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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 24th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #1
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Need camcorder input

Hi all. I'm brand new to this board.

I'm thinking that I am going to sell my Sony DSR-250 with it's tripod and accessories and get something else.

I love my camera to death, and still feel I picked the absolute best camera for my needs, but I have now hurt my shoulder and think I need to go down to a camcorder size camera.

I'm looking at either a Sony PD-170 or a JVC JY-HD10U. Does anyone have any pertinent thoughts on, or experience with, either of these?

I want something that is going to rival the quality of my DSR 250. HD seems like it's the future, but it's JVC and it's single chip, albeit twice the lines of resolution.

I know there were problems with the PD-150, but I'm wondering if the 170 addresses a lot of those problems and I know the 150 is a proven workhorse for news and such. (Not that I need a workhorse, but I've always been partial to Sony, and like proven things.)

And now, just to add fuel to the fire, I hear that Sony is coming out with a 3 CCD HD Camera. Any of you know when that will be out?

I don't like the configuration of the Sony VX2000 or the Canon XL1. They feel weird to me. Canon GL1? Eh, maybe, but I'm leaning towards one of the other two unless someone gives me a really good argument for that.

My biggest dealbreaker is that I want something with a zoom mechanism as good as my DSR 250. It's smooth, it's professional and it just drives me crazy to have a crappy zoom that just takes off on you, as so many camcorders do.

So if you have any input, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.
Lisa
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Old May 24th, 2004, 08:20 PM   #2
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Uh, how about some physical therapy? It will be hard to replace the 250 with any of the loaf of bread cameras. The 170 will do it best (my opinion only). If anything the 170 will give you slightly less noisy pictures in low light. Optics and the optical block are said to be identical. Post processing is where Sony made things quieter.

It is probably a bit too early to buy HDV. Maybe 12 months from now the infrastructure will be there. I'm not certain the customers will be there but there should be some viable solutions.

I suggest you rent or borrow one of these loaf-of-bread cameras and see if it is as easy as you anticipate. I find them to be a giant pain in the back to hold for a long time. But they certainly are easier to run with.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 12:22 PM   #3
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I've gone through a year and a half of physical therapy for my shoulder. I just now had a doctor tell me it won't be getting much better than it is now, even though it's much better than it was before. It's not so much shooting with it as lugging it and the tripod around.

I agree that I probably won't be as happy with the quality of something smaller but it might be the compromise I need.

Thanks for the suggestion to borrow a smaller camera. I'll look into that.

Best,
Lisa
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Old May 28th, 2004, 12:30 PM   #4
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Lisa,
What type of work do you do? I assume you do ENG and/or event work? Do you plan to continue this work? Do you have any particular format restrictions? (Ex: need to shoot DVCAM on full-size DV tapes or is MiniDV OK?)

Have you also considered a brace or other rig for your DSR-250? There are several, some of which take the camera's load off of your shoulder. Although they won' help you schlep <g>.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 02:21 PM   #5
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Hi Ken.

Yes, ENG, mostly. I don't have a requirement for a particular format. The option to do DVCam was one of my considerations for buying the 250, and I like having the option, but I don't find that I use it as much as I thought I would, considering the cost of the tapes.

Someone on another board mentioned something called a marzpak that he just loves, but like I say, I think it's the schlep more than the shooting itself. I actually like the feel of some substance on my shoulder, and that's easier for me than just holding my arms up, but the transport is getting to me. Lifting it in and out of the trunk; the tripod. (I have a nice, smaller, Bogen that would fit a smaller camera.)

I am concerned that I might be just trading off problems and getting less quality, but I find it's becoming something where I'm doing less work because of it, with the larger camera.

I do hear that there are some sound issues with the 170 -- but then again, so there are with the 250. I don't know if they're the same issues. And I am picky about sound. I like it to be clean.

And, like I say, the zoom is a real issue with me. I'm not sure how those compare.

I think I've been convinced to move away from the HD idea for now. I've been told to look at both the PDX10 and the DVX100a. I'm just starting to look into those. I do like the idea that the 170 is good in low-light, but the audio problem does concern me. I'd like to find out just how bad it is.

Anyway, so I want to go with something as close to my 250 as possible, but I do think I need to go smaller. And if shooting becomes a problem, I'll look into that Marzpak. I think I remember it saying it can handle cameras down to two pounds.

Thanks,
Lisa
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Old May 28th, 2004, 03:22 PM   #6
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Lisa,
I've moved this thread over to the PD-150/170 area because I think you'll get better topical exposure here. It looks like the 170 is what's closest on your radar at the moment and I'm sure you'll get opinions concerning zoom motion and imaging here.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 03:41 PM   #7
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Thanks, Ken. :-)
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Old May 28th, 2004, 10:55 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Lisa Larson : Hi Ken.
I do like the idea that the 170 is good in low-light, but the audio problem does concern me. I'd like to find out just how bad it is.
Thanks,
Lisa -->>>

The issue is way overblown IMHO. ESPECIALLY ENG.

Those of us who use the cameras for money-paying work find them just fine. Not perfect, but great for the purpose. We use them for ENG, for documentary work, for weddings, etc. Nobody has a problem with the sound in those applications. Well, an exception might be if you were trying to do a doc on Yo Yo Ma and wanted to record his music into the 170. Then I might suggest another camera. In fact, I'd suggest hiring a sound pro and having the music recorded on DAT.

But the proof is to try one yourself. They rent for around $150-$175 per day IIRC. Maybe less if you get a reseller to rent their demo unit over a day they are closed for your evaluation.
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