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

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Old July 20th, 2003, 09:34 PM   #91
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I don't know what you might have done wrong, if anything. I've used both my 150's in auto and have never seen the footage as being too red. Of course, the appearance of proper color can be something of a subjective thing.

Run some tests place a few seconds of color bars up front, recond some footage in auto and check it on a monitor calibrated to the color bars and see how the footage looks then. Redo the same footage in manual and either record to audio or write down exactly what your settings are check it in a monitor set to the color bars and determine what appears right to you.

I was just thinking to something I did not too long ago. I white balanced manually at a wedding reception, everything looked great. 1/60th @f/4 with a 20w on camera light for the intros. Suddenly, the room lights were changed, more turned on and threw the room yellow. BAM! The inros went on and I had no time to fix the white balance, so I threw the cam into auto and guess what. It was still yellow. I was able to correct the OOOOOPS, in post but all the footage was usable.

Run some tests and let us know.
Don B.
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Old July 21st, 2003, 11:35 PM   #92
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When is the updated pd 150 due?

I have heard that Sony is coming out with a updated pd 150 or something new. I want to know if I can hold on for a little longer to buy one or is this another two years something might reach the US. Can anyone help to talk about this?
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Old July 22nd, 2003, 10:04 AM   #93
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Nobody has any 'real' information on a replacement. The VX1000 lasted 7 years, I believe before Sony replaced it.

In truth, after listening to all the pontifications, you can flip a coin and be just as accurate.

Bottom line is if you need it to make money, buy it. If you just want to have fun with the absolutely latest and greatest then you will wait until someone announces a machine that fits that description and then buy that one.

Right now, the latest and greatest is the HD camera from JVC (I think) for just under $4,000. But it is not, in my estimation, a contender for the PD150's dominance in the lower-end commercial market.
Mike Rehmus
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Old July 28th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #94
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New PD150 coming

the day after Canon announces the XL2... ;-)
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Old July 30th, 2003, 10:32 PM   #95
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PD150 Menu Scroll Problem

Ok here's a doozy--I'm getting all sorts of hardware problems lately.

The little menu scroll wheel located in the rear of my PD-150 seems to be flaking out. If I'm in any menu (be it CP or any of the main menu selections) I'm having a hell of a time scrolling in between different selections...it's almost like it's having a hard time deciding which selection it wants to land on.

The camera is a couple years old and I've gotten a fair amount of use out of it. Can I expect to pay out of my ___ for a repair (pardon my lack of french).

Thanks a gazillion, hope someone has a suggestion for me!
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Old July 30th, 2003, 11:30 PM   #96
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May be time to send it to Georgia for a spiff-up. Go onto the Sony pro website and call the 800 #. They can set it up for you.

Expect about $400 or so.
Mike Rehmus
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Old August 4th, 2003, 12:34 PM   #97
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First Post, First Dumb Question:)

Hi all,
This is my first post on what looks like a potentially very useful board.

I hope i havent missed a more obvious place to put it but i did search:).
I have placed this post on the XL1s baord also.

I will soon be in London learning filmmaking, while there i intend to buy a good quality
dvcam for experimentation, and short film making while i train.

I HAD saved towards a XL1s, based on the knowledge of its use in 28 Days Later
but a friend of mine then reccomended i go with the PD150, utterly complicating
a perfectly simple plan

Now without starting a war, i ask for arguments from both camps so i can make a decision.

Thanks in advance for any answers.

Nemed Phoenix
Lateral Filming.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 03:54 PM   #98
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Let me start off by saying that I have used both the XL1s and PD150 quite a bit, and from my own experiences, I would have to suggest the Sony PD150. Let me explain why:

IMAGE: While the image quality of both these cameras is phenominal, and you're sure to hear arguments either way that one is better, I prefered the range on the PD150. It is definately the better low-light camera of the two, so you really don't have to worry about not having supplimentary lighting around all the time: the PD150 will never let you down in natural lighting conditions (unless of course you're expectations are completely unreasonable for any miniDV camera out there).

On another note, one of the MAJOR factors that turned me off to the XL1s is the stock 16x lens. I have owned 3 different XL1s's and 2 XL1's, and I have had focus problems with all of them (this could be a fluke, but unlikely). I have tried every trick in the book, and I can't seem to get them to work correctly. Manual mode does work better, but the rings make focusing unnatural, and even on manual settings, I swore it would automatically adjust focus at points (taking it out of focus). This for me was the deal killer with these cams. The diehard XL1s owners like to tell me its because I'm using the camera wrong (I have used almost every MiniDV under the sun and also have a lot of experience with 8mm and 16mm film cameras, which are totally manual). Or some just say everyone should have a manual lens anyways because its more professional. But I'd rather not pay another $1000+ just to remedy focus issues on a $3000 camera.

FEATURES: The XL1s big draw is the fact that it can handle so much interchangability, the lens, the viewfinder and the mic can all be switched around with different parts, but if money is an issue (I'm expecting it would be since you're a student) then you really shouldn't worry too much about that stuff. The biggest advantage I like that the PD150 has is a flip out LCD screen. Sometimes its just more practical, for overhead shots or quick on your feet filming for instance. YOu can buy a supplimentary LCD screen for the XL1s, but that is an additional cost you'll have to figure in. Also, the PD150 has built in XLR ports for pro microphones, which are not a feature of the XL1s.

CONTROLS: I do think the XL1s' controls are nicer because they are mostly accessable in knobs on the exterior of the camera, while the SOny has a lot of features in the menus. However, I feel as though all of the important features on the Sony were located on the exterior for easy adjustment while filming.

OVERALL DESIGN: While I think the XL1s definately takes the cake as far as pure looks go, for function over form, I prefer the PD150. You are far less likely to experience fatigue handling the PD150, first because its lighter, but also due to the design. The problem is that the XL1s tends to be front heavy and it is very uncomfortable for handheld shooting over long periods of time. Plus with the PD150 you have the option of easily taking the camcorder anywhere because it is smaller, and if you want to shoot in public locations it draws less attention (from police, security guards, annoying passerbyers, etc etc). I think the PD150 feels a bit sturdier as well because it is one solid unit, whereas I felt it neccessary to handle my XL1s with much more care so the viewfinder didn't break off (which is a recorded weakness of this camera's design).

I guess in conclusion, the PD150 is the best camera all around. And in all honesty, I wanted the XL1s to outpreform my Sony's so bad because it really is a sweet looking cam and people took me more seriously when I was packing the big ol XL1s. But as a bottom line, just buy which ever one you think will suit you best based on different people's feedback, because at the end of the day you have your diehard Sony users and your diehard Canon users that will always feel that their camera is best.

In a last note, the XL1 in 28 Days Later was using a 35mm lens with an adapter, and you also must remember that the lighting, editing (color correction, etc) were all done by professionals with professional equipment. At the end of the day, its not what camera you use, but how you use it.

Good luck with your studies in filmmaking, and shoot the heck out of whichever camera you decide to buy!

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Old August 5th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #99
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The reason I passed on the XL1s is simple - no side screen. Approaching people with 1.5kg of brass 'n glass sticking out of your forehead is one sure way to change the reality you're trying to film. It's also a lot more dangerous walking about in peopled situations with your eye glued to a viewfinder. You should be looking left and right for your next shot as you concentrate on this one.

Another thing. The 3x wide-angle lens costs exactly half the VX2000, yet manages to lose you the excellent OIS. And the camera is a pain to hold after the 2k/150.

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Old September 15th, 2003, 10:18 PM   #100
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PD150 Questions

I am shooing my first paid wedding soon with a Sony PD150, I have a couple of questions:

1) Should I limit my gain to 12 db ???
2) Is a wide angle lens necessary, or a luxury ???
3) Should I use higher shutter speeds if I plan on doing slow motion in post ??
4) How do I handle mixed lighting conditions ??..its a daytime reception and I'm not too sure how to handle the indoor lighting and window lighting...

Any advice will help...thanks !!!

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Old September 16th, 2003, 06:21 AM   #101
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Personally I limit my gain to 6 but that's me. I hate gain. I do use a light at receptions, I know many say no light, but after 20 years and a few weddings I've discovered that a light even a small one is necessary in most cases. Anyway I guess 12 db can work but try for less otherwise much of the detail of the dress for example will be lost.

As for a WA, I use it ALL THE TIME, EXCEPT on my 2nd cam if it's say in the balconey about 100 feet away. Other than that I use it for the ceremony and the reception and it only comes off if I'm doing something very special and need the look of no WA

As for slow mo' and most other special effects, I do about 99% of that in post because even though it might have looked good at the time I did it in camera, when I get to editing, I might have changed my mind and now I'm stuck with it. I would suggest NOT to do special effects in camera only because if you don't get it right or change your mind latter you can't go back and redo it.

As for lighting, how are you planning on using your camera? If you're going to be outside for a while set up for that and reset when you get inside. As for window lighting well again a light on the camera can help. Seriously, at this time, you might very well consider using the automatic exposure setup on the 150 and when inside if you're shooting towards the window, hit the "backlight" button which opens the iris about 2 stops. Only do that when shooting directly into the window of course. Don't be afraid to use the auto settings on the camera, they are very accurate and BTW, I'll bet a lot more people than will admit it use auto settings when shooting. There's no shame in it. I did over the weekend at the reception at a golf course on Friday. We got there around 5:30PM overcast but very bright and the room had 2 walls of windows that were each about 50 feet in length. I was constantly shooting into the windows. It was easier just to go AUTO and use the backlight button along with my 50W light until later when the light evened out then I went back to manual and a lower wattage on the light.
I reviewed the footage yesterday and it looked fine.
Hell, I've been doing this for 20 years and auto exposure has saved my butt on more than one or two occassions.

Sorry about the long post but I hope I've answered your questions, good luck and stay focused.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 06:58 AM   #102
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Re: PD150 Questions

<<<-- Originally posted by Lester DeLeon :Should I use higher shutter speeds if I plan on doing slow motion in post ?? -->>>

No, shoot at 1/60 sec then slow down in post. Higher shutter speeds will make it look choppier, unless that's the effect you want. If you enable frame blending in your NLE you can get a pretty nice 50% or even 33% slo-mo. Or at least that's what I've found in FCP....
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Old September 16th, 2003, 05:17 PM   #103
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PD150 questions

Thanks for the advice to both of you.

Don, I have a PAG C6 light kit, with a 30W bulb and a diffuser & dichrotic filter. I plan on using it with the diffuser most of the time.
I think I will try 12db for gain this time, and see what it looks like, I just want to be safe.

About slow-motion, I am planning on doing it in post...as far as I understand it, I have to de-interlace and use about 50%...I might try 33% as Boyd suggests.

So it sounds like Wide Angle lens is the way to go...I have seen some good shots of the inside & outside of churches that could only have been taken with a wide angle lens.

Thanks again.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 06:15 PM   #104
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Am just waiting for some slo-mo to render right now! Have tried various approaches. I'm using DVFilm Maker to de-interlace the final product. However, DO NOT deinterlace until AFTER you slow down your footage. You want all the 60i fields, more data which can be used by the frame blending algorithm. If you deinterlace first you will get choppier motion when you use frame blending for slow mo. Take a look at the individual frames when you apply frame blending to interlaced frames - every other frame is either soft (from blending) or sharp (from deinterlacing). This gives sort of a stobing effect in the worst case (with fast motion).
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Old September 16th, 2003, 06:35 PM   #105
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Slow Motion

So first I should apply the 50 % speed, and then de-interlace just the slow motion clip ??...or the entire project...I have noticed the flickering or strobing effect in my slow motions !!

I assume your final format is MPEG2 for DVD, do you output Field A of Frame ??...I am starting to feel that Frame or Progressive seems to play better, even on a regular TV & DVD player...

I have Media Studio Pro 7.0. I just started to output AC3 audio on my MPEG2s, but I need to upgrade to DVD Workshop AC3 author my DVDs.
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