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


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Old May 20th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #1
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The VX high-res side-screen

We've all pretty much bemoaned the low res side-screen fitted to our VX/PD
cameras. It's ok, but I've always considered that the camera itself was
worthy of more.

Just today though I've realised that the resolution of the screen is really
a lot better than I'd thought. I've been asked to transfer a lot of
professionally shot DVCAM tapes onto Mini DV SP, so I simply fire-wired
together my DSR-11 and VX2000.

The DVCAM tapes are dress rehearsals for some TV film I guess. Beautifully
lit, and shot with zooms that start WIDE and crash zoom to amazing
telephoto, with differential focus at seemingly any focal length.

And my VX2k's side-screen has never looked better. In 16:9 of course, but
the smoothness and detail present makes me realise that maybe, just maybe,
there are better cameras out there than my little favourite.

tom.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Funny.... 4 years ago when I first got my VX-2000 I went out and filmed lots of outdoor footage in 16:9, marveling at how great it looked on the side screen. Then when I got home and watched on a 16:9 monitor, boy was I disappointed! That was a quick education in how something can look really nice on that little low res screen but look very soft on a real monitor.

The LCD screen on the Z1 and FX1 is really the best I've seen so far. When you take the native 16:9 form factor and higher pixel count there's really no comparison to the VX-2000. And the transreflective LCD looks great in full sun also. Actually I think the VX-2100 has a transreflective LCD panel as well (although the same size and resolution as the VX-2000). This is a really helpful feature which people rarely comment on when comparing cameras. At the Texas shootout I showed the Z1's transreflective screen to a few people when we were out in the sun and they were surprised at just how good it looked.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 01:36 AM   #3
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I agree Boyd. I bought this Z1 and simply assumed I'd have to Hoodman the side-screen as I've done for many years on the TRV900 and VX2000. Although the Z1's screen is 16:9 the aspect ratio of the rectangle that contains it is 4:3, so a 4:3 Hoodman fits nicely.

But why bother? The Z1's screen is simply amazing and simply doesn't need one, even out in the sunlight as you point out.

There are times when a Hoodman's nice though. It means the images I'm capturing are seen only by me (on axis with it) and not by every inquisitive wedding guest who wants to see what I'm pointing the lens at.

Why should that bother me? Simply because to lock the auto-focus to a person I'm picking out in full telephoto means I invariable compose at 'chest height', then when the auto-focus has got the message, I pan up to get face that I'm really after. And ladies kitted out in their wedding attire often mean that I collect (unintentionally, I assure you) a great deal of cleavages.

Ho-hum. Someone's got to do this job.

tom.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 07:51 AM   #4
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Tom.

You may find, the DVCAM material, although dubbed to the camcorder which is running as MiniDV, may still be encoded as DVCAM and may not play on MiniDV machines which do not support DVCAM playback.

I may also be talking through the proverbial as to the technical reason --- but it is a problem I have run into.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 09:54 AM   #5
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Good point Bob. The Mini DV tapes I've made (DSR-11 > VX2000) play back well in that camera. But when I play the tapes back in my three chip Panasonic they don't show up letterboxed on the side-screen ~ they're all vertically stretched. Haven't plugged that Panny into my 16:9 TV, but is this what you meant?

tom.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 10:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Good point Bob. The Mini DV tapes I've made (DSR-11 > VX2000) play back well in that camera. But when I play the tapes back in my three chip Panasonic they don't show up letterboxed on the side-screen ~ they're all vertically stretched. Haven't plugged that Panny into my 16:9 TV, but is this what you meant?

tom.
No Tom, I believe Bob was cautioning that the tapes might not playback at all on non DVCAM capable decks. What you are describing is simply a limitation of your Panny LCD. There's no change to the resolution in 16:9, only a change in the horizontal pixel aspect ratio. If a monitor doesn't recognize this, it simply displays the 720x480(or 576 PAL) image in a horizontally squished fashion. If played back on a device which recognizes or is able to be told about anamorphic footage, it will display properly letterboxed on a 4:3 screen.

-gb-
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Old May 21st, 2006, 10:33 AM   #7
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Thanks for your input Greg. But although I've done a simple file transfer from a DVCAM tape in the DSR-11, I've recorded it in the DV SP mode in the VX2000, so it's not now DVCAM, it's DVSP (with all the same A/V qualities of course).
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Old May 21st, 2006, 12:22 PM   #8
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I suspect Bob and Greg were thinking of this recent thread where someone reported that their FX1 somehow switched into DVCAM recording mode...

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=67114
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 12:58 AM   #9
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Boyd - do you have an amazing photographic memory for the links you post, or do you keep detailed lists day2day?
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:22 AM   #10
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Heh, I don't have either! But I usually can remember a few keywords and the forum where something was posted, so a little search will point me in the right direction :-)
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