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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old October 30th, 2003, 02:55 AM   #16
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well if anyone's interested...

I've just come back from a 2-hour session of playing with the VX2000 and PDX10.
VX2000 AUD $5,499
PDX10 AUD $4,699
First impressions:
VX2000 - A joy to hold and operate. I couldn't help but LIKE this camera. The settings are very nicely placed for the most part. I can see why this model has been so popular.
PDX10 - A bugger to handle in comparison. A little lopsided/unbalanced and awkward. I wouldn't consider this a one-hand-cam as the design and side strap imply. Settings not so conveniently placed and I found myself having to put the camera down in order to interact with some menu's/settings.

Recorded Footage:
Brilliant images produced by both of these cameras. Though I was limited inside a well-lit office. At one point I filmed through a window at some pedestrians walking in the streets below. when playing back, I was very impressed with the clarity that was maintained throughout the entire zoom as I followed them.
The PDx10 needs a little tweak soon after optimum lighting is reduced.. expected.. Still, I don't really think it's that much of an issue. HOWEVER, I did not get into extremely low light. Lowest light was in a small utility office with one window but no artificial light. I ended up crouching in a corner behind boxes to try and get a good dark sample.

Vertical smear-shmear. I just didn't find it a problem at all until I was pushing extremes on frame rate and aperture... (I think it was those two), but baby when it was there, it was THERE. I had a sc-fi show going. But still manageable as far as I'm concerned.
I was surprised to find the vz2000 smearing also with similar settings.. perhaps it was the environment

PDX10 native 16:9 is grrreat. Now, you may think I'm partially blind.. and I cringe at typing this, but at a casual glance I didn't actually see that much of a jaw dropping difference. Yes the 'compression' of vx200's 'wide screen' and cropping makes for less footage displayed, but I was surprised that the image quality was so similar... or should I say, based on my expectations, I was surprised not to find more of a difference in image quality.
come to think of it.. why would there be... ok disregard previous.

Circumstances did not permit testing/comparison of sound.

so.. after a limited 'scratch n' sniff'. I still can't decide which cam to go with! :(
I really am happy with image quality on both. Somehow I couldn't help but feel the vx2000 was a fraction of a fraction more vibrant - but not noticeable without direct comparison on screen.

I just donít know!!!

I'm sick of the indecision. It's really getting to me.

Camera store guy said he'd allow me to exchange the pdx10 for vx2000 or vice versa if I found that I wasn't happy with it. Which would be great, but I don't want to buy the vx2000 from him because I can get it from a Sony insider for AUD$47000 (saving myself $1000) So if I buy the pdx10 from him, I'm stuck with it.

So basically I can get either cam for same price.... I just can't decide which one.

Insane
Anthony

ps.. hmm. maybe I'll just get the vx2000 for now, learn the tricks of the trade, and finally when a camera with dvcam format, native 16:9, great sound, low lux etc comes out, I'll be in a poisition to buy... hopefully. Hey, gotta start somewhere right?. vx2000 good place to start?
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Old October 30th, 2003, 11:43 AM   #17
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Re: well if anyone's interested...

<<<-- Originally posted by Anthony Milic : at a casual glance I didn't actually see that much of a jaw dropping difference. Yes the 'compression' of vx200's 'wide screen' and cropping makes for less footage displayed, but I was surprised that the image quality was so similar -->>>

Just curious, what sort of monitor have you used for comparison? I find the PDX-10 to be quite noticeably better in 16:9 when compared to the VX-2000. In fact, if you want to shoot 16:9 using a VX-2000 then my tests indicate better results by cropping in post. The builtin 16:9 setting seems to degrade the cropped image with DV compression somehow.

<<<-- Originally posted by Anthony Milic : Hey, gotta start somewhere right?. vx2000 good place to start? -->>>

The VX-2000 is a great camera and I agree completely with your comments about its feel and controls as compared to the PDX-10. In spite of all this I think it will always come back to the question of 16:9 quality and how much value you place on that.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 03:48 PM   #18
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With more experience in a more controlled comparison test I bet you'd find the difference between the 16:9s. However, it doesn't sound like your top priority. Nor does it sound like you were able to put low light abilities through the paces, so maybe you could pay the cams another visit, or go with one right now, check it out at home any which way you want, then do the same with the other one. If you're sick with indecision, but aren't exactly willing to eeny meeny miny mo, well, you're in a postiion to thoroughly check them both out. Do that. But, to answer a broad general question, YES, the vx2000 is a great camera to start out with. You could just go with it, not look back, learn a lot and have a helluva lotta fun :-) . But be cool. You're in a good position for decision making.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 11:22 PM   #19
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Boyd & Sean,

Appreicate your time.

--I don't know exactly what monitor we used, though it was a current model sony wide screen. standard def..
I have no doubt of the superior 16:9 quality of the PDX10. All my comments were obviously from a 'first glance/inexperienced' perspective.
The image did look awesome. I suppose I was just expecting to be shocked by the contrast. (maybe expecting to see some dancing monkeys or showgirls in my peripheral :))
Now, 16:9 is very important to me, but it IS a preference because .. well.. it's a preference, I like the format.. BUT.. there's always a 'BUT' seeing as these two cams both lack in certain areas..so I'm left to bounce between the two and their respective preferences...

Yes I am in a good position for decision making, though I could be here for ever, mulling over differences, application and preferences.. waiting that extra week after week, after week for that new (and hopefully improved) model to be released..
I suppose I should go back to the store and have another look. I mean that's what they're there for right!?

Mr Salesman said something about a completely different setup for the way these two cams capture and process light. (not just talking CCD size) if this is true, and If we can put 16:9 aside for a moment - I'd like to have your opinion ( and I know this is a broad question) on which camera you believe produces (In 'normal' conditions) a 'better image'? (awaiting requests of "..well Anthony, define 'better'.." ;) )

I suppose I'm leaning more and more toward the VX. I think I'd prefer to invest in a later model 16:9 that I'm really happy with. --and very much hope to in the future.

In your opinion/s: What are the most obvious failings of the vx2000, and why?

soon to be finding peace in a decision-

Anthony
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Old October 31st, 2003, 12:14 AM   #20
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The thing people complain about the most is the VX's audio, but none of these prosumer cameras come with good mics out of the box. The thing the PDX has over hte VX in this department is XLR inputs which allow you to just plug in a good shotgun/lav and be on your way. With the VX you will need to buy a 3rd party XLR apapter and a good mic package. With the PDX you only need the mic package.
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Old October 31st, 2003, 09:24 AM   #21
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Anthony,

Many of these things have already been covered in recent threads if you review them. Yes, audio is a weakness on the VX. Even with an XLR box I don't think it sounds as good as the PDX. But it's probably good enough.

The LCD screen on the PDX is way better - larger, brighter, higher res.

The BW viewfinder on the PDX is much nicer than the color viewfinder on the VX

The PDX shoots DVCAM, if that matters to you

Adaptor lenses and filters will be much cheaper in the PDX's 37mm size.

The VX with the NPF-960 battery will run much longer than anything available on the PDX. But the included batteries on both cameras are pretty pathetic. Be sure to budget for larger batteries either way.

As far as "a completely different setup for the way these two cams capture and process light", well that sounds like a sales pitch. The PDX does have the 14 bit DXP chip which gives it cleaner images when you boost the gain. It also has the recently discussed double-secret internal ND filters.

Regarding the 16:9, well no you aren't going to see a "shocking contrast" between any DV cameras. The resolution just limited by other factors. However you will see the difference between an image made up from the full 480 vertical lines on the PDX versus one that is interpolated from 360 lines on the VX. In other words it should be (theoretically) 25% better, hardly worthy of showgirls and dancing monkeys, but I'll take whatever I can get! ;-)

I think you may be fixating a little too much on all this. Whatever camera you choose will involve some compromises. None of the prosumer cameras have true professional controls. On the VX I find the manual adjustments manageable, but their layout seems pretty random and awkward. Same with the PDX, although a bit more awkward still. Seems to me like you're heading for a coin-toss soon. Then once you've made your decision - as others have said - don't look back, just enjoy the new camera and start learning how to get the most from it!
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Old October 31st, 2003, 04:01 PM   #22
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vx2000

great in low light
only ok for sound
a few more manual controls


PDX10

only ok in low light
great sound
great 16:9
balanced XLR inputs


If you can live without shooting good footage in the evenings indoors (weddings, other functions) for money, go with the PDX10, get the low light cam next year. If you absolutely must shoot evenings, indoors, in whatever light available, right now, go with the vx2000. If you see yourself covering music functions often, and feel you could work around or accept potentially low light situations, go with the PDX10. It really has to do with knowing what you want to do with the camera. Clearly one does not fit all applications. Some of this you just won't fully comprehend until you gain real experience with a cam, any cam. If you just don't have specific applications in mind, then, for you, right now, there isn't a wrong choice.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 03:58 AM   #23
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Thank you Frank, 'blip', Steve, Ignacio, Adrian and Boyd!!

Yes Boyd, and I apologise for the times that I've recycled discussion topics -I must adjust my forum etiquette. - but you gents have always been so darn helpful none-the-less. When I first stumbled across the forum I spent hours reviewing the pd/vx pages. Much of the information was Latin.. nay, 'igpay atinlay', to me at that stage. But as I've progressed through, I've learnt quite a bit and slowly have come to understand more and more of what I was reading - and of course I have you guys to thank for that. *cheesy grin, tooth twinkle.;)
Searching through the forum again for already discussed topics relating to my 'soon to be immediately' relevant queries will definitely be a huge help. I'm ;looking forward to having discussion based on first hand experience.

Yes, you're completely right about my fixating on certain aspects of both cams. That of course is based on inexperience, fear or buyers remorse ('wrong' purchase more-so than 'the' purchase') and my relying mostly on 3rd hand/party opinions. Thus the backward-forward... but everyone's been so helpful!

I'm going for the vx2100. It's a weight off my shoulders to have made the decision, and now I just need to secure the price through my mysterious 'sony insider'.
I'm looking forward to what sony has to offer over the next year or so. Perhaps one day they'll make that perfect cam... oh but then how would they improve on perfection???
surely large corporations have our best interests at heart!?!
;)

cheers to all.

Anthony

note to self: must ecomomise on wordplay.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 04:06 AM   #24
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The VX2000 is a very good cam and Sony has just made it better, according to the specs. So you most likely made a wise decision. I hear it'll be out soon, this month or next.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 07:44 AM   #25
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Congratulations on your decision! Be sure to give us a report on the VX-2100 when you get your hands on it.
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