Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

There are a few things that you need to weigh up if you are buying one of the new Sony PMW-200s.

Firstly you will need to decide on the type of media you are going to use with the PMW-200, SxS card, XQD card, SDHC card or external recorder.

Please remember that the PMW-EX30 SxS player/recorder will not playback footage shot at 50Mbps so in order to get your 4:2:2 50Mbps footage into your computer you will need a Sony SBAC-US10 SxS card reader (£318) or the Sonnett QIO-E34 (£797) or the camera itself.

Shooting 50Mbps constant bit rate (CBR) you will be restricted to two types of card, the SxS or the XQD card with adapter.

A 32G SxS card will cost you £360 while an XQD card will set you back £170 plus £50 for the adapter.

No one has tested the durability of the XQD card yet but spec wise its up there with the best CF cards that we use in the likes of the Canon C300.

Sony would have been very nieve not to offer us a cheaper alternative to the SxS card as the track record proves that very few of us ever bought SxS cards while using EX1s and EX3s.

The XQD is the PMW-200s saving grace when it comes to 50Mbps and I can only predict an upsurge of XQD card sales this coming Autumn.

It has been pointed out that Sony advise using the XQD card for emergencies only at 50MB/s but the card is more that capable at 125MB/s that’s almost twice the speed of a 600x Lexar CF card, so who’s kidding who !

XQD cards are still 2x dearer than 32G top of the range CF cards so Mr Sony better be kidding if he thinks the XQD card is not up to scratch when Mr Canon runs his 50MB/s C300 CF cards at half the cost and half the speed !

The Sony MRW-E80 XQD card reader is only £35 and is readily available from good Sony stockists.

If you don’t need the 50Mbps you can stick with the 35Mbps variable bit rate (VBR) which uses the lesser SDHC cards with adapter.

This has long been the preferred method of capturing good 35Mbps footage from the EX range of camcorders, the Sony adapter will set you back £70 while the MxM card adapter will set you back about £45.

As you can see there are many options for capturing footage on your Sony PMW-200 not to mention the external recorder out of the HD-SDI socket or the HDMI socket.

Sony have hit a nerve with this spec of camera, there are a lot of pre orders not to mention a lot of interest in general now that Sony have realised the market for a 50Mbps, 3 chip, 1/2″ CMOS sensor camera like the PMW-200.



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.

7 thoughts on “Buying a Sony PMW-200 (Updated)

  1. I am not as impressed as you Phil with this camcorder.

    Sony are so lazy, 10yr old technology with a new codec – same sensors as the EX – they should have done this 5yrs ago – and they still dont get it when it comes to media! No-one will buy into their stoopid cards – they never learn!

  2. Look at the competition…1/3″ noisy chip sets, lenses that shut down by 2 f stops from wide to tight. No other manufacturer has learned that you do not get clean low light pictures from 1/3″ chips.
    Anyone who films with the EX1r or EX3 are delighted with the results, I agree Sony should have led this market 5 years ago instead of pussyfooting about with F3s at 35Mbps, that one stupid decision has cost Sony dearly.

  3. Phil in the Sony literature they say the sd and xqd should be used only for an emergency- that’s quite concerning to me. Is that just a ploy to get the consumer to purchase S x S cards instead of the cheaper media?

  4. Hi Vincent, Sony like all big organisations these days have to cover their backs so they add in a clause like this to cover themselves.
    The Sony EX1, EX3 and EX1r were never made with SDHC cards in mind it was only the genius of an Australian electronics engineer that the MxR cards were born, taking SDHC cards into “SxS” adapters.
    Sony lost a ton of SxS sales with this invention and had to concede a few years later by bringing out their own MEAD-SD01 SDHC adapter.
    The new XQD cards are 125MB/s almost 2x faster than most competent 600x (54MB/s) CF cards used by my Canon C300 at 50MB/s.
    Far to much kidology in our game Sony have to realise that we are prepared to spend the money on kit but we are not prepared to empty our pockets on over priced SxS cards, they lost the battle 1st time round with the MxR ( MxM) adapters so lets hope they have learned a hard lesson and move on.

  5. That reminds me- like back in the 70’s when sony lost the fight over beta max to vhs.

    Thanks for your reply.


  6. Hey there. Thinking along the lines of an PMW-200 to replace/run alongside our EX3. You say and I quote: “in order to get your 4:2:2 50Mbps footage into your computer you will need a Sony SBAC-US10 SxS card reader (£318) or the Sonnett QIO-E34 (£797) or the camera itself.”
    Will we not be able to use the XQD card in the QDA adapter plugged into a Macbook’s Expresscard 34 slot for (4:2:2 50Mbps) ingestion?

  7. Hello Phil thanks for your valuable advice, I bought a 200 + Pmw the SXS card I read that I can also use SDHC cards to record to 35 mbs, I would like to know that minimum requirements must have these cards. Is there any brand that is not compatible or it is not desirable because it is not reliable, I work for television news and I would not have problems which one should I buy? thanks regards

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