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


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Old September 10th, 2004, 03:19 PM   #1
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I made the switch!

I just wanted to say i made the switch from a gl2 to a pd150. I do have to say it was the best thing i ever did. For any one pondering the thought of canon or sony go sony.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 03:43 PM   #2
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can you make a test vjdeo with your new Pd150 and post it somewhere , I'd like to see how does it works.
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Old October 1st, 2004, 12:11 AM   #3
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I'll comment on the switch also. I started doing paid video shoots with a GL2 (my first prosumer camera). We got into weddings shortly after. We added an XL1s to use as a primary camera, and my assistant continued to use the GL2 for backup and b-roll.

After a few weddings, it was clear that the GL2 just didn't have the lighting abillity. Many times we had to push all the way to 18db gain in the dim reception sites. The XL1s was a bit better, but not by much. I also used an on-cam light on the Xl1s so I didn't notice the low light as much.

We finally sold the Gl2 and got a PD-170 for its better light abillity. At the next wedding, I ended up with the PD-170 to grab some quick close-ups of the couple during the photo shoot. WOW!!

I was so impressed with the handling and exceptional picture quality, I sold the XL1s the very next week and got another 170.

I couldn't be more pleased. The PD's do exceptionally well in auto settings - very smooth iris transitions, auto focus is better than any camera I've seen in this price range. Controls are solid and smooth. Picture quality is MUCH better than the XL1s and considerably better than the Gl2.

As for lighting - I did a test just before moving the Xl1s out. I proped up a stuffed toy and dimmed the lights. On the same gain settings, shutter speed, and f/stop, the PD-170 was not just 'a bit brighter' than the XL1s - it was a MAGNATUDE brighter, and still with amazing detail.

I would highly recomend the PD-150 / 170 or the VX2100 (same image sensor).
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Old October 1st, 2004, 04:12 PM   #4
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I think you might have just sold me too...

Your enthusiasm for the PD-170 just jumped off the page. Plus, I read where an independent filmmaker and DV CAM enthusiast described, in an interview, that the PD 170, when put through "film effects" fooled viewers into believing they were watching a 16 mm blowup.

I may make the switch too. I am this close...
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Old October 1st, 2004, 06:48 PM   #5
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Yes, the 170 is the great event shooter's ass saving device. Great auto, great OIS, great light sensitivity, great manual zoom and focus rings. Everything else is up to us.
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Old October 1st, 2004, 09:57 PM   #6
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*raising hand* I'm a convert as well... from a G-1 and DVX-100 combo...to now a PD-170 and VX2100. Best decision I ever made.
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 02:56 AM   #7
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I gotta pipe up too. We had an XL1, XL1s, Pani ADVC100a (brand new), and my -170 (brand new) on a shoot last weekend and the only camera we could use in the dance part (lights dimmed) of the reception was the -170. All of the other cameras were totaly dark. The -170 was bright enough to do interviews during the disco. Don't you know that made me feel that I'd made the right decision to go with the -170.
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 10:28 AM   #8
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I never owned a GL series, but i've plenty of it's footage to know that the camera's image is just way too grainy. Canon cameras have gotten worse and worse, the last great video camera (and only) they made was the Canon A-1 Digital (Hi-8).
I had a Sony VX2100 and i loved it and plan on repurchasing one down the line (when i get sufficient funds) But I had to sell it because I couldn't afford a VX1000 and a VX2100 at the same time.
I favored the 1000 over the 2100 because of more natural colors, and the wider fisheye on the 1000.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 09:10 AM   #9
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I'm also planning on switching to the PD 170 for our wedding work. But I don't agree with some of the GL2 trashing here. I've been using GL2s for low-light New England weddings for two years and produce very good images with WA lens and on-board Frezzi usually at around 20W. I hate using the light but we get good color and clear images within 10'. I don't care that much about the other side of the room being dark.

But, I've tested the PD170 enough to know it is a superior low-light camera and that's the sole reason I bought one.

I took some day time images with both cameras and compared them. IMHO, they are equivalent.

On the other hand, Sony's placement of manual controls leaves much to be desired. I couldn't believe that the speed and gain controls were separted from the iris.

One feature I'll miss from the GL2 is the light meter. Sorry, I just don't like the zebras as much as the meter for controlling exposure.

Audio levels are easier to control on the GL2. However, you can lock both channels with the Sony which is nice.

When I first picked up the PD170, I noticed how front heavy it was compared to the GL2. That will be a problem after a few hours or work.

These are just some casual observations. So far no breakdowns or dead pixels with the GL2s. I have a 170 going back to B&H for a defective tape compartment and will probably replace it. But, if I knew Canon was releasing a GL3 with at least 3 lux, I would not get the 170. Good luck with whatever tool you use.

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Old October 8th, 2004, 09:46 AM   #10
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Well, I am currently working on one camera training course, using 1 XM2 and 2 PD150's. Observations are that PD150 is great in low light, while Canon lacks in this. XM2 has a little better picture in nice sunny day - just have more details (maybe it's because its higher resolution). Audio is much easier to control on XM2, but on PD you have phantom power and selectable auto/manual for each channel. Big plus is that PD 150 built quality is much better than Canon. A big minus for PD is that three most irritating buttons just waiting to be pressed (Fader, Spotlight, Backlight), and they caused lots of trubles when camera trainees shot some material with e.g. Backlight on. On the end big thing is that you can buy here 2 Canons for the price of 1 PD150/170 which is much to consider.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 10:08 AM   #11
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Am I the only one who can notice how grainy the gl series is compared to the sony vx series?
The difference is like night and day!
Get some gl footage and put it next to some vx footage and you will see the light.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 10:14 AM   #12
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I don't think anyone is saying the 170 is not much better than the GL2 in low-light.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #13
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Or that it retails for over $1200 more...not exactly a fair comparison. I was intrigued from reading the first few posts about how much "better" it is than the GL2, then I looked up the price gap. These two cameras aren't even in the same class. The PD170 has 1/3" chips, of course it'll beat the 1/4"ers in the GL series.

How does it compare to the DVX100A? That's what I'd like to know.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 11:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
How does it compare to the DVX100A? That's what I'd like to know.
That topic has came up a lot. You might want to do a search in both the PD170 and DVX100A.

I use a DVX100A and VX2000 and if I were to give up one cam it would be the DVX100A. The VX2000 is a low light staple.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 12:11 PM   #15
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I have a PD170, and I must say it is great, especially in low light. But I found out that it has a slight back focus problem on mine. I wonder if others have this problem?

How to find out: In low light (but not too low), go in manual focus, open your iris to its max, zoom in on a far object (or a focus chart if you have one), focus manually, then zoom out. At this point, your object (or chart) will not be perfectly in focus like it normaly should.

Currious to see if its only me.
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