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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:24 PM   #1
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pdx10

I have not got my pdx10 yet, but as the v/finder is small i wonder is there a rubber cup you can buy for it, something like the big one that comes with the 170, it would make it better in bright light.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 02:39 PM   #2
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Tom,

Just read your review in computer video (feb 2004) on the pdx10, seems the the ccd smear was a big thing in your view, Also read the one in camcorder user (uk) and it said that useing a 1/50 shutter setting it was not blighted by this phenomenon.

After much debate i ordered one last week and they said that it was on back order, they said selling like hot cakes, in the time that the pdx has been out is it possible that sony have done something about the problem.

It seems very popular with the vendor iam buying from, next to the 170 and yes although reasonbly priced, there are some other good models in that price bracket, or is it just the 16:9 thats the main selling feature.

I must confess after reading Tom's review i hope that i have not made a big mistake.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #3
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My personal experience is that smear isn't much of an issue. You can force it to happen if you shoot directly into a REALLY bright light - like the sun. Keeping the shutter at 1/50 and avoiding overexposure through the use of manual controls will solve most of your problems. The smear is worse at high shutter speeds.

Browse back through our forum, we've sorta beaten this topic to death, and there are plenty of satisfied PDX-10 users that don't feel this is really an issue. I don't think Sony has made any changes to the CCD's to reduce smear. Rather, I think that the problem was exaggerated by people who were new to the camera in the beginning.

But yes. I think the main advantage to the PDX-10 is the 16:9. If you aren't particularly interested in 16:9 then the 170 would be a better choice. Not sure about your local vendors, but here at B&H the PDX-10 sells for about half the price of the PD-170 though ($1,600 after rebate). It's a great value, considering that some of us (like me) paid $2,200 a couple years ago. But no one camera can be right for everybody of course. I also have a VX-2000, and if for some reason I could only keep one then I'd get rid of the VX-2000. It's a great camera, but the 16:9 quality and better audio on the PDX-10 are worth much more to me personally.

Your mileage may vary...
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Old February 19th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #4
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Be aware of light sources falling within or just above the frame.
This can include windows, headlights, stadium lights, and candles... You will get used to what sets off the smear, and you will know how to shoot appropriately. It really is a minor thing.
(It's also a you-get-what-you-pay-for thing)
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Old February 20th, 2005, 04:56 AM   #5
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Thanks Shawn, Boyd,

The main reason for getting this camera is the true widescreen, a backup for my 170 for weddings and other promotion video's that iam hopefully starting to do, more portable.

The low light thing may not be such a big deal, but the ccd flare will have to be worked around.

Shawn,

You say you get what you pay for, when the camera first came out it was not cheap, and even now you have got to be serious before you buy one, there,s plenty more now and cheaper (panasonic) and the Canon Xm2 could give the pdx a run for your money, and yet the vendor say's there is nearly a 2wk back order for it, so eitheir sony is slowing down production or there is still a big demand for it?
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Old February 20th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #6
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Just have to echo what Boyd and Shawn have said here--I personally have not had any problems with smear in day to day usage. I know it's there (because people say it is) and I know it can be induced, but I've never actually seen it. And the examples of it I've seen (shot by others) didn't turn me off, really. I guess I don't do much shooting in marginal/extreme situations--like shooting directly at the sun, or at klieg lights. Just a personal quirk. ;^)

It's easy to go back through the forum archives and become alarmed by the recurring theme of "smear", but really, in everyday usage, and with a small amount of common sense, it's not a problem. CCD smear may be the WMD of the PDX-10....
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Old February 20th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #7
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All good points here, as Mr Hardwick would say. The smear is tough for me personally, though, because I love my fast shutterspeeds, which are a challenge to use in normal daytime situations.

Ian. You bet, there are other cameras, but the PDX is still special for different reasons (high quality 16:9, a closest cheapest match to other higher end Sony cams, combined with high quality native XLR sound).

In conclusion, it's a great little cam with idiosyncracies that can be worked around.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Shawn Mielke :
In conclusion, it's a great little cam with idiosyncracies that can be worked around. -->>>

Amen.
Now...about that damned zoom lever/focus ring/info readout... ;^)
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Old February 20th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #9
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Solution: Ignore it and it will go away! :-]
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Old February 20th, 2005, 07:28 PM   #10
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Think: LANC controller... :-)
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Old February 20th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #11
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Think: dead reckoning! ;>
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 02:51 PM   #12
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I was tough on the little PDX10 because when I tested it the VX2100 was available for a few dollars more, and a lot of the PDX's 'specialties' are cured by going for the VX. The VX has a few downsides too of course, and I'm happy to tell you what they are.

But you're not making a mistake Ian. It's a great little cam that had its limits (as they all do) but it has its strengths too, and has them in abundance. If you're going to be shooting 16:9 and don't want to lug about an FX1, it's the camera for you. If you're not going to be shooting 16:9 then it's not really such a good deal. Without the widescreen mode the wide-angle coverage is useless, too.

I'm sure the current model is unchanged from the one I tested a year ago, and Sony are much more likely to replace it than upgrade it. And whatever's said here, the camera exhibits huge amounts of horrendous CCD smear, and you don't need 'bright lights just inside or outside the frame'. I shot kids on a huge trampoline at 1/1000th sec and the footage was unusable, and all I had was some grey sky above the background hedges.

So keep to the default shutter speed and accept the wobbling ND filters and the footage it records will blow your socks off. It's not really a camera for the button-twirling experimenter, and my biggest complaint was that Sony were selling it as a professional piece of kit and yet didn't even tell you what aperture you were shooting at.

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Old February 23rd, 2005, 03:17 PM   #13
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pdx10

Still waiting for my pdx10,

First thankyou all for the advice this is a great place,

I was just thinking today after reading alot of the posts on this site about the quirkes on this little cam, you would think that Sony would have come in with a few tips and advice on how to work round them, after all they made it, and you would think that they would want sales to do well, yes for the price this is a fine cam but a little help from its designer would help!


Anyway in the advent of HDV please don't let this forum die on this little gem.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 03:28 PM   #14
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You're thinking it would be nice for Sony to admit that work-arounds are necessary to get the best out of their camcorders? This ain't gonna happen. The beauty of this www is that manufacturers have nowhere to hide, and the truth will out. So will the conspiracy theories too, of course, but overall the www works in all our favours.

Sony have never ever admitted to the fact that the PDX employs automatic in-built ND filters, but that's no surprise as Panasonic have been doing it for years and they have only just started making mention of it in their advertising blurb. Sony (as usual) does it better in my view - at least they have three of them, and Panasonic have only just gone from using a single ND to two.

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Old February 23rd, 2005, 04:50 PM   #15
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That's why we're here Ian, to tell you all the stuff that Sony doesn't ;-) Rest assured that this forum isn't going anywhere. BTW, I merged your new thread with your previous one since they both had the same title and covered the same ground.
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