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


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Old June 29th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #46
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Technically, the best quality movie footage is obtained by:

1) turning off the OIS
2) using a rock solid tripod using the remote control
3) shooting in slightly overcast conditions
4) removing any filters and converter lenses
5) using the default shutter speed of 1/50th sec (PAL)
and 6) shooting at an aperture no smaller than f/5.6

Oh, and having a clean front element, tape path and good quality tape.

I also find my VX's zoom is better at the telephoto end than at the wide-angle.

Premiere 6 doesn't have an MPEG2 encoder, so export back to tape - it's the best storage method there is.

tom.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #47
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VX2100 questions

Hey all. I am considering getting the VX2100. Can you use any kind of filters on it? I've never used filters for a camcorder, but like the red type filters for SLR cameras and wondered if they'd work. Also, how does anyone like the 2100? Is there lots of freedom with the manual controls? I now have a TRV18 and want something better. Will the difference be that much better? Thanks in advance.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 07:12 PM   #48
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I have a VX-2000 which is the previous model. It's a nice camcorder, but only if you want to work in the 4:3 aspect ratio. It has a setting that lets you shoot in anamorphic 16:9 however the results are low resolution as it has to crop the 4:3 image to get the correct proportions. Therefore I almost never use my VX-2000 anymore. However if this isn't an issue for you then I'm sure you'll be happy.

You can control the iris and shutter speed manually, although there is one "gotcha." If you change shutter speeds the iris will automatically reset itself, but afterwards you can take manual control of the iris. So the trick is to be sure to set your shutter speed before adjusting the iris.

Of course you can use filters! If you want to experiment with a lot of different ones you could get the Cokin "P series" filter holder. This lets you drop square glass filters into a plastic carrier:

http://www.cokin.com/ico1-p1.html

However if you want to work with filters it's a good idea to view the results on a production monitor since the little camera LCD screen isn't high resolution enough to reveal potential problems. Another approach would be to shoot without filters and create your effect in post using software.

I'm not familiar with the TRV-18, but since the VX-2100 has three 1/3" CCD's I suspect it will provide a much nicer image.

Now if you want to shoot in the 16:9 widescreen format and like the Sony cameras you could look at the HC-1000 and PDX-10 for standard definition, or the HDR-FX1, HVR-Z1, HDR-HC1 and HVR-A1 for both standard and high definition.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 07:45 AM   #49
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4:3 and 16:9 are not important to me at all. I'm just wanting something that's much better video quality than my 18 (which works for now). I have 2 questions.
1) When the camera shuts off at the 5 minute mark with no use, when you power back up, does it resume at the settings you had it at (meaning the shutter speed and aperature)?
2) With the Beachtek adaptor, can you run 2 mics into it, and adjust their volumes separately on the adaptor so one would record in quieter?
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Old November 13th, 2005, 08:55 AM   #50
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How can 4:3 and 16:9 not be important to you at all? In order to pick the right camera you need to know which format you will primarily use.

1. I think so, but haven't used it in awhile so not 100% sure. The usual trick is to press the still photo button to wake it up. If you switch the power on and off I think your settings will be lost.

2. Yes. I have a DXA4 which has 2 XLR connectors and two volume controls. You can control each channel separately, however when the Beachtek is in use you can't use the camera's built-in microphone. Also, the volume controls on the Beachtek are just to set a level, not to use as a mixer. They move in clicks, and the instructions warn they aren't intended to fade a microphone in and out.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 08:49 AM   #51
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I have VX2100 and it's an awesome camera with beautiful picture. I still mostly shoot in 4:3, but when it's absolutely necessary to film widescreen, then the camera will do it. I know it crops the top and bottom, but once filming your video, the lost will not be that noticeable. I even filmed a DVD project once in widescreen with PD150 and the results were just fine when I watched the footage.

In my opinion it's quite ok to buy a 4:3 ratio camera today for professional production, because even if broadcast is slowly switching over to 16:9, most will still have to wait at least a few years until they can broadcast in true widescreen, because as far as I know widescreen picture would be stretched just like when watching the video from your camera in standard ratio TV set and it would take quite a while until most of the people buy 16:9 TVs. I've heard that Finland televisions are planning to go widescreen in 2007 and here they haven't said anything at all yet.

If talking about HD then I would wait for the next family of Sony cams, I'm quite sure they will have many improvements.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #52
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Thanks for all your replys! I am pretty sure I will go with the 2100. This would be my 4th Sony camcorder, and I do like their products. I say that widescreen is not important because most of our stuff goes onto the internet, and none of us (except me) own a widescreen tv. Plus this is a hobby for me, not a living. I also don't want to wait for HD because my video editor (a Casablance Avio / stand alone unit) does not edit HD. Min DV is more than fine for us. One of my concerns was the size of the VX. It comes in at 15 1/2" long.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Scroggs
...One of my concerns was the size of the VX. It comes in at 15 1/2" long.
Then you might want to consider the Canon GL2. It's smaller and lighter, has a better zoom and better audio features. I own both, but I consider the GL2 to be a better value ($1750 after rebate, vs. $2400 for the VX2100).

The VX2100 gives slightly crisper video, but for some (like myself) this is not always desireable--a matter of taste. The GL2's footage is sharp, but somehow softer and warmer. The Sony is sturdier and certainly impressive looking, and, of course is the king of low light cams in the price range affordable by most mortals.

For a wedding or documentary, or for very dim lighting, I'd be inclined to use the VX2100. For most anything else I grab the GL2.
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