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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 4th, 2002, 01:15 PM   #16
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I can't make it to the conference - any chance of a small description of this item and what it does right here?
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Old April 4th, 2002, 01:21 PM   #17
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I'll be sure to get some phtos for you, Kim... I'll be there all week.

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Old April 21st, 2002, 06:29 AM   #18
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PD150: Keeping MIC NR OFF for better audio


I had a problem with my new PD150 where it was making an electrical-type noise (not the hiss) when a subject was speaking. The noise went away at each pause between sentences. One person who has also experienced this noise, described it as similar to a ringing in one's ears after a loud concert.

After a series of tests today, I think I have found a solution to this particular problem.


It is set to "ON" by default. When you set it to "OFF", the noise that accompanies each sentence (and dies down at pauses) disappears.

NOTE: the noise only shows up when you are actually recording to tape, or when the tape is inserted. If there is no tape, or if the camera goes into Standby mode, then the noise cannot be heard.

Hope this helps someone who, like me, might be concerned whether there is something wrong with their particular camera, and would like to get decent audio.

If anyone else have had experiences with this, either similar or different from mine, please let me know. I am new to PD150, and hope I am not missing anything.


P.S. The Sony manual recommends keeping MIC NR OFF "in the following cases:
-when you use the external microphone at a distance from the camcorder;
-when the REC CH SELECT switch is set to CH1 and you will not record any audio via the INPUT 2 connector;
-when you set the INPUT LEVEL selector to LINE."
(p.55 of the manual).

This seems to imply that MIC NR should be ON when you record audio from two different mikes, one via Input 1 and another via Input 2, - however, I have tested it, and this still gives a wind-up/wind-down distortion when MIC NR is ON. The distortion goes away when MIC NR is set to OFF.
I wonder what the purpose is of the MIC NR ON setting, since it seems to cause distortion. On p.110 of the manual, it says MIC NR ON is used "To reduce the microphone noise". However, it seems that this function only causes distortion, and should be kept OFF.

If anyone can add some information on this function of the PD150 and what it should be used for, it would be helpful.

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Old May 8th, 2002, 07:18 PM   #19
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Your post reminds me of the time recently when I was using the PD100 recording narration directly to the camera. We experienced the same buzzing sound after each sentence which quickly died down after the speaking had ceased but was still quite noticeable. Unfortunately, the PD100 seems to have an 'always on' noise reduction that cannot be defeated through the menu.

I ran a few empirical tests with the PD150 and found your observations to be absolutely correct. The noise reduction feature seems to have some peculiar characteristics; if you turn it on, remove the microphone from the holder and move it around near the body (where the motor noise emanates) you can hear the noise level rise briefly until the circuit ‘locks on’ to the frequency and level of the noise at which time it drops back to silence. If you speak with the noise reduction on it seems to open up the noise gate until you stop speaking at which time you can hear the noise at an elevated level (much louder than it ever sounds in the manual mode) until the circuit clamps down on the noise again.

I suspect this circuit might be the noise gate Sound Devices refers to in their technical notes:


…which as you pointed out defeatable, in spite of what Sound Devices writes. Thanks for your post - I'm sure my in-camera audio will improve as a result.
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Old September 4th, 2002, 03:01 AM   #20
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Light reading with PD150

Hello my masters

Please help.

I'm trying to use my PD150 in manual mode as much as possible and was wondering, whilst it is in auto, is there any way for me to tell what aperture/gain settings it is using and then 'lock these off' in manual?

The problem seems to be this; if I am using it in auto and then set it to manual, the image quality in the viewfinder definately changes which would suggest that the iris and possibly shutter speed and gain have changed. Is this supposed to happen?

What would be your best suggestions for taking light readings in a given situation? I am a photographer so am aware of the principles but does the relationship between shutter speed and aperture apply with a digital camcorder? Do I just tell my light meter that I'm shooting at 1\100th of a second and use the f-stops accordingly? It somehow doesn't feel right to me to do that because things like ISO film speed affect the final reading and I am under the impression that this is not a consideration when shooting with DVCAM film stock.

Sorry for my ignorance! But I'm getting tired of shooting a subject and then tilting to the sky resulting with those really noticeable exposure changes as the automatic controls take over making everything look rather un-professional! I want one correct setting for the subject and will be happy when I turn the camera to a brighter light source and have the image bleach out.

Now I'm rambling ... ...

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Old September 4th, 2002, 10:41 AM   #21
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PD150, Wind Setting on a Lav Mic?

I am wondering, what does the wind setting really do on the mic controls on the PD150? Is it some kind of low cut filter to cut down on the wind rumble? Does this affect just mics that are directly connected to the XLR ports, or would it also affect somehow a lav mic receiver if also connnected to the XLR ports?
Thanks a bunch,
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Old September 4th, 2002, 11:01 AM   #22
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not sure, i'm just selling that kinda of stuff :-/
as far as i know, it's just a low-cut filter, somewh. below 150Hz, and affects to all mic signals, no matter if it's shotgun or lavalier

regards, Margus
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Old September 5th, 2002, 07:04 AM   #23
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No takers?

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Old September 5th, 2002, 09:27 AM   #24
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No readout available in Auto

Yes, the manual settings may be different. They are what you left them at when last you used them. That is an advantage because you can switch between Auto and a manual preset.

You have to measure the ISO rating of the camcorder which can be done. You need a waveform monitor to do this.

Manual will do it for you every time.
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Old September 17th, 2002, 07:38 AM   #25
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How do I hook up a Sennheiser MKE300 to a PD150?

I have just updated from a Canon XM1 to the Sony PD150 camcorder. The PD150 seems to be in a different(read "much better") class. I especially note the superior low light abilities and I am enjoying the b + w viewfinder. . . .I never could come to grips with the colour viewfinder on the Canon.

I have a Sennheiser MKE300(shotgun) microphone; complete with shockmount and rycote windsock that I was using with the Canon. It has the mini plug connection of course. I was wondering if there are adaptors avaliable to plug it into the XLR socketts.
Would the MKE300 give me superior sound to the onboard microphone(I am using the camera for weddings mainly and need the "shotgun" audio as a backup to a mini disk for the vows)?

With the onboard mic being mono, will selecting CH1.CH2 under Rec CH select spread the audio over both channels?

Does the onboard microphone need the +48 switch turned on or off?

Does the wind setting in the menu have much of an effect on the microphone volume? I was trying the camcorder outside in a reasonable wind yesterday and although there was some whistling on the audio it was nowhere near as bad as the Canon.

Sorry for so many basic questions but moving up from the XM1 there are just so many choices in the audio settings.

Regards, Mark
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Old September 17th, 2002, 03:22 PM   #26
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You need a wiring converter which you can make. The tip of the shotgun 3.5mm plug needs to be connected to pin 2 of an XLR male connector. The shield of the shotgun's plug needs to be connected to pin 3 of the XLR male connector.

You can make one of these by purchasing a 3.5mm mono socket, a shielded wire and a male XLR connector.

Markertek and other suppliers can also sell you an adapter.

The microphone that came with the 150 is mono. Setting the switch to both will spread the audio across both channels.

The on-board microphone does need the 48 volt phantom power. Your Senn might or might not like it so I'd insure that phantom is turned off before you connect it.

The wind setting is a high-pass filter that cuts off about 100 hZ. You can do the same thing in most editing systems if you wish.
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 07:06 AM   #27
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Thanks Mike,
I followed your instructions and made an XLR to 3.5 mono plug and it works perfectly:-)
As a test I plugged the Sennheiser MKE300 into input 2(channel 2) and turned on the audio meters. The Senn is recording an audio signal that is 2 to 10 db higher than the onboard microphone by looking at the meters...and it certainly sounds louder and clearer also. This is for sounds in front of and either side of the camera and anywhere from a few feet to 30 feet away(both channels set to agc). Reversed xlr microphone setup and got the same results(Senn still noticably louder).

Also, I thought that audio meters would display louder sounds as higher db, but looking at those meters it seems to work the other way round i.e. quiet = 30, loud sounds =5 on the audio meters.
What am I imterpreting wrong?

Regards, Mark Sudfelt
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 10:55 AM   #28
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To accurately assess the meters, you will have to set your level control to manual.

The level indicators display the output of the camera's input amplifier, not the input of the input amplifier :-))). So what you are observing is the output result after the AGC has manipulated the gain.

The Senn is a very high-output microphone and you will probably find that you need to set the level controls well-below the middle point. This is in keeping with the expert's recommendations on how to avoid hiss contributed by the input amplifiers.

I see you noticed that the Senn responds to sounds from the side (and the rear if you test for that). The directional qualities of a shotguy microphone rapidly decrease for the lower frequencies.
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Old October 21st, 2002, 06:58 PM   #29
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before buying pd150 second hand

before buying a second hand pd150p from some guy i don't know, i checked the menu option which shows the amount of hours the camera was used. selecting this option listed 4 different paremeters and their hour count.

can anyone please decifer these paremeters? what exactly does each one mean?

and if one of the paremeters shows, lets say: 72 x 10H
what does that mean? what is x10H?

if anyone can give me some pointers as to what i should look for before buying a second hand pd150, i would be very grateful.

it's a year and a half old.
has made 2 docs and one short with it (so he says)
it looks like it's in good condition
the owner says he never had to have it fixed and never experienced any problems with it.
he says he was extremely satisfied with it. picture and sound where good. selling it because he needs the cash.
i checked the lense against the light for scratches, didn't see any.

wasn't happy with the fact that the owner didn't use a UV filter to protect the lense. the lense also had some smear marks on it. this may be cleanable. i couldn't check because neither of us had the proper equipment to clean it.

what else should i check for? i have'nt had a look at footage that the camera shoots yet. but i definately will if i decide that i'm interested. what tests should i run?

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Old October 21st, 2002, 07:37 PM   #30
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72 X10 means that it has 720 hours of operation for the particular
operation. The 150 has 4 different elapsed time meters. One for total time powered up, one for total time with tape threaded, one for total head rotation hours and one for total hours of tape run.

750 power-on hours is not too bad. If it were tape run or head hours, then I'd stay away from that one. If the head hours or transport hours are up there, given the use he says it had, I'd guess they used it as the editing deck too.

The expected head life for these units is about 1,000 hours.

It is easy to clean the lens. You just need to use the proper tools and technique.

Look the camera over very carefully. Lots of small dings means that someone was careless with the unit. Use a small flashlight and look into the tape transport area. It should be very clean with no obvious dust or other debris.

I just purchased a used DSR-300. To evaluate it, I operated every control throughout its range. I made every adjustment, shot many scenes and then analyzed the results. I even called Sony support and asked about issues with the camera given the serial number of the unit.

Check to see if this camcorder had the 'hiss' fix or if it came from the factory already modified.
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