TRV950 -- various questions - Page 11 at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 13th, 2004, 07:44 PM   #151
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Unfortunately that is pretty standard, they soak you for that type of cable (4 pin to 6 pin I think it's called?), but I have boxes of the standard 6 pin to 6 pin variety. They come with every disk drive I buy! I can't remember, but maybe the USB cable has some non-standard connector on the camera end and that's why they include it?
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Old September 9th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #152
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Built in ND on TRV950?

I saw some earlier posts that refer to some built in ND filters in the TRV 950. Does the 950 really have built in ND filters that cannot be controlled by the user??
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Old September 9th, 2004, 06:00 PM   #153
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......Tom?.......

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Old September 9th, 2004, 06:28 PM   #154
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While we're waiting for Tom to respond from across the pond...

This is correct. Take a flashlight and shine it into the lens, look carefully. On a bright day in manual iris mode, turn the wheel to close the iris. At a certain point you will see something moving in there. You may have to try looking from different angles to see it, but the filters are there. Can't remember but I think there are 3 different ones that drop in and out. They prevent you from shooting at too small an f-stop where the lens wouldn't look so good.

It's odd that Sony never documented these "double secret ND filters."
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Old September 10th, 2004, 09:57 AM   #155
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Thanks, but please clarify for a newbie with limited knowledge of photography and video terminology.

If I'm "closing the iris", aren't I letting in less light? And if that is the case, why would the ND filters jump in? Or maybe you are saying I will see the ND filters move out of the way when I close the iris.

And when you say "too small an f-stop", that means a wide open iris, right? And without the double secret ND filters the image would get blown out or smeary?

Thanks for your patience!
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:41 AM   #156
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Because at such small lens and sensor sizes, the image suffers from something called --I don't remember what it's called-- but it looks strange. Not only Sony, but other makers of small-sized high-res cameras use built-in ND filters extensivley. The ND filters keep the iris near the "sweet spot", the aperture at which the lens operates it's bests specs.

I am sure Tom can explain it much better.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 11:36 AM   #157
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Thanks. I guess I'd also like to know if there are any issues to be aware of when putting on external ND filters. I've been using an ND filter on the front for pretty much all my outdoor video and it seems to be working fine. I suppose as long as I'm working in manual I should be okay no matter what I put on the front (within reason)
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Old September 10th, 2004, 01:20 PM   #158
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As far as I know there are no ND-filters that would affect autofocus or automatic whitebalancing or autoexposure.

BUT:

Autofocus issues

If you put a lot of filters in front of the camera then the risk of focusing on a filter increases. Keep the filters 1) clean 2) few i.e. close to the lens. The longer the focal length in mm the more filters you can stack.

Also use a sunshade if possible: Raindrops on the lens are irritating. The camera focuses on them in autofocus mode. Use manual and push-auto in rain or use a sunshade to protect the lens surface from water drops.

If your camcorder uses contrast detection for autofocus and you use contrast reducing filters then good luck...

Whitebalancing:

Neutral density filters are neutral. They SHOULD not have any effect on color or they are faulty. Some other filters might affect colors (it might be desired or maybe not).

Autoexposure issues:

Some polarizers (and some other types of filters) might require exposure compensation but it will then be told in the filters manual.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 02:14 AM   #159
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Some good replies here chaps, and sorry I haven't jumped in - too damn busy with the wedding shoots.

The TRV950 is a strange beast. It has a wonderful lens but tiny chips covered in millions of sensors, which are good for resolution at the expense of CCD smear and low-light performance.

The tiny chips mean that very short focal lengths have to be employed. Look at it this way - the very poor wide angle of the 950 is obtained with a focal length of 3.6mm, yet a much wider coverage is provided by the VX2100 with a 6mm focal length. This all comes down to chip size, and the compactness of the 950 sure brings with it some serious disadvantages.

These very short focal lengths mean that diffraction losses become very apparent as you stop down the lens. Diffraction shows up as loss of resolution, and using any aperture smaller than f4.8 will give progressivly softer pictures. That's why Sony pretend that you're stopping the lens down (f5.6, then f8, then f11 and so on) whereas in fact it's locking the aperture at f4.8 and doing this by inserting up to 3 ND filters to soak the light. Often you'll be shooting through 1.7 filters, where the second ND will be only partially obsuring the light path and you'll be shooting through the cut edge of the filter. UG! Very out of focus though.

The 'Auto Shutter' is there because on bright days even with all three NDs (automatically) in place the lens still needs to stop down. This will give you blurry movies, so Sony decided to let the shutter speeds increase rather than let this happen. Shooting at 1/300th sec and f4.8 will give you sharper (but more juddery) images than using 1/50th and f11.

Trouble is at 1/300th sec CCD smear is all too obvious, so Rob Simon has the right idea - use external ND filters to soak the light, and keep auto shutter turned off. Keep any filter absolutely spotless though - focal lengths of 3.6mm have massive dof, and any dust on either side of the filter will be rendered as sharp dots on your footage. Use a GOOD hood.

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Old September 15th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #160
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Wow! Thanks for the great explanation! I sure learned a lot about my camcorder in that one post.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 11:22 AM   #161
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Glad to be of help Rob. I tested the PDX10 for a British magazine (where the editor is very happy for you to tell it like it is, warts and all). Sony Professional lent me the camcorder for more than a month and I got to know it pretty well. I grew to like it. The 950 of course is just an inhibited PDX10 in reality.

The 950 is amazing value for money, especially when compared to the TRV900, introduced in 1997. This was pre Memorystick remember, when you captured to floppy disc (!) The 950 came in at someting like 70% of the 900's price, yet has far more bells and whistles to blind the punter.

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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:25 AM   #162
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What audio extras for the TRV950

Firstly like to say hello to everyone really pleased to be a member of this forum.

I envisage shooting a documentary for possible TV franchising. I have 2 950's (actually 940's - 950's without the bluetooth). I didn't really think this camera was good enough picture quality but when comparing to most documentaries picture quality decided it was equally as good as most so will go ahead and shoot with these. Now the question. The onboard audio is not good enough for what i need, so what audio extras do i need to be able to produce broadcast quality sound. As far as sound goes i'm a complete newbie so simplified answers would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any replies
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Old September 25th, 2004, 12:22 AM   #163
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It depends on what you will be shooting. But as a general rule if you have a good shotgun kit and a good wireless lav kit (or even better: two lav kits) you can get along quite well. In your case, if there are two cameras, you have the advantage of being able to also get some usable stereo ambience from on of the cams, while using the ther one to record serious audio.

The shotgun kit will usually consist of a "fishpole", one or more windscreens (preferrably the "softie" which is a furry thing for the mic), the mic itself, usually a hypercardoid condenser, a shock mount, power supply (if needed) t provide 48V phantom power for the mic and cables.

The lav kits are a small, usually omni or cardiod electret condenser capsules which can be concealed on the body of interviewees,. They usually come with a clip and a small windscreen. The kits also comprise beltpack transmitters and usually camera-mountable receivers. The better one today are usually analog UHF and some have diversity receivers, an unproven little feature that basically means there are two antennae instead of one.

Because you are using cameras without XLR inputs, you might need an adapter like the Beachtek products.
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Old September 25th, 2004, 06:42 AM   #164
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Thanks for that Ignacio. I have a sony diversity tuner so will look for a compatible clip on lavelier. Beachtek adapter, hypercardoid mic i'm now on the lookout for, Thanks again
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Old September 25th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #165
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There is a Beyer Dynamic shotgun kit which comes with a softie, it seems pretty good, the specs are great and the price appears to be adequate. I have not tried ir personally, but I have user other Beyer Dynamic mics and there are very good. I usually rent a Sennheiser kit or a Schoeps kit, but they are much more expensive.

I have a Sony wireless lav kit which I am very happy with, and it was pretty affordable, but I don't know if you can buy the transmitter and capsule without a receiver.
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