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


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Old October 27th, 2002, 05:45 PM   #1
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VX2000 or is there an alternative

Hello,

I got here from newsgroup (rec.video.desktop) and this is my first post. I always ask stupid questions on news group and annoy the hell out of people.

I want to buy VX2000 but I m wondering if there is a better alternative. I do a lot of concert video and I am getting tired of doing audio/video separately. Right now I use TRV900 to do video and use AT822 or soundprofessional premier cardioid to audio and mix my MD recording with the video.

I m keep dreaming this cool setup where I have a video camera that is about the size of VX2000 with some really nice microphone mounted on top. But when I try to do that with TRV900 with my AT822, I get too much white noise as if I am taping the sound with old cassett tape recorder, so I m wondering if anyone has any suggestion. I saw PD150 have 2 XLR input, so that might be wonderful, but I am not sure what kind of audio it is capable of recording. Maybe DV audio is inherently bad compared to DAT or MD recording? Maybe even with camera like XV2000 manufacture won't install good enough audio circit so it'll sound bad anyway? I still need a better camera anyway tho, because a lot of shows are played in really dark club and bar.

Audio must be excellent for my concert videos...

Thank you for reading.
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Old October 27th, 2002, 06:08 PM   #2
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If audio is that important you are better off recording to a dedicated audio recorder rather than using the camera audio. ive made some excellent concert recordings with the exact same mic you mentioned straight to sony mzr55 MD.
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Old October 27th, 2002, 06:40 PM   #3
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Thanks matthew!

it's so cool to get an input from a professional like you! I am using Sony NZ-1 to do my audio.... Maybe the next step is DAT then :o) I just want to make sure I do justice to the band I am recording.

Do you think I should consider any other camera of VX2000 class? I saw something called PD 150 and some people seems to like it a lot... Haven't give much thoughts to Cannon too... Have you used Cannon or know someone who does?
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Old October 27th, 2002, 08:37 PM   #4
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The pd-150 which i have used many times is just the pro version of the vx2000, basicly the same camera but with a few nice extra's such as, dvcam support, xlr support, b&w viewfinder and a couple other goodies.

Have a look around, i would tell you to go look at a canon gl2 also, personally i find them a better package than the vx2000.

kermie
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Old October 28th, 2002, 12:15 PM   #5
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kermie,

what do you mean by a better package. can you please elaborate.

mb4
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Old October 28th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #6
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Oh, the joy of "me too" post

Hi Kermine,

I just want to take a moment and do the most annoying thing called "Me too!" post. Yap, I want also know that if GL2 is better than VX2000! Is there a webpage that does comparison? and thank you so much for answering my post/question.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 12:49 PM   #7
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You have to be much more definitive about the term, 'better.'

Better for what purpose? All camcorders have good and bad points.

Sony beats everyone right now for good low level light performance.

Canon is sometimes thought to have better lens (although I'd bet they build the lens for Sony as they do the image stabilizer.)

Neither one will be as good as some other camcorder if you really want to shoot skydiving. I define good in this case as small and easy to mount or hold on to and shoot at the same time.

To get any meaningful help, you have to define exactly what you plan to accomplish with a camcorder. Then the people on this forum can use their experience to assist you in your decision.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 01:09 PM   #8
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Hello everyone and Mike,

I m sorry I mad you mad. I tried to tell poeple what I want to do with camera earlier but I m going to do better this time.

I tape concert video for bands and I use the footage to make downloadable mpeg1 for their fans in the US.

So the purpose is:

1) Concert video and concert video only. I always have a permission so I the size of camera is not a problem, but if it's too big, a venue like The Glass house, or The Filmore might have problem with it.

2) The band often play in venue that has poor lighting, that is:
a.) A dozen of flood light with red celophan taped over. Red bleeds and adding the darkness makes picture grainy and ugly.
b.) 8 or 9 yellow bulb light installed in celling: Even with TRV900 picture is stil dark
c.) Where there is a good lighting, they often mix blue, yellow and RED, and this makes it very hard to get a good picture

3) Since I am compressing the DV footage, it's important that I get as much image information as possible and crisper the better.

4) Audio is extreamly important to me. But it'll be so nice if I don't have to record audio separately from video. This makes moving around the crowd easy and don't have to check recording level and shooting the video at same time (like MD/DAT on my left hand, Camera on my right hand, looking at LCD and MD level at the same time). I don't know if PD150's xlr input would help get better audio.

Right now I use TRV900 with AT822 *and* sound professional premier cardioid.

Thank you everyone for reading this. I want to know if there is alternative to XV2000 because I don't know what other camera is out there. Someone said Cannon GL2 might do me good. so....
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Old October 28th, 2002, 02:19 PM   #9
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if you have the permissions etc why not record a tap off the house desk, for the best quality


Solve your light problem by recording at shutter speeds of 1/30 or even 1/15 (use shutter priority mode) , this will give an arty effect on the motion which can work well filming bands etc and will also improve your camera noise situation.


VX2k or PD150 is still the best camera for your application
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Old October 28th, 2002, 02:23 PM   #10
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I am not mad, just trying to define specifically what you want to do. You did that very well in your last message.

I suggest that the first thing you do is read Jay Rose's article on camcorder sound. It is in the November issue of DV magazine.

My synopsis of that article is that, for good sound, you should not use a camcorder as the recording tool. Even a relatively inexpensive Sony MD recorder is better than all but the Sony DSR-570 in his tests.

I assume you are not using the term 'White Noise' in the manner that an sound engineer would use the term. White Noise has equal energy in all frequencies of the spectrum under test. Don't you mean the general effects of unwanted noise from the crowd, etc.?

I'd be trying to get house sound if at all possible. A microphone on the camera is going to negate much of your quality by simply not being close enough to the talent. Unless you are trying to emulate the aural experience of an audience member. Even then, it takes more tools than a microphone to do that.

As for the imaging part of it, it does depend on what your ultimate use for the video will be. The better the camcorder, the better your results will be in this instance. What you need is the ultimate in DSP so the really bad lighting can be handled as well as possible.

Given that, I don't think the hand-held camcorders are optimum for your video. Again, it does depend on your ultimate application.

Out of all of that class, the PD-150 is probably the best choice. It will outshoot your TRV-900 by quite a bit in low light. The lack of noise is as noticable as is the brightness.

If I had to shoot in that environment, I'd use my DSR-300 or rent a similar or better camera. The reason is the processing capability of the pro cameras is more powerful and, importantly, controllable.

What I'd suggest you do is rent a higher-end camera for a week, and practice with it for a day or three before the concert. Then, having set up several preset video selections, I try them out at a rehearsal and pick the best bet.

Don't overlook the less compressed formats. D-9 for example.

If the concerts are not held frequently, a rental may be the best approach instead of ownership.

And all you can do about the colors is white balance the camera in a neutral (ha!) part of the stage or just go with a standard camera preset for incandescent (some cameras will allow you to set the color temperature, or white balance, or modify the white balance results)

Another option and one that I use a lot of the time is to use two cameras. One locked down in the back and one hand held or on a monopod that I move around. That way I have the cut-aways I need and I don't have to keep the mobile camera always running.

Are you going to stream the video? Just wondering because you talk of compressing it.

Good luck.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 02:23 PM   #11
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I know! I always get chickened out when I m at show and couldn't ask. Oh well. I got a feeling that people from The Glass House let pretty much do whatever she/he wants if they are on guestlist.

but some of the show, they only got Vocal PA so I guess I have to drink couple of shots and go up em and ask.

What sorts of connector should I bring? I was told at The Guitar Center that kind of thing I wanted is all special order.

Help?
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Old October 28th, 2002, 02:44 PM   #12
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You need to be able to connect between the house mixer (using whatever connection they will give you) and your recorder. In doing so, you will need to insure you have a hum-stopper in your kit to kill ground loops. You can get one from Markertek for about $60. I always take an adjustable attenuator as I've had feeds that were too hot for microphone level input and too low for line. AT makes a reasonably priced XLR unit for about $40.

I'd take two cables (one as a spare) or three cables if you need to break the run into two parts to insert the hum stopper or attentuator.

You should visit the clubs ahead of time if at all possible and look and test the hookups.

One thing you can try although it is a bit risky is to use a wireless transmitter to collect the sound feed and transfer it to you wherever you are in the room. The only problem is that cell phones and pagers sometimes cause interference. I've done this a few times and it does work.

Don't be shy. The sound guys are usually OK. Take em their favorite drink or donuts or whatever if you need to break the ice.

Just make certain you make the arrangements well ahead of time. No one likes to have to deal with something new just as they get ready for the show.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 06:11 AM   #13
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In truth as long as you are compressing to MPG1 you have no chance of maintaining the quality of your video to start with . You should consider switching to a more forgiving compression scheem prior to worrying about a better camera.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 06:39 AM   #14
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Hello

What's the better way to compressing the video other than mpeg1? I don't know anything else about compressing videos. I read that making DVD won't help 'cause 20% of time DVD player failed to playback because of compatibility issue and stuff.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 06:44 AM   #15
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Just as many dvd players won't read cd-r's.

kermie
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