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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 25th, 2003, 11:40 AM   #1
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pdx10 vs. gl2 (help!)

Hi All,
I'm new to the DVi community, so I'll introduce myself first. My name is Eric, I am a junior at Penn State University, and I'm a Film/Video major. I am looking to buy a prosumer camera to shoot projects for school, as well as some side jobs I have including shooting women's volleyball and basketball games for a campus TV network. I have been using a friend's Panasonic DVX100, which I love, but I am no longer able to use it, so I need to buy a camera for myself. PSU has VX1000s, PDX10s, and PD150s, and I have used and like them all. I really like the PDX10, and I am a poor college student, so it's pretty appealing since it's usually under $2000. I have never used the GL2, but I've heard it is a great camera also. Would I be better off going with a PDX10 or GL2? Also, I'm having trouble finding a good website to buy from. B&H has a great reputation, but is consistently higher priced than sites like Broadway Video, or ibuydigital.com. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old November 25th, 2003, 12:22 PM   #2
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I can't really answer regarding the GL2 since I haven't used one, although I hear good things about it also. There have been a number of discussions on this topic, here's one thread that might be of interest. I use a PDX-10 and a VX-2000 and have grown very fond of the PDX-10. If I had to give one of them up I'd definitely keep the PDX-10. I think the most important question you need to ask is "how important is 16:9?" If it's a top priority then it will be hard to beat the PDX-10. The XLR inputs and audio quality are another big plus.

I suggest you just browse through the PDX-10 and GL-2 forums here for starters. Also, it would help to post your question to either the PDX-10 or GL-2 forum instead of the VX-2000 forum :-)
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Old November 25th, 2003, 02:47 PM   #3
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thanks a lot, Boyd! that other thread really helps, and I will definitely be checking the pdx10 and gl2 forums!
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Old November 25th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #4
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Eric as a previous owner of both cameras- I say go for the GL2- it does everything the PDX10 does only with less problems (really NO problems).....the big selling point for the PDX10 is it's native 16:9 widescreen shooting capabilities.....the GL2 masks it's frame electronically so there's a resolution loss if you plan on shooting 16:9 footage- otherwise get the GL2! (trust me on this one)

(The GL2 has a pro lens and 20X optical zoom- you wont find a better lens unless you opt for the Panasonic DVC80/DVX100 with Leica lenses)
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Old December 4th, 2003, 02:30 PM   #5
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I say get a GL2 as well, and forget the PDX10 Eric. Ah - but if you're going to shoot 16:9 today, tomorrow and every day thereafter, go get the PDV10.

For all other shooting the GL2 is much nicer. You have independent control over the ND filter whereas the PD has three auto NDs over which you have precious little control. The Canon keeps you informed via viewfinder readouts, but the Sony has a silly horizontal bar that doesn't tell you when you hit max or min aperture, or what gain-up setting you're using.

The GL2 is two stops more sensitive. In low light this is a huge advantage. The GL2 also has a proper 6 bladed diaphragm and far less CCD smear - a 'feature' that has ruined lots of my PDX footage. On tape replay the Canon doesn't lie. The Sony will read 'manual' when it was shot auto, and tell you a shot was taken at f1.6 at full telephoto - when the max aperture is only f2.8.

It's a camera of two halves all right. Great in 'average' light, poor in low or bright light.

tom.
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Old December 6th, 2003, 04:32 PM   #6
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Don't buy from those places that advertise cheap prices. if you actually manage to get what you want, the products will be grey market with no US warranty. Stick with B&H or J&R. Both are very reliable and thier prices are well below list. Also J&R tries hard to match prices from elsewhere but you have to ask.
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Old December 7th, 2003, 01:42 AM   #7
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Eric, I am a newbie as well and was put in a similar situation before I get my XM2 (GL2). I lingered among many forums for months before I made the decision. PDX10p and XM2(GL2)community on this forum are those I spent almost on daily basis.
This is how I came thru. based on people's threads from different forums:
1. Ambiguity of F-stop on PDX10 scares me off. Will there be any chance you want to do manual focusing while subject distance is beyong your control, i.e. moving object at high speed? A smaller aperture other than F-4 might help in this case.
2. Vertical smear on PDX10 is more prominent than XM2 (GL2), as you can figure out it is common for smaller CCD. Big brothers can always plan the lighting setup to cope with, but it is not the case to amateurs; at least to me.
3. I almost put my money on a PDX10p for its compactness, not until I hold a XM2 in my own hand did I find out it is not really that big. Those photos you saw on different websites might mislead you on the size. Go to a retailer and feel both cams.
My last one might put you in agony:
You might come across others threads saying they have problems with MiniDV tape on various cams. I dare say it is a problem by no means someone can clarify; whether it is a mixed-using of tape, or simply a tape issue, or the cam itself, or may be both. But I have not seen any PDX10 user complaining their DVCAM tape.

Judging the above, I bet my money on my XM2 and I am still learning to dig deeper.
One Last note: No OIS can beat a tripod.
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Old December 7th, 2003, 07:39 AM   #8
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Eric,
The GL-2 also has the longer zoom and since you are in to sports that may be an added value.

Regarding the vendors you mentioned ..... DON'T GO THERE !!!!!
Go to the section Community Marketplace, Great Deals from DVInfo.Net Sponsors in this forum and contact them when you are ready to buy. B&H is just one of several, but they are all First Class. The one thing you will get from them you won't get from dirt-cheapies (like the ones you mentioned) is service, let me make that SERVICE. And that is worth any difference in price.

Good luck, Nick

P.S. Woman's college vollyball eh. Tough, but somebody has to do it, right?
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Old December 7th, 2003, 07:46 AM   #9
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Thanks to everyone, your advice was all extremely helpful. I ended up going with the PDX10 for 3 reasons.
1) It was just a little cheaper, and I wanted to make sure I had enough money to get a good tripod and bag, as well as filters and a better battery.
2) The 16:9 factor. Ultimately, it seemed as though this was the ONLY choice for shooting in 16:9, which is definitely something I wanted to do.
3) The XLR inputs. I know there is an adapter for the GL2, but once again, that is something extra to buy and I was trying to be as economical as possible. I shoot a lot of interviews, so the XLR ins were a major deciding point.
I ordered through B&H and they were extremely helpful. My order came in 3 days, and I absolutely love the camera. Thanks again to everyone!
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Old December 7th, 2003, 08:50 AM   #10
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Congrats Eric! We'll look forward to hearing your impressions as you put the new camera through its paces.
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Old December 7th, 2003, 03:48 PM   #11
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Congratulations and enjoy!
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Old December 8th, 2003, 03:12 PM   #12
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Does anyone ever take into account that the PDX10 shoots on the more stable DVCAM format, personally I feel this fact is so often left out when discussing the pros and cons of the PDX10 against the gl2. Here in the UK most tv stations wont accept anything less than DVcam format.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 07:58 PM   #13
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What does that mean, "more stable"? My understanding was that DVCAM offers little advatage over miniDV as far as picture quality is concerned. Of course, I could be wrong.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 11:38 PM   #14
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first impressions

I had the oppurtunity to use my PDX10 quite a bit this past weekend. I shot the usual college volleyball (first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament), and the cam performed beautifully. I used my tripod so I have no complaints about the camera's weight displacement, and the picture and sound were excellent. I played around with the manual settings a good bit and got a great looking picture. I also ended up using the cam to record a narration track for a very short film assignment (documentary film-making class), and I was very pleased with the quality of sound. I love the camera, and I can't wait to shoot more with it.

One quick question though, in the sound settings in the menu, is it better to shoot with the sound in 32K or 48K. To be honest, I'm not sure what either means, so could someone please explain that to me? Thanks!
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Old December 9th, 2003, 07:28 AM   #15
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Congratulations, Eric. Are you using DVCAM tape or MiniDV tape?

Hey, Leonard. May be I am a bit sarcastic, do you think DVCAM is considered more robust simply because of wider pitch, or just people don't have a chance to use different brands?
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