Low Light Performance - PDX10 vs VX-2000 at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 25th, 2003, 10:59 PM   #1
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Low Light Performance - PDX10 vs VX-2000

I'm considering getting the PDX10 for video work to include weddings. The lux rating bothers me a little...7 as opposed to 2 on the VX-2000 or even 1 on the VX-2100. How does the PDX10 perform in low light (without external lights)? Is it capable of good video at a reception in low light (standard church hall or hotel lighting) or is additional light needed? I've seen a sample of the VX-2000 and it was very good. Appreciate your input.
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Randy
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Old December 25th, 2003, 11:14 PM   #2
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Don't consider the PDX10 for weddings. The VX2000 is a much better choice---because of its lower light requirement. The bigger CCDs will also give you a cleaner image. If you need a good mic, just get a Beachtek, since the VX doesn't have XLRs.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 11:35 PM   #3
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Thanks Frank. I've just spent the last 30 minutes reading a thread which discusses this same topic and I've come to the same conclusion (you were a contributor to that thread also). Appreciate your input and I'll do the seach first next time. Have a happy holiday.
Randy
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Old December 26th, 2003, 01:57 AM   #4
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Most wedding guys I know use a VX2000/PD150 or XL1. They are both good cams with lower light. The next best cam would be a JVC DV500 or it's new replacement. But for the money, the VX2000 is quite the steal.

Thanks for the holiday wishes---if only I believed in Santa. :-((
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Old December 26th, 2003, 03:03 PM   #5
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I've just tested the PDX10 for Computer Video magazine. As the VX2000 is just a smidgen more exoensive than the PDV10 it was an excellent A / B test to set up. They are interesting cameras to have side-by-side, and the 16:9 performance of the PDX is noticeably superior to the VC2k's - but only in good light.

The low light performance of the PDX10 is poor, and alongside the much bigger VX2000 it lags by three whole stops, and three and a half stops at full telephoto. To put this into perspective you’d have the PDX10 at maximum aperture and +18dB of gain up in the same light that that the VX2000 would simply be at maximum aperture. This huge difference hides the fact that in practise the PDX10 has very low noise chips, and even using +12 dB of gain it difficult to see the grain. The loss of colour information is very noticeable however.

Stick to the VX for weddings Randy. People don't like you adding light, and the PDX will often insist you do.

tom.
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Old December 26th, 2003, 05:17 PM   #6
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3 whole stops---that's a lot. In photography, even 1 stop lower can ruin the shot.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:19 AM   #7
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I tried to shoot with PDX-10 without external lighting and was very disapointed with the result. Most of the event I need to tape was being inside.

Iam looking in to buying the diginova

http://www.kaiser-fototechnik.de/en/infos02c.htm
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Old December 27th, 2003, 11:09 AM   #8
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Yes, even one stop is a lot Frank. Say the PDX10 was only one stop less efficient than the VX2k. Then assume that a single light bulb gave good exposure with the VX - you'd have to have two lights on to make the PDX expose correctly.

But three stops means that where the VX shoots with one bulb, the PDX needs 8 bulbs lit to give the same exposure. It's a high price to pay for smaller chips in my view.

tom.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 11:28 AM   #9
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diginova Light

What about follow On camera lights:
http://www.frezzi.com/micro-lights1.htm
http://www.cool-lux.com/docs/new_products.html
http://www.hahnel-usa.com/lights.html
http://www.kaiser-fototechnik.de/en/infos02c.htm

Is there out a DV light that is uniform, not blend the people, dont produce a hot spot and flat the image??

Hahnel lights with optical lens say they can doit but is there anyone that have test some lights with he thing they are great?

Lambis
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Old December 27th, 2003, 03:05 PM   #10
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Tom, are you appreciative of the PDX10's ability to suppress noise, as I am?
I just remember seeing the 900/950 comparison stills at the John Beale website and preferring the darker but less noisy image of the 950, though the 900 was/is coveted as being "better in low light". I'm wondering if this pertains at all to the 2000 as well.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 09:48 PM   #11
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Tom,
Thanks for the advice and I agree totally. I've been doing quite a bit of research and am coming up with the same camera in the end. The DCR-VX2100 is the one for me. Have found it for $2038 new at BuyDigitalDirect following this link:
http://www2.buydigitaldirect.com/shop/product.aspx?ref=pricegrabber&sku=DCRVX2100. Tried to go with B&H but they e-mailed me a price that is $360 dollars more. Still wrangling as I'd like to go with them since I bought my current camera there and trust them. Maybe I'll wait a while and see if they come down. Thanks again for yours and everyone's input.
Randy
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Old December 27th, 2003, 11:53 PM   #12
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Randy, I've never heard of BuyDigitalDirect but they have a better than average rating at www.resellerratings.com. The only problem I see is that your Sony warranty may not be honored since its not from a Sony Factory Autohrized Internet Seller (there are very few).

http://www.sel.sony.com/cgi-bin/SEL/...gi/aid_list.pl

I'll echo what most have said about the PDX10 vs. VX2000/VX2100 in low light. I've owned both a VX2000 and a PDX10 and there is no competition in less than acceptable lighting. I still use a VX2000 at work and I brought it home for the Holidays. The family videos from this Christmas turned out really great even with dismal indoor lighting.

I'm also still editing a wedding (freebie) with footage from both my past PDX10 and my work VX2000. The ony viable footage from the PDX10 were interviews with a 20w deer-in-headlights accessory shoe light.
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Old December 28th, 2003, 02:13 AM   #13
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Thanks for the advice Gary. I found this seller via CamcorderInfoNet and PriceGrabber. Checked out their customer reviews. Over 900 that say they are worthy. They also offer a 4 year repair/replace warranty for $499 that's pretty good. However, I'm in no hurry and will wait until things settle down a little after the Christmas season. My first wedding isn't until May so I have some time. I've been doing a lot of research and have bought a couple of books to include The Business of Wedding and Special Event Videography by John Goolsby. Hopefully, I'll be able to procure the equipment I need, to include a new camera, wireless mikes, and a digital recorder, and learn to use them correctly before then. This is a freebie for a friend but I want to do the best I can. Eventually, after I retire from my day job, I'll be able to hit this hobby turned obession full time. Thanks again for your help.
Randy
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Old December 28th, 2003, 08:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
They also offer a 4 year repair/replace warranty for $499 that's pretty good.
The same 4 year warranty is only $150 at B&H so that puts them at roughly the same price. Might be something to consider next year on your purchase.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.
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Old December 28th, 2003, 09:08 AM   #15
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Guys, just a friendly reminder from your moderator to try and keep posts on the topic of the PDX-10 and not morph this discussion into "where to buy a VX-2100" :-)

Season's best to all!
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