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

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Old February 26th, 2004, 10:22 PM   #31
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Ada, Oklahoma
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I own both the PD150 and the DVX100. Have never seen a DVX100a or a PD170 other than photos but I assume they are almost exactly like their older siblings. I'll try to answer a few questions that have popped up. As far as the magnesium alloy, the DVX has more on the body than the PD150. The 150 only has the alloy on the left side of the body and the handle. The lens is total plastic all the way around and the entire right hand side is encassed in plastic. The DVX has alloy all the way around (the tape door is plastic).

Regarding ease of hand holding, the DVX kicks the 150 in the butt. The PD is not very comfortable to hold for any length of time, especially when a wide zoom through is attached.. The hand grip almost forces your hand to bend at the wrist and position vertically while your arm is at an angle. The DVX positions the hand at an angle so your palm, wrist, and forearm are in a straight line. Much more comfortable. The DVX is much better ballanced.

As far as the picture goes--60i, not progressive--the sony is better than the panny. I really like the picture of the sony. it is punchier, clearer and more vibrant. The panny can get close but it takes a lot of tweaking of the settings but still falls short. The audio features of the sony are better too. Each audio channel on the PD can be set for either auto or manual gain independantly. I run the on cam mic in auto gain and channel 2 as manual for lav mics. You also get a level meter. The panny only lets you have auto or manual on both channels at the same time and the meters have no numerical indication--that is not good. Audio is paramount to me.

The other huge thing I love about the sony over the panny is the viewfinder. (again, all my info here is bassed on the PD150 and the DVX100) The panny viewfinder is just about worthless. You can focus much better with the flip-out. However, under sunlight, the viewfinder is marginal at best. The sony has the awesome high res black and white finder. I love it--use it all the time.

In closing I would say get the 170 if all you are doing is 60i. I didn't mention about the whole reason I bought the DVX was for 24P. That feature is great and is something the sony cannot do. Forget setting the shutter to 30 FPS. You get serious jaggies. You are dumping half the info, 60i looks better than jaggies.

I think the sony is better suited for run and gun docs and the DVX is better suited for dramatic shoots or projects that yield themselves to controled cinematography.

I just bought an image 2000 shoulder mount for the PD/DVX. So far after having it for a day I am only marginally impressed. If you really want the image quality of the sony but are worried about hand holding for long periods of time, get a DSR250--the shoulder mount version of the PD150.

Will Boggs
DustBowl Productions
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Old February 28th, 2004, 12:00 AM   #32
John Carey
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Thanks alot Will

Yeah, unfortanatly, alot of my shooting will be handheld and on the spot, BUT, The PD170 is the cam for me. Pany offers more the DVX series, but its not as fast. If you are filming movies, DEFINETLY go with the panny. Because you have alot of time to perfect each shot and tweak it. I am shooting everything 60i and if i want a cool effect, i just change the shutter to 1/30.

As for the prior posts about the PD150 vs PD170, I did alot of research on this, and made a post about this. Check it out, it was through many drafts and a lot of people appreciated its cut and dry, raw information.

Actually Will, I use to shoot many concerts with the a Gl1, and this may sound funny, but before I would go out on a long run of dates night after night of shooting, I would put myself through a few weeks of condition. Almost like a football player. As funny as it sounds, lifting weights and holding that camera in akward positions, built muscles, so my live shooting would be more stable. Once you get past 60 minutes of holding the camera, youll feel the burn im talking about. Also, Im thinking about going for that steady stick that attaches to your belt buckle. Thanks for the help will
Old March 3rd, 2004, 03:50 PM   #33
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Location: Lake Park, Florida
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The GL2 shines in well lit shots and using the 20x zoom. I'd hate to be without that zoom. It makes for really nice close ups.

All the cameras are good, but each one probably looks a tad different.

I've seen footage from the Panny and depending on how you shoot, you can make a camera look good OR bad.

I've seen some footage that when using a tracking shot looks great, but then when static, didn't look so good.

The director can make use of any of these cameras in a good or bad way including post production. Sound mixing, color corrections, whatever.

So in the end, whatever you think you NEED most should be the camera you buy.

I got the GL2 mainly because I heard it has good quality sound, the 20x zoom, (lacking on all other choices in the cost range) a great image stabilizer, lens quality including the adapters from Canon, and overall ease of use.

Some things I don't like are:

It doesn't keep the settings you set if you watch the footage and go back to record. It only takes a few seconds to put them back, but it's still a small pain in the butt. I wouldn't mind the XLR inputs or even input, but I bet they didn't include it because some people don't need it and you can always buy the adapter. I found a direct adapter that goes from XLR to mini and it works perfectly. I needed it for the Azden SGM-2X. It takes away the stereo sound, but when you go to mix a movie, you can double up and pan stuff anyways if you want to be picky or mix into 5.1 sound. You'd have to do that with every camera anyhow.

Using the SGM-2x you also can't hear the sound being played back unless you force the audio monitor system to one side, I'm guessing since it's mono or something. People have had that problem and that is the solution.

Basically, unless you're going to move on to a HD camera, I wouldn't worry about the small things. Get what you want and be happy with it. Of course I'd sell that if Canon moves on to an equally good camera with HD capability. I wouldn't mind if they snuck in there a 24fps mode along with HD wither, hehehehe.
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 04:08 PM   #34
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Thanks for the specific results from the GL2. I planned to buy one, to enjoy a smaller version of my XL-1S. I figured common batteries, common menu, a top OIS and lens should make it hard to beat. Then I became hesitant, reading all the users who prefer SONY - especially in low light conditions.

You clarified the issues; I need the closeup hand held shots; the 20x1, along with a great OIS, and a very light weight package, in addition to common menu, chargers, etc., make it a no-brainer for me. I appreciate the insight from a user!

I heard there is another show around the first week of April. Any word on this? The GL2 has not been out for nearly as long as the XL-1S. Would you expect they are ready to introduce an upgrade this soon? The $250 rebate expires end of March; I'd like to buy one before it expires.
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 06:54 PM   #35
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OK, I think we are done with this thread.
Mike Rehmus
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