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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old June 9th, 2003, 01:30 AM   #1
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Pd150:vx2000:trv950

that's the dilema. What do I want to strap to my head and go jump out of perfectly good aeroplanes with....???

I like the weight of the 950 (2.2)
the PD150 isn't horrible(3.5) the VX2000 (3.2) and a thousand bucks cheaper seems pretty good too...

well then theres my other problem... I want to do a lot of ground work with this cam as well.. Art, motorcycles, gatherings, life, etc... and I want to turn a dollar or 45,000 doing it.

To all of you owners out there... What do you think? 950 close in picture? PD 150's jumpable,?

I think it's between the 950 and the 150 honestly. I can't seem to take a shine to the vx2000's silver body.. Just seems like an eye sore, when trying to be discreet, unintruding on subject matter @ hand....
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Old June 9th, 2003, 12:34 PM   #2
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Having seen what happens when someone tries to stick a VX-1000 just sideways out of the protection of the windshield on a T-6, I cannot imagine jumping with either size of camera. The person who was shooting the VX-1000 ended up with bruises from the pummeling of the slipstream. It wasn't so much the sudden force (which was fierce) when the camera was extended as the continual buffeting.

I'd buy a PD150 for the business end of things and something much much smaller for jumping. Sony's littlest cameras can probably be bolted and strapped to a helmet if you want.

Be sure you turn of the steadyshot on one of the jumps and leave it one for another. I'd think Steadyshot would have problems in that environment but maybe not.

Safety strap the camera to your body somehow. Doubt if the camera warranty covers a fall from 2,000 feet.

Also remember to at least gaffer tape the battery and the LCD panels to the camera body. Batteries depend on a small plastic catch to hold them in. Some LCD panels have no catch. They might rip off in the wind. Same goes for the flimsy plastic covers that are over the connectors on these cameras.

Actually, I'd probably wrap the whole thing in Saran Wrap and gaffer-tape the wrapping closed.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 04:12 PM   #3
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I've got a helmet that'll handle the 950.

There is a helmet that will handle the PD150, and much larger.... Joe Jennings jumps 30 pounds of 16mm and 35mm film along with stills and the VX1000 on his head regularly. He has jumped a chest mounted IMAX camera, weighing in at over 90. It takes some building of the neck muscles for the larger stuff but it can be done. If I could post attachments I'd post a photo to share, but alas...

Gaffers tape is used frequantly to increase the hold for the screw in wide angle lenses.... saran wrap is not needed. There are a number of manufactuars who make carbon fiber ballistic housings for cameras.

Mike sending along a photo of camera helmets..
]
check out http://www.skydive.tv for a good time
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Old June 9th, 2003, 05:32 PM   #4
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Re: Pd150:vx2000:trv950

<<<-- Originally posted by Kyle Baker : I can't seem to take a shine to the vx2000's silver body.. Just seems like an eye sore, when trying to be discreet -->>>

Isn't the finish on the 950 similar to the VX-2000? Maybe you're thinking of the PDX-10 instead. It's the pro version of the 950, as the PD-150 is to the 2000. One nice feature is that it has the same sort of pro audio features as the PD-150 however the xlr box and mike can be completely removed for your jumps. It also has a better 16:9 mode than any of the other cameras you've mentioned... and a black finish just like the PD-150. The LCD screen is much nicer than either the VX-2000 or PD-150 and it has a hi res BW view finder. Also records DVCAM. Cost is about $2,000.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #5
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Got the picture. Still rather jump with a small camera. Unless you are jumping at twilight, the picture with a small camera will be very close to the 3-chippers.

After reading about his experiences, I think Jennings is a deathwish walking!
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Old June 10th, 2003, 12:05 AM   #6
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Jennings is the best and brightest in the field. Bar none.....

the 1 chip is a huge step down from the 3 chips, and the 3chips are a step down from film... so...

It's safe to say I'll be grabbing footage that you will not be.?! : )

here's one of Joe's quotes

" to grow in this arena, there is considerable risk. Some of the world's greatest are no longer with us. But the trails they blazed are clear, and cautiously, we follow in their footsteps."

To call someone a death wish walking is truly narrow minded. Just because someone performs well outside your comfort zone doe not mean you need to save face by bashing them.. I've met him a number of times, and can tell you he is one of the coolest, down to earth, humble, people I've ever met...

One of my goals is to reach the public with the beauty of the sky, not just the 1 in 10'000 fuk ups where something goes wrong that main stream media propagates and sensationalizes, giving it to you via Max X..... If you notice, there's a good shot of Troy Hartman skysurfing at the beginning of Max X shot by Joe Jennings.....

If you want to troll, do it on someone elses post. Narrow minded mud slinging is not at all productive... I'm here to network and learn. Not to explain to you why people choose to skydive.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 12:24 AM   #7
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Mike: and all other interseted parties

take a look at


http://www.dropzone.com


click on the forums, then go down the list to PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO


there's a whole bunch of people there who are pretty interesting that are really friendly and open minded about camera opinions and what not.. I'm sure it would not hurt to expand everyones knowledge base..
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Old June 10th, 2003, 11:17 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : . . . After reading about his experiences, I think Jennings is a deathwish walking! -->>>

Well, people fear that which they do not know and while you probably have nothing to fear from video, my guess is that you probably have a lot to fear from skydiving. ;^)

Actually Joe is a pretty level headed and safety concious guy. Generally speaking, you don' last very long in the sport of skydiving or the profession of camera flying if you're not.

Mike I think you should come on out and make a jump or two and see what it's like!
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Old June 10th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #9
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That wasn't a bash on him. I should have put a smiley face at the end to show it was an observation, not a put-down.

He's probably as great as you say he is. I wouldn't think otherwise.

After looking at the broken aircraft on his web site and reading about some of his experiences, he definitely taking high risks, no matter how thoughtful he goes about it.

I fly planes, not jump out of them. But thanks for the offer to take a leap.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 02:55 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : Looking at the broken aircraft on his web site, I don't think so. I fly planes, not jump out of them. But thanks for the offer. -->>>

Well, I -used- to be a fairly active acro pilot & CFI before I tried it.

No question about it -- skydiving is pretty addictive.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 03:09 PM   #11
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I imagine it is.

BTW, Kyle, a 1 chip camera in the right situation is not a huge step down from a 3-chipper. You just have to have the right 1 chip camera and use it in suitable conditions.

I prefer 3 chips over 1 for general use because they do have a broader range of 'suitable' conditions. But when space or weight restrictions apply and the conditions are suitable, I reach for a 1 chip camera.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 03:19 PM   #12
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And there are various reasons to NOT use a 3-chip camera in freefall as well. Specifically, some of them have an issue with air leaking in and make the iris and focus shift back and forth a bit. This ends up looking very bad.

If you do a search over at dropzone.com in the Photo & Video section you'll see we've discussed this quite a bit.

Generally speaking, the entire Sony 1-chip line is a pretty safe choice as far as skydiving is concerned. Again, we've discussed that in length as well.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 03:39 PM   #13
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Yes, air flow can do funny things to these cameras. That's why I carry Saranwrap with me to cover the cameras. Even sticking them out the car window on a regular basis will cause some interesting problems over the long haul.

Saranwrap is just a cheap and easy way to prevent water, dust and air getting inside and doing damage. Keeps all the parts inside too. Batteries don't fly off, LCD panels don't flap, etc.

Were I going to build a skydiving camera setup, I'd probably use my Panasonic lipstick camera, mounted on the helmet to feed a small camera held in a pocket. Even less drag and the electromechanical bits are even further insulated from the dust, moisture, shock, and airstream.

Interesting web site, dropzone.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 09:55 PM   #14
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Mike:

Sorry about that, I tend to get a little hot under the collar. Skydiving tends to only recieve bad media in the mainstream with the tag line. Why would you jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane? Which usually gets the response: "because the door was open" Trying to keep it all on the up and up... It would have been easier to recognize sly wit with the wink or the smiley face. it's hard to keep abreast of everyones internet vernaculars at times.....
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Old June 11th, 2003, 09:17 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Quade : And there are various reasons to NOT use a 3-chip camera in freefall as well. Specifically, some of them have an issue with air leaking in and make the iris and focus shift back and forth a bit. This ends up looking very bad.
-->>>>

In addition to what Paul writes, there are a number of people succesfully jumping the VX2000 with very impresive results. They require a flat-top helmet like http://www.boneheadcomposites.com/2002/cameras.htm#Flattop
and they need to be balanced properly to reduce neck strain.... But one of these is on my shopping list.

I don't know anyone jumping the PD150.

I'm currently jumping a side-mounted PC-120, and find the dullness of the colors frustrating.

Avoid the 950 like the plague. This is the camera Paul was aluding to with the lens buffeting problem. The 950 seems like a good deal in that it's an affordable 3-chip solution.... but the steady-shot sucks in the extreme jumping envronment.

I also strongly suggest you check out the Photography and Video forum on dropzone.com - it's by far the best place to get good advice on jumping video gear.

_Am
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