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

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Old February 21st, 2003, 11:24 AM   #271
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Audio for Safari - VX2000

I have a VX2000 which I am going to be taking on a safari to Africa in August. Last year I used a trv900 on safari in Botswana and South Africa. The video is wonderful but the audio wasn't as good as I would have liked. I was hoping to be able to get an add-on mike that would give me more focused audio (sorry, haven't learned all the correct terminology yet). For example, we were at a kill, lions eating kudu, close enough that I should have been able to hear the munching and yet what I got was us rustling around in the Land Rover and the clicking of all the still cameras.

I would appreciate any and all suggestions as far as audio is concerned. I am fairly new to DV but it is so interesting and I really want to learn. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for training on video not for preplanned events (movies, weddings, etc) but for travel video that would be a great help too.

This is a wonderful site and I am spending hours going through the old posts so I can learn everything.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 11:54 AM   #272
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Unfortunately, the in-vehicle sounds you recorded are exactly what happens with the sound equipment you had at the time.

To get the 'crunch' you need to get closer with the microphone. To avoid in-vehicle sound, everyone needs to shut up and stop moving. Just like a movie set.

Although a shotgun microphone will give you more of the 'crunch', unless you are prepared to spend around $3500 for your microphone, it will also pick up the sound in the near environment too.

The reason for your problem is that there is no equivalent to a zoom lens in audio work. The laws of Physics say that everytime you double the distance to the sound event you wish to record, the level decreases by a factor of four. So the local sounds overwhelm the distant sounds. The $3500 microphone off-axis sound through an on-board computer.

I assume you would decline to put a wireless lavaliere on the lion for the sake of your art :-)

There are no good cheap solutions. One step up would be to look at something like a Sennheiser MKE-300 which is a small hot-shoe-mounted short shotgun. It's output is actually too high for your VX-2000 and you would need to pad it down or get Sennheiser to reduce the output level. This microphone goes for around $180 or a bit less. It's problem is that it cannot be outfitted with a wind sock as far as I know.

The next step up is a big step but probably will not bring back any noticably better sound than the MKE-300 without somehow moving the microphone closer to the action.

Figure $250 for a middle-of-the-road Pro shotgun, $150 for a XLR adapter, and $50-$250 for a decent camera mount for the shotgun. Depending on the wind levels in Africa, you may want to invest in a wind sock to kill the wind noise. The foam wind screen that comes with the shotguns is really only for indoors and outdoors in very gentle breezes.

A very useful windsock will cost you $155 from Light Wave Systems who can also sell you a camera mount (at the higher end of the price range but very nice indeed). Oh, and you will need a couple of XLR cables. One of about 12" in length for camera-mounted use and a 20' one for those times when I companion can hold the microphone closer to the subject so your sound will really be top drawer.

You could also invest in a telescoping pole (called a boom pole or fish pole) that would allow someone to extend the microphone out from the cab of the vehicle. A reasonable pole would allow the microphone to extend maybe 6 feet from the vehicle, thereby avoiding most of the in-vehicle sound. Of course the lions may consider the microphone to be the local version of a pinata and act accordingly. A rugged boom pole costs about $150. It would work for any shotgun you selected.

Hope this helps.
Mike Rehmus
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 08:54 PM   #273
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Shoulder Support / Mount For Vx 2000

Hi List,
Is there a shoulder support or some sort of after market kit that would allow the vx2000 to be held in a more comfortable way for long gigs? Thanks
Thanks for the help!
Tom Walsh
Club T Productions, Inc.
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 11:04 PM   #274
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yes their is!

RACESAUCE DOT COM |Equipment: PD-150|
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 11:24 PM   #275
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Varizoom makes two good models.
These are available through Varizoom and other dealers.

The "Habbycam" is actually a knock-off of Varizoom's design.
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Old March 4th, 2003, 01:15 AM   #276
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anyone has any idea or heard any rumour about when Sony will put out a new model of prosumer mini dv to replace the existing vx2000? any idea what it will look like? vx 2000 is almost 3 year old already. Is it about time? or m I wrong?
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Old March 4th, 2003, 05:43 AM   #277
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I've heard rumours that a replacement will be mentioned at NAB. I don't know if this will be the case. But I think that Sony will come out with a new model soon, to compete with the DVX100. We'll have to wait and see, I guess.
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Old March 15th, 2003, 05:35 PM   #278
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Goodies for VX2000

I have decided to buy the VX2000, I guess from B&H. I was wondering what else I would need. I'd like to give you a little background about me and what I am going to use the camera for.

About me. I am dumb as two posts. I know very little about video production. I am going to get several books about the science and art of video production. Any thoughts? I have fooled around with consumer grade Hi8 and DV and want to move up.

What I want to do. I am interested in creating small documentary style films. Nothing fancy.

What lenses do I need? How about audio equipment? Any thoughts?

I've been enjoying reading through the forum. It has been very helpful.
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Old March 15th, 2003, 10:20 PM   #279
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Goodies for VX2000

Hi Joe. I took the same trek last summer, bought the VX2000 from B&H (no hitches), after 18 months with a Sony D-8 and a Raptor card in an aging PC. Had an editing PC built for me a few months before I bought the new camera. My biggest project prior to these purchases was a 21-minute travelogue on ten days in Portugal. While my current kit is absent many things I want and will acquire, I'd suggest a wide angle lens (I bought the Canon WD-58), a better than you want to buy tripod head and a carry bag (your hands get full fast lugging equipment), Sony hand-held and lav mics, extra batteries and a hard case with do-it-yourself foam inserts. The home store tool-kit variety will do for starters. Be conscious of foam dust as it ages. Read about light kits but try to get some experience with them before you buy one. I keep a wish list in a text file on my desktop and if money was no object I'd go on for a few more paragraphs. An enthusiast with dreams has a long road ahead but if it's what you want to do with your extra time it is very rewarding, if hard on the hair. To me the biggest things are learn the camera and learn to use your NLE, whatever choice you make. Combining the best images you can make with as many hours as you can put into learning to edit brings satisfaction. And, of course, tell stories that touch people somewhere. Production values won't carry a story that doesn't arrest the viewer. Incidentally, you've come to the right forum, and I don't mean because of my reply. I've learned more here than anywhere else, thanks to the calibre and generousity of its supporters.
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Old March 16th, 2003, 12:30 PM   #280
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You've spent a good buck on the camera, now buy a quality bag.

I researched just about every bag on the market and there's none better than the Portabrace

There are others but none fit the camera as well as this one.

Buy a 930 or at least a 750 battery (or two), you won't be sorry.

Sennheiser K6/ME66 mic
Best bang for the buck. A good hot mic. Buy the K6/ME66 as a kit, it's cheaper that way. Use the battery and don't bother with phantom.

AT 8415 shock mount

Beach tec for balanced audio connectivety

A quality MULTI COATED UV filtre to protect your lense.

To mount the cam and mic and to give you some balance while doing handheld i like the Mighty Wondercam Mini Rover.

and finally for some light reading and excellant advice
The PD150 workbook on the upper left is especially good. It's all good.

There is a herd more but that's enough for now
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Old March 16th, 2003, 02:35 PM   #281
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"Good" tripod, monopod, batteries (big) and sound equipment.

A good hardcase, that many of us are using, the "Workforce" briefcase style toolbox available at Lowes, Home Depot and maybe other places. It's an aluminum hardcase, padded interior with repositionable dividers. Another similar one I've found is the same type of case at Menard's, comes with the same padded interior, rounded outside edges and foam block interior for customizing holes for your equipment.

I'm using two of the Workforce boxes for my two VX-2000's, and accessories. These are only running approx. $19.95.

Also, the Canon WD-58 wide angle lens is a nice addition, screws right on, and now comes with it's own lens shade.
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Old March 16th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #282
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I got my VX2000 last fall. I'll tell you what I've wound up with:

Circular Polarizer
UV Filter
Optex Wide Angle Lens
Extra batteries:
2: NP-F750
1: NP-F960
Quick Charger (I cheated -- had it left over from my TRV20)
Lowepro MiniTrekker backpack
Hard Case (only $19.95 at Lowes!)
Sony HVL-20DW2 video light
Adorama monopod (also a left over from my previous kit)
Standard lens cap for the VX2000 (cuts down on size)
Standard rubber lens hood for the VX2000 (cuts down on size)
Thin circular polarizer for the Optex Wideangle
UV filter for Optex (warning: vignettes!)
Replacement strap (the one that comes with the camera is too short)

[edit]And, today I just ordered an ATR55 shotgun mike which, I think, and with the stuff mentioned below, leaves me covered for just about any audio situation.

That's strictly the camera stuff. I also got these for recording ambient sound, street performances, etc.:

Sharp MT-15 minidisk recorder
Sony ECM-MS907 stereo microphone (small handheld)
Vivanco EM-216 stereo lapel microphone

My whole kit fits nicely in the Lowepro backpack (except for the hard case, of course), travels very nicely, and provides everything I need for shooting high-quality video.
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Old March 16th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #283
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You might want to replace you UV with one from Tiffen.
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Old March 20th, 2003, 04:25 PM   #284
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I usually do nature video near where I live with my VX2000. When I shoot against a 100% clear and blue heaven I can see some noise. Why?


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Old March 20th, 2003, 10:18 PM   #285
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I don't see that with my PD150 when shooting outdoors. Are you using the ND filters when prompted by the camera?

I assume from your description that the sun is not in or just outside the field of view and the noise you describe is not flare, right?

P.S. Please edit your personal information and use your real name.
Mike Rehmus
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