The Sony PMW-EX1 what can we expect?


We cannot ignore the fact that tapeless acquisition and workflow has become a ‘hot topic’ in recent months with programme makers recognising that like it or not, tapeless acquisition in HD is where television production is headed. Mitcorp have always been at the forefront of technology educating and supporting our customers with full workflow solutions. We want to actively help those clients who are keen to shoot with tapeless technology but don’t yet have the knowledge to make the switch. We firmly believe Sony’s latest addition the PMW-EX1 provides our customers with the benefits that tapeless technology has to offer without having to dramatically alter their familiar tape based working practices. The HVR-Z1E for example has become a staple for programme makers particularly in the factual and reality arena because of its size and ease of use. Mitcorp have supplied many hundreds of HDV cameras to production companies and hire facilities as well as individual camera people and producers.
Until now, solid state has been restricted by the length of recording time and that has restricted the use of tapeless products to shorter projects unless you use as 3rd party storage drive. Longer documentaries have been shot on the Panasonic HVX-200 which does offer excellent picture quality and matches the Varicam perfectly. However the higher quality and lower compression means larger files and a requirement to manage that media meticulously in the field, something few factual programme makers want to do unless they have to.
In reality the majority of factual programmes do not require such a high quality. A few years ago factual programmes were being shot largely on Digi-beta but budgets reduced and DVCAM became the workhorse. The Ex camera will offer higher image quality than DVCAM and satisfy many HD requirements as it produces a full 1920x1080 image in a camera that will cost less than four thousand pounds
Shooting with the PMW-EX1 for example allows the operator to use lets say 4 x 16gb cards and have almost 4 hrs of recording capability at the highest quality of 35Mb/s. This provides ample recording for even the most trigger happy shooter. If you choose to shoot at 25mb/sec then the recording time of a 16GB card increases to 70 minutes. The audio is very high quality as it is recorded uncompressed 16bit at 48Khz.
You still have to move the footage from the card after a day on location but this can be done on a laptop with an Express card slot or by using a card reader in the evening. Sony have developed free clip Browsing software which allows for the seamless transfer of footage. The key advantage of file based recording means you can review footage using the clip browser and if you wish only transfer the ‘good takes’. In addition Express card technology offers a faster transfer rate of 800MB/s which means that footage will copy at twice real time speed.
As for the camera there are a few really nice features. Sony have swapped the Carl Zeiss lens used in its HVR-Z1e for Fujinon. The lens controls are the most noticeable difference in that they have full ‘pro’ controls. Proper focus, zoom and iris rings. The lens is not interchangeable but has a useful working range of 8.5mm-81.2mm. You’d definitely want a wide angle convertor to increase the wide end of the lens.
The hand grip also has a neat ‘rotary’ function that will allow for different shooting positions to be achieved thus making the camera more comfortable to hold for long periods of filming.
Our customers have been eagerly awaiting this camera since its launch at NAB. Sony have a strong track record in the compact camera market, with the DSR-PD170 and the HVR-Z1E still widely used particularly across factual, reality and entertainment acquisition. We believe the PMW-EX1 XDCAM EX camera will allow those familiar with the Z1 to migrate to HD solid state, seamlessly.
Sony PMW-EX1
Sony PMW-EX1

Tags: pmw-ex1 | ex1 | sony | sxs | hvr-z1e | hdv | varicam | Carl Zeiss | XDCAM EX | camera | iss014 | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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