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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 January 1st, 2014, 12:40 PM   #1
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User Experience Sony PMW200

I had plans on purchasing this camera then a few reviews that involved back focus problems, moire (which seems odd) and auto-focus issues made me reconsider my plans. I just watched Doug Jensens sample footage, and it has renewed my faith as far as purchasing this camera. Is there anyone here that is 100% satisfied with the PMW200?
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Old January 1st, 2014, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

Kevin Lewis...Yes. I'm 100% satisfied with my XDCAM 4:2:3 PMW-200. Caveat: I'm not a very experienced Videographer and I may not know enough to understand some of the shortcomings of the design like experienced professionals do.

With that said, so far, I'm pleased with the camera. I love the 'workflow' of the XDCAM CODEC and find it very intuitive. As I've said before, I never got comfortable with AVCHD (H.264), but some of that may be due to where I was on the 'Learning-Curve' at the time.

While I've personally never had an SDHC failure (it can happen), the reputation of the Sony SxS Pro and SxS-1 cards are outstanding. SxS Pro Cards are very expensive, hence the reason I don't have any. However, I have a couple of SxS-1 Cards (also, not cheap) and a couple of the XQD Cards with their Adapters. I even have an SDHC Card Adapter. All storage media has worked as advertised in the camera.

If, you decide to purchase the PMW-200, I would strongly suggest you also buy Doug Jensen's video tutorial! The time saved on learning the nuances of the camera platform is well worth the money spent. Doug's style is very straight forward. I find myself going back to the video for clarification or if my memory has failed.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

J.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 02:24 PM   #3
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

The image is stunning for the price at 50mbps (requiring SxS or XQD cards). 50mbps 4:2:2 really IS a leap forward from 35mbps 4:2:0.

Camera is too fragile for reliable back focus based on my experience in the past 6 months.

As James says, I LOVE the XDCamEX/HD50 workflow and the reliability of SxS cards.

I'll be jumping ship but until I figure out WHERE, I'm keeping the camera.

And yes, if you have no previous experience with an XDCamEX camera, buy Doug's training. The supplied "documentation" that comes with the camera is laughable. Download the COMPLETE owners manual, read the "Ingrish" and be somewhat more informed and somewhat more confused. Doug's material really IS the REAL "how to" with Sony's cameras.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 05:52 PM   #4
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

I have this camera, and i guess like others i'm no expert on it, I did notice a few times that auto focus doesnt focus on what you want it to, ive experienced where the subject i was pointing at was faintly out of focus and the background was tack sharp. I think this happens with a lot of auto focus systems so i've been running this cam on full manual ever since which is more challenging but i'm gettin the hang of it.
Havent had any probs with moire or back focus.

I own and have owned lots and lots of cameras, but i dont think i was ever 100% satisfied with any of them, thats the nature of the game eh?
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Old January 5th, 2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

Hmmm..not to much feedback on this one. Anyone else? Shaun, on a separate note, I purchased the Dracast Led Light Kit and it is fantastic!, Great recommendation, thanks!.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 12:50 AM   #6
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

No worries! Glad you like it... I come down pretty hard on the construction in my review on the Blog but I really like the light overall...
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Old January 6th, 2014, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

I love it. It's light, with Doug's settings it takes great images and doesn't draw a ton of attention when you are out with it in public. Only downer for me is the rear viewfinder is pretty much worthless.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

I love the PMW-200. I never use the rear viewfinder. I use the swing-out lcd, usually with a Hoodman Loupe... To my mind, a very well-made, well-thought-out camera. Yes, I miss the rotating handle that my EX1 had, and I'm annoyed to have to take the battery out when I want to use the AC adapter, but otherwise, in every respect, I really like the camera.
regards,
Malcolm
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Old January 8th, 2014, 06:16 AM   #9
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

I occasionally use one that's owned by a local production company. I really like it. It takes great images.
But the owner wants to sell it for a PMW300. He doesn't like the hand-held design. He also owns an F800, so he's more of an old school shoulder-mount guy.
If I were to buy an XDCAM, I'd spend a little more and get the 300. The 300 can be upgraded to XAVC, which is a 100mbps, 4:2:2 codec. The semi shoulder-mount design should be more comfortable to hold, or so I am told. The 300 has the rotating handle, like the EX3.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 09:05 PM   #10
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200 - Left Eye Dominance - Eyecup

I love my PMW200 but I have three issues: 1) Would like more zoom, 2) Do not like the long menu journey to Slow Motion, and 3) the right eye only eyecup.

The Eyecup:

Wiki says about 30% of the population is left eye dominant. There’s a lot of science about ocular dominance and laterality as to why this is. Wiki also says the vast majority of the world’s very best videographers are almost always left eye dominant.

Ok, that last statement is an outright lie. But….I was quite ticked off when I found out my Sony PMW 200 only came with a right eye dominant eye cup. I am left eye dominant, with the need for glasses for longer distances. I also have a mild cataract in my right eye, which is also not as good as my left eye, anyway. No point in training my right eye with an eye patch.

Too bad, so sad, says Sony. And no one I talked to at shops knows of an appropriate after market replacement. I shoot wildlife outdoors, day and night, so this was completely unacceptable to me. On bright days shooting outdoors I am lost without the cup.

The eyecup cannot be flipped inside out. It is not reversible and due to the diopter placement, you cannot turn it upside down. On top of that, the eye cup body is a little short and too soft – you can knock it off without much trouble, I have a seen a review on this issue on line and it is correct in my view.

So, here are my solutions, maybe a little bush but it works really well. See pics below:

1) Using a sharp exacto blade, I cut out a diopter slide hole on the top of the eye cup, identical to the bottom.

2) Bought some rubber cement and salvaged an old bicycle inner tube.

3) Cut out a length of the tube to match the outside dimension and width of the cup.

4) Roughed the gluing surface of the inner tube, glued the cut out rectangle piece to that.

5) Glued the entire inner tube piece onto the outside of the cup, placing the cut out piece in the old diopter rectangle hole, for strength / durability / flexibility.

I use eye cushions as per the pic so I can use my glasses instead of contacts. My refurbished left eye cup is far more rigid on the body now, so much harder to knock off. If you lose one, it's going to cost you about $80 to replace it.

Not as professional as Sony could make but it works great and only cost me $2.00 for the glue.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 08:40 AM   #11
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

whats the average download time for a sxs card people are experiencing?
I have orange sxs 32gb cards and it takes a really long time to download cards, e.i., recently i shot about 20 mins at the highest resolution on the pmw200 and it took over 45mins to download.
I tried the newer pro+ sxs cards and it did the same thing.
the download speed is much fast when I record on the F3 or F5.

Thanks
Chong
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Old May 28th, 2014, 11:33 AM   #12
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

That is abnormally slow, what is your download method. Usually with P2 you can expect 1gb/ minute so almost realtime. With SxS via the usb 2 reader I am seeing 2x realtime to 4x if CRC checking is not being used, via usb 2. It should be quicker if you have a usb 3 or express card slot.

Note I only mention the panasonic equivalent as a benchmark.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 09:50 PM   #13
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

That is ridiculously slow -- was there something slowing down your system? (if you have a slow peripheral plugged in some systems slow their speed down to the slowest one on the bus, even if it has nothing to do with the transfer operation.)

On my pc notebook with expresscard slot, a full 32GB SxS-G1a card takes just under 6 minutes to transfer to a reasonably fast USB3 hard drive.

If you're on a new macbookpro using the thunderbolt to expresscard adapter and a fast TB drive it should be more in the 4 minute range.

Also make sure your drivers are up to date!
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Old May 28th, 2014, 11:46 PM   #14
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chong Pak View Post
whats the average download time for a sxs card people are experiencing?
I have orange sxs 32gb cards and it takes a really long time to download cards, e.i., recently i shot about 20 mins at the highest resolution on the pmw200 and it took over 45mins to download.
The PMW200 requires a driver at least on Mac. I had the same issues when I started out and panicked. Now I use a Sonnet Thunderbolt to Express34 adaptor and back up 64GB bards in about 8 minutes with bit checking. Even then, I had to do a driver update. Been 10 months so I don't remember where I found the drivers. Probably Sony's download subsite.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 06:44 AM   #15
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Re: User Experience Sony PMW200

Thanks guys!
I am on a MBpro using thunderbolt and usb3, I prob need to update the sony driver.
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