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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old October 12th, 2003, 08:30 PM   #1
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PDX10 Hawk Video

Hello fellow PDX'ers.......

Today was my 1st day out shooting with the PDX10. There's a few things i need to sort out before I make any clear judgements on the PDX10 camera. Today I shot some video of a redtail hawk at my local park here in NYC (a hotspot for wintering rt hawks).....

(video here---> http://stevenunez.com/video/clips/PDX10Hawk.mov )

...here's my setup and here's what I've observed:
Sony PDX10 NTSC
Kenko 8X32 Monocular with 37mm step-up adapter
Sima 2X Tele Lens add-on

...the PDX10 is not bad in low light conditions outdoors. In fact I think to keep highlights in check a ND filter is necessary. The 32mm Kenko vignettes too much and is much too powerful a zoom to use effectively- it becomes dark as the PDX zooms through it's range denoting poor optics of the Kenko lens....for serious tele-videography- a Swarovski or Leica spotting scope would do the trick ($$$$) The Sima 2X tele-lens add-on is of poor optical quality and produces chromatic abberations with the slightest hint of overexposure as well as being "soft"- not a good add-on for the PDX10- I will try Sony's High Grade tele lens (was very happy with it when used with the GL2)...

...I am looking for top notch video quality with a tele-lens add-on....if the Sony HG 2X tele-lens does not produce sharp and bright video with the PDX10- the PDX will be for sale....I'm looking for broadcast quality tele video in 16:9 format.
So far I am not impressed with the results of my video but will attest the poor quality to the add-on's i've put on......my fondness of the PDX10 is tenstive pending a better solution for tele-videography- if anyone has had any real success with the PDX and a tele-lens, please let me know.

Would it be better to buy the bigger 58mm Sony HG so that it will not vignette when show at wide settings- or does the 37mm version not vignette at wide settings?

Anyway- check out the video and let me know what you guys think.
...For now i've got to wait for B&H to re-open so i can get the Sony 2X tele lens or higher quality unit (if available).....thanks guys and leave remarks if you have any ideas!
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Old October 12th, 2003, 11:34 PM   #2
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Thanks for the report, Steve. Eager to know how you do with the Sony lens.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 04:51 AM   #3
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The more lumps of glass you put in front of your PDX10's lens Steve, the more you'll degrade its performance. Understanding this you'll realise that the more telephoto you want the more aberations you can expect.

I use the PDX10 with a Canon C8 Teleconverter 1.4x. It's a pretty mild extension but the quality loss is minimal and (unusually for a tele-extender) it remains full zoom through. There's slight pincushion distortion at the wide end but there's no vignetting at all. In the 16:9 mode there's no vignetting on a TV (masked) screen, but the full frame is vignetted very slightly. Don't forget I'm talking about the wide-angle end of the zoom here.

At tele the results are very good and sharp - but as I say it's only a 1.4x and is a lump to carry about.

tom.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 08:11 AM   #4
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I have the Sony VCL-HG2037X high grade telephoto lens and have been very happy with it on the PDX-10. One thing you will notice however is that the camera's infinity setting will no longer work with this lens. You need to manually focus on distant objects. The autofocus does work under most conditions however. Also, you might try setting the digital zoom at the low level (2x magnification) and see what you think of the results. It really doesn't look too bad, and when combined with the 2x lens you can get 48x total magnification.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 08:56 AM   #5
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You guys are great!

I used a Sony 1.7x tele lens on a GL2 and the results were awesome- I couldn't tell footage shot with or without it- needless to say I was impressed. With the 1.7X lens and the GL2's 20X zoom- I had the effective reach of 34x optical zoom- which suited me perfectly. Because the PDX only has a 12X zoom, if we mount a 2X tele lens we'd get an optical zoom of 24X and a 3x lens (Kenko makes one- unsure of it's quality- anyone try one??) we'd have a 36X zoom which is allot closer to what I was getting with the GL2 and the Sony 1.7X lens. So it looks as if I am forced to get the Kenko- anyone try one?? Are there alternative's I haven't seen in the 3X range?

I'm going out again to get more footage of the hawks, hopefully i'll find some this AM and get better results than yesterday with the little bit I've learned.....stay tuned.

(thanks again guys- your help is much appreciated)
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Old October 13th, 2003, 09:54 PM   #6
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Praying Mantis Video- PDX10

Well no luck today with any hawks, but I did manage to shoot a few short clips and compile them into a video.....it's of a praying mantis eating a butterfly and grasshopper.....

let me know what you guys think!

http://stevenunez.com/video/pages/chimantis.html

(Just make sure you're not eating when you view this!!!)
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Old October 14th, 2003, 01:39 PM   #7
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Hi Steve,

I checked out your hawk video, just wondering what you used to encode the vide for the web(what made your quicktime file) ??

Looked pretty darn good, was the camera set to automatic controls, or any special setup?? Any post processing done??

Thanks,
Mike m.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 06:37 PM   #8
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Hi Mike,

I used Cleaner 6 for Mac OS X and I almost always use a modified form of the Sorenson 3 codec (I just tweak the settings in Cleaner) at 400X225 size & QDesign Music 2, Stereo, 22.05kHz, 16 bits

As for the camera setup: The Sony PDX10 was new to me (and still is) and i just fiddled with the AE modes til I got the sharpest image on the LCD- but I'm pretty sure the 1st part was entirely automatic setting.....I'm still not convinced this is the camera for me- but I'm trying my best to like it and getting to master it...it's only a few days old and may be returned to B&H if I can't get better video (blown highlights and small latitudes)

..stay tuned.
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