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


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Old July 5th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #1
Fred Retread
 
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BeachTek DXA-8 with the VX2100?

I am close to buying a VX2100.

I'm used to the independent R and L manual audio gain controls on my GL2, and I understand that the VX2100 has only one gain control. My quesion is this: if I feed the R and L two different levels from my DXA-8, which one does the 2100's meter read? Is it assigned to one side, or does it detect and monitor the higher level?
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Old July 6th, 2005, 06:39 AM   #2
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Have you considered a PD170?

Fred,

Have you considered a PD170? IMO it's definitely worth the few dollars more than a VX2100 + BeachTek + Wide angle. The PD170 comes with full XLR inputs and wide angle lens adapter. By the time you add the BeachTeck and wide angle to the VX2100 your within $100-$200 of the PD170 after rebate.

Let me say that I own a PD170 but have never used a VX2100. But I have done quite a bit of research comparing the two.

Two major shortcomings of the VX2100 as compared to the PD170:
  1. Audio
    • The audio meters and control on the VX2100 are virtually worthless IMO, if I understand how they work correctly.
    • The VX2100 only has one meter, one control, which apparently displays the highest level
    • No XLR inputs. Even with a BeachTek you still have to deal with and worry about the delicate stereo mini-plug on the camera.
    • PD170 provides 2 balanced XLR inputs with choices of mic, mic att, line in, phantom power
    • PD170 allows input from Ch1 to be recorded on both CH1 and CH2
  2. Aperture Control
    • PD170 has 24 aperture settings vs 13 for the VX2100. Be carefull when reading about "exposure" steps for the VX2100 since it also includes GAIN once the aperture is full open.
    • PD170 has separate controls for aperture and gain

Also the PD170 is manufactuared by the Sony Professional divison. This give you better, quicker support than from the VX2100 consumer division. A good example of this is when Sony recalled the PD150 to fix the audio hiss problem at no charge, they did NOT recall the VX2000 because "Sony considers the VX2000 a 'consumer' model camera and therefore refused to fix the audio hiss problem on this model."

Some relevant reviews/discussions:

VX-2100 vs PD170 Comparison -- DVInfo thread

HTH.

Pete
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Old July 6th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #3
Fred Retread
 
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Thanks Pete, that's a very succinct comparison.

Yes, I considered the PD170 but I already have the Beach and don't see a WA lens in my near future. If I ever decide to try weddings I'll probably have my regrets, but my main venues now (stage productions) always involve some zooming in. If the 2100 is a clunker on audio I'll just continue to take the audio through the GL2.

BTW, is is true that the autofocus isn't that great on either?
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Old July 6th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #4
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Fred,

Since you don't need a WA and already have the BeachTek, then you can defintely save some $$$ with the VX2100. Since I don't have one I can't say for sure, but I do have major concerns about the VX2100 audio. It would not be acceptable to me if the VX2100 were my only source for recording audio.

I have the PD170 now and used to own a GL2. I can tell you that I think the GL2 autofocus is somewhat better than the PD170. But it's not a deal-breaker for me. It's extremely rare that I would leave either camera in autofocus. My approach with both cameras is to leave in manual focus, and then either use the focus ring, or, if the subject is well centered in the frame, press the temp autofocus button and release to temporarily engage autofocus.

If you don't need the low light capability of the PD170/VX2100, I would stick with the GL2. You can buy a new GL2 after rebate now for around $1,850.

Good luck in your decision and shooting!
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