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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old September 8th, 2003, 09:20 AM   #1
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Indecision...GL2 or PDX10...any new thoughts or opinions?

Hi everyone. I just discovered these message boards the other day and am really impressed by the great amount of participation...keep up the great work everyone!

Anyway, I'm going to be buying a new camera soon, and up until a couple of days ago, I was set on the PDX10. I think it looks like a great camera, and among it's many other features, I really like the B/W viewfinder and thorough XLR block. I just realized a couple of days ago, however, that the GL2 is now available with a $250 rebate, thereby putting it pretty much in the same price category as the PDX10. Now that I've had a chance to read up on the GL2, I've found that it too has desireable features, both picture and audio-wise, so now I'm in somewhat of a stage of indecision. I think both the PDX10 and GL2 have strengths and weaknesses when compared to each other. At this point, I think I'm actually leaning more toward the GL2, even though I realize that I'd be giving up a nice, clear B/W viewfinder, a larger LCD display, and an inculded XLR adaptor with microphone. However, I think I prefer the larger size of the GL2, the carrying handle is a definite plus in my book, and I now know that Canon's MA-300 accessory can provide XLR inputs. Unfortunately, although a few local camera stores carry the GL2, none around here have the PDX10, so I'm not going to be able to do a side-by-side comparison. I played around with the GL2 a while back when I really wasn't in the market for a new camera, but now that it's a camera I'm seriously thinking about buying, I'm going to check it out again in the next couple of days. I realize that the GL2 vs. PDX10 debate has come up previously in these message boards, but I thought I'd bring it up again to see if anyone has any new thoughts or opinions to add. I guess the bottom line is that features and manual controls are important to me, but having the camera that will produce the best overall image is very important too. I realize that comparison of image quality is largely subjective, but any comments about this or any other aspects of the GL2 vs. PDX10 would really be appreciated.

As a side note, one thing that I really appreciate is Canon's thorough website highlighting the GL2. When making a purchase like this, I often like looking through the operating manuals of items I'm considering, and I wasn't able to find the PDX10 manual online anywhere. I ended up just ordering the PDX10 manual from Sony...

Also, just thought I'd mention that I've also posted this message in the GL2 discussion forum.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 03:36 AM   #2
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Haven't used the GL2, but HAVE fallen in love with my PDX10. I really dig the higher end smaller form factor. I could coo for hours on it's merits, but, from what I've heard about the GL2 you cannot make a wrong decision between the two. GL2 may have a better lowlight performance. PDX10 has THE 16:9 capability in this class, and it is beeaauutiful. The PDX10 is built like a tank. The PDX10's touch screen focus is pretty handy in a jiffy. The PDX10 has a wee bit of a vertical smear issue, when pointed into strong light sources. Your $250 rebate will translate into an XLR adapter, if that is important to you, thereby reinstating the GL2 as the more expensive cam, perhaps. And perhaps it's worth it to you; you've handled the cam, you really like it, it feels good, yes? I can't imagine how you would regret going with it, unless you suddenly realized how badly you wanted to shoot in true 16:9. This, for many, is the tie breaker. That aside, the PDX10 is bad ass, make no mistake. God d*mn and good luck to you, my son.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 06:44 AM   #3
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I agree Shawn. I think you really need to zero in on how important 16:9 is, because the PDX-10 is really the only way to go for that. There are some ergonomic things I don't like about it however. It's awkward to have to open the LCD screen to get at basic buttons, like custom preset. And if you use an LCD hood it blocks them all off.

But it is a great little camera. I'm headed off to a shoot with mine shortly!
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Old September 9th, 2003, 04:55 PM   #4
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I have yet to get the lcd hood, Boyd. Thank you for bringing that point up, hadn't thought of it. Does it remove easily, or is it strapped-on-for-the-day rigging?
Do you have a sense, John, of what/how/where you want to shoot? Family stuff, surfing, documentary, no budget features, corporate.....Do you think you'd like warm and soft or somewhat cooler very sharp pictures. Some find Canon's images too soft for their taste, some find Sony's much too sharp. I personally love sharp. Some find Canon's supposed softness much more film like........And some will argue each of these points right into the other direction....Hope this helps.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 05:06 PM   #5
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I too had this dilema.. I bought a Pdx10 from a online retailer.. They never sent it.. jacked me around for 3 weeks. I am interested in making money through wedding vidoeography..

Using this forum and reading elsewhere I decided that the low light ability for the PDx10 was limiting. I had read that prior to my order, but from the time I had ordered my camera I was able to read a couple of more posts complaining about its low light ability.

Others described it as abysmal and certainly not a good choice for wedding videography. I made a decision to scrap the PDx10. Too bad i loved it other than that.. Sexy unit.. just doesnt perform as the 1/3 chippers.

What I did was go for the DVC 80 from Panasonic. it is the major contender for the PD150 ( sony ) it is a 1/3 chip camera and is identical in design as the touted DVX100 24P camera. It is all black and has excellent low light ability. i have used it for 2 weeks now and nothing about this camera dissapoints me.

I was unable to read anyones review of this camera as it is so new. So i relied on user details of the DVX100 to make a decision on rather the quality and durability is there..

i am 100% satisfied and ecstatic.. I recommend before you make your final decision to include the DVC 80 in your decision.. $2,350 at B&H.. dont risk paying lower elsewhere... Peice of mind is invaluable.. and 3 weeks or a similiar runaround with reverse of charges on CC etc.. is soemthing you may not be able to afford as far as time goes.

The DVC 80 is magnesium body.. Metal .. Durable.. The Cannon as I understand is plastic. The Pdx10 is built like a tank too.. It is Magnesium..

The DVC 80 comes with a charger.. that saved me a few bucks. The batteries for the DVC 80/DVX100 can be bought off of Ebay they are top notch for only 34$ Eagle intnl. 3.5 hour battery.. beats the hell out of sonys prices.. Give it a thought there is a PDF file for this camera if you do a basic search for it in google... Good Luck
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Old September 10th, 2003, 01:19 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Shawn Mielke : I have yet to get the lcd hood, Boyd. Thank you for bringing that point up, hadn't thought of it. Does it remove easily -->>>

I have the hood that was included by Sony as part of a mail-in promotion. It's actually just a standard Petrol hood. As discussed earlier, you will need some origami skills to figure out how to assemble it however!

It's very nice, soft nylon with a black ABS plastic shade. I leave it assembled and nest the wide lens hood inside it to fit everything into my camera bag... I'd probably never figure out how to reassemble if I took it completely apart ;-)

It attaches to the screen with two elastic bands, very simple. But it does make me a little nervous that I'll break off the LCD screen as I slide it on sometimes. It's a great accessory for outdoors work. The BW viewfinder is nice, but the LCD screen is very bright and high resolution, so I generally find myself using it instead of the viewfinder these days....
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Old September 10th, 2003, 02:55 PM   #7
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Thanks, Boyd. Went straight to the Petrol site to get the number, then to B&H to add it to Wish List for near future reference. Too bad about it's obstructiveness though.
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Old September 11th, 2003, 07:20 PM   #8
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GL2 - better low light - frame mode - 20x optical zoom - 2.5" LCD

PDX10 - 16:9 Widescreen - XLR inputs - compact - 3.5" LCD

Which means more to you?

I need widescreen way more than I need low light but if I didn't I'd be sporting a DVC80, VX2000, GL2, or DVX100. I hear now that the new Canon Optura Xi has a great widescreen mode but its only a single chipper ($1200).


Here is a VGA (640x480) still from my PDX10.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...5/pdx10(1).jpg

Here are a few pics of my PDX10

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...040(Small).jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...896(Small).jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...897(Small).jpg
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Old September 11th, 2003, 08:10 PM   #9
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Is that a wide angle lens on the front of your PDX-10? Can you tell me more about it - nice pictures BTW. I've just got my PDX-10, and I'm very impressed with the picture, especially the widescreen.

As for low light - it's dark outside now, and the garden is lit by little moonlights. The picture is about as bad as it looked in real life.
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Old September 11th, 2003, 08:39 PM   #10
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Good eye Graeme, thats the Sony VCL-0637H WA lens that retails for about $40 USD. I was not impressed with the lens at all but maybe I was expecting too much from inexpensive glass. Way too much distortion but then I don't have anything nicer to compare it to.

Anyone else use a WA that they are pleased with?
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Old September 12th, 2003, 06:55 PM   #11
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About the low light thing

I wonder if perhaps the not-so-great low light performance on the PDX10 might not be a good candidate for post tricks, since the camera seems to have low noise. I started a thread about this:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14470
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Old September 12th, 2003, 08:05 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tommy Haupfear : Good eye Graeme, thats the Sony VCL-0637H WA lens that retails for about $40 USD. -->>>

Those cheap Sony 37mm lenses are junk as one might expect. I was at Best Buy awhile ago and they had some open packs with the telephoto adaptors which were marked down to $15. I figured there wasn't much to lose so I got one. Should have just saved the $15 though ;-)

I have a .45x wide adaptor from a company called "Digital Optics". The instruction manaual inside says to contact Sakar International, 195 Carter Dr, Edison NJ 08817. It calls the lens a "Super Wide Panoramic High Resolution Professional Series 0.45". You can also unscrew the front lens element and use it like a macro, but I've never tried this. I got it at Beach Camera for a bit over $100.

I haven't tried shooting a res chart with it, but subjectively I like the images. For example, these were shot with the lens (although not the sort of subject for judging resolution) http://www.greenmist.com/trovatore/film/20030831.

There is noticeable barrel distortion in the images, but for a very wide angle lens like this I'd pretty much expect that, and I don't mind the effect. Actually, in the examples above I wanted the infinite horizon look and matted out the real horizon line. In this raw image you can see the curved horizon effect http://www.greenmist.com/trovatore/film/20030831/00

I like this lens a lot, it's very small and lightweight and it works perfectly in the PDX-10's wide hood without any vignetting. It also creates a nice effect when used with the Glidecam 2000. It has filter threads, as I recall they are 43mm.
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