The SONY FX-1 vs. SONY VX2100 etc. at DVinfo.net

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


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Old March 28th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #1
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The SONY FX-1 vs. SONY VX2100 etc.

I compared these two cameras over the weekend. The VX2100 sure requires less light. The FZ-1 appears to be two stops away from the VX2100. The FX-1 has a nice gain w/o increasing grain to about 12 DB.

The FX-1 sure has many nice features!!!! But it ain't low light.



Any opinions?
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Old March 28th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #2
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I feel the same after I played with one at Sony in San Francisco. I think that is the conclusion reached by others who've previously posted here about the two cameras.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 07:03 AM   #3
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Just adding my "me too." Having played with it, The FX-1 is not a low light camera. The Sony rep at the trade show admitted as much too.

My own opinion is that I'd wait until the next generation to see where the manufacturers go with it.

The FX-1 would simply NOT be a good camera for dark wedding receptions, shooting bands in dark clubs, shooting docs in dark areas where even a camera light can be a distraction or disturbance.

I simply can't believe manufacturers will abandon that part of the market.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 08:40 AM   #4
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I think the issue is the higher pixel count on the 1/3" CCD's which is needed for HD. The VX and PD owe their good low light performance to the relatively low resolution CCD's. But maybe some new technologies will improve this in the future?
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Old March 29th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #5
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Boyd,

Well expressed.

That's exactly why I'd wait for the NEXT generation HDV cameras. I do think the technology will improve on the HDV front regarding low light. Now if I really saw the client demand for "low end" HD to justify purchasing an FX-1 over a PD-170 that would be a different story but the demand isn't there yet. Neither the FX-1 or Z-1 are good low light performers. Maybe the FX-2 or Z-2 will be.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 10:34 AM   #6
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It probably isn't an issue of 'technology,' here, it is an issue of the physical size of the individual CCD sensor.

The PD10 is insensitive compared to the 170 because of pixel size and I'd bet the physical size of the sensors, even on the larger FX-1 chip, is close to the PD10's size.

Probably need a 5/12ths inch CCD to get back to the 170's sensitivity.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #7
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Mike,

I do think technology does have a large roll in improved low light performance. Thing about what changed between the PD-150 and PD-170. It wasn't the chip size. In other words, all things (chip size / pixel size) being equal, the will find ways to reduce the noise in gain up modes as time goes on. A year or two from now, the electronics will likely be that much better given the same size chips.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 01:24 PM   #8
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Maybe so but the overall sensitivity of the 150 vs 170 is the same, it is the post amplifier that they improved which gives lower noise at higher gains. Whether they can continue to up the gain without resorting to chip cooling is questionable.

In any case, you cannot compare chip sizes, you have to compare individual charge site size. More sites on a given chip size means lower sensitivity. Technology has a rough time with that issue and that is exactly the technology that has to improve.
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