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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old September 18th, 2004, 05:34 AM   #1
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pd170 (wedding tomorrow)

Hi again,

Thanks Mike for your post,

Iam doing a wedding tomorrow (sun) and iam a bit nervous, only had the cam about a week and not sure if iam confidant with the manual settings yet, (i want to make a good job) what kind of job will it do on auto and will it be best to use dvcam or just dv.

After useing the XL1 for so long i have got use to the colour view
finder and the black and white although better takes some getting use to.

Any tips?

Regards
Ian.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 09:37 PM   #2
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If you have the camera in full manual, just follow the zebra's for exposure and you will be fine. When it gets real dark I frequently just turn the camera on Auto except for focus. It can adapt faster than I and as you move from candle-lit area to a dark area, it will make a stepless adjustment.

If you don't like the camera's choice, you can modify it through the menus.

I just did another wedding from #$%^& where the Bride wanted to be married in the big bay window of a mansion at 5 PM so she is fiercely backlit, the sun is going down over a hill to the side and the room is painted pea-green. The 150 did great in manual exposure shooting from the side. I had a PC-110 with a wide angle perched on the top of a microphone stand inside the bay. It pointed back at the bride and groom plus the best man and officiant. I left it in auto exposure with an slight darkening adjustment to the manually-set exposure compensation.

DSR-300 in the hall at the back and outside the room which was very dark. Zoomed the camera in to cover the wedding party through the double door during the ceremony and then as they walked back out, the focus was reset to a measured distance, the zoom was to full out, the aperature to a measured value and a 100 watt halogen through a soft box (color corrected to outdoors) was turned up full.

It all worked although we were nervous until the footage was reviewed.

If I have my druthers, that was the last wedding I'll do.
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Old September 19th, 2004, 07:39 PM   #3
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Had enough of weddings, eh Mike? I'm rather new to the whole scene, but already spy how much a cameraperson can learn via this kind of shooting (and editing).
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:33 PM   #4
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sony pd170 wedding

Well the wedding came and went and i was there 7hrs!

Some of the footage in church came out abit dark, my fault not the camera's iam trying to get used to the b/w finder, The audio with the wireless mic's and the onboard one was not so good eitheir must not got the mix right?

One strange thing happened at the night dance, after recording some danceing i lifted the camera back to my eye to record again and found looking through the v/finder the bit that i had just recorded was playing back in reverse, and then it stopped and i then could see through the vf as normal, did this a couple of times.

could it have been a mobile phone i understand they can up set the electronics on some cameras.

any one can help

thanks
Ian
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: sony pd170 wedding

<<<-- Originally posted by Ian Thomas : Well the wedding came and went and i was there 7hrs!

Some of the footage in church came out abit dark, my fault not the camera's iam trying to get used to the b/w finder, The audio with the wireless mic's and the onboard one was not so good eitheir must not got the mix right?
----------------------------------
You should find the audio from the two inputs on separate channels so you can edit the audio to get what you need assuming one of the channels has OK audio.
---------------------------------
One strange thing happened at the night dance, after recording some danceing i lifted the camera back to my eye to record again and found looking through the v/finder the bit that i had just recorded was playing back in reverse, and then it stopped and i then could see through the vf as normal, did this a couple of times.

could it have been a mobile phone i understand they can up set the electronics on some cameras.
----------------------------------------------
Nah, you accidentally hit the Review button on the top. I do it at least once per wedding. Really scares you doesn't it?
------------------------------------
any one can help

thanks
Ian -->>>
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 01:20 PM   #6
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sony pd170 wedding

Thanks Mike.

Thanks for pointing out the review button, thats a big relieve, thought something could be wrong with cam!

Just something in a cam advert i saw in a mag was promoting dvcam over mini dv saying that professional equipment is at a premium because designed to last longer + the head life is 5 times longer on dvcam than dv?


Do you agree.

Thanks very much

Ian.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 02:29 PM   #7
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The pro transports are certainly much more rugged and are designed to be repaired and aligned easier than prosumer or consumer cameras. But I've got VX-1000's that have over 8 years of use by college students and show no signs of failure.

Could I believe that the pro DVCam equipment has better heads? Yes I can. I have over 1000 hours on my DSR-20 VCR.
They also have better electronics, audio, and lenses, etc. You get more when you pay more. Not in proportion, of course but you do get more.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : I just did another wedding from #$%^& where the Bride wanted to be married in the big bay window of a mansion at 5 PM so she is fiercely backlit, the sun is going down over a hill to the side and the room is painted pea-green. The 150 did great in manual exposure shooting from the side. I had a PC-110 with a wide angle perched on the top of a microphone stand inside the bay. It pointed back at the bride and groom plus the best man and officiant. I left it in auto exposure with an slight darkening adjustment to the manually-set exposure compensation.

DSR-300 in the hall at the back and outside the room which was very dark. Zoomed the camera in to cover the wedding party through the double door during the ceremony and then as they walked back out, the focus was reset to a measured distance, the zoom was to full out, the aperature to a measured value and a 100 watt halogen through a soft box (color corrected to outdoors) was turned up full.

It all worked although we were nervous until the footage was reviewed.

If I have my druthers, that was the last wedding I'll do. -->>>

Mike, hope I don't mind my asking but did you have other camera people? Kinda sounds like one big gamble between the possibility of someone bumping a camera or any number of other problems that can happen to unattended cameras. I know people hate to talk about prices but what do charge for this? Wouldn't you want the 300 to be the "main" camera "personed" just behind the bride/groom next to officiant? Why put yourself through any #$%^& when the exposure/white ballance is #$%^& enough? I'm going to have nightmares thinking about your wedding!
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Old September 24th, 2004, 10:43 PM   #9
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Ian,

Neat thing about PD-170 is that you can have both the LCD display and viewfinder on at the same time.

I try to get face in 70% zebra as much as possible. I'll pull it up or down in exposure if it helps a background that's important. I prefer to be slightly underexposed if I have to move in a direction.

Audio. I wireless lav mic the groom into ch2. Use camera "shotgun" into ch1. Keep audio SPLIT so I can mix in room ambiance or "audience" response as needed.

These days I'm keeping AGC ON especially on wireless 'cause the receiver has audio level control and 170 AGC ON gives better signal to noise ratio.

I shoot DV only because having fewer tape changes at events is easier. I know the advantages of DVCAM but never found it worth it to go that route even on corporate shoots.
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Old September 25th, 2004, 05:19 AM   #10
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sony pd170 wedding

Craig

Thanks for your info.

Just one thing sorry if i sound thick!

What do you mean when you say keep audio split?

At the speeches my radio mic was near there audio speakers and the sound was distorted and the sound from the pd170 mic was very quiet, so iam trying in post to get as best sound as i can but it is proving hard to achieve.

What did i do wrong

tanx's for your help

Ian.
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Old September 25th, 2004, 08:09 AM   #11
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Split. Audio from each mic should remain on its own channel. Camera doesn't have mixing ability that I know of but I know some folks use an external mixer into a channel. Personally I've never liked that idea. I'd rather keep all sources split and use separate recording devices (such as DAT or another camera).

You need to always look at the meters on the 170. If AGC is OFF they're visible. When a channel hits red it's distorting. Audio level control is through the thumbwheel on the individual channels or both depending on whether you have AGC ON or OFF for the individual channel and whether you've set it to seperate control in the menu. When AGC is ON the meters are only visible when you hit the audio button. Control of audio from the camera is disabled. AGC, btw, is a limiter so it prevents digital distortion/overload and the camera tends to have better signal to noise ratio too. You can run into other audio problems though if the level remains too low or stays close to the peak.

When using a radio mic I keep AGC ON and control the level from the mic's receiver.

It's also possilble that the mic itself is overloading. Then you'd need to check the transmitter/receiver. Many receiver have some kind of level meter in addition to a level control. Yes, it can be a bit of a juggle. That's why people do "sound checks" but that's often not possible during a wedding. That's part of the reason why weddings are often the most challenging thing to shoot, why people charge so much etc.

While you may not have spotted the problem during the shoot you did the right thing by also using the camera mic. You have a backup to dig yourself out.

Another trick is to take the same audio source and send it to both channels (go into ch1 and flip switch to ch1+ch2). THEN you can turn AGC ON for one channel (gives you level control via the thumbwheel for the other) or keep them both "manual" and split (seperate control in the menu) and set one channel several db lower than the other. I perfer using the camera shotgun as back up just in case the problem is with the radio mic itself.
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Old September 25th, 2004, 01:33 PM   #12
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sony pd170 weddings

Craig

Thanks again for your thread, yes i guessed it would be a matter
of fiddling around and trial and error before i could get it right and iam not up to speed on the capabilitys of the pd170 yet.

Speaking to someone with a pd150 today who said he only used
dvcam tapes, said the picture was far better?


Thanks again

Ian.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 12:59 PM   #13
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Re: sony pd170 weddings

<<<-- Originally posted by Ian Thomas : Craig

said the picture was far better?


Thanks again

Ian. -->>>

Not sure what "far better" means. DV and DVCAM are same compression. DV and DVCAM store the same data basically. Kinda like saying CD-R has nicer looking data than CD-RW.

There's No data change so there's no picture quality difference. Faster tape speed and wider track width decreases chance of drop outs and improves tracking compatibility. Neither affects picture quality in the short run. Error correction means you're not likely to see drop outs until a tape ages or is used heavily. DVCAM might hide potential drop outs over greater usage.

People say the darndest unsubstantiated things.

Nope no difference in picture quality AT ALL.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Craig Seeman :

Mike, hope I don't mind my asking but did you have other camera people?
----------------
One other.
------------------
Kinda sounds like one big gamble between the possibility of someone bumping a camera or any number of other problems that can happen to unattended cameras.
---------------------
Unattended cameras were in no danger of being bumped.
---------------------

Wouldn't you want the 300 to be the "main" camera "personed" just behind the bride/groom next to officiant?
---------------------
No room for the larger camera, tripod and Dolly. As it was, I was in the visual 'way' of several people. Best footage came off the PC-110 as I expected it would. Face-on shot of bride, almost the same of the groom. Great color in all that light. Audience apparent but way down in the exposure. Looks great. Did the same thing for her sister 2 years ago.
----------------------

Why put yourself through any #$%^& when the exposure/white ballance is #$%^& enough? I'm going to have nightmares thinking about your wedding! -->>>

----------
Most of my weddings have had a severely backlit bridal party. In one I had to mask the party and lumakey in a still of the valley behind them. They were in shadow, the valley (Napa) was in full sunlight. No lights allowed.
-------------
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Old September 28th, 2004, 07:11 AM   #15
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Craig,
You said earlier that you're keeping AGC ON most of the time. I've been reseaching the PD170 since I have one on the way and according to one source, using AGC can cause "pumping" which is the raising and lowering of the background sound every time your subject stops then starts talking. Have you experienced this unwanted effect?
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