You are here

Torn between PD170 and DVX100B

OsiViper's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/02/2009 - 3:19am

I've been trying to decide on a good "Prosumer" as their called camcorder.
And Its been kind of narrowed down between the Sony PD170 and the Panasonic DVX-100B.

I have done a lot of research between the two. I was looking for a camera that does well in low light and both of them do very well. Looking for XLR audio connectors and both of them have that. Not a real preference on 24p, while it does look nice to get the film look there are programs now that can do it fairly well without making the video look horrible.

And I know both are discontinued but they are around the same price range used.

So right now I am torn between the two and unsure of which is better overall.
Any help would be greatly appreciated


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 7 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Hmm, well here are the reasons why I got a PD170 over a DVX:

1) I used my friend's DVX to shoot basketball once and the auto focus was to slow. It was annoying. When the camera finally did focused, tighter shots seem to have a shallower DoF with the DVX as opposed to the PD170, which is nice, but that doesn't override the fact that the DVX just took too long to focus.

2) the PD170 is MUCH better in low light.

3) PD170 comes with a short shotgun mic

There are some things that I don't like about the PD170 though:

1) When you turn the LCD 90 degrees (so that it's parallel to the ground) it blocks the iris wheel and makes it hard to adjust exposer.

2) adjusting the audio levels manually is in a menu screen as opposed to 2 knobs on the body of the camera.


OsiViper's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/02/2009 - 3:19am

Yea, those are some of the reasons i was leaning towards the P170. I mean it doesnt get 24p but ive seen some of the video it gets, it gets amazing quality.

I also saw a video on Youtube that compared 4 cameras for color, low light etc.. and I loved the look of the P170 on all of them.. ESPECIALLY the low light, most of the cameras in low light had kind of washed out colors and no shadow detail. the P170 had very good colors in low light AND very nice shadow detail


Ken Carlson's picture
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 01/10/2009 - 10:45am

DVX-100B all the way.
I would dispute that the PD-170 does better in low light, but I have no evidence to support the claim, so I won't make it.

As for the auto focus on the DVX, I've never had a problem with it.
Here is something shot with a DVX - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z39tD1wK6wA
"Iraq In Fragments" was nominated for an Academy Award.

Also - vimeo.com/kineticvision - 90% of these were shot with a DVX B.
The others are HMC-150 and XL-1. You'll be able to tell the difference.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 7 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Both cameras are great cameras. I think you will be extremely satisfied with both, and you will find some minor things you don't like about both. That's just how it is.

I wouldn't let 24p become an issue either. You never see 24p. If you burn it to a DVD, the DVD player just adds pull-down so that is plays back at 29.97 anyway. I guess some sites like Vimeo play HD at 24p, but I can't tell the difference, and computer monitors work better at 30p. 24p is useless and only noobs think they need it. Only noobs consider it the holy grail of video.


ophelia's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/03/2009 - 9:35pm

I have been looking into both of these cameras too, with a lean towards the DVX 100B.I've also looked at the GL2 (great optical zoom).I am in need of a camera to shoot sports (documenting workouts / training). I don't use a tripod since I often need to be "within" the action. Any suggestions? I'd prefer SD for now. Anyone have a comment on the Panansonic GS500?