Sony's new PMW-200

farss wrote on 7/26/2012, 8:20 PM
Read all about it here.

I think it's a bit of a tribute to the design of the EX1 that it's taken this many years for Sony to improve it and really what this camera has to offer isn't something that wasn't mostly possible before with an external recorder anyway, if you really needed 4:2:2.
On the serious downside they've taken away the ability to rotate the handgrip, dumb move. That's something I've made good use of many times when forced to go handheld.

Well done Sony, you've listened to what your customers wanted and have given it to them at a reasonable pricepoint. No doubt this camera will sell very well. I only ask one favour, can whoever was the driving force behind this upgrade please, please, have a talk to the guys at SCS. I know you've probably never heard of them but we'll send you a map and plane ticket.



malowz wrote on 7/26/2012, 9:05 PM
half inch exmor, 50mbps 4:2:2, must be very good, mainly in low light.

i'm waiting for a 4:2:2 shoulder camera, lets see what will come in the future... as most cameras now are "hand-held". or shoulder ones are too expensive (a PWM-100/200 price range would be nice).

FrigidNDEditing wrote on 7/27/2012, 6:07 AM
I was just looking at that camera, but I have to say, if it doesn't have the rotating grip on a non-shouldermount design, I don't really want it anymore...

I honestly think I'd almost cry if I had to go back :). I'll stick with my EX-1 and get the SDI recorder I think. Though it's a tempting thought I must admit.

malowz wrote on 7/27/2012, 9:50 AM
i used the EX3 a lot, but the semi-shoulder its not that great. i remove the eyepiece and i use it on my shoulder, pushing it back (making the LCD very close to the eye). worked so far like this.

but the IR contamination pushed me away from it (didn't have the Tiffen filter back then), so im currently "waiting" for what will come to update my cams in the future. i plan to "skip" AVCHD cams. canon did good ones (even better, using CF cards), but no large sensor, and no shoulder mount.

riredale wrote on 7/27/2012, 10:19 AM
The specs say the camera uses 1/2" CMOS chips. For a camera in this price bracket, do they use some sort of global shutter or would this camera also produce the jello or rolling shutter effect?
malowz wrote on 7/27/2012, 10:48 AM
AFAIK, all CMOS cameras have rolling shutter/jello effect.

but depending on the camera, some have a lot, and some have very small amount.

depending on what you film, can be a problem or none at all.
BinaryCafe wrote on 7/27/2012, 11:09 AM
Thanks for the link. Tapeless cameras are evolving very quickly!

I couldn't help but think that Sony seems to be targeting the Canon XF300, as I read through the specs. I did a lot of research before I invested in the XF300 (and its little brother XF100 [1CMOS] as a secondary cam), earlier this year.

Aside from the slightly larger sensors on the PMW-200, there's nothing in the specs for Sony's new camera that blows me away or makes me wish I had waited a few more months before investing in a broadcast quality HD tapeless camera. You can't win when you play the waiting game when it comes to technology, anyway. At some point you just need to go for it and try not to look back. However, I must say that if the PMW-200 had been available at the time I bought the Canon XF300, I would have seriously considered it.

The 4:2:2 color space and MXF 50Mbps format really are outstanding and a breeze to edit. The MXF files from the Canon XF100/300 play back great on my system and I don't need to re-render them into a different format before dropping the clips into Vegas Pro or Premiere. These are two of the biggest reasons I went with the Canon; looks like Sony realized MXF and 422 are important in this price range!

Hmmm. Sony's new camera uses SxS media. I can't afford those cards! One of the reasons I like the Canon XF300/XF100 is because they use Compact Flash media. Sony's SxS cards are reliable, but the price is ridiculously high--as are the card readers. It looks like the PMW-200 will take SD cards, as well, but no thanks.

The PMW-200 lens is 14x. Canon's own lens on the XF300 is 18x optical and is phenomenal, although it does make the camera just a tad front-heavy. Worth it for the quality, though.

I wondered if the Sony camera does 60fps at 1080....nope, it looks like it has the same limitation as the XF300, which is it'll only do 60fps at 720p, not 1080.

All in all, the PMW-200 seems like a great camera based on the specs; however, the price seems about $1,500 high considering what the competition has available in this space.

Serena wrote on 7/27/2012, 9:39 PM
The PMW-200 is a nice improvement to a great camera. I wouldn't think it is aimed to counter any competitor's product for there are already available far too many cameras of incrementally different specifications. Looking at the list of professional video cameras in the B&H catalogue I see an astonishing spectrum of "not-so-different" cameras, apparently all in simultaneous production. I would think it more cost effective to have fewer modular cameras designed for specific production regimes, rather like we had with film cameras, but I guess this demonstrates my ignorance of sales psychology. Unlike film cameras which had a usable life of decades, video electronics have a very limited life and one wonders to what extent basic capabilities are tailored to particular price points. Could a NEX FS100 be hacked into an F3 (apart from the physical ill-ergonomics)? Sensor size ought to be the basic modular issue when considering a camera, and I think it unfortunate that we can have 10bit 4:2:2 MXF from the EX1/200 and only 8 bit AVCHD from the FS100. Why is it so?
farss wrote on 7/28/2012, 12:52 AM
"Why is it so?"

Very good questions there. Even more confouding when you factor in the costs of all the inventory involved.

One of my pet peeves is why so many cameras still run on 7.4V, even the C300.

My other one is why does the EX1 only have remote zoom control, why no remote focus and iris control. The motors and control logic are all there in the camera.

FrigidNDEditing wrote on 7/28/2012, 1:27 AM
"My other one is why does the EX1 only have remote zoom control, why no remote focus and iris control. The motors and control logic are all there in the camera."

I assume it's strictly artificial value of higher priced cameras personally.

John_Cline wrote on 7/28/2012, 3:15 AM
For what it's worth, the PMW-200 can use SxS technology as well as other media such as SD, Memory Stick and XQD cards (adaptor required). This info is directly from the press release.
farss wrote on 7/28/2012, 4:26 AM
Sony would have to go out of their way to stop you from using SDHC cards with an adaptor. Possibly because of the higher datarate you'd need to use faster cards though.

Most of the adaptors mean you don't need the Sony card reader which is an additional saving.

Although expensive the Sony SxS cards are very reliable and very fast to download.
What I really like about using either option is you don't have to handle those tiny SDHC cards in the field, on long event shoots that's a real plus to me anyway.

farss wrote on 7/28/2012, 4:29 AM
"I assume it's strictly artificial value of higher priced cameras personally."

Oddly enough no. The lenses on them generally don't have motors inside them so you're forced to add motors anyway and generally they're not even made by Sony.

bigrock wrote on 7/30/2012, 12:01 AM
"Sony's new camera uses SxS media."

And that is the reason I will not buy this camera. $1000 for 32gb card, get real, not going to happen. Use CF like the Canon. I find it hard to believe any SD card can keep up the data rate required for 50mbs. Has anyone had an experience using an SD Card with an adapter at 50mbs, did they work reliably?
farss wrote on 7/30/2012, 12:37 AM
"Has anyone had an experience using an SD Card with an adapter at 50mbs, did they work reliably? "

Read John Cline's post. According to Sony they will work.
I and others have used SDHC cards with the EX1 overcranked no problem. The data rate is higher than 50Mbps.

malowz wrote on 7/30/2012, 12:45 AM
that's why canon cameras can be more expensive, and still be cheaper. a 64gb CF cost $110. a 64gb SxS-1 (the cheaper one) cost $679.

and as 50bmps use "a lot" of space, you will need more cards. the mores the cards you need, more expensive will get.

64gb = about 2:30min.

will need "at least" 2 64gb cards, so, there's a $1138 difference every 128gb you buy.

mmm, relevant info:
"If you want to use SD cards or memory sticks then you have to use FAT formatting and this restricts you to the same 35 Mbit/s 4:2:0"

ok, that is "a problem"...
bigrock wrote on 7/30/2012, 1:44 AM
You're right about only be able to use Fat for SDHC. The PMW-100 camera ($500 rebate right now) has a line in the manual which says "“Memory Stick” media and SDHC cards do not support recording with UDF." That would mean no 50mbs 4:2:2 to SDHC cards. Otherwise this cameras appears to be better than Canon XF100/105. But if you need SXS for 50mbs it's a nonstarter as far as I am concerned. Anyone with a PMW-100 know any better?
John_Cline wrote on 7/30/2012, 2:57 AM
Well, yes, it appears that if you want to shoot 50mbps 4:2:2, then SxS cards are the price of admission to the 50mbps club. However, at least the option still exists to shoot 35mbps 4:2:0 on SD cards when you don't need the absolute highest quality.
farss wrote on 7/30/2012, 3:25 AM
It's still possible that someone will figure out how to enable 4:2:2 recording to SDHC cards. From what I can work out it is possible to format SDHC cards as UDF.


In one of the dumbest moves of all time by Sony they've done away with the rotating handgrip on the PMW 200. That is mind boggling, it was a brilliant innovation that has since been copied by other camera manufacturers although not as elegantly.

Other bad news, it appears the 3rd party batteries with D-Tap outlets are a no go as well because the battery fits much deeper into the camera body. I also can find no sign of an external DC input socke on the camera.

Actually I feel better now, no way would I upgrade from the EX1 to the PMW 200, sorry Sony, you've lost me. The rare times I'd need to record 4:2:2 I've access to a Nanoflash or a Samurai and even if I didn't, BMD's Hyperdeck is very cheap...

megabit wrote on 7/30/2012, 4:00 AM
I'm exactly in the same boat :)


AMD TR 2990WX CPU | MSI X399 CARBON AC | 64GB RAM@XMP2933  | 2x RTX 2080Ti GPU | 4x 3TB WD Black RAID0 media drive | 3x 1TB NVMe RAID0 cache drive | SSD SATA system drive | AX1600i PSU | Decklink 12G Extreme | Samsung UHD reference monitor (calibrated)

Jay Gladwell wrote on 7/30/2012, 8:06 AM
Actually I feel better now, no way would I upgrade from the EX1 to the PMW 200, sorry Sony, you've lost me. The rare times I'd need to record 4:2:2 I've access to a Nanoflash or a Samurai and even if I didn't, BMD's Hyperdeck is very cheap...

That's exactly what I did, Bob. I haven't seen any "new cameras" that have compelled me to upgrade. When the Samurai was released, I got one of those, attached it to my EX3 and I couldn't be more happy with it.