MX-300 vs. MX-500 vs. Sony PDX-10 - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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Old May 19th, 2003, 04:54 AM   #31
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Whooa! Thanks, Ariel! Nice review!
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Old May 19th, 2003, 12:34 PM   #32
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Boyd Ostroff: I don't have my owners manual here at work, but the brochure on Sony's website says the LCD is 1120x220 (246,400 pixels). It says the BW viewfinder has 180,000 pixels. See http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Profession...rpdx10final.pdf

The B/W viewfinder is rated 500 lines. It's right in the Sony brochure, as far as I remember.

The color viewfinder has 1120 horizontal pixels. That means approx. 800 horizontal resolution; a lot more than the format itself.

The Sony also keeps the pixels of all 3 CCDs precisely aligned. 3 1-meg chips produce 1 meg stills. Panasonic shifts the pixels to allow bigger resolution for stills. Their 3 800K-pixel CCDs are supposed to produce 3 meg stills. The precise CCD alignment of the Sony allows more accurate colors. This is the type of alignment that is used on CineAlta and Varicam cameras and probably on all late model pro camcorders. Canon XL1 and XL1s use the pixel shift because the pixel count on their older CCDs is low and if all pixels were aligned, you would get less resolution than the format itself. As far as I remember, the Canon is using 270K chips; 346K min. is what the DV format requires.

So the Sony has a lot more resolving LCD and viewfinder and the CCD chipset produces sharper colors. Plus the chipset is larger and the the light sensitivity is better (better low light performance). The Sony uses XLR mic jacks. The Sony and the Panasonic belong to different classes of cameras.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 02:14 PM   #33
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Ariel says: "8. The PDX10 is indeed harder to hold, and tips to the front and the left, while the MX300 is nicely balanced."

Just curious, are you really comparing apples to apples? Did the PDX-10 have the XLR box and mono mike attached? If so, then I don't think that's a fair comparison. You would need to attach an external mike and adaptor to the other other cameras as well. To be on a level playing field, take the XLR adaptor and mike off the PDX-10. It will still record with the built-in stereo mikes. I assume this is similar to what the Panasonics do. I would view the PDX-10's pro audio features as an "accessory" which is included with the camera, not an integral part. For most of my work I don't need audio, and have hardly ever used the PDX-10 with these accessories attached.

Also interested in your focus ring comments. I hate all these servo-ring setups, and am not particularly crazy about the PDX-10's either, but I don't find it much different from my VX-2000. If anything, seeing the focus distance in the viewfinder aids in the process. JMHO... obviously you need to pick the camera that best suits your needs and usage pattern, and you're fortunate to have a dealer that lets you do this sort of hands-on comparison.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 03:07 PM   #34
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Doh!

Here we go again..

Joseph, the 3CCD arguement is dead. The last thread about this has been locked and I really don't want that to happen to this one.

Your XL1(S) angle doesn't even hold true since the GL2 also uses Horizontal and Vertical Pixel shift and is a much newer cam with 410k pixels (380k effective).
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Old May 19th, 2003, 04:34 PM   #35
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What the---"The precise CCD alignment of the Sony allows more accurate colors." And what the hell does a higher resolution viewfinder have to do with capturing video on these TINY cams? Most of us don't use the vewfinders with these small hand-helds, unless, perhaps, we stick it on a tripod---like I'm going to do in an hour---but I'm going to be set up on the street, so I'm sure not going to stick my face in the cam to get run over.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 05:42 PM   #36
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These were just my 2 cents guys. If you do not understand what I explained, fine. We are obviously talking on a different wavelength.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 08:52 PM   #37
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : what the hell does a higher resolution viewfinder have to do with capturing video on these TINY cams? Most of us don't use the vewfinders with these small hand-helds -->>>

I wouldn't consider the BW finder a "deal breaker", but it is very nice and I find it useful to get focus. Most of my work is with a tripod. It's just another factor to consider when comparing camcorder A to camcorder B. In my case, I didn't set out to buy a "tiny cam"; I bought the PDX-10 because I needed good 16:9. I would have been even happier if this capability was available in a PD-150 form factor.

In the useless trivia dept, I was just booking some travel for a staff member and noticed that PDX is the airport code for Portland, Oregon....
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Old May 19th, 2003, 10:01 PM   #38
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For accurate manual focusing you need a viewfindwer or LCD with higher resolution than the format. On analog systems with analog viewfinders, this was not as critical. On digital systems with digital viewfinders it is a must.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:35 AM   #39
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Thanks very much everybody for your interesting replies. I will try to reply to some of them below.

Frank: thanks for the compliments, and PLEASE, don't get run over...

Joseph: regarding the viewfinder: I think you are confusing the MX300 with the MX500. The MX300 viewfinder has the same number of pixels as the PDX10 (180,000), and the main difference is that the PDX10's is B&W while the MX300 is color. I can easily focus well in both of them, although I prefer the B&W viewfinder on the PDX10. It is indeed a great pity that the viewfinder of the MX500 has been downgraded so much that it is pretty useless for manual focus.

Joseph: regarding the LCD: no argument there, the PDX10's LCD is much bigger, sharper and brighter than the MX300's small screen.

Joseph: regarding number of pixels, CCD size etc., these are all great specifications, but in the end, what counts is video quality. IMHO my test showed that under the circumstances I tested, the video quality of the MX300 is better. This can also be seen in the pictures I took of the footage.

Joseph: regarding your last comments "Plus the chipset is larger and the light sensitivity is better (better low light performance). The Sony uses XLR mic jacks. The Sony and the Panasonic belong to different classes of cameras.": Actually the MX300 chipset is larger than the PDX10: the MX300 uses 1/4 inch CCD's, while the PDX10 uses 1/4.7 inch CCD's. The MX500's CCD's are smaller than both of them: only 1/6 inch. While the rated light sensitivity of the MX300 (8 lx) is a bit below that of the PDX10 (7 lx), in practice the MX300 performs much better than the PDX10 under low light conditions, as can clearly be seen from the captures in my earlier post. The PDX10 only uses XLR mic jacks if you use the XLR attachment. I can do the exact same thing with the MX300 (as with the MX500); I just need to buy the XLR attachment separately. Your comment that the Panasonic and the Sony belong to different classes of cameras *might* apply to the MX500, although my guess is that many here would disagree even then. IMHO this comment does NOT apply when comparing the MX300 with the PDX10.

Boyd: regarding the balance with or without XLR box: excellent point! I should have stated that I tested the PDX10 without XLR attachment and external mike, and that my comments regarding the balance and ease of holding refer to the PDX10 without XLR attachment.

Boyd: regarding the focus ring: I guess one can get used to these focus rings. I often work with both my Nikon stills camera (analog) and the video camera. The focus ring of the MX300 compares well with the Nikon, while with the PDX10 it is almost like learning to use a completely different function.

Boyd: regarding focus indication in the viewfinder: this is indeed a nice feature which the PDX10 has and the MX300 lacks. I noticed it during my comparison but forgot to mention it here. Thanks!

Boyd: you are correct, to me the size of the camera is important, because I do a lot of trekking. I would get a PDX150 if they made one the size of the PDX10 or smaller.

Again, thank you all for your contributions.

Ariel
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Old May 20th, 2003, 02:22 AM   #40
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"Frank: thanks for the compliments, and PLEASE, don't get run over..."

I'm still here! The LCD worked fine with the hood my wife made for me. I managed to set up only a few feet from the curb (on the street). Traffic was light. :)
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Old May 20th, 2003, 02:58 AM   #41
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RE: Ariel's comments:

Joseph: regarding the viewfinder: I think you are confusing the MX300 with the MX500. The MX300 viewfinder has the same number of pixels as the PDX10 (180,000), and the main difference is that the PDX10's is B&W while the MX300 is color. I can easily focus well in both of them, although I prefer the B&W viewfinder on the PDX10. It is indeed a great pity that the viewfinder of the MX500 has been downgraded so much that it is pretty useless for manual focus.

Reply:
Because the Sony viewfinder is B/W, that's why it can achieve 500 line resolution. 180K color = approx. 360 lines resolution
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Old May 20th, 2003, 03:42 AM   #42
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Yes, I prefer a powerful B&W viewfinder, and a high resolution, small color LCD (2 1/2" to 3 "). However, in the end, it's the video quality (and sound) which are most important in a small cam.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 04:21 AM   #43
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Actually, I would argue that video and sound quality are the most important features of any camera, big or small.

Ariel
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Old May 20th, 2003, 04:35 AM   #44
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Some may agrue that it is the color that is most important -- color of the case that is -- my girlfriend would -- that's how she buys cars.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 05:04 AM   #45
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I prefer silver, both with cars and cams---my motorbike's silver too! :)
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