April 03, 2012

Sony PMW-100 50Mbps camcorder

Sony’s PMW-100 XDCAM HD422 handheld camcorder will be the new little brother for the PMW-500 shoulder-mounted camera popular for news, and is the smallest and lightest camera (1.5kg) in the XDCAM range.

It uses a newly developed 1/2.9-inch Exmor CMOS sensor, which is claimed to be good in low lightz. The 10x zoom lens gives a far-from-wide 40-400mm (35mm equivalent), which means that a wide-angle adaptor will be necessary.

“The PMW-100 combines exceptional picture quality with portability and outstanding manoeuvrability based on the proven XDCAM workflow, taking professional users to a whole new level of productivity,” claimed Bill Drummond, Strategic Marketing Manager, Sony Europe.

He sees its development as a natural step in the progression of the XDCAM range and said it is “a direct response to our customers requirements. Long-time XDCAM users requested a light and compact camcorder that will not only work seamlessly on its own, but also alongside other XDCAM cameras such as the acclaimed PMW-500.”

The PMW-100 supports full HD video at 1080i, 1080p and 720p recording at up to 50Mbps MXF, based on the MPEG HD422 codec using MPEG HD422 Long GoP compression. It is also switchable to MPEG HD420 35/25Mbps (as used by the EX1/EX3) or, for anyone still shooting standard definition, DVCAM 25Mbps. For audio it records four 24-bit channels at 48kHz.

It records to dual SxS memory cards, as well as Memory Stick, SD card and XQD (with adaptor). Sony’s new SxS Memory Card Management Utility software (which will be available to download from May 10) will provide additional features for SxS memory cards, such as data backup and a lifetime indication of card use.

Other features include: a colour 3.5-inch WVGA (852x480) LCD; slow & quick motion from one frame per second to 60fps in 720p mode and from 1fps to 30fps in 1080p mode; 15 second cache (loop) recording; HD-SDI and Composite output, Genlock input, time code I/O, i.LINK (FireWire for HDV/DV) I/O, and A/V output. It will start shipping in May, and should cost about £3,500/€3,990/$4,500, making it a competitor for Canon’s XF105.

If Sony added the recording capabilities from this camera to new versions of its venerable EX1/EX3, it would mean they would be usable for shooting broadcast HD without an external recorder.

By David Fox

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