Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


For long enough Sony had one XDCAM camcorder the PMW-500 that produced the magical 50Mbps full broadcast spec HD but have been loosing a ton of Yen to Canon.

Canon produced the XF300/305 broadcast spec, 50Mbps, three 1/3″ chip HD handheld camcorder which has taken broadcasters, hire facilities and production houses by storm. Here is a full HD spec camcorder for a 1/3 of the price of a PMW-500. The one thing that lets the XF300/305 down is the 1/3″ chipset, it’s noisy in low light compared to a Sony EX3 (1/2″ chipset).

Sony in my opinion are three camcorders too late, it’s unprecedented for a video camera manufacturer to produce 3 similar spec cameras, let alone 3 cameras in four months.

It all started with the PMW-100 which was an MC50 single chip in a bigger body and the ability to record at 50Mbps, the chip size alone put a lot of people off this camera.

Then we were presented with the same body but different lens and chipset, the PMW-200, the 14x constant aperture lens along with the 3 chip 1/2″ Exmor chipset started to get a few of us excited. Having 50Mbps was also a major bonus but about 18 months too late to compete with XF305 sales !

At IBC 2012 Sony are also displaying the PMW-150 with three 1/3″ chipset and a 20x variable aperture lens also sporting the all important 50Mbps recording onto SxS or XQD.

My point is why are we getting 3 very similar 50 Mbps camcorders all within four months of each other when two cameras would suffice.

Who sat down in Sony Japan and made that decision ? ” Three new XDCAM camcorders in 4 months all running at 50Mbps” is this the reason why the NEX-FS700 is difficult to source because the production line is trying to manufacture far too many camcorders !

We love our cameras but we also hate disappointment, there are a lot of very disappointed resellers, end users looking for FS700s, please tell me that the PMW-100 is not interfering with the making of the FS700 !

Just in case you need some guidance we would prefer more FS700’s followed by PMW-200’s both big sellers, then NEX-EA50’s will sell well, followed by the PMW-150.

Personally the camera that I am looking forward to is the PMW-200, finally a no nonsense well spec update to the XDCAM family, having seen some early footage it looks to be a winner for Sony, it’s just a pity it took so long to produce giving Canon the lion share of sales.



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.

4 thoughts on “The Sony Trio “Too many cameras, not enough output”

  1. To be honest, do Sony have a clue? If I was a suspicious kind of person I’de say there’s a Japanese gentlemans agreement to not give you/we what we want/need. Now if only Red had brought out the camera they promised us in the Scarlet, everything would be a lot different now.

  2. I wonder if all cameras are made in the same factory.
    Most likely not?

    As of tomorrow the lineup of Sony video capable cameras is about to get even more crowded.
    NEX VG30
    NEX VG900

    I know – excitement and patience don’t sit well together.

  3. Sony never cared. Already a few years ago, at IBC, I asked a Sony engineer why they still produce camcorders with 4:2:0 instead of 4:2:2. He looked at me like somebody who does not even understand the question or the problem. Instead of giving a clear answer he simply ignored the question, trying to convince me (an experienced broadcaster) that their 4:2:0 camcorders are exactly what I need…
    Yes, from time to time they bring up a nice product – the rest is pure ignorance and most of time they think their customers are stupid. My point of view: they want to protect their higher priced broadcast stuff as long as we are willing to accept. And simply we didn’t accept any 4:2:0 XDCAMs anymore, so they had to bring it out. Next will be the F3 – who should buy an F3 XDCAM without having 4:2:2 implemented now? Only Sony knows…

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