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Sony DSR450 opinions


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#1 JW Lee

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 02:51 AM

I was just checking out the feature set of the DSR450 and except for the fact it's still DV (4:1:1), it looks to have a lot of potential as an indie/doc camera. I currently shoot on a JVC DV500 with a nice Canon lens, so it's hard to swallow going to a 1/3" chip cam and HDV doesn't seem fully baked yet from what I've seen and read. However, I'd like to shoot 16:9 native and 24p. I do industrial work too, so any camera I consider has to be 4:3/30i capable too and look good in front of corporate clients.
I'd like to hear any opinions, good or bad about this new cam. I'd also like hear how it compares to the DVX100 and XL2 in terms of picture quality (low light, high contrast control, resolution and general aesthetic). I'm suprised I haven't heard a lot more about this because short of spending another $10k on an SDX900, this camera seems to have it all over the entry level/prosumer indie cams.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 07:22 AM

Hi,

> this camera seems to have it all over the entry level/prosumer indie cams

Um... yes. Better battery system, better mounting facilities, better lenses, better CCD, better analogue amps, better DSP, better ergonomics, better viewfinder...

Effectively think of it as a slightly better, 2/3", widescreen, progressive-scan version of your DV500, as opposed to an overgrown handycam.

Phil
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#3 Tim J Durham

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 07:59 AM

Hi,

> this camera seems to have it all over the entry level/prosumer indie cams

Um... yes. Better battery system, better mounting facilities, better lenses, better CCD, better analogue amps, better DSP, better ergonomics, better viewfinder...

Effectively think of it as a slightly better, 2/3", widescreen, progressive-scan version of your DV500, as opposed to an overgrown handycam.

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Phil,
you forgot to mention the FAR better audio system. As an XL-2 owner, one of the things I simply hate about pro-sumer cams is the inflexibility of the audio, mostly due to the "stereo" on-board mic. I just did a shoot where I wanted to record simultaneous on-cam mic with a wireless receiver and the only option was to drop down to 12-bit because the on-cam mic takes up both channels in 16-bit. Stupid.

I've done alot of shooting with the predecessor of the 450, which is the 570WS and there is no
comparison (though people will certainly continue to MAKE comparisons) between that and the XL-2 or DVX. Even ignoring the 2/3" CCD vs. 1/3" CCD, the feature flexability of the DSR450WS
vs. any prosumer cam makes it worth the extra $$. Given the fact that Sony is offering incredible deals on the 450's (around 2x a tricked out XL-2), it's tough to say no to it.

For more info, Peter DeCresenzo (sp?) has recently bought a DSR450WS and has been posting regularly about it since. Do a search.
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#4 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 01:48 AM

I did my first real shoot using my new DSR-450WS this past weekend. It's for an educational CD-ROM series developed by my client, so the video will be compressed to play at 320 x 240 or smaller and at 15 fps. Other than shooting in 30p mode with a 1/60 sec. shutter, I used the camera's default factory settings.

For future shoots I'll probably dial down the cam's detail settings and so forth, but I decided to shoot this first project "straight" to establish a baseline, so to speak.

It was a full day shoot (11 hours or so), with a half-day set-up the night before. The technical crew consisted of only myself and an experienced PA.

The DSR-450 performed flawlessly. The cam was on a tripod all day and the only handling it was subjected to was raising & lowering the tripod many times throughout the day, so not exactly a torture test. :) But the cam was a pleasure to work with regardless.

Attached is a screen capture of one of a couple of dozen actors who appear in the video. Each actor says only one or two lines per "scene", typically in only one or two takes. Only one actor appears in most of the scenes, but some scenes involved 2-6 actors. We shot many, many of these scenes by the end of the day. The blue paper background is a standard "look" used by this client and is not for chromakeying. When completed, these brief clips will be called-up by the CD-ROM's end users via a custom Macromedia Director application developed by my client.

It was a fun shoot.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo

P.S.: Although the DSR-450WS is a native 16:9 cam, for this project we used it in 4:3 mode. Also, we recorded on miniDV tape, and this screen capture was made using the tape-to-memory card snapshot feature of my little PDX10 camcorder.
DSC00068.JPG
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#5 Dave Hall

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 11:01 AM

I'd like to shoot 16:9 native and 24p. I do industrial work too, so any camera I consider has to be 4:3/30i capable too and look good in front of corporate clients.
I'd like to hear any opinions, good or bad about this new cam.


I'm just about to plunk down my money for a 450. I currently have a DSR-390, which I happen to love, but I like the extra features of the 450. The one difference from what Peter did is I'd like to go for the wide angle (still "pro" level, though) YJ12x6.5KRS lens. I currently have the 1/2" version on my 390, and I absolutely love it. Once you go wide, you can't go back! I really would like to test the 450 vs. my 390, which is probably the king of low light sensitivity. I KNOW the 450 can't be as good, since it's an F11 camera vs. F13, and the f-stop of my current lens is 1.5 vs. f2 on the 2/3" YJ12x6.5. But Sony tells me I can gain up the 450 to a very high level and still get a decent picture. (Sorry that I'm bringing up more questions than I'm answering!) The other thing nobody has been able to answer (including Sony at the DV Expo East last month) is the slow shutter. The brochure says it will do all the way down to 1/4 second (similar to a DSR-150 or 170) but NO ONE has been able to verify this. I've emailed a guy here on the east coast who owns one, but he hasn't had the time to check out the slow shutter. And last but not least - the price. Do I shell out major bucks now (and I need to sell the 390 to pay for it) or do I wait for the next generation HDV? I'm not happy either with any of the products that are out (but the JVC looks like the most promising).

Oh, yeah - and this is my first post!
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#6 Alexis

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 09:41 AM

I was just checking out the feature set of the DSR450 and except for the fact it's still DV (4:1:1), it looks to have a lot of potential as an indie/doc camera. I currently shoot on a JVC DV500 with a nice Canon lens, so it's hard to swallow going to a 1/3" chip cam and HDV doesn't seem fully baked yet from what I've seen and read. However, I'd like to shoot 16:9 native and 24p. I do industrial work too, so any camera I consider has to be 4:3/30i capable too and look good in front of corporate clients.
I'd like to hear any opinions, good or bad about this new cam. I'd also like hear how it compares to the DVX100 and XL2 in terms of picture quality (low light, high contrast control, resolution and general aesthetic). I'm suprised I haven't heard a lot more about this because short of spending another $10k on an SDX900, this camera seems to have it all over the entry level/prosumer indie cams.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



HI,
Looking on line to see any reviews of the Sony DSR 450 and I saw your inquiry. I haven't used the Sony DSR 450 and can't compare, but I can tell you that the Panasonic dvx100a, although it has great image quality for dv, requires the use of an anamorphic lens adapter to shoot 16:9 (if you want the best resolution especially if you are going back to film). However, there are numerous restrictions when using the anamorphic lens adapter on the dvx100a (the biggest restriction for me was not being able to focus with the camera -one must use a monitor to focus. I prefer to use a monitor most of the time, but can't for on the run shooting). I have been renting an XL2 when I need it (shoots native 16:9 and 24p as you know), while waiting for the newer cameras to come out later this year. In my opinion, the XL2 image quality is excellent for DV (I may like it better than the dvx100a). I have been pleased with the XL2 and the 20x lens (especially compared to the lense on the dvx 100a and lenses on other dv cameras).
I look forward to hearing more reviews on the DSR 450 and the responses to your inquiry. I also look forward to seeing the reviews on the new Panasonic 200 when it arrives later this year. Canon just announced that their XL H1 is coming out at the end of the year (shoots native 16:9, 24p, HD, and apparently ntsc and pal if you opt for both).
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#7 Paul Lindsay

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 03:21 PM

Yeah, have worked with DSR 500 and the pro-sumer cameras (Z1 and PDs) as well as 450 and the 450 is the closest I've come to feeling that I'm working on a proper camera.
It gets a lot better using a good lens as well. The menu settings take a while getting used to but are brilliant. The most recent series I shot was on a baseline basic setting 'cos it didn't need much else. Am itching to be able to use more serious 'film' effects.






Phil,
you forgot to mention the FAR better audio system. As an XL-2 owner, one of the things I simply hate about pro-sumer cams is the inflexibility of the audio, mostly due to the "stereo" on-board mic. I just did a shoot where I wanted to record simultaneous on-cam mic with a wireless receiver and the only option was to drop down to 12-bit because the on-cam mic takes up both channels in 16-bit. Stupid.

I've done alot of shooting with the predecessor of the 450, which is the 570WS and there is no
comparison (though people will certainly continue to MAKE comparisons) between that and the XL-2 or DVX. Even ignoring the 2/3" CCD vs. 1/3" CCD, the feature flexability of the DSR450WS
vs. any prosumer cam makes it worth the extra $$. Given the fact that Sony is offering incredible deals on the 450's (around 2x a tricked out XL-2), it's tough to say no to it.

For more info, Peter DeCresenzo (sp?) has recently bought a DSR450WS and has been posting regularly about it since. Do a search.


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#8 Sarmed Mirza

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 07:06 AM

hiya
Can you suggest where to buy the DSR 450 from? Any good deals anywhere currently? I live in UK.
Cheers.

Phil,
you forgot to mention the FAR better audio system. As an XL-2 owner, one of the things I simply hate about pro-sumer cams is the inflexibility of the audio, mostly due to the "stereo" on-board mic. I just did a shoot where I wanted to record simultaneous on-cam mic with a wireless receiver and the only option was to drop down to 12-bit because the on-cam mic takes up both channels in 16-bit. Stupid.

I've done alot of shooting with the predecessor of the 450, which is the 570WS and there is no
comparison (though people will certainly continue to MAKE comparisons) between that and the XL-2 or DVX. Even ignoring the 2/3" CCD vs. 1/3" CCD, the feature flexability of the DSR450WS
vs. any prosumer cam makes it worth the extra $$. Given the fact that Sony is offering incredible deals on the 450's (around 2x a tricked out XL-2), it's tough to say no to it.

For more info, Peter DeCresenzo (sp?) has recently bought a DSR450WS and has been posting regularly about it since. Do a search.



hiya
Can you suggest where to buy the DSR 450 from? Any good deals anywhere currently? I live in UK.
Cheers.

Phil,
you forgot to mention the FAR better audio system. As an XL-2 owner, one of the things I simply hate about pro-sumer cams is the inflexibility of the audio, mostly due to the "stereo" on-board mic. I just did a shoot where I wanted to record simultaneous on-cam mic with a wireless receiver and the only option was to drop down to 12-bit because the on-cam mic takes up both channels in 16-bit. Stupid.

I've done alot of shooting with the predecessor of the 450, which is the 570WS and there is no
comparison (though people will certainly continue to MAKE comparisons) between that and the XL-2 or DVX. Even ignoring the 2/3" CCD vs. 1/3" CCD, the feature flexability of the DSR450WS
vs. any prosumer cam makes it worth the extra $$. Given the fact that Sony is offering incredible deals on the 450's (around 2x a tricked out XL-2), it's tough to say no to it.

For more info, Peter DeCresenzo (sp?) has recently bought a DSR450WS and has been posting regularly about it since. Do a search.


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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 10:18 AM

Try www.creativevideo.co.uk

I shot a short horror film with DSR450 last year. I was very pleased with the pictures, and there was lots of room for Image manipulation via the extensive menus.
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#10 Sarmed Mirza

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 10:41 AM

Thanks Susan. Did you hire the camera?

Try www.creativevideo.co.uk

I shot a short horror film with DSR450 last year. I was very pleased with the pictures, and there was lots of room for Image manipulation via the extensive menus.


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#11 Jeff Regan

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 09:55 AM

In the US, B & H Photo had 450 PAL versions for sale at a low cost and a $3K Sony rebate.

The 450 is a fantastic camera, best SD camera I've owned in 25 years of owning Sony and
Ikegami's top cameras.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

Edited by Jeff Regan, 19 September 2006 - 09:58 AM.

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#12 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 01:40 PM

Thanks Susan. Did you hire the camera?


I don't know who Susan is, but we hired in from Visual Impact....
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