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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 31st, 2005, 11:05 PM   #1
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Need input and advice between Gl2 and PD150

I have a choice between two camera's, the GL-2 and the PD150. They're being offered to me at roughly the same price, but I need to make a decision relatively quickly.

If it were up to you, which camera would you take? The differences I know of is that the Canon has a great "frame mode" and a nice 20X optical zoom. The PD150 utilizes larger chips giving it better low-light, and has better audio.

If it makes a difference, the type of camera work I am going to be doing is educational (as in me being the student), and then documentary work in South East Asia.

I need to make a decision soon. Any and all input would be welcome. Please understand that I'm not looking to bash one camera over the other, I just want some honest, user opinions on which one is a overall better camera.

Thank you,

Maikutis.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 11:20 PM   #2
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Video is more than 50% audio so I'd always pick the PD 150 which I also happen to have.

The low light capability is so useful I don't think I could work (frequently) without it.

The 150 just has more pro features and is very rugged.

To me the two cameras just aren't in the same ball park for pro work. The 150 is going to win out every time in my opinion.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 06:26 AM   #3
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I'd back Mike on this one, but here's a few extra thoughts.
The PD150 is obviously second (3rd, 4th?) hand and as such comes with no warrenty. You can of course access the drum hours and so on, but that won't tell you if it's been used on Blondie beach in a sandstorm for most of its life. Do you know the seller, know its life history, seen any footage from it, looked carefully at the assembly screw heads and the tape path?

The GL2 is a pretty good cam in my view. Canon make an XLR adaptor and it's worth getting as Mike says. It'll be brand new, has the 20x zoom as you say and will give you peace of mind.

But it's not in the same class as the 150, and was never meant to be.

tom.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:53 AM   #4
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I agree with the above two posters. I actually sold my GL2 and bought a 170 because I could not tolerate the low light performance of the GL2.

The 150/170 feel more professional and solid to me.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 01:15 PM   #5
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The PD150 has 28 hours on it, and was used to tape convention shows by a member/speaker at WEVA. The owner is throwing in a Century Optics WA lens, and everything included in the original box.

The GL-2 is used, but only for several hours, and I was there when it was being used.

Regardless, it seems that the PD150 is the better choice. I have to be filming in Thailand (one project) and then Tibet and Nepal (another project). I'd be very dissappointed if my camera gave up the ghost on these projects, although I realize all electronics are subject to malfunction.

Thanks for the input,

miakutis.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 01:31 PM   #6
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Uh, if you don't want the 150, I'll buy it.

Get some 1/4" paper tape (sold for photo use) and seal the tape door on your camera when in the field. Then the camera can more easily tolerate a dirty atmosphere. Or a clear plastic bag works OK as long as the camera doesn't get too hot (which the 150 does not tend to do).
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 05:52 AM   #7
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PD150 - DVCAM

I don't know about the Canon but I do have a 150 - also bought used (from a forum member). To my thinking, with the history given it sounds like the right choice . The wa adapter will be great and depending on the shooting you might look for a Century 2X ( I got one on this forum and it is a bomb).

The other top feature is the ability to shoot in DVCAM. this seems to add just that bit more depth and clarity. A very professional plus. It also has built in XLR connections.

I am biased, but that is why I bought a 150.

The tips in the other posts re paper tape and plastic bags are really good. I always have plastic shopping bag, a ziplock or two handy. A garbage bag also is a handy emergency raincoat.

Best of luck and have a fantastic trip.

Martin
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 03:04 PM   #8
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Thanks Martin,

Hey, did you manage to sell your VX1000?

mike.
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 04:03 PM   #9
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Hi Mike

No not yet. I sent an e-mail to each of your suggestions. No answer as yet. thanks for the lead though. Like I said, the 150 is a great machine. You are looking a bit farther upscale now, good luck.

If you know of anyone else interested in a Vx1000, please pass my name along.

Martin
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 09:25 AM   #10
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Just a thought

Hi Mike

Seeing as how your planned trip is quite inclusive and you do not want the risk of a failed camera you might want to think about two. Yes, I know, that is more cost and baggage, but on the other hand how much is the plane fare and lost opportunity.
Should you get the PD150 you might look for another Sony that can be a back up and uses the same batteries. Or you might look at one of the very small SONY MiniDV cameras.My daughter bought one for when she goes trips or various courses. Great rig for the size etc. This would be good as a "non-intrusive" unit for candid shooting and act as an emergency back-up. Not a 3chip but better than a missed opportunity.

Keep us posted on your gear choice and send some feed back on the trip.

Martin
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 10:34 AM   #11
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Re: PD150 - DVCAM

<<<-- Originally posted by Martin Archer-Shee :

The other top feature is the ability to shoot in DVCAM. this seems to add just that bit more depth and clarity. A very professional plus. It also has built in XLR connections.

Martin -->>>

I am sorry Martin but DVCam has absolutely no picture quality advantage over DV if you discount dropouts (which don't effect depth and clarity). It is the same signal spread over more tape. It may be more reliable but not in most NLE environments.

DVCam is designed to be used in a linear editing environment where the tape is often reused a lot as in ENG applications.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #12
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Hi Mike Rehmus

A day you do not learn something is sad.
I think I have learned a new point.
Can you elusidate a bit on the value of the various systems (or should I say speeds?)?
I thought that the faster transport speed, such as in DVCAM, resulted in a stronger (denser) signal and thus greater clarity etc. If this is not quite the case what is one looking for with DVCAM or even LP such as on the 2100? Does not the (lower)speed of the tape allow for a greater siggnal density and thus a better picture?
This is an honest question and I have looked for answers on other forums and web sites but have not got a clear answer.

Can you, or anyone else, give some direction?

Thanks
Martin
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Old February 4th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Martin Archer-Shee : Hi Mike Rehmus

A day you do not learn something is sad.
I think I have learned a new point.
Can you elusidate a bit on the value of the various systems (or should I say speeds?)?
I thought that the faster transport speed, such as in DVCAM, resulted in a stronger (denser) signal and thus greater clarity etc. If this is not quite the case what is one looking for with DVCAM or even LP such as on the 2100? Does not the (lower)speed of the tape allow for a greater siggnal density and thus a better picture?
This is an honest question and I have looked for answers on other forums and web sites but have not got a clear answer.

Can you, or anyone else, give some direction?

Thanks
Martin -->>>

Sony's design with DVCam is to store the signal on a larger area of the tape than DV and therefore give it a greater chance of bridging any tape defects which normally show up as drop-outs.

So, the only reason DVCam exists is to give fewer problems in ENG useage where, until very recently, they all used linear editing systems and reused their tape.

Regardless of how the storage is effected, disk, tape or holes in mud, the signal is digital and as long as one can count the ones and zeros, the 'quality' of the recording doesn't count in any way, shape, or form. That is, the depth of the hole in the mud doesn't count as long as you can see the hole. It just has to accurately deliver the correct number of ones and zeros in the right places.

DV and DVCam digital formats are exactly the same and so, once you get the signal inside the computer, are indistiguishable, one from the other.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #14
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Thanks for everyon'es input on this. I went with the PD150, and so far, I really like it.

mike.
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