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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 29th, 2003, 07:54 PM   #1
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PDX10 review in DV ??

Hello,

Got my new DV magazine today.. I thought I read that there was going to be a review of PDX10 in either this issue or last issue ?? I rifled through it quick, but did not see the review??
what happened??

Mike
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Old April 29th, 2003, 08:12 PM   #2
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Wasn't in this issue or that last one either. I thought maybe it was Videography Magazine that was going to run the review?...
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Old April 29th, 2003, 08:33 PM   #3
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I just got the Spring issue of Videography, it's not in there either. There is a review of the Sony DSR-570WSL DVCAM, but no PDX10.

Maybe in the Summer issue?
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Old April 29th, 2003, 08:54 PM   #4
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That issue came out a little while ago... I thought it was supposed to be the next one. How often is it published?
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Old April 29th, 2003, 09:22 PM   #5
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This is off topic..

Hey Boyd, Or maybe Yo Boyd..

I see you are from Philly.. I grew up in Philly area, actually Bucks County (close enough) now I reside in florida, but still consider Philly to be my home town..

Sorry gang for the off topic..

Mike Moncrief
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Old April 30th, 2003, 04:17 AM   #6
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The PDX10 review was done some time ago for DV Magazine. However, it has yet to be printed! One of the article's praises is about the great audio.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 03:52 PM   #7
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i really wish it would be published b/c I'm still waiting on it before i buy either the X10 or the 150.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:57 PM   #8
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Wow, it sort of amazes me that you would place that much faith in one review, especially when you consider the combined wisdom available to you on this site...
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Old May 9th, 2003, 10:57 PM   #9
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I'm not relying on that review. I'm basically on the fence between the PDX10 and the PD150, that's all. I wanted to see if the review would pursuade me one way or the other.

Here's why I'm on the fence:

X10 likes: 16:9, less money, uses same 37mm thread size as current cam, plus same infolithium battery type as current cam (driving the total cost down even further), and this one may have better XLR audio

PD150 likes: better in low light, more manual control (ie independent iris/gain), and i just trust bigger CCDs over smaller ones with better HAD technology
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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:45 AM   #10
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I think your summary is quite accurate, so you've obviously given the choice lots of thought. Too bad you don't have a place to actually try both cameras. The one thing you don't mention are the ergonomic issues. For the most part, I like the "feel" of my VX-2000 (very similar to the PD-150) better. I also like the control layout better on the VX-2000. For example, you need to open the LCD screen to access some of the PDX-10 features. The most annoying of these being the custom preset button. The PDX-10 is much smaller and lighter, especially if you remove the mike and XLR box. That can be either a plus or minus depending on the situation. At the moment I'm shooting stuff without sound, and working outside where I have to hike out with camera and tripod. Anything that saves weight and bulk is good for that. Most of my shooting is on a tripod anyway, so these ergonomic issues of size and "holdability" are less important.

I'd also be hard pressed to choose one of these cameras over the other. Why don't you get one of each? ;-) But really, it may simplify your choice if you zero in on one important difference. How important is 16:9 for you? If you're not sure then you should probably just buy the PD-150. It's a great camera and you won't regret it. But if you want the best possible 16:9 then you don't really have any other option than the PDX-10, short of $14,000 for a DSR-570. (Okay Frank, I'll wait for you to put in a plug for the DV-953 too ;-)

OTOH, you could continue waiting for the PDX-10 review to be published... by the time that happens maybe Sony will release an update to the PD-150 with real 16:9 ;-) Seriously, I'm disappointed that this doesn't seem to be in the cards this year. That's the camera I'd buy in a heartbeat.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 11:13 AM   #11
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How the cameras feel isn't too important to me b/c I use a tripod almost exclusively. I actually have a local electronic store that let me toy with the young brothers (950 & vx2000) and run some tests. My conclusion was that they were the same in terms of video quality. There was nothing else about my test that really put me over to one side or the other, which I would've preferred.

I would be more decisive if I didn't know that Sony will come out with a next-generation vx2000/pd150, possibly in the next year, that will have the true 16:9, and probably also use the advanced HAD CCDs (but hopefully same size CCDs) leading to an even crisper image. Plus I can bet it'll use the newer InfoLithium M (blue) batteries versus the old InfoLithium L (yellow/orange) batts. So this is where the regret may come in. I figure if I were to buy the x10, then in theory, some of the footage would be interchangeable to what I would record in the future vx2000 camera. However, if I get the 150, then it won't be interchangeable with the next-gen vx2000 unless you don't use the 16:9. Of course, I want the pd150 for manual control and its big size makes me look more official because my use is for short films. A camera that looks touristy will decrease my credibility in the beginning.

From a business standpoint, I think Sony did shoot itself in the foot. The higher end camera should've got the 16:9 first. Some people in my position will go the x10 way.

Thanks for the comments and advice, and I welcome more :)
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Old May 10th, 2003, 11:48 AM   #12
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Yeah, tough choice I agree. However I don't think your manual control issue is really much of a concern. The gain limit only affects the behavior in auto mode. In manual iris you just set whatever you want. Do you shoot in auto? Personally I do not. Someone else mentioned no manual shutter control, which is not true on the PDX-10. You can control both shutter speed and iris, the method is only slightly different. You punch a button for either one at the back of the camera, then use the thumbwheel.

The difference on the VX-2000 is that there's a separate iris knob at the front, but the function is identical. You have to choose either shutter or iris first before you change, you can't continuously change both. I don't find this a limitation at all. Now there was an extensive (and heated) discussion of the shutter speed controls on the PD-150 here a month or two back, and evidently there are some subtle differences between the VX-2000 and PD-150 although it was hard to sort out as the discussion was heading in the direction of a flame war ;-) Try doing a search. Regardless, I really think you've got as much manual control as you would want on the PDX-10.

True that the PDX-10 may not impress people as much, but I could care less. Then again, it does look pretty cool with the supplied large lens shade, and the black finish is very nice. In a way it is impressive when you consider the quality they pack into such a small unit; it looks high tech. Hell, if "size matters" why not get an XL-1s? ;-) I don't think the PDX-10 looks "touristy" in any way, but the 950 might. And you know, it isn't necessarily a bad thing to have a camera that doesn't attract too much attention. But if you're really concerned, take the money you save on buying the PDX-10 and buy a mattebox; that's bound to impress ;-)

And another thing you haven't mentioned; the LCD screen on the PDX-10 is far and above nicer than the PD-150. Larger and much brighter. But regarding what Sony will do next, who knows? There was a quote attributed to a Sony rep that was posted here and elsewhere saying not to expect an upgrade for almost a year. Shortly afterwards Sony denied that anyone made such a statement. But I think it's like computers, you can count on the fact that a better, faster, cheaper one will come out right after you make a purchase. Such is the way of the world. Buy what you need now. Then if things are going well next year, sell it and upgrade. In the meantime you'll have learned a lot in the process.

Again, I really think it comes down to the 16:9. Low light is a bit of an issue, but only if you're working in really dark places. I shot a bunch of video just after sunset of pine trees silhouetted against a dark blue sky from a moving car. It turned out beautifully, and it was really dark out there. As it got darker I cranked up the gain and the video still was usable, but with notable noise. My VX-2000 would have done a little better, but it really isn't a big deal.

However I sometimes film our opera performances, and the lighting tends to be quite dim at time (and yes, I also design the lights ;-) Shooting the final act of Traviata I was wide open at +6 db and it looked great. Not sure if I would have been happy with the PDX-10 there, will have to try next season. There isn't much reason to shoot 16:9 for these, so I may just stick with the VX-2000.

But I am really happy with the 16:9, and that was the only reason I got the PDX-10. I haven't taken my VX-2000 out of its case since then.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 12:27 PM   #13
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Another concern I have is that I have a possible 2nd cameraman for a shoot I'll be doing in Aug. He has a Canon XL1S. I feel that the PD150 will produce footage this is equal to what his camera will produce, thereby making the footage interchangeable in the post production process. Would you agree? (I'm going to post this same question to the PD150 forum)
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Old May 12th, 2003, 10:35 AM   #14
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More good observations Boyd, but although the PDX10 and the TRV950 allow you to set an aperture, you're not told in the viewfinder what this is. Ok, you can make a guess at the position of the bar chart, but why not tell us it's f4.5 or +6dB rather than make us guess or rewind the tape and replay with 'display' turned on? Hardly a pro feature on a pro camera to my mind.

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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:55 PM   #15
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IMHO

Real pros dont need scales with numbers - they know light

they know when its f16 and they also know when its 5.6

Stevie Wonder never had a problem playing the keyboard, whereas some people put little stickers over the keys F# or Bb

just MHO :)
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