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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 5th, 2003, 02:55 AM   #16
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Thanks Mike.
That was what I had hoped was the case. At the rate I use it, I am looking several good years left.

I have been wondering this for awhile, that is what the difference is in terms like heads, drum, transport, etc. I have an intuitive sense about what they mean, however it is nice to have it cleared up.

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Old May 5th, 2003, 01:38 PM   #17
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Okay now the follow up question, what is threading?
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Old May 5th, 2003, 02:11 PM   #18
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Loading a tape
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Old May 6th, 2003, 02:37 AM   #19
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Good News from Sony

I called Sony out of paranoia that one day I would have change parts and rebuild transports and all that. It all seem silly to me that after only 1200 hours on something that costs over $3000 Sony would expect another $3000. 1200 MTBF ( Mean Time between Failures) I mean my flash for my DSC-707 or my 35mm Canon has a better MTBF. Anyway I called Sony, using the link that Mike has provided in another thread and found out that Sony would refurbish the camera for a flat rate of $550.00. The CSR explained that the camera will all meet or exceed Sony's specs after this process has been done and $550.00 will include return shipping. All you would need to do is call them as well and ask for a repair order. That's cool.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 10:43 AM   #20
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Garret,

You misunderstand the terminology. Sony expects the HEADS to last 1200 hours. Real world experience suggests somewhere under 1,000 hours is more realistic.

Heads wear out and this is an expected maintenance item of any camera. Just like tires need replacement on a $30,000 automobile.

The $550 flat-rate offer from Sony will not be on the table when the camera is more than 7 years old. Then they charge time and materials.

Where did you get the $3000 figure?
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Old May 6th, 2003, 01:15 PM   #21
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Mike, I understood it quite well, actually which feeds my paranoia more. To put this into my perspective, a $3000 camera has the same MTBF as a flash bulb for for digital camera? My HVL-1000's bulb has a rating of 1000 hours. So, with the DSR-PD150 having a mean time between failure of 500 to 1000 hours because its heads will probably require to be replaced, they would have the same MTBF. I guess what I'm getting at is that our $3000 camera needs a major overhaul when the meter shows a drum time of 100 X10H. Using your analogy, tires are about $400+ for a $30,000 car, is not a big expense and is easier to fathom than a $800 service on a $3000 camera which is roughly 25% of the total cost of the unit. It would be more like a complete drivetrain overhaul $8000+ on a $30,000 car to put it in the same perspective.

I hope this makes you understand where I'm coming from. I guess my whole point revolves around the idea, of what happened to the days when one can purchase a TV (RCA, Curthis Mathis, etc. ) as a newlywed, that your grandchildren would be able to enjoy. Also, we save and work hard to get $3000 to buy the camera with the clock ticking rather quickly (1000 hours, which is the same life as a flashbulb.)

Or a better analogy would be buying a Hasselblad or Mamiya or Leica camera back when my father was a young man (50's-60's) that I can actually still use and quite possibly my daughter when she reaches the age of majority. (tongue in cheek)

And yes, I know I figured that by the end of the 7 years after the last market date of the DSR-PD150, when Sony will no longer have the parts to support or rebuild the camera, that the refurbish cost will definitely be much more, if even possible.

Mike, I guess maybe I don't have a good realistic sense of the relative time of 1000 hours will/can be. I'm basing this on comparing the specs you have shared along with what is published about a flashbulb I was expecting the camera to outlast the flashbulb by a factor of 10 at least.

What I know is that with the very short time I've owned my camera my operation time is at 3 x 10H, the drum is at 1 X 10H basically just playing around with it and shooting my wife's baby shower in which I let the camera on most of the day and the knowledge that when the meter reaches 100 X10H I will be expecting to be rebuilding the transport.

I know it is not your specs, but I guess I thought they built these things much better than that. I guess it is true that they don't make 'em like they used to.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 01:55 PM   #22
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Garret, it's that way whether you paid $500 or $50,000 for your camera. The heads are rotating against an abrasive medium and they wear out. The head life delta across all cameras/VTRs regardless of format is only about 2:1. The best of them give out after 2000-3000 hours of rotation against tape. But the sub-sub-miniature marvels that allow DV recording are the smallest of the lot.

That's why lubrication is so important to head life and why I run only Sony tapes. They should know which lubricant leads to better head life.

Consider how small a video head is . . . with a micron gap. The head doesn't wear all that much, it's just that the gap opens up and stops the recording process. The same thing that happens to audio tape recorders.

I'd guess the problem will go away when we all have cameras that write to disk or memory.

I add $10 per recorded hour to my expenses to cover camera and VTR head repairs since not only do I run my camera, I also run the VTR about 2X that on every job.

This is not an inexpensive business as you know. Heads are consumables just like tape.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 02:00 PM   #23
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Beginning to learn that rather quickly. I guess it is all part of the game: heads, tapes, batteries...Mike you don't use a separate VTR or perhaps a cheap MINIDV cam?

BTW, I wandered into your street this weekend, you live by Hogan High School, huh?
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Old May 6th, 2003, 03:08 PM   #24
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I use a DSR-20 deck, not a camcorder since I have to use the 3 hour cassettes for some of my work. And my DSR-300 does not have firewire.

I live one block up from Hogan. The yellow house at 737.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 03:53 PM   #25
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I didn't want to knock and disturb yeah, but yeah I think I passed by your house...I got lost looking for Cunningham Pool, turned out to be on the opposite side. Must be quite a pain when school season is in with all those darn cars parked on your street.
No ilink on the 300? What NLe do you use?
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Old June 18th, 2003, 09:11 AM   #26
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pd150 question regarding hrs. meter...pls help

I am looking to purchase a pd150 with "low hours." Unfortunately that statement seems to be quite subjective. Kinda like used car ad's "showroom quality" claim.
Can anyone suggest a range that I should be looking at (especially for people asking 2700 or so $. I know that with the prices of used ones so close to the prices of new ones maybe 0 hrs might be best, but as a true American I am trying to get the best deal (save some $). Thanks.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 10:02 AM   #27
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At $2700, I'd expect 10 or fewer hours. No scratches or dings, very clean, all accessories including the original carton and manual. Sales receipt to them would be good too. Any extended warranty docs.

Serial number somewhat close to what is in the stores now (you don't want a 4 year old hanger queen).

Check with Sony to see if you can find a repair history on the camera (I don't know if they track serial numbers in the repair shop but they can tell you when the camera was built).

Frankly, at $2700, I'd go buy a new one for 20% more unless I knew the history of the used camera and the owner. Personally.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 11:09 AM   #28
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Thanks Mike. That is kinda of the number i was thinking. Is there one number (total hours, threading, heads, etc) that should concern me if it is high (ie:used as deck for FCP).
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Old June 18th, 2003, 11:35 AM   #29
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Head hours is the one critical point if you ignore the others.

OTOH, I'd not want a camera that had a thousand hours of power-on time with everything else low.

In decending order of importance to me:

Head hours, - Head wear indicator

Threaded hours - Length of time the transport springs are stretched out and tape is wrapped around everything.

Load cycles - Number of times the loading mechanism has been cycled which is a stressful time for the camera

Power-on - 2000 hours equals a normal working year (ROT)

So if it has 10 head hours, 2000 threaded hours, 1 load cycle and 2000 power-on hours, you know it sat around loaded but not used much. Security? Web cam? Who knows.
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Old July 15th, 2003, 02:10 PM   #30
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Head Hours

eBay has a PD150 for $2700, no original charger/AC Adaptor, Portabrace, Century Optics .65x, head hours are 550 and a FP960, I emailed the seller for more meter reading to get a better concept on how this thing was used. Can you guys tell me if this is a good deal or is this highway robbery...Since I can get a new one with no nours for a little less. Thanks.
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