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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 11th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #1
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Upgrading to the XL2 - Help

I am currently using a Sony TRV940/950 3CCD camera and am seriously thinking of upgrading to the new Sony HDV or the Canon XL2. I have a few questions and would appreciate any help.

I need a camera that works well for low light indoor shooting. The 940 is not that good. I also need to be able to connect the camera by firewire to my Panasonic DVR and burn the tapes directly to DVD. I am told the XL 2 can do this while the Sony cannot.

I am not a professional videographer and am content with auto settings. However picture quality & sound is of high importance to me. How does the picture quality (auto settings) on the XL2 Compare with the 940. Is there a huge noticeable difference?

Finally I have heard from local dealers that the picture quality with PAL format is better than NTSC. Is this true?

Thanks so much
Sandi Petersen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #2
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If low light shooting is your priority, you should be looking at the Sony VX2100 or its pro brother, the PD-170. The 170 is the undisputed choice for low light acquistion at this time. I'm not biased either because I own the XL-2, not the Sony.

Good luck,

Greg Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12th, 2005, 08:37 AM   #3
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I agree


I agree completely with what Greg said. The PD170 or VX2100 would be your best bet for low light performance. The XL2 is a great camera though, but unless you want to go into full manual mode its not going to really give you anything more than the PD170/VX2100. Sony's HDV camera thoough isn't something that you should really be looking at unless you really need HD, and since your wanting to burn your videos onto a DVD, which is only SD, HD doesn't sound like something that you really need at this time. To me it seems that the picture from the PD170/VX2100 or the XL2 beats an HDV image in almost every way except for resolution.
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Old May 12th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #4
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i have both a GL2 and an XL2. the XL2 autofocus seeks considerably more than the GL2 (and, i'm guessing more than your sony), so you really want to use that camera using either full or semi-manual options. also, i can't get away with using a lighter, portable tripod with it the same way i can with the GL2, so that's another potential expense. also, the bag you will need to lug an XL2 will be expensive, whereas a GL2 can fit in most modest-sized camera bags.

i do a lot of outdoor doc-type work, so i have no orthodoxy about not using auto-focus--sometimes the action won't wait--but i pretty much never use autofocus on the XL2 because it does not perform as well as the GL2 in a run-and-gun situation. the XL2 will give the better image, but not if the camera is seeking (there is a lot of ground for auto-focus to cover in a native 16:9 72 mm lens), and i may miss the shot entirely if i have to fuss with that big camera, which, for me, being left-handed and female, means i can't use it effectively without a tripod mount or stabilizer of some sort. it is not a camera for every user in every situation, like the GL2. if autofocus is a priority for you, the GL2 is an excellent choice--you can get truly beautiful images out of frame mode and with a range of inexpensive filtering devices. i don't know if you would consider a GL2 an upgrade from your current camera, but the XL2 might be way more camera than you need. images are a significant step up from my GL2, but getting those images into the camera as easily is a distinct challenge, comparatively speaking, and definitely a consideration, depending on the type of work you do. if you are always tripod-mounted or in a studio environment, then, i would say, go for it and learn to focus the camera. it is extremely easy to manually focus the XL2. the focus itself does not require a lot of practice, it is the 1001 other possible menu controls which will drive you insane, if you decide to start tinkering with them and obsessing over minutiae. which is fun enough but highly distracting!! i can spend hours doing countless test shots when i should just be outside working on my vast array of projects.

what are your reasons for upgrading?
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2005, 11:52 PM   #5
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PDX-10 vs XL2 for Widescreen DVD

>XL2...camera than you need. images are a significant step up from my GL2, but getting those images into the camera as easily is a distinct challenge<

Hi guys,

Been through the XL2/PD170/PDX10 forums for the last three hours nearly and this seems the best place to drop my query! Why? Cos I may be able to get an unused XL2 for same price as PDX-10.

I have PD150 and wish to shoot several DVD projects (and all future work) in widescreen. Have seen the VX2000 vs PDX-10 test pics and have the same blurry widescreen testcard images from my PD150 very recently. Was testing against a HVR-Z1P for potential purchase.

Having decided NOT to go the Z1 route, as HDV drop-outs are not acceptable for future HD work, it seems the PDX-10 will satisfy my need to get a good widescreen image until end of year when I review the HD scene. But, I could make an offer on said unused XL2 for same price as new PDX-10.

Query: How much 'better' is the XL2 image for DVD widescreen outdoor shooting? Silly question perhaps, but the quote above reflects my concern that getting better images would be hard work! I really prefer PD150/DVX100 format handling size. And I am quite sure I would struggle (in Hong Kong's heat particularly) to get an XL2 to perform. Like a JVC 5000 I recently sold due to lack of use, an XL2 could suffer same fate. (And I wouldn't get my projects done on time, or at all.)

Thanks for an excellent resource here.
Hong Kong
Richard Entwistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2005, 07:56 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I did end up buying a XL2 and the image quality in low light (auto mode) is a HUGE improvement over the TRV940. The camera is a bit large and heavy but since most of my work is done indoors this is perfect. I love this camera and have already started experimenting with manual settings. I guess some of you folks will be seeing more of me and my stupid questions on the XL2 branch.

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