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


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Old November 20th, 2002, 10:32 AM   #1
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Help!! Shoot Off

Posted in GL2 site also. I have read the posts comparing GL2, VX2000 and PS150 as well as brochures (which Sony really lacks). I am basically hobbyist with mix of outdoor (sports car races, vacations) and indoor (family events under normal house lighting, no studio light set ups). My interest is video and not still photo use. Given that, and understanding the subjective nature of all this, basically it seems GL2 offers more manual options to customize "look" and gives better optical zoom (20X). I do wonder if the pixel shift technology of GL2 really can create problems in some color mix situations -- due to reliance on green--as I have read. The only thing I can see to recommend VX2000 ---and it may be a critical thing-- is better low light ability due to bigger CCD's. So, I am going to go to camera store or borrow GL2 and VX2000 and compare to my TRV 9 to try to spot obvious differences. It seems low light shooting would best differentiate among these cameras. Seems that could be the one thing GL2 could not overcome with manual adjustments. If that low light assumption is right, what "top 3 or 4" shooting situations would you recommend based on your real world experience to help me spot the differences.

I have read posts and articles about differences between GL2 and VX 2000 in progressive scan methods; audio issues with VX2000; "warm" vs "cold" looks; vertical smear (TRV 950); 16 X9 so think I have those understood. I just don't want to miss some other critical feature. By the way, I found from Sony that VX2000 does not offer as many manual adjustments as PD150 but I don't want to spend extra $1000 or so for PD150. Thank you for help.
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Old November 20th, 2002, 12:00 PM   #2
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I use a PD-150 for among other things, in taping acting classes both on location and in the studio. Because of time constraints in this and other tasks (like riding with the police day or night), no other feature counts except the 150 (and 2000's) ability to bring home great images in poor light.

As important to me, is the image processing that the camera provides. It delivers good images in high-contrast scenes. I often shoot in a room with one window. And the actors are shot against that background. Usually I get a more than good image of the actor and the room. Way better than your normal home movie. Way better than a VX-1000 or TRV-900.

It cannot do the impossilbe. That is it won't provide an image of a light bulb filament burning brightly in a coal mine and also show detail in the coal. But it is nearly as good as my DSR-300.

The 20X of the GL2 might be of some use to you during a sports car race or a long vacation shot. But most of us prize the wide end of the lens. The wider the better. So 20X is not such a big deal.

As long as you can conveniently control the camera in manual mode . . . video and audio, then the rest comes down to convenience. BTW, the manual zoom ring is not to be ignored. It allows one to exactly frame a scene. Something hard to do with a butterfly switch.

The bottom line to me is that I can get good images in low light when other camcorders fail. If one cannot get an image, the other adjustments are a moot point.

Good luck.

BTW, what manual adjustments does the 150 have that the 2000 does not? Off hand I cannot think of one. Some features are operated differently.
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Old November 20th, 2002, 12:05 PM   #3
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SUMMARY

Just want to know a few shooting situations experts use to test camcorders and spot problems to help me spot differences between GL2 and VX2000. Obvious to experts, helpful to novices.

For instance, I have read post about aiming camcorder close to light in room at night will show if vertical smearing is different from one camcorder to another -- in case you have situations where you can't avoid this. Obvious to experts, but I didn't even know what vertical smearing was.
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Old November 20th, 2002, 12:23 PM   #4
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Thanks Mike

Mike, our notes crossed in the ether. My second note was just to simplify my earlier note, but in this forum it could appear as if I was giving a curt reply to your note. Just wanted to clear up that was not my intention and thank you for your comments.
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Old November 20th, 2002, 12:27 PM   #5
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I've yet to have smearing with the 150. I'm looking at a wedding reception I'm editing right now. The lights in the room are so dim that you cannot read text. The 150 is showing a great picture just from the candles on the tables. There is no smear or vertical bright lines.

You know how, with your first camcorder, people exclaimed how great the picture looked like when you got everything right? Well, the 150/2000 images get that kind of comment even when shooting conditions aren't all right.

You really are going to have to attempt to test the camcorders in real-world situations. Maybe you can find people who live near to you and will allow you to visit and test.

Here are a few sites to help your investigation:

http://www.urbanfox.tv/workbooks/sonypd150/index.htm

http://www.sony.ca/dvcam/manuals.htm

http://www.videouniversity.com/vx2000.htm

http://www.dvinfo.net/sony/resource.php
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Old November 20th, 2002, 12:29 PM   #6
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Mike, PD150 Manual Settings

Mike, finished reading your note. Sony professional help line people ( 800-883-6817 choices 2 to 5 to 2) have a list of differences but won't fax to me. One thing they mentioned was PD150 allows seperately controlling gain and iris opening whereas in VX2000 you control iris opening, but gain automatically adjusts (no seperate control). At least that is what they say.
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Old November 20th, 2002, 12:50 PM   #7
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Differences

Mike, just in case of interest to others also, I called Sony back and got person to read listing of differences between VX2000 and PD150. Most are well known or documented elsewhere by Sony (i.e. differences related to DVCAM and XLR audio, differences in automatic shut down modes, logo insertion for PD150). Turns out the separate iris and gain adjustment difference is the major one otherwise. VX 2000 has other "consumer" things like picture effects and intelligent hot shoe not on PD150.
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Old November 20th, 2002, 05:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the clarification.

I ignored the obvious bits (DVCam & XLR but forgot about the logo insertion (anyone use it?) and shutdown. Didn't know about the iris and gain diferences even though I've read the manual for the 2000 before.

I just re-read the manual. It clearly states that aperature and gain adjust with a single control and you don't get to chose. Except you can set the max gain it can use in the menus.

Certainly there are times when depth of field issues would make me want to control both separately.

It is not entirely clear that one cannot get there from here but I didn't see how in my quick once-over of the manual.

Thanks again. Makes me even happier that I went with the 150!
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