Optura XI vs TRV 50 at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 30th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #1
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Optura XI vs TRV 50

A question for specialists.
These are 2 discontinued models. I plan to buy one of them on eBay. Which one is better of these two.

(note1: TRV 50 is better than TRV 80 IMHO)
(note2: Optura XI (NTSC) not MVX3i (PAL), these models have different video-pixels count, and it makes a big difference)

Here is what I gathered:
trv50 vs Xi
CCD/video pixels: 1/4(970) < 1/3.4(1230)
Wide angle: 39.6(bad) < 44(the best)
16:9: unknown, please help?
Stabilizer: SuperSteady Digital < Optical
Low-light: >
Size/Design: > (IMHO)
Power Consumption: >
Night:IR NightShot > NightMode
Manual Controls: no white balance <

In addition
trv50 has Spot Focus/Meter; Advanced HAD;
XI has DIGIC, RGB filter; Manual Audio Control

Please help me to decide.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 03:28 PM   #2
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I don't believe the TRV50 had a high quality 16:9 mode (the TRV70 does and is better than the TRV80).

Of course the Xi has the best 16:9 of any single chipper but the $200 rebate expires today.. I'm not very fond of the Xi but I would choose it over the TRV50 or TRV70.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 10:42 PM   #3
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Why is the TRV70 better than the TRV80? As far as I can tell, they have an identical imaging system.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 11:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Why is the TRV70 better than the TRV80? As far as I can tell, they have an identical imaging system.
The TRV70 costs less and lacks worthless Bluetooth. I also prefer the much higher resolution LCD on the TRV70 even though its 2.5" versus 3.5" on the TRV80.

I guess its a matter of preference and budget but I'd take the TRV70 out of the two.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 08:16 AM   #5
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Ah, so it's a subjective opinion then, which was not clear at all in your first blanket statement that the TRV70 was "better than the TRV80."

I agree Bluetooth is useless. However, while the 3.5" screen may be lower resolution than the TRV70's, it is by no means coarse, having a higher pixel count than most 3.5" screens (including that of the newer HC85). I think having a 2.5" screen on a model as large and expensive as the TRV70 was a bad move, especially since the model below it came with a 3.5" and we are now forced to depend on touch-screen menus.

Now that both models have been discontinued the price difference isn't so great. I initially wanted the TRV70, but picked up a TRV80 after finding it priced LOWER than the TRV70 (both models are very scarce in Toronto now, so the price depends how badly a dealer wants to get rid of old inventory). I love the 3.5" screen. Compared to the 4" screen on my old TRV720 D8, it is high precision. The LCD on the 720 was only 123K pixels, but the 4" screen size had its merits.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Ah, so it's a subjective opinion then,
Isn't it all subjective opinion? You're actually the first person I've known to own a TRV80. I have three good friends that bought TRV70s recently at $699 USD on closeout and saved over $150 over the TRV80. The LCD quality is quite remarkable and I think it makes up for the size (kinda like the VX2000 LCD).

Its interesting to note that while most multi-megapixel camcorders have less than desireable low light performance (TRV70, TRV80, PC330). Sony appears to have taken note of this and the upcoming PC350 is said to have improved low light performance even with its 3 megapixel CCD.

One last issue is with 16:9 on the TRV70 and TRV80. For some reason they both decrease the width of view in 16:9 as you zoom in. When at full 10X optical zoom the width of the 16:9 image is the same width as using 4:3. Perhaps at full 10X zoom the system is more agressive and uses more pixels that would normally be used for HQ 16:9. Not sure why this occurs unless its due to the Super Steadyshot system that employs electronic sensors and CCD pixels for image stabilization. An optical image stabilization system would have been preferred as found in the Optura Xi.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 11:31 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tommy Haupfear : Isn't it all subjective opinion? -->>>

Yeah, but the meaning of your first sentence in your first post wasn't clear... you could have been saying the TRV80 didn't have the 16:9 capabilities of the TRV70, or that there was some other characteristic that made the 70 better. I just wanted clarification to see if I missed something in the TRV70's specs that might have made it the better camera.

Price wise (in Canadian funds), the choices in Toronto were:

TRV80 new: $1999 from Sony, $1499 on clearance from an authorized dealer;

TRV80 demo (which I ended up purchasing): $1329 from same authorized dealer;

TRV70 demo: $1429 from a different authorized dealer.

Anyway, they're both decent one CCD cams... a little pricey when new, but good values today, especially since the replacement HC85 has a lower-resolution LCD.

Edit:

Your notes on the 16:9 mode are interesting... it seems like we're still not getting 100% widescreen native on these cameras, but at least it is improved over previous models (including the VX2100!).
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 10:31 AM   #8
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You're right Chris, most camera's in Sony's range seem 'better' than the VX21000 in the wide-screen mode. But better in the real (gloomy) world?

This is the VX2k1's trump card. There was a lot of moaning and
knashing of teeth when the 2100 replaced the 2000 and the new model was found *not* to have mega-pixel chips with all the fancy 16:9 switching the PDX10 has. But Sony know that for a lot of folk the extrodanary low-light capability of the VX/PD is the very reason it sells so well, and why people buy it in preference to a DVX100A, an XL1-S and so on.

Sony know that the PDX10 is 3.5 stops less sensitive than the VX. That's a massive loss. Just think - you're filming wide open at 0Db gain up. The guy next to you with his fancy megapixel chipped PD is at maximum aperture and 18dB of gain, and he's still under exposing his footage by half a stop. If you're both shooting 16:9 he may well feel smug thinking of his 'superior
vertical resolution', but in reality the loss of colour and the increase in grain being forced on him because of the low light insensitivity negate all that resolution gain at a stroke.

Of course in good (low contrast) lighting it's a different matter, and it's here that the PDX10 excels.

tom.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 11:36 AM   #9
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You get what you pay for :)

Edit:

I should probably tell you what I'm using my TRV80 for.

Up untill this point a few two-minute comedy sketches, and I plan on doing a twelve-munute short. The PDX-10 was my first choice but out of my budget right now. The wide screen ability and clarity of the TVR80 was the next best thing. For a one chip camcorder it is quite good.

Low light is where it falls down of course, but in that regard the PDX-10 isn't much better... I give up a bit for manual control, but the price/performance ratio of the TRV78/80 is very good (at the closeout prices).

Too bad there isn't a dedicated TRVx0 forum. The TRV10 / 20 / 30 / 50 / 70 / 80 were a cut above the rest of the one-chippers, and pretty popular with no-budget student filmmakers like me.
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