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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 14th, 2004, 03:05 PM   #1
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vx-2100 VS PD150

Hello all,

Thanks to all for the responses to my recent post.

I now have another problem.
I decided to buy the VX-2100 originally because of all the great reviews and also because i had borrowed and taped with my friends PD-150. After receiving my VX and taping for a week now i'm noticing a good bit of difference between it and the PD150. I've had both side by side and shot many scenes inside out, under many different lighting conditions and here is what i found:

1. As you all may know the default colors or the white balance is different. I've adjusted the custom presets, and tried to match the PD, but it doesn't . I prefer the PD.

2. The other difference i saw was it that the PD 'color seperation' between objects was better. It seemed the VX colors of different objects blended into each other, or perhaps there was a color cast on the whole image which i couldn't remove even with manual white balance. In the PD image the colors lets say of the the foreground (baby in my case) were defined better and were more distinct than the background, than the VX. It's hard to explain, this but the PD image also seemed to have more of a 3 dimensional look to it than the VX. The vx image seemed more flat, and possible a slight color cast or almost a haze to it as well. As i said the PD image looked more 3D because the colors of each object in the scene were more distinct.
ALso the PD image seemed to have a bit more dynamic range. Although this could be an overall feel because of the other problems i mentioned. Maybee i'm being to picky, but i was really expecting an image as good as PD150, but it did not turn out to be so.

3. One other problem cropped up, as i was zooming with the small controller the zoom got stuck and kept going when i had let off the button.

Does anybody have any comments on these issues. I'm dissapointed and am sending it back to B&h. Before i get another one i would like to have all your comments.

4. Also have you all had good or bad luck with the MACK warranty. I've recently read a post where the guy received no response!!

5. How about ARMATOS? is it better to buy from them and pay for their extended warranty?

6. I'm also considering the DVx100A now because of my problems with the VX. I don't really need all the 24p stuff, i'm just shooting home videos, and would like good low light. The low light capabality of the PD was great. Will the DVX do the same?
How about color accuracy on the DVX?

Thanks all and look forward to your comments.
sandeep
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Old March 14th, 2004, 03:15 PM   #2
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The image should be same from a VX2000 and PD150. It should also be the same from a VX2100 and PD170. What's not to like with the VX2100? It doesn't get much better than this unless you plan on spending a lot more money.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 03:27 PM   #3
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Yes what you report Sandeep is very unexpected. The VX2100 should actually be somewhat more sensitive to light than the PD150 abd the image should be very similar. The CCD and optics are supposed to be the same. Perhaps you were using manual control on the PD150 and not on the VX... the more '3D' look might be explained by having shallower depth of field from using a wider aperture. Perhaps the VX's default programming does not privilege open aperture.

Check the data code from the video you are watching and take notes of the apertures used. Also, if the VX2100 was switched to less the 1/60 this could account for a loss in resolution.

On the other hand, you might have received a defective unit.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 02:09 AM   #4
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Hi Neighbor Sandep,

I agree with Ignacio. The VX that you received was probably not a correctly working model. What you describe as the "color separation" is the main indicator of this. The blending of colors should not have happened (even in a VX 2000) unless the camera was adjusted in such a way that really degraded the image. Even if the camera was on full auto this should not have happened.

"One other problem cropped up, as i was zooming with the small controller the zoom got stuck and kept going when i had let off the button."

Are you refering to the small zoom control on the top of the handle? That isn't good at all and should not have happened, but another indication that you got a 'lemon.'

As far as the extended warranty, IMHO they are a waste of money. Either a camera will work out of the box or it won't (as you have found out with your VX, it didn't work!) By the time you get past the manufacturer warranty what are your chances that something on the camera will break that is covered by the warranty (and many of them don't cover everything)?

Armatos is a very good camera reseller and you can't go wrong with someone who will give you good service at a good price, but the warranty you need to decide for yourself.

If you are considering the DVX 100a but don't need the 24p consider the DVC80. From what I understand, essentially the same camera without the 24p.

The low light ability on the DVX is not as good as the PD/VX. Expect to have to "set up" your shots more with the DVX (especially in 24p) instead of the "run and gun" style of the PD. BTW, if you are considering the DVX, why not the PD 170? The DVX 100a is at least $200 more than that.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

I did some more testing and the color cast i noticed seems to be a white balance issue. I was able to match the PD more closely with both io manual WB. Sometimes the PD picture is better and sometimes the VX is. Depending on lighting conditions.

I still thought the PD had better color seperation in some instances. The zoom controller problem did not reoccur, but it did happen once and so i don't want to keep this as is.

I was going to return this one and get another one, but i was thinking of getting it from armatos, however their price is $100 more and the 3 year warranty is $395. B&H 4 year MACK warranty is $150. For a total price of $350 more.

What Do you guys think?
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Old March 15th, 2004, 11:10 AM   #6
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HI neighbour Doug,

I was thinking of the DVX100A because i thought it would have better color representation ,as it is supposed to have a 12 bit A/D converter vs the sony 8 bit. In photography there is a noticable difference between an 8 bit jepg and and 12 bit raw file. More tonal range and more dynamic range as well.

What do you think?

sandeep
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Old March 15th, 2004, 11:51 AM   #7
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With regard to Armatos. If complete support from your reseller is important to you, the Armatos is the way to go. Probably as good if not better support than any other reseller in the U.S.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #8
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"but the warranty you need to decide for yourself."



Last year, the lower head drum assembly needed replacement on my VX for the tune of 650 US dollars. My warranty covered the repair and paid for itself!

My advice is to get a warranty if you are shooting video professionally as there is more wear and tear on a camera that is being used for a business rather than home use.
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Old March 17th, 2004, 04:01 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Sandeep Raichur : HI neighbour Doug,

I was thinking of the DVX100A because i thought it would have better color representation ,as it is supposed to have a 12 bit A/D converter vs the sony 8 bit. In photography there is a noticable difference between an 8 bit jepg and and 12 bit raw file. More tonal range and more dynamic range as well.

What do you think?

sandeep -->>>

Hi Sandeep,

This is all true and theoretically you can get a better picture with the DVX. The only issue that I have encountered with that camera (albeit on several trade show floors) and what I have been told by very knowledgeable people, is that it takes some set up for the DVX to really shine. It's been described as (and I really agree with this) that both DVX 100 and 100a are "film maker" style cameras. That is you can take the time to set the camera up and tweek it till you like it and that you have control over your lighting situation. The PD 150 / 170 are considered ENG (Electronic News Gathering) style cameras where you turn the cam on, set aperture, focus, check audio, compose and start recording. Can you get a really good recording from both cams? Yes, both have their niche. Can you get a better image from the DVX than the PD? Yes if you have the time and can control your video lighting. In low light and fast set up, the PD really shines.

You mentioned that you want a camera for home video and good low light performance. I don't know if the DVX will be able to accomodate you very well in this kind of situation. And btw, low light to me is defined by no additional video lights set up, just the ambient and regular lighting most 'normal' people use in their every day lives.

I hope this answered at least some of your questions regarding this issue. The main thing is that the cam will only do as much as you know what to do with it. I have seen some terrible images from a $50k Ikegami and some great images from my assistant with his PD 150.

Doug
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Old March 17th, 2004, 10:23 AM   #10
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Hey Doug,

Yes that does answer my questions. Thanks very much. You talked me into the VX. I think i''ll definetly stick with the VX-2100. I definetly don't have time to set up lights etc. Mostly for baby video taping so quick is very important in indoor home lighting.
I sent my vx in for exchange to B&H and let's see if the next one is better. I tested it some more and though in some instances the picture from both the PD and the VX was close, the PD was still better in a lot of scenes. More 3D as i mentioned, caused by better color definition of objects and minimal color cast.

I'll let you know how it went after i get it back.

So are you in the business or is this a hobby?
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