Comparison of Sony VX2000 with Panasonic DVX100

by John Beale  Dec. 6 2002


Lighting for this test used three 75W halogen floods with diffusion, from three to eight feet away. The incident light reading is EV 9.5 = 1800 lux for each image. It was interesting to note that the sharpening artifacts on the VX2k image show up with light features on a dark background, while the DVX100 shows artifacts around dark features on white (both in interlaced mode). The DVX100 in prog-scan mode does better as far as the sharpening artifacts go.

I used manual white balance in each case on the same sheet of paper, so I don't know why the 30p mode image is more green.  If you like one of these images better than another, be aware that both cameras can be customized as far as image sharpness, color balance and saturation. Getting good test images is a time-consuming task, and I haven't spent much time on this particular test.

VX2000 at f/5.6, interlaced, normal settings (no "custom program")

DVX100 at f/5.6, interlaced, detail -3, pedestal -7, cine gamma, other settings at 0

DVX100 at f/4.0, 30p mode, thin, settings at 0
DVX100, 30p

Very Dim Conditions

I compared the two cameras in very dim light, more than 5 stops dimmer than the previous test. I used a single clear 25 watt bulb, used indirect (bounced off a white wall 6 feet away) for the sole source of light. I measured an incident reading at center frame of EV 4.1 = 43 lux which is too dim to comfortably read by, and fairly ridiculous to attempt photography in. All of the following images use this same illumination. In the +12 dB gain setting the DVX100 appears to have some smoothing applied, which washes out fine texture detail. The VX2k was set in standard mode, as above. The DVX100 had -3 detail, -3 pedestal, cine gamma, other settings 0/default/normal. Manual white balance on a white piece of paper on each, except DVX100 in prog.scan mode which returned "white balance NG - low light" so I assume it retained the previous balance setting, but in this light it's hard to tell.

Note Dec. 8 '02: it has been pointed out that the DVX100 can go to +18 dB gain in interlaced mode, with a custom button assignment. At +18dB I notice considerable chroma noise. I was zoomed in on these shots and limited to f/2.0 (as was the VX2k) but both cameras go to f/1.6 when zoomed wide. I used the DVX default shutter in 30p which is 1/48 sec, but you can set 1/30 sec shutter (or 1/24 sec in 24p mode) if you wish, giving a brighter image and also more motion blur.

VX2000, f/2.0, +18 dB
VX2000-open+18 dB

DVX100, f/2.0, +12 dB (interlaced)
DVX100, f2.0, +12 dB

VX2000, f/2.0, +0 dB
VX2000, open, +0 dB

DVX100, f2.0, +0 dB (interlaced)
DVX100, f2.0, +0 dB

DVX100, 30p thin, f2.0, +0 dB, shutter=1/48 sec (progressive)
DVX100, 30p, f2.0, +0dB

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