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Sony DSR-PD170P PAL DVCAM 3CCD Digital Camcorder, DVCAM and DV Recording

Model # DSRPD170P

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"When video capture quality, format continuity, and equipment reliability is critical to your production, Sony's DSR-PD170 is probably on your list of considerations. The PD170 offers high quality video capture in excess of 500 lines of resolution, balanced audio inputs that are line/mic level switchable, a professional format that integrates SMPTE compatible time code, and excellent low-light shooting capability. The camera weighs about 5 pounds with tape and battery. A plethora of accessories and options makes this Sony 3-chip camera easy to work with in virtually any shooting scenario. This model records in the European standard PAL format.



DVCAM Format for Professional Shooting Environments

DVCAM is Sony's professional version of the ubiquitous DV format recording component digital for high quality and a universe of editing solutions. The camera has iLink, the Sony version of Firewire (also known as IEEE1394). The DVCAM format runs the tape at a higher speed than the consumer DV format, which means more information to tape every second of recording.


Advanced CCDs and Upgraded DSP

The DSR-PD170P offers both outstanding video and still image capture. The 3-CCDs have 380,000 pixels each that deliver over 500 lines of resolution. In video mode, the digital signal processor (DSP) outputs a 480 line interlaced signal resulting in over 500 lines of high quality video. In still-capture mode, the DSP outputs 480 lines progressively. With recent technical improvements, the DSP now works more efficiently, the camera is more sensitive, and less light is required for great images.


Optical Image Stabilization

A digital circuit could effectively stop the subtle hand shaking while holding the camera. But that would degrade the picture in the long run. The DSR-PD170P has a system of motors that correct the angle of the lens hundreds of times per second eliminating minute variances caused by your hand. This system works prior to image capture thus does not affect the quality of your video.


Analog to Digital Converter Pass-Through

The PD-170P can pass through an analog video signal and output a digital one and visa versa. Simply put, this eliminates the need for an outboard A-D/D-A converter box if the digital signal you need is Firewire (iLink) and the analog signal is composite or S-video.


Settable Time Code

Like its broadcast brothers, the DSR-PD170P can be set to start timecode at any time from hours to seconds. This allows you to effectively name your cassettes based upon the sequence you shoot them. Your first tape can start at hour 1, -second tape hour 2 and so on.


XLR Audio with Phantom Power

You will find 2 XLR inputs for industry standard professional microphones. Phantom power, a 48-volt power supply, can be supplied to special microphones that require such power. The XLRs can also input line level audio from, as examples, an audio cassette deck or VCR.


Time and Date Window Burn

Useful in legal and security environments, the PD-170P will, with a menu selection, burn time- down to seconds- and date onto the tape in a window over the image.


Features New to the DSR-PD170



  • Larger magnifier for viewfinder monitor
  • Zoom rocker and record button on top handle
  • Iris control increased from 12 to 24 increments
  • Viewfinder and LCD monitor work simultaneously
  • Lens hood integrates lens cap
  • iLink cable strap makes it harder to accidentally pull loose digital cable
  • Wide angle adapter and its own lens hood included with camera
  • LCD monitor brighter for ease of use in bright light conditions
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Extended warranties are usually very inexpensive and can save you thousands in the future. It's simple and inexpensive to purchase extended warranties and one of the smartest ways to protect your investment.

Electronics can be large, heavy, and expensive and you probably don't have the special tools or expertise needed to fix them in a crisis. If you can spare a few thousand dollars without batting an eyelash for new electronics should they break tomorrow, don't buy a warranty. But if you're like most of us, protect yourself by purchasing inexpensive extended warranties when you buy a new product and save yourself big money in the long run.

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