This camera is one of the last models to run dvcam type videotapes. It is a hybrid because it has also a memory chip socket and will record and playback both dvcam tapes and the chip. Or all one format or all the other format. The instruction book stresses how to take still photographs with the chip or tape. The book has the usual superior sony detail but discusses loading the tape or chip into a computer via usb cable and totally ignores the fact that the camera will also use a 400 firewire cable to a computer, giving faster uploads. The camera is also somewhat unique because it comes standard with a mic input adapter for two xlr inputs of either 48 vdc powered microphones or non-powered mics. The adapter enlarges on the camera body’s audio adjustments, making it close to real professional audio system. A short shotgun microphone is included. Although it is a direct descendant of the sturdy line of sony video cameras started with the pd-100 (which evolved into the last of that line, the pd-170). The feel of this camera is very much the same, but sony in its greed changed the size of the batteries and removed the threads for the pd screw-on adapting lens.
The panasonic performs much better in low light and has more accessible manual features, and it’s cheaper. I’m not saying that the sony is a bad camcorder, though.
I teach videography and have tried many different camcorders before deciding on the pdx10 as the best compromise between price, easy of use, and professional quality. The best feature of the pdx10 is the dual-xlr audio inputs and good quality microphone normally included with the camera. Cheaper consumer cameras often don’t even let you adjust audio levels, even if you did add an third-party xlr input. Video quality is both great and poor–that is, great when there’s plenty of light and poor when you’re in low light or even not-so-well-lit ordinary indoor situations. I shot a well-lit scene with the pdx10 and, right next to it, a $20,000 sony camera with a $5,000 lens, and nobody yet has been able to tell which is which when i show them the footage. (interestingly, the more expensive professional camera also did poorly in low light conditions. )i’ve heard some people say they preferred the old sony pd-100a, which was the pdx10’s predecessor. However, i have both and appreciate the many improvements to the interface and slightly better color quality of the pdx10. The closest competitor to this is the panasonic ag-dvc30, which has better low light performance but doesn’t have as good 16:9 support. More importantly to me, the pdx-10 records in dvcam format (on regular mini-dv tapes) which puts more data on the tape for each minute of recording.
Key specs for Sony DSR-PDX10 Professional 1/4.7″ 16:9 3CCD DVCAM Compact Camcorder with 3.5 inch LCD Monitor:
- XLR Adaptor
- Patterns can be easily switched between 70 IRE and 100 IRE via a side panel switch, Zebra
- Lanc Control (L Control)
- VTR Features
Comments from buyers
“Sturdy DVCAM camera with added chip and full funtions
, CAMARA DE VIDEO SONY PDX 10 ! EXELENTE !
, Great unless you need to shoot in low light
This camera is great if you are on a low budget. In fact, as of this date, it doesn’t get better. Everyone has mentioned the greats. Tons of digital controls over your image, a touch screen, and xlr ins. If it makes a huge difference to you, the ccd chips are small, and thus a low lux camera. So if you are planning lots of low light, it may be worth it to spend more on more. The digital controls are great, but they are nothing like manual shutter speed and fstop. This is a great camera for the price. It has captured beautiful images for me.
Esta camara de video sony pdx 10 es muy buena, para filmar en condiciones de poca luz, sus microfonos son de buy buena recepcion, su pantalla grande permite ver son mejores detalles las imagenes, los colores de las imagenes perfectas. No le pide favor a la pd150-pd170.
Quite often i notice many reviewers associate the word ‘professional’ with this camcorder, which is frustrating since this camcorder is not ‘professional’; it is a professional consumer (prosumer) camcorder. I own this camera by the way, but i am neither a consumer (respectively) nor am i a professional; i have been to radio-television-film school, which has allowed me to become a photojournalist, but i would never consider myself a professional – i have chosen to be this way because becoming a truly professional videographer slash cinematographer requires some extensive knowledge and experience – two things which i don’t have, and two things which you probably don’t have either since your on amazon’s website looking at the sony dsr-pdx10, and reading a review on the camera from someone who is on the job, but obviously has nothing better to do at the moment. Nonetheless, i will attempt to divulge your wonders about this camcorder. As of the current, i have owned a pdx10 since the spring of 2004 – which i suppose is something like a year and-a-half to be not exact. And since i am much better at noticing negative things, i will start with those bad things about sony’s little three-chip camcorder, the biggest problem being the chips themselves. The three charged coupling devices in this camera are all 1/ 4. 7 inches in diameter (almost 1/5 inches in diameter) making these chips the smallest ones in the prosumer market. Well it means that the camera is absolutely terrible in low light shooting conditions. It also means that the image is highly susceptible to noise – a thing which wouldn’t seem so bad if it were as aesthetic as film grain, but alas, this is interlaced digital video – the farthest thing from celluloid.