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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 July 26th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #46
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I'm convinced - I have put my deposit in with Omega Broadcast. I've been a loyal Panasonic P2 user (HVX-200, then HPX-170), but I was not impressed with the HPX-250, and since I shoot mostly indoor sports, I was concerned about the lower sensitivity of the XF-300. If nothing new came out, I was planning to go with the EX-1R in September, but this unit really fits my needs. Thanks Sony !
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Old July 26th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #47
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Removing the EX shotgun mount and replacing it with a shoe or something is not without headaches. I removed mine which helps packing but there's still the matter of packing the ungainly and space wasting replacement holder rig. The PMW-200 mount appears to have a sturdy riser and perhaps there's a release of some sort to detach the actual mount mechanism?

The more I learn about the PMW-200, the less impressive it becomes. Putting the power port inside the battery compartment means OEM batteries that have D-TAP ports for accessories like lights and external recorders cannot be used. The PMW-200 is left with few reasons to buy it over competitive camcorders and barely any reasons to upgrade from the EX1 or EX1R. Pity.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #48
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
You should buy a Canon XF300 if you want to use non-SxS media. I for one enjoy being able to buy robust professional media. It's better, who cares if it's proprietary?
Just sold our Xf100, it and the Xf300 do not have low light capacity. Loved grading their output when I could shoot at low dB.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 05:17 PM   #49
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
The PMW-200 is left with few reasons to buy it over competitive camcorders and barely any reasons to upgrade from the EX1 or EX1R. Pity.
The obvious competitors to the PMW200 are the Canon XF305 and the Panasonic HPX250. Compared to both of them the obvious advantage the PMW200 has is 1/2" chips versus 1/3" and that's a BIG point in the PMW200s favour. That means better native sensitivity, more control (a full stops worth) over depth of field, and the ability to stop down further without diffraction limiting. Compared to the HPX250 it additionally has true manual control of focus and iris, not the servo system of the HPX250.

As far as upgrading from an EX1R goes, then the obvious difference is the fully approved codec. If your clients insist upon that, then the PMW200 means they can be satisfied without the need for an external recorder. That may not be enough to make somebody upgrade from an EX1 - but if you're looking to upgrade from something else it makes the PMW200 the obvious choice in this price point.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #50
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Yep, two screws to remove it. Microphone holder that is!

I'm sure the battery manufactures will figure out a way to construct a battery with a plug that pops up into the socket after the battery has been inserted. Might end up as a more elegant solution than the flying cable.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #51
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

There are accessories for mic holders that can mount in place of the stock EX1 mic holder. Likewise, there are some shoe expansion products . I bought the 2nd one. In any case, I have two camera-mounted microphones, usually an omni and a cardioid but sometimes two of the same. One microphone is usually set 10 dB lower to avoid hitting the EX1's fixed limiter

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Old July 26th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #52
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Does the PMW-200 have the same fixed limiter on input? I'd like a disable menu option.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #53
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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The obvious competitors to the PMW200 are the Canon XF305 and the Panasonic HPX250. Compared to both of them the obvious advantage the PMW200 has is 1/2" chips versus 1/3" and that's a BIG point in the PMW200s favour. ...
I chose my words carefully. I said few not none. The 1/2" chips and the advantages that come with them are a given advantage over competitors (not sure it amounts to that much tho) but what used to be a powerful advantage is now a much weaker one. Especially against the $5600 pricepoint of HPX250. I am unimpressed with the +9db noise comparison to the EX1R.

The PMW-200 lost the EX camera's advantage of the unique rotating handle, compact form factor and 12v OEM power with D-TAP for running accessories. Even if there's an OEM power solution eventually, it requires a new battery without the economy of scale of using what's already been designed, developed and in the stores for the EX series. Then there's the subtraction of the PMW-200 LCD design that gets in the way of the shoe which is a design flaw the competitors don't share. Every single photo on the Sony Professional Europe's Facebook photo album of users using the EX1 with a wireless receiver could not do that on the PMW-200 design. The XF300 lacks the flaw and provides two sided viewing. So who's done the better engineering design there? How about that periscope for a shotgun mount? Sheesh.

The PMW-200 is a step backward for EX1/3 users from perspective of ergonomics, LCD, power and packaging. It's neutral for media, manual controls, and apparently firmware features like focus and exposure assist or whatever. So to move forward to HD422 from an EX, you have to give up quite a bit. If HD422 means nothing to you, then it's an even bigger step backward.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #54
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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There are accessories for mic holders that can mount in place of the stock EX1 mic holder. ...
I have the DM-Accessories replacement mount but that's not the issue. The issue I raise is the PMW-200 riser protrudes quite high. If there were a thumb latch or something where the mic and it's holder could be removed, that would show Sony had put some design innovation into it. Instead, it appears to be a rather dull design that sticks up even more relative to the body than the EX1 making it (IMHO) a weaker design.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #55
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I read that you just about have to buy a special plate to mount the EX1R on a tripod to avoid the one on the camera from breaking. I assume the PMW-200 doesn't have this "design" flaw?
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Old July 27th, 2012, 06:14 AM   #56
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Les, It's not like the XF300/305 doesn't have flaws of it's own, like the inability to have manual zoom control and servo zoom at the same time, un calibrated non-repeatable iris control, focus position that changes when you go from manual to auto, the aperture ramping when you zoom, etc. No camera is perfect. You may not be that impressed by the lower noise of the PMW-200 over the EX1R, but compared to the XF305 that's a big difference. Bottom line is bigger pixels almost always give a better signal to noise ratio and that's vital for many production companies, especially those shooting observational docs where light levels are often poor. Most broadcast and professional production companies don't give a damn about 3rd party batteries, all that matters to them is will the camera deliver the picture picture quality they need with a workflow that fits within their production. With many productions mixing full size cameras and handheld cameras you cannot ignore the benefit for a production company of having just one common codec, media and workflow. In addition as the codec and metadata are 100% compatible with Sony's optical disc XDCAM system there is also a very good long term archive and storage solution.
Yes, I think Sony have lost ground by being slow to bring this to the market, but this does complete the line up. Using the same workflow you can shoot with a PMW-500 and PMW-200. Throw in a PDW-F800 or PDW-700 if you want optical disc. You can write the PMW-200 files directly to the PDW-F800/700 using a PC or Mac, no transcoding or processing needed. Store your footage longterm using one of the new XDCAM juke boxes or archive management systems and get the benefits of a proxy based workflow that works across even very slow networks. That's why the PMW-200 will sell and it will sell very well in my opinion. Production companies like to keep things simple, they don't want multiple codecs or different media for different cameras and they need handheld cameras that perform well in low light.

As for the wireless mic getting in the way? Simple, use the rear shoe. The PMW200 mic mount is no more of a periscope than the 305's.

Don't be confused by the dimensions given on the various web sites. The PMW-200 is overall slightly smaller than an EX1R. It's a little longer, but narrower and shorter. I'm not sure where the dimensions that say it's 4" longer come from, it certainly didn't appear that much longer to me, maybe 2".

The base of the camera is to a new design. The tripod threads are part of the base, which is plastic. It appears to be some form of glass reinforced plastic with some kind of thread insert. I did try to deliberately cross thread and damage the threads, but failed, they are very tough. Again the mounting surface area is fairly small, bigger than an EX1 but still not the entire camera base (for cooling reasons I was told) but as the mount is now integral to the camera base I suspect it will be stronger.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #57
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Have Sony addressed the IR problem?
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Old July 27th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #58
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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Originally Posted by Galen Rath View Post
I read that you just about have to buy a special plate to mount the EX1R on a tripod to avoid the one on the camera from breaking. I assume the PMW-200 doesn't have this "design" flaw?
What design flaw? My EX1 is coming up on on 5 years old now and I've never bought any special plate, nor do I personally know any fellow EX1 owners who have. You are misinformed about the camera.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #59
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Alister, respectfully, my first post on the PMW-200 in another thread was to the effect that Sony listened to the wrong people and I see that reinforced more and more. More precisely, the PMW-200 design seemingly reflects needs from a subset of the user base... specifically, IMHO the PMW-200 does not reflect the needs and use cases of it's non-broadcast user base. I'd argue those who've made their career in tripod mounted shoots and where handheld meant shoulder mounted aren't the only ones who have input... and in the case of the handycam PMW-200 arguably have the least amount of insight due to their traditional camera prejudice.

Case in point is the EX1R battery design that lets the broadcasters "not give a damn about OEM batteries" (your words) all day long while letting the rest of us enjoy the upgrade-ability, economical availability, ergonomic and flexibility benefits of the fly cable design. The PMW-200's redesign of the battery compartment reflects broadcaster needs only.

Case in point #2 is the idea to use the rear mount for wireless receivers and lights because anything mounted on the front gets in the way of the LCD flip out. Those that have experience actually using the EX1 rear handle mount would know the shoe scrapes one's hand when trying to use the camera's top handle and mounting anything back there makes anything handheld even more uncomfortable and difficult while a front mounted shoe works just dandy. The PMW-200's front shoe interfering with the LCD seemingly reflects a broadcast need.

As for the XF300, all cameras have deficits and I have been as vociferous as anyone espousing the benefits of the EX1R over the XF300 as someone who went through examining both and chose the EX1R. IMHO, the PMW-200 is much less of a superior camera system for non-broadcast users and anyone who values ergonomics in balance with IQ because we use the tool for something more than a small substitute for a full size camera or smaller package on a set of sticks/rig.

Last edited by Les Wilson; July 27th, 2012 at 03:42 PM.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #60
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I believe he is referring to this plate:
Juice Designs — EX1 / EX1R Base Plate

I myself use this plate on the base of my EX1 for extra security and piece of mind. A high amount of EX1's I've come across have had the the small plastic "base plate" that the camera's 1/4-20 insert is attached to ripped out of the camera or precariously loose. A lot of this is prob due to operator error or abuse but I think we can agree that the 1/4-20 insert on the EX is not the most 'robust' of designs.
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