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


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Old July 31st, 2004, 03:56 AM   #31
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Sony DV VCR Solves the Problem

The Sony GV-D1000, a mini-DV VCR, has both a Memory-Stick slot and a USB port.
I'd recommend it as a companion for any Memory-Stick Sony camcorder and it has the other obvious use as a tape player.
Its 4" viewscreen and optional battery, allow you to carry it in a coat pocket, as a complete audio/video presentation system.

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Old July 31st, 2004, 10:08 AM   #32
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Steve,

In another thread we were speculating on the capabilities of the GV-1000 MiniDV Walkman and it sounds like you own one.

How robust is the transport mechanism?

Can you import MiniDV to the computer via Firewire using the Walkman?

Can you use the Walkman as a preview monitor via Firewire to preview NLE timeline editing?

Thanks in advance.
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Old July 31st, 2004, 11:36 AM   #33
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At $1,050 that would be a really pricey solution just to get low res stills into a computer when a $40 card reader will do the same thing :-)

They do look pretty cool though. However the 4" screen is very low resolution with only 123,000 pixels (compare that to 2.5" screen on the PD-150 with 201,000 pixels or the 3.5" screen on the PDX-10 with 246,000). So it is probably going to be a lower quality image than you would see by hooking up a camcorder to your NLE.

I'm guessing that the tape transport is higher quality than what you might find in a 1-chip camcorder since it's geared towards editing. Otherwise you might as well get a little camcorder and have the benefit of also being able to film. If you want something portable for presentations I'd think a little DVD player might be better since they have larger native widescreen LCD's, no need to fast forward or rewind the tape, and are considerably cheaper.

Not really knocking the walkman; it's something that I thought I wanted the first time I saw one, but on further consideration it didn't seem like I would use it very much. What kinds of things do you use yours for Steve?
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Old July 31st, 2004, 10:03 PM   #34
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A VX2100's Best Friend

Patrick, if a computer will recognize and work with a Sony DV camcorder, it will do the same things with a GV-D1000 or any of the other GVD series models. If the proper FireWire capture program is installed and if it doesn't do all the functions you mentioned, blame it on the computer or the operator. This VCR will do a pass-through, analog-to-digital conversion through FireWire to a computer or to another DV or Digital8 recorder.

It seems to be very solid in its build and mechanical functions. I've put heavy use on a GV-D200 Digital8 model for more than 3 years and it continues to run nicely.

The main purpose of such a VCR is to provide a means to play tapes without wearing down a camcorder or occupying it when someone else might be shooting with it.

The Memory-Stick feature in the GV-D1000 has multiple functions. You can transfer stills from tape or an external input to the stick or send them from the stick out on USB or on S-Video or Composite connectors. There is a CD-ROM supplied that contains a USB driver. The manual describes USB use only with Windows. There is a selector for Fine or Standard compression modes. If a Memory-Stick is recorded in another unit such as a still digital camera or a MegaPixel camcorder, with a higher pixel-size than the 640 X 480 limit from a video source, it can be played and the signal sent out on USB, if the images are in sizes of 1,360 X 1,020 and 1,152 X 864, as well as 640 X 480. There is no guarantee that all Memory-Stick recordings, especially from older still camera models, will be playable in the GV-D1000, however.

M-PEG movies can also be made internally from tape recordings or external video sources and recorded on the Memory-Stick. Pixel sizes of these are 320 X 240 and 160 X 112. No sound is transfered to a computer with MPEG movies with Windows 98. There is also a Photo button on the GV-D1000, that can be used to record a still picture on several seconds of tape, from an outside source.

These GVD's don't come with their own remote controlers, but most any Sony camcorder or VCR controler will run them.
I often use the large and complicated controler from my EV-S3000 VCR with them, to get better frame-by-frame and shuttle function. This Hi-8 VCR controler will do everything but call up the Datacode.

A big advantage in using one of these mini-VCRs for portable display, is that you can call up the TC and Datacode onscreen, which couldn't be done from a DVD. I frequently give presentations of my wild bird shots (sometimes rare ones). The doubters in the audience require numerous replays and the date and time display is critical for getting the sightings accredited by review committees.

Any other video presentation that requires exact date and time for legal or certification purposes is facilitated by this. The only way you could have date/time showing on a DVD would be to have it called onscreen during copying. It would be permanently visible onscreen and you would have to use an analog connector to carry it to the DVD recorder. The Datacode shows the numbers from the original camera shots, even if it's an edited tape and has the 2nd gen. timecode.

Most often, I have a large monitor available to show the video, but if none is handy, the built-in screen does the trick for a small group. The 4-inch viewscreen also works quite well for showing the playback TC during editing, even if I'm mostly watching the footage on the main monitor. Not having a front-panel for TC display, the viewscreen fills in for its absence.
On a 4-inch screen, 123,000 pixels looks sharp enough for me.

The GVD models use plug-in power adaptors or run on camcorder batteries, which they can charge.

Another good use for these VCRs is as stand-alone recorders with any camera that has a FireWire, S-Video or Composite output. They have LANC and headphone jacks. They even have RF output capability with an external adaptor that plugs into the A/V outputs and draws phantom power from the VCR. I have several of these RF adaptors that came included with Sony and Canon Hi-8 camcorders in past years (never throw away any of these gadgets). I've actually shown videos with them, when the only TV around had nothing but an RF input. On their left sides, there's an extensive bank of electronic contacts, resembling those on a camcorder hotshoe, that has a sliding plastic cover. No explanation for its purpose is given. Perhaps it is there for a service technician to use.

Prefer not to use English? The right side of each page in the manual is in Greek. A separate manual is in French and Spanish. Seriously, the French descriptions are often more detailed and precise. Does this indicate that French speakers are more electronically advanced and demand better manuals or that they need to be given more instructions?

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Old August 1st, 2004, 02:40 PM   #35
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Steve,

Very good review of the equipment characteristics, thanks for the details and assessment. Might have to put this on my wish list.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 12:39 AM   #36
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I got a SanDisk 8-in-1 card reader for my 2100's memeory stick. I use it on my Mac G4 with great success. No drivers. No installation of anything. Just works.

If you look around, I was able to get this from Buy.com for $20 or so. The exact same thing in BestBuy (I think) was twice that.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 06:44 PM   #37
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Tried the Memory Chromakey Feature?

Anyone used the M Chroma feature on their VX-2100?

In my short, which is a parody of a TV spot, I have a small, hot pink spray bottle which I want to superimpose over a moving background. Do I need to buy a special type of blue background paper for this to work well? I certainly can't afford to rent studio time for this.

I believe I can accomplish the same in post with my FCP4 HD, but as I'm a novice, I'm thinking I can do it in-camera in a single pass and save time.

Thanks!
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:24 AM   #38
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Such camera features are usually targated to consumers and not
serious pro-sumers or professionals. I wouldn't expect good results
from such a feature. But why not do a small test? That's always
the best method to see if and how such a feature works (and you
can do it in FCP as well).

I don't have this camera so I do not know what kind of color it
would need. What does the manual say on the chroma feature?
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:40 AM   #39
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Thanks, Rob!

The Sony manual says:

"M. CHROM (Memory chromakey)
You can swap a blue area of a still image such as an illustration or a frame with a moving picture."

I'll try the local pro video store to see if they sell sheets of blue for this operation. Failing that, there's an art store in my neighborhood.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 04:33 AM   #40
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See the following thread on paints and such:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=36083

And some more blue/green screen threads here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=36463
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=30950
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=30143
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Old January 5th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #41
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Use the memory stick

For your test, all you have to do is import an image to your memory stick from your pc, of the pink bottle on a blue background. Then use the chroma setting with the memory stick image to superimpose the pink bottle overlayed on your live footage. Choose a blue with the settings R=0, G=0, B=255.
Rick.

<<<-- Originally posted by Carl Russo : Thanks, Rob!

The Sony manual says:

"M. CHROM (Memory chromakey)
You can swap a blue area of a still image such as an illustration or a frame with a moving picture."

I'll try the local pro video store to see if they sell sheets of blue for this operation. Failing that, there's an art store in my neighborhood. -->>>
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Old January 5th, 2005, 08:48 PM   #42
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Thanks, fellas!

One of the links Rob included above led me to this page:

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cinemasu...luscreens.html

Can't beat the price!
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Old January 20th, 2005, 08:49 AM   #43
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I set a up small blue screen studio. I purchased a 10' x30' roll of blue chroma key paper and hung it from my ceiling. It was $40 dollars.

I get the best results shooting in 15 fps progressive, and then using the Ultimatte plugin for After Effects. I suggest highly recomend using a more advanced plugin like Ultimatte instead of striaght chroma keying.

With this combination I don't have to work to hard to light my subject to get near perfect reluts.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 05:14 PM   #44
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memory stick for pd150

I need a memory stick for my pd150 and was wondering what is the maximum capacity in MB that the pd150 is compatible with? Does anyone know?

I searched this and other sites but could not find any answer.

Thank you.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:18 AM   #45
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I believe that only the original MemorySticks will work, not the new MemoryStick Pro or Pro Duo. The maximum capacity of the original sticks is 128 meg, although you can get 256 meg sticks that have a tiny little switch on them that switches between two 128 meg banks. The PD150 handles 128 meg (or the switchable 2x128 meg sticks) just fine.

www.memorystick.com

You can get at least 400 PD-150 still shots on a 128 meg stick. Depending on the complexity of the image and how much the JPEG image compression can "squish" them, you may be able to get perhaps 600+ PD-150 stills on a stick.

John
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