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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 27th, 2004, 08:49 AM   #1
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What to look for in new PD170

Hello!

I am going to get my 2 new PD170s in about 17 hours time! (counting down already!) The dealer is sending the cameras and accessories to my place, and I was wondering if there were some checking procedure that I should use to look out for obvious signs of damage.

I know that the serial number should be greater than 1213500 to avoid the audio hiss problem; but other than that, what else is likely to be faulty, "out of the box"? I guess this is generally a well built product, but i would like to be sure. What kinds of damage have people seen happen with their "brand new" cameras?

And oh yeah, I would like to say that I have learnt a lot by simply lurking around these groups. Thank you all for posting such informative articles, and generally tolerating what must be rather banal questions.

regards,
michael
Michael Tan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2004, 09:54 AM   #2
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What kind of "damage" are you expecting. There should be none as long as it was purchased from a reputable dealer and the package was handled well in transit. Other than that any defects from the factory, albiet incredibly rare, would easily be covered under warranty.

Btw, "2" PD-170s....nice!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 11:57 AM   #3
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Michael:

Regarding the "Hiss" problem: That was the first thing I checked upon receiving my PD-170 back in April. I was aware of the issue and Sony's (unofficial) announcement that serial numbers 121xxxx had the problem fixed. According to reports, units manufactured and shipped since Jan 2004 are O.K.

I bought my camera from [DVInfo sponsor] B&H, assuming that their quick inventory turnover meant that I would get one of these new units (or at least a serial number above 121xxxx). Imagine my disappointment to see that what I received in April of '04 was a camera with a serial number WELL BELOW 121xxxx! (it was in the 111xxxx) range.

The good (great!) news is that after putting the camera through its paces and testing it for the spurious noise problem that resulted in Sony stopping production late last year - all is well with my camera. After my personal experience and research through the various forums/blogs covering the subject, I can offer the following possible explanations:

1. On serial#'s below 121xxxx, some cameras have this problem and some don't.
or
2. Sony quietly issued a stock recall from its dealers when the problem was confirmed, to fix the units then place them back in the reseller channel.

My point with all this is: don't be dismayed if your cameras show up on your doorstep with serial numbers below that magic 121xxxx number. As with anything new, check all the functions of the unit as soon as you are able, so as to be aware of any shipping defects up front. This is especially true with B&H's 14-day return/exchange policy.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 12:45 PM   #4
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Someone on the Sony DV forum posted a list of affected serial numbers that he said were in a Sony service bulletin. The serial numbers of the affected cameras are different for PAL than for NTSC. Serial numbers 121xxxx are for PAL cameras.
Here is the list of affected serial numbers. The audio problem is corrected in cams with higher serial numbers:

Sony DSR-PD170 - S/N from 1110001 to 1113000
Sony DSR-PD170P (PAL) – S/N from 121001 to 1213500

This would explain why your cam from B&H, if it's NTSC, has a serial number of 111xxxx.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 02:55 PM   #5
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Allen:

Great info and thanks! It makes sense that they would use different S/N prefixes to identify different camera formats.

BTW: My B&H PD170 shipped in April '04 is S/N 1115xxx. I'm glad to know that there's no possibility of my camera developing the problem in the future!
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Old May 28th, 2004, 09:09 AM   #6
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Received the cameras today, but not the other items (Manfrotto 756B legs, 501 head) and some minor accesories.

First impression of the PD170 is that as compared to the PD150, it feels quite plastic, and somewhat lighter. For example, did anyone feel that the scrollwheel on the PD170 gave a little less feedback; the PD150 scrollwheel had a little more "click" to it. And the bodywork; now it is all back. I think I sort of preferred the metallic flake look on the pd150...

Have not shot anything yet, so no comparison on the image quality.

I also bought the CAC-12, for a Sony ECM-670 shotgun. However, now i think i actually did not need to; as the shotgun is actually slightly smaller, a bit of gaffer tape would have done the trick to hold it on the default mic holder. Anyone find a good use for the CAC-12, besides having the convenience of not having to dismantle the default mic when stowing?

test-shooting a concert tomorrow night. not too concerned about audio quality. let's see how the pictures show up...
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Old May 28th, 2004, 10:04 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glen Elliott : What kind of "damage" are you expecting. There should be none as long as it was purchased from a reputable dealer and the package was handled well in transit. Other than that any defects from the factory, albiet incredibly rare, would easily be covered under warranty.

Btw, "2" PD-170s....nice! -->>>

Hmm. I guess I am just being paranoid. The serial numbers were in the "buzz-free" range, and a quick test did not reveal any problems with it.

guess it is real nice to be able to spend money which does not belong to oneself :)
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