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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 16th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #1
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PDX10 -good skintone? & Blown out highlights

I have seen some of your nice scenic, and outdoor clips, but was wondering how many of you PDX10ers use this cam for people shots and how well it handles skintone color reproduction. I like the rich and vibrant colors of this cam, but never got to test it out on people (I will be shooting in a properly lit in a studio environment)

Thanks! Also,
Some of the clips I have seen have really blown out highlights such as in skys. and white objects. Is this a challenge for this camera, or nohing to worry about if you properly set exposure and limit contrast range?
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Old November 17th, 2004, 08:59 AM   #2
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Skin tone can be easliy ruined by having to much chroma, but you can control that in the custom preset menu, then as long as you expose properly (use manual or turn the AE shift down) you can get natural skin images on tape.

Regarding contrast: I would say the PDX10 has slightly more lattitude than the PD170... but not much. It's easy to ruin images with high contrast on cameras with such small CCDs. Also, Sony CCD chips are known for their not very gracefull response to high contrast and smearing. Although the XL1 has other shortcomings, you can tell how great the CCD in the Canon responds to contrast going outside on a sunny day, it seems much more natural. So if you will be shooting in uncontrolled circumstances, don't expect the PDX10 to behave like an XL1 or DVX100 in terms of contrast handling. On the other hand, in a studio setting where you have fuill control of lighting, you can get 16:9 images that you will never get from other sub-$3k cams, and not even with the XL1 or DVX100. The next step up fpr that kind of work would be the XL2 or the new Sony HDV cams... much more expensive than the PDX10.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #3
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Here are some deinterlaced stills from performance videos that "show some skin." They are not closeups though, and have had some color correction applied. Of course these are also subject to the limitations of stage lighting which can be very contrasty for video. I have some more recent stuff that I'll try to put online soon. This season I've been using my Sony 2x high grade telephoto lens which gives a pretty close shot, even from my location 110' from the stage.

http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pearl/pix/01/07.jpeg
http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pearl/pix/01/06.jpeg
http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pearl/pix/01/10.jpeg
http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pearl/pix/02/04.jpeg
http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pearl/pix/31/02.jpeg
http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pearl/pix/31/05.jpeg
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Old November 17th, 2004, 01:01 PM   #4
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thanks

Thank you Ignacia and Boyd for your detailed replies!
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Old November 17th, 2004, 05:09 PM   #5
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You're welcome Brian. Here are a couple more:

http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/fau...lentine-02.jpg
http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pas.../norina-01.jpg
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Old November 17th, 2004, 05:23 PM   #6
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nice shots Boyd

That's very nice. Are you limited to shooting the operas during performances or do you ever get a chance to get in closer to anything creative, say, during dress rehearsals?

Also, how much room is available under the larger lens hood to accomodate stepup rings to larger filters (my extensive filter set is 58mm) just curious if I need another hood.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 08:33 PM   #7
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Thanks Brian. I shoot dress rehearsals too, unless I am designing lights and in that case I can't think about video until after opening :-) I can get a closer shot at a more interesting angle then, but the performances have a very different energy level which tends to make up for the lack of an ideal camera location.

Regarding the filters... just looking at a 58MM filter from my VX-2000. It fits inside the hood fine. However the "neck" of the hood is too small for the filter, and it's at least 1/2" deep. Then you will need a little more depth for the threads abnd the tapered part of the hood. So any stepup ring will have to be pretty deep - probably 3/4", and no more than (maybe) 43mm diameter. Might be tough.

But the good news is that the 37mm filters are really inexpensive. Someone just e-mailed me that Ritz camera sells them for $1.25 or so. The ones I got were a bit more than that, but still quite reasonable. I think you will find that a more practical solution, unless you want to shoot without the lens hood, and possibly use a screw-in rubber hood on your filters. In that case you will need to check for vignetting on an underscanning monitor.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 09:50 PM   #8
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OK

Thanks again, Boyd.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 01:08 PM   #9
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Boyd, Higher pixel count better for projection?

Boyd,

As I was searching some older posts, I noticed that you displayed some of your PDX10 footage on a large projection with good results. I was wondering if you had tried to project any footage from your VX2000 (not 16:9 of course).

My real question is (excuse me) does the higher pixel count of the PDX10 serve to render a more defined or detailed image than a 380K chipset, when displaying on a larger device or projection unit, or is it a moot point after dv compression and a 720x480 final res anyway?

Thanks
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Old November 30th, 2004, 01:30 PM   #10
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Actually I was curious about this myself, which is why I did the following experiments: http://www.greenmist.com/dv/garden. My conclusion was that the VX-2000 image was a little nicer in 4:3 mode. I also concluded that the DV compression gets an undeserved bad rap, the real shortcomings are in the cameras - see my example of the high resolution photo that was downsampled to 720x480 and DV compressed.

No, I did not try projecting on the big screen. Interesting that you mention this however. It looks like I'll be doing projections for a big international production of a Wagner opera. The video will be shown on a square screen, so I need to think a little about the best way to shoot this, having spent the past few years thinking in 16:9 terms. I don't know what the budgets will be yet or if they will support renting/buying another camera. I did decide however that if I need to use one of my existing cameras then the VX-2000 would be the one. The PDX-10 really has no advantages over it for 4:3.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 04:44 PM   #11
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hmm, I had projected PDX10 footage onto the big screen.

shot in 16:9, output to 4:3 with letterboxing, and projected.

To tell the truth, it looked just a little soft, but that could be because of a number of factors, plus we didn't compare it to other cameras.
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