Looking for PD 150/170 or....??

mister2's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 day ago
Joined: 07/23/2008 - 7:32pm

Hello, I've been doijng oral history in a fixed location (home) for several years now but would like to go mobile so I can catch a larger market. I'm thinking PD 150/170 offers the best value for the money , but I'm not sure I'm looking for it at all the right places (ebay, etc.). Can anyone recommend 1. where to look for the best deals and 2. what to watch out for in these cameras? Thanks in advance!


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

I would recommend looking on Craig's List and purchasing from someone you can meet in person. The reason is because you want to play with the camera and make sure it's working properly before you hand over a wad of cash.

While you play with the camera:

Put a tape in and make sure it fast forwards and rewinds w/o any crazy sounds

Record something. Play back what you recorded and make sure the image looks OK and the sound recording works.

Play with the zoom/focus rings and make sure they are working properly

Look at the lens and make sure it's not scratched. Ask the seller if they had a UV filter on the camera. If they did, it mean they probably took care of their camera.

Make sure there isn't any damage on the body of the camera.

Make sure the buttons are working.

The PD150 and PD170 are great cameras. If you don't find them on Craig's List, look into the Panasonic DVX. If you can do without XLR connections, look into the Sony VX2000 and VX2100

mister2's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 day ago
Joined: 07/23/2008 - 7:32pm

Thanks for your advice! I definitely prefer xlr capability and am also looking at DVX.

XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Have you checked the Sony PD170's review on camcorderinfo.com? The performance was great, though I did seem to find some picture discoloring happen at somewhere around 15 lux. The only weakness I really see in this camcorder is the lack of interchangable lens. If you think about it, however, it might not be all that important for your purpose. The only thing I see useful of lens interchangability is getting 3.5mm converter lens (which the camera can probably already get close to), or the use of wide/tele converter lens.

I'd definitely say this is a good camcorder as far as professional features and performance go.

mister2's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 day ago
Joined: 07/23/2008 - 7:32pm

Just updating: I found a DVX100a. It seems to be a lot of camera for the money I paid. I'll find out for sure soon.