Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Sony’s new PMW-400 shoulder-mount camcorder is the latest addition to its widely used XDCAM HD422 line-up. Ideal for live production or ENG, the new camcorder uses a 2/3-inch Exmor™ Full HD 3CMOS sensor to capture beautiful images with high sensitivity1 and low noise.

Sony’s PMW-400 XDCAM HD 4:2:2 camcorder

“We designed the PMW-400 to acquire high quality, clean images especially in low-light environments,” said Cyndi Lee, XDCAM marketing manager, Sony Electronics. “It’s ergonomically-balanced, easy to operate and includes features that make it fit seamlessly into various types of productions and workflows. This new camcorder opens the door to a range of new creative possibilities and flexible shooting.”

Higher Picture Quality with HD422 Codec

Capable of MPEG HD422 50Mbps recording, the PMW-400 is unique among the field of 2/3-type camcorders with its noise reduction capabilities and diverse selection of formats. Its 3 Dimensional Noise Reducer (3DNR) technology accurately detects and processes images to reduce noise, achieving a Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratio of 60dB — outstanding among 2/3-type camcorders.

The camcorder supports MPEG2 HD422@50Mbps, HD420@35Mbps/25Mbps, MPEG IMX@50Mbps, and DVCAM. The PMW-400 camcorder will also offer future XAVC support for HD.2

Improved Viewfinder

The camcorder’s supplied viewfinder features improved panel resolution of quarter HD 960(H) x 540(V) compared to previous models with resolutions of VGA 640(H) x 480(V). The new viewfinder significantly  improves contrast and viewing angles.

Flash Band Compensation via Internal Processing

The PMW-400 camcorder incorporates a valuable new feature – an internal Flash Band Reducer3that employs a special algorithm to detect and process flash banding inside the camcorder before recording begins. This provides greater flexibility in reducing flash banding across different shooting environments.

Operational Flexibility

The PMW-400 camcorder includes two SDI connections that enable, for example, the director and camera operator to simultaneously check content on two different monitors.

An optional CBK-CE01 50-pin interface lets the PMW-400 connect to two camera adapters for multi-camera operation. By connecting to the CA-FB70 optical fiber and CA-TX70 digital triax camera adapters, the PMW-400 can be used as a studio camera in live productions and also transmit signals over long distances while maintaining high picture quality.

R&D Prototype: Wireless Adapter for 3G/4G/LTE and Wi-Fi Connections

For easy transmission over a network and efficient on-site Wi-Fi operation, a wireless adapter is under development.  The adapter will be directly connectable to the PMW-400 to enable proxy files that can be transmitted via 3G/4G/LTE/Wi-Fi to accelerate the ENG workflow. Using Wi-Fi transmission, the adapter is compatible with mobile applications installed on devices such as tablet PCs and smartphones.

Future enhancements planned for the PMW-400 include file browsing management, proxy file preview, stream viewing of camera signals, proxy and high-resolution file transfer, metadata input and remote camera control.

The PMW-400 camcorder will be available in August 2013.


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 new Sony PMW-400

  1. Thanks for the info Philip. I had a conversation with a leading and respected authority in this industry a couple of weeks ago who told me there was nothing he could see on the horizon from Sony in regards to new camcorders coming out soon. I was about to buy a PMW200, however this camera will be the ideal replacement for my DSR450 which I’ve owned for the last 8 years.

  2. Finally a 10-bit 50 Mbps camcorder with some important future proofing (inc codecs) incorporated into its design – well worth a close look.

  3. By having a future upgrade to XAVC HD.2, does this mean you will be able to capture 4k with this camera?

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