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Nov 3, 2009 12:00 PM, By Dan Ochiva

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Color viewfinder includes colored peaking function to show focus. Price: TBA

Color viewfinder includes colored peaking function to show focus. Price: TBA

You had to figure that sooner or later Sony would move its SxS memory into more of its workaday DVCAM camcorders. It's good technology that is even more attractive now that the company—following Panasonic's introduction of less expensive E-series P2 cards—offers lower-cost versions: the SxS MLC card and the MEAD-MS01 adaptor for use with Sony's Memory Stick Pro HG Duo HX series media.

Well, that's what turns up in Sony's new XDCAM EX PMW-350. The shoulder-mount camcorder kicks it up beyond the usual mid-level camcorders with three of its well-received 2/3in. full-HD CMOS sensors. With greater sensitivity than standard-issue CCDs, the chips deliver an effective pixel count of 1920x1080 along with a signal-to-noise ratio of 59dB.

You can get more elaborate with it if you'd like because it's studio-configurable, with timecode in/out, genlock in, HD/SD SDI, and HDMI out. For the real diehards out there, it even features a DVCAM recording option.

Getting rid of that bulky tape mechanism means that weight can be kept to just more than 7lbs. (without lens), while the mechanism uses just 18W, making it ideal for field production.

If you order the PMW-350K lens package model, you'll get a sharp Fujinon 16x8 autofocus zoom that offers a switchable autofocus/manual focus control. The sliding focus ring is on autofocus if you push it forward, while sliding it back turns it into a manual focus lens with calibrated distance scale. The built-in chromatic aberration correction removes blue and purple colored edges if you happen to be shooting areas of high contrast with uncorrected lenses.

The camera records 4-channel audio—two channels more than its cousins the EX1 and EX3—with, thankfully, controls for each of those four channels (two 3-pin XLR connectors on the rear and a stereo 5-pin XLR at the front).

 Related Links

Leitner's Cinematography Corner, No. 3

Sony Redefines the Capabilities of Solid-state Production with New XDCAM EX Camcorders

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