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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 25th, 2003, 01:17 AM   #1
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Black & white viewfinder benefits?

Are there any important benefits to having a b&w viewfinder apposed to a color vf like the vx2000?
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Old February 25th, 2003, 02:37 AM   #2
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Yes. Principally, accuracy of critical focus. A monochrome crt viewfinder is a higher display resolution than any lcd color viewfinder. B&W finders also generally show the entire video frame (I'm not certain that the PD150's does, but I suspect it does.)

All professional cameras use b&w crt viewfinders.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 02:17 PM   #3
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The 150/2000 viewfinders do not show 100% of the recorded signal.

Dumb when you think about it given that video projectors and computer monitors show the entire frame.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 05:17 PM   #4
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The main thing I like better with B&W viewfinders is that it's easier to focus. So the larger and sharper the viewfinder, the more useful it is for me. The nice, 180K viewfinder of the MX300 is one of the reasons I like the MX300 / MX3000 so much. Also, a high pixel, 2.5" LCD I find is also very handy. The larger the LCD, the less sharp it seems. I don't know why so many cams have small, low rez viewfinders---certainly not in the videographer's best intererest. I guess cutting corners is the name of the game.
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Old February 27th, 2003, 10:40 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Tanaka : Yes. Principally, accuracy of critical focus. A monochrome crt viewfinder is a higher display resolution than any lcd color viewfinder.

According to the specs, the black and white finder on the PD-150 is an LCD with the exact same pixel count as the color finder on the VX-2000 (180,000 as I recall). The flip-out LCD screens on both cameras are the same and are higher resolution either of the viewfinders....
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Old February 27th, 2003, 10:51 AM   #6
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Really?! I had no idea the PD150's "b&w" viewfinder was simply a monochrome LCD display! I assumed it was a CRT like that of the (optional) XL1s viewfinder. What a silly feature.

Well, since the PD150's b&w viewfinder is a fake my comments regarding CRT b&w viewfinders above do not apply to the PD150.
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Old February 27th, 2003, 11:25 AM   #7
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The single biggest advantage I like about a B&W viewfinder over a color viewfinder is the ability to see contrast much more clearly in B&W. Color values are too easy to overlook and not really realize the tonal range, with black and white these are much easier to see for composition and lighting work.
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Old February 27th, 2003, 12:13 PM   #8
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Contrast is one benefit, but B & W CRT's are much higher resolution than LCDs, as Ken says. Resolution can be as high as 700 lines. So between the better contast and higher resolution it is easier to focus than color LCD's.
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Old February 27th, 2003, 12:40 PM   #9
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BTW, I regret my use of the word "silly" in my previous post. "Odd" would have been more appropriate. The b&w LCD viewfinder delivers half of the advantages of a CRT; that of contrast (perception) normalization.

Since I'm just finishing a review of the b&w CRT viewfinder for the XL1s i guess I'm just a bit too close to the subject right now <g>. Mea culpa.
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