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A First Look: The New Sony PMW-400
ENG style cameras are not typically known for their low light shooting, a function championed by the large sensor camera craze. Sony previewed their new shoulder mounted Sony PMW-400 at this year’s NAB and it touted some of the best low light shooting locations. It is the newest in the XDCAM HD422 series of cameras and has a 2/3 inch EXMOR full HD 3CMOS sensor in an ENG body. It can shoot in MPEG 422 at 50 Mbps, in High Definition 420 at 35 Mbps, MPEG IMX at 50mbps, DVCAM in standard definition, and has support for the new XAVC codec with a future upgrade.
Many video crews in Chicago and other parts of the country will have a use for this camera.
“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.”
What Sony had in mind in the PMW-400 is making an ENG camera with better versatility in the field as well as highly capable studio camera. For its low light credentials, Sony uses 3D Noise Reduction and the Sony PMW-400 touts an F12 aperture for 1080/60i and 720/60p and an F13 aperture for 1080/50i and 720/50p. Along with this option is a free future firmware upgrade in November 2013 for their Flash Band Reducer. Instead of the post production flash band reduction to help compensate for flashing of light deteriorating the video; Sony’s Flash Band Reducer utilizes an algorithm that processes flash banding prior to recording. This option makes the camera a valuable field commodity, but Sony has also made it with studio environment in mind. The PMW-400 has 2 SDI outputs for multiple video devices and offers an option CBK-CE01 interface that allows the camera to connect to either Sony’s CA-FB70 optical fiber adapter or the CA-TX70 digital triax adapters. With these connections you transmit high quality signals over great distances and use the PMW-400 just as you would any CCU in a studio environment.
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 sensitivity and low noise.
Whether shooting in the studio or in the field the Sony PMW-400 is an excellent solution for ENG shooting needs. The Sony PMW-400 is slated for release in August of 2013.