Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Just goes to show you that just because you stick a 50Mbps SxS recorder onto a lower spec camera that does not give you safe passage to the coveted BBC HD approval stamp. A source within the BBC has just informed me that the PMW-100 will not get the HD stamp of approval although they would not go any further with specific details.

Personally I think this camera is spot on for VJs, a cheap one man do all cameraperson that the BBC does approve, I have nothing against the one man band it’s the health a safety issues that bothers me more about the VJ setup.

There are differing levels of approval within the BBC and just because it does not aspire to the same level of approval as the Canon XF305 it may just come under the wire for news programming.

The Sony PMW-100 is probably the first in a line of cheaper 50Mbps XDCAM camcorders and its sad that Sony bring out this level of camera with a built in 50Mbps recording facility and left the same technology out of the sorely needed PMW-F3…why !!!

The Canon horse has now bolted with the XF305 and the C300, both BBC approved HD camcorders you would think a company like Sony would re-think their policy of protecting the PMW-500 which is a completely different beast to a hand held camcorder and produce something fit for purpose.

I will say it again if they add 50Mbps to an EX1r or EX3 they would win a watch… as long as they don’t charge accordingly like add a £1000 for the extra 15Mbps.

So where did the PMW-100 go wrong…simple, the 1/2.9-inch type Single-chip Exmor CMOS does not come up to the spec for broadcast it’s a tad bigger than one third inch but not having three chips was always going to be it’s Achilles heal.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

14 thoughts on “BBC don’t give Sony’s 50Mbps PMW-100 the thumbs up

  1. I really can’t fathom the purpose of this camera! It isn’t a successor to the PMW-F3 and lacks a Super 35mm sensor, so what’s the motive? Bring on the F5!

  2. I heard the BBC won’t be approving any camcorders in the future and will leave that just to the EBU

  3. So where *are* Sony going with this? Why not just get the NX70 with decent lens hood, decent shotgun mic, 100G internal drive + SD card, waterproof and a grand cheaper? Surely that’s a better fit for VJs unless they are hung up on AVCHD being too consumer… Looks like it has seperate iris/focus controls but I assume they are servo not direct?

  4. I think this is the prize Sony deserves for there development roadmap. Let us see if they correct there mistakes at IBC 2012. I’m still waiting for a NX5 replacement with 1080-50p/60p, interval recording, real independent focus, zoom and iris rings and better sensors, it could be the 1/2 or the 1 inch ones developed for sill image market 🙂

  5. That will be the case in fact the EBU standard for HD news will be 35Mbps thats where JVC will score with their new camcorders the 650/600.

  6. Sonys roadmap is 2 steps backwards and 1 step forwards, the only camera thats worth a mention is the FS700 and thats only a “fixed” FS100 !

  7. I long to learn the trade policy of sony, I am a Sony customer for many years, but lately I find it hard to follow where you want to go. Without going too far we would take a lot to add 50 mb 4:2:2 EX1R and I accepted the SXS instead of Compact Flash cards but Sony would have made ​​a positive image without forcing customers to seek to buy other brands.

  8. I agree Angelo, Sony are all over the place and constantly being advised by the wrong people apart from Den Lennie (Who would keep them right) just who are Sony Broadcast talking to.
    It seems to me if you are any further forward than the M25 you don’t get a look in ! Many of us blog about new kit and this year only one camera… the FS700 and that was an upgrade to the FS100, the PMW-100 and NX-30 are not in keeping with a broadcast philosophy.

  9. It’s funny how Sony uses a larger and back illuminated EXMOR-R sensor on its $1500 Handycams and refused to do the same with the same with the PMW100….a camera that carries the elite “XDCAM” logo. It’s just crazy and I can’t wrap my head around this. How can they let a “Handycam” pass an XDCAM in image quality?

  10. Yes Philip, I do not want to do naughty, but I think the Sony for us to have a 4:2:2 50 mb we want to spend at least 20.000 euros and more for SXS and almost 30.000 professional disk. I would like to see pictures of you and turn to a more detailed review. I think that eventually will buy Panasonic P2 card despite Hpx250 are still expensive, but they come in spring adapters for SD-card do you think? I work in a broadcast news

  11. i m using pmw100 in Pakistan..This camera has very big problem back FOCUS & MANUAL FOCUS…

  12. I THINK THE PMW100 is a waste of time
    I don’t think its good with focus, i have been in situation were i need to change the battery, an when i replace the battery and turn camera on it takes a while to refocus had to zoom all the way in the back out to get focus, well by that time the pastor already say u may kiss the bride. no good

  13. now i had sold my pmw100 am going for jvc hm600
    sony really let me down

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