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Old July 27th, 2012, 01:20 PM   #61
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I disagree that Sony listened to the wrong people. Sony are running a business, they need to sell cameras to stay in business. The big market for this camera is the broadcast market.

Part of the reasoning behind the new LCD placement is to prevent the handle or LCD screen from extending beyond the end of the camera lens. This ensures that there won't be issues with matte boxes, autocues, 3D rigs and other things fouling the viewfinder, handle or microphone. There are quite a few of these that can't be used on the EX1 and XF305 because the microphone or viewfinder gets in the way. It's almost impossible to use any sort of graduated filter correctly on an EX1 or XF305. The XF305 is all but impossible to use on a 3D mirror rig. The protruding mic and viewfinder was a very big end user compliant with the EX1.
When you have a small form factor camera there is limited space for things like viewfinders. I prefer this design to the EX1. It doesn't foul my camera light or my radio mic, both of which can be mounted so they sit ahead of the LCD so I can open and close the LCD with them. Some radio mic receivers will prevent you from opening and closing the LCD, I agree, but a simple slide in $15 cold shoe extender that moves the shoe forwards will easily resolve that. Perhaps sony will include one with the camera, I believe canon supply one with the C300.

I don't agree with the design of the battery connector. I said that in my review, I think it is short sighted, but it really isn't a deal breaker. The placement of the connector has nothing to do with the needs of broadcasters or freelancers, it's purely to make it hard for 3rd parties to make batteries for the camera. Third party batteries will come, probably quite quickly and probably with D-Taps. Are you really suggesting you wouldn't invest $7,000 in a camera just because of the need to buy a couple of new batteries? Batteries don't last more than a couple of years anyway, so they will need to be replaced at some point anyway.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 02:30 PM   #62
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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 Alister Chapman View Post
...The big market for this camera is the broadcast market....
I've heard this for decades in product development. It's usually spreadsheet toting MBA think by suits that have dulled many an innovative engineering team. I find it summarily one dimensional. Camera ergonomics and features can satisfy more than one customer segment. Sony isn't losing the sleep over by loss of battery sales. With innovation, they'd have put d-taps on their own batteries and had more of the market.

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Are you really suggesting you wouldn't invest $7,000 in a camera just because of the need to buy a couple of new batteries? Batteries don't last more than a couple of years anyway, so they will need to be replaced at some point anyway.
I am not suggesting that. The battery issue is an example of several that have been discussed why the PMW-200 is a step backward and isn't worth $7700 (list) upgrade from the EX1(r) (save HD422) ... again, a non-broadcast user view where my $600 in 8u62 batteries are still going strong after 2 years and move freely between camera and $1600 in d-tap rigged LED lights.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 02:32 PM   #63
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Alister, Thanks for the review - most helpful!

Do you have a list of the frame rates and formats it records (i.e. 1080i, 720P, etc)? I can't find any info on this subject.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 10:15 PM   #64
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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Are you really suggesting you wouldn't invest $7,000 in a camera just because of the need to buy a couple of new batteries?
Battery incompatibility designed solely to increase profit by increasing waste and costs for other manufacturers is bad. In the worst case, the inefficiency reaches a point that currencies and economies collapse. Then to protect the economy a government steps in with regulations ensuring all batteries are compatible. Let's not go there! Companies should act responsibly and decrease waste. Profit can be made more admirably by increasing quality and compatibility.

If a hack done by enthusiasts can raise the bitrates on the GH2 to over 50 mbit, then surely a firmware upgrade to the EX1R could do the same? Hopefully the PMW-200 offers more than that. Actually, I expect it does. In particular, I wonder if the IR problem is solved?
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Old July 28th, 2012, 03:08 AM   #65
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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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.
The base plate on both the EX1 and EX3 are a well documented weak point, I don't think you will disagree is saying that it is not the best feature of the camera. No doubt with rough handling, or carrying the camera whilst mounted on a tripod you may have a problem with the plate breaking.
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Last edited by Vincent Oliver; July 28th, 2012 at 05:38 AM.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 03:29 AM   #66
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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 Doug Jensen View Post
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.
Before saying someone is misinformed, maybe you should consider that you are uninformed?

Like Vincent said, this is a well documented issue. If there was NO need for strong baseplates, then why would Olof and many other companies be making them for the EX1 & EX3?

Personally, I have gone through 3 replacement tripod plates on my EX3 because they crack so easily.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 04:34 AM   #67
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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 Eric Olson View Post
If a hack done by enthusiasts can raise the bitrates on the GH2 to over 50 mbit, then surely a firmware upgrade to the EX1R could do the same? Hopefully the PMW-200 offers more than that. Actually, I expect it does. In particular, I wonder if the IR problem is solved?
I was told by Sony that to achieve 4:2:2 requires additional hardware. I believe that the Nanoflash uses Sony's 4:2:2 XDCAM HD encoding chip but ups the data rate. So maybe higher bitrates are theoretically possible on the 4:2:0 chip in the EX1 but as I understand it 4:2:2 (XDCAM HD) is not.

As has been said below, the EX1 and EX3's baseplates are totally under-engineered. They are prone to break and make it hard to mount the camera securely, especially the EX3.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 05:09 AM   #68
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I think the cooling vents all over the PMW-200 are testament to the fact that if you could hack an EX to do 50Mb/s you would possibly cook the electronics and destroy the camera in the process. Sony have always said that power and heat meant that it would not be possible to upgrade an EX1 to 50Mb/s. Seeing the PMW100 and PMW200 and the additional cooling requirements I'm inclined to believe them.

I always had one of the Juice Designs base plates on my EX1"s.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 05:58 AM   #69
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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 Alister Chapman View Post
...When you have a small form factor camera there is limited space for things like viewfinders. I prefer this design to the EX1. It doesn't foul my camera light or my radio mic, both of which can be mounted so they sit ahead of the LCD so I can open and close the LCD with them. Some radio mic receivers will prevent you from opening and closing the LCD, I agree, but a simple slide in $15 cold shoe extender that moves the shoe forwards will easily resolve that. Perhaps sony will include one with the camera, ...
The front shoe is the best place for receivers. Those of us who use the EX1 heavily as a handheld know that moving things off center interferes with the shotgun on the right and line of site on the left. It also makes them wobbly when moving around. Sticking them fully forward also makes them wobbly and potentially put's the antenna into frame.... especially with a WA adapter. It's a hack and I'd rather a properly designed shoe/LCD subsystem. Being able to view the LCD from the right side is a tripod thing and the PMW-200 design forfeits a good design for the shoe for what? Being able to view the screen from the right (albeit at a 90 degree angle which is somewhat of a joke) is a tripod scenario easily handled with an external monitor. I can't imagine Sony hearing otherwise if they'd gotten input from non-broadcast users.

Below is the PMW-200 design from the review at xdcam-user and the Sony's own UWP wireless in action on an EX1 during the filming of a piece by Thierry Humeau which would most certainly be in the way in the PMW-200 design.
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Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line-pmw-200-shoe.png   Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line-ex1-shoe.png  

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Old July 28th, 2012, 06:04 AM   #70
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

And another from Sony Professional Europe's Facebook page of clearly a non-broadcast user.
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Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line-ex1r-shoe.png  
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Old July 28th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #71
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I feel your pain Les but a simple solution would be a $20 extension bar::
Rycote 037303 Hot Shoe Extension 037303 B&H Photo Video

Sony could have very very easily implemented the same design as the Z1's hot shoe. But for 50 422 I don't really care :)
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Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line-z1.jpg  
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Old July 28th, 2012, 07:14 AM   #72
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I have no pain. The shoe/LCD on the PMW-200 is IMHO a poor design defended as enabling more matte boxes while everyone else suffers with antennas in view at wide angle, flopping on front diving boards, sticking up in the case and managing yet another fiddly Frankenstein accessory.... all for a few matte boxes?
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Old July 28th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #73
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Oh come on Les, antennas are not going to be in shot. You seem to be forgetting that with the EX1 the handle already extends beyond the end of the lens and the cold shoe is already forwards of the end of the lens, so any radio mic you attach to those cameras is already further forward than a mic fitted to the PMW-200. My radio mic has an adjustable bracket and if I use the rear mounting point I can open and close the LCD. A short extension, if you need it is no big deal whatsoever and would only place the shoe in roughly the same place relative to the lens as it is on an EX1. There are extensions like the Z1 extension that screw on, they do not flop about like diving boards, I really think you trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Not being able to use grads on the EX1 and 305 is an issue. Some matte boxes won't fit at all and those that do have to be either rotated or removed to change filters. Many prevent you from opening and closing the LCD. A lot of light rings can't be used. Trying to use a prompter is also a nightmare because the viewfinders either end up inside the hood or the fabric of the hood tends to flop down in front of the lens because you have to get it in under the protruding mic/handle/VF. These are very real issues that are hard or impossible to get around when the camera handle extends beyond the end of the lens. Using an inch long extension, if you need it, for the mic shoe is no big deal.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #74
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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 Alister Chapman View Post
Sony have always said that power and heat meant that it would not be possible to upgrade an EX1 to 50Mb/s. Seeing the PMW100 and PMW200 and the additional cooling requirements I'm inclined to believe them.
I believe the Canon XF105 has a power consumption of 6 watts, the XF305 of 9 watts. The XF105 has the 50Mbs codec, so it begs the question of how many of those 6 watts are the difference between what the X105 would consume if limited to 35Mbs, and the version as sold. I suspect it would be a fraction of a watt.

I do not believe power consumption is the reason the EX1 is limited to 35Mbs. It should require little more power to encode 50Mb relative to 35Mbs.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 03:17 PM   #75
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I don't know how Canon get their power consumption so low and why Sony's is that bit higher. But I do know that the PMW100 and 200 feature a lot of cooling vents, while the EX1 does not. Both the EX1 and PMW-200 are around 13W, but there is obviously more of a heat issue somewhere in the PMW-200 than the EX1 as I don't think they would add all that ventilation for nothing. Although I suppose it may be because of the plastic body.
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