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


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Old January 9th, 2005, 12:37 AM   #1
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A few questions on the 2100

So I have been trying to decide between the vx2100 and the GL2. Every week my decision seems to change from one to the other. I had the chance to use a friends GL2 a few weeks ago. It was really nice and I liked it a lot. Ive been looking around for a shop in town that carrys the 2100, but none seem to have one that I can get a look at and get a feel for it. So I have a few questions.

Does the vx2100 have a feature/button that will automaticly rewind and play back the last section of video that was recorded? Similar to what the GL2 has.
Ive heard that the 2100 has problems with the greens being overpowering, is there any truth behind this?
Are the manual controls for exposure and whitebalance, easy and fast to use?
How long does it take the start to record after the record button has been pressed? My previous camera, JVC DV3000, took a good 1.5 or 2 seconds to start, I didnt like that too much.

If anyone can answer these questions, it would help me out a ton.

Thanks,
-Stephen
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Old January 9th, 2005, 07:54 AM   #2
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I have a VX-2000, but suspect these things are pretty much the same...

"End Search" is the feature you want and the Sony has this also. The only caveat is that if you're using a DV tape that doesn't have a "chip" in it, then the function only works until you change tapes. In other words, if you pop your tape out, record on another one, then pop the original back into the camera the end search function won't work on that tape unless it has a chip in it.

I never noticed a problem with greens personally, and the custom preset function should let you tune the color if you don't like the default.

Yes, there are manual white balance, iris and shutter speed controls usings some buttons on the back of the camera. Personally I'm not crazy about the ergonomics since it's easy to hit the wrong button, but they work fine. There is one caveat regarding shutter speed on the VX-2000 which I assume carries over to the VX-2100. When you hit the shutter speed button and choose a new speed the camera will automatically change your existing iris setting. This is annoying, but not much of a problem if you're aware of it. The easiest work-around is to choose your shutter speed FIRST, then set the iris. The PD-150/170 don't have this quirk, so I'm assuming Sony deliberately crippled the 2100/2000 this way to help differentiate the pro and consumer versions.

I never noticed much problem with response time when you hit the record button, but honestly it doesn't matter a lot for my kind of work. The VX-2000/2100 will shut the camera down automatically if you don't use it for a couple minutes though and that can be annoying. The 150/170 don't do this - they just stop spinning the drum instead.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 03:34 AM   #3
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Stephen, the GL2 is head to head with the (now discontinued) TRV950, and the VX2100 is a big step up, as you'll see from the technical specification, the price list, the weight. If you're happy with the GL2 then you'll love the VX2100 even more, because as a photographic tool it has much more going for it.

Bigger chips for more DOF control. 2 ND filters. Zoom ring. Better in low light. There's more of course, and the price difference should prove it.

tom.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, it helps out a bunch. I guess the only thing that is keeping from being 100% sure of what to get, is that I havent used or even held the 2100. But after what y'all have said, Im about 99% sure that the Sony is what I need. The zoom ring, and better low light performance is winning me over.

Thanks for the help,
-Stephen
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Old January 18th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #5
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I think if the Canon GL2 had had a 3.5" side-screen rather than the piddly little 2.5" one, it might well have stolen a lot more sales from the VX2100. But bigger side-screens cost disproportionally more than the smaller 2.5" version, simply because the reject rate for a dead pixel means a more expensive screen is binned. So rather than a 3.5" LCD costing 50% more, it probably costs 100% more than a 2.5" one, and this starts to make the accountants wobble.

I see the HC1000 (replacing the TRV950) has reverted to a 2.5" screen, and when that happens the volume sales make the two prices diverge even further.

tom.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 12:06 PM   #6
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I own a VX2100 and i haven't had any problems with green's being "over powering."
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Old March 7th, 2005, 07:20 PM   #7
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I"m in this same dilemma!! I'm also leaning more to the 2100.


http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article06.php

Go there.. Scroll down and compare the 2100 and the gl2 in that chart.. kind of look slike the gl2 is a bit better...heh
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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:30 AM   #8
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Initially, yes... but keep in mind since these are NTSC specs, and a 720x480 image uses approx 340,000 pixles, then the biger chips with smaller pixel counts means more surface area of each pixel is exposed to light, requiring a shorter duration of exposure, resulting in the Sony's superior low light performance. Not much point in having useable pixels beyond the max that you can display unless you are into shooting stil images with a high end video camera. Since the standards for display are fixed ( DV 720 x 480 ) denser pixel counts on the chip are generally meaningless beyond the useable max. I'm not sure if the DSP is 8 or 10 bit in the Sony, not mentioned in teh manual.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #9
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Oh alright then, thats good to hear. I forgot about the bigger CCD's in the 2100.

One more question.. Are the memory cards in the 2100 the same as the memory cards you buy for any digital camera?
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:41 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Advil Dremali : Oh alright then, thats good to hear. I forgot about the bigger CCD's in the 2100.

One more question.. Are the memory cards in the 2100 the same as the memory cards you buy for any digital camera? -->>>
It's a sony memory stick, one of four or five different formats for Digital cameras, there is no real standard out there, dpending on manufacturer
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #11
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I see.. Do you think I could just buy one at the local Best Buy or something?
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Advil Dremali : I see.. Do you think I could just buy one at the local Best Buy or something? -->>>
I know circuit city has them, so I would assume best buy does, it comes with I think a 8 MB stick, but it's not the best balanced still camera LOL, It does a good job but it's not designed for stills, but for video..
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #13
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well, obviously..

Heh.. I just want something a little bigger just in case I want to take a picture.. you know. I'm sure it's better quality than my cell phone's camera.

Any idea how much space a picture on the 2100 is?
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Old March 8th, 2005, 05:56 PM   #14
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Stephen,
I purchased the 2100 against the recommendations of everyone to buy the Canon, and I love the 2100. It has the best results of any camera I have seen. The only regret I haveis that I should have saved up for the PD170. It may cost more in the begining but in the end you will have more features and settings that you can grow with. I only wish I had waited.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 01:07 AM   #15
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Stephen,

I have just been through a similar dilemna, but not regarding the Canon, and finally decided on the VX2100E (PAL).
I am very pleased with the results, and the low light ability will blow you away. The video quality is awesome.
One other reason is that the VX has been around for a while, and although a little long in the tooth, has estabished itself as a veritable workhorse.
I agree with Gabriel regarding the PD170, but I like the colour viewfinder of the VX. The accessibility of manual controls on the PD are good.
I seldom use the sidescreen, except for low shots, and was really pleased the way the screen brightened up automatically in sunlight.
The argument regarding using the video camera for stills goes on, and a video camera cannot replace a camera. The newer megapixel video camera's have a better ability for photo's, but lose out on low light.
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