Contemplating PMW 350 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts

Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 18th, 2010, 11:32 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Parkland Florida
Posts: 407
Contemplating PMW 350

I have been following the posts on this section of the forum and have noted the relative paucity of posts regarding the PMW 350. I am currently contemplating the purchase of said camera and wonder if the diminutive number off posts is an indication of satisfaction with the camera or simply the limited number of owners?
In addition, I wonder if someone could provide me with the most usable and effective aperture range for the stock lens?
Thank you in advance.
Ron Wilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 08:25 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,867
Hi Ron,

I owned a 350 for three months.

The camera is a nice step up from the EX1/3. More sensitive, 2/3" DOF, full B4 lens choices, and great VF, all make for a very nice camera.

Are you asking how many stops the lens has or how many you would use on a shoot to get the best quality picture?
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 09:43 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Parkland Florida
Posts: 407
Hello and thank you for your reply and descriptive message.

I am interested in the effective f-stop range, or best shooting range, rather than the actual expanse.

You mentioned that you owned the 350 for 3 mos—why did you dispose of it?

Are there problems with the camera that you would feel comfortable sharing?
Ron Wilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,867
Well the effective range of course will vary depending on the light and the final quality you are happy with for your customer. I would say the camera did very well from 6-7 stops. The camera is very nice in low light with minimum noise.

Nothing wrong you should test the camera out at a dealer you will be very pleased. I sold to move to higher quality CCD in the F800 along with a slew of other features that I need.
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
I think a fair summary would be that if you're happy with CMOS limitations then for the price it'll be an incredible camera. Supplied lens is apparently excellent too (especially when you figure that it's almost free).
Only other limitation is 35mb/s codec - some broadcasters etc may not be happy with that.
If you need CCD and 50 mb/s codec and have the extra 20,000 then get a PDW800, if not the 350 should is pretty much the pick of the bunch at the moment.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Oh, and if you go for the PDW800 don't foget to allow another 3,500 for a viewfinder! Unless you want a colour one like th 350 has, then it's 6,000!!!
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Parkland Florida
Posts: 407
Thank you both for your responses.
Sure, I too would much prefer a CCD camera, but the pressing issue at the moment is one of economics and I can hardly justify the outlay of another $30,000 at this juncture (B&H price $38,990 plus whatever lens one chooses). Given the type of shooting I do, mostly landscape and scenic, flash banding is not an issue but skew can be. From what I have seen of the 350 from the work of others, skew appears to be minimal at most. Unfortunately, there are no dealers nearby that either stock the 350 or would allow one to go for a test drive and as such I have to rely upon the forums to assist in the decision making process. That said, there appears to be little else available in that price range.
Ron Wilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Not tried them side by side, but I'd be happy to bet that if you could get hold of an EX1 the skew on that would be near identical to the PMW350.
The price of the "old style" CCD cameras is now starting to seem quite insane. The price that you quote for a PDW800 is probably about right. The for even a "cheap" HD lens like an HJ18x7.6 would be another $12,000 maybe, another $4,500 for a viewfinder maybe? Puts it at around $55,000. And in fact these type of cameras are actually a LOT cheaper than they used to be.
When the original Varicam came out it was around 60,000, and the Sony F900 around 80,000 I seem to remember.
For those that are OK with CMOS the "bang for buck" is just in a different league to the CCD cams.
Another thing that has made a vast difference is chromatic aberration correction, which is what allows these kit lenses to be more or given away with the cameras - the optics can be kept quite simple (and poor) allowing the elctronics to sort them out in camera (the camera will be set up to work perfectly with the supplied lens).
As others have said, the more the skew gets under control as technology advances the quicker CCD cameras will start to fade away.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Parkland Florida
Posts: 407
I agree with your assessment, CCD vs CMOS, cost vs value.

I did own an Ex3, which I sold due to its unworkable form factor, but never found skew to be an issue. Sure, I could provoke it but not under normal shooting conditions. But the Panasonic HPX 300 that I replaced it with is a skew-pro and while I can minimize or at times prevent skew by following the ASC guidelines, it isn't always convenient or appropriate for the shooting environment. Seems that I am currently left with only one option in the shoulder mount category and that's the 350. For the difference in price, the upcoming 320 makes little sense to me.
Ron Wilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,867
Sorry Ron I was with a client. Steve's advice is great.

If you want a 2/3" camera under $30K with a lens the 350 is the best choice. The F800 is a big step up and I needed the camera to please a few clients and it is better with fast motion which I shoot a lot.

Ron if you liked the EX3 the 350 is a great next step and with the kit lens you will be set to go for a very low 2/3" price.

Your pricing on the F800 is accurate. You could get a ZA17x lens for $11K which is very nice and with my test as good as a HA in picture quality. I did not have good luck with my Canon HJ test. The viewfinder at $4.5ik will be black and white. But it sounds like you are happy with CMOS and that is great, saves you a tons of money.

No rental house in Miami carrying the 350? I suggest you rent for a few days or a week and see if it fits your needs. That is what really matters. Very hard to buy based on forum input.
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Or, if you liked the HPX300 except for skew you could check out the HPX370 - apparently it has less skew than the EX3, plus is as good in low light.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Parkland Florida
Posts: 407
Paul, thank you for your reply. As for CMOS, I agree that it has its limitations but it does present an affordable entry point.

And, Steve, I really do not have any interest in another 1/3" chipped camera and furthermore, I am somewhat soured on Panasonic at the moment but thank you for the thought.
Ron Wilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,867
Happy to help Ron,

I think you would be happy with the 350 but you should rent. You can deal with Abel Cine Tech in NYC Abel Cine Tech who I think are first class people and the only ones I deal with on big purchases or there is a rental house in Miami that I know nothing about. I will send you their link.
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Parkland Florida
Posts: 407
Hi Paul:

I'm about 60miles from Miami,making a rental a tad impractical, but I will be checking the camera out tomorrow at a different and closer venue and will probably make the purchase.
However, if the issues relating to CMOS are no worse than those witnessed with my EX3 I do not anticipate a problem. And, after all, what else is there in a full raster, 2/3" chip, shoulder mount camera in this price range? Nothing, I suspect. So, there really is no choice and nothing to compare it to ... it's either the 350 or pony up another 30K for the PDW 800, lens and VF and I don't see that happening anytime in the foreseeable future. But thanks again for your thoughts, they were most appreciated.
Ron Wilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,867
Glad to help Ron,

Nice you will have a chance to see, hold, and shoot with the camera tomorrow.
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:35 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network