Very first impressions of my PMW-350 at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 30th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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Very first impressions of my PMW-350

I just received the camera today and started going through the manual in detail which I will finish tomorrow.

The camera body is very light weight. I will put it and the lens on a scale along with my full set up. Lens seems like it is built well with smooth controls.

Installed the small shotgun mic that comes with it since I do not have a XLR 3 pin to 5 pin cable for my Rode NTG-3. The audio plug up front is 5 pin XLR the two on the back are 3 pin XLR.

I have my Marshall V-LCD70P=3GSDI hooked up for ease of menu viewing and to correct with camera bars.

All the switches and button seem well though out.

I only turned the camera on for 10 min and wow the latitude compared to my EX1 seems huge with a sharp picture on factory presets. And I have not even set up the Nano.

Done for the day but I will do a detail review in my blog over the next few weeks and be posting here often about my findings.

First day impressions: Good Move Paul
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #2
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Congrats for the new baby....

Do you think one can power a Nanoflash from the 12V (4-pin hirose connector) on the back of the camera? On Sony's PMW-350 brochure, there is a picture of the camera's back and underneath the 12V out connector, it says Max 0.5A. So if Power (W)= U (12V) x I (0.5A), that's 6W. Is that enough?

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Old December 31st, 2009, 02:52 AM   #3
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I think you'll blow the fuse if you use the rear 12v feed. Any more than 500mA and the fuse will go. Knowing Sony the fuse is buried deep inside the camera and not a user replaceable item. I've been powering my Nano of the D-Tap light connector.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 03:18 AM   #4
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You are right Alister. On Digibeta and SX it was always an expensive job to change the fuse
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Old December 31st, 2009, 07:44 AM   #5
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Hi Paul,

I look forward to hearing your thoughts about the PMW-350. I'm looking at getting one myself in about four months time.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 08:36 AM   #6
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Alister is right in the manual is says that this is only for the UHF Tuner.

The D-Tap on the front right side of the top handle can pull 50W continuous power. So even my Zylight 90, which pulls 30W, can be hooked up to the D-Tap. Also I purchased Switronix Pro-X XP-L130S batteries, which have a D-Tap on the battery. This way I can power my monitor with a battery on the back of it, my Zylight on D-Tap, and Nano on D-Tap.

Diving back in.
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; December 31st, 2009 at 09:55 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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paul,
Congrats on your new baby. Thank you for sharing your initial thoughts. The Nano combo should rock. Have a great year
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Old December 31st, 2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Thanks Dennis Happy New Year

It is so nice to have a full size camera on my shoulder with needed controls at my finger tips.

A few more observations sorry all just thrown together. Time to get in the house and set up for our yearly GMT New Years party:

Quick and easy to switch in WB while moving on the shoulder between inside and out between presets or a new WB.
4 ND filters nice with todays bright snow.
Balance is nice and shoulder pad adjustment is easy with a big range.
VF is sharp also with easy adjustments to dial in fit, and peaking, contrast, brightness knobs within reach.
Power up is quick 2.5 sec
Menu system is easy to follow after using the EX1
Black balance is a quick adjustment
Cool on camera light options. You can put the switch on auto and leave the light switch on when the camera starts recording the light comes on. Or you can go full manual.
My 130w/h batteries last a long time. Think of the bunny with the drum
Nice strong shoulder strap hooks. I went for a Portabrace strap but a stock one comes with the camera.
lots of audio control that seem sensitive

More tomorrow as I enter Alisters presets and start shooting.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 01:49 PM   #9
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grats on the new toy, look forward to seeing more!
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Old December 31st, 2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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First clips were shot of snow in the trees and Christmas lights on our porch. This camera is sharp and very low noise at high gain.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 03:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Thanks Dennis Happy New Year

It is so nice to have a full size camera on my shoulder with needed controls at my finger tips.

A few more observations sorry all just thrown together. Time to get in the house and set up for our yearly GMT New Years party:

Quick and easy to switch in WB while moving on the shoulder between inside and out between presets or a new WB.
4 ND filters nice with todays bright snow.
Balance is nice and shoulder pad adjustment is easy with a big range.
VF is sharp also with easy adjustments to dial in fit, and peaking, contrast, brightness knobs within reach.
Power up is quick 2.5 sec
Menu system is easy to follow after using the EX1
Black balance is a quick adjustment
Cool on camera light options. You can put the switch on auto and leave the light switch on when the camera starts recording the light comes on. Or you can go full manual.
My 130w/h batteries last a long time. Think of the bunny with the drum
Nice strong shoulder strap hooks. I went for a Portabrace strap but a stock one comes with the camera.
lots of audio control that seem sensitive

More tomorrow as I enter Alisters presets and start shooting.
Hi Paul,
when I read these benefits, It occured to me that they are completely interchangeable with a description of the advantages of a PDW-35X (or even 33X, or any state of the art shoulder camera for that matter). That shows how people - like you and me - cannot get rid quick enough of a camera with a form factor like the EX1 (and Z7, and the like...). Good for some amateur shooting, but a pain in the wrist for any serious work. Not to mention all these tiny little buttons on places where nobody expects them. .. Don't get me wrong: marvellous camera's picturewise, but the guy who invented the handheld cam must have been a true masochist.
Happy New Year and enjoy your new camera!

Last edited by Luc De Wandel; January 1st, 2010 at 05:03 AM.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 09:55 AM   #12
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Hi Luc,

I agree most of the benefits I have listed from the 350 go hand in hand with other full size broadcast camera. But with regard to picture quality the PMW-350 blows away the PDW-3xx. But that is to be expected. The EX1/3 have better picture then the PDW-3xx cameras.

I am keeping my EX1 as my B camera and will buy a splash housing that will fit my EX1/Nano to improve my underwater picture quality from my Ikelite and Canon HF10. The EX1 makes stunning pictures and has a new lease on life being the EX1R. With proper shoulder support the EX1/3 are great cameras. But from my first test they can not match the sharpness, latitude, low noise, and better DOF the PMW-350 offers. Add to this having the endless choice of B4 lens options for your shooting style is one more reason for me to have taken this path.

The EX line of cameras just keeps getting better and the EX350 nice move by Sony!
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Old January 1st, 2010, 11:38 AM   #13
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I've got a PDW-700 as well as my EX1 and EX3 and should soon be getting a 350. I don't consider using my EX1 or EX3 any less professional than the 700. There are times when the EX1 is a more appropriate camera than a full shoulder mount. The extra portability sometimes makes it possible to get shots that just would not be possible with a full size camera. The great thing about the EX1 and EX3 is that you are not really having to sacrifice quality when using them. It's a case of "right tool for the job". When I go tornado chasing I keep an EX1 on my lap in the car so I can grab it and shoot out the window or for those fleeting tornadoes that last only seconds. I know I could get a technically better image out of my PDW-700 but trying to shoot out of a car window bouncing down a dirt road is so much easier with an EX. The difference is that with the EX I can get the shot and with the 700 I would not. When we stop and have time to get out the tripod then the full size camera is the one I use. It has a better (longer) lens and is more stable in strong winds etc. The EX1 is an important part of my kit and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

I realise that many people on this board will not have the luxury of being able to have a choice of cameras and for many the PMW-350 will be too expensive, but it isn't the camera that makes you a professional, but the way you use it. The EX1 and EX3 are both very serious, very capable cameras that with care can be used to produce pictures that can rival just about any other HD video camera on the market today. Perhaps the ergonomics are not perfect and some of the buttons a bit fiddly, but they have brought HDCAM type image quality down to a price point that has made it possible for a lot more people to produce top class HD content.

I am jealous of Paul. He has a new toy to play with, while I'm waiting for mine. I'm interested to see if any changes were made to the picture detail settings between the pre-production camera that I had and the final production versions. I felt the camera was quite a bit too sharp! As well as the camera I also hope to take delivery of some new test charts and waveform monitors in the new year to help brew up some nice scene files for the 350.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 12:03 PM   #14
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Alister by now means do I think the EX1 is not up to the professional job. And it is a very important part of my kit. Agree there are times when I will not be able to use the EX350 and the EX1 will be in my hands quickly for the shot. Nano hooked up to both and there you go, a great kit to capture the shot. You could not be more right is saying what matters is not the camera but the content is what wins every time.

I am entering your two PP now and will shoot with them this afternoon and shoot my EX1 at the same time to compare. Thanks again for the two PP and hope you receive your EX350 soon so you can enjoy the new camera in your business. Always interested in your updated PP.

Now if I could only find some used HD 2/3" long glass for a decent price.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 12:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Now if I could only find some used HD 2/3" long glass for a decent price.
I would add "good" HD glass. There are some shockingly bad low cost 2/3" HD lenses on the market that are in some cases inferior to decent SD lenses. My recommendation would be to take the camera to a dealer with a stock of both HD and SD lenses and try both. A lot depends on your budget but an older (and thus cheaper) top end SD lens may be a better option than a cheap HD lens. Another thing to consider is that some time next year the 2x digital extender option should become available. As this will only use the center of the lens/sensor a lens that is a little soft in the corners should perform reasonably well. I find optical 2x extenders far from perfect in HD, so again maybe you could save some money by getting a lens without an extender.
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