new camera...vx2000 vx. pd-150? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 2nd, 2003, 09:01 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
new camera...vx2000 vx. pd-150?

hello.

i am getting ready to purchase a new camera...

i was strongly leaning towards the vx-2000 (or 2100?) but i want to add a beach tek box for xlr audio, and i was planning on adding a shotgun mic on top of the camera...

would i be better off sucking it up and getting a pd-150?

if i add a better mic to the vx-2000 i'm going to be stuck with the built in mic for the rest of my life, if you should choose to upgrade the shotgun mic on top of the pd-150 can you take off the factory one?

can i get some feedback from folks who have firsthand experience?

i am basically a high end hobbyist who wants to make documentary's and perhaps some odd ball shorts.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 09:43 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 219
Consider the Panasonic AG-DVC80 too

Read the posts in this Sony VX2000/ PD150 forum and the DVX100/DVC80 forum. You might want to consider the Panasonic DVC-80 which is the same price as the 2000 if you can't wait for the XV2100. The 80 has xlr's like the PD150 already.
Rob Easler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 11:34 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 327
I am in a similar situation to you, and I have been extremely happy with the VX2000. When I purchased it 3 years ago, I seriously considered the PD150 as well. My reasoning for the 2000 is as follows:

The only "advantages" the 150 are built in XLR's, 2-channel independent monitoring of audio, Black&White viewfinder, and DVCam recording capability. Some of these advantages are actually limitations, as I will explain.

The 150 has no built-in microphone. You say that you are planning on upgrading to a high-quality shotgun. That's just fine with the 2000 and a Beachtek adapter. It's easy to mount, say a Sennheiser K6 battery module with a ME66 shotgun on a Lightwave Audio Systems Minimount. This will essentially give you a better setup than the stock 150, but you will also have the option to take it off, and have a wide-field stereo option with the 2000's built-in mic. Sometimes when doing unpredictable documentary work, it's better to have audio options. The very early 2000's had audio problems, but no longer. When using an external mic with a Beachtek, you turn the 2000's audio to manual (no AGC), turn the record volume down to halfway or LESS, then adjust volume UP on the Beachtek. I have never had audio problems this way. Only being able to monitor L/R together on the 2000 is not a problem unless you plan to often hook up 2 mikes which you need to monitor seperately.

Many pro shooters are used to critical focusing using a B&W viewfinder. Using a high-contrast CRT finder lets you see focus easily. I am not nearly as impressed with the 150's small finder. I would rather use the very sharp LCD 9 times out of 10. If you add on Century Optic's LCD Screen Magnifier, it's almost as good as a broadcast camera. Better, IMO because it's in color.

DVCam and DV are exactly the same signal. There is no difference AT ALL! The only difference is that DVCam tape has a different formulation and runs through the camera faster. The idea is that the tape will be more durable if you are doing a lot of jogging/suttling back and forth with linear editing equipment. That's how Sony sold DVCam to the pro community several years ago. Keep in mind, the optics, manual controls, CCDs and everything else that affects image quality is identical with the 2000. DVCam tape is about 30% more expensive, only runs 40 min per tape, and will not play on DV equipment. Using the 2000, you can use inexpensive and common DV tape, get SP runtimes up to 80min, and unlike the 150, run DV tape in LP mode, doubling your runtime to up to 160min! Now, I wouldn't recommend doing this under normal circumstances. The possibility of getting digital dropouts increases in LP mode. The tape becomes more fragile over time (more prone to developing dropouts with repeated playback). BUT, the digital signal on the tape is EXACTLY THE SAME! You will not lose any quality. So let's say you're out at a remote location, you have only 1 tape left, and you need to record another 2 hours of footage. Record in LP, dupe that 2-hour LP tape over to 2 1-hour SP tapes when you get back. Production saved!

As you can see, it's all about flexibility with me. I have lots of accessories, and can go from shooting great video at my son's birthday parties to getting pro-level gigs. I can't say enough about his camera - it was the best purchase I ever made. With excellent optical (Canon-made) Steadyshot, it's a great camera. I use a PD-100 (DVCam, terrible electronic image stabilizer) and DSR-300 (DVCam, heavy, $14,000 with a nice Canon lens) at work, and I wish we had just bought 3 VX-2000's instead. With the money you would save over the 150, buy a Canon WA adpter, the Beachtek, the shotgun mic and a nice case.

There will be much better cam's out within 1-2 years. The 2100 is interesting, but doesn't add enough features to justify the higher price, for me. JVC's HD-10 is a stunning development, but I'm waiting for the 2nd generation HD cams from Sony/Canon/whomever. If you're dead-set on shooting SD video now, you couldn't do much better than the 2000+as many accessories as you can afford.
Scott Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 11:50 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 473
Scott,

You make a bunch of interesting points. I have to differ with you on tape cost though. My DSR500 records on the exact same tapes my GL2 uses. As you mention, the image quality between DVCAM and MiniDV is the same, it's the tape pitch (15 vs. 10 on MiniDV) that is different. Which explains the shorter run times (approx 40 mins) when using a "60" min MiniDV tape in a DVCAM. So. bottom line - No cost difference in tapes. (Plus, doesn't the 150 offer the option to record in either DVCAM or MiniDV?)
Rob Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 12:45 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 327
Rob -

You're right - you can use standard DV tapes in DVCam equipment, albeit with the shorter runtimes. I'm very interested in your experience with the 500 running regular DV tape. I've been thinking about running regular DV through my 300 to save $$ on tape stock.

What was in my head head that didn't quite make it into the post was this: The 150 will record DVCam if you choose (as you said, on regular DV tape), but you need DVCam equipment to play back that tape. I would prefer to record in regular DV mode, SP, and have nearly universal playback capability in anybody's machine. If they have DV, DVCam or DVCPro, those DV tapes will play back fine. The 150 will also record in regular DV, but only in SP mode. The 2000 gives you the added flexibility to record in LP mode if you're in a pinch.

Thanks for the clarification.
Scott Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 12:55 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 327
Also, Rob - I just noticed I can't e-mail you from this forum. Would you consider emailing me so we could discuss the 300/DVtape thing off this thread. I would be happy to email you (or call from here in Phx.) I have a few questions that are off-topic for you.

Thanks!
Scott Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 12:59 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 473
Scott,

I use Panasonic AY-DVM63MQ tapes exclusively. Never had any problems so I'm not even going to experiment with anything else!! I use them regularly in the 500 and play them back on a DSR 45 deck for editing. I also have a supply of the larger format AY-DV96MQ tapes that provide 96 minutes of DVCAM time. Course they won't fit in a 150 or a 2000! Only had the 500 for a few weeks but IT ROCKS. Image quality is outstanding and it sure is nice to have depth of field to work with!
Rob Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 01:15 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 327
Yep, there's no substitute for bigger CCDs and good, high quality glass. Maybe the 2nd gen. HDV cams will have a 1.5", single Foveon-style CCD and interchangable glass (xl2, anyone?) Oh, well - I can dream...

I've always used the Pana AY-DVM63MQ in my 2000, as it's almost always the cheapest and most readily available. I just worry about switching the 300 over to regular DV having run nothing but DVCam through it for 3 years now. I'd also have to switch back and forth in my editing deck from old DVCam tapes to newer DV, which gives me the heebie jeebies.

I'll stop dragging this thread off topic, now...
Scott Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2003, 05:52 PM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
Just a small correction about DVCam playback capabilities.

Many DV decks and cameras will play back DVCam recordings. Almost all Sony's will except the very early DV devices like the VX-1000. Canon's will not AFAIK. I think the JVC twin decks will IIRC.

I use miniDV tapes in my DSR-300 all the time. For my NLE environment, 'real' DVCam tapes are of no advantage unless I need run times longer than one hour. That's the only time I use DVCam tapes. At about $30 a pop for a 3-hour DVCam tape vs under $5 for a 1-hour Sony miniDV tape, the economics are obvious when the program form is short.
__________________
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
Mike Rehmus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2003, 02:37 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: California
Posts: 139
I have been considering buying a new camera. My choice is between getting another VX-2000 to go with the one that I already have, or a PD-150 (or possibly waiting for a PD-170). I love the picture that I get with the VX-2000, but often my sound is not up to the same quality level. I have a Beachtek to go with my VX-2000, but it still doesn't give me the capability of the PD-150. I often film performances where there are fairly large differences in the sound levels. The clapping and music can be extremely loud and the dialog can be fairly quiet. To deal with this situation, I'd like to record the sound from two different microphones (typically in different locations), one operating in manual mode and one in AGC mode. I believe that this would guarantee that I would have usable sound from at least one of the microphones at all times. The VX-2000 does not allow me to do this, as both channels must be in the same mode. If I choose AGC, then I believe that the loudest channel will "modulate" the amplitude of the lower signal as it drives the AGC up and down. If I use manual mode with both microphones, then I run the risk of overloading both microphones when unanticipated loud sounds occur. This one capability is the thing that makes me drool over the PD-150. However, it would be really nice to not have to spend the extra money for a PD-150 if I could come up with a better way to deal with this sound issue. Anyone out there have techniques that they use with the VX-2000 to circumvent the limitations imposed by the "ganged" AGC?
Alan Christensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 6th, 2003, 07:43 PM   #11
Go Cycle
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Huntington, NY
Posts: 795
You can't overide AGC on independent channels. The best you can hope for is adjusting the Beachtek box volume individually and finding an audio level that satisfies your needs.
__________________
Lou Bruno
Lou Bruno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2003, 12:17 AM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
In those situations, you may need a compressor to handle the wide dynamics. A decent one isn't too expensive.
__________________
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
Mike Rehmus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2003, 01:27 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
i'm really starting to get the impression that a pd-150 would be a better investment...built in xlr and easier changing of onboard mic.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2003, 11:23 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Posts: 745
I for one eagerly await the North American release of the PD170. I'd been wanting a pd150 for more than six months until I couldn't wait to save enough and went with the PDX10 instead. Well, that old feeling has returned and is growing, I must say! I should be able to make it all the way this time, it doesn't look like it's coming until early next year. Wish me luck.
__________________
Breakthrough In Grey Room

Shawn Mielke is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:21 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network