About to buy a PXW-X200 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 29th, 2015, 04:16 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 13
About to buy a PXW-X200

Hi guys,

I'm about to take the plunge and buy myself an X200.

After doing a lot on research in and around the forum I wanted to find out if there is anyone out there with any last minute advice before I part with my hard earned.

I've read about the lens issues (X200 lens issue) which seem to affect only a handful of X200s?

But if anyone has anything good or bad to say I'd really love to hear from you.

Cheers all

Ben
Ben Ramsay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 30th, 2015, 12:25 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,963
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

It's a rushed to market camera. If you want to stream, record a proxy or use Sony's MI Shoe wireless mics/light in the 1080p50/1080p60 mode, you can't.

To update firmware, you have to load 2 separate update files into the Proxy SD card slot and an SxS slot, complicating the update procedure.

There is no dedicated wide angle adapter from Sony cause they changed the bayonet mount for the front of the lens.

If you are familiar with the PMW-200, they haven't moved the DC-IN away from the battery compartment. Hot swapping batteries is impossible.

And there's a fan. That will be the first thing to go compared to the older PMW-200 or even my EX1R, which were essentially fanless.
__________________
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.

Last edited by Jack Zhang; August 30th, 2015 at 02:24 AM.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 30th, 2015, 05:20 AM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 13
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Thanks for the reply Jack, I'm not feeling much love there.

However I don't think the issues you have outlined will affect me, except the fan. I shoot in the field (ENG type work) so no need for streaming. I'll be using an onboard mic rather than wireless and will not need extra lights as my subjects are always a long way off (aviation).

My main concerns were about the lens and AF hard stop passed infinity but this seems to affect only a few cameras.

All that said I don't want to buy a nightmare. I'm even wondering if it's best to buy a second hand older model for the time being?!

Cheers

Ben
Ben Ramsay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 30th, 2015, 05:33 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

If you’re not some big corporate account, the X200 isn’t a cheap cam so it pays to be cautious, especially in the light of some of Paul Anderegg’s experiences with his X70 and X180. Granted, these are only two cams and one person but given the odds it does tend to make a person cautious, myself included. Rather than jump into a new model I bit the bullet and went with an earlier model that had what I’d consider a reasonably good track record. And this after sitting on a number of Sony NP batteries that I’d dearly like to use, but instead wound up going with the FDR-AX100 that uses FV batteries.

For the past few years Sony as corporation (and Panasonic - check out their stock reports) has been loosing money for one reason for other and one can’t help but feel that management has got to turn it around because they can’t keep bleeding. All to often, one place management turns to save money is by cutting Quality Control and one can’t help but feel some of the QC and support problems stem from budget tightening.

Given the professional market for the X200 and the price tag, it just isn’t going to have the high volume of reviews that a consumer or prosumer cam will have. Perhaps one place to check is by contacting places that do camcorder repair and see if they can shed some light on any issues. The cam is going to have some components that are the same on other models so knowing what they are and what other models they’re on would be helpful. In the case of the Sonly store (in the US) they really try to sell one on the extended warranty and that could be an option. “Money talks,” so negotiate with the dealer to have Sony (not them) take care of any problems (at dealer cost) for a certain length of time beyond the regular warranty period. Never done this but it’s worth a try. All they can do is say “No”, but then, you can too. Hey, use Paul’s posts as a lever! There’s no reason why you should be “the stuck-ee.”

I wouldn’t want to buy into a nightmare, either. As for a second-hand cam, that’s of course, a gamble, (maybe no worse than buying new!) but this is something one has to be savvy at, and comfortable with, doing. It’s the old risk/reward thing.
John Nantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 30th, 2015, 05:48 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 13
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

John,

Thanks so much for the lengthy reply, and really helpful advice. You got it right that I'm definitely not a corporate account!

I guess the reason for my caution is that I bought a Canon XA-20 about 18 months ago and have been really enjoying shooting higher quality footage. The XA-20 outclasses my previous cameras, but it also has some atrocious flaws which I really didn't expect from what Canon call a 'semi-pro' camera. The optics are cheap and suffer from some horrible and uncontrollable vignetting effects and the IS keeps dropping out causing me to loose otherwise really great footage.

I'm really keen not to repeat the same mistake again with the upgrade, hence me seeking some guidance from others. What surprises me is that there are very few video cameras out there that fit my requirements that don't have some annoying flaw or aren't rushed to market... The X200 seems to be a happy medium, unless it suffers from the issues Paul has listed, in which case I'm stuffed!

Thanks again for the advice though, I'll take some of that on board.

Cheers
__________________
UK Aviation Movies
http://www.ukaviationmovies.co.uk
Ben Ramsay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 30th, 2015, 06:44 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: upper hunter, australia
Posts: 1,369
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

frankly with the apparent lack of qc over the last few years i've put off buying a new camera indefinitely. instead, this time round, i opted for a last gen. model that had good reviews (in my case ex1r).

of course if one needs all the latest developments (streaming, gps, etc.,) then you're not going to have much option. however, i was happy enough spending $2.5k on a known rather than upwards of $6 on an unknown.
__________________
www.lesliewand.com.au
Leslie Wand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2015, 05:51 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,333
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

The X200 has no ACTIVE SteadyShot option like the X70 and X180. The LCD has a hard yellow/green hue to it, unlike the X70 and X180. The EVF is useless for anything other than framing and color checking, very fuzzy. The X200 only has COLORED edge peaking, not detail/sharpening peaking like the X180. The various disabled features when the networking option is enabled are.....well, various. The mic holder is a bit up-poking, like a periscope. Not so good if you wish to mount a shotgun and use the rear shoe for an LED to keep the sucker balanced.

I couldn't stand the camera. I mean, would you want a $70000 new Varicam if you could only use a smartphone as a monitor for ENG? Even with the 1 stop disadvantage, as well as the 1lb (.5kg) added weight, the X180 has better legs as an ENG camera, better so in the day. The X180 is also now $2300 CHEAPER than the X200, imagine all the cool things you could add to the camera, AVX wirless, high end shotgun, top of the line focusing LED etc. :)

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2015, 06:29 PM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 13
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Thanks so much for this reply Paul.

The only difference between the 180 and 200, or so I thought, is the slightly smaller sensor on the 180. Am I not going to notice that, or really do I only need to worry about that in lower light?

Cheers
__________________
UK Aviation Movies
http://www.ukaviationmovies.co.uk
Ben Ramsay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2015, 07:18 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,333
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

The X200 has a more "broadcast" look too it. Smoother than the X180, which looks a bit harsh, which might be considered better for hardcore ENG. I could not get around the horrible and useless EVF and off-color LCD panel. Those made the camera sickening to operate, regardless of what got spit out onto the timeline or on air. Half the fun of ENG work is enjoying pointing the camera at something, and the X200 didn't do that for me. It is a lot smaller and lighter, which is a big non happy point with the X180. In the end I think the 26mm WIDE and very usable EVF and LCD did it for me with the X180. Again, full time night ENG shooter here, so if I forgo an extra stop of low light sensitivity, I must have had a good reason right?

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2015, 06:11 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
Posts: 95
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Also view my Pros and Cons review of the X200:


I have 2 of them and use them very differently to Paul.
Rob Hargreaves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2015, 12:09 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,333
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Ben, you will be shooting planes in the distance? How distant? 25x is nice and long. BTW, I posted a new video demo of X180 footage in another post, check it out. I think the X180 is one massively overlooked camera, especially since it is now $4000 new, or $3500 as the X160 without network functions. And to be perfectly honest, except for the more "organic" look of the X200 1/2 sensors, I honestly couldn't tell the difference in picture compared to the X180 in the type of night shooting and lit scenes you see me post.

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2015, 05:01 PM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 13
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Hi Paul and Rob,

Thanks so much again for the comments. Really, REALLY helpful.

Rob - I did watch you video a little while ago actually but I've just had another watch and REALLY appreciate the comprehensive Pros and cons.

Paul - yes I shoot aviation. Anything from a matter of feet away to more distant subjects, anything up to a mile or more. I agree that that x25 zoom would be a lot better than the x17 zoom of the X200. My current Canon has a 35mm equivalent of 576mm and x180 a massive 650mm so that will be very useful. Especially when compared to the 499mm equivalent of the X200.

The smaller sensor of the X180 will actually work in my favour - I think?! As I understand it the smaller sensor gives deeper depth of field, meaning that it's easier to focus... Have I understood that correctly? As I almost never shoot after dark I don't think the lower sensitivity of the X180 will really matter...

Thanks again guys. I think I'm set on the X180, or even the X160 as I'm not sure I really need the networking functions...

Thanks again guys.
__________________
UK Aviation Movies
http://www.ukaviationmovies.co.uk
Ben Ramsay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2015, 05:14 PM   #13
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 13
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
Ben, you will be shooting planes in the distance? How distant? 25x is nice and long. BTW, I posted a new video demo of X180 footage in another post, check it out. I think the X180 is one massively overlooked camera, especially since it is now $4000 new, or $3500 as the X160 without network functions. And to be perfectly honest, except for the more "organic" look of the X200 1/2 sensors, I honestly couldn't tell the difference in picture compared to the X180 in the type of night shooting and lit scenes you see me post.

Paul
By the way, did you sort that odd focus past infinity issue on the 180 Paul?
__________________
UK Aviation Movies
http://www.ukaviationmovies.co.uk
Ben Ramsay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2015, 06:20 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,333
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Apparently, the focus past infinity thing is in the design. You just have to get in the habit of remembering to NEVER leave the focus ring against the hard stop, as there is absolutely no subject matter on heaven or earth that would be in focus there. Just hit the stop, turn back slightly. :)

Ben, look at Robs X180 pro/cons review as well. For daytime use you would LOVE the X180's variabble N/D dial. You can switch from a standard 3 setting, to using the dial like an iris, crcking in N/D up to 1/124!

And for depth of field, you would find that there is more in focus at all times with the X180, but I don't think the X200 has dramatic depth of field anyway. Keep in mind the X200 has a totally different design, heavier by a pound and bulkier, but if you are using it the daytime, that sweet usable EVF will come in handy tracking moving aircraft.

Rob, whatb do you think about Ben gravitating toward the X180? I don't want to oversell him here,a nd you shoot with the X200 more than i had a chance.

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2015, 06:27 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 13
Re: About to buy a PXW-X200

Thanks again Paul, top recommendations there.

I have been salivating over that variable ND on the X180. That would be an amazing bonus. In Rob's Pros and Cons the ND on the X200 seems really limited for what I do, especially in the UK where the light changes second by second (usually from light grey to darker grey :)).

I'm probably going to be buying the camera this weekend, but I'm really grateful for all the helps in the mean time guys, thanks a ton!
__________________
UK Aviation Movies
http://www.ukaviationmovies.co.uk
Ben Ramsay is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:52 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network