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


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Old August 24th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Thomas View Post
If so what about a 16:9 adapter for the 170 how do they perform and how much
Unfortunately you missed the big "blowout" sale which Century Optics (Schneider) had on their anamorphic adaptors last year. This was their best model, but no longer available: 16:9 WIDESCREEN ADPT 170/2100 - Schneider Optics

I have never used one of these adaptors, but have read a lot about them. They create a variety of issues evidently. First, you must correctly align when installing. And when you have it attached you can't add a wide or teleconvertor lens anymore, and will need some other kind of sunshade/matte box. Zoom through is limited.

I suppose you might find cheap used adaptors somewhere, but at the original price of $900 this one would have been a questionable investment in today's world IMO. If you decide you really need better widescreen footage, I think the more practical solution would be selling your 4:3 camera and applying the proceeds to a new purchase.

Also remember that the DVinfo search function is a great way to find things. A search of this forum for "anamorphic adaptor" turns up a bunch of threads, like these:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...t-pds-vxs.html
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...s-adapter.html
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Old September 14th, 2008, 08:20 AM   #77
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16:9 on PD/VX

Hi guys, hotly debated topic here.

I currently own and use an fx7, vx2000 and pd150.

A few friends borrowed my vx2000 to shoot a kickboxing show with the Z1 they had hired.

They shot in 16:9 mode on the VX and SD 16:9 on the Z1

a clip can be seen at:

battlegroup.strangeworx.com
Similarly, we shot a friends high school play using the fx7, the pd150, and the vx2000, all in 16:9 and the fx in SD 16:9

clip can be seen at:

thewiz.strangeworx.com

I know its difficult to comment on quality on a compressed flv file, but they're there if any want to have a look.

I personally can tell the difference in the cameras, but I would'nt say that shooting the vx in 16:9 is a bad thing, I've viewed the dVD on my 50" LG plasma, and there was no real noticable difference in quality.

Up until recently I have been shooting weddings in 4:3 with my FX7 as my main camera, and the PD and VX as b and c cameras. A month or 2 ago I switched to 16:9 and neither me or any of my clients have noticed the difference.

The main reason for the switch was when I was at a wedding fair, I would show my demo on a 26" widescreen LCD.

Now, my demo (back then) was shot in 4:3. So I had the option of either letting the TV 'stretch' the image to fill the screen (which inevitablel makes people look wider, and by wider, i mean fatter, and thats a big deal when it comes to brides!) or having black bars at the sides of the screen.

Either option was is a problem, as people would ask why is it stretched or why are there black bars.

I had a couple (future bride and groom) come to see me to discuss their wedding DVD that I was filmin in a month or so.

The groom began to talk about other demos he had seen from other companies, what he liked and disliked etc...

The one thing he focused on was the the ones that were shot in widescreen, simply looked better.

(Now, I'm not talking HD here, I think as many people have said, HD is still a bit far from being the norm. Only 2 out of 50 clients this year have asked about HD filming, and neither one of them had a BLuray player or a ps3, they simply asked abour HD filming. )

Back to the topic.

The groom said and i quote "the ones that were widescreen just looked better, they had a better feel, whereas the ones not in widescreen just felt like a good home video"

He even said that when he sees something on a non widescreen TV, if it has black bars at the top and the bottom it looks more proffesional, the same aswhen you watch a holywood movie on a non widescreen tv - this has been mentioned on the thread I believe.

Technically, 16:9 on the vx/pd my be less pixels, lower lines of resolution or whatever, but in my personal experience, clients have never said anything, they have however mentioned the fact that their widescreen TV either stretches the the 4:3 image or puts black bars at the sides. Ans they mention it in a negative way.

That was enough for me, from that point on, I was always filming in 16:9.

I may sell my PD and VX in the near future, but I simply love my PD, sure, its not widescreen, its not HD, but it kicks ass in low light!

Point in fact, just last night I was filming a wedding. I was using the FX7, the 2nd operator was using the FX7.

Now, I'd said to the venue staff and the band, "please keep the lights up a bit just for the first few dances" I'm not talking blackpool illuminations, but just not as dark as they would normally have it.

The staff were fine with it, the band were fine with it, the bride and groom were fione with it.

30 seconds into the 1st dance, some daft wee bar person decides to turn the lights down (in fact he turned them off, completely, fiddled about for a few seconds and finally settled on a setting that was waaaaaay to dark, I had to use +15 gain on the PD150, and the FX7, even with the gain up full (+18db) it is totally unusable.

So until its financially feesable to replace my PD and VX with equally good low light HD cams, I'll be shooting in 16:9 with them.

Sorry for the long post, I only recently discoverd these forums, and all I can say is, thanks god I did.

Good shooting!

James
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Old September 14th, 2008, 08:34 AM   #78
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One trick you can try with the fx is to lower the shutter speed to 1/30 (or 1/25 for PAL). You take a big resolution hit when doing this on the PD or VX because of doubling the standard definition fields. The fields are still doubled on the FX, but it's done at HD resolution before downsampling to SD. So you shouldn't notice much if any quality change, and you'll gain another f-stop.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #79
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Also note that the new Sony FX1000 should produce decent low-light results with a modest street price of $3199, so it could finally be time to upgrade any VX series or PD170 cameras.

Interesting that clients are starting to notice the difference between widescreen and 4:3 footage, which is at least as important as resolution in the switch to HD. Since it's easier to shoot widescreen on a camera designed to do so (thanks to widescreen LCDs) and you get the advantage of a wider field of view, having widescreen cameras is the way to go now if you can afford it.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 05:20 AM   #80
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Sorry to hijack the thread

Just to say Ian, if you ever travelling near Leeds on a weekday, bring along your 170 and you can try my Century anamorphic on it.

Needless to say it's a great lens, and gives better resolution in FHA SD compared to a Z1 when downconverted. The Z1 wins on image quality, highlight handling and general tonality however.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #81
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Hi Duncan

Thanks for that where abouts are you
Thanks
Ian
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #82
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Hiya, I'm in ITV Yorkshire.
Drop me an email duncancraigatf2sdotcom.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #83
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Another thought on the 16:9 issue

Heres another thought on the matter. Does it matter what you use to capture the footage?

eg

If i film in SD 16:9 on a FX7/Z1 etc.. (a native 16:9 camera) does it make a difference If i use a non native 16:9 camera (ie VX2000 / PD150 etc) ?

Assuming i have a 16:9 ptoject setup in my NLE

just a thought/question

James
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Old October 8th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #84
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The tape just has a series of ones and noughts on it James, whatever you've filmed. Your VX/PD will happily feed that into a computer.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #85
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I agree that with the FX1000 coming, it is time for me to upgrade. It is the cam I've been waiting for.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 02:57 AM   #86
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These model numbers are getting me a bit lost. So the FX1000 is the new FX1, is that it? Should it have been called the FX5 as it appears to be a domesticated version of the Z5? The FX7 and V1 and bro and sis. And the Z7 (like the EX1) has no domesticated version because of the lens interchangeability?

Am I on the right path?

tom.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 03:13 AM   #87
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Tom, while the FX1000 will definitely be replacing the FX1, my understanding is that the FX1000 is REALLY replacing the VX2100. Same with the pro version replacing the PD170.

This is the low light cam that most closely resemble in price and function the VX series.

That series ran VX1000, VX2000, then the VX 2100, etc. I am so glad I waited and didn't buy the Z1 or FX1. Don't get me wrong, I guess they are OK, but I see my competitors wedding ceremony shot with the Z1, and it's grainy in low light, at least when you are used to the PD series and VX series.

Now granted, those cams are fantastic with plenty of light, and the footage is amazing in the right conditions. And I'm not trying to knock those cameras or start an argument.

But I personally shoot in lots of dark churches. The FX1000 is the new workhorse I've been wating for for almost two years. I new there would be something less expensive than the FX1 and Z1 that would also shoot better than them in low light, and it is almost here.

It won't be exactly as good as the VX series in low light, but it will be close. I'm ordering my first one tomorrow...from B and H.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 03:27 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Tom, while the FX1000 will definitely be replacing the FX1, my understanding is that the FX1000 is REALLY replacing the VX2100. Same with the pro version replacing the PD170.
Oh - I took the FX7 to be the new 2100 and the V1 to be the new PD170 (both with side rather than top screens), but I grant you moving down a chip size didn't seem a very sensible way to cram a 20x zoom lens in.

So the FX1000 will have 1"/3 CMOS I suppose. I bet it still can't match the PD170 in the gloom though, but it'll have far quieter amps to make gain-up a lot more acceptable.

tom.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 03:42 AM   #89
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Tom, this from Sony:

"Superior low-light ability with high sensitivity enables clear shooting of subjects in light as low as 1.5 lux (at 1/30 fixed shutter speed with auto iris and auto gain). This allows you to capture sharp detail and brilliant colors even in less than perfect lighting, especially when professional lighting cannot be used.".

So yes, it is not rated by Sony at 1 lux as they rated the VX2100, but close enough for me. And it blows the Z1 and FX1 out of the water (at least in low light). And the CMOS sensors are based on superior technology to the older cams as well at least that is the way it appears, as the sensors more closely resemble those of the $6K EX1.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 04:08 AM   #90
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Ah, but the VX2100 was rated as 1 lux (+18 dB) at the normal 1/50th sec. The FX1000 is 1.5 lux at one shutter speed slower, so I'm guessing it's going to be a full stop and a half less sensitive in real film-world terms.

The VX2100 has an f/2.4 lens at full tele and I bet the 1000 is f/2.8 or slower - another half stop lost.

tom.
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