Sony PD 100 vs the Sony PD150 : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

I am thinking about purchasing either the Sony PD 100 or the PD 150 and wanted to get some feedback on either camera. Thanks ken

-- ken karagozian (, March 19, 2001


Ken, here is a message that I sent to the NPPA bulletin board yesterday on this subject.Just remember the 150 is a DVCAM format,with a lot more professional features. You can read reviews on these cameras on The Digital Journalist Camera Corner.

In response to Carl's question on the relative merits of the XL-1 versus the Sony VX2000, they really are apples and oranges. The 2000 is the direct descendent of the VX1000, which was really the first 3 chip mini DV camera. Most people that we call videojournalists today cut their teeth on the 1000. It was a great breakthrough, but then Canon took it a step much further when they introduced the XL-1. The Canon was intended from day one to be a professional tool, with its XL-R inputs (in the optional MA100 adaptor), a modular camera package that could be configured in many different ways, such as optional black and white broadcast viewfinder, and interchangeable lenses which included the supplied 16x zoom, the 3x wide angle,and a manual broadcast zoom lens. The Sony on the other hand at $1,000 less is a prosumer camera, that with adaptations, such as a professional broadcast mic, a Beachtek XLR adaptor, and wide angle converters, could be dressed up to perform a lot of the functions of the XL-1. However,the cost of the adaptations, such as a mic at $450, the XL-R adaptor at $175, the wide angle adaptor at 125, quickly starts to narrow the cost field.

The Sony camera that most closely competes with the XL-1 is the Sony PD150, which is a DVCAM format camera with most of the XL-1 features minus the interchageable lenses. The price points between the two cameras are in the same $3400 ball park.

The Canon camera which competes with the VX2000 is the Gl-1, which is roughly the same size and looks very similar. Again, you have to add the additional mic and adaptors to make it a professional use camera.

They are all excellent cameras, that do amazing work. So, it really comes down to what the user wants.We use the XL-1 as the offical camera for the Platypus Workshops. If I am going to work on a documentary feature, I tend to use that camera. On the other hand, if I am Platypussing..(shooting stills and video), I will opt for the GL- 1 which will take up less space in my bag. The result from either Canon camera looks exactly the same. The Canon image has a warmer look, which I personally like. The Sony produces a cooler, but equally sharp image.

So, it really depends on what you want to do.

-- dirckhalstead (, March 21, 2001.


I expect you have long since made your Purchase Decision, but I have recently purchased the PD 100, and also compared it with a PD 150 which is owned by one of my clients..

The PD 100 records in DVCAM mode only, whereas the PD 150 is switchable, so you can record in DV mode as well, helpful for those conferences where your tapes will last for 60 mins in DV mode as opposed to 40 mins in DVCAM mode.

The PD 100 has an attachment to input a single xlr balance mic, it also has 48 volt phantom powering, and has powered my Neumann U87 in tests. These tests with the Neumann reveal an ok but not amazing mic input stage on the camera, one would have expected better bearing in mind it is recording 48 kHz 16 bit in normal default mode. The other problem is that is if you are videoing a conference and want to take a balanced line level feed from the sound desk, there is no way to switch the PD 100 xlr input into line mode, whereas the PD 150 does accomodate this. Also with the PD 100 once you fix the xlr attachment onto the camera you lose the in built mic completely and the mono single xlr mic channel records onto both audio channels on the camera (bit of a waste of a channel). I think with the PD 150 you can still use the camera mic on one channel at the same time as taking a xlr balanced feed from the sound desk, but best to double check this as I have not actually tried it with the PD 150.

Picture wise they are both excellent cameras, and the PD 100 with the wide angle lens kit has been an excellent purchase for me, I have used it over 100ft down under the Red Sea, on corporate shoots in poor light, in conference situations and also more recently as a controllable vtr using the Firewire Pinnacle DV 200 board with Premiere 6.

All in all a very useful piece of kit !


-- Malcolm Rivett-Carnac (, July 02, 2001.

Yes taken your comments in very userful. I want to use a professional camera for shooting from my model heli which already carries a JVC Camera. Which one would you choose PD150 VX2000 or Canon. It has to be good quaility and less weight is a bonus.


-- mike Chung (, March 26, 2002.

If anybody is interested in seeing a company that is now exclusively using the Sony DSR PD 100A camera for its use on Remote Controlled helicopters please go to Picture wise all are comparable between the Vx 2000, Pd 100A, and the PD 150 for aerial footage, unless you want incredible sound recordings of the helicopter engine then the PD 100 A is the camera to buy. The PD 150 and VX 2000 offer a 1/3 inch HAD chip and the Pd 100A offers a 1/4 inch chip which is larger, at the end of the day they all closely balance out. I have spoken to several camera men that I have flown for professionally for video productions and they all say wonderful things about the PD 100A camera.

The also all say that most people are willing to accept a compromise with aerial footage because to get the best of the best with full sized aircraft is very expensive. All in all, I have done three demos over the last three weekends and have sold three consecutive systems.

The web site shows two sample movies that were shot with a Sony TRV 11 camera, most people who view it are even excited about what that little camera did, the PD 100A just make things that much better. I have used the Pd 150 and the VX 2000 with my system, but at a weight of only 2.2 pounds, it is hard not to use the PD 100 A.

Hopes this helps some of you.

Craig Shepherd Whirly Bird

-- Craig Shepherd (, March 31, 2002.

Uporacle Pictures in Pensacola shot a feature length digital project with the DSR-PD150 in DVCAM. The Pictures were excellent. The camera was shot in auto mode although the camera has full manual functions. Sound was shot on DAT seperate from the camera and edited on AVID DV. The project was premered in Pensacola at the Saengre Theatre and received positive feedback on the visuals. The film "Moon's Falling will be available on DVD and Video. For more info, please send an email.

-- Stephen Larcher (, September 06, 2002.

This is not an answer, just a comment. I have not used the PD-100, but the PD-150 ia my favorite--surpassing even $20,000 cameras in low light situations. I do like the warm look of the XL1, but not the weight (excessive) and the configuration.

-- Jack Tankard (, February 05, 2003.

Hey guys, I have been a long time Sony user. I like Sony because of ease of use for the most part. At work here I use both an XL-1s and a PD-100a frequently. At first I used the XL-1s most of the time because of the ability to manipulate the internal settings and full manual features. But sometimes... when I like to just shoot freely... the first camera I grab is the PD-100a. I like it because it's small and the wide angle lens is awesome. The picture quality is a lot more robust in comparison to my old reliable Digital 8 camera. The thing I like about the PD100a is that the automatic features are very true to form. All I do is white balance and...I'll see ya later! I don't get that annoying "what should I focus on?" problem the XL-1s is prone to. I hate it when I'm get a killer shot and the focus fudges. I mean I really hate it with a capital "H". Canon has a highly sensitive camera systemin the sensitive it confuses itself. When I'm shooting something serious I'll throw on the Full manual 16:1 lens on the XL, grab the light meter and consider the job done. Setting the back focus with the manual lens is key with the Full manual. It's really better for a planned shoot. I work with a high school class and the video footage looks really good because of the production technique in a controlled shoot. The other problem I have with the XL is sometimes our footage needs to be reshot because we get artifacts and drop out on the tape! UGH! I hate that even more! That's the nice thing about the DVCAM footage it is robust like a broadcast camera. The work around I teach the kids to live by is to fast forward your tapes all the way through first then rewind back to the black all your tapes! I have pounded it into their heads. Not only does it establish a black level and set time knocks off a lot of the lose particles that might lead to tape drop out. With the DVCAM camera I never have to do this because it is such a strong recording format. Personally, I really like the old reliable BetaCam SP and the new SX stuff is nice too. I know that this is like comparing apples to oranges and vice versa... so I better quit while I'm ahead. I like oranges. Anyway...hope this helps. Take it easy! ~Johnny Blaze

-- Johnny Blaze (, May 16, 2003.

Now... We are... today, and the question is for me: Sony PD 170 or Panasonic 102 A with the fonction " as Cine"....

I am still a user of Sony PD100, but......

I am sure by now you know better than me.

Thanks a lot for reply,

Alain Guillemot

-- Alain Guillemot (, November 16, 2004.

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