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


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Old December 7th, 2003, 11:17 PM   #1
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Most useful accessory for VX2000/2100 under $200?

I'm going to be ordering my VX2100 from B&H over the next few days, and thought "let's save on shipping" - while I'm at it I'd like to pick up an accessory or two. I'm thinking wide-angle lens - I'm a student, and shoot a fairbit indoors in a fairly small student house. Any suggestions/specific brands?
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Old December 8th, 2003, 12:49 AM   #2
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If you haven't considered an external microphone, you will.

I vote for an XLR adapter and a microphone.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 01:31 AM   #3
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Panasonic SHAN-MC1

Thanks for the advice - I've already got a Panasonic SHAN-MC1 (Miniplug Shotgun video mic)- I don't believe Panasonic makes them anymore though, pretty good mic. I probably should get a shockmount for it nonetheless, maybe a sennheiser or something.
Good suggestion - any more ideas?
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Old December 8th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #4
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I bought and use the Canon WD-58, with hood. It's a very good piece of glass for the money, but threaded not bayonet mount. That doesn't bother me but there are many shooters who don't like the time threading takes.
The other accessory I've become very fond of is the mini Rover "L" bracket. The Beachtek-equipped cam mounts to the Rover, which has an upright post with hot shoe. The unit adds stability and makes for better hand-held work, provides a second shoe for mic or light and can be mounted to a quick release plate on the tripod. You can see it in action on my rig at http://www.contentshop.tv/newcam.htm

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Old December 8th, 2003, 11:37 AM   #5
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How about a rain cape? I picked up an EWA-Marine (designed to fit the VX2000, but I suspect they'd have one for the slightly larger VX2100) from B&H last month. I had a chance to try it out in some pretty good downpours in Italy last week, and it worked like a champ. It's easy to put on and off the camera (there's a proprietary ring that screws into the lens -- it slips into a matching fitting on the cover and holds the lens against an optical glass port). It also has a little swing out pouch, so you can use the LCD if you don't want to use the viewfinder. I screwed an Adorama monopod into the camcorder and used it as a handle; it was easier to carry this way, and also avoided the problem of condensation inside the cape from the heat of my hand. I was able to get great hand-held street scene stuff in some fairly major showers. I got soaked, but the camera was dry as a bone.

The EWA cape was $159.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 12:53 PM   #6
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That's a good idea, especially considering the weather here locally: lots of wet snow.
Anyone know anything about this rain cape?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=210739&is=REG

Its about half the price of the EWA-Marine -
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Old December 8th, 2003, 01:34 PM   #7
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I looked at the Kata rain cover locally last week. It has no lens protection like the EWA Marine cover but it seems well made and has access from the top for reaching the carry handle and room for the LCD to open. The shop owner had cleared all Kata covers a month or so before to make room for a replacement line, which he didn't like as much when it came in, so back they came.

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Old December 8th, 2003, 01:58 PM   #8
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Get the biggest battery you can afford if you haven't already done so. Also, pickup a wireless microphone (e.g. Sennheiser Evolution series) if you plan to videotape subjects in that aren't in isolated, noise-free rooms. However, B&H sells these for $835.
I picked one up for $495, so try to negotiate using prices from other vendors.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 02:25 PM   #9
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Any brands or suggestions on batterys? Should I stick with sony brand name?
I'll be shooting dialogue mostly indoors, so the wireless mic isn't the most important issue to me. If shooting outside it would be more scenic / action.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 02:47 PM   #10
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Ari, the big difference between the Kata and the Ewa is that, whereas the Ewa is more like a closed bag that the camera goes in, the Kata is like a drape that leaves that goes over the camera, but leaves the lens and the viewfinder exposed. I suspect the Kata would work well if the camera was fixed on a tripod, but hand-holding it in a heavy rain would almost certainly get it wet. The Ewa is completely sealed, except for the opening on the bottom, and even that snaps shut, so the camera is better protected.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 04:00 PM   #11
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Choices choices...!
Right now I'm thinking the rain cover, as I don't believe I'll be shooting outside in the rain/snow enough to justify the higher cost, an extra battery (still haven't decided which one - suggestions?), and maybe a wide-angle lens (a Kenko most likely - are they really Sony's OEM manufacturer?)
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Old December 8th, 2003, 04:15 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Gints Klimanis : Get the biggest battery you can afford if you haven't already done so. Also, pickup a wireless microphone (e.g. Sennheiser Evolution series) if you plan to videotape subjects in that aren't in isolated, noise-free rooms. However, B&H sells these for $835.
I picked one up for $495, so try to negotiate using prices from other vendors. -->>>

B&H still sells the combo bodypack with lav and the plug-on transmitters with the bodypack receiver for $499.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 04:26 PM   #13
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batteries

I shot for a while with two 330s and two 550s, the latter putting out less and less over time. Then I bought a 750 and I love it. It shoots for a couple/few hours (I haven't timed it) and I have yet to need a second battery between opportunities to charge it. Everyone has different needs of course but starting out, this battery is a must have in my humble opinion - Sony NP-F750 to be precise. I think it's about $75 at B&H.

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Old December 8th, 2003, 05:16 PM   #14
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I had a Kenko and returned it -- poor edge sharpness, lots of color fringing. Now I use an Optex -- a little more money, but better quality.

Doesn't the VX2100 come with a wide angle lens, or am I thinking of something else?

As for batteries, I'll second the 750. I've got a couple of them, and reliably get 5 hours or so out of each one. I also have a 960 which, I think, will run for several weeks. ;) The downside to the 960 is its weight -- fine for tripod use, but it'll kill you if you're shooting handheld.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 05:19 PM   #15
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I believe the PD170 comes with a wide angle lens, while the VX2100 does not.

I'm looking for the middle-of-the-line - not century precision optics, but not "precision opticals" or whatever the ebay brand is.

FYI Theres a guy on ebay from Hong Kong who sells new packaged 750s for $40 (USD, of course) including shipping to your door anywhere in the world. From what I remember, he has no negatives, over 100 positive feedback - all which read something along the lines of "great battery, thanks".
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