An old question: VX2000 vs PD150 vs XL1sS at DVinfo.net

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


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Old May 5th, 2002, 09:36 AM   #1
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An old question: VX2000 vs PD150 vs XL1sS

Im researching these models to purchase one for serious amateur use. I would record alot of live music performances and so am shying away from the VX-2000, based on what I've been reading about the hiss problem. Is that still true, or has it been fixed?

Assuming the audio is a valid concern, I'm lead to the PD-150 versus the XL1s. Threads I read on here talk about how much better the picture is on the Sony, plus that it's more sturdy.

I was leaning heavily toward the PD-150, because of the unobtrusive size, but it seems the progressive scan mode only runs at 15fps vs. 30 fps. I can imagine I'd like to shoot in progressive to grab stills and for the "film-like" quality. Reviews say the fps speed at 15 is to jittery to use. Is that a big deal, and does it hamper ability to edit in any way?

Also, I lean more toward the XL1, since it seems to have controls via buttions and knobs, which I prefer to layers-deep menus.

Are there any edit compatablility issues if I edit wqith either on a Matrox RT-2500?

Many thanks (I need to order today for a band concert Wednesday).
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Old May 6th, 2002, 04:10 AM   #2
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Either way you go, you're going to need an external audio recorder like a DAT or an MD. The XL1s's onboard stereo mic is ok for crowd reaction etc, but not for the actual music. The PD150 only has mono audio circuits so again you'll have to go external.

The XL's standard lens really isn't wide enough for band work so you'll need an adapter or the 3x lens. You'll need an adapter with the PD150 to but it'll be much cheaper.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 11:02 AM   #3
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My VX 2000 purchased 2 years ago has no sound problems - in fact it sounds great - I have successfully recorded audio in many different situations using the readily available (and relatively inexpensive) Beechtek adaptor which plugs in to the camera's stereo mini-plug input, screws on to the base of the camera, and provides two clean XLR inputs - which can be selected as mono or stereo; mike or line. There is another aux (miniplug) input which I have not explored yet.
The adaptor is easy and fun to use! Put your headphones on the camera and you can tune your audio by ear - aided by the easy-to-use (do not fear the menu!) audio level meters on the popout viewfinder. There are individual level pots for each channel. If you are recording bands live in a club run your board feed to one input (XLR) and place another mic on a stand (or wireless if you want) somewhere in the room to the second XLR input. If you have time you can 'tweak' this process by having an assistant move the mike around while you - on the headphones, by the camera, listen for a 'sweet spot' -- somewhere there is a good 'room' or 'crowd' or 'ambience' sound to your ear. Balance the desired room(crowd)versus board (music) levels and you are ready for recording broadcast quality audio.

3 quick tips:

1. There is no need to come anywhere close to peaking - with your audio levels.

2. I find listening on the headphones (get a good pair) makes all the difference -- take your time with this process.

3. Get a good microphone (or two or three!) to give you the best results...
I frequently use a Sennheiser 421 - which has a convenient low end roll off function and doesn't cost too much...Also gives nice rich timbre to the lower end of the human voice, among other things. A Shure SM-57 which is even cheaper , works quite well, for another option.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 06:44 PM   #4
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While it's true that the Sony PD150 can record in mono mode it does have two seperate XLR inputs each with switchable mic/mic att/line levels and switchable phantom power (nominally +48V). So if you have two microphones you can record in stereo.

That's not to say the PD150 would make a good camera to record musical performances with. The frequency response is tailored with a high-pass filter giving poor low frequency response. The highs don't live up to the capability of the medium either.

See the link here:

http://www.sounddevices.com/tech/pd150.htm

>The PD150 only has mono audio circuits so again you'll have to >go external.
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Old May 7th, 2002, 07:40 AM   #5
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Even with 2 mics you're still only getting 'summed mono' and not true stereo.

Again, an external recorder is the best way to go when recording bands.
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Old May 7th, 2002, 08:59 PM   #6
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I don't disagree at all that the PD150 makes a poor choice for any serious recording for the reasons I outlined. And while PD150s after a certain serial number supposedly had their audio issues 'fixed' my camera, which falls well on the other side of this number, still exhibits higher noise levels in manual audio mode.

But if you look at the left-hand most switch behind the XLR jacks on the camera, you can control whether the camera records in 'summed mono' or full stereo. With Mic/Line Channel 1 going to the left DV track and Channel 2 going to the right, I don't think you can get more stereo than that.
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