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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 15th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #1
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in 16/9 mixing Sony 500 pal, pdx-10 Pal

I will be filming in France. My cameraman is using a SONY 500 PAL in 16/9
I told him I'd like a backup camera and suggested a PD-150pal

He told me I'd be better off with a PDX-10 he could borrow.
He said its performance was better than PD-150 trying to do 16/9

Could this be true? How will it cut?
And how about shooting at night--in brightlits streets, bridges???

Any other reassurances, warnings



mmg
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Old March 15th, 2004, 06:43 PM   #2
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Not having used the DSR-500 (wish I was so lucky!) I can't really comment. But it is definitely true that you can get better 16:9 with the PDX-10 than the PD-150 if conditions are right. It does have some low light limitations and vertical smear issues. Really depends on what type of shooting you're doing. Here are a few examples of NTSC PDX-10 full res video frames.

Take a few minutes to browse through our PDX-10 forum). The camera's strengths and weaknesses have been discussed at length.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thank you, Boyd.

"But it is definitely true that you can get better 16:9 with the PDX-10 than the PD-150 if conditions are right."

What are the conditions? JUST low light situations?


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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:12 PM   #4
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Reasonable amount of light, not shooting directly into intense point sources of light.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:17 PM   #5
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You know, now that I think of it there was an article somewhere in DV Magazine (or possibly Videography?) that discussed a multicamera shoot using a DSR-570 and a PD-100 (predecessor of the PDX-10). They talked about what controls were set to bring the the images closer to each other. They suggested setting the DSR-570 to match the PD-100 since there was no way to make the less expensive camera look like the more expensive camera. Look around on their website and perhaps you will find the article. I think it was in the same issue as a review of the DSR-570.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #6
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Boyd,

In fact, I remember some time last year you or somebody else went into an extensive explanation of why 16:9 was better on PDX-10 than on the PD150.
If I can find it!

On the low light stuff. I can always boost up gain, right? Or slow the shutter a bit.

It's that inability to shoot into the light that I find disturbing. I mean, a great halo, okay; but a vertical line!

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Old March 16th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #7
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16:9 quality is just a function of the number of pixels. The PD-150 only has around 400,000 but the PDX-10 has over a million. The ccd's are 4:3 aspect ratio, but are used such that a somehat smaller 4:3 rectangle captures images in standard mode, but in 16:9 mode a wider and shorter rectangle is used. Due to the larger pixel count there are enough pixels available in 16:9 to capture about a 854x480 frame which the camera anamorphically squeezes to 720x480. On the PD-150 the only way to acheive the 16:9 aspect ratio is by using a rectangle about 720x360 on the CCD. Then the camera also stretches this to 720x480 to create the anamorphic image. Less raw data = lower resolution.

I don't have a lot of problems with the vertical smear unless I intentionally shoot into the sun. It takes an extreme contrast difference between the bright spot and surrounding area to trigger the smear. You will have to decide how often you might be in such a situation. I put a little clip online the shows the problem here. Now notice that I was shooting directly into the sun, and the smear doesn't appear until a cloud moves a bit. Most of this sequence was fine, just this short part was ruined by the smear, and I think that stopping down a bit more would have eliminated the problem completely.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 06:15 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for all of this data, Boyd. And shooting PAL will give me that much more -- I think. Anyway, we will try the PDX-10. I'm sure I will fall in love with the little thing and buy one when I get back to U.S.
Thanks again.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #9
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Hello,

We all would probably be really interested in hearing what happens if you do use the PDX-10 in this situation.. I am sure everyone will be interested in how the two cameras will cut together, and how much of a gap there is between the two Cameras.. please give us a report on it..

Mike M.
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Old March 17th, 2004, 06:34 AM   #10
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Mike,

Further down the road I will give you that report.

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Old March 22nd, 2004, 02:30 AM   #11
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I agree with a lot of what you say Boyd but take issue with you over your thoughts, "that stopping down a bit more would have eliminated the problem completely." In fact this isn't so, as turning the exposure wheel on the PDX10 hardly stops down the lens at all, and from f4.5 onwards all you're doing is introducing more and more ND filtration. This won't correct or affect the smear problem at all.

What I would say is to beware of using high shutter speeds with the PDX10 Don't go above the default 1/50th 1/60th, turn off the auto shutter and accept this minor restriction to your shooting settings. You certainly don't need to be shooting into the sun to get smearing on the CCDs. Set 1/1000th sec and simply shoot a mildly contrasty scene.

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Old March 22nd, 2004, 09:15 AM   #12
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I guess my point is that if you look at that smear example you will see there's only the faintest ghost at the beginning. Then the contrast between the sun and sky hits a threshold as a cloud moves and you can watch the smear grow into a solid bar. You may be right about the exposure wheel, so maybe I would need to add another external ND filter to get the brightness down a bit more (I was using a couple stacked ND filters for that shot already).

I was sort of brought back to reality on this whole smear issue just recently. Someone sent me some examples of sunrises they've been fillming with a PD-150. There were very noticeable examples of vertical smear in these as well. However the difference was that they didn't manifest as solid bars like the PDX-10, but they did look just like the less severe smearing that you see on the PDX-10 when you reduce the exposure a bit.

Sometimes the smear creates a nice effect like a star filter. I really don't see other examples of smearing that you mention Tom. But then I always use manual controls and wouldn't be using 1/1000 shutter speeds. When I shoot our performance video I've been pleasantly surprised that exposed stage lights haven't created any smear. Sounds like much of the problem can be avoided by shooting with manual control and adjusting exposure to minimize smearing.
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