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Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light

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Richard Film
Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Nov 23, 2013 at 1:44:38 pm


In February of 2014 I'm gonna buy the Sony PMW-350 including a nanoFlash recorder. I was hoping anyone could help me out on these questions:

Camera: Sony PMW-350L
Lens: Canon KJ20x8.2B ISRD
Memory: SxS-1A 64GB x2
Recorder: nanoFlash HD/SD + HDMI Recorder/Player
SxS card reader: Sony SBAC-US20 USB 3.0

## Sony SxS-1A vs CompactFlash ##
Since the nanoFlash recorder delivers a better quality, I was hoping if anyone could tell me if it would be possible to record to the nanoFlash recorder, without needing there to be a SxS-card inside of the camera (which is the thing I'm reading everywhere).

I own a Sony HVR-Z7, which includes a recorder unit for recording to CompactFlash cards as well. In the menu I can choose EXT. REC ONLY, which doesn't force me to insert a tape to record to CF-cards, since it save me a lot of money on tapes. I was hoping the nanoFlash recorder could do the same.

If I really do need to trigger the nanoFlash manually (or by remote controller), what happens to the inserted SxS-card? Does the camera to both cards simultaneously? Let's say the SxS-1A 64GB-card is full, and I'm recording to this 128GB CompactFlash card initially... what happens then?

## Compatible MatteBox ##

I'm also looking for a decent MatteBox. I came across the website of Redrock Micro and was wondering if this next set would be advised (and complete for setting up):

MatteBox: microMatteBox Deluxe Bundle
Support arm: 15mm Lightweight Support Arm
Support plate: 401-50 LWS Sony universal

## Audio ##

Microphone: Sennheiser MD 42
Transmitter: Sennheiser SKP 300 G3

Lavalier: Sennheiser MKE 40-1053
Transmitter: Sennheiser SK-2000

I'm still looking for a shotgun microphone with these two purposes:
- On-camera mic
- Interview set-up on a stand (most important, has to work outside in windy conditions as well).

I was thinking of buying the Sennheiser MKH-416. I now own a Sennheiser ME66/K6 (connected on the Sony HVR-Z7 directly), but that mic really is a mess. It picks up everything around you. I need one that really does sound like on television/film. Would that require a special powering module? Or a mixer? I prefer no mixer, since I'm basically on-the-fly all the time.

## Camera light ##

I'm filming in situations a lot, where there's all sorts of lightning. What kind of camera lamp would be okay to deal with this? Or are there any that are really worth looking into?

Thanks! :)

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Robin Probyn
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Nov 24, 2013 at 9:26:14 am

when I was using a nano flash,you could record without "media" in the camera.. but only by activating record at the nano flash .. I bought a remote cable eventually.. as a real pain when mounted on the handle when hand held..
Although TC rec activation with media in camera was much easier.. and gave a back up too..
I wouldn't use HDMI if I were you.. totally crap .. always breaking.. BNC SDI out is better if that camera has it..
But I wonder for your purposes .. why not just go with the internal recording to SxS cards.. ? a very tried and proven system of recording.. ??

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Richard Film
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Nov 24, 2013 at 11:26:25 am

Hi Robin,

Thanks for your reply.

I don't have anything against SxS, but since most of my clients prefer an output on a CF card (right at the spot) I was thinking about buying a CF-recorder anyway.

The nanoFlash, for the PMW-350 (4:2:0) gives a higher quality as well, so I made up my mind about buying the recorder.

Though, the combination of the recorder, 64gb SxS/CF-cards is quite expensive.

So I was hoping on dropping the SxS system. Like I said, also because nanoFlash records in many formats (in 4:2:2)

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Michael Palmer
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Nov 24, 2013 at 3:17:05 pm

I'm not sure if you can use the SD adapter system on the 350 or not but if you can you really should consider redundant recording. SD cards are cheap insurance if you ever forget you have the camera features display on and the Nano is recording it over your interview. Note... always use an external monitor from the Nano to see what you are recording. I have owned 2 Nano's from it's beginning, they are bullet proof and I have never had an issue. I like pressing the camera record button over the Nano record button. Believe me you will sleep much better having a second copy of your work.

Also there are plenty of good LED on board lights available and some even have a dimmer knob feature.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer

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Dale West
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Nov 24, 2013 at 1:43:27 pm


Allow me to toss in my 2 pennies worth on the NanoFlash. I have a Nano and a Pix 240 and when I use them with my F3 or Ex3 I always record media in the camera as well. Maybe its just being a little paranoid but one time it saved my bacon. I had an unexplained audio issue. The Pix audio was totally unusable and having the card recorded on the F3 allowed me to give the client both files and they were able to use the sound from the SxS card. Strange issues popping up are not limited to the Pix or the Nano. It can happen with any of the outboard recorders. With the 350 you could just have a couple cards and re-format them once you were able to confirm that the files were good. It is very cheap insurance especially if you are going to be shooting stuff that will happen only one time. Ebay is full of SxS cards.
Id also rethink the 128 CF card. IF there were to be an issue along the way you might risk losing the entire contents of the CF card. I have 4-64Gb cards and even on a heavy shooting day I find that to be plenty. I also agree with Robin. Stay away from the HDMI in the field. HDSDI is the way to go.

As for wireless mics consider using the Sony slot receiver. It will allow 2 channels of audio into the camera via the receiver. You can configure the transmitters in a way that works for you. Perhaps 2 belt packs and one butt plug that you can use with hand mics. The best part is that it doesn't have to be attached to the side of the camera. Its internal. Plus this can allow you to put the Nano is a bracket and attache it to the battery plate.

Camera mic. The 416 is a good all around mic but it is a bit long for on camera use. You might have to buy the adaptor that allows you to attach it back on the body a bit. They are a couple hundred bucks. The mic requires 48volts but the camera outputs that so a mixer isn't needed. Sony also makes a stereo mic for on camera use that is affordable.

For an on-camera light take a look at the Zylite 90 or any of the assorted new LED lights.

Good luck with your purchases.

Dale West Video
North Miami, FL

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Bill Griffin
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Nov 24, 2013 at 4:10:30 pm
Last Edited By Bill Griffin on Nov 24, 2013 at 4:11:26 pm

One note you need to know....I was in the market for a NanoFlash this summer, until I found out that they are no longer being I rented a Atomos Samurai on a shoot in October and I really liked the monitor,which is built in to the unit and the video looked real nice as I had it hooked to my Sony EX-3.

So, you might be able to find a nano online, but you would be buying something that is no longer being made...but I am sure it will be supported Convergent Design.


Bill Griffin
HD Cameraman
Dallas, Texas USA

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Andrew Watts
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:29:08 am

Dear Sir You are thinking of buying a sony PMW350 AND A NANO FLASH as well. What are you using it for? We as a studio have used this gear for two years now and this is what we have found. Firstly if you get the 350 with the Fujon lens it is a good deal saving on the canon lens. But more importunely the 35bps is fine crisp and sharp. The nano flash sounds good pumping up to 140bps But to be frank our customers can't tell the difference its still 4:2:2. We always use a nano flash but only use as a back up incase the Sony SXS Cards fail the bad thing about the Nano flash is it has input wires that can get caught and not record and it zapps camera batteries and the sting in the tail is it takes to long to record when sinked into the on of button on the camera. I would save your moony and go for the PMW400 it records at 50BPS stick to internal recordings with no wires Sony SXS cards are fine and forget the nano flash unless you go for the gemini 4:4:4: but it will cost you about £4000 extra

The question about recording. WE found you have to have a SXS card inside the PMW 350 before you can record to an external nano flash. The sony pmw 350 is a nice light weight recorder the pmw 400 is better because of the higher 50 bps. Regards Andy

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Michael Slowe
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Dec 10, 2013 at 6:56:09 pm

I've just returned from a 'Sony Day' at my suppliers here in the UK and was really impressed with the new PMW 300. It records at 50mbps, has a great viewfinder (eye piece over a much improved screen), and is better than the EX 3 which it replaces.

Michael Slowe

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Andrew Watts
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on Dec 10, 2013 at 11:42:25 pm

That sounds great Sony makes a camera for everyones pocket and need. Regards Andy at Woodland Studios

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pat makiri
Re: Questions Sony PMW-350: Recording nanoFlash + MatteBox + Audio + Light
on May 27, 2014 at 10:08:45 am

In regards to the Nano recording from PMW 350. ive used that combo for 4 years & it works extremely well. As long as you set the nano to time code recording and set the camera to Roll Record & not free run.
Every time you press record on the camera the nano will record also. When you press stop the time code will stop then the nano stops. You must not let the camera run flat or your last file to the nano will be lost "buma" its happened to me a few times. So make sure you record back up on the camera. If you run out of cards on the camera you can press record on the nano but not a very desirable way to operate. Pat

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