USED: SONY DVCAM DIGITAL CAMCORDER DSR PD100A
The Sony DSR-PD100 was one of the first really small three-CCD camcorders that put professional features into a consumer-sized package. It first came out as the DSR-PD100 and quickly received a minor upgrade to the DSR-PD100A. This particular model was targeted at low-end professional users, such as event videographers, TV news stringers, and corporate and government video departments. There is a consumer version with a different part number that is very similar — the biggest differences are that the PD100 came standard with a 0.7x wide-angle adapter and a professional XLR microphone connection adapter. The consumer unit is DV format only, while the PD100 plays back in both the consumer DV and professional DVCAM (25 Mbps) formats, and records only in DVCAM. This is an important consideration, because a 60-minute DV videotape will record for only 40 minutes at the faster DVCAM speed of the PD100. There is no image quality difference between the DVCAM and DV formats, but DVCAM uses wider tracks and is considered more rugged, thus its “professional” status. The DSR-PD100 is a curious amalgam of both the consumer and professional worlds, and packs a large number of features into its tiny case. The unit uses 1/4-inch 380,000 pixel CCDs for a resolution of 500 lines. There are two viewfinders: a small eyepiece color LCD viewfinder and a foldout 3.5-inch LCD monitor. The foldout monitor is very crisp and quite versatile, and it gives the PD100 a lot of shooting flexibility. It also works well as a playback monitor to check your shots. Neither viewfinder is up to the resolution of the camera, so manual focusing is a bit of a gamble. Automation is available for many camera functions, including iris, focus, white balance and gain. An image stabilizer dramatically reduces the amount of shake in handheld shots.