PDX10 White Balance...As Good as Canon's? at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old September 9th, 2003, 10:17 PM   #1
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PDX10 White Balance...As Good as Canon's?

I'm thinking about buying a PDX10 or GL2, and while the PDX10 looks like great camera, I'm wondering what your experiences have been with the X10's manual white balance feature.

Unfortunately, no dealers around here carry the PDX10 so I haven't been able to test it, but after having played around with some of Sony's consumer-oriented MiniDV cameras like the TRV70 and TRV80, I must say that I'm very dissapointed with the performance of their manual white balance. While testing the white balance on a number of different colored surfaces, neither of the Sony consumer cameras seem to make any kind of white balance adjustment. The degree of manual white balance control that's ideal for me is more like that found on all of the Canon MiniDV cameras I've tested. All of the Canon models I've tried, even the relatively inexpensive ZR Series cameras, provide a very responsive manual white balance. As an example, with the Canon cameras, I could aim the camera at a solid blue or yellow subject, perform the manual white balance, and the camera would make a very noticeable white balance adjustment evident in the resulting video hue/color. Granted, one would rarely perform a manual white balance on a blue or yellow subject, but I've found that this is a pretty good way to test the degree of white balance adjustment that can be made by a camera, and it seems like the Canons I've tested can adjust to these colors while, for some reason, the Sonys just aren't able to provide the same degree of white balance flexibility.

That said, has anyone tested the white balance capabilities of the PDX10 on colors other than white, and if so, is the manual white balance on Sony's prosumer/professional models superior and more responsive that that of the Sony consumer models? Ideally, I'd like to have the degree of manual white balance adjustment similar to that of Canon's MiniDV cameras.

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to share information or advice!
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Old September 10th, 2003, 10:40 AM   #2
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I'm not precisely sure what you're asking here.

If you are asking "can the PDX10 adjust white balance so that a yellow object appears white" - then the answer is no. I've just tried it on the front cover of a Yellow Pages, and it adjusted it to be pale yellow.

If you are asking "can the PDX10 adjust white balance so that a white object appears white" - the answer is yes (provided the light is not bright yellow).

Julian
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 12:49 AM   #3
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Unless you are looking at a pro-consumer Sony then you won't notice a difference with manual white balance. Those cameras are greared for completely automatic controls, not manual. I have a TRV950 and I think the camera does a great job at both automatic white balance and manual white balance. Yes, manual does look better but I like the fact automatic works well because it fits the type of shooting I like to do. In my TRV950 you can adjust the settings of the white balance via a bar and the knob (don't know a better way to explain it) so once you manual white balance you can adjust it more yellow or blue after that.
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