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


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Old January 29th, 2003, 11:00 PM   #31
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Hey gang. Thanks for the tips. I downloaded and red the manual. According to the station they have pre calibrated the cameras to the broadcast standards.

The event I am covering for them is the Premier showing, and after party for Final Destination 2. The Highway scene was shot right hear in good old Campbell River (pout 3 million into our economy over the 3 weeks). Therefore, this is a big event for the town. I get to follow the head of our regional Film commission doing a day in the life of type Documentary (I will be shooting that part with the DSR. 250). Then later in the day/night I am going to be covering the red carpet, entry, and after party with the good old DSR-200. So it should be a fun night for me, and thanks for the tips, and information

Alex
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Old March 13th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #32
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Sony DSR200

I've been offered a second-hand (about 4 years old) Sony DSR200 about which I know very little indeed. Do you know anything about the camera and would you recommend that I go take a look at it with a view to shooting weddings with it?

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

tom.
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Old March 13th, 2003, 03:10 PM   #33
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I understand that it is basically a shoulder held version of the VX1000. Roughly akin to the relationship between a PD150 and a DSR250.

I have never shot with a 200 but am told that it has the same problem with low light that the V1000 has. (I own a VX1000.) There are two models of the 200. I beleive the 200A is somewhat better in low light but still not magic.

For weddings the low light problems might reach up and bite you.

Now any and all with direct experience with the camera please jump in and tell me where I've got it wrong.
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Old March 13th, 2003, 03:36 PM   #34
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Many thanks Rick. Just as I thought.
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Old March 13th, 2003, 09:17 PM   #35
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THere are still probably more weddings shot with cameras that have the VX1000 light sensitivty or worse than not. An on-camera light solves the problem and of course, for the daytime bits, the camera works as well as the VX1000 which is to say, well.

You get the obvious XLR connections, better audio management and the larger cassette capability. The camera used to use a kit of 3 NP950 Lithium Ion batteries although I think it could take the pro batteries too.

At the right price, this could be a good camera if it doesn't have too many hours on it.

I do tend to believe that the camera is over 4 years old as I think they were selling the A version 4 years ago.

I'd guess it might be worth $1500-$2000 although I could be off base there.
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Old March 14th, 2003, 01:45 AM   #36
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Thanks for your input Mike. I was suspicious of the "4 years old" when I found out it had NPF-930 batteries - which were the first generation Li-ions I believe. As I already use the VX2000 for weddings I've grown accustomed to its wonderful low light ability, and I'd not want to loose that - or resort to lighting. For DVD production it's important to avoid the gain-up situations, so I'll probably pass on that one.

tom.
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Old March 14th, 2003, 11:58 AM   #37
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Tom,

seems like you got the info you needed, but i thought i'd throw my two sense in. we have the 200s at my school and i can tell you if you've already got the vx2k you won't be particularly pleased with one of them.

the batteries don't last very long. it's a larger shoulder camera, yet it's not very ergonomic to hold. the low light quality is not as good as your vx2k and i'd say in regular lighting conditions, the two are pretty much dead even in quality, seeing as they have the same chip size. i haven't actually done a comparison though. plus the camera only takes the big DVCAM tapes which are about $35 at the local seller.

that being said, you do get a few nice features out of it, mostly easier manual control with dials on the side rather than screen menus and sweet audio controls (xlrs, individual channel adjustment & display).

this camera is getting antiquated fast. no flip out lcd, DVCAM only, crappy batteries. spend the $ on another vx2k or some nice audio stuff like a minidat and mic. wait to see what happens at NAB and the vx2k prices might start coming down fast. you might even afford a pd150 at that point.

-justin
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Old March 14th, 2003, 11:59 AM   #38
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ps

the department at school is supplementing (replacing) our 200s with pd150s next fall.
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Old March 14th, 2003, 01:56 PM   #39
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Many thanks for your thoughts too Justin - all very much appreciated. I'd thought initially that the DSR200 was a 1/2" chipped beast and I was going to get lovely differential focus - but now I know it'll be no different from my VX2k. What a great list - you've all stopped me making not only an expensive mistake but more importantly, a hardware mistake.

tom.
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Old March 15th, 2003, 01:55 PM   #40
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I shot a film using a PD150 and a DSR200 as the B camera. Low light was noticeably worse on the 200, but since this was a film with proper lighting it didn't matter to us that much. If I were shooting low-light weddings, it would be a different matter. But even in full daylight, the 200 had a noticeably noisier picture than the 150, and it was more contrasty. It wasn't able to hold the saturation of colors as well. With all image-enhancement controls put to the middle setting, and both cameras white balanced to the same white card, the 200 had a color shift to it, more yellow. The 150 had a shift to the red, more "warm," which might have been a shift that Sony made to counter the "warm" reputation the Canon's were getting at the time. Most of these differences were minor, and I doubt it would be noticed by an audience, but I noticed it. It would require some color correction if you wanted to match the cameras.

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Old April 9th, 2003, 10:07 PM   #41
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Shooting a Musical with DSR-200

A friend and me are doing the sound for a locale musical, and I was asked if I would film it on one of the nights (this Friday). I have not shot theater stuff in a long time and I am a bit worried about the White balance with the different shadings of light. There are not a lot of colored lights just mainly different brightness of normal lights. So my questions are should I manually set white Balance or keep it in auto and touch-up the whit balance in FCP? I will be shooting this on a DSR-200 from the vary back of the house (about 75 feet from the stage).

Also for sound I was thinking I would take mono lines out of our sound bored, and use a ME66 to capture ambiance sounds. Is this a good combination? There are six laves plugged into the bored and two of them have Roland anti-Feedback units on them (so they can be turned up more). All six are hung over the stage. In addition, we have two PZMs in the pit.

Thanks in advanced

Alex
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Old April 9th, 2003, 11:17 PM   #42
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You will have to take the camera down to the stage to set white balance. Might be just as good if you use a preset for incandescent if the 200 has those.

Ask them to crank up the brightest light and set your max exposure according to that. Everything else will be darker as they use dimmer lights unless you can calibrate the camera for the different light intensities (which is probably impossible) as they switch.

I'd color correct in FCP.

Be forewarned that the 200 is a fairly poor performer in dim light. Sony recognized this and quickly brought out the 200A.
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Old April 10th, 2003, 01:05 AM   #43
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Agreed about low light. I shot a film with a PD150 and a 200. The 200 was quite a bit noisier in dim areas. so there's your quagmire. Burn the highlights or lose the shadows in noise. If you can expose for the brightest stage light, get that just under 100 IRE or so. But shoot with your eye as well as the numbers. White balance for an ungelled light, which should be somewhere in the ballpark of 3200K. A lot of the gelled lights in theater would wreck havoc on an auto white balance. Keep it manual. Keep it all manual.
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Old April 10th, 2003, 02:09 AM   #44
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six laves are hung over the stage? I don't know the design of the theater or how they set up those six mics on the stage, but it doesn't sound right to me. Either they use those six laves for PA or not, plug ur cam directly into stage console or mic pre using proper cables. you can use two PZM to get great stereo sound. make sure you dont connect those mics directly into your cam. none of camcorder does have good mic preamp.

ME66 is super-cardioid/highly directional microphone. you don't wanna use as room/ambient mic. try NOT to use many microphones. maybe 2 directional mics for stereo on stage, and other two omni for room/ambient sound. you probably don't even need ambient mics. hope it helps.

best,
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Old April 10th, 2003, 06:27 AM   #45
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Musicals

Hi Alex

Regarding the sound, you should be aware that the feed from the PA desk will only be what the sound engineer wants to go through the PA.

If there are loud acoustic instruments (e.g drums) that are generally loud in your hall, there may be very little going into the PA and consequently into your direct camera feed.

The ambient mic may give you some of the (+ croud noise).

Best solution is if you can befriend the Sound engineer is to ask if he/she can give you a feed from a (post Fade) Aux send and set up a rough balanced recording mix. If there is a dress rehearsal or some other performances, you can balance this recording mix before you go live to tape.

Some engineers might even heep an Eye (I mean Ear!) on the recording mix for you. You might also record a safety from the desk (say to minidisk) for use in post prod.

It is also useful if you can get a compressor between the Aux feed and your camera inputs and set this to even out the mix and get a good signal level to tape.

Good Luck !!

Regards P
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