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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 28th, 2012, 03:30 PM   #76
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
At 50Mb/s the PMW-200 draws more power and runs hotter than at 35Mb/s.
That's not what Sony say on the spec sheet for the PMW200:
Quote:
Power Consumption
Approx. 12 W (while recording, EVF On, LCD monitor Off, IO Select Off)

Approx. 14 W (while recording, EVF On, LCD monitor On, IO Select HD SDI & HD HDMI)
(See Sony : PMW-200 (PMW200) : Technical Specifications : United Kingdom )

Similar spec for the EX1 gives "Power consumption
Approx. 12.5 W (while recording, EVF On, LCD monitor Off)
"

It doesn't surprise me that the Sony cameras are about 3 watts more than the XF305 - it reflects the 1/2" chips versus 1/3".
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Old July 28th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #77
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
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...
I found a profile picture of the PMW-200 and see what you mean about the EX1 sticking out further than the the PMW-200. But with an extender on the PMW-200, it looks like the shoe woudl end up beyond where the shoe is on the EX1R. My teleprompter works just fine on the EX1R and in both studio and handheld settings, a Zylight balances nicely on the EX1R shoe without interfering or in need of an extension. My Sennheiser sk100 receiver isn't adjustable and the antenna is barely off screen when the Sony WA adapter is on.

Actually, it's not a big deal, certainly not a mountain... just another annoyance. But it does lower the light output of the Z90 to move it 10 inches back to the rear mount. I might have considered putting up with the PMW-200 flip out screen problems if the camera had the EX1R improved rotating handgrip and d-tap batteries.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #78
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

I did check the specs and edited my post while you were writing your reply David and I see the tech specs say the same power consumption. I felt the 200 ran hotter at 50Mb/s. It certainly feels hotter than an EX1. Why do bigger chips = more power. Same number of photosites to read out. Look at the FS100 with its s35mm sensor and less than 6 watts. I realise there is only one sensor in the FS100, but it is a big one and it has more photo sites. The extra power is probably in the 14 bit DSP and maybe also to drive the express card interface for the SxS cards.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #79
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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
I see the tech specs say the same power consumption. I felt the 200 ran hotter at 50Mb/s. It certainly feels hotter than an EX1.
Heat input to the camera corresponds to the power in, law of physics. Temperature is a function of power input and cooling. Hence if it felt hotter than an EX1 then either it must be consuming more power or is not dissipating heat as quickly.

If the former, then either Sonys specification is wrong, or the unit you had was faulty or it was a pre-production flaw. You’d need to measure the current being drawn with a meter.
Quote:
Why do bigger chips = more power. Same number of photosites to read out.
I confess it is something I’ve been told and taken as read. It makes sense though. Bigger photosites means a bigger charge on each, so moving them around effectively means higher currents. And larger dimensions is likely to mean higher capacitances, so at the high frequencies involved that is also likely to mean more power consumed.
Quote:
Look at the FS100 with its s35mm sensor and less than 6 watts. I realise there is only one sensor in the FS100, but it is a big one and it has more photo sites.
The idea of “bigger chips = more power” is likely to be the case with all else equal, but the readout is only one factor. Processing will also consume power, and here a case of the more number crunching to be done, the higher the power consumption – hardly surprising. That’s why the C300 power consumption is relatively low (around 11 watts) and the F3 is relatively high (around 24 watts). Debayering and downconversion in real time is power hungry - direct read out of R,G,B values is much less so.

You know that I don’t believe the F3 and FS100 share the same sensor. The far lower power consumption of the FS100 I see as strong evidence that the FS100 is using simple processing, which effectively means not conventional deBayering. That implies some sort of direct read, as used in the C300 and DSLRs. It’s so much lower that it must mean a completely different system, not just a simplification.

I did initially consider that the FS100 may be doing the same readout system as the C300, with the F3 chip. But the numbers don’t work out. The FS100 results are far better than would be predicted than that system applied to a 3.3 megapixel chip. Assuming a higher pixel count therefore is a logical next step.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #80
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

"It certainly feels hotter than an EX1"

Hmm I wonder how these 200's will work in very hot humid conditions, where I do a lot of my work.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #81
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Speaking of heat. I have been told by several people that sensor heat significantly affects its noise output. An overheating sensor will have more noise than a cool one.

Can anybody confirm this?
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Old July 29th, 2012, 03:26 AM   #82
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

It may be that it feels hotter because of the plastic body and vents system that means heat exits the camera at specific areas, one of which is around the handle and hand grip. The EX cameras must use the alloy body as a heat sink so the heat may be distributed evenly. I used the PMW-200 for a few days in Singapore where it was around 36c and very humid without any issues.

There's getting to be too much speculation on this thread for me. I'll continue to answer questions about my experiences with the camera but it's not good to speculate too much about other stuff.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #83
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Is the PMW-200 body plastic or alloy?
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Old July 29th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #84
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Plastic with an inner metal frame that can be seen through the cooling vents.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #85
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Viewed from an EX1R perspective:

Plus:
Beter codec & beter servozoom

Minus:
-Handgrip (a downgrade: making it like the EX1R's doesn't hurt any broadcast market: looks like they forgot it)
-The powerinput inside the batterycompartment (now you can't switch from Sony to cablebattery without powering down anymore. It makes some batteries useless. From an engineering point of view there must be a reason for it, but to me it seems like bad usability & silly engineering. Like said before: it seems to be about creating waste instead of providing durable solutions.
The motive seems to make no-Sony batteries more expensive to produce.
Saying batteries don't last very long anyway is a rather poor argument.

I'm curious about any improvements in noise or rolling shutter.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 11:56 AM   #86
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Moving away from speculation, to what a buyer like me would want, but adding one last speculative thought: I assume that an EX-3 replacement can't be all that far behind. Maybe next spring.

Now as to my future requirements, having chosen not to buy an EX-3 last year. I state the following as much for Sony's sake (I assume they are reading this thread), as a discussion point, as I bought the XF305 last year after nearly buying the EX-3. (I upgraded from a HMC150, a nice low cost camera).

Interchangeable lenses would be a big plus, especially if the low light capability is substantially better. While I like my HDSLR's for low light, I love using a fully equipped camcorder in the field and I'm not going to spend $15k for a CS300 nor the $5k(approx) FS100, who's build quality has been called into question by a number of pro shooters. This EX-1 replacement does not look like a shoulder rest camera, regardless of the PR from Sony (none of these cameras are shoulder mount IMHO, as for that you need an add on device). I haven't worked with the EX-3 as shoulder rest, I ended up buying an XF305 instead and I routinely shoot it off my shoulder without add ons), and wouldn't consider changing for a form factor like this. However, if the low light of a newly designed EX-3 gave me back 1 stop or more, and shoulder rest, along with interchangeable lenses, then I would be tempted next buying cycle.

I have loved a lot about the XF305, and haven't regretted the decision, *except in very low light* (about 5% of my shooting) and for creative uses of additional lenses. For that I switch to a 7D, which is no match for the 4:2:2 color space. If the next EX-3 (or this PMW-200) has an extra stop or two, that would be huge in my world.

I also worry about the resolution of this LCD. With the 305 I have abandoned my VF, and it appears that this won't have the resolution I've been used to lately. I would clearly need to compare the LCD of any future camera against Canon's ones.

Another nit is the discussion on the WA. I find that the Canon zoom is plenty long for most things, and Sony increasing the zoom range on the high end for reducing it on the WA is just not a good idea IMHO. I shoot far more WA than full zoom, and I even ended up buying a Schneider Century add on for both my 305 and 105s. They are essential, though fiddly. I suppose if I end up changing I'd have to buy one for the Sony, and they probably assume that. But I would much rather have the wide than longer. I know a lot of you wildlife guys like longer, but don't you buy a separate lens for that?

As for battery life, while I have an Anton Bauer for my kit, I only use it on my 7D. I find the higher capacity batteries from Canon hold up a long time. Two or three of them are about the same size as the AB. I rarely end up needing the Bauer, but would not mind changing horses to Sony if it had the ability to mount a Bauer on the back, like the EX3. Would give better shoulder balance too. For future purchases, I'd give this much more weight in the buying decision.

Hope this helps. I'm not a Sony guy at present, but when buying, I'm not wedded to any brand. They are all just tools to me.
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Last edited by Al Bergstein; July 29th, 2012 at 12:53 PM.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 12:42 PM   #87
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Sony have not changed the focal length of the lens. It's the same as the EX1, f = 5.8 mm to 81.2 mm (equivalent to 31.4 mm to 439 mm on 35 mm lens) f1.9 lens.The same 0.85 zoom through adapter as for the EX1 fits the PMW-200. The XF305 is the equivalent to 29.3mm at the wide end so 7% wider, not a big difference.

You can add external batteries and external power, just not when there is a battery in the battery compartment. As it's a 12v camera an AB or V-lock battery could be used with some form of external mounting but without the need to reduce the voltage to 7.2v as required by many handycams.

The main LCD is higher resolution than on the EX1, it is now 852 (x3 RGB) x480 and has an incredibly wide viewing angle, so fewer issues with blacks not being black etc. The resolution is the same as the XF305 and C300 LCD. The rear EVF is the same as the EX1 and very slightly lower resolution than the XF305 EVF.

The difference in image quality between the XF305 and 7D has very little to do with colour space. The 7D is lower resolution, suffers form all kinds of image artefacts due to pixel skipping, and has a inferior encoding. the color space is the very least of the differences. Most people cannot tell the difference between 420 and 422 color space without pixel peeping.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #88
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

The NX70 was build rain- and dustproof (without the XLR-unit). It would have been extremely lovely if Sony would have introduced that to other handheld camcorders as well. The PD-150, PD-170, Z1, EX1 and EX1R have (in line) been the standard workhorses for camjo's, news correspondents, travelling TV-crews and documentary filmmakers around the world. Sony presents this PMW-200 as the successor to these camcorders. They seem to have introduced 422 color sampling and 50 Mbps especially for broadcast purposes. Why didn't they take the chance to finally get rid of the irritating rain- and dustcovers? After releasing the NX70 they skipped this protection already on the NX30, PMW-100 and now this new PMW-200. WHy? Does it not seem to work as proposed on the NX70? Too expensive? At least in my opinion it would be excellent to have this rain- and dust-proof design on more professional camcorders, expecially for this PMW-200 regarding to the market it is intended for! A fail? Or was the NX70 a fail and will we never see rain- and dustproof professional handheld camcorders again?
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Old July 29th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #89
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

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The NX70 was build rain- and dustproof (without the XLR-unit). It would have been extremely lovely if Sony would have introduced that to other handheld camcorders as well. The PD-150, PD-170, Z1, EX1 and EX1R have (in line) been the standard workhorses for camjo's, news correspondents, travelling TV-crews and documentary filmmakers around the world. Sony presents this PMW-200 as the successor to these camcorders. They seem to have introduced 422 color sampling and 50 Mbps especially for broadcast purposes. Why didn't they take the chance to finally get rid of the irritating rain- and dustcovers? After releasing the NX70 they skipped this protection already on the NX30, PMW-100 and now this new PMW-200. WHy? Does it not seem to work as proposed on the NX70? Too expensive? At least in my opinion it would be excellent to have this rain- and dust-proof design on more professional camcorders, expecially for this PMW-200 regarding to the market it is intended for! A fail? Or was the NX70 a fail and will we never see rain- and dustproof professional handheld camcorders again?

This would make a ideal camera for me but I'm guessing the PMW200 has some heat issues and thus why can't fully seal it?
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Old July 29th, 2012, 04:15 PM   #90
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Re: Sony PMW-200 Brings HD 4:2:2 Workflow to XDCAM Camcorder Line

Alister wrote":Sony have not changed the focal length of the lens. It's the same as the EX1, f = 5.8 mm to 81.2 mm (equivalent to 31.4 mm to 439 mm on 35 mm lens) f1.9 lens.The same 0.85 zoom through adapter as for the EX1 fits the PMW-200. The XF305 is the equivalent to 29.3mm at the wide end so 7% wider, not a big difference... The resolution is the same as the XF305 and C300 LCD. The rear EVF is the same as the EX1 and very slightly lower resolution than the XF305 EVF."

Thanks for clearing that up Alister.

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
The difference in image quality between the XF305 and 7D has very little to do with colour space. The 7D is lower resolution, suffers form all kinds of image artefacts due to pixel skipping, and has a inferior encoding. the color space is the very least of the differences. Most people cannot tell the difference between 420 and 422 color space without pixel peeping.
I understand, perhaps I wasn't being clear. The difference in quality is dramatic, for all the reasons you mention. It just seems it in a simplistic way to be the difference in color space, when that's just one of many issues. I agree that all these issues exist with the 7D, despite the much larger sensor and the huge following for their 'look'.

As an aside, I was just hired by an agency to do some work and they wanted the footage shot on the 7D not the XF305. Funny eh? I think it was simply an issue of workflow for them and since it was only for the web, they didn't care. Oh well.

I agree that it would be great to get an environmentally sealed unit, as in the Pacific NW I encounter lots of rain days, and usually fall back to my 7D for those shoots.
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