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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 12th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #1
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VX2100 vs. GL2, convince me

Which one? I know the VX2100 is better in low light but they seem pretty similair. VX has bigger CCD's but less pixels per CCD, GL2 has slightly smaller ones, but more pixels. Same 58mm lens size for accessories, VX is a little more expensive. Who can convince me on one or the other?

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Old August 12th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #2
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why do you need convincing? Just choose the right tool!

Are you going to shoot in low light?
Answer is then VX2100. It is so much better than a G2.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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Well, I've used a GL2 once or twice, and I own a VX2100. I can tell you the GL2 and Sony look both almost the same in well lit shots, where the Sony blows the GL2 away in low-lit situations. The Sony CCDs have a 1 lux sensitivity, so they can handle 1 lux with no gain, but the Canon's are 6 lux. Also, you're right about the CCD size, the Sony's are bigger and I didn't realize that when I was looking into these cams, but honestly, in a well lit scene, they are both excellent looking cams, very clear picture.

I haven't used the GL2 too much to say, but I think the Sony has a "softer" feel to the image... not blurry, jsut different than the canon which can be adjusted in the custom preset mode. The colors also seem sorta red or blue when compared to the GL2. I think the GL2 looks a little green/yellow, but some say it looks red.

So far, I've been extremely happy with the VX2100, but you only get 12x optical zoom on the Sony, and the Canon has 20x. It hasn't bothered me too much, but there are times I could have used the 20x over Sony's 12x.

It's hard to convince you to buy one or the other because I don't know what videos you're trying to shoot with it? I'll be glad to send you some videos if you want to see the VX2100 in different lighting conditions, just send me an email.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #4
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1. 1/3" chip in Sony v. 1/4 " in Canon= better low light performance.

2. Sony is more ruggedly built in my opinion.

3. On this board there have been continuous reports of tape malfunction problems associated with a common error message. I know nothing about it.

I would love it if the Sony had 20x, but I compromised and got a 1.7 teleextender.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #5
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Don't mean to be an agitator, but aren't you going to get mostly pro-Sony opinions in the VX2100 forum? :)

That being the case, here's my argument for the GL2.

I've never used a VX2100, I have to admit. But it looks like the audio controls on the GL2 are WAY better. I've also heard several complaints about the white balance controls on the Sony, and WB is beyond crucial. As for the lack of low-light performance as compared to the Sony, turn on some lights fer chrissakes. I know that doesn't work for everyone, but if you're shooting narrative or documentary work where you have the option of controlling your lighting (you will always want to do so if at all possible, no matter what camera you have), low-light performance is a complete non-issue. If you're shooting events primarily, however, maybe low-light performance will make a difference to you. To me, it means absolutely zero.

The GL2's chips are smaller, it's true. However, there are many more pixels in that smaller area, which means you get a more detailed image.

Canon's lenses are unbeatable. It goes beyond the zoom range--it's just better glass.

Sorry if I've offended any Sony partisans by chiming in here, but I thought Kyle might have a hard time hearing both sides here.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #6
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Jarrod, you provide an interesting viewpoint. While I love my Sony, I also love my XL1s (soon to be XL2) and actually prefer to use it over the Sony.

I can agree with you on the white balance controls, I absolutely despise of the Sony's white balance. I'm not sure of the GL2, but on my XL1s having the 3 custom preset white balance settings is great for doing weding work because you can have one inside, one outside, and one extra for those church interiors that sometimes have flourescent lighting.

I wouldn't give my VX2100 for anything though. One recent wedding I did, I had a rehearsal dinner that was outside in the dark. I was prepared with a light, but right before I started shooting the light simply refused to come on! I panicked and got the bride and groom to face some lights that were far off. Now to the naked eye it looked too dark, but with the VX2100, although I had to use 12db of gain, the picture is very much viewable, and the bride and groom were extremely satisfied overall with their video, despite the grainy video for their rehearsal dinner segment.

If I were you I would see if you could go and try the cameras out for yourself. As in my other post, I'll be glad to give you a couple of sample clips, and I'm sure some happy GL2 owners would do the same. Go try out the cameras... rent them, find a friend, whatever. I actually had the opportunity to use the VX2000 for about a week from a friend before I decided on the 2100.

I also agree with Jarrod on the lenses. Sony does have the rivaled Carl Zeiss lens, which I've never used, but unfortunately it's not on the VX2100. At full zoom the Sony has a good amount of the purple fringing, but only in the worst situations. I had a VX2100 at full 12x zoom, shooting a dark subject, while there was a person's brightly lit white sleeve in the very edge of the shot. Terrible fringing, but it's normally not noticable.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I love my Sony, it makes a great addition to anyone's toolkit, more so if you shoot live unscripted, uncontrolled events like I mainly do. Even at full auto mode, the VX2100 makes a very pretty picture.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #7
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You don't see the networks with Canons out in the field. If its not a shoulder-mount camera, its a Sony 150 or 170. This includes the military in a good many places.

I like the GL picture a bit better but it just isn't rugged enough to be an all-around camera for commercial work.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Rehmus
I like the GL picture a bit better but it just isn't rugged enough to be an all-around camera for commercial work.
I can't speak for the GL2 in that regard, because I haven't used it too awfully much. But my GL1 has seen thousands upon thousands of hours of use in sometimes very difficult situations. I teach a lot of production workshops with kids, and when I'm not looking, they'll poke and prod the camera. I've used it in smoky, dusty apartments. I've used it in extremely humid Southern summer heat for hours on end. I've used it in freezing weather. I've hung it out out the window of a moving car doing 40mph. I've dangled it low to the ground while riding a bicycle. It's about seven years old, and has taken everything I've thrown at it, and has served me well.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 03:52 AM   #9
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Mike R nails it - the Sony is the camera of choice out in the killing fields.

But for me the bigger chips and faster lens mean much better dof control. The Info Lithiums are the envy of the camcorder world, the zoom ring is a delight and as has been said above, the low light performance is unmatched until you tripple the asking price.

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Old August 14th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #10
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I've owned a GL2 and a PD170 and I've used a VX2000 on a number of occassions. As much as I loved the quality of the video I shot with my GL2, that love didn't extend to the camera itself. For me, the build quality of the camera just wasn't there. I knew when I took it out of the box for the first time that it wasn't built well (before I had ever seen a Sony). Unfortunately, my gut feeling was right and I ended up sending it in 3 times under warranty for repair due to various circuit board and tape transport problems. The same stuff talked about in the GL2 forums. I bought a PD170 and never looked back. The VX and PD series represent a whole different level of construction and reliability from the GL2. As people have already mentioned, that's why they're the camera of choice in the field.

To make things even more interesting it appears from the pictures that the A1 and G1 share a similar construction to the GL2. It's a lot easier to put a bullet proof transport in a $9000 camera (H1). I'm interested to see how robust and reliable these cameras will be versus the Z1.

John
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