User's Comments about the VX2000

Subject: Comparing TRV900 and VX2000 Cameras
From: Tom Hardwick
Date: Jan. 6 2001

I've had the TRV900 and the VX2000 on the table, side by side. Each camera has its pros and cons so let's look at where each camera scores over its sibling.

The TRV900 is beautifully compact. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing because the quality of results defy its size and you really can go in as an amateur where the 2000 would shout "pro".

The 900's side screen is bigger and better, and the viewfinder doesn't overhang the rear of the camera by such a silly amount as in the 2000.

The floppy disks and compact flash are cheaper than the MemoryStick the 2000 requires.

It's a whole lot cheaper (as you well know). The difference could keep you in tape for a year or two, buy you a scanner and a printer, even send you on holiday.

Now to the 2000. It has a better microphone, it has a (not very nice) manual zoom ring, it has 1/3" chips, it has 2 ND filters, it consumes more power, it has less "green flare" and has a bigger filter thread (58mm). The lens is much nicer than the 900's because the 900 looses a stop and a half when you zoom to telephoto and the 2000 only looses a half stop. So the 2000 is much better in low light.

The 1/3" chips mean that longer focal length lenses are used for the same angle of view such that differential focus is easier to obtain with the 2000. The wider aperture at full tele helps in this department too. The vari-prism SteadyShot makes for a big filter thread and a bulky lump on the side of the lens, but is every bit as good as the 900's vibrating element solution.

The camera looks the part. In the same way that the 900 is a wolf, the 2000 is a lion. It looks the biz, and when a client sees you set up with a 2000 he knows you've invested in the right stuff and therefore he's invested in the right man.

Your decision will reflect the use you plan to put the camera to. The 900 is without doubt the world's best serious home movie cam. The 2000 is better, but the price you pay in weight, bulk and cost must be thought carefully about. Whereas you might take the 900 on a day out to the zoo to happily hand hold some footage of the family, the 200 deserves more than this somehow. The extra money almost insists that you use the cam with a tripod, otherwise - why spend the extra?


Subject: Media Documentary in Texas
From: Bill Finch (alioth ix netcom com)
Date: Jan 10, 2001

The media camped out in little white tents outside the Texas Governor's Mansion during the recent Presidential election. CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox News, local Austin ENG crew, visiting nearby ENG crew - San Antonio/Houston and assorted other drop by videographers. They came with their equipment and uplinks for a few days but stayed for two months, shooting whatever they could to fill the video void between discussions of chads and the like.

I decided to do a video about video coverage of the election in Austin - because I live here and had the time available.

What I discovered is that there is a pecking order among videographers. The networks are at the top. Next come the cable news people. Finally come the locals with their betacams. The network types ignore the cable types. They all ignore the betacamers. Quite a few local public showed up with their 8mm derivatives. These folks also were ignored by everyone.

When I showed up with a VX2000 the first day, pecking protocol was abandoned. All three of the network videographers wanted to talk about and look at the camera. Also several areas required press passes (which I didn't bother with). The cops always waved me through when they saw the VX2000. A Secret Service guy stopped me to look at the camera. He said that he'd never seen one like it before. Inside the Capitol Building the politicians could spot the VX2000 from about 1000 feet and strike a pose.

Thanks to the VX2000 I got the video shots I needed for the video. The network guys were very helpful with hints about what to look for and where to find it. An NBC tech guy let me borrow an HMI light and scrim for a few night shots.

I'm not really sure what it was about the VX2000 that caught everyone's attention. It was a kind of magic passport. It's small enough to be ignored by the general public but special enough to be recognized by the people with an interest. Maybe it's the lens hood.

One other thing - I sold (non exclusive rights) the finished video (DV translated to Betacam) to CBS who cut it up in bits and pieces and showed it several different ways. It looked really good over the air.


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