reading through the manual at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 16th, 2002, 04:43 PM   #1
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reading through the manual

wrote down some questions while going through the manual of my new pd150p. here they are:

1. does STEADY SHOT mode have any affect on image quality? is it noticable?

2. also regarding STEADY SHOT mode, the manual says that lense adaptors may cause this mode to not function properly. is that something i should expect when putting on a century 0.65x wide angle adaptor?

3. can TIME CODE be set only with DVCAM? thats what the manual lead me to understand.

4. what exactly is the difference between 12 bit (4 channel mode) recording and 16 bit (2 channel mode) recording? what do they mean about 2/4 channel modes?

5. what is NR (off/on)? they say "on" will reduce microphone noise. what do they mean by microphone noise? why would i ever want this function to be turned "off"?

thanks.
i might have some more questons soon.
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Old December 17th, 2002, 02:07 PM   #2
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ok. meanwhile, i understood that miniDV tapes can record miniDV timecode, while DVCAM can record SMPTE timecode.
but i'm still not clear on what the difference between the two are.

would still appreciate getting answers for the other questions.

thanks.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 11:37 AM   #3
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...anyone?
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 07:08 PM   #4
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Sorry about the delay. My email changed again and I'm not getting the moderator's copy of all posts yet.

Steady shot may have some effect if you are moving the camera on purpose. On a tripod, it isn't a bad idea to turn it off as long as you remember to turn it on when you hand-hold.

I use mine with the Century with the SS on. I don't see any problems including using it at the end of a boom I moved quite fast to cover motorcycles roaring past.

Steady shot can cause some dancing ghosts from lights in a scene where the general scene is black like at night. The solution there is to turn off SS. The ghosts will come to rest very near the light sources and just look like bright light at night artifacts.

12 bit recording means that you only have 12 binary bits to represent the loudest noise. What that means in the real world is that music can decidedly sound non-HIFI. 16 bit digitization means it uses 16 bits and the signal to noise ratio is better, the accuracy is better, etc. I suppose there might be a reason to use the 12-bit mode but I have not found one yet.

You don't want NR on if you use an external microphone. It leaves a ringing sound at the end of every sentence when it is on. I'm not certain the ring makes it onto tape but it sure does make it to the headset output.

Most DV editing systems ignore timecode except for capture reasons so I don't worry about it. Makes no difference whether I'm using DV or DVCam timecode. Maybe some day when I'm making feature films and recording sound with a timecode DAT, I'll worry about it. Until then I cannot get to worked up about it.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 08:28 PM   #5
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The only comment I'll add to Mike's post is that the SMPTE time code has a couple of useful features. More often than not I shoot DV so I don't use them but they can come in handy at times.

One of the really annoying things about DV timecode is if you stop taping and leave a blank space on the tape between where you stopped and where you started again, the timecode resets to zero. This will drive an NLE crazy. SMPTE timecode can be set to regenerate the tapecode across a gap in the tape.

Another convenient feature is the ability to preset the timecode on a tape. You can preset the timecode so that one tape begins at 0000 and the next tape begins at 1000 and the next at 2000 etc. It can make it much easier to keep track of multple tapes being used on a single project. I found this while shooting a video with another shooter who also had a PD150. Having preset numbered tapes made keeping track of tapes much easier.
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Old December 24th, 2002, 09:34 AM   #6
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thanks all.
rick, isn't it possible to SET timecodes to 0000, 1000, 2000, etc. with the miniDV timecode? can that ONLY be done with DVCAM?

and another question regarding tapes:
there are tapes with a memory chip and tapes without one (which cost about half what the memory tapes cost). i read something about using the index function with tapes that have memory, but does this have any practical use, figuring i won't be using the index feature?
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Old December 24th, 2002, 02:03 PM   #7
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In the menu it looks like you can preset timecodes in DV but when you scroll the wheel, nothing happens. So unless I am missing something I don't think you can use timecode preset in DV, only DVCam.

Being naturally cheap I always use the chipless tapes. I am told that the tapes with a chip record all the shot settings so that if you were reshooting a scene and wanted to recreate the settings, the tape with a chip might be really useful. As I said I've never done so, so thsi is just what I am told.

The advantage to the tape with a chip is that you can easily move to the end of individual shots easily. With NLE's which break can break up footage capture by scene, thsi seems less valuable.
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Old December 24th, 2002, 02:17 PM   #8
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i'll be recording sound on an external device - MD or DAT. will MINIDV SP tapes be sufficient or do i need the SMPTE timecode in this case?

and yet another question regarding tapes... i understood that it isn't healthy to use different tape brands on the same camcorder. is this just about brands or is it OK to switch between lets say - SONY PREMIUM and SONY EXCELLENCE, or between SONY MINIDV tapes and SONY DVCAM tapes?
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Old December 24th, 2002, 03:14 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rick Spilman : Being naturally cheap I always use the chipless tapes. I am told that the tapes with a chip record all the shot settings so that if you were reshooting a scene and wanted to recreate the settings, the tape with a chip might be really useful. As I said I've never done so, so thsi is just what I am told.

The advantage to the tape with a chip is that you can easily move to the end of individual shots easily. With NLE's which break can break up footage capture by scene, thsi seems less valuable. -->>>

the gl2 does both these things with chip-less tape, too.
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Old December 24th, 2002, 03:23 PM   #10
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I doubt the GL keeps track of things once you take the tape out of the camera. That is the point of the memory chip. As long as you keep the tape in the camera the PD150 does most of what the memory chip does.

I wouldn't worry about switching between Sony tape brands. The old problem had to do with different types of tape lubricants - Sony and Panasonic being quite different and gumming up heads if you switched between them. All Sony tapes should be compatible with Sony tapes.

You can record DVCam on regular Sony miniDV tapes. They sell a DVCam tape but I have never used one and I have never seen a friend use one.

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Old December 24th, 2002, 04:12 PM   #11
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hi rick,

the manual says that these additional information are written on the tape simultaneously with the image and audio.
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Old December 25th, 2002, 09:45 AM   #12
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can you please ellaborate on shooting dvcam on minidv tapes?

what does this mean in practical terms? SMPTE timecode?

as you can see, i'm about to by a supply of tapes for use with my pd150. i'll be shooting documentaries to be edited on either my own pc based editing system (avid dv) or at my universities editing rooms. they use an avid system (not dvxpress).

my concerns are image quality and compatable timecode that won't make editing a drag. price is a concern too of course, but quality (as best as it can get on dv) and compatable time code are minimal requirements.

tape durability, isn't too big of an issue, since i'll probably won't be running the tape back and forth too much, i'll just capture it all in one take and cut it up on my editing platform. and i think i'll be fine without the memory chip.

what tapes should i buy?
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Old December 26th, 2002, 12:49 PM   #13
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The least expensive Sony DV tape will work. The tape has not idea whether you are recording in the DV or DVCam physical format. Tape resources just emailed me about their new lower Sony tape prices. Well under $5 a tape in packs of 5

As long as you are not shuttling the tape as you would in a linear editing system, the advantages of DVCam over DV are usually not enough to merit recording in DVCam.
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