Is my PD170 obsolete? - Page 2 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 January 29th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #16
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Craig, those are all good arguments, but you're overlooking one important point. Georg's question was not "should I shoot HD." His question was "is my PD170 obsolete." Just looking at that facet, an argument can be made for replacing the PD-170 with the HVR-Z1 solely as a DV camera. For example, the BBC has evidently decided to replace their PD-150's with Z1's: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=40832

You can shoot DVSP and DVCAM in both PAL and NTSC formats on the Z1, something which the 170 can't do. The manual controls and LCD screen on the Z1 are way better. The picture profile function offers far more control than the 170's custom presets, and you can save multiple profiles in the camera. The widescreen DV mode on the Z1 is way, way better than the PD-170. And you can shoot HDV without changing anything in your workflow, software or computers. Just turn on i.Link downconvert and your HDV masters will be converted to DV by the camera during capture.

But I'm not suggesting that you sell your PD-170! It's still a great camera for 4:3 work and the low light champ. Just pointing out that you can upgrade to the Z1 or FX1 and immediately realize some advantages without any changes on the editing/delivery end.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Craig, those are all good arguments, but you're overlooking one important point. Georg's question was not "should I shoot HD." His question was "is my PD170 obsolete."
Better and obsolete are two different terms. The Z1 is better in EVERY respect EXCEPT Low light performance. Almost all of my clients are happy with 4:3. Again as a business I'd have to ask if native 16:9 and other aspects of Z1 will actually warrent spending $5000 at this point. I believe that next year's cameras will better deal with low light and fix some other issues I have with the HD cameras. In the meantine I doubt I will lost enough money (probably none) by not having a Z1. Given how fast models are upgraded by manufacturers, I believe next year's models will get me more of what I want and I'll lose nothing in the meantime.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
And you can shoot HDV without changing anything in your workflow, software or computers. Just turn on i.Link downconvert and your HDV masters will be converted to DV by the camera during capture.
Absolutely not true. In order to color correct HDV you need something that will pass it through and preferably an HD monitor to use given its different color space. Now if you have that gear already it's no change. If not, you have to have the additional income to cover the expense. So in addition to the $5000 for the camera, you're adding an expensive video card, an HD monitor of some sort, likely an HDV deck unless you fine the wear on the camera heads an acceptable maintenance issue.

Add in the additional render times for HDV. Add the time to downcovert to SD . . . or maybe you'd prefer to upconvert to DVCProHD to get away from the MPEG2 4:2:0 codec and into 4:2:2 space and, once converted, avoid the renders to recreate the GOP structure. All this is a MAJOR change in workflow, cost, time which, to me, is only justified if the client is willing to pay for it. In fact, for the above reasons, I'd prefer to wait a year to see how the HVX200 workflow evolves or whether Sony's next generation 1/3" chip HD camera will bring XDCAM HD to the consumer. BTW I'm not happy with the way HDV handles fast motion either. It certainly can be a problem when I shoot local cable spots for the tennis school and the corporate video with fast moving machinery . . . assuming either have a desire to deliver HD to the local cable stations or have HDTV in their conference rooms.

The question was the PD-170 OBSOLETE. The answer for me is no. Now if you HAD to buy a camera today that's a different question. I don't need a camera today. The original poster doesn't seem to need one today either.

To me, obsolescence implies a business necessity to move to another camera/format.

If you NEED a camera today, it makes sense to get HDV but by the time the majority of your clients are demanding and willing to pay for it, or the workflow improves, the next generation cameras will be out.

Today's FX1 will be the VX1000 compared to tomorrow's VX2100/PD-170.

In Indy filmmaker would have a much greater need to change NOW if, and only if, they think their "product" will have enough longevity to revive when the majority of the market place demands HD product.

Wil the HDV camera bring you enough HD business to cover the deck, the video card, the monitor, the extra time in the workflow. Add HDDVD and/or BluRay for delivery (unless you use WMVHD). So you've just spent $10,000 or more with the above. An additional $10,000 income and you just break even on the expense. Will HD make you an extra $15,000-$20,000?

A year from now the camera will be better at the same price, the HD monitor will be cheaper, the HDDVD/BluRay burner will be cheaper. You'll spend LESS money next year and make that back faster. Your clients will be more likely to have HDTV and Disc Player and it STILL WON'T be in the Majority.

Given how often people replace their TV sets (and that includes corporate clients) I'm guessing we're looking at 3 years or more for HDTV to approach majority and possibly longer. Not that one should wait for 3 years but certainly the PD-170 will be able to deliver to the majority of my (our?) clients for a year or two.
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