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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 19th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #1
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my needs need to be met.

hi guys, im new to the board.

i am looking at buying a camera to start filming a video for a bmx company i own. I have been looking extensively into the trv-950 for a while now and ive also been talking, via AOL, to someone who is willing to give me a great deal on his trv-950. ive checked its a nice camera and hes also throwing in a 100 watt bescor light, an infolithium battery, and a sony shotgun microphone. It will also include all original accessories and the camera looks brand new. This whole deal i will be getting for 1500 american dollars. IF i decide to.

ever since ive been at this forum ive heard nothing but good news about the pdx10 which, to be honest, i wasnt even familiar with until i joined this forum.

I definately like the size of these cameras for various reasons, but i want to make the right choice for the quality camera out of the two.

is the deal i have for the 950 too good to pass up? or is the pdx10 so good that id be stupid getting the 950?

thanx for anyone who may help out.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 04:04 PM   #2
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The PDX10 has the better widescreen, audio and DVCAM format. It depends if you need or want these, otherwise the TRV950 is a good cam, especially if you can get "this deal."
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Old May 19th, 2004, 09:03 PM   #3
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yea im pretty decided on the deal to be honest.

just sorta checking that its not a huge mistake as if the pdx10 is like waaaaaaay better.

thanx.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 02:02 AM   #4
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It's probably not "a huge mistake" unless your main goal is to record live music or capture good interview sound in noisy environments using expensive shotgun mics: You cannot connect a $700 pro mic easily on the trv950 and the DVCAM recording format of pdx10 is a bit better for pro sound because the tape moves faster.

Just make sure that you don't need top class 16:9. The trv950 uses a smaller area of the ccd than the pdx10 when recording 16:9. It affects the 16:9 picture quality somewhat (but I haven't compared). Also, when you switch from 4:3 to 16:9 on trv950, the horizontal angle of view stays the same. The image just gets a bit flatter. Not so in pdx10.

In 4:3 there shouldn't be any difference...

Both are very nice camcorders.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 02:25 AM   #5
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What's a "bmx company"?
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Old May 20th, 2004, 02:39 AM   #6
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You say "My needs need to be met". Yet you do not tell us your needs. Please, be more specific.

Are you shooting indoors? Outdoors? In bright daylight? At dusk/night? Interviews? Sports? Close up? Far away?
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Old May 20th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #7
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well to be honest with you the whole need thing is pretty much just words.

i will be shooting in all types of environment including night and day, will the light be enough for night, as i know it doesnt perform too great in low light.

i would give you guys some more specifics but there really is no need, all im asking is the broad question that "will i be making a huge mistake" if going for the 950.

i, personally, do not, but this is alot of money and i want to make the right decision.

just pretty much asking some things to look out for, stuff like that.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #8
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I think you would be perfectly fine with that set up.
My freind has a bmx company if you want to call it that(yes i ride also, so i probably know how you will be filming). I'm using a vx-2000 right now, so i can't tell you exactly how good your camera would do at night. I do know that i never HAVE to use my 50 watt bescor light even at night time, usually spots are well enough lit. So if you have a 100 watt light i don't think you would have anything to worry about.
As far as audio, the onboard mic is probably more than enough for just getting grinds and peg chinks and all that.
The only reason i would go with the pdx10 if you ONLY shoot bmx is that it would be REALLY cool to see a (bmx)vid shot in true 16:9 i still havn't seen one yet.
I would say deffenatly go for that deal and look into investing into a babydeath on the money you will save. I just hope it doesn't break on you if there's no warrantey.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 04:38 AM   #9
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"i will be shooting in all types of environment including night and day"

"will the light be enough for night, as i know it doesnt perform too great in low light."

The trv950 (or pdx10) performs pretty good as compared to many other miniDV camcorders. Check the camcorder shoot off at camcorderinfo.com... The trv950/pdx10 does not perform very well, however, when compared to camcorders twice its size or price or both... It is also possible that some older and cheap single & large chip camcorders *might* give a brighter image in low light - but also give an inferior picture in bright daylight. The trv950 is still a wonderfull machine. Just turn on the lamps. The bright ones.

If the scene is lowly lit (dim street lighting, yellowish etc) then the picture quality might suffer and become grainy, but if the spots are brightly lit with "intense white light" or something like that, then you'll probably get some real nice footage. And in daylight, oh, the footage is beautiful. And, as a huge bonus, the sharpening can be turned off or adjusted for more/less. You'll want that option. And you'll want to have all the custom presets things and the manual white balance. And the size is very nice. So, you have two very good choices in trv950 and pdx10.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"will i be making a huge mistake if going for the 950."

No, it is not a huge mistake to get the trv950 *IF* you are not looking specificly for the very best 16:9 quality. The better (sharper) 16:9 of the pdx10 would be nice, of course, but if money is an issue, and 16:9 isn't that important, then you could shoot in 4:3 mode or accept the slighly lower picture quality of the 16:9 mode of trv950...

You will probably benefit more, afterall, from

1) a good wideangle adapter for close shots or a telephoto adapter if the 10x zoom is not enough. Forget digital zoom.

2) a good tripod like the Manfrotto 190 series with a small DV head or some other reasonably priced quality tripod. .
(disclaimer: I do not know anything about shooting "BMX")

3) good lighting equipment, 1000 W or so, from a hardware store - if you are allowed to run cables and put lamps on the scene

4) a battery charger, VQ50 or better. The camcorder charges sloooooooooow.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

"this is alot of money and i want to make the right decision."

A rough guide:

If you *require* excellent and sharp 16:9 then you'll need the pdx10. Period.

If you want a very good camcorder that also offers some lower resolution 16:9 as a nice little bonus then get the trv950. The fact that fewer vertical lines are used shows in the 16:9 picture quality. So with trv950 you have to choose between resolution and width.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 08:57 AM   #10
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Brad, I also make BMX videos. I'm using a trv950 as well and its great. two things to watch out for though, the lux rating isnt that great and some lights at the skateparks cause verticle smear, but its all round a great little tool. Currently for audio I'm using an Azden SGM-X but I have a Sign xlrprojr and an Audio Technica at897 on the way as we speak. Like someone mentioned earlier, the trv950 uses a smaller area of the CCDs for 16:9 than the pdx10, but I have seen resolution charts comparing the two and it is hardly noticeable. I am actually planning to shoot a short bmx film using the 16:9 mode of the trv950 soon.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 09:43 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ralf Strandell : or a telephoto adapter if the 10x zoom is not enough. Forget digital zoom. -->>>

Ralf, have you actually tried the digital zoom on the TRV-950 or PDX-10? I had my PDX-10 for quite awhile before I tried it, assuming it would just make the pixels larger. But I was actually quite surprised, the quality wasn't bad at all due to the high resolution of the CCD's. Sure, it introduces a bit of softness, but it's worthy of some experimentation before you dismiss it out of hand (caveat: I can only speak for the PDX-10, haven't tried this on a 950).

I have the Sony high grade 2x lens, and when I use this in combination with the 2x digital zoom I get 48x images that are really pretty decent. For example, with a heavy ND filter right at sunset I am clearly able to see sunspots. Craters on the moon are quite well defined as well.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 10:28 AM   #12
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Maybe the other approach to whether or not to get a 950 is that, quite simply, there isn't another camcorder for $1500, with 3CCDs (don't bother with 1CCD cams) that aren't teeny weeny (these other, cheaper, 1/6" CCD cams available will do nothing for your low light performance). So, unless you are prepared to enter the $2k range, your decision has already been made for you, I should say. The 950 is it.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 11:17 AM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : Ralf, have you actually tried the digital zoom on the TRV-950 or PDX-10?

Not after I initially looked at it and decided not to use it. At 4x digital zoom (48x effective) some pretty bad noise appeared. I then decided that I don't like it.

OK, I was wrong... Too hasty.

I never really considered using 2x digital zoom. I have been brainwashed to not trust in any digital zoom :) and so I quickly decided not to use it without paying too much attention to detail.

At a closer look this problem seems to be related to the amount of light available and gain used... 24x zoom (or even 48x) doesn't look all that bad in bright light, but if the lighting is dimmer and gain is needed then the digital zoom is nothing beatiful. It makes the noise fourfold (or more noticeable at least)...
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