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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old October 28th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #1
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Need PD150 Help ASAP

I recently purchased a used PD150 with very low hours. I am a beginner Indie film maker and am working on a Documentary for our city. I thought this camera was going to give me a lot closer to film look then my Panasonic PVDV953 but up to this point I am sadly disappointed. I have had it for just over a week and shot some footage for the Doc on both weekends, using Progressive 60 shutter and tried 30. Pictures are extremely jumpy, even the static ones, and very fake looking, both days of shooting were lost due to poor quality. Any tips would be appreciated. I have tried it in DV and DVCAM mode. DVCAM was better but the PVDV953 was still better looking. Considering taking my loses and selling to purchase a AGDVX100, the only reason I went with the Sony over the Panasonic is its incredible low light ability.

Rich
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Old October 28th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #2
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The PD150, same as VX2100, Progressive scan is useless for filming with, as its only 15fps and not 24fps true cine.

Try looking at the discussions elsewhere on this forum for tips on making dv look like film. You won't be disappointed with the 150, just not in progressive mode as its only useful for stills and things like timelapses.

Good luck

Russ
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Old October 28th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #3
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While the PD150 can shoot progressive, it is only at 15 frames per second regardless of shutter speed. Also, there is absolutely no difference in image quality between DV and DVCAM.

The PD150 is an incredible VIDEO camera, if you want to shoot true 24p or 30p, then the Sony V1 (an HDV camcorder) is the least expensive way of doing that with a Sony camera. However, it doesn't come close to the PD150 for low-light performance (and neither does the DVX100.)
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Old October 28th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the quick response. I didn't realize when I purchased this camera it was only capable of filming at 15fps in progressive mode. I will have to check out the section on making it look like film. I am currently using Final Cut Express HD 3.5, my friend who also does this has Final Cut Pro and we have used both to edit on and noticed very little difference as for as options go. Hopefully I can get that film look on express. Again though I do appreciate the response.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #5
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Shoot your footage in standard, and then convert to 24p with something like DVFilm Maker

See this, for instance:

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...r_douglas.html
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Old October 28th, 2007, 09:33 PM   #6
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I appreciate the info. I downloaded the trial version, but my question is do I convert to 24p before opening up in FCE and then edit in that mode before exporting, or do I edit then export before running through the program, which is better? And in what mode do I export it from FCE either way. Any help would be great!!!!
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Old October 28th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #7
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If you want a fake film motion signature ex-camera you could try the flash effect hack which has been published here previously, you find the "video effect" button beneath the LCD screen when you swing this out.

Press this button and then use the menu wheel to select "flash" then use the menu wheel turning downwards to wind the little bar display to its left-most point. This increases the "flash" repetition rate to its maximum.

There seems to be a considerable resolution hit taken when whole-of-frame motion like pans, lateral tracks or tilts occurs.

There is a very good tutorial on motion signature and film look here at dvinfo, either in "articles" or "resources".

My personal preference is to keep camera footage as pure, original and unsullied as possible and add effects in post. Once the salt is in the stew you cannot take it out again.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 06:24 PM   #8
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Don't forget...

Other elements play important roles in how "filmic" something seems.

For one thing, lighting is crucial. I've seen extremely well let 60i (no 1/30 shutter or flash mode or anything) stuff and thought it was great. The video-ness didn't take away from the experience one bit.

Also, for me at least, the acting makes a big difference. I've seen HDV 24p stuff that just looked terrible to me because of the acting. Meanwhile, well acted 60i stuff (anyone see "The Anniversary Party?" 60i DVCam, shot by John Bailey, with Alan Cumming, John C. Reilly, Parker Posey and more...lit and acted very well) can be stellar. It's a subconscious thing, but it makes a difference.

But I digress. Things some other folks mentioned, like the Flash mode, can help the in camera look. Also, I like the 1/30 shutter, though I believe it reduces resolution (not enough to bug me or any clients for whom I've shot this way).

Good luck (and don't forget to light it up.)

~~Dave
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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Richard, another option that you don't want to use on the Pd150 besides
the progressive function is the widescreen function...
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Old November 14th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Robertson View Post
I appreciate the info. I downloaded the trial version, but my question is do I convert to 24p before opening up in FCE and then edit in that mode before exporting, or do I edit then export before running through the program, which is better? And in what mode do I export it from FCE either way. Any help would be great!!!!
Can FCE edit at 23.976 aka 23.98? If not then you are better off converting with Maker after editing (at 29.97). By the way for that to work you have to shoot normal interlaced video mode with 1/60th sec shutter speed.

All in all it is better to pre-process the clips to 23.976 and then edit at 23.976. If FCE cannot do that look around for a copy of FCP 4.5 or later which does have that capability.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 02:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus van Bavel View Post
If FCE cannot do that look around for a copy of FCP 4.5 or later which does have that capability.
A legal one...dare I have to mention :)
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Old November 15th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #12
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i also recommend the "flash" effect on its lowest setting, it doesnt look as 'home video'.
other than that, if you have a custom present button, go there and turn your sharpness all the way down, try to use an ND filter whenever possible, use lighting whenever possible, always zoom in and manual focus your shots, decreasing the depth of field, and tripods whenever possible.
then in post, google "free final cut effects" and look for downloadable effects that go beyond those that come with it. i found a nice one that adds film curve and film grain, its totally adjustable and looks great.
lastly, any camera(dvx, hvx, v1u, etc...) will benefit from a 35mm adapter.
and if after doing all that you're still not happy with the look, then sell your cam, buy a bolex and shoot 16mm! haha
hope this helps.
-b
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Old November 16th, 2007, 01:02 AM   #13
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Listen to Bryan. All his advice is excellent. obviously don't use an nd filter when there is so little light you have to bump up your gain(just clarifying for him). But shooting with a tripod/stabilizer/jib adds sooo much to video.

Lighting also helps out a lot(I'm not very good at it yet so I can't emphasize this much) Well....shoot with the sun to your back if you can if you have landscape shots wake up very early or shoot late in the golden hour.

Focus is super important do exactly as Bryan said.

I wish I could say more about the 35mm adapter also, but I havn't used one.

I would stay with the PD for now, I doubt you will find a much better camera for low light, and in the end the time you put into getting the shots and editing will show a lot more than the type of camera you used(unless you shoot hd and can play it back to other people)

Edit: I just got my film back from a bolex and projected it. First time to shot film. Everything was somewhat underexposed, but I was consistent. I should have used a light meter rather than my DSLR. I'm sure film would look better, but it takes way more time/money/learning. And yes, I know you were joking in the last part of your post Bryan. I just wanted to comment my experience with film so far.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #14
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nice eric, i just shot with a bolex too. the image quality is awesome.

and yes, i should have mentioned that you should turn your nd filter off if its too dark, never, ever put your gain up. it adds unwanted digital grain.

also, like chris said, check out dvfilm maker, the demo seems to do a pretty decent job.
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