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


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Old April 27th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #16
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David - first thing to ask yourself is this: Will the couple that can afford your wedding video services come back from their expensive honeymoon and switch on an old 4:3 CRT? If yes, then the VX2100 and PD170 have much to commend them. If not, accept the passing of that era and go get HDV equipment and shoot widescreen. You can always shoot in DV mode of course, as I often do on the Z1

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Old April 28th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #17
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Would I still purchase a SD camera?
No.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #18
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Thanks Everyone - I've decided to wait a few months

Since this is a test the waters kind of thing, we are not in any hurry. I will keep an eye out and check back soon.

Thanks again...
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 12:23 PM   #19
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This is the thread I was looking for

Thanks for asking this question.

My background: I'm not in the business of shooting video for a client. I have not owned video equipment in the past. I do digital photography for fun (although I'm picky on quality and shoot RAW to be able to edit parameters like white balance, curves adjustments, and have less jpeg artifacts).

I've read a lot on this forum to help me choose between the different camera models. Being new to video, I was wondering if the HD was the right choice instead of SD, especially when filming fast moving kids.

My uneducated eye never really saw any major problem when I looked at footage of friends shooting with their mini-dv camera. Of course, that was displayed on a standard definition tv. But when I look at some HD videos of the newer cameras like the HF10, I can really see a lot of compression artifacts when a lot of things are moving in the frame. Of course, I know the debate around AVCHD and HDV, and this might have someting to do with it.

Reading this thread, I have the feeling that HDV (for example coming out of the HV30) is better than what's coming out of an SD camera. I can understand it is the case in general, HDV having better resolution. But what about fast moving action? Is HDV (or even AVCHD) the right choice?

Carl
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 01:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Robitaille View Post
My uneducated eye never really saw any major problem when I looked at footage of friends shooting with their mini-dv camera. Of course, that was displayed on a standard definition tv. But when I look at some HD videos of the newer cameras like the HF10, I can really see a lot of compression artifacts when a lot of things are moving in the frame. Of course, I know the debate around AVCHD and HDV, and this might have someting to do with it.
Keep in mind that the HF10 is an entry-level product which isn't representative of more advanced video cameras -- kind of like trying to compare a Canon PowerShot digital camera to an EOS-1D Mark III. There are compromises involved in trying to pack HD video into a low-bandwidth data stream and some cameras do this better than others, plus higher bandwidth HD cameras are available (for a price).

Try viewing your friends' DV footage on a good HDTV and then playing footage from a $3K+ HD camera on the same display. If the HDTV is any good the HD footage should look noticeably clearer, and will also fill the screen properly while most DV footage is still 4:3 aspect ratio. You wouldn't buy a 640x480 photo camera to make poster-sized prints; why buy an SD video camera when more and more people are watching their videos on HDTVs?
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 02:18 PM   #21
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Buy SD? Nope..

The next question would be how much you plan to invest in capital equipment for the video side of the business?

If you can swing it I would highly recommend the Sony EX1. Excellent low light and at 35mb you don't see the artifacts that can occur when shooting moving subjects in HDV or in low light.

If you need 2 cameras be prepared to spend about $20k total for cameras, memory, and batteries. Not a trivial investment for sure.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #22
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SD versus 1k$ cameras?

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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
You wouldn't buy a 640x480 photo camera to make poster-sized prints; why buy an SD video camera when more and more people are watching their videos on HDTVs?
Of course, I wouldn't buy a 640x480 ;-) But to stay on the photography analogy, I would choose a DSLR with less megapixels than a point and shoot camera. That's more on the lines of what I was asking. I just want to make sure that HD doesn't just add resolution, but that the compression that's used to fit into the available bandwith isn't negating the benefits of higher resolution. I have no doubt that for mostly static scenes HD is better. My question was more about fast moving action. SD is much less bandwidth hungry, so capturing motion "should" be easier than in HD.

Thanks for your answer. I'm not sure I'm going to spend 3k$ for my first video camera. There's also the form factor... 3k$ cameras are a lot bigger than 1k$ ones. But that's not the right thread to discuss that and there's many threads that answers those concerns.

Just a quick question, since you specified a 3k$ camera in your answer. Would you say that the encoding is of better quality than the HDV of 1k$ cameras? If so, then what about SD versus HDV on 1k$ cameras?

Carl
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Old May 4th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #23
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Carl,

I hope you don't mind an extra opinion here...

I can't speak for all cameras but I can offer that the picture of my V1 is better than my HC3. Not just in sharpness but in dynamic range and color as well.

I don't think this is due to the difference in encoders from each camera (I have no idea of the differences in this part of the cameras). MPEG2 encoding is quite mature at this point.

The features that you do get with the higher prices are better lenses, multiple imagers, and better pre-compression image processing.

This doesn't mean you MUST spend $3k to get a good HD picture. The Canon HV20 and HV30 are great examples of low price cameras with a great picture.

If you could find a used HV20 cheap it would be a good opportunity to experiment with HD without a significant investment. I'll warn you though, its hard to go back to SD afterwards.. :)
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #24
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I hope you don't mind an extra opinion here...
Not at all, of course! Thanks for your input, much appreciated! :-)
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #25
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The level of quality you can buy in the under $1K market is simply astounding. The HV20/30 or the HC9 are great little cameras with SOME manual control, and quite good picture quality. The SR11/12, CX7, and HF10/100 are excellent alternatives if you want tapeless/AVCHD.

Yes, if you're extremely anal you will find some minor quibbles with the smaller cam picture quality vs. the larger ones under SOME conditions (low light you can squeeze more out of the bigger cams with manual controls).

I've been very impressed with the image quality from the SR11, lot of bang for the buck. Uses the same tech that the EX1 does, only in a pocket size package.

I think part of what you're asking is "image" related - and a "big" cam comes with a certain perception of "professionalism"... from a purely practical standpoint, in most cases you can get better results from a small HD cam than a "big" SD cam...

Motion is a "problem" with HD, period - camera control and stability becomes vital, most compare it with proper "film" shooting technique... proper shooting technique = NO PROBLEM. Sloppy shooting is sloppy shooting, HD just makes it REALLY obvious.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #26
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I know two top area wedding videographers who sold off some of their PD170s and VX2100 replacing them with FX1's, V1 and Z1s etc and who ended up buying PD170's and VX2100s again.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #27
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They went back to 4:3??
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Old May 10th, 2008, 02:00 AM   #28
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Yep. What good is 16:9 if you can't see it? The cams sucked in low light. They still have them, but they sit on a shelf. If you're doing weddings they just aren't effective much of the time.

I have one I only use as rear cam for the 20x zoom, but it runs right next to a PD150 simultaneously. I don't see spending money on cams that will be run in SD mode most of the time anyway.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
They went back to 4:3??
I currently still use a vx2100 and all my weddings are viewed on widescreen tv's, not in 4:3 but in 16:9 mode. It's not because the camera doesn't have a real 16:9 lens that it can't deliver in this way.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 05:02 AM   #30
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The lens doesn't have anything to do with the aspect ratio of the film you produce, Noa - unless you mean adding a 1.33:1 anamorphic to feed your 4:3 chips. So your VX films are viewed on a 16:9 TV and you film with your VX2100 in its 16:9 mode and accept the resolution hit?

Jeff - I'm intrigued. You say 'What good is 16:9 if you can't see it?' and I don't understand. You mean couples that can afford your/their wedding filming skills come home from honeymoon and switch on an old 4:3 CRT?

Or maybe you mean that they've gone back to shooting and delivering in 4:3 and the customer simply toggles through the remote options to arrive at the best compromise of distortion and image loss to fill his widescreen set?

tom.
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