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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 September 21st, 2012, 05:18 PM   #1
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ex1r or pmw200?

now that im ready to replace my stolen ex1r, which has been nothing short of excellant, being that the 200 is the same price, is there any reason to go with it instead? other than the 50mb/sec and 422, what would be the advantage of getting it?
the fact that its brand new, theres always the bugs that are most likely in the first run of ones sold, id be curious on others views and are there any reviews done on the 200 recently, not the ones done way back.
thx,
jim
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Old September 21st, 2012, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

I'm starting with the negatives:

If you have any third party batteries, you won't like the 200. The DC IN is inside the battery compartment. (also means you can't hot swap batteries)

Component out is gone. All digital other than SD 480i video out.

Also, if you primarily use SD cards, there is no way to use those in 50Mbps mode. The only alternate media approved for 50Mbps is XQD. That's it.

If you use the rotating grip a lot, you also won't like the 200. The grip is now locked down.

Also, if you use the front cold shoe a lot, get ready to pre-plan whether you need to keep the LCD open or closed. If you use a light with a big battery sticking out the back, you can't close the LCD like on the EX1R.

Playback controls and controls from underneath the handle grip on the EX1 are also hidden when the LCD is closed. Shot Transition is also gone.

The positives:

The LCD is higher resolution.

The Mic holder uses the updated design found on the NX5 or etc.

Jam Sync for Multicam is possible on the 200, because of the TC and Genlock connectors

More Gammas to choose from.

Wi-Fi transfer with a USB Dongle.

A 5th assign button.

And of course, 50Mbps 4:2:2.

----

IMHO, they could have put the DC-IN in place of the Slot Select button and relocate the slot select button to a recessed button on the other side of that same corner by the menu buttons.

TL;DR: If you use SxS, Sony BP-U batteries, are OK with some buttons being hidden with a closed LCD, OK with keeping the LCD open with a light on the camera, and are open to doing multicam, choose the 200.

If you use SD cards, third-party batteries, a low angle shooting style (which would need a rotating grip), in an environment that needs analog HD (for instance, a Tricaster 40), stick to the EX1R.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

I looked at the PMW-200 at the DV Expo 12 in Pasadena yesterday. It's a heck of a camera. The lens is the exact same one as the EX1R and if you have handled the NX5, it feels exactly the same. Correction though. From what I understand the WiFi capability on the PMW-200 will allow you to control focus, zoom, settings via a iPhone/Android device, no wireless data transfer. The USB Dongle will be available in December.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:21 PM   #4
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

I'm a one person production crew but occasionally get help with sound and lighting. I wouldn't touch the PMW-200 with a ten foot pole. I have no need and never will need 422. The EX1R is a fantastically flexible platform for videography. I can configure it in many ways and with various accessories. The PMW-200 was purposely redesigned for attaching 3D rigs and matte boxes so it's LCD no longer lets you have many normal things like lights and wireless receivers on the shoe without interfering with the LCD flipping or you need to add shoe extensions. Then, if you want those things to be powered from the camera battery, you are out of luck until someone thwarts Sony's PMW-200 external power design. If you need 422/50, you'll appreciate the power design of the EX1R with OEM batteries that have d-tap ports for an external recorder that will give you 422/50 and better. Again, flexibility.

THere's been several discussions on these issues. In that discussion it was pointed out that broadcast shooters "don't give a !^%$@&^ about OEM batteries with D-Tap ports". That plus other things... I concluded the PMW-200 was refined with a specific shooter and narrow configuration in mind and that isn't me and probably many people who need a highly configurable camera platform. YMMV

p.s. I thought of this a lot the other day when I got off a plane having traveled halfway around the world with only as much stuff as I could bring myself, piled into the front seat of an SUV, plopped my Zylight on the dash, powered it to my EX1R OEM battery's d-tap port and proceeded to interview the driver and because of the additional light, was able to get decent exposure outside the driver window.... all setup and shooting in less than 2 minutes....wireless receiver on the shoe with no extra extenders and flipped out the LCD anytime I wanted and did I mention how wonderful the rotating grip was for this cramped up position?
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 07:35 AM   #5
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

There's also no shot transition feature on pmw200 (great thing for a one man self shooter) It was one of the main reasons why i chose the ex1r and not a 5d mark 2 as my first camera. We don't know how that wifi option will work. The operation may have delay while controlling the camera from a phone or something. Also, won't wifi consume battery faster than usual? At least that's what it does on my phone.

Mr. Alister Chapman said in his review of the pmw200 that it had slightly less noise comparing to the ex1r. It's also 50mbits 4:2:2 (Although still 8bit. Won't be much difference between the two cameras in grading) so it will have better image comparing to the ex1r.

In the end, if you care about the image quality, go for the pmw200. Ergonomically i don't think it will match to the ex1r (Although many people say that pmw200 handles much better at eye level). To me, rotating handgrip is a godsend.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 09:23 AM   #6
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

Funny you should mention shot transition, it slipped my mind in spite of the fact that I used it just this morning. It was all there ready to go... no wifi to configure and fiddle with.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

What is it that everyone uses shot transition for? I never used it in anger in my 4 years of owning an EX1/EX1R. In less time than it takes to set up the two A/B shots I can do the pull focus/zoom myself with nice smooth ramps in and out of the zoom.

The PMW-200 picture quality is improved, not only the tiny bit less noise but also improved skin tone and mid range sharpness, something that could sometimes let the EX1 down. Because of the lower noise combined with the reduction in artefacts at 50Mb/s and the extra colour resolution with 422 the images from the PMW-200 grade better than those from the EX1. Most grading functions become limited due to noise and banding caused by compression artefacts before any difference between 8 and 10 bit become apparent.

The lens on the PMW-200 is very similar to the one on the EX1R but has a new servo system so slow zooms are smoother and slower than on the EX1R. You also now have 4 channels of audio, so you can record the internal mic on channels 3/4 so even if you forget to plug a mic in you will still have some audio. It starts up much faster than an EX1 and you don't have to switch between playback and shoot modes. You can play back clips just by pressing the play button and if you need to just hit record to go straight back into record.

The power connector is ridiculously placed, but there are solutions to this problem in development that will get around it and allow the use of third party batteries.

While it's true that SD cards can't be used for the 50Mb/s UDF modes (because SD cards built in error correction is designed to work only with FAT block sizes, so in UDF mode an error would result in the loss of data), you can of course still use the PMW-200 in all the same FAT modes as an EX1. Plus with the PMW-200 you can use XQD cards for UDF.

Do you buy an EX1R or PMW-200 now? I'd go with a 200 every time. In two years time what will an EX1R be worth and what will a PMW-200 be worth?
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

"In two years time what will an EX1R be worth and what will a PMW-200 be worth? "

That should be the least important consideration. More important is deciding which will provide what you need and will be the best fit for your individual needs over the next two years. Right now I think my EX1r will fit my broad requirements quite nicely and I don't have to spend any more money at all (except for a Nanoflash should I ever really need it).
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 09:37 PM   #9
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
I'm a one person production crew but occasionally get help with sound and lighting. I wouldn't touch the PMW-200 with a ten foot pole. I have no need and never will need 422. The EX1R is a fantastically flexible platform for videography. I can configure it in many ways and with various accessories. The PMW-200 was purposely redesigned for attaching 3D rigs and matte boxes so it's LCD no longer lets you have many normal things like lights and wireless receivers on the shoe without interfering with the LCD flipping or you need to add shoe extensions. Then, if you want those things to be powered from the camera battery, you are out of luck until someone thwarts Sony's PMW-200 external power design. If you need 422/50, you'll appreciate the power design of the EX1R with OEM batteries that have d-tap ports for an external recorder that will give you 422/50 and better. Again, flexibility.

THere's been several discussions on these issues. In that discussion it was pointed out that broadcast shooters "don't give a !^%$@&^ about OEM batteries with D-Tap ports". That plus other things... I concluded the PMW-200 was refined with a specific shooter and narrow configuration in mind and that isn't me and probably many people who need a highly configurable camera platform. YMMV

p.s. I thought of this a lot the other day when I got off a plane having traveled halfway around the world with only as much stuff as I could bring myself, piled into the front seat of an SUV, plopped my Zylight on the dash, powered it to my EX1R OEM battery's d-tap port and proceeded to interview the driver and because of the additional light, was able to get decent exposure outside the driver window.... all setup and shooting in less than 2 minutes....wireless receiver on the shoe with no extra extenders and flipped out the LCD anytime I wanted and did I mention how wonderful the rotating grip was for this cramped up position?
This is the best explanation I've heard for the 200 being for a "niche" demographic. I wholeheartedly agree that the EX1R gives you more options.

And hey, if you need 4:2:2, there's always the Atmos Samurai, the BM Hyperdeck, or the Nanoflash.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 02:56 AM   #10
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
What is it that everyone uses shot transition for? I never used it in anger in my 4 years of owning an EX1/EX1R. In less time than it takes to set up the two A/B shots I can do the pull focus/zoom myself with nice smooth ramps in and out of the zoom.
Might the PMW-200 be called the "EX1R Chapman edition"? :-)

Add an iris change in there while you are trying to do your ramps and focus pull then do it for a bunch of takes because of variations you want or changes in action and you'll appreciate shot transition. Forget about doing it in in anger, try it all at 4 am with a few mosques blaring call-to-prayer at you while filming in a sleep deprived 12 hours off your timezone and you'll appreciate the camera finessing a smooth ramp, focus and iris for you. It's plainly handy as all get out and fast to setup.

p.s I forgot, it's been very handy for a programed shot when used on a dolly... especially on multiple take music videos....something that the PMW-200 is at a deficit
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

No it's not the "Alister Chapman" edition at all.

When the EX1 was launched there was a huge amount of criticism of the lopsided balance of the camera which led to the re-design of the handgrip for the EX1R, which made it more comfortable to hold but didn't actually address the root of the problem, the very same issue that many FS100 and FS700 owners are complaining about now. There was criticism of the way the mic and LCD can get in the way of matte boxes and autocues etc and there has been non stop criticism about the lack of 50Mb/s 422 recording. So Sony have responded to that and this is the result.

If you think that Sony designed the PMW-200 just for me then I am flattered, but I'm quite sure the design is based on requests and feedback from a lot more people than just me.

Is the PMW-200 aimed at a specific market? Of course it is because I would guess that's where Sony thinks they will sell lots of them. If that means it doesn't fit what you need, then don't buy it, there are plenty of other choices. But because it's not right for you, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad camera.

Sorry, but shot transition aside, I can see no reason why anyone would by an EX1R for the same money as a PMW-200. The battery connector problem will become a non issue very soon, it's not as though you don't already have to use a work-around to use 3rd party batteries. You'll get better image quality, more recording options, smoother zoom control, broadcast compatibility without external devices, 2 extra audio channels, hypergammas, instant switching between playback and record, more media choices, a better LCD, wifi options, genlock, simultaneous HDMI and SDI, timecode lock and future firmware support and updates for new cards and other options.

If your running a business then resale and residual value is important, because it may affect your ability to upgrade in the future. Sure if the camera pays for itself in a year that's fantastic, but in two years time when the next generation of cameras comes out, if your existing camera still has good residual value it will cost less to upgrade, so your new camera will turn a profit sooner and your business will be more profitable.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

very well said Alister, there are those who do video as a business and those who do not. In business budget and profits are everything as a hobby not so much. There are 2 very different types of endeavors.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 08:35 AM   #13
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

Sorry I haven't replied earlier, I've been running around doing things with my shot transition, rotating handle and quick release mic holder wielding EX1R that I couldn't/wouldn't do if I had a PMW-200. I think of it every time I close the LCD without having to remove my wireless receiver.

It doesn't have to be either<->or. The EX1 is a testament to building a flexible platform that serves many. By your own logic the EX1R was built and designed for "business" with the shot transition feature and all. Rotating handle aside, good ergonomics are for all types. Limited ones are for, well, limited users.

In this era of Green, Sony deserves a Grand Corporate Polluter award for all the energy wasted in the industry ecosystem forced to accommodate Sony's onerous attempt to squeeze minutia of delta profit from accessories. It's uncalled for and totally unnecessary. Pure greed by spreadsheet toting MBA product managers no doubt.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

That is exactly why they moved the DC-IN inside the battery compartment. Suckers people into buying real BP-U batteries.

And while the no 50Mbps on a SD card is more technical than a move to keep SxS popular, you still wonder that if the Nanoflash could record in FAT32 on a CF card up to 280mbps, why do they insist on the XDCAM disc format strictly for 50Mbps? Giving us an option to record 50Mbps in FAT and MP4 format rather than MXF would have solved that problem.

And if I remember correctly, Doug Jensen once said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
...A better test is to overlay both clips on a timeline (something with a lot of motion and fine detail is best) and then run a moving wipe between them and see if you can see the difference while the video plays. In my experience, not only can you not see a difference, you won't even be able to see the wipe moving unless you put a border on it. That's what I mean when I say there is no visible difference between 100Mbps Nano and 35Mbps SxS in the real world.
Same would go for 50Mbps vs 35Mbps.
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Last edited by Jack Zhang; September 25th, 2012 at 01:51 PM.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #15
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Re: ex1r or pmw200?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
No it's not the "Alister Chapman" edition at all.
Sorry, but shot transition aside, I can see no reason why anyone would by an EX1R for the same money as a PMW-200.
Because Sony did not mention that they were bring out a new camera, i purchased a EX1r , then 4 weeks later they released the new PMW-200. , The sales guy said nothing of it and he may of not known, so it is annoying when they do this, so now i am stuck with the EX1r. Its a ok Camera but has its faults., now i have to spend more money on a external capture drive to get 50mbps.
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