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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 16th, 2003, 05:44 AM   #1
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PD170 - Sony admit glitch

If you're thinking of buying a PD170 BEWARE! There is a fault with a batch of these cameras (mine is among them). When you flip out the mini LCD screen there is an audio buzz which is recorded to tape on a number of these cameras. Sony Silver Support told me this morning they are aware of the problem and they're currently waiting to hear from Japan as to what to do about it. Not all cameras are affected - it seems confined to a certain batch. Make sure if you're buying a PD170 you test the camera first. Listen carefully to see if there's a buzz when you flip out the screen (most noticable with no mic plugged in). If there is, then try another camera. For those (like me) affected, the official line from Sony is to shoot only with the viewfinder until they have an update about what they plan to do about it. You may remember there was an audio hiss problem with the PD150 when it first came out. It would seem history is repeating itself - albeit a different issue in the PD170's case.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 05:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
For those (like me) affected, the official line from Sony is to shoot only with the viewfinder until they have an update about what they plan to do about it.
That's just peachy.
Quote:
You may remember there was an audio hiss problem with the PD150 when it first came out. It would seem history is repeating itself - albeit a different issue in the PD170's case.
Yes, and along came the BBC to the rescue, if you could afford it. (For the VX2000 only.) :-)
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Old December 16th, 2003, 06:09 AM   #3
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I know what you mean about the official Sony line - it's all a bit poor really.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 07:16 AM   #4
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At one point, I was actually thinking of buying the VX2000, during the days it was going for $5300 Canadian. I was then going to spend more money for the "BBC Fix." Then I got thinking. Was it worth it? So I just held out and never went for it. These days, though, it's a good buy, even in Canada. Sadly, Sony never did address the audio issue. Keeping the gain down does almost make this ever-so-slight problem almost disappear. However, when I see (and hear) VX2000 footage played back on my friend's Sony deck, it's there, if you listen carefully. On the other hand, maybe the speakers aren't that great. :-)

I never watched/listened PD150 footage, so I can't comment. It's never a good idea to buy a new model cam until it's been out long enough for the complaints to surface.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 07:26 AM   #5
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Once Sony had fixed the PD150 audio hiss which was evident in the first batch, the 150's sound was every bit as good as the VX2000 with the BBC fix. As I understand it, VX2000s without the fix are fine - they don't have XLRs as you know - and the audio doesn't quite have the range. Can't quite remember how much the BBC now charge if you ever want to get the fix done in the future - but I think it's around 500 including the Glensound box however it voids the Sony warranty.

You're right about letting a camera bed down a bit before buying it - I just thought that with the 170 being almost a clone of the 150 apart from a different handle and a wide lens it would be fine. I was wrong!
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Old December 16th, 2003, 01:03 PM   #6
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So what, are they going to release the PD190 next month?
Patiently waiting, Mr. Sony. I have a bunch of money for you if only you would get it together..........
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Old December 16th, 2003, 01:17 PM   #7
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How has this sort of thing been handled in the past? How can a buyer that isn't able to test the device firsthand insure that he won't get a noisesome cam, even in a month's time? Are they recalling all existing cams in shops? Does anyone know if B&H is aware of this ridiculousness?
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Old December 16th, 2003, 03:46 PM   #8
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Sony didn't recall VX's and PD's about the "hisssss" problem. I doubt they'll recall their new cams for the LCD/audio problem.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: PD170 - Sony admit glitch

If the PD150-170 is like the 2000, then there should be an adjustment for volume on the side of the mini LCD screen.

Most likely there was a production run where things weren't done correctly or overlooked. A bad connection is most likely the problem.

Sony has to first determine how many units were affected and then determine if there needs to be a major or minor recall or just a basic exchange/repair for the defective units.

It is quite obvious that this is not a design problem as was the case in the past, which was later corrected.

I just got me a vx2000 and it doesn't have the 'hiss' problem however I noticed that with the built in mic that the audio gain is quite high with the auto level during quiet periods. But then, who uses the built in mic anyway?

I will mostly be using it with an external mixer with the switch next to the mic set for 'line level'.

While some are saying things like 'sloppy' and whatever, I don't think this to be the case. It is simply one of those type of things that can happen with a new item. It will be ironed out by Sony and that will be the end of it.

Meanwhile it should be discussed but not blown out of proportion.

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<<<-- Originally posted by Anthony Baxter : If you're thinking of buying a PD170 BEWARE! There is a fault with a batch of these cameras (mine is among them). When you flip out the mini LCD screen there is an audio buzz which is recorded to tape on a number of these cameras. Sony Silver Support told me this morning they are aware of the problem and they're currently waiting to hear from Japan as to what to do about it. Not all cameras are affected - it seems confined to a certain batch. Make sure if you're buying a PD170 you test the camera first. Listen carefully to see if there's a buzz when you flip out the screen (most noticable with no mic plugged in). If there is, then try another camera. For those (like me) affected, the official line from Sony is to shoot only with the viewfinder until they have an update about what they plan to do about it. You may remember there was an audio hiss problem with the PD150 when it first came out. It would seem history is repeating itself - albeit a different issue in the PD170's case. -->>>
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Old December 16th, 2003, 08:21 PM   #10
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Well, it's scary when you're dealing with a corporation that doesn't seem terribly responsible always for their own mistakes and flaws.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 08:25 PM   #11
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>>Meanwhile it should be discussed but not blown out of proportion.

I agree! I just got my PD-170 last week, and for sure I'm a little peeved about the audio. But I know Sony's reputation, I believe they will correct this promptly and with minimal fuss.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:11 PM   #12
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Did that tech ever look at your cam? Yours is
NTSC right?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:17 PM   #13
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Anthony, have you heard it recorded to tape?
Some have said it is only there while *monitoring*
the recording.
Have there been any confirmed NTSC cases.
I heard that Sony has only acknowledged the PAL
problems.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 03:00 AM   #14
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Hi Dave - Yes it is recorded to tape unfortunately -

I haven't asked about any NTSC cases.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 03:36 AM   #15
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Anthony,
What is the best way to check to see if a particular
PD has it? Does it sound like tape hiss? Or is it more
of a buzzing sound? Is it quite obvious or do you have
to really try in order to hear it?
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