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


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Old March 25th, 2004, 10:34 AM   #31
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The Panny is reported to give similiar results as pd 150 in low light if it is in the interlace 60 mode... So they claim... Anyone???
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Old March 25th, 2004, 11:11 AM   #32
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Scott,

In 60i mode the two are very similar in sensitivity with the sony winning by a hair. The major difference is that the sony is just overall cleaner. The dvx gets muddy and noisy at higher gain levels. However it doesn't look as bad as it sounds. I often go up to 12db with my dvx and only notice the noise on static shots. One thing I wish the original dvx had is lower shutter speeds. I recently looked at some nice candid stuff from a wedding reception where the videographer used no light but simply lowered the shutter speed. Very nice and effective.

Again if you're planning on doing weddings I would stick with the pd170 or vx2100.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 11:16 AM   #33
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Yes and No. I've owned a DVX100 for a year and have shot in many low-light environments (wedding receptions), and have more recently purchased a PD-170 and have been doing ongoing tests to see what this camera is capable of.

Yes in the sense the PD-170 is no more sensitive to light than the DVX100. They both use 1/3" ccds

No in the sense that the PD-170 can be gained up to 12db with no additional grain added to the footage. Try to do that with the DVX and your picture is useless. What makes the PD-170 so excellent in low light isn't the CCD's sensitivity- it's the electronic by which the electronic gain work. I did tests in my bedroom with a single dim light on, which is still pretty dark due to my dark colored paint/wallpaper. The PD-170 at F1.6, Shutter at 60, and Gain at +9db gave an image brighter than the room looks with my own eyes!
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Old March 25th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #34
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mathew Evan : Scott,

One thing I wish the original dvx had is lower shutter speeds. I recently looked at some nice candid stuff from a wedding reception where the videographer used no light but simply lowered the shutter speed. Very nice and effective.

Again if you're planning on doing weddings I would stick with the pd170 or vx2100. -->>>


Lowering the shutter by half to 30 does indeed gather a great deal more light...however the image becomes very stroby (especially during pans) and it exhibits aliasing, for what reason I don't understand.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 11:33 AM   #35
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I am trying to decide if I should buy a 2nd DVC80 or the PD-170 or VX2100 for weddings. I had a friend come over who owns the Sony and we compared the 2 cameras footage. They had about the same exposure with auto iris but manual gain settings in low light but the amount of grain was higher in the Panny.

I'm having a tough time deciding. The 80 is $1900, great audio but only 10x and more grain in low light. The Sony is 12x plus the fact that the 12x on the sony would be like 14 or so on the Panny (if that were possible) because of the lense differences, and the Sony has less grain in most low light situations. However the VX is $2400 and no XLR's. Then the PD is 3200. So is that zoom and less grain on low light worth $500 more for the VX with lesser balance and lesser audio? Is the PD worth $1300 more than the DVC80? The DVC80 is basically a PD with smaller zoom range a bit better auto functionality and less grain on low light shots. I just don't know. If I didnt already have the 80 and have the urge to want to easily match 2 cam footage in post without a lot of color correction I would go for the sony for sure. Leaning toward the Sony though.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 12:04 PM   #36
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there would be no question for me.. I have a DVC 80 and have used the P{D150.. Nice camera.. but for the money.. no question.. The Panny would be my choice..
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Old March 25th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #37
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If money is of concern just go with another dvc80, especially if you can pick one up for $1900 (where may I ask?). Just shoot with a light.

Other things to consider is cost of ownership and durability. I'll be honest, the dvx/dvc just are not as durable feeling as the sony pd/vx cams. Stupid things like attaching the palm strap to the tape door and not including a headphone amp (with the original dvx). Also and I'm not sure if this is the case with the dvc80 as well, panny designed the tape heads to only be compatible with dry lube tape. The only dry tape in production is panasonic's own MQ brand. Word is that they plan on raising the price of the tape stock by 20% soon. The stuff is already expensive as it is.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 12:17 PM   #38
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Haven't had any problems so far with the regular panny PQ panny tapes. The thing is I know if I buy another Panny I will buy the century telephoto as well and that's $800 so thats $2700 a lot closer to the PD-170.

Mathew I emailed you about the DVC-80 price. Dont want to post a non-sponser of dvinfo here.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 12:23 PM   #39
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Regarding the strobbyness of lower shutter speeds: You have to work with it's limitations. Like 24P you cannot just pan and jump around at 90mph. There are rules just like professional cinematographers use that apply. The stuff I saw that utilized the slower shutter speeds were candids where no camera movement was used. Things like guests mingling at a bar, grandma etc. Documentary style shots that would never of worked if the operator were standing there shooting with a light.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 12:47 PM   #40
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I agree with many of the posts above. The DVX100A is a mighty fine piece of kit but in the low light / no light arena it struggles. Point one. The Sony VX is half a stop faster at full telephoto, so to simply match that the Panny has to go up another 3dB on gain. Not only that, but the VX at 72mm and f2.4 gives striking differential focus. The Panny with 45mm @f 2.8 tops has too much depth of field for my portraiture at weddings.

Then there's the real low light stuff. At weddings I often go out into the night with the Sony. I set the aperture wide (no gain) but lower the shutter speed to 1/3rd sec. You can get absolutely wonderful shots of the lit exteriors to posh venues, and when the bride and groom have paid for such places, it's really important to make sure they're included in the film.

tom.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 01:28 PM   #41
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Ok say I go Sony. VX and Beachteck totaling about $2800 or PD for 3200. I have the Canon WD-58 wide angle already.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 02:09 PM   #42
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I'd go witht he PD-170. I wouldn't trust my XLRs going through a 1/8" mini connection. Granted I've used a GL-1 with a beachtech and an ME66 without fault though it definitly sounded better plugged directly into my PD-170/DVX100 xlrs.

I'm getting ready to purchase a second camera as soon as my GL-1 sells. I'd LOVE to get a second PD-170 but it's price differencial between them is pretty high so I'll probably go VX. Besides it's my secondary camera and XLR/DVcam won't be as important beings I already have another cam with these features.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #43
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Yeah Glen my DVC80 has great XLRs and I love the Panny audio. It doesn't clip very easily. Since I have the 80 I don't have to have the 170 and I could live with the VX but you never know when a cam might go out and then I don't want to get caught with no XLR's.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 03:36 PM   #44
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Thats a good point. Hmmm, maybe I SHOULD shoot another PD-170 for a back up cam. UGH- the dept!
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Old March 25th, 2004, 04:18 PM   #45
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We have one forum regular who apparently ruined the 1/8" socket on his new VX2100 with one strain on the cable. That bent the internals of the socket and it required a trip to the shop. I believe he even had a right-angle plug on the end of the cable.

The difference in price between the 2100 and 170 isn't even one screwed up wedding IF you lost the sound because the socket failed. Lots of people use them with no problems so it can be done. But if there were a chance, I KNOW I'd break the socket in the middle of the most important event of the year.
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