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- April 26, 2005 at 10:07 AM #42203
I’m thinking about upgrading from my Sony VX 2000 to the DSR PD-170. I’m just wondering if I will notice an increase in video quality. If not, then what would be a good upgrade? I’m a Sony fan.
When I researched the differences between the 2000/2100 and the 150/170 in the past, it appeared that the 150/170 did not have better specs for the visuals and that the main difference was on the sound side, with 150/170 accepting direct XLR inputs. Back then, these models were 1K plus more expensive for this feature upgrade. Sony has some professional models out there in the $5500 to $6000 range with the same pixel count at the 2100, but they do offer DVCAM recording.
Right now on the B&H website, the 170 is not listed and the 150 is included but listed as discontinued. The interesting part is this: B&H has a truckload of 150’s available used that they rate at 8 and 8+ (out of 10?). These are available with extended warranties up to 4 years. The 150’s are priced at about $130 more than the price of their new 2100’s (the 2100’s are around $2319 I recall). If I was in the market for an extra mini DV cam at this time, I would seriously consider what seems to be an amazing value, their current offer on the 150. I doubt if they are going to sit there very long.
On the other hand, I might just go ahead and get me a second 2100, because my first one has been terrific. You might consider this also; the zoom controls Sony put on the handle come in handy. Also, I just picked up the Sony wide angle for this unit and it’s awesome (Sony price $400; B&H 250).
I don’t work for B&H!!!
REGARDS … TOM 8)
Tom Scratch Wrote:
Thanks for the input. I agree that the 2000/2100 are fantastic camcorders. They have the best low light image of anything out there. I apreciate the auto controls too. I do a lot of “run and gun” type video. It’s amazing how much out of focus video you see on the evening news because the camera operator on location couldn’t focus quick enough. There are a few conditions where my video quality isn’t high enough, like when shooting leafy trees, or a rocky embankment. Aparently video doesn’t like ‘busy’ subjects. I was hoping to find out what might be the next step up in video quality. The camcorders used on the evening news are fantastic but mega $$$, and I really don’t know anything about DVcam.
You hit the nail on the head. Video has a problem with busy subjects. This includes scenes of large crowds, wide shots of urban areas (i.e., rows of buildings, roofs), of course bright sunlight zones, etc. On the small screen, this can often be overlooked. But blown up to a large screen, the poor quality really hollers at you. The rule use to be that videotape had 10% of the latitude of film (i.e., you could get detail in the shadow areas or highlight areas, but not both). I think that video quality has improved, but basically the history of videotape is to aspire to look as good as film; and, at a non-corporate level, it has a great distance to go. At some high cost plateau, digital cams may exist that can match film. Based on demos I have seen, the solution to this limitation is not spelled “HD.” I am a documentary film junkie, seeing them in theaters and buying them for my collection and trying to get into the game myself. Ideally, for the “busy” shots, 16mm film should be used and the original footage for a project that needs busy scenes would be a hybrid of videotape and film. Expensive and not practical I’m afraid! The documentary filmmakers who are successful and are getting into the theaters and catalogs must be aware of the poor quality of these scenes. (I met a guilty party recently who is a professor at a film school in CA!) Notwithstanding these (outrageously) non-film-look moments, it is great that the world is doing more seeking out of the documentary film experience.
How have others addressed the busy scene video bump?
Tom Scratch Wrote:
Wow! That is more information than I have been able to find in the past five years! Thank you. I am quite impressed with the quality of the vid cams that are used by news crews. However, I have been told they can cost upward of $100,000 (one hundred thousand) and the lenses around $20,000. I’m becomming more and more satisfied with what I have! LOL.
You’re making me LOL!!!
It’s a matter of time before we all get the broadcast quality cams at the VX2000 prices.
Look how far we’ve come:
Back in ’91, TV network cam crews covering the Gulf War brought Hi8 to prominence. That was the standard of excellence for field work back then.
A couple weeks ago, I watched some of the coverage of events in Rome on MSNBC. They ran lots of video footage taken of St. Peter’s Square back in ’78 (I believe) when John Paul II became Pope. The quality was so bad, the cheapest regular 8 cam on the market today would produce better images. (It is unbelievable to me that they would have captured and broadcast such inferior images back in ’78. I wonder if this footage has just physically disintegrated over time? They should have shot film!!!)
Enjoyed this discussion!
REGARDS … TOM 8) 😉 8)