Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sony PMW-200, 160/150 & 100 Webchat

Sony Europe and US held two webchats last week on the new PMW cameras; the PMW-100, PMW-160 and PMW-200.
As I did for the NEX-EA50 chat from last week, I have edited the chat to put the answers next to the questions and cleaned up some of the text. 

Note that the PMW-150 is a European camcorder, in the USA this is the PMW-160 camcorder.

Q: What is the main differences between the PMW-100 and the PMW-150? Do you have the exact size in mm of the sensor for both?
Dave Stannard:  The initial difference is that the PMW-150 is a 3 chip 1/3" camcorder, however the PMW-150 also has a 20x wide angle zoom lens. The PMW-100 is a single chip 1/3" camcorder and has 1 lens ring with assignable control.
Kanta: PMW-100 is a single chip camcorder and PMW-150 has three chips. Both are using 1/3 inch.
Sebastian: One main difference is that the PMW-100 is using a single 1/2.9" CMOS sensor and the PMW-150 is a 3 CMOS 1/3" camcorder. Then you have a 10x Zoom lens with one ring for Zoom and Focus at the PMW-100 and a 20x lens with 3 independent rings for zoom, focus and iris at the PMW-150.
Sony PMW-100

Q: Are the main differences between the PMW-200 and 150 the sensor size (3x1/2" vs 3x1/3") and the lens?
Sebastian: You can also use wireless remote via a tablet or smartphone with the PMW-150 and PMW-200 and the PMW-150 is a PAL version only.

Q: THE PMW-150 is PAL only? A pity because it looks better than the 200 which does NTSC/PAL
Kanta: The PMW-200 is currently a flag ship model camcorder in handheld 50Mbps range because of the 1/2 inch sensors. PMW-150 is lower than it because of smaller 1/3 inch x 3. PMW-100 is entry level on because of single chip.

Q: Can you please explain a little about the HDMI interface. Is the PMW-150 ready to stream? Is the HDMI output clean?
Sebastian: You can use the PMW-150 to stream a video signal via the HDMI. The signal is clean. Normally I would recommend [that you] use SDI for streaming because the connection is much secured due to the SDI interface. The signal on the HDMI and the SDI is the same except the connector is different.

Q: Does the PMW-150 have separate iris and zoom wheels?
Kanta: It has three rings for iris, focus and zoom.

Q: What can you remotely control on the PMW-150 using the Pilot / iPad combination?
Sebastian: You can control Zoom, Iris, Focus, You can start/stop record. You can also change some parameters of the white balance and you have a terminal for playback the clips from your card. For playback it is just the remote [control] you cannot see the recorded picture on the tablet or smartphone.
Sebastian: You will need a new firmware to use WiFi remote which will come Nov/2012.

Q: When will the wifi adaptor for the PMW-200 be available?
Sebastian: The Wifi adaptor is already available. It is the CBK-WA01 which our shoulder camcorders are using for our XM Pilot planning tool. To use WiFi remote with the PMW-200 we are going to release a new FW version in November 2012

Sony PMW-160

Q: It appears you don't get the same kind of total control that you get with the RM-1000BP Lanc Control and the Z7E? That's a shame.
Sebastian: Yes that´s correct. Thanks for the feedback concerning features which would make your daily work easier.

Q: When are these cameras available?
Dave Stannard: the PMW-100 is available now, PMW-200 will be with our European dealers within the next fortnight and the PMW-150 is scheduled to be available in mid November
Alvaro Ortiz: For NTSC countries, PMW-160 is the equivalent to PAL countries' PMW-150

Q: Can you record at 50 mbit on XQD cards?
Dave Stannard: It is possible to record at 50Mbps via XQD cards, however slow and quick motion is not possible. We recommend XQD and other consumer media as emergency media as is doesn't include many of the Pro features found in SxS Cards - particularly important is the salvage function in the cards & recovery service we offer.

Q: When filming in 4:2:2 for example on a SxS card, is it possible to copy the footage to a SDHC card? This is for emergency sharing purposes, on the field.
Sebastian: Due to the FAT32 of SDHC cards you cannot use these cards for XDCAM HD 422 material. If you want to copy after recording the content from your SxS card you can use our new XQD media. This is a new consumer media which you can use with an adaptor like SDHC cards for emergency use. Please keep in mind that only SxS cards offer the full performance of the camera and are safe and fast for professional usage
Alvaro Ortiz: It's not only that SxS are so safe and fast (with adaptor for working on Memory Stick, SD or XQD cards, 2 interfaces are in the middle), but Sony also offers a recovery service. Even if the card is out of guarantee. In that case, if the card has not been just formatted, information can be recovered via our Professional Media colleagues: for firmware issues, in Belgium, and for hardware issues in Japan. Right now, almost every case was solved at the first step (Belgium), with fast recovery procedure in case any card is corrupted or damaged.
Alister Chapman: SxS is super reliable. I've frozen them in ice, boiled them in water and washed them in the washing machine with no ill effects.
Alvaro Ortiz:  But, children, DO NOT DO THAT AT HOME! Alister is always trying to damage our Media. We're really challenging him! :) Sebastian: Alister made also a video about this. :-)
Alister: SxS card frozen in ice. XDCAM EX1 memory card | YouTube SxS in ice.

Q: Are you planning to move all the XDCAM EX range into the 50mbps XDCAM 422 codec?
Alvaro Ortiz: Well, in fact, we have launched a whole lineup on the handy XDCAM camcorder, unexisting until now. The lower price XDCAM 422 camcorder was the shoulder version, PMW-500, and now we have launched this new full lineup keeping more or less the same pricing as on prior 35 Mbps models.

Sony PMW-200

Q: Is there any other feature, software and hardware, unique to the EX1-R that the PMW-200 does not have? Was there any other reason the PMW-200 design left out the pivoting zoom grip other than to improve the camera's center of gravity?
Alvaro Ortiz: Apart from the physical argument to not use pivoting hand grip on PMW-200, please bear in mind that costs have been highly reduced on our new lineup to incorporate the same recording features as the PMW-500.
Alvaro Ortiz: Also, some reports about physical fatigue were mentioned by customers when talking about PMW-EX1R, due to the high center of gravity. In fact, if you take a look physically on new models, their chassis is much wider and less tall, which allows the camera to be easily hand held.
Alvaro Ortiz: Despite the chassis has been newly designed, the applications will remain the same. In fact, we were talking before about the reasons to not use a tilting hand grip, in order to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. But the size and the basic design is, in fact, kind "continuous" with prior camcorders, such as EX1R Dave Stannard: In Alisters review he mentions the camcorder balance and what it's like to shoot with. I guess its personal preference.

Q: Why does the PMW-200 not have "Shot Transition"?
Alvaro Ortiz: Bear in mind that PMW-200, even being the successor of EX1R, was newly developed to integrate both workflows (the camera itself, and the recording features from PMW-500). So, one of the things that needed to be sacrificed at that time was shot transition. We really apologize for that.

Q: The PMW-200 1/2 sensors are not the same as EX1R ones?
Sebastian: The size with 1/2" is the same but the performance in terms of sensitivity is improved compared to PMW-EX1R. So when the PMW-EX1R was already a lowlight monster the PMW-200 is more sensitive.

Q: Is the HD-SDI on the PMW-200 4:2:2 10-bit?
Sebastian: Yes you will get 4:2:2 10-bit via the HD-SDI. This is for all XDCAM HD Camcorder and also the PMW-EX1R will give you a 4:2:2 10-bit signal via SDI.

Q: What about PMW-200 vents ? I mean against rain and dust...
Dave Stannard: These products are not rain or dust proof so you need to take the same precautions you would take with any Professional Camcorder.

Q: Is the PMW-200 USB 3.0 or USB 2.0?
Sebastian: The USB interface is USB 2.0

Q: Will the EX1R continue to be sold or will it be discontinued soon because of the new PMW200?
Dave Stannard: The PMW-200 is the natural successor to the PMW-EX1R, although the EX1R may continue to be available from Sony Solutions Specialist Dealers in the short term

Q: I have recently sold my EX1R due to the 35megabit issue, I am looking for a new camera, for ENG and doc, What would suit me fore 200 or the 150? Whats the main difference?
Alvaro Ortiz: The main differences between PMW-150 and 200 are the sensor size (3x1/3" vs 3x1/2") and the lens. So, the equivalent model to your former EX1R would be PMW-200; sensor size of PMW-150 is equivalent to that of HXR-NX5

Q; Will the EX1R batteries, the small and the large ones, last the same amount of time on the PMW-200 as the EX1R
Alvaro Ortiz: The power consumption of EX1R was 12.5 W with EVF on, LCD off, and recording, while in the same circumstances, consumption of PMW-200 is 12 W. So, you'll have slightly longer duration of the same battery.

Q: Noting the better low light performance of the PMW-200, is this a feature native to the sensor or something else e.g. prism, processing, etc.. Main question being is it a new 1/2" chipset or the same as the EX1R but enhanced.
Alister Chapman: I believe the low light gain comes from a new DSP, Digital Signal Processor, that performs more advanced noise reduction. The camera isn't really any more sensitive, but because it has less noise you can use more gain in low light before the image becomes unusable.

Q: I love that the PMW200 lens thread diameter is kept the same as EX1R. Does anyone know if the front lens accessory mount on the PMW-200 is unchanged from the EX1R? This is the mount on the front that the hood locks onto and also wide angle adapters for the EX1R. This would allow compatibility of EX1R accessories for the PMW-200.
Sebastian: The Fujinon lens we are using at the PMW-200 fits with the lens accessories from your PMW-EX1R.
Sebastian: It is the same lens as for the PMW- EX1R in terms of optical performance. we took serious care to meet the high picture quality with the new developed 1/2" sensors.

Q: Is Sony planning to launch any firmware upgrade that allows the PMW-F3 to record natively at 50Mbps in SxS cards?
Alvaro Ortiz: PMW-F3 chipset only allows to record internally on 35 Mbps. If we had incorporated 50 Mbps on the F3 two years ago, the size and cooling needs for it would've converted F3 into a big model, not so agile.

Q: Did you find the profile setups similar to the EX1R or the PMW-500?
Alister Chapman: Profiles are between the two. You have Hypergammas like PMW-500 but other settings like EX1. Lots of adjustment and the PMW100, 150 and 200 match together exceptionally well.

Q: Does the new PMW-200, 150 and 100 have an integrated Infra Red cutting (IR-CUT) optical filter on it? On the EX1/R and EX3 sometimes we get dark brown (redish) instead of black. I guess it may be the lack of an IR cut filter...
Alister Chapman: There is an IR cut filter. The problems with the EX1 (and most CMOS cameras) are with far Red that is not Infra Red, this is why it is so difficult to eliminate. The EX1R was better than the EX1. I did not test for issues with the PMW-200, but I did not see any issues either. If you cut off the red response too much you reduce the cameras image quality so it's a fine balance.

Q: Overall is the image out of the PMW-200 'as good' or 'better' than that from an EX1R? I know the improved processing reduces noise etc.
Alister Chapman: The PMW-200 images are IMHO better than the EX1R. Skin tones and mid range in particular are improved and show more subtle texture and detail.
Alister Chapman: When I tested the PMW-200 I found that the new processing used in the camera improves the noise performance and also gives better skin tones and better reproduction of mid tones, especially greens that can look a little muddy on an EX1/EX3

Jason Eng: With me today on this chat are Chris Tsai, Senior Product Manager of the XDCAM HD422 branded products for Sony Professional Solutions of America, and Chuck Fishbeing Director / Director of Photography at Crazy Duck Productions. Chuck is very familiar with our XDCAM lineup and has been recently given the opportunity to try out the PMW-200 as well.

Chris Tsai:  The PMW-200 Highlights:

  • The PMW-200 uses three 1/2 inch Full HD Exmor CMOS sensors
  • Uses the same 14x zoom fixed Fujinon lens as the PMW-EX1/R
  • PMW-200 viewfinder is same size and resolution as PMW-EX1/R (0.45 inch, 852x480)

Updates from the PMW-EX1/R: Supports 50 Mbps HD422 codec in the UDF/MXF recording mode. This mode also gives you the ability to record 4 channels of 24-bit LPCM audio (compared to 16-bit LPCM audio)

PMW-200 Workflow support:

  • Recording MXF files to UDF formatted SxS cards to match the broadcast workflows which have been established by the optical XDCAM product line. Note: like the PMW-100, proxy is not generated when shooting MXF files.
  • Backward compatible mode to support the XDCAM EX (Recording MP4 files to FAT formatted SxS cards)
  • SD recording (DVCAM) is supported in both UDF and FAT mode like the PMW-100
  • When recording DVCAM in UDF mode, you can record 4 channels of 16-bit audio.

Chuck:  The camera starts up in seconds compared to the much longer wait of the EX1 and EX3
Chris Tsai: The new HD422 camcorders - PMW-100, PMW-200, and the newly introduced PMW-160 have a quick start feature. If you hold the REC button down when you power on the camcorder, it will attempt to shorten its start up time even more and start recording!

Q: 4 channels of audio? I must have missed that. But still only 2 XLRs / 2 mic pre-amps, right? In what way can I input the other two channels?
Chris Tsai: One of the improvements on audio handling for the PMW-200 is the ability to record up to 4 channels of audio simultaneously:

From Built-in stereo microphone (Int-L, Int-R)
From the 2 XLR connectors for external audio sources (Ext XLR-1,Ext XLR-2)

Q: Can I share picture profiles with the PMW-200 from my EX3?
Chuck: I actually tried some profiles from Alister Chapman and they worked pretty well
Chuck: They were older EX1 profiles
Chuck: Actually with the addition of the Hypergammas the dynamic range is much wider

Q; What is the difference between the XDCAM and the AVCHD formats?
Chris Tsai: The XDCAM format uses MPEG compression while AVCHD is AVC compression
Chris Tsai: The AVCHD format is based upon a consumer standard whereas XDCAM is built upon SMPTE standards used in broadcast.

Q: Is the peaking on the PMW-200 will allow a (detail enhancer) instead of those new red or blue peaking!!!
Chuck: It is the same peaking as an EX1/3
Chuck: One of the nice things maintained from the EX1/3 is the video out which allows you to use inexpensive monitors for multicam shoots

Q: Will there be a 1080 60p support ?
Chuck: 60P is available only in 720

Q: Have you added the ability to move the area of focus assist magnification around the frame to any of your new cameras (be it in the XDCAM range or otherwise)?
Chris Tsai: No you cannot move the area of focus assist magnification - but this is a good suggestion.

Q: Is SDI 8 bit or 10 bit?
Chuck: SDI is 10 bit

Q: Any improvements in the zoom motor over the EX3?
Chuck:  I found no problems with slow zooms on the PMW-200 even using Varizoom or Manfrotto controllers

Q: Can you simultaneously record to both card slots, for instance backup?
Chris Tsai: You cannot record to both SxS card slots simultaneously.

Q: I already own the HXR-NX5U, and other than the bump in Mbps record speed (double), and the 1/2 chips, I'm trying to find the benefit? Is the low light performance that much better?
Chuck: Performance is very similar to the NX5U

Q: I trust the 200 works with SxS-1 media as well? Formatting compatible with the EX3? Pop one out of the EX3 with footage and pop it into the 200 and continue?
Chris Tsai: Yes the PMW-200 uses both SxS Pro and SxS -1 memory.

Q: Is here a port for RMB-150?
Chuck: there is no remote port for theRMB-150

Q: Does the PMW-160 have a no hard stop lens similar to the NX5U or what's the deal with that? Also, what else makes different from the PMW-200?
Chris Tsai: PMW-160 uses a lens which is similar to the NX5U. The PMW-160 uses three, 1/3-inch Exmor CMOS sensors (the PMW-200 uses three, 1/2 inch Exmor CMOS sensors.
Chris Tsai: PMW-160 vs PMW-200

PMW-160: F9 - PMW-200: F11
S/N Ratio:
PMW-160: 54 dB - PMW-200: 56 dB

Q: For the Fujinon lens on the PMW-200, is the manual focus & zoom controlled directly?
Chuck: It's still servo but the feel is that of a manual lens

Q: Why is there a PMW-160 coming out when the PMW-100 just came out?
Chris Tsai: We wanted to provide a variety of acquisition tools (at different price points) all using the 50M HD422 codec.
The PMW-100 (10x zoom) is smaller form factor camcorder than the PMW-200 (14x zoom) and PMW-160 (20x zoom).
Chuck: I found the camera to be pretty well balanced when used with a BP-60

Q: Will it work with XMPilot?
Chris Tsai: The PMW-200 will support XMPilot workflows - with one exception, since the camera does not create proxy during recording, you can see video preview on the XMPilot tool while logging
Chris Tsai: the XMPilot workflow has different facets:
1. Assigning custom metadata to clips - requires applications ingesting the files to recognize the "planning metadata" XML files. This also includes being able to set the naming prefix being used by the camcorder by a) remotely sending the planning metadata file over a Ethernet connection or b) transferring it using an SxS card). this aspect is available on the PMW-160, PMW-200.
2. Logging while seeing proxy video over a Ethernet connection (WiFi) - this is available for the shouldermount XDCAM camcorders which record proxy video while shooting. (i.e PDW-700, PDW-F800, PMW-500).

Q: On the PMW-200, does the the beginning and end of a zoom, ramp? In other words, is the start and stop of a zoom abrupt, or does it slightly speed up/slow down, like a pro eng lens?
Chuck: There is a slight ramping
Chuck: The lens is surprisingly smooth, especially compared to the EX3 I commonly use

Q: How many of the outputs will work simultaneously?
Chris Tsai: Many of the outputs are active simultaneously, but exactly how many depends upon the recording mode (i.e. 24p, 59.94i, or SD, etc) and if you have configured the outputs ( i.e HD output or SD output).
Chris Tsai: The PMW-200 (and PMW-160) also have a few additional I/O: TC In/Out (BNC) - (switchable)
Genlock In/Composite Video Out (BNC) (switchable)

Chris Tsai:  For current PMW-EX1 owners, I forgot to mention that the PMW-200 LCD is same size, but higher resolution than PMW-EX1/R (3.5 in/852x480 vs 640x480)

Q: Chuck, did you try shooting any multicam with the 200 or 160 ? -- and if so, did you try and how were you able to match it with your F3 or EX3?
Chuck: I just shot a music video using the F3 with S-log and the 200 with HG 4 and I was able to come pretty close
Jason Eng: Here is a link to the music video that Chuck shot using at PMW-F3, PMW-200 and PMW-100 Callison Nash- Forget Everything | YouTube

Q: On that music video, any guide to which clips are from the PMW-200?
Chuck: The PMW-200 was used for some of the wide shots on the roof and instrument closeups. The shallower depth shots were the F3.

Q: On the PMW-200, when adjusting the iris ring, is it a linear response to exposure, or does it produce a visible "stepping" from one f-stop to the next?
Chuck: the adjustment is smooth, just like the EX1/3 No stepping at all

Q: Do the audio level dials on the left side of the PMW-200 pop in and out?
Chris Tsai: No, the audio level dials do not pop out (i.e. spring loaded), but they are not flush with the chassis (so you can turn them easily with your fingertip)
Chris Tsai: Assume you were wondering how easily you could make audio adjustments... you have more knob surface area to grab and turn the knob than the EX1/R layout.

Q: Are there an increased number of possible picture profiles compared to the six of the EX1/3 ? Are the Hypergammas an add-on to or replacement of the CineGammas 1-4 on the EX1/3?
Chuck: The cine settings have been replaced by the hypergammas

Q: How does the PMW-200 deal with highlights? Is there a profile that smoothly rolls off the overexposed areas?
Chuck: Yes, using the hypergamas you can control the contrast of a scene and hence the highlight roll-off

Q: Chuck this is not fair the 500 and the 800 are way more evolved camera (lens mount EVF etc etc
Chuck: Yes of course they are, but in the 200 you have several of the tools and features found in the higer end cameras.

Q: Is the TC in/out selection a switch or a menu item? If a menu item, can it be assigned to a user button?
Chuck: It's a switch right near the input/output

Q: When the LCD of the PMW-200 is folded out perpendicular to the camera body, is it the same distance away from the back end of the camera as the EX1R?
Chuck: It's actually about an inch or two forward

Q: Please explain why to use 50M HD422 video (MXF) files. What benefit? I understand that MP4 recording is more consumer type and may be a bit out-dated.
Chris Tsai: With MXF recording, we are also formatting the cards as UDF (vs FAT used by EX MP4 format). This enables us to record long clips as a single files. So you can fill an entire card with just one MXF file. For some customers, who have to wrangle many files from different photogs, crews, etc this can drastically reduce the file management burden. As a matter of fact in this mode you can set the camcorder to append video to the current file rather than create a brand new file (this function is called continuous record).

Q: The PMW-200 still has the quick release rotating handle grip like the EX1R, right? And is it the more comfortable EX1R style one, not the horrible EX1 version? Do the PMW-100 and PMW-150 have the quick release rotate grip too?
Chuck: The handle on the PMW-200 does not rotate. Personally, I did not find it an issue. Depends on how you work.

Q: Since I don't really know the workflow for 50Mbit SxS recordings, is it possible to use the Main Concept (Rovi) conversion pack in XDcam Browser to direct transfer/transcode the 50Mbit data to XDcam discs - or is this a straight drag/drop with the U1 drive? Would the conversion pack be able to convert them to 35Mbit 4:2:0 disc? I have two clients who always want the disc.
Chris Tsai: Yes XDCAM Browser (with the conversion pack) can be used to transcode from/to the 50M HD422 codec (as well as any of the other XDCAM codecs - i.e. 35M 420.).
Chris Tsai: If you shoot with the 50M HD422 codec as MXF files, you can copy these files directly to the Clip folder of an XDCAM disc using a PDW-U1 or PDW-U2. No transcoding needed.

Q: So is the 200 shipping yet?
Chris Tsai: Yes, the PMW-200 just started shipping a few days ago.

Chuck: Because the LCD screen is situated like that of a Z5, it allows the use of a matte box without being blocked by the camera's mic
Also, like it's older brother, the camera does not have to reboot for playback. You can jump back and forth quickly between play and record
It's older brother being a PMW-500 or F800
Chris Tsai: One motivation for the addition of the MXF support to the XDCAM handycam line is to provide the same codecs and workflows to those customers who need a complete end to end MXF workflows as the optical XDCAM products (PDW-700/F800) as well as the PMW-500.
Chris Tsai:  The new HD422 handycam lineup also supports the new consumer XQD memory - XQD is a new memory card specification announced by the Compact Flash association. With this consumer memory format, you can also record 50M HD422 video (MXF files) as well as MP4 recordings made by the EX camcorders..


Anonymous said...

hey, i work in Kenya and some of our clients still need dv format 4:3..can the 200 be able to film that?

Michael Murie said...

It supports DVCAM SD recording, and I find a post on B&H where someone said that one of the down-convert options is Edge Crop that should crop the 16:9 picture to 4:3. I don't know what you see in the viewfinder in that mode...
BUT, while that should give you 4:3, you're not getting dv format video.If the client wants a dv tape, or a video file in dv format you'll have to create that using your editing system.

Unknown said...

Does anyone know if the HDMI signal is 8-bit or 10-bit. I'm assuming 8-bit.

Unknown said...

The HDMI signal is 8-bit.