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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 07:55 PM   #31
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trv950/pdx10 vs. vx2000/pd150

I've read all of the rest of this thread and wanted to post my own questions since I am also trying to decide between these 2/4 cameras and maybe also the Panasonic AG-DVX100 (though the Panasonic is less likely).

First, my application is primary independent filmmaking. So, cost is definitely a concern, but I want a video AND audio quality that (assuming my story, editing, cinematography, and acting is also good), people will take me seriously.

The PD pro versions are about $700 or so more than their consumer counterparts. For that I get the following very nice features:

* a B&W viewfinder (better for manual focusing than the color one found on the consumer versions)

* XLR inputs--I am using XLR mikes, so this is nice, however in my next film, and possibly all future films, I am doing independent audio recording into a professional mixer and audio recorder and syncing in post production.

* Independent Gain and Iris control (versus just Exposure on the cosumer versions)

* DVCAM format

Okay...here are my questions which would help me decide to buy either the pro or consumer variety (I need to really justify the extra $700):

1) DVCAM: Is this filmed on miniDV tapes? Is DVCAM a RECORDING format or a TAPE format? If it is a tape format, can I also record using miniDV tapes?

2) The Beechtek XLR to mini adapter...is it really as good as integrated XLR inputs? Do I get audio noise introduced? Someone said something about a BBC fix or something, what is that?

3) How much do I care about independent Gain and Iris control versus just Exposure control?

If I can get answers to those three questions, that'll help me a lot in trying to pick between the pro and consumer versions. But the next hard part is which model...the 950 or vx2000...

Here's what I like about each:

TRV950 likes:

* uses a 37mm lens, which matches the 37mm 1 CCD (DCR TRV 330) camera I already have, which means I can use my current telescopic and wide-angle lens attachments, plus all the filters I already own, a definite plus

* uses the InfoLithium M battery, which also matches my 1 CCD model, meaning my 10 hour batter can be reused for this model too

* 16:9 true format. I see that above people are saying that this isn't actually true though...

VX2000 likes:

* Better picture and low light quality (which is a big one in my use for the camera)

* Progressive Scan

* Can run for more time on the biggest Sony battery (9 hours versus the 950's max of like 5 hours or whatever it was)

Unforutnately, not only does the VX2000 cost more, but I also have to buy stuff like batteries and new lens attachments and filters to fit the different 58mm lens.

Here are my other questions to help try to pick out between these two models:

4) 16:9 on the 950...I'd like to hear more on why it is NOT true...

5) How much do I care about Progressive Scan? Adobe Premiere does non-interlacing.

6) Is the VX2000 picture quality so much better than I should go for it over saving cost on new batteries and filters/lenses?

Any other comments are certainly welcomed :)

Derek Beck
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Old February 23rd, 2003, 06:29 AM   #32
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There is so much confused "information?" in your post it is hard to think of what to say to you.

1.) Forget Progressive with sony !! it is a non issue period.

2.) 950 Battery time is better than the 2000 by far like #1 this is not a debatable issue

3.) For low light performance the 2000 is the best prosumer cam in it's price range on the market.

4).DVCAM is a recording format and the tapes are a bit better than mini DV but they are interchangable size wise.

5.) Beachtec is good but still hooks up through a 1/8 mini jack.They really work wonders with the audio of a camcorder.
forget the BBC fix as it had to do with something long past unless you are buying and much older model cam

6.)2000 picture quality is no better than the 950 unless you are in a dark room in that case the 2000 will get the picture while the 950 will have a harder time with the light level

7.)16:9 on the 950 is good but is not the same as the x10. Why ? sonys' sneaky way of making the PDX10 worth more $$$ A software fix along the way may fix this problem but it aint here now.

I am sure others will help out with there own suggestions and comments so I will stop here. It will be your cam. so it is your decision to make.They are both very good camcorders.
In fact at this time the 950 is still underrated in my oppinion because of an obsession with the 1/4.7 CCD's as opposed to the 1/4 chips in the 900. It turns out to be a big sticking point for many video enthusiasts.
Best of luck on your purchase.
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Old February 23rd, 2003, 09:44 AM   #33
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Re: trv950/pdx10 vs. vx2000/pd150

The PDX-10 looks like a really interesting camera to me, but I don't have personal experience; I have a VX-2000. I was just looking at Scott Billup's website and noticed he added a commentary on the PDX-10 along with a sample frame. This site is definitely worth a visit if you haven't been there before, especially the camera section. You can see shots of resolution charts taken with all the prosumer cameras and compare them with the really expensive HD cams and even the Thomson Viper. Check out http://www.pixelmonger.com/hg_cam.html. He says the following about the X-10:

> Sony's DSR-PDX10 gets my vote for most bang for the buck in a 3chip,
> native 16X9 camcorder. You can't get a better image until you spend nearly
> three times as much. While the chips in the PD150 are bigger, if you are
> shooting in 16X9 mode (and there is very little reason not to be) the image
> from the PDX10 uses a lot more pixels.
> While the glass on this little monster is the best of the entire sony miniDV
> line, the focus ring from hell will keep it in the consumer category with all
> the others.

Regarding a few of the VX-2000 questions, the Beachtek adaptor sounds good to me when I use it with audio from a mixing board recording live performances. I haven't compared it to a PD-150 though. I think the PD-150 gives you separate L+R record level adjustment, but the Beachtek will also do that.

The NP-F960 batteries on the VX-2000 are really robust. I've run for over 6 hours with the LCD screen on the full time and the meter still claimed 4 hours were left. I don't know if you can get 9 hours, but definitely a lot more than 5.
No idea how any of this compares with the 950/X-10.

DVCAM is supposed to be a more robust recording format since the tape runs faster. There is not supposed to be any difference in the quality of the digital image however. Downside is that the tapes don't run as long. That would be somewhat of a problem for me when taping live shows, I often use the 80 minute miniDV tapes. The VX-2000 will also record even longer in LP mode, but I have never tried it. Again, the digital data is the same so theoretically no quality loss but the dropout/error potential is higher due to the slower speed.

I think if you read back through this forum you'll find quite a lot of comments and links that address many of your other questions. Happy shopping:-)
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Old February 23rd, 2003, 08:33 PM   #34
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more questions :)

Okay, I think I'm leaning towards the DXRPDX10...

I just spent about an hour doing some crude testing with a TRV950 and VX2000 at a local dealer, and I really feel that the difference in quality is indistinguishable. However, I'm considering their big-brother PD versions, primarily because of the XLR inputs, the DVCAM, the B&W viewfinder (better for manual focusing), the independent Iris & Gain control (versus "Exposure" combined control), and in the case of the X10, avoiding some of the stupid Bluetooth gimicks and such in lieu of getting "true" 16:9 recording. I'm also leaning towards the X10 for the lower cost and the fact that is uses the same filter size and battery size as my current 1 CCD camera.

Okay...here are my newest questions (and thanks to those that repsonded to my first post :)...

1) The reported manual gain problem which introduced hiss and noise into the audio track on the PD150...has this problem also been reported on the X10? I think I've seen quite the opposite and that "sony finally fixed the audio problem" with this model...any truth to that?

2) Anyone disagree that video quality (ignore the fact that the vx2000/dp150 can operate with less light) between the 950/x10 versus the vx2000/dp150 is essentially the same?

3) Except in extreme contrast situations, is this vertical smear problem in the x10 a real problem?

Also, please feel free to comment on my bit of logic here when leaning towards the x10: besides the fact that I can reuse my wideangle, telescopic lens, filters, and InfoLithium M batteries, the true-er 16:9 aspect ratio and the cost savings are good reasons to go after the x10 instead of the pd150. I'm a bit concerned that maybe I'll be unhappy that I don't have the lower lux rating and the x10 smear problem may be a problem though, but can't justify the extra cost of the camera plus battery and lenses for this reason alone. (Remember, my primary use is independent filmmaking.)

Another reason I'm tempted to spend less now: I concede that either camera I buy will most likely be an interim purchase (versus a final best purchase to last my filmmaking career), since there is stuff on its way like 24fps progressive scan, High Definition, cameras with SDI connections, etc, etc. I highly doubt this will be my last camera purchase. (I have too many expensive hobbies...)

Sorry for yet another long post. Any thoughts/comments appreciated/welcomed. :)
Derek Beck
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Old February 24th, 2003, 10:50 AM   #35
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Quick replies ---

1 I don't know the Sony truth, but I have not experienced any undue hiss with my PDX10 using both phantom and non-phantom XLR mikes.

2 I don't.

3 The vertical smear problem can be avoided by picking what you shoot carefully.

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