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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 17th, 2003, 03:29 AM   #1
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Buy a 2nd PDX10 or something different? What would you do?

Silly question I know but I would appreciate your opinions.

I have a PDX10 and find myself filming events with more than one camera (Simultaneously) and I use my older single chipper SONY PC100e.

I now want to get a 2nd camera (prefeably 16:9 native) to take on the floating camera duties.

My only hesitation are

1. In buying a PDX10, some of my money is going on the XLR mount which I won't need as this camera will be for vision only (The static PDX10 will be recording the audio from a mixer)

2. I fear the announcement of a new(er) 16:9 native camera (3 chipper) from SONY that would do the vision only job at a much lower cost

3. As in 2, but something with better low lux and less smearing

4. Really a 2nd camera should have differing but complementary attributes that I can use in other fields (i.e better in-built ND filters, better manul focus rings etc) so that when I only need one camera, the non PDX10 camera can be pressed into service.

Any ideas ?

Thanks P

PS : the 16:9 would be nice to have but probably not absolutely necessary because my 2 camera requirement is usually in respect of stage musicals and one could argue that the benefit of widescreen more noticable in outdoor/landscape/cinematic productions where one could get bye on 1 camera (the PDX10)
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Old December 17th, 2003, 05:37 AM   #2
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I don't think there's another affordable 16x9 native camera on the market, although, as you say, things will change in time.

If you need that new camera today, it would seem that the PDX10 may be your only choice...

Graeme
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Old December 17th, 2003, 02:40 PM   #3
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There has been talk that a few newer models have comparable 16:9, the pc330 being one of them, perhaps the Canon Xi, although I don't know. You aren't going to get a 3ccd cam with as good 16:9 and with better low light perf., that much I am certain of. Unless you're having way too much footage ruined by smear and can't seem to avoid it, and are also consistently underlit and unable to control this, why not get another PDX10? Great video, great audio, great 16:9. Otherwise, you might rethink your entire setup.
My thoughts,
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Old December 17th, 2003, 05:50 PM   #4
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Other thoughts:

You may, in other 2cam shoots, come to apreciate how well matched the audio and video is if you were to get a second PDX10.

Filmed stage musicals in 16:9 sounds potentially glorious. How does the PDX10 low light performance fare under these conditions? (this question is mostly for me; I'm wanting to do this very thing) Musicals are generally generously lit, I'm thinking the PDX10 would do well......although the smear...?.....

I'm hoping to get a PD170 within the month, for reasons similar to your's, although high res 2cam 16:9 shoots and less expensive accessories is all very tempting..... Hmmm, now you've got me thinking.....
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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:35 PM   #5
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Well I switched to the PDX-10 for filming our shows this season after two years of using a VX-2000. Honestly, I didn't feel limited by the low light abilities. In very dark scenes the VX-2000 has an advantage, but even at +18db I find the PDX-10 usable. Now there were some pretty dark scenes in these two shows, but I have seen darker in some of the really "heavy" operas. I hope to post some stills one day, but I really just haven't had the time recently.

Now personally I disagree with "the benefit of widescreen (is) more noticable in outdoor/landscape/cinematic productions". I'm much, much happier with the 16:9 proportion for stage work. It just seems to fit nicely with groups of people and give a little horizontal room for movement without re-framing the shot. It also makes a lot of sense in full stage shots since it closely matches the proportions of our typical sets (45' wide x 25' tall pretty much covers what I need to see). I had a party awhile ago and previewed the rough cut of the first two shows filmed on the PDX-10 and our production staff was unanimous that they liked the 16:9, even when letterboxed on a 4:3 set. When viewed on a 16:9 LCD via component video from a progressive scan DVD player it really got some "wows" :-)

But all of this is highly personal and subjective, and you may just think in a 4:3 frame. Variety is the spice of life after all! For me, I switched to widescreen mode when I got the camera and haven't gone back to that menu ever since...
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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:51 PM   #6
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I was thinking that if it (16:9) goes well with cinematic projects, then it could doequally well for filmed stage, provided one can get the cam(s) set up in desirable locations for good angles. I'm happy to hear about the usability of the PDX10 in stage light.
I'm in good with the local community and junior college theaters, will go try this out for myself.....
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Old December 17th, 2003, 08:32 PM   #7
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A Panasonic DV953 is a good alternative to the PDX10...take a look at it's specs and see if it suits what you need in a 2nd camera.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 01:44 AM   #8
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I was just going to say that. Plus the PV-DV953 or MX500 (PAL) costs less than the PDX10. No XLRs, though.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 01:53 AM   #9
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DV953: different look than Sony, not as good in low light, and not as good 16:9. (Compatibility seems to be key).
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Old December 18th, 2003, 03:30 AM   #10
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Having filmed a concert with 2 cameras, a PDX10 and a single chip PC100e, the image quality difference was so astounding that I had a hard job to inter cut the clips.

The difference was not obvious on my Mac 20" LCD but when played back on a B&O widescreen TV, it was like chalk and cheese.

Looks like a 2nd PDX10 is the order of the day, even though I don't need the extra audio facilities

Any rumours about a replacement/upgrade?

regards & thanks

P
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Old December 18th, 2003, 09:13 AM   #11
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Please excuse me if this sounds dumb...but have you considered the trv950...if budget is an issue you might slide by with it...believe it or not...im considering this purchase instead of dv recording device to save milage on my pdx10
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Old December 18th, 2003, 09:20 AM   #12
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If your goal is just having a "recording device" as opposed to a camera that matches the PDX-10 then buying a 3-chipper is an expensive route to go. Also, last time I looked the price difference between those two cameras wasn't huge, but maybe that's changed?

The 16:9 won't be as good on the TRV-950 and it won't record DVCAM. Other than that you're right, it might be a pretty good match since the lens and CCD's are the same. I think I would go the extra bucks for another PDX-10 personally. Also a nice backup if your primary camera breaks.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 09:43 AM   #13
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Thanks Boyd,

The more I think about it, the more I am inclined to get a 2nd PDX10.

Sure, the floating camera would not need audio and hence the detachable shoe could be removed.

As I am now almost permanently 16:9, this is really the only way to go.

As I don't really need this until April 2004, I will see if there are any new 16:9 native offerings in the new year and the buy a 2nd PDX 10 in March 2004

Regards P
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Old December 18th, 2003, 10:06 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : The 16:9 won't be as good on the TRV-950 and it won't record DVCAM. Other than that you're right, it might be a pretty good match since the lens and CCD's are the same. I think I would go the extra bucks for another PDX-10 personally. Also a nice backup if your primary camera breaks. -->>>

Wow...im glad i shot my mouth off now...i didnt even think of that as my goal was to use the 950 also as a playback into computer and recording devices..i am strictly amature and always shoot dv cam mode 16:9 and im guessing the 950 wont even play them back...thanks for the advice boyd
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Old December 18th, 2003, 02:11 PM   #15
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I don't think you will have any problem playing back DVCAM on the TRV-950, or any of the newer Sony cameras. My VX-2000 handles it fine. But it won't record in DVCAM format. Now if as you say you are "strictly amateur" you might also consider shooting in regular DV SP mode instead of DVCAM (go to the menus and you can change this). It will give you 50% more recording time on a standard tape. Personally I only use DVCAM when it's something mission critical that can't be re-shot. There is no difference in the quality between the two modes. This has all been covered in great detail here and in the PD-150 group already if you're interested.
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