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Tips for Using a Sony PD-150 Digital Video Camera

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Misty Faucheux•updated: 6/25/2009

Here are some great tips for working with a Sony PD-150 digital video camera.

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    Revolution Film

    Sony’s prosumer PD-150, as well as its slightly more developed PD-170, have taken the independent world as its own. The PD-150 has set its cost below five thousand dollars in most situations and through this has made it accessible to anyone without a balance on their credit card. The imaging is so easy to affect that it has become the favorite of many independent film rebels, even being used for David Lynch’s latest opus Inland Empire.

    The camera maintains a solid image that has its own faults and inaccuracies, putting it as a parallel option to film. The fact that it maintains its own character in its digital framework means that the PD-150 is a new marker in the world of independent cinema just emerging. Just as with any camera, the PD-150 has its own quirks and functions that are unique. Here are a few tips to help you out when starting your work with Sony’s PD-150.

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    Light Weight

    The PD-150 is one of the lightest cameras that have ever been used in feature narrative filmmaking. This is both one of the strengths and weaknesses of the PD-150 as this lightweight model allows for versatility and an issue with image stability.

    To avoid this, you should be using a tripod for all stable images. To maintain the versatility of the camera you may want to loosen the tripods head so that you have an almost free range of motion to be guided by the videographer’s hand.

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    Hand Held

    If you want to go hand held with the PD-150, then you should place it on the palm of your secondary hand and then direct it with your right. Try to bring the camera into your body a little bit to add even more stability. If you ware walking with it, try to make your steps even and without too much impact on the ground.

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    Light is going to be an interesting problem for the PD-150. Too much light, especially warm natural light, can wash out the image. You can use this to your advantage by customizing your lighting and focusing on shooting in areas and periods of time when the light is going to achieve what you want. This can be effectively done by test out shots before you film.

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    White Balance

    Always white balance your image when filming with the PD-150. It tends to handle colors and light well once you have identified what you want to appear as true white. This is going to be really important when using natural light. You can alter the colors of the image with the PD-150 by using other colors during white balance, identifying non-white colors as the true white.

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    The PD-150 tends to be a fairly resilient camera, but you should still be careful with it. Try to never leave the PD-150 in hot or damp locations for too long of a period of time. Cover the lens when not using it and try to prepare for any trauma that could occur to the camera.