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Old November 20th, 2010, 07:46 AM   #1
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PMW-350, How happy are you with the camera

I owned a PMW-350 last winter (#15) for a few months and then moved to a F800. Looking back I never really settled into the 350. So now that owners have been shooting for 10 months or more with the PMW-350, it would be interesting to know what you like and don't like about picture quality? Also and other aspects of the camera? Thanks for the input in advance this will be helpful for a decision on an upcoming project.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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Well I received an email from Steve Phillipps:

PMW350 - I don't have one or have used one but I reckon the concensus seems to be that it's an amazing camera, really low price relatively, but could be let down by 2 things - rolling shutter if you shoot long lens stuff or high action which could be problematic, and this silly 35 mb/s codec that makes people buy Nanoflashes when the 50 mb/s codec should have been and could easily be put straight into the camera. That would be one of my worries - when will they bring out the 50 mb/s version?
Steve


My reply to Steve:

Thanks for the thoughts on the PMW-350. Let me tell you what I think of it and why I am asking.

When I had mine I did shoot four jobs with it and some stock. One job was inside a jewelry manufacture and the footage is excellent. The second was from the helicopter shooting ski resorts and again the footage was great. The problem I had on the ski resort shoot was too much light. I had all camera ND filters on and .6 on the front of the camera and it was not enough in a few bright situations. My mistake I should have had more ND options. Other two were aerial survey work and the client mentions the difference in the footage from the past shoots, since I did not tell them I changed cameras. The other cameras were EX1 and F350, they liked the PMW-350 better with more detail and sharpness.

I own a Nano and used it on the aerial shoots but not in the jewelry job and it stood up fine. Also the EX1 was B camera on the shoot. The difference with and with out the Nano is there but the 2/3” chip at 420 stands up well for a lot of shoots. But grading and broadcast the Nano is needed. I think they are going to keep the 50Mb/s 422 at the PMW-500 level or no one would buy that camera over the 350.

The depth of field is nice compared to the 1/2” chip.

My reason for selling was a contract UGRH, which has since been canceled that made me move to F800 to get the job. Now I sold the F800 to clear out funds and been using my EX1/Nano, my other small cameras and now a 5D coming next week. But another job is close to signed where I will need a 2/3” camera and this is back in my sights. Just thought I would explain my reason for bring this up with current owners.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #3
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Hi Paul,

Why not just get the PMW500. I think this may be a better option.

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Old November 20th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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Just happened upon this post and thought I would put my two cents in.

After checking the current asking price for the 500 at the B&H site, it would seem that a minimally configured PMW-500 would be upwards of twice the price of the PMW-350 once a lens, VF, shotgun mike, etc., are added. Granted, it has CCDs and 50mbs but the data rate can be achieved with an external device and, depending upon one's shooting style, the CCDs may not warrant the difference.

BTW, in re the foundation for this thread, I own a PMW-350 with the stock lens and love it.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #5
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Hi Paul, the other week I wrote up a blog post concerning this, because I got that question a lot. By the way, I have two 350K's, for the price of less then one full equipped 800.. ;-)

In-depth review: Sony PMW-350K | Vincent Rozenberg
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Old November 21st, 2010, 03:42 AM   #6
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The PMW-500 is very nice and produces a fantastic image, but it's expensive. The 350 produces an almost identical image to the 500 for half the money. Don't totally discount the PMW-320 either. It has a little less DoF and a little more noise but it's still a great image.

Many news agencies and news based TV stations are looking at the PMW-500 as it has CCD's, traditional CRT VF's (You can stick a DXF VF on a 350) and the ability to add SDi and composite inputs for pool feeds etc. That along with 50Mb/s makes this a good news camera.

The PMW-350 on the other hand lacks a pool feed option and is only 35Mb/s, but the pictures are still fantastic. IMHO the 350 offers the best bang for your bucks, but to do any serious broadcast work your going to want to add a NanoFlash, Ki-Pro Mini or Ninja.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 04:45 AM   #7
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The BBC are buying 200 Sony camcorders for News and Current Affairs. A mixture of PMW-500s and PMW-350s so they must be good.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 06:49 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys for the input.

Simon I don't think the 500 is worth it at twice the price. I would have to charge more and that did not work with my F800 except for the one failed contract. People say no go with the EX1/Nano. But for this job I would need to match a Sony 700 and I think the 350/Nano would be a better choice with the Nano. Also I own a Nano and the bracket for back of the Sony 2/3" camera from Olof.

Thanks Ron nice to know you are happy with the camera. There were problems early on when owners were trying to get the right picture profile. I spent a lot of time shooting with Doug Jensen side by side with the F800, PMW-350, and EX1. Me made progress but I am sure it is much further along now. I know Alister also has been very helpful and open with profile settings.

Thanks Vincent I will check that out. If I remember right you have owned the camera since spring?

Alister makes sense that some will go for the 320 but the contract says it has to be 2/3" to match the 700. It does not say CCD and I asked, they are fine with CMOS. Again the 500 is nice I was lucky enough to be at the launching in NYC and I was impressed. But cost is very high and with two lens (see below) out of control.

Bruce makes sense BBC would buy both CCD and CMOS and keep both 2/3". They just keep using more and more CMOS.

One other point is the stock lens on the 350 is nice. I did buy a Fujinon ZA17x7.6 and ended up using that all the time. But with this contract I would need a gyro stabilized lens and a interview lens. So the stock one covers half that and with a 500 that is a expensive proposition to buy two 2/3" lens.

Great help guys thank you, and keep it coming of you have more info.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 04:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Thanks Vincent I will check that out. If I remember right you have owned the camera since spring?
Yes, since April/May, and shot over 3.6 Terabyte with them already ;-)
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Old November 21st, 2010, 04:53 PM   #10
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But with this contract I would need a gyro stabilized lens and a interview lens.
What lens are you thinking of?
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:22 AM   #11
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Hi Vincent,

Thanks for the responses I thought you shot a lot with the PMW-350. A couple more questions if you don't mind?
Do you match it to other HD cameras?
How many 350's do you own?
What glass do you use?
Did you come up with your own profile setting where you don't have to grade? (We will be doing shoots daily that will be on HDTV and there is no time for grading)


The lens options we are discussing are the following:
Schwem SP (The other camera person has the XDCAM 700 and owns two of these)
He uses a Canon J lens for the interview work and when on shore.
I would use the stock lens for interview and shore work.
Also being told I would do the wide shots on the water so I would need a wide lens, my choice here would be the ZA 12x4.3, or something else I can find used that works well and is at least 4.5 wide.
Also we have looked at this: Canon U.S.A. : Broadcast & Communications : HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 04:25 PM   #12
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AFAIK the BBC have ordered 200 PMW-350's for news and 50 PMW-500's for long form current affairs.
At the moment the 350's are being used in SD DVCAM mode, but BBC news is going switch to HD soon, so they must be planning on using the 350's for HD in the future. They have also ordered a large number of XF305's.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 04:59 PM   #13
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Absolutely delighted with the camera!!! Teamed with the nanoflash, it goes where it wants to! (Don't know what that means. Hmmmmm)

Seriously, it is fantastic, recording onto the sxs Pro or 422 onto nf. I'm not fussed. Sometimes I record only sxs (not too often though) and still stand back with a great big smile when I see the pics back. No problem with mine, tracks natural colours very well and records deep, saturated LED lights that are all the rage (and rightly so) at concerts & plays that I often record. Zero CA thanks to the CA circuitry. PMW-350, ZA lens & nanoflash - a great team.

What else can I say? For me, it's great.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 05:41 PM   #14
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Thanks Alister, that is a nice order for a business to get, unless they go direct. Do you still have your 700 or the 350, or both?

David nice to hear you are happy with the camera. And glad to hear the ZA is working so well, I was really impressed with that lens.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 05:46 PM   #15
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Overall I'm more than happy with my 350s (I bought two of them - for less than you'll get one 800)

There are some minor annoyances but the pluses far out way them. Although I have a NanoFlash, I'm finding that I'm using it far less than I thought I would - the pictures in the EX format are really good (far better than I thought 35Mbs would be).
The power consumption (or lack of) is great - I'm yet to flatten two 95 batts in a days shooting.

In real world shooting I haven't found skew to be apparent from the rolling shutter. There has been some flash banding at events from still flashes. It's something I've noticed but no client has noticed and that's before I've put it through the corrector.

The stock lens is fairly rubbish although the lack of focus breathing is amazing.

Some of the other (very) minor annoyances include only a single SDI output and a single headphone out.
Output is either HD or SD not both at the same time (a problem when using Steadicam)
You don't really know which picture profile is selected.
You can't put an ident over the bars.
The digital extender doesn't exist yet.
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