Sony PMW-200, Full HD XDCAM EX 1/2inch CMOS camcorder with 50Mb/s recording














At last, for anyone wanting pictures that don’t fall apart and 1/2 inch chips to give you a little bit more creativity regarding smaller depth of field with a decent codec, enter Sony with the PMW-200.

A suitable replacement indeed for the EX1-R and the Exmor sensors have had an upgrade which give it a sensitivity of F11 up to 2000 lux and giving it a signal to noise ratio of 56 dB and the lower noise can be seen on the test in the video at the bottom of the page. Cameras at this price/performance point are the workhorse of corporate and lower end broadcast. I like to use an EX1 and a GH2 together on some shoots when Directing for Activideo see this example.

The EX1 gives us no nonsense quick production on set and the GH2 gives us shots we can’t get with larger cameras and gives us very cheap high quality shooting when we need smaller depth of field.

To have a camera that gives you HDSDI out is immediately less hassle to get a decent picture on the client monitor. With DSLRs you need an HDMI to HDSDI converter which means a bodge box straight away with more connections to set up and play up…Having said that we now have DVI in on our Panasonic 17inch field monitor so with an HDMI to DVI adaptor we can get direct monitoring but without waveform monitoring in monitor.

One of the biggest plus here is for the guys who run and gunshoot  as an outboard recorder is a pain in the bum, so to be broadcast ready in-camera, is great.



I like the overall functionality of a flexible zoom with three independent rings with end stops., proper (on-board) sound via XLRs, good availability of SxS or SD adaptor cards. Comprehensive shutter controls including fractions of hertz to get out of the ordinary screens rock solid. Good old on camera ND! The PMW-200 has all the usual suspects plus the benefit of a good quality codec. Sometimes when time is of the essence you don’t want to have to transcode your footage and a 50mbs codec should edit well straight on the timeline even with older 32 bits systems.

One thing which I think they have missed out is high frame rate recording, at full HD it only records at 30fps. I suppose they don’t want to tread on the toes of the FS-700E. For an all rounder I think that it needed a few extra tricks to justify the price, having said that it is the only 1/2 chip with a decent broadcast codec. I think Panasonic have missed out on sales by not having a 1/2inch chip camera in their lineup.

WIFI remote control via Apple iPads or Android mobile devices can be used as simple remote controllers. By attaching the optional CBK-WA01 WiFi adaptor, the remote can control zoom, focus, iris and white balance as well as the recording functions such as recording trigger.
* Available with firmware upgrade planned for release in November 2012. This is very powerful, especially if you are doing a multi camera job. If you can balance up the images from a grading point of view you can save yourself a lot of time in post.

There is a great video report by Alister Chapman that gives a good rundown of broadcast use here.

Although I would love to have one of these in the kit room at £5K I will still be hiring any camera like this, why? Well things are moving on at a high rate. I have ordered the black magic camera and will look for this to service most of our corporate and short film needs, unless of course our customers needs change, remember the right tool for the right job and without clients all this media lark is just a hobby.

I think these will fly off the shelves but now I wonder what the EX3 upgrade will be like?

Exciting innit?

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