PDX10 vs. TRV-950 at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 30th, 2003, 09:54 PM   #1
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PDX10 vs. TRV-950

I saw a couple threads on this subject, but they seemed to stray off course. Okay, the PDX10 has an external mic, DVCAM recording capability, and a B&W viewfinder. Are any of these, or the combination of them worth the current 370 dollar price difference? (B&H 1999 vs. 1629).

My primary use will be for underwater shooting, so the external mic will have to come off before it will fit in the housing. Also, travelling to remote locations, it appears the TRV950 will pack a little better. I just don't want to drop the money and wish later that I had moved up to the PDX10.

Can someone either give me a link or tell me in a few words the advantage of DVCAM over mini-DV. I have read "more robust", but I would like a little clarification.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 10:05 PM   #2
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As far as the difference between the DVCAM vs. the mini DV, it offers nothing better in video quality.. What they mean by "robust" has more to do with using the tape to edit.. The DVCAM is a bigger, and stronger tape and will hold up better when it comes to rigors of the edit machine where the tape will be jogged, paused, rewound, fast forwarded, stretched etc.. You will have a much less likely chance of having any dropouts on the DVCAM tape than you will with the mini DV tape..Persoannlly i mostly have used the mini Dv tapes, and have found as long as you keep your heads clean, they hold up pretty well..( i stick to one brand of tape also Sony)

Another advantage to the DVCAM tape is that the audio can be locked to video... other than that the DVCAM is 40 minute tape versus the miniDV 60 minutes.

Mike Moncrief mikemoncrief@gmail.com
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Old May 1st, 2003, 05:53 AM   #3
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Viewfinder is much better than the 950's
16:9 gives more picture than the 950
DVCAM no drop outs
If these things are worth the 350 dollars go for it. If not stick to the 950.I don't mention the sound end as very good atachments aare available for a good price and the placement is much better on the bottom of the cam rather than sticking out the side aasking to be broken(IMO)
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Old May 1st, 2003, 07:07 AM   #4
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I don't really have an opinion on the 950, but I recently got a PDX-10. To me the most important feature is the 16:9 capability. The PDX-10 shoots a "real" 16:9 image using a larger area of its CCD's wherease the 950 (and almost all other prosumer cameras) merely crop the top and bottom off the image. So the PDX-10's 16:9 mode gives you significantly better vertical resolution.

Most of the other differences have already been covered here. A couple others that come to mind regarding the PDX-10: you can set the timecode, it has a usage meter that shows hours on the drum, nice black finish that looks "pro", there's an offer from Sony to get a free LCD hood. The black and white viewfinder is very nice, like the PD-150, but maybe that doesn't matter for underwater work?

The XLR adaptor and mike attach to a bracket on top of the camera and plug into an intelligent hot shoe. It does seem a little flimsy, but not terrible. One nice thing is that you can just leave it off when it isn't needed (like your scuba work?). When it's off the camera still records using built-in stereo mikes. But regarding the "very good attachments" that are available, I use one of these (Beachtek) on my VX-2000 and have been pretty happy with it. Their basic model costs around $170 at B&H however it doesn't provide phantom power. The phantom power model is $250. Now that eats pretty far into the $370 price difference that you mention, even more when you buy a microphone.

Actually, I haven't shot anything that uses sound yet with my PDX-10; have been doing some nature photography, like timelapse clouds and sunsets. I don't know that an external audio box will give the same quality connected to the mini-plug input as you get from the PDX-10's setup. I gather there's a review coming in DV magazine which praises the PDX-10's audio. Don't know if this would also apply to the 950.

I can say that the 16:9 I've shot looks really nice. So personally I think that's what it comes down to. Depending on what you plan to do with your footage this might be an advantage, and I gather that TV stations also like to have DVCAM tapes. The 950 wouldn't interest me at all, but I already have a VX-2000. I only got the PDX-10 so I could shoot the best possible 16:9.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 08:04 AM   #5
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Thanks, guys.

Thanks for the responses so far, guys.
Jeff Farris
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Old May 1st, 2003, 02:06 PM   #6
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Ordered the TRV-950

Well, in a project that is already over budget, I couldn't find enough justification for the $370.00 difference. I ordered a TRV-950 and a Sea & Sea housing, which you can see here: http://www.seaandsea.com/VX-950.html

Headed to the British Virgin Islands in a week to christen it. I'll post the results if they're worthy.

I really wanted to go with a GL-2 (I know, that would have been even more over budget), but only a few companies make housings for it, they are wildly expensive, and HUGE! Since I shoot both still and video, size is always an issue.
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 02:45 PM   #7
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And not only is the GL2 huge but you loose the built-in flash gun and the huge side screen and the info-lithium magic and you have to buy 58mm filters instead of 37mm ones.

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Old May 3rd, 2003, 08:43 PM   #8
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VX950 !!!!

wow - thats one serious spaceship - the WA looks very cruel :)

thanks for the link
John Jay

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