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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 16th, 2003, 01:58 PM   #1
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Beginners woes

Hi everyone,

I'm an inexperienced user who is somewhat confused by some of the manual "twiddly bits".

( I previously had a "point & click" auto type camera) so perhaps someone will help me with a couple of basic questions.

I want to shoot wildlife that may be some considerable distance away (50 to 500 metres) so here are my (starter) questions

What's the best way to use the zebra pattern for this kind of shoot? In fact how do I use the darn thing properly at all?

Is there some kind of audio set-up that will allow me to record on location given the distance I may be from the subject?

Many Thanks

P.S. for anyone in U.K. -----Is it worth going for the BBC mod??
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Old October 16th, 2003, 02:52 PM   #2
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The BBC mod is indeed worth it if you want to maximise the audio potential of your VX2k. The Beeb buy these in preference to the 150 because the mod is so sffective.

You'll need a good shotgun mic by the sound of it. Start looking at the Sennheiser K6/66 module and go more shotgun from there.

Zebras: The camera has a switchable zebra facility with three settings: off, 70 IRE and 100IRE. These zebras appear on highlights in the auto or manual exposure modes and warn you of impending over-exposure (in the 70 setting) and actual over-exposure (in the 100 setting). This facility can be very useful when you’re shooting in high contrast situations and I highly recommend that you use them.

One point worth noting however is that in the 70 IRE setting the zebras will appear at f4 say, and if you continue opening the aperture they’ll then disappear again. If you have the 100IRE setting selected the zebras will appear when that setting is reached and will remain on screen as you open the aperture or slow the shutter speed further. I feel this is the more useful setting but that it gives you less early warning than the 70 setting. Before you start shooting in the manual mode though, shoot in auto with the zebras turned on. Then use 'display' on replay to see what the camera's automation chose.

tom.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 03:55 PM   #3
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There is no microphone system available that will give you good sound at the ranges you describe. Certain microphones appear to be more sensitive but are proportionally more sensitive to sound generated close to the microphone. The only way to get good sound is to get the microphone close.

Wildlife at a distance is a bit difficult to meter. You'd probably be better off using a monitor (not the attached LCD) and set your exposure that way. Otherwise, use the 70% Zebra, knowing that green grass and blue sky are about 70% IRE in a normal scene. That will get you close and you can then make minor adjustments to optimize the exposure.

There just is no substitute for looking at a monitor.

Look at the top of this forum for threads about the BBC training that is available on-line.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 10:34 AM   #4
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I wouldn't recommend the BBC mod just yet. Get to know your cam first. You might want to add a beachtek or other audio adapter. The BBC mod cannot be undone.

You might be able to find a microphone system with a parabolic reflector that will greatly help you out. I haven't used them, but for long distances you need more than a shotgun mic. Check Markertek or B&H and see if they have something. Should be able to learn more online.

Have you read the BBC training manual for the VX2000 (listed at top of this newsgroup)? If not, you should check it out.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 03:12 PM   #5
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Read this as well

http://www.urbanfox.tv/workbooks/sonypd150/index.htm
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Old October 20th, 2003, 01:27 PM   #6
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Beginners woes

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Took the camera out on a field trip yesterday and I was delighted with the results.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 08:38 PM   #7
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http://www.greatdv.com/cameras/Zebra.htm
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