Hands-On Review: Sony PMW-100 XDCAM HD422 Handheld Camcorder

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The compact and lightweight Sony PMW-100 XDCAM HD422 Handheld Camcorder is designed for the true working broadcast professional. It supports broadcast quality 50 Mb/s MPEG-2 recording in Full HD and records to SxS cards. It features dual card slots, which allow for four hours of total recording time when using the MPEG-2 codec at 50 Mb/s. The camcorder features a 10x optical zoom and the lens has a 40 – 400mm focal length in 35 mm equivalent.

The PMW-100 employs a single 1/2.9" Exmor CMOS sensor that’s extremely sensitive, making the camcorder suitable for low-light videography. There’s a NightShot function as well, which extends that functionality to complete darkness. And there’s also a built-in infrared LED light. The PMW-100 is equipped with all the standard professional inputs and outputs, including an HD/SD-SDI output, timecode input/output, headphone jack and genlock in. There are also dual XLRs for audio, composite video out and HDMI out. Other features include Cache recording up to 15 seconds, continuous recording and selectable gamma curves for controlling 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.

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It is a pity that Sony didn't include a half-inch CMOS sensor instead of a one-third, especially at this price. The Canon XF100 uses cheaper CF cards, which makes it a better choice for the price yet within the same type of category. If the price were to come down by at least US$500, then it might represent value for money. Hopefully some of the newer Kickstarter video camera projects might inspire Sony and others, to start giving us the kind of products we need at the prices that we want.

No ND filter? Come on Sony!

You got to be kidding me! Who did they design this camera for, CNN?
No ND filters, and a single lens adjustment ring.
The only selling feature is that it will do 4:2:2, but look at what they make you give up.....

And there is no jack to allow wired remote control the zoom. Only with an add on wireless adapter and app (what a joke)!