Sony's PMW-EX1R XDCAM EX HD Camcorder is the impressive successor to the popular PMW-EX1. While retaining everything that was right about the previous camera, Sony has listened to its professional users and taken several steps forward, not only improving ergonomics and convenience, but bringing a whole new set of features to the world's only full HD compact camcorder.
Like its predecessor, the PMW-EX1R's core is its three 1/2"-type CMOS sensors and 14x Fujinon zoom lens. This heavyweight imaging combo captures full 1920 x 1080 hi-def images to solid state SxS PRO memory cards (sold separately) at multiple bit rates, resolutions and frame rates. Whether you're shooting weddings, documentaries or feature films, there's a frame rate and resolution for you--from 60fps and native 23.98p recording at 720p, to 1fps at 1080i. SxS PRO cards of up to 64GB in capacity can be used. For 64GB cards, the camera will require software version 1.15 or greater installed from Sony's website. The way to install it is by downloading the version to a computer, connecting the camera to the computer by USB cable, and selecting the upgrade option in "Others" tab of the camera's menu table. If your computer has an SxS slot, you can just transfer the downloaded file onto the SxS card and then pop the card into the camera to transfer the download, which in this case also you would do through the "Others" menu. 64GB cards can record 200 minutes in HQ mode and 280 in SP mode.
But along with its already proven imaging abilities and professional workflow, the PMW-EX1R expands its usability by offering DVCAM SD recording, XDCAM HD compatibility, and HDMI output. That means no more time-consuming downconverting or transcoding to work in different formats or with different recording and playback devices. Other new features add even more convenience and flexibility, including a high-resolution 1.23MP viewfinder, Cache Record, one-click S&Q button, auto iris, and even image inversion for flipping the image while shooting with a 35mm adapter. Make no mistake: the Sony PMW-EX1R is the first HD compact camcorder that truly does have it all.
The SP mode supports 1440 x 1080 resolution at 25Mbs, which provides compatibility with HDV 1080i products. Footage recorded in this SP mode can be seamlessly integrated into HDV-compatible editing systems by transferring the stream from the camcorder via the i.LINK (HDV) interface.
The PMW-EX1R also supports 25Mbs DVCAM recording in either PAL or NTSC modes, again providing seamless integration into existing DVCAM workflows, offering ultimate flexibility worldwide.
These cards are developed specifically for professional content creation applications with a number of key features:
- Compatible with ExpressCard/34 interface slot which is common on modern Windows PCs and Macs
- Uses PCI Express interface and achieves an extremely high "read" speed of 800 Mbs*
- Large storage capacity: SBP-16 (16 GB) and SBP-32 (32 GB) memory cards are available
- Can record up to 140 minutes of HD video and audio (using one 32-GB memory card)
- Compact size: approx. 75 x 34 x 5 mm (excluding the projecting parts)--half the size of the older PC Card standard
- Low power consumption
- Highly reliable: can resist shocks (up to 1500 G) and vibrations (up to 15 G)
- Affordability: SxS-1 media (introduced in late 2009) provides users with a lower cost alternative to SxS PRO media that offers the same high performance, but with an estimated 5-year life span when recording at full capacity once per day. Users can check the card life on their PMW-EX1R and PMW-350 camcorders and even see an alarm when the data rewriting limit is reached.
*This data-transfer speed is a theoretical value. Actual data-transfer speed depends on the file type and the performance of the PC.
When the focus ring is in the front position, the lens works in the same way as a typical auto focus lens on a handheld camcorder. In this case, either manual or auto focus mode can be selected by the AF/MF switch on the lens. On the other hand, when the focus ring is set to the back position, the lens has an absolute focus position, and works in the same way as interchangeable-lens cameras, which professional users are familiar with.
*When recording in HQ (35Mbs) mode, recording time may be more than the above specified figure depending on the actual bit rate that is adopted during VBR encoding.
In addition, 59.94P and 50P progressive recording is available in 1280 x 720 mode. In SD mode, both 50/60i and 25P/30P modes are supported.
*In 1440 x 1080 and 1920 x 1080 modes, 23.98P images are handled as 23.98P and recorded as 59.94i signals through means of 2-3 pulldown.
*In 1440 x 1080/23.98P (SP) mode, images are handled as 23.98P and recorded as 59.94i signals through means of 2-3 pulldown.
The transition progress can be checked using an indicator displayed on the LCD monitor. In addition, a start timer function is also available for the Shot Transition function, helping to prevent operators from missing a shot. This function is very useful when complex camera settings are required during the scene transition--for example, when shooting subjects moving from the background to the foreground of a scene.
- Built-in ND filter wheel: 1: Clear, 2: 1/8ND, 3: 1/64ND
- Selectable gain: -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 dB
- High-speed picture search: x4, x15
- Freeze Mix function
- Skin-tone Detail control
- Low-key saturation