PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse at DVinfo.net

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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 January 8th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

I think the PMW-200 outputs a very nice picture. And overall I'm very happy with it.

But one thing bothers me: the camera emits a very low level operational noise in normal handling, when handheld.

If I am shooting continuous verité in a quiet room (i.e. following a subject around) handheld, this noise sounds a bit like intermittent creaking, almost at if the lens mechanism is moving.

Even if the camera is in Full Manual Mode / Steady Shot Off / Manual Focus Assist Off / Auto Knee Auto Everything Off / etc, I still hear this sound.

I even tested with the lens cap closed, not recording a picture, moving the camera around very slowly and slightly -- and I can still hear this noise. If the camera is on a tripod or fully at rest, this sound does not occur.

It's almost as if it is the sound of some sort of physical stabilizing gear that gets engaged.

In the scheme of things, YES -- this is a minor issue, but what's annoying is that this sound is occasionally loud enough to be picked up by my external microphone, my primary audio channel.

I'm more concerned that there might be a fault in the camera. Do any other PMW-200 users also hear this noise? I actually exchanged my first PMW-200 because I thought this was a defect, but my second one is also behaving the same way. Is it possible that I got cameras from a bad batch, or is this normal behavior? I never experienced this in other cameras I've used -- full manual always meant full manual.... nothing moving unless intended.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

Are you audio levels on 'auto'? Then it could very well be the noise of your hand screeching against the handle, or some other minor movement that causes noise. The fact that you don't hear anything when filming on a tripod also points in this direction.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

There have been reports of the flange back servo being louder than normal on the 200 (this is how this type of lens focuses without breathing) http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...tor-noise.html

There's also the issue where the EVF being on actually causes noise in the XLR feeds. This has been a persistent problem with the EX1R. http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...-switched.html
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Old January 9th, 2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

Interesting. Are you guys also hearing this in your PMW200 cameras?

The camera is in absolute manual mode. Not a single auto function engaged.

I can hear the noise with my naked ear from about a foot or so away or farther.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

I should also reiterate that the noise is tied to movement, somehow. And it happens even with the lens cover closed.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

Does the lens have an image stabilizer? If so try to switch it off and see if the noise persists. Sounds to me like the noise of the servo's of such a stabilizer, especially because the noise is gone when working on a tripod.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #7
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

Thanks but steady shot is turned off, as mentioned above.

Does anyone here actually own a PMW-200? Anyone mind checking their unit for me? It would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

Full manual mode does not mean the manual focus is mechanical. It is still servo driven. It's the same as with the EX1 and EX1R.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 06:29 AM   #9
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Re: PMW-200, low audio noise annoyance; others bothered? Worried it might get worse

I could not detect any objectionable AF noise in my unit.

However, being a still photograher by profession, my experience in video is leaps and bounds behind you folks.

Now, since I never use on board microphones anyway (I nomally record via Sennheiser G3 to the camera and on Roland R26 as a backup audio using MD46) handling noise is not an issue.

Ofcourse, If I am using internal microphones with AGC On, I would centainly be in trouble due to AGC's pumping effect.

Sara
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