The Sony PMW-100 XDCAM HD422 Handheld Camcorder offers broadcast-quality 50 Mb/s MPEG-2 recording at 1920 x 1080 in a very compact form factor. Even loaded with an SxS card and the packaged Li-ion battery, the PMW-100 weighs slightly less than 4 lb. That's a crucial benefit for any mobile documentarian or newsgatherer who's operating handheld over the course of long days to cover events & news stories, conduct on-the-spot interviews, and capture video for just about any other professional task.
The handy PMW-100 is a comfortable companion for Sony's entire XDCAM line, including the optical-disc models and the camcorders, like this one, that record HD video to SxS cards. That's because it captures files to either FAT- or UDF-formatted cards, so you can easily integrate the PMW-100 into both XDCAM EX and XDCAM Professional Disc workflows. With two SxS slots that accept cards with capacities up to 64 GB, you can record up to 240 minutes even at the highest quality – that would be Sony's XDCAM 422 MPEG-2 codec, at 50 Mb/s.
Built into the camcorder is a 10x zoom lens that offers a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 40-400mm. Manual control over zoom is available via a Lens Control Ring; that ring can be switched over to focus control if you'd prefer to pull focus manually. Additionally there's a dial for setting exposure manually. The PMW-100 employs a single 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensor (1/2.9" type) that's extremely sensitive, which makes the camcorder suitable for low-light videography. A NightShot function extends that functionality to complete darkness; a built-in infrared LED illuminates the dead of night.
Inputs and outputs are just what you'd expect from a professional camcorder. There's HD/SD-SDI output. For multi-camera shoots, you have timecode input/output and genlock in. There are also dual XLRs for audio, composite video out, and HDMI out.
Several useful features further confirm this small camcorder's status as a truly professional model. Cache recording is possible up to a very generous 15 seconds, so you won't miss a one-time-only event. Continuous recording means that multiple clips can be recorded as a single file, which speeds ingest into your NLE. Selectable gamma curves offer fine control over the look you're capturing – there are six standard gamma curves and four HyperGamma settings, which match those of Sony's high-end CineAlta cameras.
- Single 1/2.9" Exmor CMOS sensor
- Record 50 Mb/s MPEG HD422 as MXF files (UDF mode only)
- SD recording and playback as DVCAM
- 10x fixed zoom lens offers a focal length range of 5.4-54mm, which is equivalent to 40-400mm for a 35mm lens. Zoom operation is switchable between servo and manual
- Two ExpressCard SxS memory card slots. With the appropriate adapters (not included), you can also use Memory Stick media, SD cards, and XQD cards
- Record up to 4 hours of 50 Mb/s MPEG HD422 footage by using two 64 GB SxS-1A memory cards (sold separately)
- A choice between UDF (compatible with XDCAM Professional Disc) and FAT (compatible with XDCAM EX) file format modes ensures that files and workflows will match up with both XDCAM Professional Disc camcorders, such as the PMW-500, and XDCAM EX camcorders, PMW-EX3
- NightShot function employs a built-in infrared LED
- Low power consumption (12-14W)
- Compact and lightweight at under 4 lb
- 16:9, 3.5" color LCD
- Slow and quick motion
- Focus magnification for focus assistance
- Slow shutter function
- Shutter angle settings
- Picture cache recording
- Record up to four channels of high-quality audio (24-bit, 48 kHz) by combining the built-in condenser mic with the external microphone input (microphone sold separately)
- HD/SD-SDI, HDMI, and composite/HD-Y outputs
- USB interface for connecting camcorder as card reader
- Six standard gamma settings and four HyperGamma settings
- Features filter thread for optional filters