I just bought Sony Dcr-Pc330 (Some Questions) at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 24th, 2003, 03:10 AM   #1
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I just bought Sony Dcr-Pc330 (Some Questions)

Hi to all and Merry Christmas...

First of all i would like to say that this is my first post in this forum and please excuse my poor english as i am from Greece.

Last week i replaced my "old" sony dcr-pc120e with the new dcr-pc330e (e=pal version). I am really happy that i did because the colors are better and the stills are great (when compared to dcr-pc120).

My questions are:

1) When i select 16:9 instead of 4:3 the angle becomes wider. I heard that the 330 use the maximum pixels for 16:9. Is it true? I want to shoot only in 16:9... but will i loose quality or it would be better?

2) Will SteadyShot function do something bad to the video quality or not (cause the 330 has to many megapixels)?

... All are set to "AUTO" to my camcorder... any suggestions for better quality?


Thank you all in advance!!!
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Old December 24th, 2003, 03:14 AM   #2
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Welcome to DVinfo!

1) Yes, it has excellent 16:9 using very many pixels.
2) Steady Shot should not effect the video quality too much, unless you're moving the cam a lot.
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Old December 24th, 2003, 05:31 AM   #3
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Thank you for the quick reply!!!!!!
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Old December 24th, 2003, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: I just bought Sony Dcr-Pc330 (Some Questions)

<<<-- Originally posted by Stelios Fan :
please excuse my poor english...-->>>

Stelios, your English is excellent! No need to apologize there (it's much better than my Greek, that's for sure...)
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Old December 24th, 2003, 11:32 AM   #5
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Thank you!!!

:)
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Old December 24th, 2003, 01:37 PM   #6
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How is image stabilzation effected while in 16:9 mode or while taking stills? Can it even be enabled in these modes?
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Old December 24th, 2003, 02:12 PM   #7
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Stelio, I cannot answer your questions but just wanted to say "hi and "welcome to dvinfo.net!"

Your English is indeed excellent!

Merry Cristmas (kai Xronia Polla)!
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Stelios G.M.

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Old December 24th, 2003, 06:15 PM   #8
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Stelio, "welcome to dvinfo.net!"

Merry Cristmas (kai Xronia Polla)!
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Old December 24th, 2003, 06:19 PM   #9
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How is image stabilzation effected while in 16:9 mode or while taking stills? Can it even be enabled in these modes?
I was wondering the very same thing.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 04:55 AM   #10
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@all MERRY CHRISTMAS and @Stylianos Hronia polla file mou

"SteadyShot" can be enabled when shooting in 16:9 and it's as good as in 4:3 !

When the camcorder is in "picture" mode for taking stills i don't think that is enabled... i'll have to double check and i'll post my results.

Thank you all
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Old December 25th, 2003, 04:57 AM   #11
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@Lambi

Xronia polla kai se esena... :) KALH XRONIA
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Old December 25th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tommy Haupfear :How is image stabilzation effected while in 16:9 mode or while taking stills? Can it even be enabled in these modes? -->>>

Tommy and Frank, a question of my own: I didn't think image stabilization was specific to 4:3 only, which your questions seem to refer to; mostly because I guess I never questioned it. But since you wonder about it, I am curious as to why it might not be available in 16:9 and still shooting.

Is it because of the way that the image stabilization is acheived ? I guess I don't know many details about the system and how it works...
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Old December 25th, 2003, 12:59 PM   #13
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I didn't think image stabilization was specific to 4:3 only
Chris, there are so many different types (and variations) of image stabilization that it can often be model and not manufacturer dependent. Luckily your PDX10 has optical image stabilization (OIS) which can be used in 4:3, 16:9, and for taking stills with no image degradation. This is achieved by prisms moving opposite of camera shake. Cams that don't have optical image stabilization often employ digital or electronic image stabilization (DIS or EIS).

Digital and electronic image stabilization don't seem to have any rhyme or rhythm when it comes to a set definition with cam manufacturers. DIS was first really bad on older digital camcorders with low pixel counts (example 340k CCD). It works by zooming in or cropping a stable picture out of the CCD image. The problem was that it lowered resolution since its pixel count was pretty much bare minimum already. Now we have megapixel CCDs that can actually take in a larger frame than what we need to achieve 720x480 (NTSC specs) and offer very high quality stabilization in 4:3.

The problem lies with the fact that 16:9 and digital stills also want to use the full megapixel CCD and often DIS can be crippled or disabled altogether in these modes. EIS typically uses motion sensors to compensate for camera movement and I "believe" this is what Sony uses in their Super Steady Shot (non OIS). EIS can have an adverse effect on autofocus speed but with minimal video quality degradation. That would explain how image stabilization is still acceptable in 16:9 mode on the PC330.

dvspot.com has a camera shake test in their reviews and you can see how effective each system is. For reference I'm not sure what the Panasonic PV-GS70 uses but its image stabilization is worthless in ANY mode!
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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:14 PM   #14
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"The problem lies with the fact that 16:9 and digital stills also want to use the full megapixel CCD and often DIS can be crippled or disabled altogether in these modes. "

This makes sense, Tommy. Thanks! Now I know why there was some question about it...
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Old December 26th, 2003, 03:13 PM   #15
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Just a small correction Tommy. The PDX10 uses the internal vibrating doublet for its OIS. The VX and PD use the VAP OIS (as does the GL1 and the XL1s).

EIS systems very often up the shutter speed by a stop and this is bad news in low light situations. They invariably use more of the chip and when the whole chip is being used (such as when stills to card or when 16:9 is dialled in) then the EIS has nowhere to go, so it's simply turned off.

Generally (and I haven't tested the 330 so can't say if it's true) newer cams that offer "better" 16:9 resolution don't go the whole hog and use the full width of the mega-pixel chip. The reason is they still want the EIS to continue functioning, whereas in stills mode they abandon it completely.

Answer is to buy a camera with OIS if you possibly can. It's a nicer solution and much more transparent.

tom.
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