Exposure settings for PD-150 at DVinfo.net

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Old June 15th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Istanbul / TURKEY
Posts: 3
Exposure settings for PD-150

Hi everybody,

I have been fallowing your forum for the last 2-3 days and eventually this is my first post. We have a little production company in Turkey and we are planning to purchase either an VX-2000 or a PD-150 camcorder for documentary filming and commercial productions.

I am at the time leaning towards PD-150 for its more professional picture adjustments. What I want to ask you is if I am right about this or if I should have done my homework better before coming to you guys. I read that unlike 2000, PD-150 gives you the ability to adjust shutter speed, apperture and gain individually. I thought this was good because it will give our camera operator more freedom when he is trying to record a scene. Is this true? The first thing that came to my mind was that we would have the freedom to adjust depth of focus. Will we be able to do it? Or won't it matter much with the supplied lens?

For those who chose 150 over 2000, is there any other benefit other than XLR and DVCAM recording? I especially want to understand what extra adjustments PD-150 will give me over VX-2000.

And most importantly, I read that some big tv companies accept DV footage shot by these Sony's but are we on the right track trying to shoot documantery films for TV with these cameras or should we give extra money and hire BetacamSP cameras? Will there be significant picture improvement other than the Betacams' better lens options and pro picture adjustments?

Thanks anyone who takes the time to read and reply to my post.

Akif Malatyali
Sekans Productions
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Old June 15th, 2003, 01:30 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,462
Re: Exposure settings for PD-150

<<<-- Originally posted by Akif Malatyali : I read that unlike 2000, PD-150 gives you the ability to adjust shutter speed, apperture and gain individually. -->>>

I don't have a PD-150, just a VX-2000. But I think the above statement is not completely true. You can adjust both the shutter speed and iris manually on the VX-2000, I believe in the same way as the PD-150. In manual mode you also control the gain, however it isn't "individually adjustable". As you open the iris, when you come to the widest opening each click past that point will boost the gain by another 3db. You cannot individually control the gain (for example, you couldn't set the iris at f5.6 and boost the gain by 3db).

Where the PD-150 and VX-2000 differ is a menu setting for what happens to gain in AUTOMATIC mode. The VX-2000 lets you limit the gain boost to 3db however the PD-150 allows you to totally disable gain boost in auto mode.

Either camera would allow you to control depth of field by opening the lens all the way and adjusting exposure via the shutter speed/ND filters (of course much has been written about the general depth of field limitations of all the prosumer camcorders, but that's another topic ;-)
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Old June 15th, 2003, 03:43 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Norway
Posts: 35
Ive read a lot of places on this forum that the VX2000 is regarded as the ugly brother of the PD150, and that VX2000 is adequate, but the PD150 maxes out on all bases. Its a solid piece of equipement, and seeing as you are going to produce commercials and documentaries probably to be aired by proffesional broadcasters, the DVCAM-option is the way to go. Not so much because the format is visually better than miniDV, but because the cameras and accessories often have slightly higher build-quality, from tapes, optics and electronic components. The PD150 is the choice of larger networks and broadcasters all over the world. I must confess that Ive never touched a VX2000, but for more detailed comparisons, just use the search-function on the forum.

As wether to invest in BETA SP, I would say go for DV. Producing on BETA will increase cost dramatically, and it can tend to be slightly cumbersome and less userfriendly than the DV-solutions out there. It also depends on what type of work you would be doing, making documentaries in the field with a large camera on your shoulder could easily become a sweaty experience. The PD150 is handy and robust, and the size makes it less likely to put people off in interview-situations and the like. However, if youve got the money and the experience, BETA SP would give a significantly better visual quality (depending on the camera of course), the optics on most betacams are far superior to that on the small DVcams. DV tends to be a bit bleak, flat and generally not that bright and vivid, but in many cases, its just a matter of taste. You can easily process your images in postproduction anyway.
Eivind Vaa
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Old June 15th, 2003, 04:56 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Cambridge, MA/Crete, Greece
Posts: 189
Akif, about two months ago I was facing the same dilemma as you are now. I finally went for the pd150 and have never looked back since then.

Here are some other differences between the two:
1. Black and White viewfinder with pd150.
2 Two audio channels adjustable independently with pd150.
3. Auto Drum Stop after 5 minutes on stand-by with pd150; vx2k has auto power off.
4. Digital Progam Edit with PD150.
5. With pd150 settings are held after removing the battery; with vx2k settings are reset 5 minutes after the battery is removed.

Hope this helps.
Stelios G.M.

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Old June 15th, 2003, 09:44 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
Just to cap the topic on independent settings.

Yes, the PD150 settings are fully independent, unlike the VX2000. Also the VX2000 manual audio gain is ganged and each channel cannot be independently set. Nor can each channel be set for microphone or line. The 150 also has a switchable attenuator on the microphone input that really turns out handy.

For pro work, the price difference between the two cameras will soon be consumed in time savings (and for me, frustration savings).

If I had to shoot with a VX2000, I would gladly do it rather than use most other prosumer cameras. But I paid the difference to shoot with the PD150 and am happy to have done so.
Mike Rehmus
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