PD150/170 users: when are you moving to HD? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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


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Old July 1st, 2007, 02:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Richard Zlamany View Post
However, I wonder if buying Sony DSR-400L 2/3" 3-CCD Professional DVCAM Camcorder with 920 lines of resolution would look better than HD
Regardless of the sensor resolution, you will be limited by the 720x480 maximum resolution of the DV format as compared to HDV's 1440x1080...
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Old July 1st, 2007, 02:16 PM   #32
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Interesting to know. Thanks for the clarity.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 02:46 AM   #33
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Well, here's my four pennies worth...

I shoot mainly DVCAM with a DSR-450 and DSR-250s. Until last week, I had a PD150 on a steadicam JR, and decided to upgrade to a Z1 on a merlin.

The Z1 is a much better camera than the PD - why? - well the ergonomics are much better with dedicated buttons or switches for all manual functions. Whilst not as flexible as the DSR-450, the switches are generally in the right place, and the "personal menu" function certainly minimises the usual menu trawl common to most small cams.

The LCD panel is far higher quality than the PD (or the DSR-450 for that matter!) and the native 16:9 ability is much better than the pseudo-mode on the PD150/DSR-250 - useful as most of my stuff is now delivered 16:9 SD. The footage from the Z1 cuts together much better with the 450 as well, the baility to tweak white balanmce also helps to match shots "in-camera" with less need for grading in post.

The Z1 is not as good as the PD in low light, but seems to be more forgiving of gain which compensates somewhat. Most of my shoots

You'll notice that so far there's been no mention of HD... The Z1 is my first dip into the HD market as no clients are asking for it at the moment. I'm really waiting to see whether XDCAM truly succeeds DVCAM as the lower "pro" format before committing to it, so the Z1 gives me a chance to play with HDV without losing SD compatability.

So, in summary, the Z1 is better in use than the 150 and certainly less future-proof - I would recommend the upgrade!

Hope this helps
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 03:38 AM   #34
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I agree whole-heartidly with everything you say about the 150 and the Z1 Graham - but didn't you mean to say the Z1 is more future proof?

Sounds like you too have two assign buttons given over to incremental white-balance control. I find this so very useful (missing on the FX1) and it allows me to stay in the daylight white bal setting all the time, but just fine tune it as the light changes.

And strangely enough, if I push Assign button 5 five times (easy to remember), I find I'm at the manual artificial w/bal setting. I'm kept aware of what setting I'm in by the on-screen display, and I really feel some photographer had input on this one in the R & D at Sony. Excellent.

tom.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 12:22 PM   #35
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There seems to be two minds on this one. On one side, we have the people who tout the improved 16x9, manual control and such of the Z1 or whichever new HDV cam they have bought. Then, they say, there is also the bonus that you can shoot in HDV if needed, or to just future proof your shooting. All of these are valid reasons.

On the other side, you have people like me. I have received absolutely zero interest in HD from my clients. Also, when I upgrade I will need to upgrade my computer, disk drives, buy a new deck, figure out some way to monitor HDV (as my current setup of computer-firewire- DSR-11 deck - JVC NTSC monitor won't work.) I'm a Mac shop, so there is also the fact that there is no inexpensive way to deliver to clients in HD yet (still waiting for an HD-DVD/Blueray DVD burning drive). All this will be expensive....and I am not going to upgrade all this only to charge clients the same rate as I did in SD editing. It just doesn't make business sense to me. "Fine, but why not buy the Z1 and shoot DVCAM for now and have the option of HDV later?" Sounds valid on the surface....BUT doesn't work for me for the following reason. When I buy a camera, I need it last for a long time (I bought my PD-150 in 2000 and it's still going strong)....when I say last for a long time, I mean the FORMAT and such lasting for a long time. MiniDV is still accepted widely....will HDV be in 5 years? Probably, but I really don't know. My personal philosophy on this, is to wait as long as possible to let some of the HD standards, and formats sort themselves out. I am not getting demand for HD now so no reason to buy. I am hoping that by the time I do get some demand, there will be more of a clear picture on where the low end of the HD market is headed. At the very least, I should be able to buy far more of an HD camera for the same money, than I would if I jumped in now....for an example look at the Sony EX cinealta cam...that one is tempting me greatly. So my personal philosophy is to wait as long as possible,......then buy the biggest and best you can afford to make it last as long as possible.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:20 AM   #36
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Tom - yes - I would agree the Z1 provides a degree of future proofing. I think the UK is still a way behind the states on HD - perhaps because PAL SD has better resolution than NTSC SD? I think for the wedding guys this will be great because you can offer SD versions on DVD now and offer "remastered" HD versions later.

Gabe - I take your points - I also have no clients demanding HD at the moment so made the decision to upgrade based on the 16:9 ability of the Z1 and the fact the footage cuts together with my DSR-450 better.

I guess it's horses for courses - most people, whether they've upgraded or not, will defend their decision!

The PD-150 is a fine camera and still has plenty of life in it - I just find the Z1 more usable in SD mode...

I think HD formats will change a bit over the next few years, with XDCAM and HDV both featuring strongly - I agree that the EX range looks interesting, but still probably a long way off? I notice that a DSR-250 HDV replacement using full sized tapes was announced at NAB.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:42 PM   #37
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Graham....

I wasn't saying you were wrong by any means. The fact that you are able to afford a 450 as well as a Z1 puts you in a different class than me right there. You have a business that obviously can make more money and afford to get new cameras more often. The Z1 is a great camera, a friend of mine has one and let me play with it, and I really liked it. My point was only, that for some of us.....it just doesn't make business sense. For others it does. I am one of the people that waits as long as possible to upgrade (I try not to get caught up in the manufacturers ploy of getting us to upgrade every year....I have a old 1.5ghz G4 Mac and Final Cut Pro 4.5 for goodness sakes). I also don't believe in credit and pay cash for everything, so I need to actually be able to come up with real money for anything I want to buy. So no disrespect intended to your choice....I'm sure that you made the right choice for you and your situation.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 04:29 PM   #38
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If my PD-150 gets run over by a truck tomorrow, sure, I'll probably replace it with a V1u or maybe an XDCAM EX.

But, seeing as my 7-year old PD is still going strong, (and earning me money!) I will upgrade only after:
- a client asks me to produce something in HD;
- a film festival rejects one of my works because it isn't in HD; OR
- customers start asking to buy one of my original works in Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.

So far, none of these things have come to pass.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 04:36 PM   #39
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I can understand that no-one has asked for an HD film from you, but surely they're simply *assuming* that it will be shot in 16:9 these days? If that's not so where you live, it's most certainly so here in the UK.

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Old July 3rd, 2007, 07:46 PM   #40
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Nope, no one's asked me for 16:9. Everyone's been happy with 4:3 on this side of the pond.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #41
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Nope, no one's asked me for 16:9. Everyone's been happy with 4:3 on this side of the pond.
In Belgium I saw a clear switch from 4:3 to 16:9 between 2005 and 2006. In 2005 80% of my clients had a "plain" 4:3 screen, in 2006 only 50% with 4:3 and this year 90% of my clients have 16:9.
Acually stores don"t sell 4:3 screens anymore, it's all 16:9 since this year.

Untill now not one client has asked for hd material though, I am still working with sd (Sony vx2100 and a pana dvx100b) and nobodies complaining so far. I must say that these big widescreen lcd's which I see more and more when I visit my clients have a big difference in image quality. Some time ago I saw some of my demo footage on a bigscreen fujitsu and it looked awfull, it looked like images from a vhs tape and yesterday again a lcd bigscreen from jvc and I was surprised how nice it looked, the tv produced sharp images and nice looking colours, only the image was somewhat distorted because the tv seem to have problems getting the right aspect ratio.

Most people here don"t even know what hd is actually, that's why i'm still waiting for an upgrade to hd, normally I was planning to go to hd by the end of this year but I'm not sure about that anymore. I expect a real change by the ending of next year. The prizes of blue ray recorders will continue to drop, people will have playstations 3 with the blue ray player and xboxes whith hd dvd's.

I'm also a bit concerned what the future wil bring, especially with all those different formats, people with blue ray, hd dvd and regular dvd players. Imagine having to sell 100 copies of a recording to 100 different customers, you have to ask in advance what type of recorder they all have.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 01:45 AM   #42
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Noa, your take on the 16:9 switchover in Belgium sounds to be very like here in the UK, and any TV shop will have 95% of sets on sale being 16:9 with only the smallest portables 4:3 now.

What you didn't explain was how you use your DVX and 2100 though. If all your clients are watching on 16:9 displays, surely you're not making them 4:3 program material? If you are, then that's the best way of ensuring it'll be squashed, stretched and distorted every which way.

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Old July 5th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #43
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Plain old 4x3 here too with no one asking for 16x9. I actually prefer the 16x9 ratio but until I get asked for it....

I wonder if most places here in the US are still using 4x3 or if it is just because I am in a more 'rural' area than most...?
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Old July 5th, 2007, 03:17 AM   #44
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What you didn't explain was how you use your DVX and 2100 though. If all your clients are watching on 16:9 displays, surely you're not making them 4:3 program material? If you are, then that's the best way of ensuring it'll be squashed, stretched and distorted every which way.
With the sony I just use the letterbox option in the camera and for the dvx the squeeze option as that works best on 16:9 tv's. In premiere pro (1.5) I allways set the project settings to 16:9 pal widescreen and every tv I have seen my footage on has the possibility to change aspect ratio so it's displayed correctly. There is just a rare case were it's not 100% correct like the Jvc bigscreen I saw my footage on, this one stretched the image horizontally on the left and right side of the screen and in the centre it compressed the image horizontally. It actually looked real strange but the customer seem to be used to it because they thought it was normal eventhough I pointed out the "problem".

I do notice a quality drop when I letterbox because you loose some pixels anyway and your image gets stretched, with my older 4:3 recordings the image looked noticably sharper on a big screen.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #45
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I've seen a lot of 16:9 TV sets here in the U.S., but almost all of them are showing stretched and squashed 4:3 material. Looks awful!
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