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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 01:51 PM   #1
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Am I wearing out my VX2100 if I .....

Am I wearing out my VX2100 if I use it as a camera in a photo-booth? I have a photo-Booth setup for weddings and events and have found that my VX2100 does everything I need/want but am curious if I am doing an harm. I do not use the led screen, the booth uses a laptop connected via Firewire. No tape, no heads running, just a "live feed" to laptop then the laptop captures a frame. Thanks all.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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even when there is no drum run , operation is on, CCD block is on, and like everything else it has it's own life span.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 04:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Darryn Carroll View Post
Am I wearing out my VX2100 if I use it as a camera in a photo-booth? I have a photo-Booth setup for weddings and events and have found that my VX2100 does everything I need/want but am curious if I am doing an harm. I do not use the led screen, the booth uses a laptop connected via Firewire. No tape, no heads running, just a "live feed" to laptop then the laptop captures a frame. Thanks all.
Wear it out by just having it on? Forgive me if I am misunderstanding but the question suggests a degree of paranoid fearfulness (perhaps fueled by urban legends) might well have provoked the kind of mirthful response you got from Buba. (I am biting my tongue).

Look, having the camera on for your photo-booth is not going to harm the camera any more than watching your television ruins it. Having it on is not like running the engine on a car where there are a lot of mechanical components that wear out from use over time.

The tape mechanism is the VX2000's mechanical component that is most vulnerable to wear, and your photobooth is not using tape. or even wearing the hinge for the LCD screen. (It is not an "LED" unless you've had an amazing retrofit). You aren't even running the zoom or autofocus. It's more likely that the lubricants in the zoom mechanism would dry-up than your are going to wear out or "harm" your VX2000.

For what you are doing, the only things that would get any "mechnical wear" is from switching the cam on and off and from plugging an unplugging the firewire port.

If you are not jamming and yanking the firewire plug, "wear" or "harm" probably won't be a problem. I have one of the earlier VX2000s and that cam still works just fine. I used that it heavily for years, including recording day-long depositions. I often fed a firewire signal to a laptop via Adobe On-Location. I also used the VX2000 as an editing deck. (You do know that the playback heads are separate from the record heads?) The only problem I ran into was some wear on the record heads that resulted in intermittent audio drop-outs. That was about four years ago. But since shooting tapeless, bypassed the recording heads, and I've switched over to HD, I never got it fixed. The VX2000 still gets used as a deck and its is just fine.

So, I hope this reassures you.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 06:30 PM   #4
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VX2100 Wearing Out

I have used two VX2100's full time for my wedding business over the last seven years. Tapes in and out, LCD open and closed, transferring footage to PC and so on. I can say this about those cameras, they are tough and durable. In all that time, countless hours of use, neither one of them is close to worn out, so in my opinion, sitting in the booth and just transferring footage to your PC is easy on them compared to "normal" use.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 09:05 PM   #5
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I've been using a PD150 that now has over 2000 hours of operation (10 years old) and a PD170 that has over 1200 hours of operation (at least 5 years old) and many other cameras in between not only for shooting tape but also for Imag for seminars, used with no tape running and not having the LCD open (used a Sony 9" monitor) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with either camera. Granted they have both been to Sony for some minor maintenance but nothing related to being ON for hours. The only thing that happens is the operation hours run up. ON = Operation.

As stated above, if the tape mechanism isn't running and the heads aren't recording cause wear and tear then you aren't hurting anything. I've had cameras over the years that have had almost 4000 of operation and 400 hours of drum run meaning they were used for Imag (or in your case photo booth) and those cameras worked great.

Don't worry about it, BUT if you really are, then pick up a small palmcorder of some sort and use it instead. I know a few guys that do that.
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