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PMW-350 XDCAM Pros/Cons

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Bill Paris
PMW-350 XDCAM Pros/Cons
on Jan 26, 2010 at 12:31:24 am

Looking closely at the PMW-350 as a "Big Brother" alternative to the EX1/EX3 and a B-Camera for my Sony F-900, has anyone had a chance to try this camera out? Some of the features I find appealing:

2/3 Inch Chips
B4 Mount - Use existing HD glass
ENG form factor
Native 1920X1080
Over-cranking at 720
Possibility to record 100mbits per sec. at 4.2.2 via Nanoflash
Inverted View finder when used with Letus DOF converter
Low Power consumption 18w
Records SD and HD (unlike P2 Varicam)
Lectro SR Series Slot
4 channels of audio

Price via Abel Cine Tech with lens/anton bauer plate/Lectro SR Adapter/SD Key
under $22,000

Anyone have negative experiences with the camera/footage?


Bill Paris
Crew Hawaii Television

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Rafael Amador
Re: PMW-350 XDCAM Pros/Cons
on Jan 26, 2010 at 6:37:38 pm

Alister Chapman has done a review.
For me is big and expensive but I would like that 2/3" CMOS in front of my NANO.

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Craig Seeman
Re: PMW-350 XDCAM Pros/Cons
on Jan 26, 2010 at 6:52:51 pm

But probably the least expensive 2/3" chip camera on the market (I think) just as EX1 is the least expensive 1/2" chip camera on the market.

It might only be surpassed when someone makes a Canon DSLR sized chip in a fully controllable video camera form with an easy to handle codec/file workflow.

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Alister Chapman
Re: PMW-350 XDCAM Pros/Cons
on Jan 26, 2010 at 8:36:34 pm

You'll probably find the pictures from the 350 virtually indistinguishable from your F900. Record to a NanoFlash and it may even outperform the F900. You don't say which version you have.

The front end on the 350 is quite remarkable, high sensitivity with very low noise and what little noise there is has a very fine grain structure. It has close to 11 stops of latitude and handles overexposure very pleasantly. It is too sharp for my liking out of the box but this is easily dialed back with the scene files.

It is a lot lighter than most other 2/3" cameras and when you combine that with small batteries (a 98Wh batt will run it for 4 hours) it makes it a real pleasure to use. I'm taking one 200 miles North of the Arctic circle, to Northern Norway to shoot the northern lights next week. In previous years I've had good results with my EX1 and EX3 but the 350 should be better still.

Just so everyone knows: I am a fan of Sony kit and I do have a close relationship with Sony. As part of the European ICE (independent certified experts) scheme I provide workshops and seminars on XDCAM cameras as well as writing reviews and articles for Sony. I am not employed by Sony but I do get paid for some of the services I provide to Sony. I try to be objective in my reviews and try to offer honest opinions at all times.

Alister Chapman

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Pat McGowan
Re: PMW-350 XDCAM Pros/Cons
on Jan 27, 2010 at 3:07:50 pm

We bought a PMW350K in December and we love this camera. The images are fantastic, it is nice and light, fully featured, sips power, has a decent stock lens and an amazing viewfinder.

Value for money - exceptional. Quality - unreal.

We are adding a NanoFlash (or equivalent soon) and it is very likely that we'll buy a second PMW350K this year, if not 2 more.

Only one negative. Because of the viewfinder / lens combo it is very difficult to access the zoom controls with the left hand over the lens. This is due to the size of the lens barrel at the mount junction and also because there is a rigid control cable with an in-line resistor (I think) that blocks access to the zoom control. This cable can be gently moved out of the way but it creates tension on the cable.

Here's a link to a YouTube video of some clips I shot in western Canada using standard camera settings:

If you want any more info feel free to e-mail me at

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