Action Shot w/VX2100 "Progressive" Shutter at

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old September 4th, 2006, 04:54 AM   #1
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Action Shot w/VX2100 "Progressive" Shutter

This still shot of a Black-tailed Deer bounding in front of a flock of Taverner's Geese, was captured on my VX2100's MemoryStick. The mechanical "progressive effect" shutter is very fast in still mode, allowing for blur-free digital photos with this camera. The camera also shifts to its progressive scan mode when directly capturing still images. This automatic still mode shift to progressive scan is not discussed in the manual, but you can detect it by watching the flickering of the image in the viewfinder, when panning. It doesn't flicker like this, when it's doing an interlaced scan, while in video mode. The mechanical shutter doesn't operate in video mode. The progressive scan in video mode is only 15FPS (NTSC model) and 12.5FPS (PAL model).

The combination of the fast mechanical shutter and the progressive scan, allows for very good action shots, once you learn how to work it properly.
The pixel-size is only 640 X 480, of course, but I haven't seen any camera that takes better stills at this level. The storage size of this and other typical stills from this model is 170kb. My 128Mb MemoryStick holds about 660 images. You can internally transfer video-capture stills onto the camera card from videotape, but they won't have the advantages given by the mechanical shutter. It would be interesting to see the benefits of such a shutter and progressive scan for still images, if they existed on one of the camcorders that has MegaPixel CCDs or with an HD model.

Note: I was intending to shoot a picture of the geese only and when I examined my photos later, the deer appeared, unseen by me when I clicked the shutter. Also, I was using autofocus, which had adjusted to the geese. But, in the instant after the deer bounded into the frame, the autofocus had already adjusted to it and made the focus on the geese slightly fuzzy.
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Action Shot w/VX2100 "Progressive" Shutter-dsc00114.jpg  

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; September 4th, 2006 at 06:32 PM.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #2
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Nice shot Stephen.
The VX/PD may shoot lowly pixel numbers, but the combination of fast and long zoom, very sharp lens and three HAD chips mean stills look better than they have any right to.

I often used my VX2k as a motor dtive still camera, that way I shoot 12.5 fps to tape, each frame at 720 x 576. Forget the ND filters, up the shutter speed to 1/600th sec or so and venture forth shooting at around f/4.

I've got shots of divers and swimmers that capture peak of the action with ease, shots that I certainly couldn't get with my sophisticated 3 fps SLR.

Photos (as you've proved) are much more to do with timing and composition than ever they are to do with pixel count.

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