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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 05:07 PM   #1
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VX2100 best settings

What are the VX2100 best settings?
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 06:34 PM   #2
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For what purpose ??:

Most of time I shoot my VX2000, on manual at 1/60, adjusting exposure by, NDs, and exposure dial. Try not to go too deep with gain which kicks in after full open on the exposure dial. I adjust preset color one.or two up I think, leave sharpness where it is, or up just 1. Can't remember what else is on that preset button, haven't touched it in so long...

Camera is really great out of box.

The progressive 15 fps is not much use unless you want that jerky effect.

16:9 is not true 16:9 in the sense that resolution is decreased to make the 16:9 effect. Still give a decent 16:9 output, but it won't be confused with true 16:9.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #3
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I want the best colour, but the VX2100 does't got 24P :<
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Old March 17th, 2007, 08:09 PM   #4
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Go into custom presets. Located behind the handle.

Sharpness 75%
Color Saturation two clicks to the left
AGC 6db
AND..ALWAYS manually white balance under low light.

Make sure the EVF states CP when you leave the menu....ON.

Good luck.

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Originally Posted by Ruwan Heggelman View Post
I want the best colour, but the VX2100 does't got 24P :<
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Old March 18th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #5
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VX2100 best settings? First off, avoid small apertures. The VX will film at f/16, f/22 and even f/32 if left to its own devices (though the smallest aperture shown in the display is f/11), so always use the switchable ND filters to keep the aperture hovering around f/4. This means switching in ND1 or 2 way before the camera cries out for it. And stick to the default shutter speed, and cancel the 'auto shutter' in the menu.

I agree, upping the sharpness a notch in the custom presets looks good, and as others have said - the more you get right on the day the better your footage will look. Avoid filters unless *absolutely* necessary and use the best, deepest and darkest lens hood you cabn find. Only use lens converters when backed into a corner.

Best quality footage means using enough light to avoid gain up; manually white balancing; ensuring your tripod head isn't introducing the shakes. Remember that any post-production correction of the pure avi signal (even adding a dissolve or colour correction) starts to destroy the cleanliness of the image.

Going 16:9 is also a no-no in the quality stakes, though the aesthetic advantages are considerable. The VX2100 is a wonderful camera with quality 'to spare', so don't take all of the above too literally or your movies will be rock-steady, pin-sharp yawns.

tom.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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I've had the VX2100 for a while now and totally love it. I've found the following helps.

1. Shoot full manual (if not, learn).
2. Shoot 60i with aperture open (no gain or VERY little with ND on) if you want to convert to 24p.
3. Put it into 16:9 (fake mode) take note of where it puts the bars on top and bottom of the LCD. Switch back to normal 4:3 mode. Use those notes as guides for easy convert to 16:9 in post. I cut business cards to that size and taped them with clear tape to the LCD. That way I could flip either top or bottom "guide" to see menu options and such. Also you can get a quick 4:3 view that way. The end 16:9 result looks great and I am pretty anal about that.
4. Play with the sharpness at each shoot, depending on what the project dictates. 75% is nice, but sometimes a softer 40% shot might be nicer.
5. Manual white balance under the conditions you are going to shoot, but like Lou said, do it in the darker lit part of a scene (not the brightest).
6. Turn the "handshake" feature off, period. Learn to shoot steady, get a tripod, steadycam, or put the camera to the right side of your face and use the LCD as your viewfinder (works great!).
7. Test test test and have fun.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Wagner View Post
I've had the VX2100 for a while now and totally love it. I've found the following helps.

1. Shoot full manual (if not, learn).

7. Test test test and have fun.
Are there any good formal books on manual control in general? I've been used to "point and shoot" and it's worked on 1CCD cameras, but I'm guessing I'm really looking for training on aperture, white balance, "ND filters", etc...

My VX2100 is arriving this Thursday and I'm looking forward to working with it. I saw footage where a VX2000 and 1CCD were merged in post for a low-light event and it was literally "night and day". I'm excited to get my hands on the VX2100.

Thanks,
Grant
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Old March 27th, 2007, 08:31 PM   #8
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There is a wealth of info on the VX2100 in DVinfo alone, you will be quite happy with that camera in full manual or even point and shoot. Point and shoot, however, gives you less focus control (among other things). I love the VX and low light performance is simply amazing, believe me, I've been shooting in near pitch black with it for the last 4 months... ND filters are built in and the camera tells you when to use them...
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:15 AM   #9
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I've been using a VX2100 for three years and I have yet to discover all the ideal settings. The reason is, that every shooting situation is different. If I have time, I shoot some preliminary, throwaway footage, experimenting with various settings. I have a 10-inch portable monitor and it gives me accurate playback viewing. However, most often, I leave the sharpness, contrast and color on the neutral or default positions. If I'm shooting flying birds, I always put the shutter on the normal or 1/60 position. If you put it on a higher shutter speed, you get a strobing effect of the fast-moving wings, where human vision causes them to appear to be in several positions at once. In your normal vision, rapid motion is blurred and a fast shutter gives you video that may not be as suitable for viewing. I would use the "sports" mode in the programmed AE selections, only when capturing J-PEG still pictures, as it raises the shutter speed. Be careful about using shutter speed to reduce depth-of-focus, if your subjects are fast moving. Many local news stations have their cameras altered so they can't use anything but 1/60 shutter. Definitely turn off the auto-shutter in the Menu.

For still pictures, it's just the opposite: use the highest shutter speed the available light will support, to eliminate blurring. Actually, I never use anything above 1/1,500, unless the still-picture subject is hummingbirds. When in Memory mode and taking still pictures for storage on a memory card, the VX2100 uses a mechanical shutter and switches to progressive scan. Some people use a high shutter speed for video so they can capture still pictures from the tape later. You really have to decide beforehand whether you want good motion video footage or tapes to use for still captures and set the shutter appropriately. The progressive scan option in the video mode may be best for some still-capture purposes, but for motion video it's worthless, at it uses only 15FPS (NTSC). Still pictures captured later from tape are of limited quality and usually look presentable only when shown on a computer screen at a small size.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald View Post
The progressive scan option in the video mode may be best for some still-capture purposes, but for motion video it's worthless, at it uses only 15FPS (NTSC). Still pictures captured later from tape are of limited quality and usually look presentable only when shown on a computer screen at a small size.
I agree Stephen, the VX is a camera you setup depending on the situation, the beauty of it IMO. I still learn a lot more on it than my newer HD cam. Any still shot from it is horrible looking to me, but it's a video camera...
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Marco Wagner View Post
I agree Stephen, the VX is a camera you setup depending on the situation, the beauty of it IMO. I still learn a lot more on it than my newer HD cam. Any still shot from it is horrible looking to me, but it's a video camera...
I'd like to think I've shot some J-PEG still pictures with my VX2100 that are fairly decent. Here are a couple of them. These are directly written to the MemoryStick from the camera and not captured and re-encoded from tape. There are some others scattered through my Flickr album.
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VX2100 best settings-dsc00017.jpg   VX2100 best settings-dsc00303.jpg  

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Old April 20th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #12
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I'm with J Steven, Marco. When used as a motor-drive still camera the VX is a little gem. 12.5 full resolution frames to tape every second with full stereo sound should you need it.

Keep the NDs off, up the shutter speed and use that 12x zoom. I got the best series of 6" x 4" prints of swimmers and divers in action that I've ever got. The delay between shutter button and exposed chip on my DSLR means I have to predict the future. With the VX2k in progressive scan, one of the frames always seems to capture the peak of the action.

tom.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
I'm with J Steven, Marco. When used as a motor-drive still camera the VX is a little gem. 12.5 full resolution frames to tape every second with full stereo sound should you need it.
Tom, I don't get as good an image quality off a video-capture as I do from the direct J-PEGs on Memory mode, but I understand the big advantage of having that whole run of thousands of mostly-focused frames from which to choose. I may put mine on P-scan and see what I can grab for vid-caps with flying birds. Unlike regular video footage, I'll do as you suggest and raise the shutter speed, as the footage would only be used for stills.

Here's one vid-capped from tape, unlike the two above that were direct J-PEG captures. This was done with interlaced scan, so was at a bit of a disadvantage.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 06:37 AM   #14
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I'm sure it makes a difference if you're PAL or NTSC. In PAL land we have 720 x 576 progressive stills to tape, but only 640 x 480 to the Memorystick. At these counts, exery pixel helps.

Yes, ignore the NDs and up the shutter speed till you're shooting at around f/4. Don't go higher than about 1/600th sec though as CCD smear starts to be a problem (nothing like that on the PDX10, though!).

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Old April 20th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #15
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Tom, the 720 X 576 certainly would make a difference in vid-cap resolution. Are you able to re-encode them as J-PEGs at that resolution and fit them into photo albums? My albums don't have any intermediate resolution at that level they let you use, but for printing small cards, it might be workable. When I transfer frames from tape internally to the MemoryStick in the camcorder, I always set the quality to the Superfine mode, so it uses about 180Kb. If I do this on the GV-D1000 VCR, it doesn't go any higher than the Fine mode and uses only 90Kb, which degrades the image a lot. However, I have a hunch that since your PAL camcorder doesn't record J-PEGs higher than 640 X 480 direct from the camera, you couldn't convert them from tape to J-PEG at the larger pixel-size, either. So, how do you get the 720 X 576 vid-caps onto any recording medium at that resolution? Or do you just use the higher original resolution to give you better conversions to 640 X 480s?
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