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-   -   Sony PD-170 vs Sony DSR-390 (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-vx2100-pd170-pdx10-companion/28701-sony-pd-170-vs-sony-dsr-390-a.html)

Robert Mitteg July 9th, 2004 12:45 PM

Sony PD-170 vs Sony DSR-390

I would like to know if there is a notorious diference in picture quality between the PD-170 and the DSR-390. The first one is 1/3" and the second one is 1/2".

Is the DSR-390 a lot better in low light situations than Sony PD-170 ?

What about sound ? Are the mic preamps of the DSR390 better than the ones built in the PD170 ?

I'm planning to purchase the DSR-390 because of the manual lens, shoulder mount, and full-size dvcam tapes but I would like to know if someone who has used both can tell me if there is a dramatic difference in terms of picture quality.

Thanks !!

Shawn Mielke July 9th, 2004 02:45 PM



Law Tyler July 9th, 2004 08:48 PM

From what I read, DSR-390 don't have a LCD monitor that you can flip out conveniently (like my DSR-250). How do you guys handle that? I shoot using it 80% of the time.

Also, it does not seem to accept miniDV tape, right? Only DVCam tapes. Expensive.

An advise about Sony batteries. If you get the DSR-390 (or DSR-250), don't even get it bundled with the wimpy BP-L40, they are useless. Get the BP-M100 right away. It was a godsend for me. Weighs like a brick, but it helped with the balance of the DSR-250 on my shoulder, in fact I could use even more weight at the backend, and it last 5 or 6 hours instead of less than 2 hours.

Mike Rehmus July 9th, 2004 09:01 PM

If you learn to use the viewfinder, it is OK and the LCD isn't really missed. Not that a good high-res color viewfinder wouldn't be great, they just don't exist.

The 300 series will accept mini tapes just fine.

The 390 does throw a noticably better image than the 170.

Lauri Batwin's review of the 390 she evaluated for the WEVA newsletter was thorough and very favorable. Lauri is a wedding videographer who normally uses a DSR-570WS.

The 300 series handles much faster than the 170 when it comes to adjusting for changing conditions and making imperceptable changes to the lens. Direct manual control of lens elements just cannot be beat.

Shawn Mielke July 9th, 2004 09:45 PM

Yeah, I'm into viewfinders and try to use them on my PD170 and PDX10 when I can, especially the 170. Using them often aids in stabilization when handheld with these small camcorders. Unfortunately, though, they aren't especially well placed way in the back and can make for challenging posture over long periods of time.

So, it isn't only that the chips are bigger (1/3" - 1/2"), but that you will have the ability to "upgrade" your glass rather magnificently. Not to mention greater image control.

Mike Rehmus July 10th, 2004 02:09 PM

The DSPs in the 300 series are very sophisticated and more powerful than those in the 170. Plus you can customize the image in greater detail and over a wider range than with the 170.

The first time you use Skin Tone to kill the wrinkles in a person, you'll never want to go back.

Only the Sony pro cameras have clear scan to handle CRTs. Unfortunately some of the 170 competitors have this in their prosumer cameras.

The handling speed of a 300 series (or most pro cameras) is much faster as your hand can be so much more powerful than a tiny servo motor when moving the lens elements.

The microphone shipped with the 300 series is quite nice.

The lens controls on pro cameras are calibrated. The 170's are not. Unfortunately at least one of the 170 competitors have this in their prosumer cameras

And in the Pro lens, the start and stop of the zoom is almost imperceptable at the slowest speeds.

Pro lens allows of mechanical remote controls for faster handling from a pair of tripod handles

390 exclusives (compared to the 170)

3 XLR inputs (only 2 of which can be active at a time)

Direct output to an outboard VCR.

Direct output from the camera head and the more common output through the record electronics.

Time code in and out.

External sync in

Big tapes

Completely controllable time code

User-adjustable back-focus

Black balance

High resolution viewfinder that is great for focusing

External 12 VDC power connector.

Power connector for an on-board light

Power connector and cradle for an on-board Sony wireless receiver.

Unquestioned entrance to many events just because anyone who uses a large camera 'must' be from a TV station. 8-)))

Shawn Mielke July 10th, 2004 04:46 PM



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