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-   -   pdx10 for weddings (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-trv950-pdx10-companion/39319-pdx10-weddings.html)

Ian Thomas February 12th, 2005 06:16 AM

pdx10 for weddings

Iam looking for a second camera for my weddings, one to match the 170 as near as possible, it would be on a tripod on its own in church and at the reception, I have read alot about the pdx10 its pro and con's, the lowest price here in the uk is around 1500, yes i know the low light issue but most churches are quite adequately lit, and also the camera has been around for a while.

I used to have a tvr950 and didn't think it was as good as the 900but maybe thats because i didn't learn the camera properly.

I have been bidding on ebay for the old 900 and the pd100 and they seem to make a good price, and yes they are second hand and who knows what work they have done!

and also the true 16:9 sounds good to.

some advice please.

Boyd Ostroff February 12th, 2005 09:16 AM

Well I think you should be able to answer your own question if you've used a TRV-950. It's the same camera as the PDX-10. The only difference in video quality is 16:9 mode, which Sony deliberately crippled in the TRV-950's firmware. But its 4:3 characteristics will be identical to the PDX-10.

I did some comparison frame grabs between my PDX-10 and VX-2000 which might provide a few insights here http://greenmist.com/dv/

Ian Thomas February 12th, 2005 10:37 AM

thanks Boyd.

As you say the 950 is same as the pdx10 exept for the 16:9,
what i found with the 950 is that you could not see the apeture no in the display, so you didn't know what the setting was until you had shot, and i understand it's the same with the pdx i can live with that.

I just need it to match the 170 as neaar as possible, would the pd100 be a better option

Tom Hardwick February 12th, 2005 11:12 AM

The PD100 is certainly better in the gloom of churches than the PDX10 Ian, but neither match your PD170 of course. The PDX is like the TRV950 in that aperture values are not shown in the v'finder, and it seems to work very well if left to its own devices exposure-wise. If you fiddle manually you can really only change the shutter speed or vary the amount of internal ND. Best left alone.

The TRV900 or PD100 will match your 170 pretty well, but again you'll not be able to set the same aperture on each and hope that the exposure on tape of two cameras will match. The beauty of getting a PDX is that it's still a current model, and buying second hand can be full of pitfalls - not something you want when people are paying for your services. Another point - someone might just ask for a 16:9 wedding, and with the PDX you're up and running - assuming there's enough light of course.

I shoot weddings in England too - so just where are these well lit churches you speak about?


Ian Thomas February 12th, 2005 11:46 AM

Hi Tom

The weddings that i have done the churches were pretty light, up to now anyway.

I do weddings on my own and it is not easy to be in two places at once, the idea would be to have this camera on a tripod in the church and at the reception.

Also the 16:9 will be useful for my wildlife projects, the only problem is that the zoom is small, the canon XL2 would be ideal but the cost and lugging it around at weddings turns me away from it so we are back to the pdx10 as its the one with the true widescreen.

Sorry to harp on but i just need to get it as right as i can.

Thanks again

Tom Hardwick February 12th, 2005 11:51 AM

Sounds like you should be looking at the FX1, Ian. HDV or SD DV - you choose. 16:9 native as well.

Ian Thomas February 12th, 2005 12:06 PM

The one thing about the pdx is that its proven and the price, the FX1 is new and could have some bugs and of course the price. and it has only 12x zoom, and how does it perform in low light,


Tom Hardwick February 12th, 2005 12:42 PM

Of one thing you can be sure - the FX1 performs better in low light than the PDX10. And what's wrong with the 12x zoom? The PDX and FX and 170 all have 12x zooms.

Ian Thomas February 12th, 2005 01:50 PM

No nothing is wrong with the 12x zoom it's just a bit short for getting good closeups of shy wildlife, without been on top of them.

I suppose the only one for this is the XL range from canon but only XL2 has true widescreen and is out of my price at the moment, I was just looking for a comprise at the moment that would do for the weddings and shoot some stunning 16:9 wildlife footage.

Ignacio Rodriguez February 12th, 2005 01:57 PM

Actually an FX1 bug has already surfaced. Some models revert audio to 12-bit mode when power cycled, but the on-screen indicator says 16-bit. There is a free fix though, and it's good to know that Sony is taking bugs seriously.

As for matching the PD170, your best bet is the VX2100, it's really the same camera, and I am sure with the appearance of the FX1 you will be able to get good deals on SD Sony "prosumer" camcorders pretty soon, especially this model, as the FX1 is pretty much it's direct replacement.

The FX1 is actually much larger, so you would not want one for the same reasons you do not want an XL2.

Ian Thomas February 12th, 2005 02:22 PM

thanks Ignacio

so you have got the pdx10 do you rate it, the price is abig factor

and the price on the pdx10 is good now, yes the 2100 is very good, but i think the smaller camera would suit better

Ignacio Rodriguez February 12th, 2005 02:34 PM

I love me PDX10. It's small size allows me to carry it in a backpack all the time and use it to capture documentary footage for the band I work for as a sound engineer. It's 16:9 image is I believe still unchallanged in it's price range. Becasue the sensor is small, depth of field is high and so focusing is easy. But the high resolution and small size of it's sensor present this tradeoff: sensitivity. Low light performance is NOTHING like the PD170/PDX10. It's ergonomics are also not very good. If you are not using it on a tripod, you will need some kind of body support system. Also the lens's wide end is not very wide. Even in 16:9 mode, you will want to add a wide angle adapter and that doesn't help with the low light performance at all.

Boyd Ostroff February 12th, 2005 02:56 PM

Ian: For wildlife photography the PDX-10 may be a good choice actually. I have the Sony High Grade 2x telephoto lens and it's phenomenal. That will extend your zoom range to 24x. Of course it isn't full zoom through (I doubt that such a thing exists), but you can zoom well past halfway without vignetting. Due to the PDX-10's 37mm threads lenses and filters are not too expensive.

Also, depending on your application, it's worth having a look at the builtin digital zoom. Since the CCD's are high resolution, at 2x the results are surprisingly good. Combine that with the 2x telephoto lens and you've got 48x.

Ian Thomas February 12th, 2005 03:18 PM

thanks Boyd+ Ignacio,

Iam thinking of takeing the plunge, Boyd iam not a fan of digital zooms all the one's i have tried look pretty poor, and for wildlife broadcast picture has to be to be top notch. I know you are a big fan of the pdx10 (Boyd) and do you think the 16:9 is good on this camera.

Boyd Ostroff February 12th, 2005 04:07 PM

I think the 16:9 is excellent on the PDX-10, that's all I shoot with it. For 4:3 my VX-2000 is better. Here's a frame grab from one of our operas at 24x zoom, about 100' away from the stage, using the Sony high grade telephoto: http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/fau...lentine-02.jpg

Shawn Mielke February 12th, 2005 08:28 PM

Wildlife at weddings? Fascinating...

In all seriousness, you're now looking for a camera that will do it all. Stop right where you are. Doesn't exist.

As for weddings, shooting weddings in strictly normal 1/60 with a PDX is tough choice, given how dim churches can be. If you can guarantee yourself to shoot weddings outside, morning, midday, and/or afternoon, the PDX would be fine.

If you think it permissable to shoot weddings, or portions of them, at 1/30 and/or 1/15 shutterspeeds, you could get by with this cam in tougher lighting situations.
I find 1/15 to be the slowest I can go before having odd looking dialogue audio sync/ wholly unrealistic motion, and I like the look quite a lot...

Boyd Ostroff February 12th, 2005 09:04 PM

Remember Shawn, Ian has already stated that he isn't worried about not having enough light. I think we just have to take him at his word there. The PDX-10 is about 2.5 f-stops slower than the VX-2000.

Ignacio Rodriguez February 12th, 2005 09:11 PM

I like the look of 1/30 and 1/15 on my PDX10, but going down there implies some loss of vertical resolution. It does not seem as bad as with the PD170/VX2100 and other SD Sony cams, and your clients will perhaps not notice the difference consciously, but the image does look a little softer even on a normal TV.

On a side note, the FX1/Z1 also loses some vertical resolution when going below 1/50, but since it works at about twice the vertical resolution as NTSC or PAL, if your target is SD it won't matter.

Shawn Mielke February 12th, 2005 11:18 PM

I like the softness and the added motion blur of 1/15, especially as a black and white image, given maybe a punch in contrast via color correction. For people not fretting about resolution, interestingly "soft" images aren't unnerving. In any case, I think the PDX is, can be, a fine wedding instrument, given experimentation time and therefore an understanding of it's "limitations."
I'm currently rererediscovering mine and loving it all over again, although I don't use it for weddings very much. Right now it's cityscape night shooting (slllooooowww shutterspeeds, beautiful 16:9, odd whitebalancing, cranked colour...).

Tom Hardwick February 13th, 2005 01:43 AM

Some good advice for Ian here. Perhaps to summarise: The FX1 has a pretty poor telephoto reach and its bulk and iffy low-light performance may put it out of court. Adding a telephoto converter will be pretty expensive in the 72 mm fitting, but it's good to see Boyd's frame grab and hear his recommendation on the Sony 2x teleconverter.

I'm also not keen on digital zooms and simply cannot agree with him on that - neither can I agree that adding a 2x converter "will extend your zoom range to 24x". It may well multiply your maximum focal length by two, but it will in fact (due to vignetting) reduce your 12x zoom to a 6X at most, not 24x.

Ignacio's advice that a VX2100 would be a second wedding cam is a good one. The pictures will match Ian's 170, and the fact that the apertures 'bump' visibly in manual won't worry him as it'll be locked off most of the time. The telephoto reach is better than the FX1 and 58 mm 2x converters are a-plenty. The only downside is the 16:9 performance and bulk.

Agree whole heartedly with Shawn about softening the image for weddings, and in some situations the extra stop gathered by shooting at 1/25th can look very good indeed. There's a Canopus 'soft-focus' filter that came with my Storm card - beautiful on blushing brides.

The PDX10 still has its attractions, and it's suddenly got cheaper than the 2100. Accessories are cheap (37 mm thread), the widescreen mode is wonderful, the size / performance ratio is unmatched. If you can live with the limitations that follow it Ian - it looks like a goodie. In your situation I'd still plonk for the 2100 though ~ while they're still available.


Ian Thomas February 13th, 2005 02:15 AM

Thanks Tom,

Yes i agree with you , the thing is price the 2100 is better in low light, more bulk, and no true 16:9.

The pdx is not so good in low light, but more portable, true 16:9, and cheaper, and becaues of its good auto exposure mode might be the way to go.

would you agree.

Tom Hardwick February 13th, 2005 04:04 AM

If you go back to the first line of your post Ian, you said, "Iam looking for a second camera for my weddings, one to match the 170 as near as possible." If this criteria still holds good then no, I would not agree that the PDX10 is the way to go.

All you say about the PDX10 is true: "The pdx is not so good in low light, but more portable, true 16:9, and cheaper", but you've got to ask yourself what your requirements are here.

Having a 170 and 2100 will give you great matching footage, but having the PDX10 will give you other attributes that may or may not be what you require.


Boyd Ostroff February 13th, 2005 09:20 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Hardwick : I'm also not keen on digital zooms and simply cannot agree with him on that - neither can I agree that adding a 2x converter "will extend your zoom range to 24x". It may well multiply your maximum focal length by two, but it will in fact (due to vignetting) reduce your 12x zoom to a 6X at most, not 24x. -->>>

I very rarely use the digital zoom, and obviously you lose quality, but a couple times it was just what I needed. Have you actually tried it Tom? Or are you just dismissing it out of hand? I wouldn't use this as a criterion to choose the PDX-10 over another camera, but if you already have one then it's at least worth giving it a try.

I pointed out the vignetting issue myself on the 2x teleconverter. I think we're into semantics here. If you have the 2x lens in your bag it gives you the ability to make shots which are 24x when compared to the camera's native mode at full wide. And while it's screwed onto the camera the range would be closer to 8x, not 6x actually.

Tom Hardwick February 13th, 2005 09:55 AM

5586 words. I've just been to do a word count on the PDX10p camera test I did for Computer Video Editing magazine, so yes Boyd, I did test the camera, and I did it pretty comprehensively. I certainly did try out the 2x digital zoom, and my previous contribution expressed my reservations about using it.

But I'm right with you when you tell people to actually USE the facilities on offer, and digital zoom is but one of a whole host of delights that are available to the PDX buyer. I find many people ask questions here about shutter speeds, custom presets, 16:9 modes, touch screens etc, yet if they spent an afternoon alone with their camcorder and a TV as a viewfinder they'd learn a huge amount by experience. Such a learning method is far more effective that simply logging onto this site to ask you or me the question, and video (I'll say it again) is a superb teacher - fast, accurate, repeatable, patient, free.

You'll notice that the FX1 does not offer any digital zoom options and good on it. Sony know full well that with HD to start with there's lots of resolution to play with (read: lose) and anybody with a half decent NLE system can digitally zoom (and apply the necessary corrections) in post anyway.

You're right - we're into semantics regarding the terminology, and it's my Mr Fusspot teacher's hat that's to blame, and I apologise. I do appreciate the wisdom of others on this board and recognise how many you've helped with your countless posts.

All I'm trying to do is set the record straight in a scientific way, which is why I point out the fallacy of thinking a 2X converter doubles your zoom range, or that a bigger lens (invariably a larger filter thread) means a better lens.


Ian Thomas February 14th, 2005 01:35 PM


I would just like to thank everbody for there input, I ordered the PDX10 today'

The reasons,

1. true 16:9, wich iam looking forward to useing'
2. portabilty, sometimes a small camera with the beautiful picture this camera produces is priceless.
3. the price,

Yes the 2100 or the 170 would have been a better option, and yes the low light issue will have to be worked round, but i think with getting to understand the camera i should be able to get the best out of it.

By the way the place i ordered from are sold out and waiting for a shipment, ( still in demand!)

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