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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:03 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
Just saying, this is the other side to that coin. And lest you think that this is 'music to my
competitors ears'......sorry, I no longer have any competitors. All my competitors have went out of business......because they were too busy buying the 'newest toys' and offering
HD packages to people who had no interest in HD......and one size does not fit all. Not trying to be a jerk or anything and what you say is probably spot on in in a large majority of the markets.
But it's not a cure all or something everyone can just follow and take to the bank. As a business person you have to evaluate your own market what it will bear, and make your business investment decisions based on those things....especially in the current economic climate.
And by the way.......those car dealerships that have salesmen discussing extra addons to enhance the value of the car.....how are they doing these days anyways?? :-)
Well said, Gabe!
This business is a very expensive one to be in. It's bad enough that our computer hardware and software has to be virtually re-purchased and upgraded every 30 minutes, just to keep the CPU talking to the printers and DVD-recorders. But those costs pale in comparison to the expense of buying cameras and accessories.
I'm only in business today because I have been able to offer good service and reasonable prices to my customers, AND because I could acquire good, serviceable "last-generation" XL-1s and GL-1s to shoot with.
But frankly (tax advantages listed elsewhere in this thread aside), moving from where I am today, to a place where I can buy three 16:9 native cameras in order to keep things matched up and not triple my post-production time... well, it would involve a trip to a bank for a loan. And DEBT is the one thing that I don't want ANY more of, at this moment in my life, or in the life of my business.
And transitioning to HD and BluRay... well, let's just say that my kids are going to have to make that jump when the time comes... should they choose to keep our family business alive.
I must say though, that I WISH I had the problem you have with your competitors. Seems like everyone around here works for somebody who can provide them with state-of-the-art gear to shoot with on the weekends, so they only need to buy a fast Mac to edit with at home, and they are IN BUSINESS!
Oh well! Here's to the little guys... right?

Regards from the MidAtlantic....

Skip Hall
Homeworks Video Productions
Suffolk, Virginia
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Old February 16th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Hall View Post
Well said, Gabe!
This business is a very expensive one to be in. It's bad enough that our computer hardware and software has to be virtually re-purchased and upgraded every 30 minutes, just to keep the CPU talking to the printers and DVD-recorders. But those costs pale in comparison to the expense of buying cameras and accessories.
I'm only in business today because I have been able to offer good service and reasonable prices to my customers, AND because I could acquire good, serviceable "last-generation" XL-1s and GL-1s to shoot with.
But frankly (tax advantages listed elsewhere in this thread aside), moving from where I am today, to a place where I can buy three 16:9 native cameras in order to keep things matched up and not triple my post-production time... well, it would involve a trip to a bank for a loan. And DEBT is the one thing that I don't want ANY more of, at this moment in my life, or in the life of my business.
And transitioning to HD and BluRay... well, let's just say that my kids are going to have to make that jump when the time comes... should they choose to keep our family business alive.
I must say though, that I WISH I had the problem you have with your competitors. Seems like everyone around here works for somebody who can provide them with state-of-the-art gear to shoot with on the weekends, so they only need to buy a fast Mac to edit with at home, and they are IN BUSINESS!
Oh well! Here's to the little guys... right?

Regards from the MidAtlantic....

Skip Hall
Homeworks Video Productions
Suffolk, Virginia
Isn't that the truth! The cost to transition to HD is not only in buying new cameras, but
new computers fast enough to deal with it, and new upgrades to software that works perfectly fine with SD but needs an upgrade to deal with HD. And I am one of those people that DOESN'T always upgrade my FCP or mac, because if it does what I want it to do, then why spend extra money? And then there is the fact that I have hundreds of third
party plug ins that would have to be upgraded and the money spending cycle never ends.
I also stay away from debt....in almost all areas of my life. If I can't pay for it with cash, I don't buy it. The one exception was buying my home last year, and I only made an
exception there, because unlike cars, cameras, and computers, homes and property tend to INCREASE in value rather than decrease in value. Even still, I put down more than 20% on the house, which I was told was kind of unusual.

As for the little guys, I know what you mean. There are a few of those guys here. But I don't have any full time video businesses competing with me. Really, I'm just a little guy
myself, with a Mac, FCP, PD 150's, portable greenscreen, steadicam, lots of royalty free music and graphics, mixer, lots of mics and audio gear, DV creator 55 lighting kit and other assorted stuff. But I do all the work myself, typical one man video production outfit.
However, as I said, the other 'real' video production companies (not the guys who do it for weekend hobbies) have went out of business or moved out of town. That is one of my advantages. The 'weekend warrior' types (of which there are several in my market) have a hard time competing, when a business calls and wants a TV commercial shot at their
store at '2pm on a Wednesday'. See, if you aren't in the game for real...full time....then you miss a good bit of business cause a lot of customers can't 'wait until you have time off from your real job'. This IS my real job, and the flexibility helps a lot.....as well as I seem to be taken more seriously by the businesses in town that look to hire video, as they know I am not just doing it 'on the side' or for 'extra spending money'. No offense to the weekend business types, they just can't do everything I can...mainly because they have
other responsibilities to their 'real' job.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #108
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component video?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
The PD150/170's widescreen mode isn't really "fake." It chops the top and bottom off the 4:3, 720X480 screen to a 16X9, 720X405 screen. You lose a little vertical resolution but it edits as wide screen and looks just fine. Before HD came along and SD was just beginning to go 16X9 I was able to sell quite a bit of footage to Discovery and BBC in this mode. The most important thing is to import your footage as component video and it will look great.

And yes you are old. The video world is going HD and 16X9. Bet you don't see a lot of 4:3 TV's in Best Buy anymore do you? Finally, widescreen is more pleasing to the eyes because it more closely resembles the way we see the world. Our eyes see in widescreen not 4:3 boxes - never have.

Is he right? It's your business and you make the rules but give it a try anyway. It won't hurt. I promise.
The most important thing is to import your footage as component video and it will look great.

"The most important thing is to import your footage as component video and it will look great."
How do I do that ?
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Old February 24th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #109
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"It will look great" is partly true; it depends on a few things. Distance from your subject and lighting.

Closeups and shots in a sufficiently lighted environment look fine. But as you move further from the subject images look progressively worse. A wide shot from a back of a church, IMO is quite bad.

Desperate to shoot 16:9 I tried it on three weddings with the PD150s and a VX2100 and this was my experience.

One wedding video in particular looked bad enough I felt embarrassed to give it to the client.

I couldn't understand what was wrong with the images and why some were fine and others were not, but Tom H, I believe, explained it that way to me, and my images confirmed what he said. Technically he said it is not a resolution issue, as I thought, but something else. Don't remember the technical reason for the distortion, but I stopped shooting in 16:9, the quality was unacceptable to me for wedding purposes.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #110
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The PAL version of the VX and PD shoots 432 x 720 in its 16:9 mode. This is ok-ish as modern TVs can upscale on the fly, whether it be directly from the camcorder tape or from the DVD made from that tape. But 432 lines are not a lot better than the black and white TV we had here in England in the 1950s

NTSC is even worse, and you have something like 360 lines of horizontal resolution in the 16:9 mode. That's so few you could count them, and there is a limit to what upscalers can do with so little information. The bottom line is this - if you're shooting in NTSC land then it's time to invest in a 16:9 chipped camcorder.

tom.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:20 PM   #111
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The resolution you describe is of course 'vertical' resolution, not horizontal ... and is exactly what your standard definition set is capable of presenting once the black letterbox bars are inserted by the television, if so capable. The image area of a 16:9 picture in an NTSC 4:3 display is 360 lines of vertical resolution.

Cheers,
GB
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Old March 4th, 2009, 12:18 AM   #112
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Right. It's fine, identical, on a 4:3 TV. The problem reveals itself only when you play on a widescreen TV, especially a large HDTV, when those 360 lines are expanded to fill 1080 lines. It looks pretty bad, as we've all discussed before.
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