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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #16
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Content and creativity - you've nailed it Ian. You're right - I wouldn't turn off the TV simply because the content was in 4:3. After all, a large number of my weddings were shot in 4:3 and every now and then I like to get one out for a look-see at years gone by.

Interestingly they look much better now than when I shot them, and a lot of that has to do with the remarkable performance of upscaling DVD players playing into modern TVs. When I watch them on my old Sony Trinirton (4:3) all I see is the horizontal picture lines.

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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #17
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Well at least we agree on one thing, Yes Tom HDV will become the norn and yes i have used them but none of them have really rocked my cradle we have been pushed into HD by the market forces that be and many people have not moved yet

I find that the 170 although not true 16:9 camera is more versatile for my needs the build quality solid as a rock lovely B/W finder and for me gives wonder full images

Yes i will move to HD when the right time comes and of course when funds will allow
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #18
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Just to make it clear Ian - I haven't moved to HD. I shoot on a Z1 and FX1 but all my work is 16:9 SD.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #19
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Blow the cobwebs of your VX2000 and put in a SonyDM HDV tape and do abit of filming

See what you think!
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Old March 17th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #20
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Tom
Blow the cobwebs of your VX2000 and put in a SonyDM HDV tape and do abit of filming. See what you think!
Not quite sure what you mean by this Ian. Sony HDV tape in the VX2k gives no better (no different) results from bog-cheap Sony Premium tape recorded in the LP mode.

I know what I think - my VX gave me 4:3 SD footage that was quite outstanding for the price, but it gave me 16:9 footage that was 'acceptable' at best. As all my clients now demand 16:9, the VX had to be retired.

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Old March 17th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #21
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Have you tried a hdv tape in the VX then?

so all your clients ask for 16:9 do they! must be a very posh area then everybody with all singing and dancing new tellys, because i have a good few weddings + corporate work lined up no interest at all in 16:9 and i did a conference 2weeks ago and used a Z1 downconverting to DV there was nothing to my eyes that made it any better than the 170
infact in some low light shots it looked a lot worse than the 170

Anyway lets beg to differ you carry on shooting with your Z1 blowing them away with the quality, and i will carry on with the 170 until i start getting requests for 16:9 then i will have a look round to see if there is a camera in the price range that can truly beat the 170
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Last edited by Ian Thomas; March 17th, 2009 at 12:54 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 17th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #22
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Have you tried a hdv tape in the VX then? so all your clients ask for 16:9 do they! must be a very posh area then everybody with all singing and dancing new tellys
There's no such thing as HDV tape Ian. Tape is tape, and Sony choose to label it up as Premium, Excellence, HDV, DVCAM and so on. The differing prices show tape with chips, tape with more batch inspection, tape with tougher cases, tapes spooled from different slitting positions in the sheet and so on. I used DVCAM, Excellence and Premium in my VX2k, and all gave exactly the same results.

The aspect ratio of my corporate work in no way refects the 'poshness' of my area, and in fact Grays Council in Essex is far from posh. I do a lot of work for them. If my DVDs happen to be shown on a 4:3 TV then of course they appear letterboxed

I should say that if I shoot with the Z1 in SD 4:3 then the quality is noticeably inferior to the VX footage, regardless of the ambient lighting. But the Z1 in 16:9 SD is far better than the VX in 16:9, even in pretty poor light.

I don't think you will, 'start getting requests for 16:9' as you put it. People don't request that it be in colour, be on DVD, have good sound and so on - they simply expect it these days.

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Old March 17th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #23
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Have you tried a hdv tape in the VX then?
This question implies that you think there is an *image* quality difference between regular and "HDV" tapes, when in fact such a thing is quite impossible. It's all digital, all 1s and zeros, and they are either on the tape or they are not. In the old analog days, a case could be made that a "better" tape meant a "better" picture, but in the digital world it's just not possible.

No one says the VXes and PDs aren't brilliant in 4:3 mode; they are. And they are equally wonderful in DV Wide mode if viewed on a 4:3 TV, letterboxed. The problems occur when you view the Wide DV video on a 16:9 screen, where the resolution of your tape is shown to be about one-third that of HDV. It's that alone, rather than the "HD-ness" of HDV, that made me move to the FX1 and, later, the FX7 and FX1000.

It's certainly possible that the 4:3 picture from the VX and PD are as good as a 4:3 DV mode picture from an HDV cam, and possibly better because of the excellent low-light performance of the older cams. But in Wide mode they can't compare, even if the HDV cams are in DV wide mode. The HDV cam will almost always win, except possibly in very low-light situations, and my understanding is that the FX1000 and Z5 can easily match the VXes and PDs in those situations.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #24
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I don't think you will, 'start getting requests for 16:9' as you put it. People don't request that it be in colour, be on DVD, have good sound and so on - they simply expect it these days.

tom.
Do you REALLY think that people expect the video to be shot in 16:9 in the same way
they expect it to be in color? Again, I'm not in England, but I find that a little
hard to believe. I can buy that a client would 'expect' a video to be in color. But for them
to expect it to be 16:9 without clarifying that with you first? Not a client I'd ever want
to have.......at least if there is any bit of 4:3 work at all still done over there, which it
sounds like there is...... Now of course, the way a person should handle it is to
ask them when you are being hired to produce a video for them. If they want, I'll rent
something if someone wants HD, I've used the Sony 750 HDCam before on
a documentary.....but the people that wanted the video PAID for that. So
I give the client one budget for 4:3 SD.....another one for HD, and another
for 16x9 SD if they wanted that. The clients that want HD video but
want to pay my 4:3 SD rates....someone else can have them. Older gear and
technology is cheaper....if they can't understand that than they probably are not
a business I want to work for. With the strange mix of all formats that is around now,
both the client AND the producer should be very clear about what they are getting, or
producing, but to just EXPECT it to be a certain way without clarifying? That seems
awfully presumptuous to me.....unless again there is some sort of 'standard' over in
England, which does not seem to be the case here in 'the states'?
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Old March 18th, 2009, 01:38 AM   #25
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Gabe quite possibly there is a difference between England and N America (or at least Alaska). My experience chimes much more with Toms'. The majority of people have widescreen TVs and most people expect a DVD to be widescreen. Go into a store in England and you will find it difficult to buy anything other than a widescreen TV.

If Ians' customers are solidly 4:3 then it's a bit surprising, but he's happy with that, his customers are happy, so there's no problem, but again my experience is much more in line with what Tom has said.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 02:49 AM   #26
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Do you REALLY think that people expect the video to be shot in 16:9 in the same way they expect it to be in color? Again, I'm not in England, but I find that a little hard to believe.
Yes Gabe, here in England that's exactly what people expect and I do stress 'here in England'. You see we have had 16:9 TVs for just on 15 now, but only recently did they become HD. My understanding (reading the many posts here from those in the USA) is that your 16:9 experiences only began with HD sets, and that you didn't have 16:9 SD sets at all. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Our broadcasters have been letterboxing their transmissions for years too, and people with 4:3 sets are quite used to seeing the 'black bars' now. It's got to the state where if a program isn't in widescreen it looks positively antiquated, and this is unfortunate for some programming such as WW2 footage, which is quite drastically cropped these days to fit the wide screens.

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Old March 18th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #27
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Yes Gabe, here in England that's exactly what people expect and I do stress 'here in England'.
Tom, we are headed in the same direction rapidly here in the US. Just looking at WalMart's website now (largest US discount department store chain), and out of 59 TV sets available only 4 of them are 4:3. A year or two ago you would have found zero 16:9 TV's at WalMart. Today you can get a 19" 720p LCD set there for $189.

To be sure, there are a LOT of old 4:3 tube sets in peoples' homes, but that is going to change pretty quickly here. With the switch to digital broadcasting I suspect many people will just buy a new TV instead of spending $50 on a convertor box.

There is nothing wrong with the PD-170, VX-2100, etc. Great cameras for 4:3 work. If they still meet your needs and make your customers happy, God Bless. But anyone who thinks widescreen is not the new standard is (IMO) not following current events very closely.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #28
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Yes Gabe, here in England that's exactly what people expect and I do stress 'here in England'. You see we have had 16:9 TVs for just on 15 now, but only recently did they become HD. My understanding (reading the many posts here from those in the USA) is that your 16:9 experiences only began with HD sets, and that you didn't have 16:9 SD sets at all. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Our broadcasters have been letterboxing their transmissions for years too, and people with 4:3 sets are quite used to seeing the 'black bars' now. It's got to the state where if a program isn't in widescreen it looks positively antiquated, and this is unfortunate for some programming such as WW2 footage, which is quite drastically cropped these days to fit the wide screens.

tom.

tom.
Ok, that's fair, if that is the way it is in England. I don't know a lot about England, my
brother played basketball in London a couple years ago (London Towers?) and I wasn't over there for very long. I just didn't see that 16:9 was yet to the point of penetration
that color TV was, but again you live there and I saw like 15 people's TV's so you would
know much better than I.

Over here, I'm not sure that 16:9 began with HD. I seem to recall LCD 16:9 SD TV's in
Walmart and some other stores. But they were so expensive, I don't think most
people were buying them. From what I have been told, many people are actually
buying LCD's for space savings.....and over here even among people that buy HD TV's
a large majority don't even have HD programming! And they have no problems with
the quality.....now to me, if you are going to spend the money on a HD TV, wouldn't you
want to see HD quality? But I guess a lot of people either think that buying an HD
TV 'automatically' means they are watching HD, or else they are in an area like me,
that offers very little HD programming.

I myself have a 26' 1920x1280 Vizio in my edit bay that I use, I bought it for Xbox 360
HD gaming and for use as my main monitor for editing, I like to have lots of space in FCP.
It at least should be ready for HD when I do upgrade. And my wife bought a 42' 1920x1280 HD set on Black Friday last year when they had the Walmart super deals.
We get a couple programs in HD from the local cable company, but of our 200 channels
or so we have about 5 in HD. Now we have these things cause I'm a tech freak.....but
around here I am the exception.

I always assumed (ya, I know what they say about that :-) ) that it was kind of a mess out there in the rest of the world with the competing standards of TV just like it was here. Mainly, because of the destination wedding DVD's I do. The people who hire me to do those, are off cruise ships that stop in port here in Alaska, and they come from all over the world. And in every case they have been just fine with 4:3 SD DVD's. I had a call from one of the cruise lines asking for my wedding packages so they could offer them to passengers. I sent them a bunch of packages including an HD package just in case......of course the HD package was more expensive cause I'd have to rent the camera, but I thought maybe people in other countries were more HD ready and I wanted to keep the options open for people. Now I will confess I did not offer a 16:9 SD package because
I didn't really think of it, as you said, I don't think the 16:9 SD thing took off over here,
but maybe I should think about offering that option to see if I get any takers...? I am
guessing that people from your part of the world take cruises too!
Anyways...in every case so far, people have chosen the 4:3 SD package, I have not had anyone go for the HD package. Maybe I have been extremely lucky!!
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