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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 27th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #16
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Well, here's my two pennies-worth. I "upgraded" from a Sony DXCD 30 with a PVV 3 back and a Canon J15 lens two years ago, partly because I was pretty confident my clients would start needing HDV soon. I bought a JVC HD111 - not least because it was switchable back to SD should I need that.

My clients are most of the major North European news broadcasters - BBC, YLE Finland, TV2 and DR in Denmark, ARD and ZDF in Germany, and the rest. I also work for NGO's and Aid agencies from time to time.

So here's the joke. Only ONE client - an American NGO - has wanted me to shoot on HDV in the past two years. Everyone else wants SD - mostly 16:9 SD, it has to be said, but SD.

Now, I know that the old Never The Same Colour standard Americans have had to put up with makes moving to HD West of the Atlantic a no-brainer. But in PAL land, SD is still the standard - and will probably be so, at least in current affairs television, for a good couple of years to come.

All the optimistic talk about 90% market penetration for HD TV's by 2010 must be looking a little unfounded, too; I guess a lot fewer people will be buying new HDTVs and Blue Ray disc players this Christmas than the manufacturers would have hoped for back in July.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 08:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Robert Adams View Post
I guess a lot fewer people will be buying new HDTVs and Blue Ray disc players this Christmas than the manufacturers would have hoped for back in July.
Well here in the US you could say the same thing about almost any product in the retail segment this year. But it is also leading to some deep discounts which may increase market penetration in the long run. Just looking at WalMart's website (a huge discount department store in the US), they have BluRay players for as cheap as $128 and 42" HDTV's for as little as $600.

If your current equipment meets your needs then there's no reason to change. But here in the US, it's clear that people are moving towards HD at a steady pace.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #18
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Absolutely agree with you Boyd. For sure, if it's time to upgrade, and you got the money, there's no point buying anything that doesn't have HD/HDV capacity, be it a consumer TV set or a broadcast camera kit.

But my point is that if you don't NEED to upgrade, but peer pressure (or marketing pressure) makes you feel you SHOULD upgrade, just take a moment to check out your primary market.

Back at the start of this thread, Harry asked if he was short-changing his customers by using SD not HD. I'd suggest that as long as his clients are coming back for more, there's probably no need to change just now.

Best wishes

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Old November 28th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #19
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I recently spent a few shekels on a used HVX, since some clients were starting to demand HD equipment (including one web end-product "how to" video client :? ). I have to admit I love the P2 workflow, but dislike the relative bulk and light-neediness if it compared to my PD150.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #20
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Go HD and try to upsell. Show them the difference. Maybe even point out the cheapest way they could enjoy full HD glory. Here's a thought, if they already have an HDTV, include the price of a PS3 or some other BR player. and include it.. :)

If they turn it down, down convert in software.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 07:39 PM   #21
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Many classic movies were shot in aspect ratios very like 4:3. Classic TV shows too, obviously. The ability to watch something in 4:3 is not going to go away any time soon. Tom was winking at you by portraying what might be a typical reaction to only part of the screen being in use, however. Most of what these same people are watching for tv programming isn't an hd signal anyway, yet everyone is aware of something called "HD" and, afterall, newer is better in the world of technology, regardless of whether they're actually able to make use of it, right? So, I suppose the final analysis regarding a business decision is going to be based on the popular expectations of your clients, realistic or otherwise, as well as the actual playback abilities of your clients.

And, yes, see also the proverbial "Content is King" sticky.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #22
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Im about to buy an almost new VX2100 from someone I know who has some different cams.Im getting a VERY good price as well as factory warr.(he hasnt even registered it yet).I have some friends who are HD all the way.I shoot surfing,skateboarding and some bands.Ive been very impressed by the durability and quality of my friends VX2100 also I dont really like to shoot with a smaller camera than that size.The 16:9 conversation came up while talking about buying the VX.I am not set up to edit HD and probably would have to upgrade my comp. just to capture clips? Things are moving forward right now for me in video(all surfing) but you never know.I used to shoot professionally using mostly Beta-cam,Ive toured w/Jimmy Buffet and some other one offs,worked with cancer patients for Long Beach mem. hosp.,martial arts training vids. etc.
I am now trying to just get a flow going again.Do I really need 16:9 right now in SD?I dont have alot of money to spend and just want to shoot some quality vids.(3 ccd) and get my name going around here in the surf industry.Its been along time since Ive purchased any camera over $1000.000 or so.Im not one to jump on bandwagons and usually like to watch the prices go down before I buy.My last big buy was a Canon L2...$3800.00!!!!!Now it might be worth $75.00....haha.If I get a good year or two with this new cam.I would be very happy.I figure if things go farther and I start making some real money from my work I would step up and go bigger.Any suggestion/opinions.I always like to hear from everyone on this site.
Thanks for your input.

Last edited by Mike Graves; December 4th, 2008 at 08:55 PM.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 12:32 AM   #23
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Mike, the VX2k1 is a mighty fine camera and deserves its reputation for quality images in bright and poor light. The fact that the PD170 was the same camera in battledress proves its toughness and durability.

Ah, but it was designed in the days when 4:3 screens were the norm, and as such it fills them to perfection. You've been offered it at a good price simply because the seller's market all view on 16:9 screens, so you've got to ask yourself this - will my clients be watching my surfing films on wide-scren sets?

I'm betting the answer is yes. Standard def, but 16:9. So of course you can film in the 16:9 mode on the VX, but your images take quite a hit in lost vertical resolution. If you're PAL the results are just about ok, but I'd wobble over NTSC.

Better to head for a second-hand FX1 I'd say. Shoot in the 16:9 SD mode and future-proof yourself.

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Old December 5th, 2008, 08:03 AM   #24
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Tom-You are pretty much confirming what I should already know,like I said, my friend with the VX2100 was saying the same thing to me last night.I guess Im stuck on this Sony HC85 untill I save up.Looks like Ill have to go back and start checking other posts about the FX1000 and FX1.For me the FX7 is out and as far the price of a used FX1,from what Ive seen, it looks like I should save and go new eh?Used electronics can be a scary deal for me,Ive had some bad experiances.I dont think Ill be buying the 2100 tonight :(
Thanks for the input.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #25
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Er.....what happened to Harry?
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Old December 9th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post
Er.....what happened to Harry?

Still here! Reading, thinking and learning. Going from DV to HD is like learning about equipment all over again. Considering the FX-7 right now, but I still have a lot of research to do. Prices, quality, formats etc. . .
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Old February 9th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #27
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Just Discovered This Thread

Up until a year ago, I would have subscribed to the general thought here, that one of the VX/PD models would continue to be just fine for me. But after I got my HD camcorder last March, my 2100 hasn't been out of its case a single time. I'm sorry that I can't find some use for it, but the emergence of HD video-hosting websites has given me an outlet for what I shoot with the new one. If it weren't for this, I would have much less purpose in using HD. By making my videos available on those websites for downloads with the full bit-rate I uploaded (generally 12 to 16 Mbps), anyone with broadband can see what is close to their best quality.

Of course, when I shoot videos for people or groups, I still deliver them letterboxed on SD DVDs, or occasionally even on VHS/S-VHS. Even on SD conversions, their image quality is better from the HD camera, than from the VX. This little HC9 does surprisingly well in lowlight, even though not in the class with the VX in this respect. What I will start doing in some cases, is supplementing the DVDs by putting highlights on a hosting site in HD and marking them for viewing only by those with permission (or open to anyone, if the subjects are agreeable). It looks like Web-delivery of videos is going to develop rapidly, so I may never have to invest in any Blu-Ray equipment and players for it may not become much more widespread among potential viewers.

Another big bonus is the still photos I can take with the HD model. If I shoot them carefully, they can be good enough to take the place of pictures from a dedicated digital camera. My highly-mobile approach to photography isn't compatible with managing two cameras and their gear. I've used my digital still cameras just twice in the last year, because of this. Otherwise, I probably would have bought a couple of new ones in that time, so the HD camcorder has saved me money.
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