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


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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:32 PM   #1
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VX2100/2000 Question

We currently own 4 HD cameras for weddings. I have an old VX2100 and VX2000 that have been sitting in my closet for 6 months. We have two wedding this weekend that will be using the HD cameras. A bride just contact me to ask if we could shoot her wedding. We could break out the older cameras, but she mentioned widescreen. I know that the 2100/2000's will shoot in wide screen, but does anybody know the quality?
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #2
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Old October 6th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Dyle View Post
I know that the 2100/2000's will shoot in wide screen, but does anybody know the quality?
Fine on a 4:3 screen letterboxed, horrible on a 16:9 screen, especially a big one.

The DV, DVCAM, & DVCPRO Formats -- tech details, FAQ, and links.

There's one regular correspondent on these boards who thinks it's okay, but everyone else seems to agree it's terrible.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 11:38 PM   #4
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Adam,

I've always used the camera in 4:3 mode. Is letterboxing something I do in camera or in post?
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Old October 7th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #5
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Fine on a 4:3 screen letterboxed, horrible on a 16:9 screen, especially a big one.
The vertical resolution you loose with a vx2100 in 16:9 mode is indeed noticeable on a big lcd especially when the lens is wide but I wouldn't say it looks horrible, if you would compare a HD recording on a dvd and on a blu ray you might also say the HD recording looks horrible on dvd.
I still have a dvx100b as backup for a xh-a1 and as long as i'm working on dvd there's nothing wrong with that, only when the end delivery would be on a blu ray then the dvx would not be sufficient as the difference in image quality will be too much.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chad Dyle View Post
I've always used the camera in 4:3 mode. Is letterboxing something I do in camera or in post?
You could do that in post but you need to take to "think" 16:9 while shooting which could cause problems with framing afterwards, better is to switch to 16:9 mode in the camera and handle it as a 16:9 project in your nle.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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Noa - you're talking PAL and Chad's talking NTSC. 16:9 on a PAL VX/PD is just about ok (stick to big powerful closeups though) but remember it's only using 432 horizontal lines - the sort of quality TVs had after the war. NTSC is a grimace-making 360 lines.

Chad - if you decide to go 16:9 switch the camera I'd say. You get undistorted (letterboxed) viewfinders and I'm pretty sure Sony ups the electronic sharpening as mild compensation.

Adam nails it: 'Fine on a 4:3 screen letterboxed, horrible on a 16:9 screen, especially a big one.' So if you're sure your clients will be watching it letterboxed on a 4:3 TV go right ahead - nothing's lost.

tom.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #8
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Tom hit the nail exactly on the head (and not just because we happen to agree on this). The link I provided talks about the difference between simply cropping in post vs. the cropping and interpolating done in-camera (using DV WIDE REC). It seems to say the in-cam cropping is slightly better, but not by much.

The key is to understand that on a 4:3 screen, letterboxed, the middle 360 lines are displaying just where they always would, with the black bands covering what would have been picture at the top and bottom. But blow those 360 lines up to a 1080 screen, no matter how much interpolation the cam says it's doing, and it will still look awful.

I shot exactly one video this way, with an opening shot of trees and leaves. It looked so bad it made me want to cry... it's what pushed me to HDV, more for the native widescreen than the added resolution, which was just a bonus. If I could have gotten the same beautiful 480 lines my 2000 normally gave me, but in widescreen mode, I probably would have kept it. Regular 4:3 DV output looked quite nice on my 65" widescreen, even from DVD, with the only problem being the annoying pillars on either side.

If you scroll down a bit (and, actually, up as well; there's a sticky on this directly above) you'll find many past discussions -- some quite heated -- and you'll see there are differing opinions on this. Best advice is to do a test shoot and see how you like it. That's really all that matters.

Last edited by Adam Gold; October 7th, 2008 at 01:50 PM.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #9
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Noa - you're talking PAL and Chad's talking NTSC.
Your right Tom, I'm each time forgetting about the ntsc/pal difference.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #10
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Please see the following threads on the same topic - we've discussed this extensively in the past:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...t-pds-vxs.html

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...w-shooter.html

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...-question.html
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Old October 8th, 2008, 12:36 AM   #11
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Please see the following threads on the same topic - we've discussed this extensively in the past:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...t-pds-vxs.html

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...w-shooter.html
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