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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 16th, 2004, 01:29 AM   #1
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My new Pd-170

Hey, this is a nice camera! I had 2 XL1's and sold one to buy the Sony. I'm impressed with the low light abilities and when the gain is pushed, there is not that much noticeable noise. Color is nice, but the Canon seems a bit more saturated/warm except in low light of course.
I'm curious, does the Sony have an auto shut off? The Canon was annoying in that it couldn't be disabled (in the XL1). I have DV rack and would like to record to a laptop and don't want the camera to shut off if there is no tape in the camera.
I really don't like where the A/V stuff comes out, looks it might get in the way a bit - ie headphones, video out, firewire - too close. Didn't like where it was on the XL1 either, but the headphone jack did come out the back with a gain adjustment. Can you adjust the headphone output?
Focus is definately much better in the Sony - very much needed for my steadycam and crane. The Canon sucked in auto focus and was the main reason for the trade.
The viewfinder is not so good. It appears as if there are distortions at the edge if your eye isn't nuts on center. The flip out lcd is a tad small, so the viewfinder is what I'll use.
I have a old TRV9. Nice to see that my old batteries and charger also work as well. NRG makes a 4 pin adapter for what appears to be the power connector on the back of the camera. Is this the right adapter or is there one that fits in the battery compartment? The NRG connector looks like it could pull out.

Thanks for any feedback

Dave
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Old November 16th, 2004, 03:57 AM   #2
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The 170 just shuts down the drum, not the camera. When you push record after a shutdown, the drum takes a moment to spin up but the camera is always on.

Headphone volume is a pair of push-buttons on the LCD frame.

With the large-sized batteries, there is really no need for an external battery for this camcorder. 4-5 hours run-time is the norm for the big batteries.
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Old November 16th, 2004, 09:03 AM   #3
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PD 170

I just purchased an aftermarket, 13 hour battery for the PD 170 at B & H. (It was funny because when the B & H guy told me that he had a 13 hour battery for $59.00, I exclaimed "NO WAY! You're KIDDING!" and he said, deadpan: "Why would I kid you? I am reading it off the side of the battery box!")

If you buy the Sony brand battery charger/DC converter (for your car's lighter plug) you get the battery sized adapter that slides into the battery port of your camera. You can also use that when you plug into the wall. Thank God for Sony! No baloney!

Oh, I agree with your viewfinder assessment. I drive myself mad trying to focus the diopter to my eye. It seems that you just can't tweak it sharp enough. Unless my Obsessive Compulsive disorder is taking over again.
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Old November 16th, 2004, 10:41 AM   #4
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I presume you're talking about the new 970 battery Hugh, or maybe the NP-F960? Well, go easy on the run time.

The packaging claims my NP-F750 is an 8 Hour battery when fully charged. I'm lucky if I get 4 hours on my camcorder.
These hourly figures are really there to put the technical side of battery capacity into everyday language that we can more readily relate to. The 750 battery has never given 8 hours when used on a Sony camcorder, nor was it ever designed to do so.

But to get maximum use out of it , turn off the steadyshot, the autofocus, don't turn the manual focus ring or the zoom ring, don't lock the exposure, keep the side screen shut, turn down the brightness of the viewfinder, shoot at happy levels of temperature, humidity and altitude and don't pause, stop or unlace the tape.

Fun, huh? Go forth and delight in the potential energy contained within modern diminutive lithium Ion batteries. Think of the poor folk with nicads, the cars with their lead & acid or the cost of dry cells.

tom.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 03:14 PM   #5
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I kinda figured I might have been hoodwinked.
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Old December 13th, 2004, 03:29 PM   #6
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OMG It Works!

I charged my aftermarket battery and sure enough, the "time remaining" window on my Sony charger indicated that I had just shy of 13 hours! Amazing!
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Old December 13th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #7
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Just thought I'd jump in on this since I'm a new 170 owner also. After my first wedding, I noticed that sauturation might be lower than what I was use to with our GL2s. I normally use a white warm card but has anyone been using a different blue shade to warm up the 170?

Also, if you white balance the 170 and then go auto or turn off the power, does the camera remember the manual white balance setting?
TIA
Bob
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Old December 13th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #8
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Bob
try a 1/2 blue for warmer results OR go into the CP and warm it up a touch.

My 150's remeber the WB when I shut down but I double check it anyway. Can't really answer about AutoWB as I never use it.
Don B
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Old December 14th, 2004, 06:46 PM   #9
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Hello. The 170 does indeed hold a manually attained white balance, when going to auto and back, or shutting off and on. (Just tried it).

For me thus far, the 8 hour battery is more like 6, which isn't bad. Working without the LCD out isn't a bad idea either, if not always practical.

Concurred about manually white balancing and then making adjustments from the Custom Presets. Jumping around between controls, both button and menu based, becomes second nature after several long shoots (more or less!).
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Old December 16th, 2004, 09:34 AM   #10
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Bob

This may sound "un-professional" but I use a light blue pillow case to white balance. It adds just the right amount of warmth and its easy to carry around too. I wonder if they rate pillow cases by color temp... :-)

Quote:

<<<-- Originally posted by Bob Harotunian : Just thought I'd jump in on this since I'm a new 170 owner also. After my first wedding, I noticed that sauturation might be lower than what I was use to with our GL2s. I normally use a white warm card but has anyone been using a different blue shade to warm up the 170?

Also, if you white balance the 170 and then go auto or turn off the power, does the camera remember the manual white balance setting?
TIA
Bob -->>>
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Old December 16th, 2004, 10:08 AM   #11
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Lamar,
I think Don's recommendation of the 1/2 blue warm card is probably very close to the pillowcase you mentioned.
Bob
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Old December 16th, 2004, 08:42 PM   #12
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Ha ha, thats great... blue pillow case. Never thought of
that but I bet it works great ....

On most of the still photo sites some of the guys just put
a coffee filter over the lens and white balance...

I haven't tried it on a video camera but it might work just
as well.

Hey if it works you could also take the filters and dip them
into different color'd dye and create what ever color balance
you want... not a bad idea???
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Old December 17th, 2004, 12:39 AM   #13
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Maybe this is punishible by death, but here goes. I've stopped worrying about colour balancing at the scene of the crime. OK, I flick the cam onto the nearest preset, but I haven't used the white balance see-saw for ages simply because my Canopus Storm's real-time post production colour balance filters are so good, fast and key-frameable. The white balance double click is a wonder to behold too, and its so easy to match up two cameras on the same shoot with a click of this button.

Yes, mucking about with your DV footage degrades it, but let's not get paranoid here. If it looks better then it is better in my view.

tom.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 06:21 PM   #14
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Tom, its probably not as important as it was in the past
as the post shoot software to fix the color balance is so
much better these days .....

But I use my camera underwater and it makes a huge difference and I balance at each snip-it to ensure I'm
where it needs to be...

On land its a little different and auto may work just fine....
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Old December 19th, 2004, 10:33 AM   #15
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You can also push the photo button and it will re-engage the heads.

<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : The 170 just shuts down the drum, not the camera. When you push record after a shutdown, the drum takes a moment to spin up but the camera is always on.

Headphone volume is a pair of push-buttons on the LCD frame.

With the large-sized batteries, there is really no need for an external battery for this camcorder. 4-5 hours run-time is the norm for the big batteries. -->>>
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