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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 25th, 2004, 05:52 PM   #46
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mini jacks will fail you....

Straight up. I had the same thing happen to me years ago with a panasonic 456. Those mini jacks are not made for the normal strain that is put upon them in a run and gun environment.

If you want to go the sony route I still think that you would be safe with a pd170 and a vx2100. With the 2100 you could use the WA lens that is included with the 170. The vx with a WA lens makes for an awesome glidecam combo.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 07:00 PM   #47
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Yeah, having the PD170 there to pick up the ball in the "event" that the dvc80 can't, or vice versa, is sage wisdom, if you can afford it. Also, avoiding minijacks is always a good thing; they aren't designed for work.

Just got my PD170 yesterday, and I'm very impressed. You see, I've been shooting with a PDX10 for the last six months, and while I adore this little camera, and find it to be irreplaceable (in fact, I have two of them) as far as what's available on the market for the money, the 170 is everything the PDX is not. (...and vice versa...)
Zoom ring and a useful focus ring! I'm a new man! :-)
Depth of field! And of course, clean low light signals...
But that's me.

Anyhow, if the DVC/DVX isn't cutting it in low light, and only you can say, the Sonys are a sure bet, but I would maintain the XLR status all the way around, if possible.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 08:15 PM   #48
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Re: mini jacks will fail you....

If you want to go the sony route I still think that you would be safe with a pd170 and a vx2100. With the 2100 you could use the WA lens that is included with the 170. The vx with a WA lens makes for an awesome glidecam combo.

Man, that's another really good point. I just got the quick release plate for the 501 head to mount to the top of my Glidecam 4000. Wide angle lenses definitly lend to the effect when using a glidecam/stabilization device.

What's the difference in price between the VX2100 and PD-170......$800?
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Old March 25th, 2004, 08:24 PM   #49
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Well the DVC80 has the wide built in already Glen. Maybe a 2nd cam for you could be the 80. $1900 and it's got your XLR's and your wide angle built in.

This was a tough decision. It's easy to be tempted to try the DVX100A which would match my DVC-80 for 60i but be available for 24P when I want. However, I think since I'm a wedding guy, I'll be doing a better service to my clients with the PD-170.

Crazy dollars. $1300 more for the PD170 over the DVC80 but I'm jumping in for the PD since I already have the 80. Since I'm makin a few bucks on the side with weddings it's an investment. B&H or EVS... I might try EVS this time...









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Old March 25th, 2004, 09:30 PM   #50
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dvc80 excellent cam for the price but no audience

I think that's partly why it's so cheap now. Your typical prosumer camera buyer either wants to make movies (dvx100) or shoot events (pd-170). It's too bad that neither manufacturer got it quite right so you could do both with the same camera without compromise.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 09:13 AM   #51
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important factors.. Already have DVC80 so buy another the video will match.. Dry film lube.. From having a military background I understand the premise fo dry film lube as opposed to wet.. Wet gums up the actions of rifles.. 10 years or more ago the military started using dry film to keep their weapons from fouling up.. Its just good common sense..
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Old March 27th, 2004, 12:07 PM   #52
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Ok got the 170...

Well I have only used the 170 for about 30 minutes but you can size up the important stuff pretty quicky if you know what you're looking for.

Comparing the footage to the 80/100 of course there is less grain in mid to low light with the Sony. How significant I'll see after I do a few receptions. I think at least as important however is the way the camera adjusts for color in auto mode. With the 80 I have to fiddle with the white balance all the time going into different rooms or outside to inside but the auto mode on the Sony pretty much eliminates that. It very accurately represents the color everywhere I have gone today without changing a thing.

Having said that I find that the Panny's picture is a touch sharper than the Sony especially on closer face shots. The 80 is a really great cam and a hugh bargin right now I believe because the audio is so great. For many people $1300 more for the 170 would not be worth it. Is it for me? We'll see in a few months.

Also I like the little sony 10/20 light better than the Cannon 10li I have been using. Its spot is more even and you can use 20w when needed.

Also forgot to mention. No HUM here with the LCD open.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 01:18 PM   #53
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Congrats on your purchase- welcome to the brotherhood...lol. Seriously keep us informed on your findings. Have fun!

Speaking of the 10/20 light- did you diffuse it yet? It's a great light but needs a bit of diffusion...way too harsh. I purchased a Smith & Victor diffusion material from B&H I have extra if your interested. Simply took the light apart...used the glass as a template and cut the diffusion out on top of cardboard. Used two peices of "frost". I also have "light silk" and "tough spun". I felt the "frost" gave the best diffusion. Also two peices gave me a good balance between soft light and decent light output.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 03:43 PM   #54
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Yeah I followed the your posts on the VU about that Glen. I could tell it was the same Glen in this thread. I bought the Lumiquest soft box they talked about but I think a piece of diffusion paper would be better. I don't want to use much but maybe a bit to take the edge off. What I love about these little lights is that I can use them on the camera with the flowpod. I couldnt use the flowpod if I was using a battery belt with a cord attached to the light.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 03:51 PM   #55
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Congratulations and yes please do keep us posted about your findings. I'm particularly interested in the differences between the two cams. I also recently came into a pd170 to go with my PDX10s and will be more and more coming from that perspective (the differences between them), should anyone care...

So, you played footage back on a tv and you say the picture from the 80 is sharper? Interesting. I would not have guessed that.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 04:13 PM   #56
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Yep, on TV. It's just a bit sharper on close ups. The Sony has a bit of a softness to the picture. I don't think I can sharpen the Sony as I haven't yet seen a sharpness control like there is on the PD like there is on the Panny and GL2. The GL2 is actually a bit sharper that the Sony as well. It could be the 410k pixels of the 1/4 inch chip on the GL and the 410k pixels of the Panny 1/3 inch chip vs the 380k pixels on the Sony 1/3 inch chip. Could be assisted by the the Flourite lense on the GL or the Dicomar on the Panny as well.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 04:40 PM   #57
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The Sharpness control for the PD170 is part of the custom presets menu, the button for which is located on the rearend of the handle.

It's interesting, I haven't spent that much time with the 170 yet, nor have I put the PDX side by side with the 170, but I'm just not noticing a difference in sharpness. Will check it out.

The Sharpness control for these cams is a joke, IMO, serving only to make messy the edges of things. It's clearly not anything but a cheap trick of illusion that my eye no longer buys, unfortunately? I pretty much leave it dialled all the way down on all of my cams. It's effect does not seem as drastic as it does on the 170 as it does on the PDX, but, again, my experience is limited...
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Old March 27th, 2004, 05:27 PM   #58
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To sharpen the SONY, go into custom preset mode and bring up the detail 75%. Then lower the saturation 1 click to the left AND make sure you manually white balance. You will see a somewhat sharper picture.

A few months back we experimented with our Panny 100 and the VX2100/PD170. We noticed only a slight sharpness in the Panny up to and including 6db's. Over 6db and in lower light the SONY's did in fact outshine the Panasonic with a cleaner picture which would indicate a higher signal to noise ratio.

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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Easler : Yep, on TV. It's just a bit sharper on close ups. The Sony has a bit of a softness to the picture. I don't think I can sharpen the Sony as I haven't yet seen a sharpness control like there is on the PD like there is on the Panny and GL2. The GL2 is actually a bit sharper that the Sony as well. It could be the 410k pixels of the 1/4 inch chip on the GL and the 410k pixels of the Panny 1/3 inch chip vs the 380k pixels on the Sony 1/3 inch chip. Could be assisted by the the Flourite lense on the GL or the Dicomar on the Panny as well. -->>>
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Old March 27th, 2004, 05:55 PM   #59
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Thanks Shawn, and Lou I'll check out those settings. I noticed the sharpness on distant objects was about the same for the two cams but say 3-7 foot shots I could se a slight sharpness edge on the Panny. Macro's were pretty much the same. Of course this is for 60i stuff. Obviously the 100A in progressive is much sharper all around. The Sony does oversaturate just a bit, noticably on reds. The Panny can tend to undersaturate a bit in general. Also the Panny has just a slight green cast for mid range colors in general which is slight but it dulls the color separation a tad. When a slight correction is made on the mids toward blue in post the colors pop out perfectly. If you are not comparing these things side by side you won't pick up on it most of the time.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 06:32 PM   #60
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Rob, regardless of how many pixels the ccds have (which you have to be careful in the first place because they can be relating to Gross pixels and not Effective) I believe the Sony has a high on-screen res than both the Canon and the Panny. Panny is 500 lines the Sony is 530 lines.

I do believe, however, the DVX100 cannot be touched in 24p "thin" mode- very very SHARP. Then again sharpeness isn't neccessarily a good trait...most recommend to turn the sharpeness all the way down to smooth the aliasing you can get with high res ccds.

Anyway, yeah, the custom preset menu is great. I found that the 2nd day I had the camera- I kept overlooking it, as it's camoflauged so well on the back of the handle. I don't think I'll be doing any tweaking with it as I prefer a more FLAT picture to start out- give me more latitude in post for color correction and enhancements. The one setting that IS great, and maybe worth keeping CP on at all times is the AGC limit. I like to limit it to 12db because 15 and 18db add grain. That way if I DO switch to auto mode it won't use those gain settings.
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