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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 28th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #91
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TRV950 in Russia

I'm expecting to be going to Russia in the next few months and I really want to take my camera with me. It says it shouldn't be used in temperatures under 0 degrees, but I wonder how crucial this is. Just wondering if anyone knows anything that may help me in my decision. I've heard of issues with Russian customs and so forth, but I thort I'd ask here first.

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Old December 29th, 2003, 03:27 PM   #92
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I've used my XL1S with -5 (centegrade) temperatures without
any problems. It did have time to adapt inside a bag though.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 05:16 AM   #93
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Expect anything from +15 to -45 C. Russia is biiig.
Expect batteries to last much much shorter than you are used to, so keep them warm.
Maybe someone else has detailed advise on moving the camera from indoors to outdoors and back again in a safe manner. I don't remember it well enough to pass it on. Rob's on to something.
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Old January 1st, 2004, 12:43 AM   #94
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I have a SGM 1x and a TRV-900, which is similar to the TRV-950. If you mount the mic on the camera, it will likely show up in the frame of the shot unless you slide the mic way back into the shockmount.

In doing that, it isn't going to be much better than the built in mics (at least on the TRV-900, the built-in mics are pretty darn good). I guess it may be a bit more directional than the built-ins.

You could get an external camera flash bracket. This screws into the tripod mounting hole on the bottom of the camera, and has a handle off to the side, on top of which is an accessory mount you can attach the mic to. That would get the mic a bit farther away from the camera (to avoid motor noise) and get it out of the frame of the shot.

What you really want is to get a nice long XLR cable, then attach that to an XLR-1/8" inline transformer adapter (maybe you can get these at radio shack), and get the mic as close to the speaker/action as possible. I took a 3', thick wooden dowel from the hardware store, drilled a 1/4" hole in one end, stuck a bolt thru it, and then screw that bolt into the mic shockmount. Instant low-cost fishpole. Have a grip hold it and point it at the action, as close as possible w/o getting in the shot.

For my latest work, I used a large diaphram cardiod studio mic (Rode NT1) on a mic stand boom running into a separate mixer and recorder. I thought the audio quality was quite better than running the Azden into the camera mic input.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 05:44 AM   #95
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Internal Lens Barrel Ambient Noise Emanating - TRV950?

Folks,

I've had my TRV950 for some 6 weeks now and have learned, for the most part, where its strengths are, and where I think it is weak.

However, there is one aspect that I am wonder if it is a weakness of all models of TRV950, or mine in particular. This aspect is the amount of ambient noise emanating from the lens barrel with autofocus on. Since the TRV-950 has a built-in mic, the level of noise at the barrel is important...but...even on the PDX-10 it still would play some role with the mic sticking out right above the barrel, in my case as you will note below.

So....here is a specific set of observations. Depending upon folks responses to these observations I may send my camera back to Sony to have the lens assembly and autofocus motor swapped out.

Observations:
1. Upon turning on the camera from off state an audible "clack - clack (actually sounds like cluck, cluck)", similar to a rocker being set in place emanates (from area of lens barrel and just behind) for about 1 second. Is this normal? ... anyone know what this is?

2. With autofocus on, and camera panning to force the autofocus system to work, and ear in the vicinity of the lens barrel, or right on the lens barrel, I can clearly hear the turning of the servo combined with some kind of "tickover" - like a small gear tick. If I place my ear against the tape compartment solidly, with cam in MEMORY Mode, to eliminate the head/tape noise I can hear this tick, tick, tick of the autofocus system as well. Further, this tick, tick makes it all the way to the tape in quiet recording environments. In more normal recording environments....ambient noise ~60db it does not. In a completely quiet room - I can even here the autofocus system working when I use the eyepiece, some 7 inches away from the lens assembly. For the most part, when using the LCD screen, I cannot hear the autofocus system working.

Notes: As far as I can test....the autofocus is working. It has been fooled several times during stills where I thought it should not have been, but, careful tests on a tripod with non-moving subjets (to remove the possibility of motion blur being mistaken as out of focus) at all zoom ranges seems to indicate the autofocus system is actually autofocussing.

Is this autofocus noise a "feature" of the PDX10/TRV950 as a product?....or do I have an excessively noisy motor. (PS - I know that without you folks being able to perform the test this is really an unfair ask...but.....short of sending it back to Sony to find out.....there is no other way to learn if others experience the same noise). I did try to listen to another TRV950 at a local dealer but the ambient noise was probably 90 dB in the showroom area.....could not hear anything but that during the testing.

Thank you for your time in responding.....
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Old January 25th, 2004, 07:17 AM   #96
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As far as your first question goes I just tried mine in a quiet room with no noise and I get a similar set of sounds when I power up the camcorder. A whirrr, 2 click type sounds and another whir from I am pretty sure the autofocus motor as it does not do this sound in manuel focus.
I will try out the other situations though I know there is noise that bleeds over into the audio if I use the onboard mic so I avoid using it except for klutzing around the house.
I have not had any autofocus problems as far as focus time or drifting though I have heard people say they have had problems under certain situations.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 10:56 AM   #97
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I'm certain my autofocus makes a noise too, but i can't hear it because the tape motor makes too much noise. With that, I've decided the built-in mic is unusable in lownoise conditions anyway.
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Old January 26th, 2004, 06:36 AM   #98
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Thank you for the responses.......

am looking at external mics now.....
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Old February 4th, 2004, 11:08 AM   #99
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TRV950 or GL2 for shooting indoor sports?

I've had my eye on a TRV950 for a long time and am ready to buy. But now that Canon is offering a $250 rebate on the GL2 I can get one for a little more money. So the question one must answer is, what do I get for the additional cost. Well, one feature is progressive mode. I understand what progressive mode is technically. But how does it affect your results, the final video?

I shoot indoor sporting events, namely Judo. I edit and add slow motion replays. Will progressive mode video give me better slow motion? What are the disadvantages of progressive mode? Does it blur when shooting action sequences? Does it require better lighting? (Remember, I shoot indoors with available lighting).

Thanks!
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Old February 4th, 2004, 03:31 PM   #100
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You really have to see progressive or Movie Mode for yourself to determine whether it's appropriate or pleasing.

I last heard that it's better to do slo mo with 60i, but post that one in Film Look if you haven't already, you're sure to get plenty of feedback.

The GL2 is going to do better in lowlight, with it's bigger chips and lower pixel count, which indoor, available light almost always translates as. On paper, this is pleasing, but it may not matter in the least, depending on your situation.

The GL2 has a long optical zoom, a feature that surely must be appreciated by sports shooters. I find the 12x zoom of the 950/PDX10 adequate in most scenarios; though I have not shot sports, I have shot live theater, so shooting from a distance isn't foreign to me.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 09:08 AM   #101
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Can I set "aperture priority" on trv950?

Does the trv950 have an "aperture priority" mode? Aperture Priority allows the user to set (and hold) a specific aperture setting, then the camera will automatically adjust shutter speed to ensure correct exposure. This feature is useful to control depth-of-field.

Update: Apparently, the trv900 has an "AEA" mode that is an aperture priority mode. Does this exist on the trv950?
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Old February 6th, 2004, 09:31 AM   #102
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I'm not sure that this can really be done. Just looked in my PDX-10 manual and it isn't mentioned. However you can certainly set for manual mode and adjust the iris and shutter wherever you like.

Personally, it seems like it would be rather disconcerting to see the shutter speed change as you film something. I just don't use any of the auto functions on my camera however, so I've never looked into this. Maybe someone else has a more definitive answer.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 11:45 AM   #103
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You're right - the AEA mode on the 900 allowed you to set an aperture and have the camera determine the shutter speed automatically. This worked well, but in bright light did sometimes give me 'shutter-stutter' where speeds were too high to give fluid motion to my video footage.

But the 950 is not the camera to allow you to control depth of field Ming Dong, fo reasons I'll explain here.

Nowhere does the Sony specification make it clear that exposure is controlled (in both manual and automatic) not by varying the aperture but by applying more or less ND. This camera is going to be used in the shutter priority mode for most of it's life and most people are going to assume that turning that exposure wheel will be setting an aperture by varying diaphragm blades. Not so.

Any photographer would be right to assume this as using different apertures can affect not only the DOF but also the way highlights and out of focus areas look. Small apertures (especially with such tiny chips) also allow you to control the amount of diffraction, so for a softer look you'd want to film at f8 and 11.

What actually happens is that if you're filming at full telephoto in the manual exposure mode the camera has all of one stop to play with. What this means is that (contrary to the 'Display' information that's effectively useless) the camera will open to full aperture of f2.8. If it gets brighter - or you want to film at a smaller aperture - you can film at f4. If it gets brighter still the camera has no more apertures up its sleeve - it now resorts to using the first of the three ND filters. If it gets brighter still the second and then the third ND come into the optical path.

ND filters won't affect the DOF at all of course. But for aperture priority the closest you'll get is the 'portrait' mode, where the camera clings onto wide apertures and varies the shutter speed to give correct exposure.

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Old February 7th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #104
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The GL2 may have a smaller side-screen, but it makes up for this in being much more of a photographer's camera. Longer zoom, better in low light, far less CCD smear, bigger chips, switchable NDs, choice of apertures, reliable 'display', apertures and gain-up shown in v/f.

Go the Sony route if compactness and discreetness are paramount. Also Info-lithium is great and so is the screen however.

tom.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 06:48 PM   #105
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The GL2 lacks progressive scan but does have Frame Mode and will give a progressive look at the expense of a little resolution. I've used this feature on several Panasonic camcorders and I prefer the look to interlaced for most of my events but bear in mind that frame mode and handheld don't usually mix well.

Here is a good article by Steve Mullen on the differences between progressive scan and frame mode.

http://videosystems.com/ar/video_progressive_need_know/
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