase- to always shoot with an on set monitor- even if I have to purchase a generator to make this happen. I have relied on viewfinders and lcd screens in the past, and I will never volentairily do so again. I believe this will present the picture in it's correct aspect ratio, and give me a better idea of what my final product will be, more so anyway than any lcd screen could. Am I wrong about this?

3. Audio the pdx is the clear favorite here, and this alone may sway me.

4. I have read that DV cam uses more space to record capture data, and is therefore more stable. What exactly does more stable mean? Less artifacting? that would be nice. It's still DV25 though, isn't it?

Other points:

What about the gain? My understanding is that it cannot be controlled on the pdx- that strikes me as a very bad thing- has it caused you much trouble?

My final goal here is to have the best image qaulity I can, I will spend the 2k if I feel it is the right decison.

Kevin,
I've handled the xi and it is indeed a nice camera, just not quite what I am looking for.


Anyway, thanks to you both for your input, I've spent the last couple of days thinking about what your intial responses, and I look forward to seeing what else you have ot say...

Michael.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 04:36 PM   #5
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Michael, I've owned the Xi, DV953, and PDX10 and the PDX10 is an amazing cam.

I wouldn't get too concerend with the difference in low light performance between the PDX10 and GS200. They are probably about the same with the PDX10 having more pixels per CCD but also having larger CCDs and a much more advanced DSP (1/4.7" vs. 1/6"). Either way you're going to need more light compared to a 1/3" 3CCD (VX2100/XL1S/DVX100A).

Here is a thread that references the less than perfect exposure control on the PDX10.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=25598

While the PDX10 has a few hiccups its video quality is of very high resolution and the audio capabilities are an added bonus. If you want 3CCD and quality widescreen this is the camera to own. Well until Sony (or someone) makes an affordable 1/3" 3CCD native 16:9 cam. :)
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Old May 26th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #6
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Hey Michael, here are my thoughts. Bear in mind however I don't really know anything about the GS-200 so I can't offer any comparisons.

1. It's hard for me to believe that over the course of owning a camcorder you wouldn't want to use a wide or telephoto lens. It really limits your options. And the nice thing about the PDX-10 (and the GS-200 evidently) is the 37mm thread size which means cheap high quality adaptors. Seems like a shame to limit their use to 4:3 video, but I don't know what sort of stuff you intend to shoot so you'll have to decide this. Yes, you would need a matte box with an anamorphic lens if you want to use filters, so add another $500 or $600 to the mix if that's important to you. The anamorphic lenses don't have any filter threads and I suspect you will have vignetting issues if you put filters under them.

2. Of course it's always better to use a monitor but I can't imagine it would be practical in every situation, but that's up to you of course. Sometimes I use my Powerbook as a monitor via firewire and a program called BTV Pro. Not good for color judgement but still helpful for focus and full frame viewing.

3. I thought you wanted to set aside the audio issue? ;-)

4. More stable means that data errors are less likely and these would manifest as blocky big pixels usually. It shouldn't affect the DV artifacts that we all know and love. This has been discussed in various places if you do a search. Yes, a 60 minute tape only runs 40 minutes. If I'm not taping a live performance where I need the additional time, and if it's something important, I shoot in DVCAM mode. Otherwise I just shoot regular DV SP (you can select this via a menu). The PDX-10 will not shoot in DV LP mode.

Gain: You can control the gain in the same manner as my VX-2000. In manual mode, as you turn the exposure wheel when you get to the point where the iris is completely open then each successive click boosts the gain by 3 dB.

Unfortunately I'm not personally familiar with the other cameras mentioned here. I also can't make the judgement of whether the additional cost is justified in your case. But it seems like you've done your homework, so give it your best shot and then get down to work on your next movie!
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Old May 26th, 2004, 08:49 PM   #7
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Michael,

I own an Optura100 and the Black Mamba GS100. I have played with the GS200 as much as I wanted and posted my impressions of this cam somewhere in this board. IMHO, the GS200 is certainly not in the same league as the GS100 despite having 3-CCDs and the same Crystal Engine. Thus, I can't imagine myself comparing the GS200 to a PDX10.

The GS100 and the Optura100 blow away the GS200 in terms of sharpness and details. In fact, all megapixels I have played with blow away the GS200 in that particular aspect. I'm certain the same is true when you compare it with the megapixel PDX10.

If you want to save on money, instead of the GS200, you'd be much better off with the 953 + appropriate videolight. It also seems possible to attach an XLR adapter to that cam in case you don't find Pany's mic satisfactory.

If you want to save more money and can live with the Japanese menus, then you can get the MX5K from Japan.

But if you can live with the Japanese menus, then you might as well consider the GS100. Remaining brand new stocks are only in silver and can still be had for a "reasonable" price, but I read somewhere that Tommy is seriously contemplating on selling his Black Mamba :-))

One last advise. I'm still not losing hope on the "mysterious" GS400. Perhaps you should wait for summer. Also, that would probably give you the chance to read some user reviews on the upcoming 3-CCD from Sony which should be cheaper and "more balanced" than the PDX10.

Good luck.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #8
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You talked me into it.

Thanks to everyone.
If I don't get laid off next week I think it'll be the PDX10, although the phantom GS400 did have my interest- I'm trying hard not to think about it too much, though, if it comes out I don't want to end up with a case of camera envy...

If nothing else this thread helped confirm to me that my camera knowledge isn't totally lacking- and that's a good thing when your about to drop a couple of grand.

Ahh... 3ccds I have trouble sleeping at night when I think about it too much.

Thanks again to everyone for making this my internet destiantion of choice.
Michael
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old May 27th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #9
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Michael congratulations on your decision! I'm not sure if you've decided where to purchase but B&H has recently dropped the price to right about $1850. Makes me want one (again).

:)
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