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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 9th, 2003, 12:32 PM   #1
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PDX10vs:PD 150 vs: VX2000

Hello, I wish to purchase a new "professional" DV camcorder that is lighter than what I currently own. I have a 5 year old XL1 that continues to serve me well and a JVC DV500. I am doing more lower-end projects these days to keep an income coming in (including weddings, imagine that!) and frankly the weight and bulk of the DV500 is catching up with me for run and gun shooting.I am considering the DSR-PDX10 because of it's size, weight, XLR connections, etc.. Can anyone offer comments on the PDX10 VS: the PD150 or the VX2000? What can I expect compared to my original XLI or the DV500 picture? I undersatnd that Sony has just lowered the price on the PDX-10 and that B&H photo has it for around $1,800. Thoghts and suggestions very welcomed. Thanks, Craig
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Old March 9th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #2
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If you want small for "run and gun," then the PDX10 is the best way to go, I think. However, it's heavy and pulls to the front left when holding. Try to look at one first before shelling out your $1800. Here in Vancouver, there is a large PDX10 cult. I don't know what they call themselves---they even have meetings every 2 weeks.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 04:36 PM   #3
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pdx10 - pd150

Hi!

I agree with the previous message: absolutely go to a store and see it for yourself. I hesitated a great deal between the pdx-10 and pd-150, I spent 3 months researching on the web, and I finally went to the store last week to see it. The sales rep compared both cameras on separate monitors and the results are impressive. I am not an expert but I couldn't see the difference.
I plan to buy an X10 this week or the next.

Many people told me that the PD-150 has bigger CCD, therefore better image than the pdx-10. However, the sales rep told me that the X10 has a lot more pixels (1 million compared to about 300,000) than the PD150 (due to the still photo function), this would compensate in some way. The X10 has a true 16:9 function, (it does not stretch the image like other camera do).

The cons? the 150 performs better in low light, and is unbalanced due to the XLR module.

The audio is excellent, it's the same on both cameras, but the X10 has a "low cut" function on the XLR module that the 150 doesn't have.

Hope this is helpful...
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Old March 10th, 2003, 05:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback

Appreciate your input...I am also hearing that because the 150 is relativly "old tech" that during NAB in April, there might be more to choose from as well...Thoughts? Craig
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Old March 10th, 2003, 07:31 AM   #5
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new PD150

Well, no one knows if there will be any new PD150 soon, when I talked to the sales rep, he told me that they have no clue if SONY will release a new model soon. Until then, you may want to have a look at the next DV magazine, there should be a complete review of the PDX10.
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Old March 11th, 2003, 02:21 AM   #6
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It doesn't seem to be a case of global warming, more a case of global glooming. It wasn't until I bought the VX2000 that I really admitted how much footage I was shooting under available darkness. And therein lies the VX2k/PD150's greatest strength. Weddings seem to be getting more romantically lit (read: gloomier). Having an on-camera light will sure solve this as quickly as it destroys the atmosphere you've been called upon to capture. In the class we're talking about, the VX2k is king in this respect.

The other point is that all zoom lenses lens loose speed as you zoom. The 950 drops to f2.8 at telephoto whereas the 2000 is half a stop wider at f2.4. This means that the 950 has to have 50% more light in the room to avoid gain-up if you want to use telephoto.

Another point is that the VX2k's bigger chips and longer focal length lenses give you more differential focus at any zoom position, and for portraiture work (which is what a lot of wedding shoots are all about) this looks so much better than the "everything's in focus" look of the 1/5" chipped 950.

tom.
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Old March 11th, 2003, 02:25 AM   #7
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A quick reply for Jeff. That salesman telling you that the 950 has more pixels than the VX2000 and that it'll "compensate in some way" was talking movie piffle. Your TV will be showing 720 x 576 pixels (or 720 x 480 in NTSC land) and there's nothing you can do to alter this historic fact. Your chips can have three million pixels but you'll still be showing 720 x 576 of them, regardless.

For still photography yes - the more pixels the better.

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Old March 11th, 2003, 04:03 AM   #8
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Tom,

First I just want to say that I'm not arguing, I'm asking since I don't understand. 720x576 gives 414,720 pixels. Does this mean that when the manufacturer states that there are e.g. 680,000 pixels for video he is not telling the truth and that nothing is, for video, gained by having more than 414,720 pixels? What happens to the overflow? I used to have a TRV11E (a 1CCD) but now I have the PDX10P and the difference between my new and my old cam is as between night and day (I'm at work so I can't say how many pixels is stated for video in the manual). Is this differences only due to PDX being 3CCD and not at all to the fact that it has a higher pixel count?

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Old March 11th, 2003, 04:26 AM   #9
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Keep asking the questions Hans, no worries.

No, the manufacturers are telling the truth when they state the gross nr of pixels. All chips have to have more than are used for the picture dispaly because of the electronic requirements deemed necessary for the chip to work (timing and processing). If you look at digital still cameras they often say something like: 3.2million pixels and 3 million effective. It's a known CCD fact, but a lot of manufacturers see this as an advertising gotcha, and quite naturally lean more heavily on the larger figure.

It's the same with digital zoom. Even with today's interpolation algorithms the digital zoom is all but useless, yet manufacturers are keen to promote the "120X DIGITAL ZOOM" in a camera-side font that is 4x the sixe of the optical zoom info.

Back to the chip pixel count. Cameras with EIS use bigger chips just so that the immage can float around on the chip as the camera is shaken and these can be retreived and sent to tape. Your TRV11 was one such camera, but to try and compare that to a PDX10 is unfair. They are price and chips and years apart, and I would expect the X10 to be noticeably better.

But the bottom line is this: They both use a raster of 720 x 576 (in the 4:3 aspect ratio) and if they didn't, they wouldn't be DV.

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Old March 11th, 2003, 06:38 AM   #10
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pixel follow up

Thanks for your input Tom,

You are comparing the 950 and VX2000, I was talking about the PDX10 and PD-150. Is there any difference between the 950 and X10 (pixel wise)?

Anyone else has any input on this (nb of pixels vs CCD size - quality of image)?
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Old March 11th, 2003, 06:55 AM   #11
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Doesn't matter what you compare Jeff. The 950 and the X10 utilise the same lens/chip block assembly, but the electronics of the X10 enable it to do 16:9 by utilising more horizontal pixels.

Digital-think all revolves around the pixel count. Go into any shop and listen to the salesman - what's he selling? Pixels by the pound, nothing more. It's like saying (back in film days) that, "My camera is now a 16 million pixel camera" (read: I have Kodachrome 25 film loaded).
Tomorrow I could announce that: "Today my camera is a 7 million pixel camera" (read: I now have TRI X loaded).

Resolution has far more to do with lens performance than it ever does to pixels (and by the way, a simplification says that one pixel is an RGB assembly). Yet how often do you hear digi-speakers referring to the quality and speed of their lenses? Even stranger, some camera specifications labour on the digital zoom that's available yet fail to mention the maximum aperture of the lens at full telephoto. It's a strange thing that's happened in this changeover to digital; we seem to have forgotten about the optics.

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Old March 11th, 2003, 07:20 AM   #12
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Tom,

Thanks for the clarification. Have to say that life was much easier when I lived in ignorance.

Hans
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Old March 11th, 2003, 11:07 PM   #13
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For PDX-10/950, the 680K pixels are scalled to down to 720x576 every frame to 414K. This somehow provide better results for smaller details.

Try this : Use your Digital Camera that shoot in native 640x480. Use another, shoot at 1600x1200 (2M) but resize it in PhotoShop to 640x480 and make a comparison. Although similar but they are different ! The latter usually looks better.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 06:26 PM   #14
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Not trying to argue here, but I just wanted to make a few comments regarding the "more pixels" issue. According to Boyd Ostroff's excellent resolution chart images at his website, greenmist.com, it's clear that the the PDX10 has the edge over the PD150/VX2000 as far as resolving capability is concerned.

I own both a VX2000 and a DVX100, and both cameras are significantly softer than any of the broadcast cameras I've used at work (BVW400A/DVW600/DVW700, etc.). Even though the SMPTE standard defines the "720 x 480" pixel area as the maximum "resolution" of the SD television standard, it still benefits your final picture resolution by using cameras with more lines of resolution going in. The more lines (horizontal lines of resolution) going in, the more perceived resolution off-tape.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 06:49 PM   #15
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>Try this : Use your Digital Camera that shoot in native 640x480. >Use another, shoot at 1600x1200 (2M) but resize it in >PhotoShop to 640x480 and make a comparison. Although similar >but they are different ! The latter usually looks better.

This was covered in a different thread on image processing, but resizing in PhotoShop is quite a lossy proposition. PhotoShop reampling is fast but not particularly accurate. Aliasing within a frame often increases the contrast of adjacent pixels and is often perceived as "better." However, for video, this aliasing will
result in color and jaggy artifacts that aren't correlated with the image. So, it's unfair to compare the results from resizing a single image to resizing severel images, or video.
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