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-   -   PD150 Questions (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-vx2100-pd170-pdx10-companion/14586-pd150-questions.html)

Chris Hurd September 5th, 2001 11:58 PM

Where to buy the VX2000, PD150 or DSR250
Howdy from Texas,

A question I get asked a lot is, "where is the best place to buy a (insert camera here)?" The answer is, the place which will give you an honest deal with great service, and not rip you off by suckering you in with ridiculously low prices and then pulling the old bait-and-switch.

I'm working with several of my sponsors on a DV Buyer's Guide to avoid rip-offs. For now, though, I recommend that you deal only through my sponsor, ProMax. Their prices are *realistic* and their reputation is among the best you'll find anywhere. Hope this helps,

toni2222 September 17th, 2001 03:45 PM

Help! In your opinion which is better the xls1 or vx2000 . I can't decide.

Chris Hurd September 17th, 2001 08:46 PM

Well, in my opinion, a true "comparison" between these two particular cameras is almost pointless, because they're so different from each other.

One is a handycam with a flip-out LCD screen and the other is a hybrid, modular design with interchangeable components.

The biggest difference, however, is the image; the video they record. One is "the Canon look" and the other is "the Sony look." Each has its own legion of devoted camp followers who swear by one or the other.

The way you choose between these two camcorders is to ask yourself: which particular form factor do you need (handycam or shoulder mount), and what kind of look do you want your video to have. Only hands-on and eyes-on experience will show you what you need to know, so test-drive each before you make a decision.

Regardless of what zealous fans of either the VX2000 or the XL1S will tell you, the simple truth is that neither is clearly better than the other. They are simply different from each other , in many ways. Only your particular shooting requirements and your critical eye can make this determination for you.

If at all possible, try before you buy. Hope this helps,

toni2222 October 19th, 2001 04:26 PM

vx2ooo or pd150
whats the notable differences between the vx2000 or the pd150 help

Chris Hurd October 19th, 2001 11:55 PM

See the page called "The Skinny" on the VX2000 Companion website at http://www.dvinfo.net/vx2000.htm -- the differences are all clearly spelled out in the chart on that page.

Primary differences: VX2000 records DV, has a built-in stereo microphone. PD150 records DVCAM, has XLR microphone inputs. VX2000 is silver, PD150 is black. Not much difference otherwise. Main difference is recording format. Again, see the chart on the page mentioned above for a full explanation. Hope this helps,

Bob Zimmerman December 1st, 2001 07:42 AM

Chris the XL1s shoots in DVCam doesn't it? Still trying to decide on the camera I'll buy really leaning this way.

danomano December 2nd, 2001 11:04 AM

pd100 question
XL1s records in the miniDV format
im looking for a camera to compliment my pc110 which i use with .3xultra
ive been looking at the vx2000 or the pd100 or pd150
i dont believe the pd100 has interval record function
does anyone know this and will a dvcam and a minidv tape mesh well

Wayde Gardner December 2nd, 2001 06:43 PM

VX2000 vs. pd150
Unless you really need to shoot a DVCam format, go with the VX2000. Same camera minus the XLR inputs and shoots only MiniDV.

The extra dollars go a long way for additional goodies like an XLR adapter, better mic, WA lens, batteries, case, etc. you get the idea. Never have understood why the 2k is considered "prosumer" and the 150 a preofessional model (guess just the format thing)


Don Donatello December 7th, 2001 04:40 PM

vx2k pd 150
<Never have understood why the 2k is considered "prosumer" <and the 150 a preofessional model (guess just the format thing)

sony considers 150 professional ..that why they fixed the HISS on it and did NOTHING to the 2000 ... if you are shooting and you NEED good audio without HISS ..it's worth ? ...to me what it cost for pd150 ... ( using a separate audio recorder is a PAIN ) ...

the 150 has :
better audio : woth extra $$

REAL smpte time code : worth extra $$ to many

smpte color bars : worth $$ to many

dvcam : worth $$ to many ( not to me)

B&W viewfinder ..many prefer it over color ..

XLR inputs with phantom power : worth $$ to those that use pro mic's and mic's that need phantom power

..yes you can add some of the above to the vx 2000 and as you add the extra costs the price difference gets smaller ...
xlr box @200 .... smpte color bar generator @200 ..phantom power @165 ... MD recorder @200 or dat @700 ....

it all comes down to how much would you use/need the extra features that come with the pd 150 ... for me there is NO choice 150 wins ..but for others the 2000 wins ...

Ronnie Martin January 5th, 2002 04:35 PM

White Balance and the PD150
On a two camera shoot the PD150 is the second camera and the main camera DSR 500 is the main camera. Due to the shot and the inexperience of the shooter the PD 150 needs to be in auto focus and auto iris. However, in an attempt to match cameras
the white balance needs to be on manual.

Is there a way to use manual white balance and at the same time have auto focus and auto Iris ???

The 500 is used in more of the wide shots and the 150 more close up as a cutaway to hide camera moves of the 500. Although the 150 is no "match" for the 500 it really does a
remarkable job. It appears a bit more warm and not as sharp.

I think if I could get the manual white balance to work while shooting auto iris and auto focus I would have a better match.

Ronnie Martin
Kato Video

Mike Butler January 9th, 2002 06:50 PM

Hmmmm....Handycam or shoulder mount?

I submit that the XL1 is neither.

OK, I love my XL but can't stand shooting portable without a shoulder pod because all the weight is forward.

I used to shoot an old Panasonic S-VHS box that weighed a whole lot more but felt OK because the weight was truly on your shoulder. That is why I would love to demo a JVC GY-DV500. If it performs to a level worth the cost, it will be a pleasure returning to a true "over-the-shoulder" form factor....and a real rack-focusable lens.

Meanwhile I continue to baffle corporate America with smoke and mirrors whilst shooting my XL on a heavily modified Vanguard shoulder pod or on my Bogen sticks and absurdly overbuilt Quickset dolly.

John Klein January 10th, 2002 12:55 AM

While I don't have that cam, if it's built the way it should be, and sony knows how, I'd say yes.

On my canon, there are three (manual) white balance presets beside the auto, daylight and tungsten. There is a full auto mode which won't allow overrides, but only one setting like that. I don't think you'll have any problem.

No problems with changing shooting and lens modes, etc. But I haven't tested the white balance with different presets in 0, +6, +12, +18, +30 gain settings. That is where I might believe the white balance could shift a bit as there is perhaps some color to the noise when gain is applied.

-=Lozar=- January 18th, 2002 06:03 PM

Use the small preset button options near the top of the cam.

Ozzie Alfonso February 3rd, 2002 12:47 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : Primary differences: VX2000 records DV, has a built-in stereo microphone. PD150 records DVCAM, has XLR microphone inputs. VX2000 is silver, PD150 is black. Not much difference otherwise. Main difference is recording format. -->>>


To me, besides the faster writing speed (and resulting video quality) of DVCAM, the big edge the PD150 has over most other cameras in the price range is programmable SMPTE time code. This may be of no importance to most but for commercial purposes it's a great feaure - one I wish the XL-1s had. Add tc and the XL-1s would be very near perfect. After all, the PD150 lacks interchangeable lenses.

Barbara Lowry April 4th, 2002 01:02 PM

P+S Technik Mini 35 Digital Adapter for PD150
The brand new P+S Technik Mini 35 Digital Adapter for the Sony PD150 will be shown for the first time at NAB in Las Vegas, April 8 through 11, Booth #L9557 (OpTex section of the Tiffen booth).

Come and see the demonstration.

kgertler April 4th, 2002 01:15 PM

I can't make it to the conference - any chance of a small description of this item and what it does right here?

Chris Hurd April 4th, 2002 01:21 PM

I'll be sure to get some phtos for you, Kim... I'll be there all week.

marina*** April 21st, 2002 06:29 AM

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.


makonats May 8th, 2002 07:18 PM


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.

Simon Davies September 4th, 2002 03:01 AM

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 ... ...


bslanger September 4th, 2002 10:41 AM

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,

Margus Kivilaan September 4th, 2002 11:01 AM

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

Simon Davies September 5th, 2002 07:04 AM

No takers?

Mike Rehmus September 5th, 2002 09:27 AM

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.

Mark Sudfelt September 17th, 2002 07:38 AM

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

Mike Rehmus September 17th, 2002 03:22 PM

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.

Mark Sudfelt September 22nd, 2002 07:06 AM

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

Mike Rehmus September 22nd, 2002 10:55 AM

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.

Adi Head October 21st, 2002 06:58 PM

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?


Mike Rehmus October 21st, 2002 07:37 PM

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.

Chris Hurd October 21st, 2002 07:38 PM

The "x 10H" means "times ten hours," or in other words, 720 hours. Hope this helps,

Mark Sudfelt November 5th, 2002 04:04 AM

What PD150 settings for copying Super8 sound films?
I am hopeing to copy some Super 8 films with sound on my Sony PD-150.
What settings should I make to the sound inputs(I.e. line or mic Att?)
Any advice as to what settings to make for image optimization. I am using a Pal camcorder.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions anyone can make.

Mark Sudfelt

mr cameraman November 8th, 2002 10:07 PM

Use the Line input on your cam. Use the aux out on your projector if there is one. Headphone or extension speaker out may work O.K on the projector too but keep your projector's volume low and adjust accordingly while monitoring the sound through your camera's headphone jack.

Mark Thomas November 19th, 2002 04:17 PM

replacing pd150 mic
What is the mic most owners of the pd150 buy to replace the mono one supplied and how much does it cost in £?


Mike Rehmus November 20th, 2002 12:14 PM

I replaced the mount and microphone on my 150.

I had a Sony CAC-12 mount which will fit into the space vacated by the standard mount. It moves the microphone further away from the camera and prevents the tip of a long microphone from showing up in wide angle shots. Especially with a fuzzy wind sock on it.

I had a AT-835B shotgun which works better than the original 150 microphone. It is more directional than the standard microphone. Perhaps it sounds better too. But since my on-board microphone applications are voice, the differences are minor with regard to sound quality in my estimation.

Assuming you mean to actually replace the on-board microphone, I do have a question of you and everyone else:

Why the rush to replace the on-board microphone? Unless you are doing ENG style run and gun shooting, an off-board microphone is much more adaptable to different situations. The 150 does put out a bit of noise, especially when zooming fast. An on-board microphone will pick that up every time.

Chung Lee November 28th, 2002 02:06 PM

Where to buy PD150 PAL in USA???
I am thinking about buyin the PD150 in the state, since it is cheaper then in germayny.
Here you paying 5000€ which is about 4900$, which is a shame.
I know I would pay some taxes etc., but it still would be much cheaper then 5000€

Someone could help???


Mike Rehmus November 28th, 2002 02:12 PM

B&H Photo Video is a good place to buy. Also do a search for PAL dealers in the U.S.

Here is one:

Marilyn Marks
Apropal Ltd.
100 South Van Brunt Street
Englewood, New Jersey 07631
201-871-5811 fax 201-871-4043

Dan Ballmer December 17th, 2002 09:39 AM

PD150 White Balance
Is it normal for a PD150 to NOT white balance in low light conditions? In this particular scenario I was filming a choir in a dark church. Due to time constraints I was forced to try to pull a quick white balance off of a nearby wall. I made sure the camera was not locked down in auto mode, I pressed the white balance button (which was already set to manual white balance) and hit the wheel. Nothing. I tried it a couple of more times. Nothing. Now, this PD150 was bought used and has already been sent in for repairs once. I've never had a problem like this with my personal PD150. The only thing I can figure is perhaps the wall was too dimly lit. Any ideas?

Robert Bobson March 13th, 2003 07:42 AM

PD150 adjustments
I've heard that the XL1s can be adusted to alter the color/sharpness. What about the PD150? Or do you wait till posting to tweak those things?

Rick Spilman March 13th, 2003 07:59 AM

Yup. First thing I did with my camera was put it on a tripod, plug it into a monitor, point it at some flowers in a window box and tweek away.

To my taste the Sony presets are too flat and a touch too blue. I tweeked the color, the white balance just a tiny bit and limited the gain up. Some folks also recommend lowering the sharpness. I don't like that look as much so I left mine alone.

What used to drive me crazy were folks saying "The XL1 has so much richer color than the Sonys." The original XL1 was not tweekable where as all the Sonys are. The colors in my old VX1000 were rich and fully saturated because that is way that I set them. Glad Canon finally caught up with the XL2.

The Sony presets are also useful when shooting with two cameras and trying to match the images.

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