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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old December 11th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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PMW-350 was in town

Just attended a Sony seminar yesterday and got the chance to have a few minutes of "hands on" with this incredible camera. I won't bother with technical bits as Alister has covered that very well in his review already. Just a few impressions...First, it's a beautiful, proper camera. I can't imagine news organizations not buying these by the truckload. The sensitivity is probably at least a full stop better than anything I've ever seen in my 27 years of shooting. Second, the viewfinder is AMAZING!!!! Forget anything you've ever heard about poor lcd performance from a viewfinder. I've used full Sony HD studio cameras whose viewfinders have nothing on this one.

Our office just took delivery of a Nanoflash. I think combining these two pieces of technology would satisfy any broadcast/production requirement imagineable. The days of mortgaging the farm to have the best are soon becoming a thing of the past. I agree with Alister that the detail coming from this camera is almost too much ( I can't believe I just said that) This may not be the camera to achieve a satisfying filmic look, time will tell as the hypergammas are sorted out. However, if HD to you is something that jumps off the screen and grabs you by the sensiblities then you must look at this camera.

Dave

p.s. I have no relationship with Sony at all.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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Hi Dave,
Did you try the camera in SD mode?

Cheers
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Old December 11th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Nystul View Post
....the detail coming from this camera is almost too much ...... This may not be the camera to achieve a satisfying filmic look, .....
But if it's got a lot of REAL detail, that means it can run with little or no detail enhancement without looking soft, which is a long way towards a good filmic look.

I also agree about the sensitivity. With 24dB of gain it looks more like 12-18dB in a comparable 2/3" camera.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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David,

Terrific point. The seminar host was quick to point out that in in test shoots he did he avoided extra enhancement and let the 2/3rds inch CMOS imager show its true ability.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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Now that you've finished with it, maybe I can have a go!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 07:53 PM   #6
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Incidentally, Mr Chapman very accidentally left some footage in a card, and I also accidentally played it out through a native 1920x1080 projector.

It was rather nice. And lots of oohs and ahhs were heard from the viewing audience.

I'd like to think that they were as a result of viewing my EX3 footage. But unfortunately they rather liked the 350. Though they did wonder about how Alisters mind works and how he picks planes to follow during airshow flyby's since they were by all accounts very bloomin' smooth and accurate!!
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Old December 12th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #7
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Do we have any price points yet for this camera? With what lens and without?
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Old December 12th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #8
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Well Mr Wyndham..

I could say... I put myself in the pilots shoes, I think like an aviator and anticipate their every move.....

or

I've seen the displays so many times I know what they are going to do next. I've filmed motorsports and flying for over 20 years. In addition it wasn't all shot by me. There are some clips shot by Steve Connor in there too.

I really can't wait to get my 350 and take it up to the Arctic Circle to shoot the Northern Lights. It should do really well.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #9
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On another note, if I may Mr. Wyndham :)

Has the Skype icon by your name been put there automatically by this forum software, or have you embedded it yourself?
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Old December 12th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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Umm, I don't know the answer to that one. I don't recall adding Skype, though I may have done years ago when I first joined the forum. I rarely use Skype now.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #11
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Alister are willing to share what you have use for PP on the 350? I am happy to test different PP setting to dial in what I need so the camera can get to work when it arrives in Jan.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #12
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I am hoping to publish a range of Scene Files for the 350 in early January. The 350 uses Scene Files which are very similar to those used on the PDW-700 and F900R etc as opposed to the EX picture profiles. They do the same thing, but have a lot of extra parameters that can be adjusted such as both detail and aperture settings, low mid and high black gamma stretch and colour multi matrix options which allows you to mix two sets of matrix settings.

For the airshow we had detail wound down to -25 and aperture at -10 with Hypergamma 4 with a bit of mid-black stretch. The camera was a pre-production unit and was incredibly sharp, I have been told that the detail levels may be reduced on production cameras to a more natural level. At first I was worried that it was too sharp and producing a lot of aliasing, but a quick session on the test bench at Sony with some Zone Plates showed it to be largely alias free, yet with remarkable resolution (even with the cheap kit lens). We put it side by side with an F900R and both were resolving around 1100 lines which is about the limit for a 1920x1080 camera. The great thing about this camera is that it is very high resolution with very low noise so detail correction will not be needed in many cases.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #13
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Very interesting - but one point has not yet been mentioned.
If you order the camera with the optionaly included lens the price is very good, no question about that.

But the lens is just not wide enough. Shooting outdoors (and planes) this might be no problem.

But I've got an PDW-330 with the Fujinon 5.5x18 lens, and I wish even this was wider. (Same with my EX1) I would trade in my PDW instantly for the PMW-350, if would not have to spend another 15 - 20 thousand Euro for a usable lens. Too bad, Sony did not make the stock lens at least as wide as the EX1 lens.

Too bad, because everythíng else would have been perfect. (Starting with the V-mount-batteries, the slot for my Sennheiser receiver, wondering if the Fujinon-zoom-remote would work on this lens?)

Am I the only one regretting the lens not being wide enough?

Stephan
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Old December 13th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Stephan Hubenthal
Too bad, Sony did not make the stock lens at least as wide as the EX1 lens.
They did (for all practical purposes). Are you making allowance for the differing chip sizes? An 8mm focal length with 2/3" chips corresponds very closely with 5.8mm and 1/2" chips.

Look at the Sony spec sheets - Sony : PMW-EX1R (PMWEX1R) : Technical Specifications : United Kingdom and Sony : PMW-350K (PMW350K) : Technical Specifications : United Kingdom

They list "equivalent to 31.4 mm to 439 mm on 35 mm lens" for the EX1 (5.8mm actual), and "31.5 mm to 503 mm on 35 mm lens" for the PMW350 (8mm actual).
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Old December 13th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #15
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The wide angle lens issue is interesting but I have a cunning plan when I purchase my 350 (which seems pretty likely now).

I also planning to buy a DSLR (5d/7d) with some wide primes for when I need to go wide. Better lens quality and a B cam if I need it and will save a ton of cash.

I think this would work well as I tend to use wide angle lenses for cut aways mainly so audio isn't such an issue. On the rare occasion that I need a wide on the main camera, I can rent.
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