Sony has completed its update of its professional, handheld camcorders to the 50Mbps broadcast specification, by announcing the PMW-300.
Available from October this year, the new camcorder will replace Sony’s EX3 and fit in below the full shouldermount, PMW-400.
Like the EX3, the PMW-300 will feature an interchangeable lens. Two lens kit options are being offered: a 14x zoom, available at launch, and a 16x zoom, slated for later in the year.
The camera is based around the half-inch 3CMOS sensor design used in the handheld PMW-200, with a maximum recording rate of 50Mbps with 422 colour. Unlike the PMW-200 though, the PMW-300 will be upgradable to Sony’s upcoming XAVC format. The new camera also has a more flexible set of media options, including SxS cards, SD, XQD and also Memory Stick recording.
Sony says that the new camcorder is designed to be robust, with a magnesium body. But the main departure from the PMW-200 is in the camera’s ergonomics.
The EX3 won fans among both documentary makers and corporate video producers for its flexibility: although primarily a handheld camcorder, it can also be used on the shoulder. Film makers familiar with full broadcast camcorders also praised the EX3’s handgrip and loupe-style viewfinder.
The PMW-300 is similar to the design of the PMW-200 in some ways, but adds a viewfinder that is closer in style to the PMW-400 and PMW-500, as well as a rotary handgrip. An extending shoulder pad is at the rear of the camera, allowing it to be used on the shoulder as well as in the hand or on a tripod.
Sony says it is also developing a wireless adapter specifically for the camera, which will feature WiFi viewing as well as file transfers and metadata capture. The camera retains the EX3’s remote control interface for use in studio or 3D applications.
Update: we’re told by Sony dealers that they expect the PMW-300 with 14x zoom to cost around £6000 plus VAT in the UK, around £500 more than the current price of the EX3. We also understand that the EX3 is now discontinued.
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