Help shooting a film with my VX2000 at
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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 20th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #1
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Help shooting a film with my VX2000

Alright, I would like to thank all of you that even took time to look at my request for help. THANKS A MILLION! Alright, now off to my questions:

I want to shoot it 16:9, should I shoot it using the camera's 16:9 option?

I've heard different things from different people. On thing I've heard was that by using the built in widescreen optin, I would be using less of the CCD to cature the images and therefore it is an inferior image than if I were to shoot it full screen and add the widescreen in post. What should I do? I want to shoot widescreen and maybe have it blown up for actual film later down the road, so which one should I do?

What are the best settings for shooting at night in almost complete darkness? I will be shooting this very low budget with some lighting but I need to see what my options are. Most will be on city street using the amber street lights for lighting. No way around this so what is the best solution?

I have a problem with the little wheel on the back of my camera. The menu cursor jumps all around the menu and makes it difficult to actually select something without messing around with it. Is there anywaqy to fix this?

On a previous shoot, I accedentially broke off the tip of the viewfinder. I still have it but the little clamps that slide onto the camera are broken. Is there a way to get a replacement?

I know this is an insane amount of questions, but I'm relatively new to this & I hope I can return the favors to everyone who helps me out with some knowledge. Peace & have a good one!
Roque Rodriguez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2005, 06:20 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
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Roque: welcome to DVinfo! Nothing wrong with questions - that's why we're here.

I have a VX-2000, a PDX-10 and an HVR-Z1, so here's my take on things... The VX-2000 will do a poor job with 16:9 and if you're serious about a film blowup it's really not a good choice. You're correct in that shooting 16:9 on the VX-2000 only uses 360 of the 480 total scan lines, so you're throwing away 25% of your vertical resolution.

What is your budget? You could get an anamorphic lens like the Century:

However these have limitations of limited zoom range, vignetting and focus. Plus of course they're expensive. Every now and then they appear in our classified section so you might find one a little cheaper if you're lucky.

Personally, I wouldn't put that much money into a VX-2000 which is also evidently broken from your description. I know it's not the answer you want, but if this is an important project that you're going to spend a lot of time on..... get another camera which will shoot real 16:9.

2 years ago when I needed to do a project in widescreen I was all set to buy an anamorphic lens for my VX-2000, but the cost and limitations made me re-think that decision. I ended up getting a PDX-10 and have been very happy with it. In addition to shooting real 16:9, it has pro audio features - XLR inputs and a short shotgun mike. Do you have these for your VX-2000? If not then there's something else you may need to spend money to upgrade. If you can sell the VX-2000 it will help offset the cost of a new camera.

There's some discussion that the PDX-10 may have been discontinued however.... see our forum for more info. But B&H sells them for $1,600 which includes a rebate which will soon be ending. I've seen used ones here in our private classifieds for less.

Now I realize that you just may not be able to afford a new camera, and if that's the case then I think you should just do the best you can with what you have; maybe your next movie will be the one to blow up on film? :-) If so, then I would just use the VX-2000's built-in 16:9 and make the best of it. You should be aware that wide shots with lots of detail will look especially bad on the VX-2000 in widescreen mode, so try to avoid those. Closer shots will look much better.

Shooting in the dark.... well just use full manual control, lock the shutter at 1/60, open up the iris all the way and see what you get. You can try applying a little gain but as you increase that the VX-2000 will get pretty noisy and further degrade your image. Don't use shutter speeds less than 1/60 - when you do that the camera resorts to "field doubling" and you lose 50% of your vertical resolution. Add this to the already reduced resolution of 16:9 mode and you're really going to have poor image quality.

For the menu wheel problem I think you'll have to send the camera in for repair. That might be expensive, and again you should think carefully as to whether it's worth putting money into that camera.

For any do-it-yourself repair of the viewfinder I think you'll find the parts here:

Good luck with the project, and let us know how it works out!
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help!
Roque Rodriguez is offline   Reply

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