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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:43 PM   #1
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PD170 price

I just wondered if any of you have noticed that here in the UK the PD170 price as risen to over 3k at Mitcorp and Creative Video, you would have thought that because of the credit crunch it would have dropped i know its a 1st class camera but with the credit crunch you would have thought it would have dropped a bit in price

It even costs more than the V1 HD camera, anybody now why?
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Old March 12th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #2
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no clue.

i just bought mine of Ebay (used) for $1350 (includes shipping, insurance and a 5 hour battery).
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Old March 12th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #3
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Ian, it just reflects the Pound to Yen exchange rate, and the fact that (most probably) Creative don't stock this fairly ancient camera and have to buy them in one at a time from Sony when customers demand one.

They buy V1s in by the bucketload because the demand for that camera will be far higher. As a result they get them form Sony at a better price. Are you in the market?

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Old March 12th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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It may have been around abit now but it still takes some beating, and no iam not in the market for a V1 i much prefere the 170
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Old March 12th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #5
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As a 4:3 camera it does indeed take some beating Ian. It's ability to turn night into day is legendary and it's tough as nails, having been used in war-torn hot-spots all over the world.

But if you switch it into its 16:9 mode then it's easily beaten, and by cameras costing 1/5th of the price (the HV30 for instance). This is down to its age - it was released as the VX2000 9 years ago when 16:9 TVs are few and far between - so its no reflection on the original design concept.

What is it that you film that needs to be in 4:3 these days? And what is it about the PD170 that makes you prefer it to the V1? The latter may have smaller CMOS chips, but in all other respects it is indeed the true PD170 successor, even to having the side rather than the top screen.

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Old March 13th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #6
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From a thread I created earlier it seems like the Sony Z5 is more the low light champion than the V1 and thus a better follow up from the PD170. I still do lots of corporate stuff in 4:3 and would like to get my PD170 repaired or replaced. I hypothesized that the price is up there with HDV cameras to make customers more likely to take the leap to HD so that they can cease production of professional SD sooner.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post

What is it that you film that needs to be in 4:3 these days?

tom.
Well I know I am not the OP. But just for the purposes of discussion I will answer this the question....EVERYTHING! TV commercials, corporate videos, web videos, promos,
documentary videos, freelance news, every single thing I shoot. Every single client I have still wants 4:3. I have had almost no requests for HD or 16x9. It really depends on where you are, there are many people out there that are a little resistant to change as they know what they have and don't want to figure out something new. Others just don't have the cash to drop over 1 grand on a new 16x9 HD TV so they stick with their TV they have which works just fine.
Some cable companies and TV stations (every one where I am at) do not even accept
TV spots in HD, they want their 4x3 SD for every spots. They don't want to spend
money upgrading until they have to. There are a LOT of places in the world still
that are happy with their 4x3 SD TV sets and content. Sometimes as 'techies' we
who work in the industry forget this.

Now we all know that eventually HD content with it's 16x9 aspect ratio will take over.
It's the wave of the future, and it WILL be what everyone wants eventually. Right
now, we are in a strange limbo in many areas (especially rural areas). There is the
ABILITY to shoot and deliver HD, but the whole infrastructure surrounding HD
just isn't there yet. When Blu Ray players are as common as DVD players, when HD
TV's are as common as regular TV's, when TV stations and cable companies will
accept HD spots, THEN we will be there and there will be no questions, everyone
will expect HD. Right now, there are pockets of the country that DO have the infrastructure surrounding HD and others that do NOT......actually this probably
applies to to other countries as well, but I know for certain that it applies to the US.
So again, it depends on your market. As for mine, I am shooting EVERYTHING in SD
4x3 and will continue to do so until it is necessary to change. Not because I want to....
believe me, I'd LOVE to jump into HD.....but because it doesn't make business sense for
me to do so. Spend 10 or 15 grand to upgrade to HD only to continue charging the
same prices because no one wants HD yet? Not a good idea for me. But have no
fear, us late adopters will move into HD eventually......we will have to. Until then.....
we'll just get by doing what we've been doing for the last few years.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #8
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Well said Gabe

This debate will go on for ages yet and i for one are not convinced about HDV, yes they do produce a better picture in good light but once it falls off not to sure

I have used the Z1, XLH1, FX1, V1 i have handled the Z5, Z7 and all of them barring the canon build quality is more plastic and are'nt as solid as my 170

As for the 16:9 vs 4x3 nobody i speak to is bothered i have asked them do you want it filmed in widescreen and there response is we just want a well shot dvd of there big day

Anyway i have plugged the 170 into both my WS Tv's and it looks very good to my eyes and iam still getting weddings and corporate work with no complaints

I spent thousands on cameras thinking that if i got the all new singing and dancing camera i would be pulled out with work! not true iam getting more now and only using the 170

I will move to Hd one day but at this moment in time i will use my nearly new 170
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Old March 13th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #9
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As for the 16:9 vs 4x3 nobody i speak to is bothered i have asked them do you want it filmed in widescreen and there response is we just want a well shot dvd of there big day

This sounds suspiciously like you're filming weddings Ian (though you don't say you are). Are you honestly saying that couples that can afford your specialist services (as well as all the other costs that go into a wedding) come home from expensive honeymoon and watch your DVD on an old 4:3 CRT?

It's possible, but not probable. A friend of mine here in Essex has just filmed his last wedding on a PD170. No complaints about the picture quality; the camera is quite excellent at the price. But when he went round to see the last couple they showed him 'how your film looks on our big new telly', and of course they were stretching it to fill all that posh plasma real-estate. Result: bride 25% fatter at a stroke. Not good.

Of course couples want 'a well shot film of their day' as you put it. They know you're the expert and that they can leave all the technicalities to you. If you start talking HDV, Blu-ray, 16:9, double layer and so on their eyes will glaze over - they just want it to fill their TV, to be in colour, sharp and with excellent sound.

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Old March 14th, 2009, 12:53 AM   #10
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This sounds suspiciously like you're filming weddings Ian (though you don't say you are). Are you honestly saying that couples that can afford your specialist services (as well as all the other costs that go into a wedding) come home from expensive honeymoon and watch your DVD on an old 4:3 CRT?

tom.
Again, I am not Ian, but this is EXACTLY what I am saying! Weddings are not a huge
part of my business, but I do a few of them a year, mostly people who take a cruise
to Alaska and want to get married in front of a glacier or such....and some locals as
well, and yes, they do go home and watch the DVD on their old 4:3 CRT TV! There is a
ton of people out there who have not upgraded....maybe I'm just lucky or unlucky
(depending on how you look at it) but my clients, be they brides, corporate, TV stations
or other are not only ok with 4:3 SD but even ask for it many times. I know, hard
to believe with the superiority of 16:9 HD.

My theory is that there is a certain point beyond which most people don't want to pay....they think it's 'good enough' and don't want to pay for more. This comes from my marketing research and seeing which wedding packages couples pick out (Hint, it's not the high end expensive ones in my area anyways) and which commercial packages (again not the high end ones). They want something that is better than the low end stuff but still fairly reasonable....the 'middle of the road' package as it were. And for these people....4:3 DVD's of a wedding or event, or commercial, or documentary
....are just fine.

My point in these posts is....just because your area is all HD 16:9, don't think that the
rest of the world is just like where you live. There is quite a gamut in this area,
some places are all HD ready, others are not....depending on where you live.....rural, urban, rich area, poor area, as with all businesses, your market makes a HUGE difference and in plenty of places, 4:3 SD will be going strong for awhile, especially with the way the economy is right now.....that is my bold prediction for the day.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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Again, I am not Ian, but this is EXACTLY what I am saying! and yes, they do go home and watch the DVD on their old 4:3 CRT TV!
The thing is Ian and I live in England, where 16:9 sets have been on sale for 15 years now. I can well believe things are different in your part of the world Gabe and so be it. BTW, 16:9 SD is the norm here - Blu-ray adoption on a majority scale is still a good 4 or 5 years off I reckon.

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Old March 14th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #12
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The thing is Ian and I live in England, where 16:9 sets have been on sale for 15 years now. I can well believe things are different in your part of the world Gabe and so be it. BTW, 16:9 SD is the norm here - Blu-ray adoption on a majority scale is still a good 4 or 5 years off I reckon.

tom.
Ya, you make a good point there, I don't know how many 16:9 sets are in your area
and it sounds like you guys might be much further along than some places in the
US. But 16:9 SD huh? See that's part of the whole mess in my opinion, way too many
types of video...4:3 SD, 16:9 SD, 720P HD, 1080i HD, 1080p HD, then there is all the
different frame rates as well....24p, 25p, 30p, 60i, 60p (in some cases) it's no wonder
that the average person throws their hands up in disgust. 'Is this TRUE HD or not?'
(As a side note, some companies have taken to calling 1080p 'TRUE HD' as a marketing
ploy). When I travel, I see just about anything and everything as far as what type of
video people 'consume' depending on where I go. There's also this strange co existence
of bigger is better (trying to get people to buy that 62 inch HD set) and smaller is
better (we need you to buy an iPhone with video). I think this whole mess is another reason that some average consumers will just throw their hands up annd go with what they are familiar with.....in some areas that is 4:3 SD, in your area it is probably 16:9 SD.
The whole thing seems very 'marketing' driven as companies search for ways to try to
get us to buy more and more. So just when HD has finally reached a good market
penetration all over the world, and it is as easy to make a Blu Ray and bring it to the
average person to pop into their Blu Ray player and it just works.....and all TV stations
and Cable companies will accept HD spots......that is about the time I figure that we
will all learn that HD is 'worthless' and that what we all REALLY need is 'ultra HD' with
'3D imaging' or some such thing.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #13
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Yes they may have been available here for 15 years but 16:9 is not the norm here, i know loads of people who still have old tv's and will only upgrade when they go bang and that could be while

Anyway what ever you say Tom the footage from the 170 looks ok on my 2 WS tv's,

Hd is the way forward but until its as common as SD DVD players i will hang on to my 170 end of story
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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #14
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i know loads of people who still have old tv's and will only upgrade when they go bang and that could be while. Anyway what ever you say Tom the footage from the 170 looks ok on my 2 WS tv's,

I too know loads of people with old 4:3 TVs Ian. My only thought was that people who can afford my wedding videos almost certainly have widescreen TVs.

Like you I have many 4:3 films shot on my VX2000 and I agree - they look excellent on my 46" 1080p TV. Of course I have to pillarbox them using the remote's 4:3 access button, otherwise the image is distorted to fill the screen.

Again - if brides are doing this to my films I'd be upset. I've spent a lot of money buying a camcorder with a lens that has a distortion figure of 1% tops - and to have customers adding 24% to that is outrageous.

tom.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #15
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Yes Tom i have spent thousands on cameras HDV included but have never found that having a hd camera brought me more work nobody was interested, as i said before CONTENT, SHARP FOCUS, CREATIVITY it dosent matter of what format if its good people will be pleased

What happens Tom when an old classic like Dads Army or steptoe and son come on your all singing HD TV do you turn it off because its not WS i think not!
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