new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 27th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Sony has made some nice improvements with the new PMW-200, but I think they made a big mistake in getting rid of the rotating hand-grip. I know that by doing this they were able to make the camera body a bit sleeker (or something), but the rotating grip on my EX1 is one of the features that I truly love. I can go from using it at shoulder-height, to waist-height, and keep my wrist comfortable.
Maybe this isn't the right forum to criticize the new member of this wonderful family of cameras, but I wanted to register my support for a great, ergonomic feature that I'm afraid is being phased out.
Regards,
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

One of the biggest criticisms of the EX1 was that it was hard to hand hold because it always wanted to tip to the left. In part this was because the hand grip had to be away from the side of the camera to allow it to rotate. By building the handgrip into the body, your hand is closer to the cameras center of gravity and as a result it is more comfortable to hold. It's not going to please everyone, but Sony are just responding to criticisms of the EX1. Cameras are full of compromises and this is a typical example. Do you give it a rotating hand grip that in some instances makes it easier to use, or bring the handgrip closer to the center of gravity to make it more comfortable for general use? Either way, someone won't be happy.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2012, 06:54 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

The rotating handle was the greatest advancement in ergonomics for Handycams since the top handle yet the review at XDCAM-USER doesn't even mention it's disapperance. Ironically, every photo of the camera being used handheld in that review ( see below) shows it in a position where the rotating grip would have been effective and the balance issue a non-issue ... arguably the PMW-200 design actually inhibiting the stability of the shot.

Furthermore, the rotating grip was greatly improved in the EX1R. To take criticisms of the EX1 design from broadcasters (with a prejudice for shooting on the shoulder) as the reason to eliminate it is a snub to the non-broadcast users who know how to take advantage of it. It also suggests a lapse in critical thinking on Sony's part at best and incompetent product management at worst. The battery, LCD and shotgun mounts are one thing but pale in my opinion to this egregious error and frankly I'm stunned at the defense of Sony on this point.

Handycams are, by nature the cameras that get used mostly handheld and those of us that that use them handheld know trying to shoot like a shoulder mount is like shooting with a brick on a stick and stinks on ALL handycams. The PMW-200, is now restricted to unimaginative uses like the others.

The rotating grip on the EX1, EX3 and EX1R opened up all kinds of creative camera moves simply not possible with other cameras. The rotating grip on the EX1R made for handheld camera ergonomics superior to every other. Period. As an example, every single shot of of the EX1 being used handheld in the BTS piece on the Sony Professional site about Thierry Humeau's piece for National Geographic shows the rotating handle in use. EX1R handheld shooters know this is how to use the camera. The last 2 photos are me using it on a recent shoot in rural Haiti where everything was handheld except a single sit down back at the team house. The only time my handle is in the standard uninspired upright position is when it's in it's backpack. Even on sticks, a one click rotation puts it's 3 buttons in a better ergonomic position. Users of the rotating grip in handheld shooting know the PMW-200 handgrip design is only good for one handheld position ... every other position suffers just like every other handycam. Pity.
Attached Thumbnails
new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-xdcam-user1.png   new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-xdcam-user2.png  

new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-sony1.png   new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-sony2.png  

new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-sony3.png   new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-ex1r_2.png  

new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-ex1r_1.png  
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2012, 07:41 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Many, many would argue against your opinion Les. It's is not fact, it is opinion, which you are absolutely entitled to. I take it you've spent time shooting with the PMW-200 then? My opinion having spent 5 years shooting with EX1's EX3's and now nearly two weeks with the 200 is that the 200 is more comfortable to holdin normal shooting positions , especially at eye height, The EX1 always used to make my wrist ache as it was being twisted to the left all the time.

Perhaps the new design will encourage shooters to use the camera at eye height instead of shooting lazy ugly shots looking up peoples noses from chest or hip level? Shooting from below head high often results in boring sky filled shots giving the shooter exposure issues as the sky dominates the scene. Use the camera at eye hight and you suddenly get more interesting backgrounds, less sky to deal with and generally more flattering faces. Of course not all shots are best from eye level, but eye level shots so rarely get used these days because many operators can't be bothered to lift the camera up.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Hi both,
I'll look forward to trying out a new 200, when they reach the stores here. And yes, I'll expect it to feel better when held at shoulder height. But I do get a lot of (good) shots when I'm holding my EX1 much lower than this... and no, I'm not shooting up people's noses; I'm getting shots of what someone's doing with his hands, as an example, or maybe a nice low-angle shot of someone's feet as they're walking. Just my own opinion perhaps, but I know I'd hate to edit material that was shot from just one vantage-point. I'm always moving my camera around, which is one reason I'm so fond of my rotating handle. It may also explain, by the way, why my wrist never gets too sore, despite the off-kilter effect created by this handle!
Regards,
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2012, 11:25 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

I have no doubt eyepiece shooters don't appreciate the rotating grip. If that's the only type of shots I wanted then there's no advantage to the rotating handle. But I would still be able to articulate the advantage of the rotating grip for the many other shots other people do and how they know how to solve the composition issues and are able to make better shots at a lower POV because it's better than eye level. Anyone who shoots children know this. Sony needs to listen to other opinions.... specifically non-eyepiece constrained ones.

Furthermore, only a percentage of shots involve a nose and it's not large one (the percentage). Those shots are handled easily holding it up or getting on higher ground or both. Meanwhile all the non-nose involved shots are better because of the rotating grip. With skill, tripod-less interviews, landscapes and pans are better because of the rotating handgrip.

I've shot plenty with the uninspired design the PMW-200 cloned. Sony didn't come to me for input or to evaluate a PMW-200 so of course I don't have one, that responsibility fell to you.
Attached Thumbnails
new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-landscape.jpg   new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-talking_web.jpg  

new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw-scooping.jpg  
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Los Angeles,CA
Posts: 163
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Well I like the option of rotating handle, But im really disappointed with the power connection location, i really like using batteries with a dtap and my on camera light, plus it allows me more battery choices. I assume a ex3 replacement is coming and I hope they dont take these features away from it.
Brent Kaplan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2012, 07:16 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

The PMW-100 also has the same battery connector within the battery compartment, so I would imagine that sadly any future cameras in this line up will be the same. The best thing to hope for is that Sony are consistent with this now so that the third party battery makers can work out ways around it, which I'm sure they will. An interesting idea did come to mind, and that is to have a plug that goes into the socket with a flat ribbon cable coming out to the rear of the camera. Then you could have a socket out side of the battery compartment. Maybe someone will make such an adapter.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,963
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Right. This could be a good Kickstarter or Indiegogo project in case SWIT or Switronix don't have the resources to make one at the moment. I'm thinking that the ribbon needs to be sleeved, otherwise there may be damage to it. Kind of like a SATA cable that's used for PC builds.
__________________
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2012, 02:43 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,570
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

I can only add my own opinion and say I too find the removal of the rotating handgrip is a very bad mistake on Sony's part. A few weeks ago the pawl that latches the handle in place snapped on mine. That piece of diecast is not available as a spare part, you have to buy a complete new lens assembly!
Thankfully a tech salvaged the part from a faulty lens assembly for me. Speaking to another tech it seems it's been fairly common for the part to break. That said I could have fairly easily fixed it myself or had a new part machined for less than the cost of the a whole lens assembly.

As I think others have hinted at the rotating handgrip in conjunction with the 3rd party 90WH battery has meant I could use my EX1 almost as a shoulder mounted camera with the Hoodman Loupe. Not the most comfortable way to hold the camera but I got the shots. This will be impossible with the PMW 200.

The curious thing is since the EX1 came out with that rotating handgrip the concept has been copied in a number of other cameras. Sorry to say but in my opinion removing it on the PMW 200 is just plain dumb. I cannot see how the small decrease in distance between the COG of the camera and the handgrip is going to make a significant difference. The EX1 is a heavy camera, especially with the 3rd party battery and light on it.

I guess there's an upside to this daft move by Sony. I don't feel in any way that my EX1 is superceded :)
If I do need 50Mbps 4:2:2 recording I can use the Nanoflash which will also save me the cost of using SxS cards.
Bob Grant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2nd, 2012, 12:17 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Maassluis, The Netherlands
Posts: 294
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
............
Perhaps the new design will encourage shooters to use the camera at eye height instead of shooting lazy ugly shots looking up peoples noses from chest or hip level? Shooting from below head high often results in boring sky filled shots giving the shooter exposure issues as the sky dominates the scene. Use the camera at eye hight and you suddenly get more interesting backgrounds, less sky to deal with and generally more flattering faces. Of course not all shots are best from eye level, but eye level shots so rarely get used these days because many operators can't be bothered to lift the camera up.
This assumes that all eyes are placed at the same height. ;-)

The point is they listened to the people complaining.
Complaining people always make more noise.

How many cm did the grip shift to the center?
Offcourse: any shift will change the torque on your wrist.
But is the difference really that big?
(The camera is also lighter now and heavier D-tap batteries won't connect anymore.)

I think it's a loss.

And the DC inside the batterie compartment is just annoying the competition and rendering existing D-tap batteries useless.
__________________
Brainstormnavigator searching for the hole in the sky.....
Audiovisual Designer (NL) - http://www.brokxmedia.nl
Walter Brokx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

It's funny ppl screamed bloody murder when ex1 unbalanced rotating design came out. Rightly so, if anything a camera should always be balanced and easy to hold and the vast majority of shooting is done at eye level not at the waist which the rotating handle favored.

The wroth seems to only confirm people hate change (even when for the better).
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
It's funny ppl screamed bloody murder when ex1 unbalanced rotating design came out. .... The wroth seems to only confirm people hate change (even when for the better).
The same could be said about those who complained about the change from the old fashioned fixed grip.

The PMW-200 grip appears to be turned the equivalent of one notch on the rotating grip. This causes eyepiece shooters to shoot from the chest as Alister can be seen doing. In contrast, the rotating grip will do that and go all the way to a full 90 degree so the camera can be comfortably raised to eye level as well .... and all the other positions going down to the ground without changing grip. This plus the LCD and three rings make the EX1R a very fast and flexible camera for ob-doc and anything else requiring speed.

Tripod shoots are chest level as well as can be seen in Philip Bloom's 10 minute challenge with the PMW-200. The pursuit of old fashioned eye level is an artifact of shoulder mounted cameras. Arguably, the rotatable EX1 and it's balance improvements on the EX1R provide for true eye level as well as the 1-click chest level of the PMW-200. Handycams are all about mobility and the POVs that come from that. Tuning it for a single user type modeled after legacy shoulder shooting is IMHO, a poor decision that diminishes the superiority that the EX1R has over competitors. Either that or they had to just do things on the cheap to make up for the cost of HD422.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 218
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Sounds like the power/ battery issue is a big deal too. Two steps forward, one step back.... it's the Sony way. They make me want to hurt small animals sometimes. Carry On. George
__________________
George T. Griswold, Jr.
www.videonow.info New Orleans
George Griswold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2012, 04:30 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Split, Croatia
Posts: 189
Re: new PMW-200: fatal (for me) flaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
The same could be said about those who complained about the change from the old fashioned fixed grip.

The PMW-200 grip appears to be turned the equivalent of one notch on the rotating grip. This causes eyepiece shooters to shoot from the chest as Alister can be seen doing.
This is exactly how I use the grip on my EX1 for 90% of the time I'm shooting with it, 1 click up from the lowest position. And I'm usually shooting eye level with this ExHood - EX1 LCD Hood add on for GGS Perfect foldable Viewfinder | eBay so the grip issue of the pmw200 is not a problem for me, but the power connector could be.

Not only because of the 3rd party batteries but it's impossible now to have an external power plugged in and in the same time to have a battery plugged in as well, to have a backup if anything happens to the ext. power source.

Not to mention that Sony batteries don't feature a D-tap connector. An idiotic design if you ask me.
Zoran Vincic is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:50 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network