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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 27th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #1
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VX 1000 Opinions please?

Hey there. I'm about 48 hours away from purchasing the following as my first camera. I was wondering if I could have some of your opinions on this equipment. The price is within my budget and I trust the fellow I'm purchasing the equipment from it's just that it's my first purchase so I'm digging up as many opinions as possible. Thanks a lot in advance.

Sony VX1000 Mini DV Camera in good shape
Portabrace rain cover
battery/charger and AC adapter
large long life battery and charger
matte box and assorted 3X3 Tiffen filters
wide anglelens
low shot tripod and fluid head
portable LCD monitor
all cables and carry bag.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 08:26 PM   #2
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Great camera in its day. Improved by VX2000 and 2100, and PD pro version 150 and 170. So you need to tell us what its to be used as, and some guys on the site will have knowledge of any potential problems with this older version. Price is something of an issue too, so we can't tell you if you are getting a good deal, if you don't divulge that. Do you know history of camera.?
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Old April 27th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Great camera in its day. Improved by VX2000 and 2100, and PD pro version 150 and 170. So you need to tell us what its to be used as, and some guys on the site will have knowledge of any potential problems with this older version. Price is something of an issue too, so we can't tell you if you are getting a good deal, if you don't divulge that. Do you know history of camera.?
First off, price, I'm getting the camera and the accessories for 1200 cdn...about $45 US. ;)

I'm using it for a trip to Latin America. I'll be driving from Vancouver BC to Central America and documenting the trip. Sort of like an in depth Lonely Planet guide so the camera will be used for everything from wildlife to architecture, scenic shots to interviews. A general all purpose camera. I know that the newer cameras are much nicer but for starters, how do you think this will work?

Do I know history of cameras...nope. I'm hoping my lack of knowledge will help me to overlook some of the problems there might be with an older camera. :) What he doesn't know....
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Old April 27th, 2006, 09:57 PM   #4
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Well, of course camera condition is the primary factor. But with the rest of the gear, assuming in decent shape, you won't get hurt to bad. Wide angle adapter, if a good one, would be worth about $250.00 plus, lcd screen not sure, tripod with fluid head-- again dependent on brand. Matt box also a plus. I have the VX2000, but VX1000 was highly rated in days before it came along. I don't think they did much with the lens and the chips between the 1000 and now.

Always, the risk is the wear that might be on it. With someone who bought all the gear to go with it, you would assume pretty good care, but on the other hand, with all that gear, it could have been used a lot.

As far as going another direction --a new camera-- if I was spending around that $1200, I'd consider Sony HC1, if you can still find one. The HDV for the trip would be fantastic, and if you can't edit in HDV now, you can still down convert to edit regular DV. It's 16:9 native. Probably less low light capability, but otherwise will probably produce as good a picture in DV, and would be less bulky to haul around on your trip.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #5
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I still have and occassionaly use my first VX1000 that I bought in either late 95 or early 96 (can't remember exactly ) and it works like a champ. External audio jack is kinda staticy now but other than that it works just fine. Not worth much in terms of dollars thats why I don't get rid of it and for "dangerous" arenas (water-rough housing with the grandkids) it great-if it craps out not a hugh loss and to top it off the image quality is still pretty darn nice. Not as good as the PD150s or the JVC5000 but good for what the camera is.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
I still have and occassionaly use my first VX1000 that I bought in either late 95 or early 96 (can't remember exactly ) and it works like a champ. External audio jack is kinda staticy now but other than that it works just fine. Not worth much in terms of dollars thats why I don't get rid of it and for "dangerous" arenas (water-rough housing with the grandkids) it great-if it craps out not a hugh loss and to top it off the image quality is still pretty darn nice. Not as good as the PD150s or the JVC5000 but good for what the camera is.
Don
You make a good point here...it's not worth a lot in terms of dollars. I'm going to be in some rough areas and if I happen to get robbed then it'll be an inconvenience more than anything. I won't be out thousands of dollars in gear.

I'm glad that most of you consider this a pretty decent little camera. Others have told me that it's a nice workhorse and with the equipment that's coming with it I'm pretty happy as well. I'm sure it'll be fine, I just need to start shooting and editing and learning.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #7
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I've got two VX1ks that I've had since 97. Don't use them much anymore, but when I do they still perform great. Sounds like a good choice for the use you described. You only have one choice of battery size for the internal battery compartment (NP-F730, I think) so you can't use the longer life 960 batteries that are popular with later models (VX2k or PD150/170) and the correct batteries have a groove along each side that lets them fit into the battery compartment. Best of luck!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 02:12 AM   #8
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VX1000/Raynox HD6600: some thoughts

You've probably already got your VX1000 but here's something I wrote last month before seeing your post:

VX1000/Raynox HD6600: some thoughts

I've just bought a VX1000. I've had it about a month and I've used it every day as I've beeen off work and thought I'd do a mini review. I realise there's loads of other reviews out there and the VX1000 is old in the tooth but someone may find this one useful.

Firstly, I have a problem with my right (dominant) hand/arm. It's RSI related (Trigger Finger) and goes from my finger tips through my bicep to my neck. This limits my grip and what I can hold and for how long. On a bad day I can't hold a paperback book without significant pain. Other days I'm far better than that. I was thinking of getting a VX2100 but when I saw the weight was 2KG without accessories I thought that was maybe too much. I tried holding a 2KG weight and got instant pain in my bicep. That plus several other factors (ie money) and I got the VX1000 on a spur of the moment thing. It's 1.5KG bare. I've added a wide angle lens (Raynox HD6600), lens hood and, of course, battery. The weight is nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Perhaps because it's spread out I find the VX1000 easy to hold. It seems well balanced, slightly back weighted. I love the handle on the top. I never use the side strap. I have various grips. My default one is to hold the handle with my left hand taking the weight and support the underside of the cam with my right. Another is to hold the cam in both hands - one either side - with my thumbs on top of it and the rest of my fingers underneath. I'm amazed I can hold it at all.

I'm not a technophobe by any means but I do find anything more technical than a toothbrush hard to work out. The VX1000 was easy to fathom out. In fact there's not much fathoming needed. I downloaded some info from the net and had the official manual but I didn't need either. The most "complex" thing is the loading. I should have the manual before doing that. I thought I'd done it wrong. It's a slow, automatic, clunky loading system. You press a button down, the tape drawer clunks open, put the tape in facing you and half shut the door, the mechanism whirrs slowly and goes through its stop-start processes. You can then shut the door fully. It's a solid enough, if slow, process.

The rest of the camera was intuitive. I'm shooting mostly in autofocus and AE. I've seen the autofocus described as slow. I've found it to be quick and failsafe in all but the usual situations that give problems - low light and what I call "edges" eg you want to focus on a rack of books but one is slightly more forward than the others and the camera focuses on that one leaving the others out of focus. The light has to be really low to get the camera hunting.

Which brings me its low light ability. I did lots of research and thought the low light would be quite poor. I think you guys have been spoilt. I think the VX1000 is excellent in low light. Mind you the last cam I used was a Panasonic VHS-C in the mid 90's! I've been filming mostly indoors and during the day with natural window light there's no issue. Even in my living room at night with only 1 x 100W bulb (in a 6 ft stand, pointed at ceiling) and the cam set at 6db there's no light issue close to the light source. Furthest away from the light source it does become an issue. Subjects are too dark; detail and colour is lost and grain increases unacceptably. The grain has been blended in quite well. I wouldn't shoot in that though. I never go above 6db.

I've not edited anything. But I've transferred footage direct from cam to dvd using phono leads. Then played it back on my cheap/old 250 TV and 35 dvd player. In good light (no more than 6db) the footage looks excellent. No-one would complain about it. Of course now I'm thinking to myself, "How good must the VX2100 look in low light ". And I'm wondering if the extra 0.5KG weight is within me.

The AE mode is good for everything I shoot in. I've used manual just to try it but the auto AE results are as good so I stay there. The auto white balance is good also. I've manually white balanced just to check it works but as I don't used mixed light sources I've stuck to the auto. Both the auto balance/exposure buttons are on the back of the cam and easily accesssible.

I like the fade to black button on the front left (near underside). The only things I don't like are the start button on top of the cam which i personally find hard to press which is a shame as it could be quite handy; the battery only gives 50 mins recording which is pitiful but I know batteries are an issue with everything; having to open the door on the cam back to access the menu isn't ideal either but as I only use it to activate zebra stripes and remove digital zoom it's ok for me. Overall, then, you can see I'm a big fan of the cam.

I bought the Raynox HD6600 as I couldn't afford the Century Optics death lens and didn't think it was worth paying $700 for it ( the same as I paid for the cam). Nor did I think I needed a 0.3x lens. Nor do I know how long the VX1000 will last.The Raynox is advertised as producing straight lines - no curved lines typical of wide angle lenses - and does. Curves wouldn't have bothered me, though. In fact I'd like some. They look quite arty. I was also impressed with the quality. I can't tell any difference in picture quality, on playback, with the 6600 attached. It's now permanently on my cam. There's very slight vignetting at the widest end top/bottom right . On TV playback you can just about see it. You just touch the zoom a tad to remove it totally. With the lens cover on, however, there's huge vignetting. You must zoom in significantly to get rid of it. I was disappointed with the angle of view but that's my fault. 0.66x isn't enough for me. I'll go for the 0.3x next time. There's an excellent thread here http://forums.skateperception.com/in...howtopic=14326 on modifying a Raynox 3000 to widen it. The thread was started 2/2/05 and is still active. It's a step by step "how to" and has before and after photos. It's worth reading just to see how enthusiastic these guys are. Some of them used glue to fix the lens in, one guy used blue tack, one used tissue paper, one used nothing and it fell out! I like their attitude.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #9
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Hi Anthony,

I did purchase it and took it on a VW cruise last weekend. Problem was the guy that was coming with me to operate it bailed so I let someone else point and shoot. The ride was good I just now have to figure out how to get the video from the camera to my computer. I don't have any firewire port. :( I'm looking for a mac as we speak though so hopefully something will turn up soon.

Thanks for the article. I feel content about my purchase. I just need to have the camera serviced somewhere. There seems to be some dust on the lens and elsewhere.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #10
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A firewire PCI card is about $30 US. Assuming your computer has a free slot, easy to install.

The VX1000 is still a great cam, but in low light it's really not much better than a $300 Samsung. Do yourself a favo(u)r and get the Sony 30W twin-lamp light. Uses standard Sony batteries, is bright enough for almost any situation.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 01:59 AM   #11
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One thing I forgot to mention was this link http://videoelectronics.org/ for Video Electronics who do VX1000 repairs in US. They have their own sub forum here
http://forums.skateperception.com/in...p?showforum=56
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