Was the PD170 a disappointment? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:14 AM   #1
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Was the PD170 a disappointment?

I don't know anyone with it, but was it a signficant enough replacement for the PD150 in your eyes? I hadn't used the XL1/S much (dealt with it once) but despite the extra pricetag the XL2 seems a far better camera, and I would rank it above the PD150 (which I rank with limited knowledge about the XL1/S for my purposes). I know Sony are trying to push their HDV Cams, but not everyone wants these and its a bit disappointing that in order to get a 'better' camera than the XL2 you have to jump up a notch to something like the DSP250.

Would you have expected more goodies from the PD170 on launch? For instance a 'true' 16x9 lens? I think 24p was probably out of the question as Sony are far more of a 'video feel' bunch, but it just feels that Canon too the initiative and Sony simply didn't.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Connors
I don't know anyone with it, but was it a signficant enough replacement for the PD150 in your eyes?
All you need to do is browse through this forum to see how many satisfied PD-170 users there are out there. True, it was a minor upgrade but the PD-150 was a strong seller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Connors
I know Sony are trying to push their HDV Cams, but not everyone wants these and its a bit disappointing that in order to get a 'better' camera than the XL2 you have to jump up a notch to something like the DSP250.
Are you familiar with the DSR250? It isn't really "better." In fact, it's much older than the PD170 and is just a repackaged PD-150. Same fixed lens, same CCD's, same electronics. It offers a shoulder-cam form factor with a BW CRT viewfinder and records on full size DVCAM tapes. I think the HVR-Z1 is really the upgrade to the PD-170 with better manual controls, native 16:9 and more image adjustments. You can use it in both PAL and NTSC DVCAM mode in addition to HDV. The BBC is replacing their PD-150's with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Connors
Would you have expected more goodies from the PD170 on launch? For instance a 'true' 16x9 lens?
The lens really has nothing to do with "true" 16:9, it's the CCD's which need high enough resolution to capture an image with the full 480 scan lines. The little PDX-10 has been doing this for years and is more than $1,000 less than the PD-170.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #3
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I can understand the 170 users being happy, but I'm sure a lot of them didn't upgrade from the 150 and bought it new (altho i'm sure a few did.) its just a shame sony went with the straight replacement with a few tweaks rather than add something substancial like Canon did.

Yeah my friends got the 250, the extra long tapes and shoulder mount certainly add something to it, plus it has that procam "look" that definitely means something to clients.

And the fact that the PDX10 which is really the halfway house between a TRV950 and a PD150 in most respects has the option to shoot in true widescreen makes it an even bigger disappointment that the 170 doesn't. I hope they announce a "true" successor to the camera within the next year in all honesty, rather than just trying to flog the HDV versions (which are very nice of course ;) )
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Old September 19th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #4
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You won't see another DV replacement for the PD170, VX2100, or PDX10.

The HDV camera that are curently out are the replacements for those cameras.

VX2100: FX1 (record in 4:3 or native 16:9, better manual controls and layout, record in DV or HDV)
PD170: Z1 (record in 4:3 or native 16:9, Better manual controls and layout, XLR audio, Black stretch)
PDX10: A1 or HC1 (A1 xlr audio, black stretch, HDV or DV recording, NTSC or PAL recording)

Sony is moving on and gonna be pushing HD, sorry.

Besides the current crop of HDV camcorders can record in native widescreen, as well as DV or HDV video.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 12:43 PM   #5
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Michael: I agree, the PD-170 will keep selling until demand drops to a certain point and then it will just go away.

I bought a VX-2000 4 years ago myself. I would have preferred the PD-150 but it was such a hot new item back then that everyone had long waiting lists. A year or so later I needed to do a project in widescreen so I thought about buying an anamorphic lens for my VX-2000, but after considering all the limitations I got a PDX-10 instead and have never regretted it.

If you browse back far enough in the PD-150 forum you'll see that many people were indeed disappointed with the PD-170 and I can't imagine why you'd trade your PD-150 in for one. There had been lots of wild speculation about all the wonderful features the PD-170 would contain, and when it was released many people thought the press release was a hoax since it didn't seem like much of an upgrade. Nevertheless, it sounds like a good solid camera with a few nice upgrades. But this is all water that flowed under the bridge long ago.

I think the Z1 already is the replacement for the PD-170. For example, here's a user report about matching the two cameras from earlier today:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....37&postcount=6
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Old September 20th, 2005, 06:35 AM   #6
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I wouldn't state the HDV cams are replacement models, as the 2100 and 170s are still in production. I'd definitely imagine their successors being a replacement for both lines tho.

I've not had the chance to use either the Z1E or FX1 but I'd definitely like to. The thing that amazed me was the sheer quality and resolution in a low light environment from the XL2.. very very impressive, considering most consider(ed) the PD150 the king of low light at a modest budget. I know we're not likely to see any new models at this pricepoint for a long time, but I think Sony will definitely need to rethink their approach... I guess it all comes down to whether HDV is really a worthwhile format at that pricepoint.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 06:54 AM   #7
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Well the short answer is that the pd170/vx2100 were basically not much improved over the pd 150/vx2k. They claimed a lux improvement but some guy who owned both said the only difference was slightly less grain at 18db!

Really the low light is phenomenal with these camera's. The xl2 is probably a stop slower and abit more grainy but it does do progressive and true 16:9. If you're shooting weddings in low light or underwater than every bit of grain free imagery is what you would need. If not get the xl2.

Re high definition its the way of the future but wait till the infrastructure is in place. It will be another five years I reckon and I think dv will last a long time even after that. The low light in the hd camera's cant match the sony pd170/150.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 07:34 PM   #8
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Personally, I think the PD170 was a stop gap that Sony came out with since the HDV cameras were not ready for release. Certainly Sony had the HDV cameras in development when they released the PD170. They just needed something to keep their name out in the marketplace until they surprised us with the HDV camera. Hence, there are no improvements in the PD170 that would take away from the HDV cams, like a 16x9 chip. That was a big disappoinment to everyone, along with no 24P.

Remember that one purpose of the HDV cameras is to get everyone into HD and sell HD tv sets, where Sony has been clobbered lately. Sony used to be top dog in the tv sales, but lately they have gone flat, and it has really hurt the company's bottom line. I think that so far, the case can be made that HD has been pretty disappointing in terms of sales.

Just my 2

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old September 20th, 2005, 08:13 PM   #9
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Wayne, I think you're right. But I just read an article that said Sony was losing lots of money on their CRT based TV's, not sure about the HD sets. However they were sorta caught with their pants down and didn't have the capacity to make their own LCD's so they've been buying them from Samsung. We know they are going to do some serious downsizing and probably eliminate entire divisions of the company as part of their re-org.

Watch the business news this Thursday; that's when they're making their restructuring plan public.... should be quite a story.
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