PDX10 and GL2 for wedding videography at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 19th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #1
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PDX10 and GL2 for wedding videography

I just got the PDX10 last week and like it. I also have a Canon GL2 and think (and hope) the cameras complement each other nicely. I'm shooting a wedding with the two cameras tomorrow night.

So far I'd say in average to good lighting, the PDX10 is better. Its XLR audio is a level better than the GL2 (even with the RODE Videomic I have for the GL2). And of course, the 16:9 mode is much better than the GL2s.

The GL2 wins by a wide margin in low light (maybe 2 stops better?). I have a video light for the PDX10 and can also run it with a shutter speed of 1/30 to get more light. I did a test run tonight at the church (rehearsal) and the PDX10 had no trouble with the lighting. At the dimly lit reception restaurant, however, I will probably need the occasional help of my video light (for the PDX10).

I'll make another post next week to let people know how the wedding shoot goes.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 08:10 AM   #2
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Thanks Jeff -- looking forward to your report!
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Old May 20th, 2005, 09:05 AM   #3
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Just a word about 1/30 shutter speed... try a test and be sure to evaluate on a good monitor before using for something important. The PDX-10 - and virtually all camcorders - acheive 1/30 shutter speed by "field doubling" which means you're losing (theoretically) half of your vertical resolution.

Think about it... in order to expose the CCD's for 1/30 sec the same data must be written to both of the 60i fields, so you only really capture 240 vertical lines instead of the full 480. In reality the drop isn't a full 50% because in normal 1/60 mode 480 lines are aren't really captured, it's more like 360. But my point is that if you look carefully you'll see that video shot at 1/30 sec looks noticeably "softer". This may or may not bother you.

The good thing about the PDX-10 is the 14 bit DSP chip which allows a very clean gain boost. Recently I was shooting a dark performance and had to boost the gain by 15dB. There is some noise, but it's still usable. At 12dB the noise is negligible, and at 9dB you really can't see any noise.

Again, try some tests in advance if you can. It's unfortunate that the viewfinder doesn't indicate f-stop or gain, but you can try this trick to help in manual mode. Turn the exposure wheel so the indicator is completely to the right of the bargraph. That will be +18dB gain. Now turn to the left one click at a time and count in 3dB steps... 12d-9dB-6dB-3dB-0dB. When you reach 0dB note the relative position of the pointer.

Good luck with the shoot, let us know how it works out!
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #4
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PDX10 and GL2 wedding shoot

I've edited the wedding footage of both cameras and I'm happy with the PDX10 footage. I've posted a few clips from the wedding on this page:

http://www.coloradofilmworks.com/parkes.htm

The GL2 shot the footage from far away and the PDX10 shot the close up footage from behind the altar. Note that all video was shot in 4:3 mode.

I haven't edited the PDX10 reception footage that I shot at 1/30 shutter speed--perhaps I'll have some comments on that tomorrow and tell you how much the resolution suffered. I can tell you that it was bright enough at the reception that I didn't need my video lights when running at 1/30.

As reported elsewhere, the PDX10 does have a problem with vertical smear of light sources, but it can be avoided with some care on camera angle.

A couple other tips that some or all of you may already know, when shooting a long event and you need to be mobile, get a monopod. My $35 bogen monopod was invaluable in helping me get steady shots at the reception and it really prevented my arms from getting tired.

Another tip: if you're audio is hissy (or noisy), use a tool like Cool Edit 96. My wireless audio had a mechanical hum in it and I thought it was unusable. I used Cool Edit's noise reduction and, voila, noise free audio! Highly recommended.

One last tip: if you have a wireless mic, make sure it is MULTI channel capable. My AKG 745Mhz UHF mic was useless at the wedding because a TV station also broadcasts at that frequency! Fortunately I had a backup (although not as high quality--hence the mechanical hum).

Anyway, I'll post some more about the reception (low light) video soon.

-Jeff
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Old May 26th, 2005, 10:42 AM   #5
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PDX10 and GL2 wedding shoot (sample frames)

I grabbed a couple of frames from the (raw) reception tapes. The PDX10 looks pretty decent at 1/30 sec shutter speed:

PDX10 at 1/30 sec shutter speed:
http://www.coloradofilmworks.com/par...x10_recept.JPG

GL2 at 1/60 sec shutter speed
http://www.coloradofilmworks.com/parkes/gl2_recept.JPG
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #6
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Ive been pondering a pdx10 purchase myself to compliment my VX2k and replace my 1 chip PC110. Jeff your shots look pretty good and from what i can tell give a better picture in lowlight than what my 110 will do.Jeff I like the colors better on the pdx over the GL in your reception pics. would have liked to have seen some shots from the pdx in 1/60 at the recption do you have any?
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Old May 26th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #7
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Just curious, what was the PDX gain set to? Instead of dropping the shutter to 1/30 you could add 6dB of gain for similar result. As I said above, even a gain boost of +12dB looks pretty decent in my experience. But maybe you were already maxxed out on that?

BTW Matt, I have both PDX-10 and VX-2000. My tests show that the PDX-10 is about 2.5 f-stops slower than the VX-2000, but the very clean gain boost compensates quite a bit for this.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #8
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Matt, these wedding shots were at 1/60th:
http://www.coloradofilmworks.com/parkes.htm

All the closeup shots from behind the minister were shot by the PDX10. The far away shots from the front were shot with my GL2.

Boyd, I had AGC off, so I'm sure the gain was +12 or perhaps +18 (the max, I believe). But I don't know for sure. I'm still new with the PDX10, is there a display setting that shows you the current gain level?
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