Sony and Canon on the same shoot at

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 10th, 2005, 02:03 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
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Sony and Canon on the same shoot

Last month I was one of two cameramen on an indoor shoot. A guitarist and a grand pianist were set up in the very centre of this multi-chandelier-lit large hall, complete with ornate ceiling. Powerful overhead spots were beamed down to harshly light the talent, glossy black grand piano the selection of guitars and the ceiling itself. The multi-mic recording taking place meant our on-board mics were there simply for post syncing.

I was to do all the wide-angle work with my Aspheron and VX2k and my colleague with his XL1 did all the normal and telephoto close-ups. The only stipulation was that to make the edit easier to sort we kept our cameras running after the initial clapper. We were allowed free reign really; we could track, pan dolly, whatever we liked. Try not to film the other feller we were told, but of course this was often unavoidable.

I got some great low-down floor tracking shots while being pushed in a wheel chair; such shots would have been impossible on the XL1 with no side-screen of course. He did some nice pull focus along the piano keys, the 16x zoom and powerful Steadyshot on the Canon making that look really good.

Having just watched the rushes with 'display' turned on, I note some interesting conclusions. The Sony appears to be a consistent two stops more sensitive, and at times this meant much better footage. If I had to resort to open aperture, the Canon would be at +12dB and sometimes more - that long
lens quickly loses speed as he zooms. You can imagine what this does to sharpness and colour.

The other most striking observation and one that I simply did not expect to see was that the Canon's CCD smear was quite horrible. Any footage into the overhead lights was completely ruined by the Canon's nasty, bright vertical streaks slashing through the frame. The Sony however loves such high
contrast situations, and although there's optical flare visible, the lack of CCD smear is a real blessing.

Note that both these cameras have been replaced by newer models. Maybe the XL2 has got better.

Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 10th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #2
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Although swapping camps to XL2 was never really on the cards when I recently shopped for PD-170P (TRV18E deck/cam/FCP compatibility, existing VX2k, 960 batts etc.) I did look into it - what I recall from years ago was the XL1 auto-focus was unsuable when the light drops - did he rely on manual all the time or has that long been fixed?

I mostly shoot in m-focus with judicous use of push-auto - more reliable than trying to judge the colour viewfinder and stops the focus hunt when doing my pans and tilts for all the wedding montage usuals...
Mark Joseph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #3
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Location: Arlington, TX
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This happened to me as well.

The VX was much sharper with better color than the XL-1.
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