PMW-300 compared to XF305 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 November 13th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #1
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PMW-300 compared to XF305

I have a Canon XF300/305 and am considering the PMW-300 but I'm not sure how much of an upgrade it is given that the XF300 already has 50mb/s 422.

I like the XF300 but what tempts me about the PMW-300 are;

Better low light images. How much better I have no idea.

Proper eyepiece viewfider that's comfortable to use when hand held.

Ability to mount SLR type lenses via adapter and have massive focal length. I shoot some wildlife and aviation so focal lengths up around 1000mm from a 200mm lens are a big plus.

Downsides;

SxS memory would be a big added cost compared to the CF cards I have at the moment.

I could trade in the XF300 but I'd still have to stump up a lot of cash. I wonder if we are talking diminishing returns here and it's not worth the cost of upgrade?

ANy help would be massively appreciated because I don't have a dealer nearby with the PMW-300 in stock to go and test.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 03:02 AM   #2
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

I was choosing between these two and had a hands-on day with the PMW300. The viewfinder was great and the half inch chips would obviously give better lowlight, but I wasn't totally convinced by the ergonomics of the camera for my intended purpose. The shoulder thing is a bit fiddly and I never felt like the camera's weight was truly taken off my arms and rotator cuff. Plus the cost of the media and dedicated readers was another downside, like you mentioned. I ended up getting the XF305, which I am very happy with. I only keep cameras for about a year to a year and a half before selling and upgrading so for me this was the right choice.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

That's great feedback Phil from someone who has actually used a PMW-300. The SxS media plus associated card reader etc is likely to add nearly a grand on to the total which is a lot of extra money.

I downloaded some footage from the PMW-300 that someone uploaded and it's nice but to be honest I didn't really see that much of a difference to the XF300. I wonder if the PMW-300 would look a lot more tempting to someone coming from an EX1 or EX3 than from an XF300 that already has the 50mb/s 422.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

I think you really need to look at some like for like low light footage from both cameras before you decide. In good light there will be little between them, but it's in poor light where the difference is more apparent.

I really like the PMW-300 ergonomics. As it is it isn't going take a lot of weight off your hands, but it places the camera at a much better height for interviews and people shots and it will be a little more stable. I really hate looking up peoples noses from chest hight hand held cameras. It will also allow you to hold it and shoot with just one hand if you have to hold out a mic or similar in the other (not ideal but it happens). When you start adding radio mics etc if you attach them to the shoulder extension then that weight is back on your shoulder and not on your wrist.
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Old December 2nd, 2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

Did someone say PMW-300 footage download?

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...-download.html
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Old December 2nd, 2013, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

The PMW-300 will take the new lower-cost XQD cards with a $30 Sony SxS adaptor. Sony QDS64E 64gb 180mb/s cards are around $320. Plus the 300 will be getting 100mb/s XAVC (probably 10-bit) next year as a free update.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

How is shoulder-mounting the PMW300 compared to the EX3? I never liked the EX3 for a shoulder-mount. It's far too front heavy.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

its way better but not perfect. I thing that helps is theres more adjustment on the viewfinder so you can have it forward and bring the whole camera back. However im looking at getting the vocas shoulder kit they offer.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 10:45 PM   #9
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

I don't own the 300 but to my eye the camera is similar in form factor to the NEX-EA50U. Same type of shoulder pad system which is well behind the camera so all or most of the weight is going to be on your hands and arms unlike the DSR series or pretty much any of the full sized cameras by any manufacturer.
Throw a Hytron 100/120 on the back of a Sony DSR300/400/450/500/570/590 along with a wireless receiver and the camera was pretty well balanced at least they were for me. My JVC5000/5100 were the same and the PMW350s I've used were the same.
To my eye the PMW300 looks like a winner but needs that sliding shoulder pad to be left open and some weight screwed to it to help otherwise it looks like most if not all the weight is going to be on hands and arms.
Just my observation from pictures I've seen.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

The PMW-300 is a fraction of the weight of most traditional shoulder mount cameras. But, the design does mean that when on you shoulder, most of the weight, I guess around 60-70% is supported through your arms. That isn't much weight, but it is still through your arms. However there is something else you must consider. Your arms will be close in to your body, you right arm will be comfortably against your side as most of the bulk of the camera sits over your shoulder. Compare that to a typical handycam style camcorder where the camera must be held entirely in front of you, so your arms are further out from your body, so the camera appears much heavier due to the increased leverage.
I can hold the PMW-300 very comfortably on my shoulder for much longer than I can hold a PMW-200 out in front of me.

Would adding more weight on the back help? I don't think so. The amount of weight on your arms is very small anyway. Adding more weight just to counterbalance the camera will significantly add to the overall weight of the camera for only a small reduction in the physical effort needed to hold it. Overall I think it would just make the camera bulkier and more awkward.
The PMW-300 is a delight to use. Comfortable and stable on the shoulder, yet still light and compact enough to be used handycam style. The low light performance is impressive and now you can use XQD cards as well as SxS (and SD cards for the 35MB/s modes) it is more affordable than ever. When the XAVC codec gets added next year it will just get better. Don't forget too, that you can add wifi remote control and proxy recording and live wireless streaming using either the CBK-WA01 or CBK-WA100 adapters.
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Old January 3rd, 2014, 08:33 AM   #11
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

As soon as I read "WiFi" I thought to myself ... I do hope there is an Android app for use with the camera as it would be so cool.

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Old January 7th, 2014, 03:18 PM   #12
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

the 300 isn't much different ergonomically than the ex1r which I have.i was glad to leave my dsr 300 for the ex, which is like a feather compared to my old shouldermount. I can hold it against my shoulder very easy without a shouldermount.using the hoodman viewfinder and olofs short shoulder extension piece make it a breeze to handhold. I don't thinks in the least bit heavy and im shooting wedding receptions all night with no support. I guess everyones different on their ability to handle the different cams. im a lanky 6/1 190, but I have no issues with it.
good luck on whatever you choose.
like one poster said the 1/2 chips do make a difference in lowlight.
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Old January 10th, 2014, 11:36 AM   #13
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Re: PMW-300 compared to XF305

You don't need an app for the WiFi functions. The camera serves a standard web page and the controls are part of the web page, so any device with WiFi and a web browser can be used and there is no need to download an app.
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