The PMW-300 is Sony’s upgrade of the trusty Sony PMW-EX3 camcorder. The main difference is the camera can record internally at the minimum standard for High Definition required by main broadcasters in the UK: MPEG HD422 at 50mbps. Without getting too technical: the PMW-300 records at a higher bit rate (so more image information is recorded) than the EX3 (50 mbps compared to 35mbps) and at a higher colour sampling standard (4:2:2 rather than 4:2:0 – put simply colours are sampled from pairs of pixels rather than from groups of four pixels).
This means the camera can generate better images than the EX3 and is an excellent budget solution for anyone shooting for the UK HD broadcast market or who wants a higher technical standard than the EX3 can provide.
The PMW-300 has the same robust material for the camera body as the EX3 and an interchangeable lens mount. It comes with the same Fujinon 14x times lens as the EX3 and with an adaptor it can also take full size HD lenses. We frequently use the camera with Canon HJ series HD lenses with great results.
The PMW-300 also records onto SxS Pro and SxS-1 cards. These are supplied when you hire the camera. The camera has two SDI outputs (can be set to high or standard definition) and, another upgrade over the EX3, one HDMI output. This gives plenty of options for multi-camera shoots and external viewing.
If you want slow motion, the PMW-300 can over-crank but only in 720P with a maximum 60 frames per second (50 fps in PAL).
We would recommend the PMW-300 for lower budget corporate and other shoots. You will get great images with an easy work flow – the technical spec enhancements over the EX3 are fantastic.
For more details on the PMW-300 go to http://atlastelevision.com/work/sony-pmw-300-camcorder/.
Coming soon: Examples of slow motion possibilities with various cameras and examples of the shallow depth of field different cameras offer.
Until next time, Happy Shooting!