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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 16th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #1
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Will the PDX10 suit my needs

I am a event/small business ad videographer. I work in the Rochester,NY market which isnt really what I would call "big" or "cutting edge". So my question is that I need a 3CCD camera because my business is starting to branch out and suddenly some of my prospective clients are asking for high quality camera work. I currently have 2 Sony TRv50s( I did have a Panasonic Ez320 but my wife dropped it and....well lets just say its gone to a better place) I like the quality of the Trv50s they probably have the best image I have ever seen in a single chipper. My question is that I am not sure if I should get the PDX10 or a VX2000. I already have plenty of batterys and 37mm lens attachments for the Trv50s that will work for the PDX10 but I would have to buy all new stuff for the VX2000. I am not sure if its worth it. I am not too worried about low light performance as I am able to use lights most of times.( We have a lot of nice ministers here). I think if low light performance was my main concern I would go for the VX2000.....Eventually as more money comes in I will probably add a new camera package but that down the road a little.. Probably until the XL2 or PDA 200 are released. I was thinking about just replacing everything with Pana ADX100s but I just cant justify a $15k expense right now.

Any experiance or ideas would help me

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Scott
Infinite Reality Productions
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Old April 16th, 2003, 07:51 PM   #2
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Great cams at the low end are the PV-DV852 and the new Sony TRV70, I think. The PDX10 would be better in some respects, like audio, 16:9, but then you'll have to deal with its lower LUX. For event stuff, perhaps look at the VX2000 and PD150.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 08:42 PM   #3
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Well I have had a VX-2000 for almost two years and just bought a PDX-10 two days ago. Haven't really put it through all its paces, but so far I'm quite impressed, especially with the 16:9 (which is why I got it). True, the low light performance isn't as good. Just now I put them side by side in my dimly lit room. With the PDX-10 wide open it looked like the VX-2000 at F2.4. BTW, I may be missing something, but the PDX-10 doesn't show the f stops in the viewfinder like the VX-2000. It does show shutter speed and focus distance (the VX-2000 doesn't show focus distance). The PDX-10 doesn't show the gain setting like the VX-2000 either, and I'm wondering how I would know if it's raised the gain (other than playing back the tape with the data code on). Maybe I need to look through the manual again ;-)

Just off the top of my head based on the last two days, here are a few thoughts.

1. The PDX-10 is much smaller and lighter. Thats nice for carrying around, but I find it a bit more awkward to hold. I really miss the handle... never sure where to grab the PDX-10. Once you put it on a tripod none of that really matters though. Smaller and lighter is actually an advantage on the tripod since it's more stable.

2. The LCD screen on the PDX-10 is WAY BETTER than the VX-2000. Much larger and much brighter image. It also has some interesting touch screen features, like being able to spot focus and spot meter by pointing to something.

3. The 16:9 on the PDX-10 is great, and this is the only lower priced DV camera that can do real 16:9. This (to me) is the most important feature. You can use normal filters, wide lenses, telephotos, etc and still shoot in widescreen mode, which you can't do with anamorphic adaptors.

4. PDX-10 can shoot DVCAM, VX-2000 cannot. VX-2000 can shoot DV LP however.

5. Viewfinder on the PDX-10 is much nicer - high resolution black and white LCD like the PD-150 which makes focusing easier.

6. PDX-10 has other similar features to the PD-150 which are lacking in the VX-2000, like settable time code, ability to see how many hours the camera drum has spun.

7. PDX-10 does not have a manual zoom ring. I think this is a major omission personally. Guess I need to look at varizoom...

8. I find the contol layout more awkward on the PDX-10, but maybe I'll get used to it. You need to open the screen to get to the playback buttons. The custom preset button is also behind the screen and hard to find in the dark (it's on the handle on the VX-2000). There is no separate iris wheel on the PDX-10, you use the main menu wheel for all the functions - more awkward I think. Also, I don't much like the position or feel of the menu wheel. It's similar to the VX-2000 wheel but on the bottom edge of the camera. I find it difficult to spin the wheel without accidently pushing it in and selecting the wrong thing.

9. PDX-10 has a removable mono mike with XLR plugs and selectors like the PD-150, but I'm not so crazy about the hot shoe mounting setup. I guess it's OK, haven't really used it yet. One thing I do like is that you can remove the whole thing, making the camera much more compact. Have been shooting stuff with no audio recently, so I just leave the mike and adaptor at home. There are little built-in stereo mikes also, a hangover from the consumer version I guess (TRV950?). I'm not sure how much I will like hanging two audio cables off this thing for a stereo feed from the sound board, it doesn't look real strong. Seems like it will pull on the whole camera a lot... guess I've just gotten fond of my Beachtek on the VX-2000 which sits under the camera, out of the way.

If you aren't worried about low light situations then the main question is whether you need good 16:9 (or will you want it in the future). If not, then I'd say the VX-2000 just has a nicer "feel" to it, although I do find certain features of the PDX-10 very appealing. Try "auditioning" both if you can, they are physically very different.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 08:52 PM   #4
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Thanks that was very helpful. I dont think the size and the layout will bother me as it is very similar to the TRV50. Oh I think the PDX10 should display the focus length as far as I am aware the Lens conrol and LCd circuits are identical to the TRV50..Which displays the Focus length...But thats all it does. I am slightlu inyerested in the 18x9 but I more interested in not having to buy another $1k worth of accesorys.I belivie the batterys and all lens attachments are the same as the trv50s.

Thanks
Scott
Infinite Reality Productions

Oh DV LP mode doesnt concern me...Do pros even use it anyways...I know I dont.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 09:26 PM   #5
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Scott, the TRV70 has a large 1/3.6" CCD with over 1000K video effective CCD pixels.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 09:51 PM   #6
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I am not really looking for another one chipper as I am very happy with my Trv50s...I am more concerned about better image quality that comes from a 3CCD image accusition system.I did take a peak at the TRV70 and the 80...Both of them look like great cameras but in a side by side somparison I couldnt really tell a difference between them and the 50.

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Old April 16th, 2003, 10:06 PM   #7
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From what you say it sounds like you'll be very happy with the PDX-10; go for it! It seems well made and the image quality is excellent. I'm sure that many people won't take it seriously because of its size though. Too bad because the 16x9 is a cut above anything else on the market now. I took a bunch of test shots comparing it to the VX-2000 and will try to get them uploaded to the web in a couple days.

One other thing which might be a factor.: the NPF960 battery on the VX-2000 is really impressive. Have gone for over 6 hours with LCD screen on the whole time and still showed lots of reserve power. The NPQM91 is the largest PDX-10 battery and is only rated at about half the life of the NPF960. Haven't put this to the acid test yet personally.

I guess the DVCAM feature is a plus for the PDX-10, although I've never had any problems with regular DV. Note that the default is to have DVCAM turned on which means you'll only get 40 minutes on a tape. For now I've switched back to regular DV mode. I have to admit a little skepticism about Sony... by enabling that default they're increasing their tape sales by 33% ;-)
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Old April 16th, 2003, 10:16 PM   #8
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One more thing... if you get a PDX-10 there's a promotion from Sony to get a free LCD hood. See this link http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Professiona...pdx10hood.html
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Old April 17th, 2003, 12:35 AM   #9
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Wow! A free hood! Okay, I'm sold.
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Old April 17th, 2003, 01:50 AM   #10
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one more thing, if you get a PDX10 there's a promotion offer from SONY to get a free LCD hood, and a volume of JumpBacks animated backgrouds DVD from Digital Juice. (worth more than $150: they sell 3 volumes for $499)

http://interprod5.imgusa.com/son-649/T&C.asp
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Old April 17th, 2003, 02:21 AM   #11
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Boyd,

it's very interesting to see your review of PDX10 vs VX2000. very helpful. I have a question about PDX10 that I think you could probably answer. looks like you have done video for opera.

i'm recording engineer and doing video as a side. my primary project is remote or studio classical music recording from full scale orchestra to choir. I've been using my old VX1000 for last few years for shooting classical concert, and I'm pretty much satisfied with the result. now i'm thinking about PDX10 for my next cam. only question is that how bad it is under the low light situation.

have you done video for opera with PDX10?
would PDX10 be enough for shooting indoor classical concert?

thanks,
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Old April 17th, 2003, 02:23 AM   #12
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I think it would depend on how much lighting there is on stage.
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Old April 17th, 2003, 02:34 AM   #13
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Great comparison you posted between the VX2000 and the PDX10 Boyd. Excellent stuff, by a man who knows. I agreed with everything you said, you really did bare the bones and this is so important for those about to spend this sort of money. The cameras are so close in $$$ that it must really make people scratch their heads.

Might I add a couple of points? The first concerns focal lengths. The VX2k uses 1/3" chips and the PDX10 uses 1/5" chips. So what? you might think - they both have 12x zooms. But the beauty of bigger chips is that the VX2k has a 72mm telephoto whereas the PDX10 only has a 43.2mm focal length. If you're after depth of field control, there's no contest. Also the two stage ND on the VX2k allows much greater aperture control and therefore differential focus manipulation.

The next point concerns filters and converter lenses. For the VX2k you need to buy big 58mm diameter units whereas for the PDX10 tiny 37mm ones will do. Much cheaper.

Lastly I'd like to reinforce your concern over the lack of viewfinder information on the pDX10's side screen. To be given a 'bar chart' of exposure information is like taking me back to Hi8 days, when you had no idea what shutter speed or aperture or ND filtration or gain up was taking place. This - more than the lack of the manual zoom control - is the PDX10's gratest failing in my view.

Does nobody else feel this way? Are you all happy to record then rewind then replay with 'display' turned on just to see what aperture you shot at? Lovely camera Sony, but this is a real failing on a proffessional camera.

tom.
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Old April 17th, 2003, 04:25 AM   #14
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Dear Boyd,

Thank you so much for one of the most informative threads I have read..

I have nothing to add but take the opportunity to ask a qustion.

I am experimenting with the custom presets - vx2000 - and have much to learn. You write - " the custom preset button is also behind the screen...."
This mean I suppose that you use different settings in different situations.

Would you please take the trouble to tell a little about in what situations you use different settings - level, sharpness, aeshift, wbshift - and how much you change when you do.

Thanks in advance
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Old April 17th, 2003, 06:14 AM   #15
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pdx10 and vx2000

Hi Guys

I grappled with this choice for the last 2 months.

Eventually, I bought the PDX10 last week.

Other things to mention

1. Being able to detach the sound mounting and have a smaller camers is a boon, whilst still being able to have some sound.
2. Many of the 37m attachments and batteries in the sony range are compatible.
and finally, I like the gun metal black coloring on the PDX10 over the consumer silver finish.

Regards
P
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