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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 06:38 AM   #1
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Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Hi,

I'm looking to buy a camera for music videos and films to shoot on. I currently own a panasonic sdhd700 and saw this camera. It seems very expensive and to say its DV Taped seems very overpriced, but it seems its had no negative reviews

I looked at test footage on Youtube and the footage looks terrible (actually worse thean the camera I got now)

Is this a good camera or bad?
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Hmmmm where did this review come from and how old is it? The PD170 is SD and old technology, HOWEVER having said this I still to this day use my trusty PD150 and PD170. There are few cameras out there as bulletproof as these IMO. Also they are fabulous in lowlight.
Now having said THAT, IF you are looking for SD 4:3 then the 170 which by the way is no longer made might be a good choice (to buy preowned) but again it is basically outdated technology. When they first came out IIRC the pricing was about $3800 to $4200 and yes tapes were in the $5 range and even more-today the average used price is about $1200 to $1600 depending on the hours and condition and tapes can be hade for well under $2.00 each depending on how many you buy and where you get them from.
Anyway I wouldn't put a lot into the review but more into do you want and older SD camera--please keep in mind I am a dedicated Sony PD150/170 user and have been for many years but even I acknowledge they're old and out of date, but boy do they give a great image.
BTW, the PD series of cameras was and may still be regarded as one of the best cameras ever to come out of Sony so I don't know what footage you've seen but either they didn't know what they were doing or they were morons. PERIOD! I've had footage from my 150/170 on 65 inch LCD screens and 12X9 fastfold projection screens and it looked great so I tend to think the footage you saw might have been done by people who hadn't a clue but thats just my opinion.
MAke your own choice, up to you.
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Last edited by Don Bloom; May 23rd, 2011 at 09:23 AM. Reason: forgot to add...
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

There's nothing wrong with the PD170 that isn't true of video cameras in general. It will never let you down.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:47 AM   #4
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

i want broadcast quality HD though and too many bad reviews and bad footage has put me off this camera
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:54 AM   #5
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Well Marcus if you want broadcast quality HD then why look at the PD170 anyway? BTW I've had footage from my 170 broadcast over the major TV networks in my area so it works fine for that.
Obviously there has been some misunderstanding in your postings about what you were looking for and it is obvious that the SD PD170 isn't going to work for you so the next thing to ask as you want broadcast quality HD is how much are you willing to spend to get it?
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Old May 24th, 2011, 06:40 AM   #6
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Aah right.Yeah basically I'm a musician running windows and i work with my manager, he basically edits all the music videos we do and sends them to TV. But im primarily looking for the best value and overall functional camera I can get right now I'm thinking about buying the Canon XL2 although I'll definetely look into the once youve mentioned.

Thank you for all the help and taking the time to reply to me, I appreciate it.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #7
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Marcus,

Not to be mean here, but it doesn't sound like you really know
what is going on here. An XL-2 is NOT an HD camcorder. Like the
PD-170, it shoots SD. Nothing wrong with that, but if you are
looking for 'broadcast quality HD', you better not buy the XL-2
looking for it. There are a ton of HD capable cameras out there.
The Sony EX-1 is a great camera, but costs 6 grand. The
Panasonic AF 100 is good for the 'shallow depth of field' look
that many music videos like as well. It is almost 5 grand, plus
you need to buy lenses with it. So, you need to figure out what
you are willing to spend, THEN people could make some suggestions
for you of camera's in your price range.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Totally understand what your saying Gabe, and I hold my hands up I'm not a technical guy with sensors features etc. However I have always clearly stated Im looking for something that is broadcast tv quality, now on ebay and other sites people are advertising cameras such as the canon xm2 second hand as 'broadcast' quality cameras. My price range again has been said in numerous threasds to be 850 but i'd be willing to stretch to maybe 900-1000 if the camera is worth it.
I feel for a second hand camera or maybe new just looking at broadcast quality this isn't too bad, although maybe my budget is low I've been to plenty of networking film events where people say theyve used 1000 cameras to do short films that have got on TV etc.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #9
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

The PD170 is neither a DSLR nor HD, so I'm not sure why this thread is even in this forum rather than the PD170 forum... although I will admit that forum is a bit hard to find.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Hmmm ok i see sorry then i didnt know
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #11
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Re: Sony DSR PD 170 NTSC DV Camera Help

Marcus,

'Broadcast quality' is kind of a 'marketing' term. Politely put, this
means that just about anyone and everyone CAN and DOES claim that
their video cameras are 'broadcast quality'. Really, it doesn't
mean all that much. Now the BBC and Discovery Channel and such DO
have some very specific requirements on cameras that can make up
a majority of their programs, but those cameras cost far beyond what
you are talking about spending. Nowdays, pretty much everything
(even iPhones) shoots some sort of HD. Of course there are multiple
flavors of HD......720p, 1080i and 1080p. Then there are different
frame rates for these as well. The PD 170 and XL-2 are holdovers
from the DV age and as such, they shoot SD. However, they are both
3 chip cameras and were certainly billed as 'broadcast quality' in their day.
As a matter of fact, I continue to shoot things for broadcast TV on my
PD 150, including an hour long program that aired on our state PBS station
last month.

For you, what I would recommend, is that you do a little research into current
cameras. I would think important things would be manual control of iris,
shutter speed, white balance and gain, as well as an external audio jack.

People can and do use any camera for 'films' there isn't really anything
stopping them. So I'm sure that people at networking film events HAVE
done films on cameras that cost as little as you say. On the other hand, I am
currently actually 'making a living' NOT just making films using my old
PD 150. It's just fine for creating DVD's. However, this is because it
is a camera I already own, so I will continue to use it. If I was looking to
buy something NOW, I would spend the money on an EX-1 or an AF 100 or something
like that. However, for your price range, I'd probably end up going with
a Canon HV 30 or something similar. To be totally honest with you, I don't
know much about 'consumer' cameras, pretty much the 'lowest end' camera I have
ever used is the PD 150, as I am a bit crazy about always wanting manual control on
everything on my video cameras, I feel like I know what I want better than some
'auto' functions do.
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