IBC 2012: Sony release PMW-150

PMW-100 not doing it for you? PMW-200 doing too much? Then you’ll be glad to hear that Sony have just announced the brand new PMW-150, a halfway house between the two. With three 1/3″ Exmor CMOS sensors and the ability to record Full HD 4:2:2 at 50Mbps, it could be just what the indecisive XDCAM fans out there are looking for.

Sony PMW-150

Who’s it for?

ENG and docu crews who want a sturdy, run-and-gun type camera that record straight to a broadcast-friendly format – in this case, Full HD MPEG HD4:2:2 at 50Mbps in an MXF wrapper. Sony are putting the emphasis very much on hands-on control with this model, telling us you’ll have “full control of shooting parameters for high quality acquisition.” There are independant focus, iris and zoom rings, and you can control them remotely using the CBK-WA01 WiFi adaptor.

Genlock in and Timcode In/Out are also present and correct, should you want to use this with other cameras, and SDI, HDMI and USB connectivity are in there, too. It shoots to two SxS cards (though consumer media will do in an emergency), a pair of 64GB cards should get you about four hours of continuous recording.

So, what are the features that Sony think will cure us of our crush on the PMW-200?

The sensor

From Sony: “The PMW-150 incorporates three 1/3-inch-type Full-HD Exmor CMOS sensors to achieve high resolution, high sensitivity, low noise, and wide dynamic range. The sensor has 2 million effective pixels and achieves full HD 1920 x 1080 shooting without pixel interpolation.” If you’re only problem with the PMW-100 is that the sensor is too small and you’re heading off to shoot in extreme lighting conditions, this is great news.

The lens

…is a 2.20x Fujinon professional HD zoom lens, which combined with the sensor makes this camera more of a dressed down PMW-200 than a dressed up PMW-100. Individual iris, focus and zoom rings. Auto focus, image stabilisation and quick electric zoom all come as standard, with Optical SteadyShot and peaking meters shown in for good measure.

The codec

After running some tests with the PMW-200, we were impressed by how clean a key we managed to pull using this codec, so we’re happy to see it making a return appearance here. The compatibility with other cameras in the range also means that you’ll havea pretty simple workflow if you want to use this as a B or C camera is a multicam setup with 500s or 200s.

The PMW-150 also supports MPEG HD 4:2:0 in MP4 file format, and the file format is also selectable between MP4 (FAT) or MFX (UDF) in HD and AVI (FAT) or MFX (UDF) in SD.

The audio

There’s an integrated stereo mic, two XLR connectors and you can record four channels 24-bit, 48KHz audio while shooting in HD 4:2:2 50 Mbps. Nothing to complain about here.

Shutter angles, extensions and speeds

You can shoot slow-mo at up to 50fps in 720p or 25fps in 1080p, or get as fast as 1fps in either. Like the PMW-200, the shutter angle is set to mimic that which you’d find on a film camera, and enable you to get a more consistent ‘intermittent effect’ and smoother fast or slow motion shots. You can also use the slow shutter to create lighting effects or improve illumination in low-light environments.

The best of the rest

Continuous recording (which saves all your footage as a single clip) for faster ingest, access to thumbnails while still in camera mode and automatic metadata generation from an XML file mean this is a solid camera for anyone who’s expecting a fast-paced shoot and wants to be sure they’ll stay on top of things. Quick record modes, 15 second cache recording, aspect masks and built-in ND filters are all going to help you get usable shots quicker – they may not look as good as ones from a PMW-200, but if you’re strapped for cash and need soemthing that’ll cope with a hectic ENG job, this is worth a look.

“The lens is a Sony G lens, which is nice but not as good as the Fuji lens on the PMW-200, and it’s a 3 1/3″ CMOS rather than a 3 1/2″ CMOS camera,” says video consultant James Graham. “The PMW-200 definitely meets the EBU Tier 2L regulations for long form acquisition and, although there are concessions for some 3 1/3″ CMOS chips of a certain standard, it is unknown whether the PMW-150 meets those. The PMW-200 sits firmly in Tier 2L whereas if the PMW-150 complies it will only just scrape in.”

For details of our PMW-150 pricing give us a call on 03332 409 305 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For the latest IBC news, follow@Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page. You can see all the news so far at our roundup post.

Call us: 03332 409 306

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