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


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Old August 23rd, 2013, 08:08 PM   #1
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Need help with PMW200

I am thinking about buying the Sony PMW200.and have decided to rent it first to give it a test drive. I have not rented it yet, but have downloaded a sample MXF file. I use Sony Vegas HD which does not recognize that type of file. What type of file should I convert it to that will retain all of the quality of the original file? Also, what program should I use to convert the file?
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Old August 24th, 2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Kevin,

Let me start by saying I don't own a Windows computer and I don't use Vegas, so keep that in mind.

However, I do know that the full version of Sony Vegas has been 100% compatible with every format the PMW-200 can shoot -- for many years, so that is not the issue. However, you say you have "Sony Vegas HD" and I don't know if that is maybe a stripped down consumer version of the program, an older outdated version of Vegas, or you are just not calling the current version by the right name. Either way, if you make sure you are running the latest version of Vegas, or even one that was made in the last couple of years, you'll have no problems with file compatiblity. The PMW-200 files are 100% compatible.

Another possible issue is that you say you "downloaded a sample MXF" file. If Vegas works the way some other editing programs do, then a stand-alone MXF file might not be good enough to playback. When you record clips with the PMW-200 it generates the video files plus a whole bunch of support files. In some cases the video files cannot stand alone without the other files, and the proper structure of the files and folders on the card must be retained for compatiblity. Again, I don't use Vegas so I don't know if it can handle the video files without the other files or not, but I suspect that might be part of your problem.

Another problem might be that you don't have the proper MXF drivers on your computer. You should visit Sony's website and download and install all of the necessary drivers.

Sony | Micro Site XDCAM

While you are downloading drivers, also be sure to download Sony's Content Browser utility program. It is by far the best way to review, organize, analyze, backup, convert, export, Sony XDCAM files no matter whether you use a Mac, PC, or any NLE. If you test drive the PMW-200 you're going to need it.

Sorry I don't have the final answer, but hopefully I've pointed you in the right direction to find the solution.

Mastering the PMW-200-160-150-100 Camcorders

Doug
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Old August 24th, 2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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Re: Need help with PMW200

I just bought two of the PMW 200's and they are really nice cameras. If you really want to know how to get the most out of them buy Doug's training video. Even if you are an experienced camera op. His overview simply deletes the learning curve all new cameras have.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Hi, Kevin! I'm using an older version of Sony Vegas Pro 11.0 (v. 701), 64-bit, on my home-built PC and it works fine with the XDCAM file structure. I agree with Doug, make sure you have the latest drivers for SxS cards and Sony's XDCAM Browser Utility. The combination of VP 11.0 NLE and the 'Browser Utility' are about as simple and efficient a workflow as it gets. MACs are probably easier.

The PMW-200 camera is an excellent platform and I've enjoyed using it for the last couple of months. If, you're not familiar with Sony's family video cameras, I strongly agree with Jerry Porter's recommendation to buy and watch Doug Jensen's training video "XDCAM HD422 - Mastering Sony's PMW-200, -160, -150, -100 XDCAM Cameras". Doug's training DVD is well worth the cost and it gives you a significant leg-up on what might be a steep learning curve depending upon your overall experience. The DVD goes through the basics as well as unlocking some of the more esoteric features of the camera. As I've said many times, it helped me significantly.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

J.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 12:24 AM   #5
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Thanks everyone for your input. Doug I have been a fan of your work for a long time and purchasing your video will be the first thing I do after I have rented the camera and confirmed that its right for me. Vegas HD is not the pro version but one step below. My version is about a year old. I will download the drivers to see if this helps. Most of my shooting is live events and corporate work and I sometimes shoot short films. Are there any picture profiles that will give the Camera somewhat if a cinematic look? I'm currently shooting with a Canon XHA1 and Canon T4i. I like the filmic look of the dslr but I prefer to shoot with a full sized camera.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #6
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Kevin,

If you want the filmic look of a DSLR, but prefer to shoot with a full-size camera, you might want to test drive the NEX-FS100. That's exactly the niche that camera was designed to fill. Compared to the XDCAM family of cameras you give up a lot of features with the FS100, but compared to SLRs it is a big step forward and allows you to get a filmic look that really isn't possible with a PMW-200.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 09:37 AM   #7
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Doug:

Based on your recomendation, i've spent the majority of my day yesterday researching the fs100. It certainly seems like a viable option. I do lots of run and gun work and auto focus is a must for me. Any idea how well the auto focus system works on this camera? Im scheduled to shoot a music video in a few weeks and I am now considering renting this camera for the shoot. Does it have a steep learning curve or can I run with it straight out of the box? Also, whats your opinion on this camera for 30 second televison commercials which I also frequently shoot.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Kevin,

I think you're going to have a tough time finding the right camera.

On the one hand you say that you want a cinematic look (which usually means shallow DoF and SLR lenses) . . . but on the other hand you want auto-focus and a camera that is good for run & gun. In my opinion, those two desires are at opposite ends of the spectrum from each other. The FS100 would be good for some things, but the PMW-200 would be better for others.

I guess if auto-focus is important, then get the PMW-200 because the stock lens that comes with the FS100 is something I'd try to talk you out of buying anyway. If you're thinking about the 18-200 zoom as you main lens, then jsut get the PMW-200. The FS100 is only going to shine if you are willing to spend money on better lenses, and most of those won't have auto-focus.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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Re: Need help with PMW200

I have to agree with Doug here. I have a 5D3 that also comes on every shoot just for this reason. I know it sounds expensive, but there are other ways around it. Like a PMW-200 and a T3 for those shots that are needed for that feel.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:53 PM   #10
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Re: Need help with PMW200

I've had a chance to do some additional research and I think that I will stick with the PMW 200. Perhaps I will rent a 35 mm adapter with it and see if the two play well together.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Ive never seen any 200 with an adaptor footage, but I have seen/used lots of EX1 footage with it and you should get as good or better results.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 08:47 AM   #12
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Re: Need help with PMW200

I would have looked at the FS700 as this is much easier to use because of the built in ND filters and has more options like super slow-mo and the ability to shoot 4K with an external record if you ever find you need that.

The old 35mm adapters like the movie tube, Letus etc were a stop gap way of getting shallow DoF. They have so many issues that for any serious applications they are very hard work. For the price of an adapter you can pick up a NEX5N or Canon T3i and get a far better result with far less work.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #13
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Re: Need help with PMW200

Apart from sensor size, the big difference between the PMW200 and the FS100/700 is that the former comes with XDCAM422 as codec, the latter two with AVC-HD. The former is considered fully broadcast acceptable, the latter isn't.

OK, with an external recorder the FS100/700 can get over that, but it's worth highlighting the issue.
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