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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.

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Old May 17th, 2011, 12:08 PM   #16
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Re: PD170 vs Modern Camcorder?

"My pref would be for sound direct to the video file... the H1 would allow this, by connecting direct to the camera... (according to their website)... and would be cheaper than a Beachtek option (which retails around $250, compared to $130 for the H1 here in Oz). So, at least as far as my sister's wedding is concerned... I think the H1 will win."

I think you have misunderstood the information about the Zoom H-1.

First and foremost, the Zoom H-1 will not be a noticeable improvement over the TM and CX cams' built-in mics. It will be of benefit to you when used away from the camera and in conjunction with the camera mic.

When you looked at the Zoom web-site, did you overlook that Zoom was talking about DSLR cams when it recommends and shows the use of the H-1 in place of the built-in mic? Did you notice that they do not show it on a camcorder? There is a reason for this. Many DSLR cams have truly awful built-in mics. (Really, they are primarily still cameras; just because you can shoot excellent video with them does not mean the mics are any good.) You will note that the Zoom H-1 web page specifically says "DSLR" cams. That is completely different from your situation (as presently planned, anyway.)

Also, do you realize that feeding the the Zoom H-1 will not save you from needing either a "Beachtek" type of device or a special "attentuating" cable if you want to feed the H-1 into a camcorder? The Zoom web site identifies the "out port" on the H1 as line level and earphone out. Line and earphone levels are almost always way too hot a signal for a mic-level input on a camcorder. Feed it straight into your camcorder and you can blow-out the camcorder's mic pre-amp. To feed a Zoom H-1 to a camera mic jack, you will need to do something to attenuate the output signal down to microphone level. You either buy a special signal attenuating cable or an adapter like the Beachtek, etc. No way around that. Maybe Zoom makes a cable or has a recommendation on which one to use?

This is not to say that an H-1 would not not be a good purchase for you to use with a CX or TM cam at your sister's wedding. Far from it. It would be an excellent budget choice for remote audio recording. If you check through the Wedding and Event forum here on DVinfo, you will find numbers of posts from wedding videographers who do that. You use your on-camera mics for the sound of the room and the guests, the H-1 for close-up audio of the vows, etc. For example, you could put the Zoom in the groom's coat pocket (or clip it to the officiant). This will give you much cleaner and clearer audio of the vows and officiant than you can from the back of the room using the camcorder mics. (In other words, you use it in place of a wireless lavalier mic and sync the audio track from the SD card when editing the video). Or maybe you have a wireless lavalier on the officiant or the groom and you need something else to clearly record the voices of people at a different location, say the folks who go to a lectern to read or sing during the ceremony.

Now, maybe you want to look at getting a DSLR for shooting your sister's wedding and maybe getting a couple of H1 units (one for on camera and one for remote pick-up)?

As for your question about the TM700 fan noise, check the AVCCAM forum here and you will answers to many of your questions there. Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders Forum at DVinfo.net
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Old May 18th, 2011, 06:48 AM   #17
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Re: PD170 vs Modern Camcorder?

I was picturing the H1 as replacing the camcorder's sound, ie that the camcorder's sound wasn't useful. Wasn't looking at it as adding flexibility to the sourcing of the sound, at distance from the camera. Also was thinking that the output from the H1 would go into the camera's mic slot - had forgotten about phantom/etc sound/power levels.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #18
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Re: PD170 vs Modern Camcorder?

Since it's a one time event, why not just rent a professional rig like an EX3 or EX1r with XLR audio, an on camera light, shotgun mic and wireless lav or two? That $1000 will go pretty far for a one or two day rental.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #19
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Re: PD170 vs Modern Camcorder?

I'll chime in... since I think your post has gotten "lost" in a "dead end zone", being in a thread about a well loved, but "ancient" in tech terms, camera...

"V" = internal GPS designation, "E" indicates PAL version, so "VE" would be GPS/PAL

The CX550 is an excellent little camera, if you can find a good price, it's a decent choice, and at least close to your budget (don't forget to add extra batteries!!). I shoot it myself, it's somewhat limited by its size, but it's a well refined design with good "AI" and easy to use. Hard to beat in low lux mode if bad lighting is an issue.

Internal noise isn't an issue with cameras that have a HDD, although there is a fan on the TM700, apparently not an issue, and the TM900 looks quite nice, with some improvements over a few quibbles with the 700 - check the DVi forum on these cameras for complete info.

The idea of an external recorder is to have a mic in the "hot zone" of the couple/officiant so you get the vows cleanly. See the wedding and event section of DVi for more options than you can shake a stick at, discussed ad infinitum by people who shoot weddings and events!

Hope this is helpful, you probably need to browse around DVi a bit and you'll find many threads that will help you further. Info on Sonys is a bit scattered about (really need to remind Chris to set up a proper forum for the later Sony cams!), but it's here.
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