Sony DSR-PD170

Professional miniDV camcorder


This is the pro version of the superb Sony VX2000, and next generation from the PD150 with lower light level sensitivity. It has professional audio inputs: two XLR connectors with phantom power and selectable mic/line level settings. It has excellent low light performance and has a black and white viewfinder for sharp focusing. Auto settings let you start shooting right away and manual controls let you setup the camera for the shot you want. Audio levels are visible on the LCD screen so you can monitor levels while recording. Selectable DV and DVCAM record format using affordable miniDV tapes. Lightweight and feature-rich, this is the perfect camcorder for documentaries, narrative fiction, and commercial productions.

  • DV or DVCAM mode
  • Two XLR inputs with Phantom Power
  • Flip-Out LCD Monitor
  • Large Viewfinder Eye Cup
  • Long-Life Battery
  • Audio Levels on Monitor
  • Short Shotgun on Camera
  • Firewire Interface

FILM-LOOK: Setting the shutter speed to 1/30th second shutter speed creates motion blur similar to film and in post-production, you can apply a de-interlace filter to simulate the progressive frame capture of film. By combining these two features (1/30th shutter speed and de-interlace), you get a close approximation to film – close enough that the audience may not immediately identify your production as video.

UNDEREXPOSURE: Underexposure is a secret tip — if you shoot using auto-exposure, you can dial in a little underexposure with the ‘’AE Shift’’ wheel located underneath the handle. -1 to -2 should be sufficient. Underexposing allows greater freedom in post-production to manipulate the image, it saturates the colors slightly more, and it better ensures that you do not ‘’blow out’’ the highlights.