XDCAM-USER.COM: My IBC round-up.

XDCAM-USER by Allister Chapman

Well here’s yet another IBC round up. I didn’t get much time to look around the show, I was completely swamped helping people out on the Sony booth (it was great to meet so many of you). So these are just a few things that got my attention. I’ll start with the Sony booth as that’s where I was based.

Of course there was the new XDCAM HD PMW-150. I’ll be getting one for review soon, so full details will come elsewhere and you can read my earlier post with footage from the PMW-150 for more info.

Also on the Sony booth was the NEX-EA50 shoulder mount camcorder. The EA50 has an APS-C sized sensor, so it’s just a little smaller than a Super 35mm sensor. Being a sensor originally developed for stills it’s not quite as optimised for video as the sensor in an FS100 or FS700, but it does a quite reasonable job in most situations although you may get a bit of stair stepping and aliasing or moire in some shots. It is perhaps a little smaller than it looks in many of the pictures, but wow! When you pick this low cost camera up, it really surprises as it feels really well made. The body is nice and solid, the buttons and switches have a good feel. Given that this is an entry level camera I didn’t perhaps expect this high build quality. The demo units were fitted with the new E-Mount servo zoom based on the now familiar Sony 18-200mm f3.5-f6.3 zoom lens (sel18200). This lens will fit on any E-mount camera. The zoom speed is variable but the maximum speed is quite slow, so no crash zooms with this lens. I also noticed some focus shifts as you start to zoom and throughout the zoom range. This was expected, after all this is a very cheap servo zoom based on a stills camera lens and stills zooms are rarely par-focal (constant focus throughout the zoom range). If you used autofocus the lens would hold focus as you zoom, but this isn’t always going to be ideal. I was told by one of Sony’s engineers that they will be improving the focus look-up tables to minimise the focus shifts, but don’t expect it to perform like a $20k broadcast zoom. I think the EA50 will be very popular amongst videographers and schools/colleges on a tight budget but needing a professional looking camera. read more...

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