A Compact Full-HD Camcorder With SxS PRO Recording, for an Evolving Era of HD
The XDCAM EX series adopts the SxSPRO memory card for its recording media, which Sony and SanDisk Corporation jointly developed specifically for professional content creation applications. The SxS PRO memory card is an ultra-compact nonlinear medium that uses flash memory with a number of key features:
The PMW-EX1 camcorder records 1920 x 1080 HD images using the "MPEG-2 Long GOP" codec, which conforms to the MPEG-2 MP@HL compression standard. "MPEG-2 Long GOP" is a mature codec - also adopted by the XDCAM HD and HDV 1080i series of products - which enables users to record stunning-quality HD video and audio with highly efficient, reliable data compression.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder offers a choice of bit rates - either 35 Mb/s (HQ mode) or 25 Mb/s (SP mode) - depending on the desired picture quality and recording time. The HQ mode supports both 1920 x 1080 and 1280 x 720 resolutions. The SP mode supports 1440 x 1080 resolution at 25 Mb/s, 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. It can also be recorded on XDCAM HD's optical disc through the use of the supplied Clip Browser software.
Utilising a mature and highly efficient compression format together with high performance SxS memory cards, the PMW-EX1 can record superb quality HD images for an exceptional 70 minutes* on a single 16Gb SxS card. As the PMW-EX1 features two memory card slots, this recording time is easily doubled to 140 minutes (with two 16Gb cards) and when recording across two cards, the transition is seamless without any frame loss. This feature makes the PMW-EX1 an ideal camcorder for a wide variety of content production applications, including wedding and event shooting, that require a long recording time.
*When recording in HQ (35 Mb/s) mode, recording time may be more than the above specified figure depending on the actual bit rate that is adopted during VBR encoding.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder offers a wide array of recording formats for multiple content creation applications. Scanning mode is switchable between 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, and 1440 x 1080 resolutions. Frame rate is also selectable from interlace and progressive - 59.94i, 50i, 29.97P, 25P, and native 23.98P*.
In addition, 59.94P and 50P progressive recording is available in 1280 x 720 mode. The SxS memory card can simultaneously hold multiple files of any of these recording formats, allowing for flexible use of the memory card.
*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 pull-down.
In addition to HD video recording, high-quality audio is an equally significant feature in the XDCAM EX system. The PMW-EX1 camcorder records and plays back high-quality, two-channel 16-bit, 48-kHz linear PCM uncompressed audio.
With the XDCAM EX series, recordings are made as data files in the "MP4" format, which is widely used in a number of recent electronic portable devices and has been standardized by ISO.
The file-based recording allows material to be handled with great flexibility in an IT-based environment - easily available for copying, transferring, sharing, and archiving. All these operations are accomplished without any "digitizing" process required.
File-based data copying allows for degradation-free dubbing of AV content, which can be performed easily on a PC. The file-based recording system also allows for material to be viewed directly on a PC - simply by inserting the SxS memory card into the ExpressCard slot on a PC or Mac, or by linking a PC/Mac to the XDCAM EX unit via a USB2 connection. This works in just the same way as a PC reading files on an external drive. The file-based operation can dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of professional video applications.
By virtue of recording on flash memory card, the XDCAM EX can start recording virtually the instant the camcorder is turned on. Moreover, the XDCAM EX system automatically records on an empty area of the card - there's no danger of overwriting existing content.
This is extremely convenient, as camera operators do not have to worry about accidentally recording over good takes, and they don't have to search through footage for the correct position to start the next recording. In short, it means the camera is always ready for the next shot!
Each time a recording is started and stopped on the XDCAM EX camcorder, the video and audio signals are recorded as one clip. During playback, users can cue-up to the next or previous clip simply by pressing the 'Next' or 'Previous' button, as you would do on a CD or DVD player.
Furthermore, thumbnails are automatically generated for each clip as a visual reference, allowing operators to cue-up to a desired scene simply by guiding the cursor to a thumbnail and pressing the 'Play' button.
For further convenience, the 'Expand' function allows one selected clip in the Thumbnail display to be divided into 12 even-time intervals, each with their own thumbnail identifier. This is useful if you want to quickly search for a particular scene within a lengthy clip.
The PMW-EX1 is equipped with three newly developed 1/2-inch type Exmor™ CMOS Sensors, each with an effective pixel count of 1920 (H) x 1080 (V), which delivers excellent picture performance with full HD resolution. This 1/2-inch type image sensor, using Sony's advanced accumulated sensor technologies, allows the camcorder to provide an excellent sensitivity of F10, a remarkable signal-to-noise ratio of 54 dB, and a high horizontal resolution of 1000 TV lines*.
In addition, this large 1/2-inch type image sensor can capture images with a shallower depth of field than smaller-size image sensors, giving users more creative freedom of expression. What's more, the Exmor CMOS sensor is a unique design that deploys an A/D converter to each column of pixels, resulting in a much lower clock speed than conventional CMOS sensors. This makes it possible to greatly reduce power consumption of the camcorder.
*In 1920 x 1080/59.94i mode
The PMW-EX1 is equipped with a superb Fujinon 14x zoom lens specifically designed for the PMW-EX1 to offer optimum picture performance. It offers a wide angle of view of 5.8 mm (equivalent to 31.4 mm on a 35 mm lens), and many other convenient features for diverse shooting situations.
The lens adopts a newly developed and unique focus ring mechanism, which offers two types of manual focus, plus an auto focus operation. The PMW-EX1 camcorder is equipped with two independent focus wheel mechanisms, which can be switched by sliding the focus ring itself back and forth.
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.
In addition to the unique focus ring, the PMW-EX1 camcorder is equipped with independent rings for zoom and iris adjustment. These are located adjacent to the focus ring, in the same layout as is common on shoulder-type camcorders. This gives users a high level of operational comfort and control.
The AF (Auto Focus) Assist function enables operators to manually change focus positions using the focus ring during AF mode. This means that AF reference focus positions can be shifted to manually changed positions.
The MF (Manual Focus) Assist function helps to precisely focus on the target subject when shooting in MF mode. When the MF Assist is turned on, auto focus is momentarily activated and finely focuses on the subject closest to the focal point of the lens at that time.
At the touch of a button, the center of the screen on the LCD monitor and viewfinder can be magnified to about twice normal size, making it easier to confirm focus settings during manual focusing.
The Peaking function can help operators to adjust the camera's focus more accurately by altering the way pictures are displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder. It can enhance the outline of the image, which the camera focuses on most, and change its colour to make it more visible. Enhance levels can be selected from a choice of "HIGH", "MIDDLE", and "LOW", and the outline colour from "RED", "WHITE", "YELLOW", and "BLUE".
To minimize the blurring effect caused by hand-shake, the new lens incorporates an optical image stabilizer function that provides highly stable images.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder is the first handheld camcorder to be a member of the legendary Sony CineAlta™ family. It offers native 23.98P* recording which, in combination with advanced creative features such as selectable gamma curves, makes this camcorder ideal for cinema production.
*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 pull-down.
The PMW-EX1 offers a powerful Slow & Quick Motion function - commonly known as over-cranking and under-cranking in film shooting - that enables users to create unique 'looks' or special effects with slow- and fast-motion images.
The PMW-EX1 can capture images at frame rates selectable from 1 fps (frame per second) to 60 fps in 720P mode and from 1 fps to 30 fps in 1080P mode, in increments of 1 fps. For example, when viewed at 23.98P, images captured at 60 fps will appear 2.5 times slower than normal. Conversely, images captured at four fps will appear six times faster than normal.
With the Slow & Quick Motion function of this camcorder, images are recorded natively without interpolating the frames. This means the quality of the slow- and fast-motion images is extremely high and incomparable to those created in the editing process. In addition, these slow- and quick-motion images can be played back immediately after shooting, without using any converters or processing on nonlinear editing systems.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder offers a Slow Shutter function for capturing clear images in low-light environments. This allows the shutter speed to be extended to a maximum of 64 frames. The Slow Shutter function not only increases camera sensitivity but also produces a special blurring effect when shooting a moving object, for enhanced shooting creativity. The shutter speed is selectable from 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 16-, 32-, and 64-frame periods.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder offers a wide variety of gamma curves to flexibly handle contrast and give a specific 'look' to an image. In addition to four types of standard gamma curves, the PMW-EX1 provides four types of CINE Gamma (CINE 1, 2, 3, and 4), which are identical to those of other CineAlta camcorders. Operators can select the best-suited preset gamma curve, depending on scenes.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder offers an Interval Recording function that records signals at pre-determined intervals. This is convenient for shooting over long periods of time, and also when creating pictures with special effects of extremely quick motion.
Frame Recording is a unique feature of the PMW-EX1 camcorder that is especially useful for stop-motion/clay animation shooting. Using this function, images for pre-determined frames are recorded every time the Record button is pressed.
In addition to the electronic shutter speed controls, the PMW-EX1 also has a "shutter angle" control - which is familiar to film users. By setting the shutter speed to "angle", the PMW-EX1 automatically operates with the proper exposure time, determined by the selected frame rate and the shutter angle.
The Picture Profile feature allows camera operators to easily call up customized picture-tonal settings to suit particular shooting conditions, rather than having to readjust the camera each time - giving users greater operational efficiency. Up to six different picture-tonal settings such as the parameters of matrix, colour correction, detail, gamma and knee can be saved in the memory. These settings are displayed on the LCD monitor at the touch of a button.
A Depth-of-field Indicator can be displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder to help camera operators easily recognize the depth-of-field of a scene, and thereby produce their desired images.
The average brightness level of the centre of a frame can be displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder as a percentage. This is useful when a waveform monitor is not available for shooting.
The Histogram Indicator can be displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder, allowing operators to easily evaluate the distribution of brightness on currently captured images. This enables proper exposure control of iris, gain and gamma.
The PMW-EX1 is equipped with a newly developed, large, easy-to-view, colour LCD screen with a high resolution of 1920 x 480 pixels. The LCD screen is located in an easy viewing position on top of the camera and can be flexibly rotated according to shooting angles - which is convenient when using it as a viewfinder. When not in use, it folds underneath the housing for the built-in stereo microphone.
The LCD Screen can also be used to instantly review recorded footage, as well as access the camera's set-up menus and view thumbnail display status indications such as audio meters, depth-of-field indicators, and the remaining memory and battery time. What's more, the Hybrid LCD screen - which comprises transmissive and reflective panels - offers clear viewing even in bright sunlight..
*Viewable area measured diagonally.
The 0.54-inch colour LCD viewfinder displays high-resolution colour pictures of approximately 250,000 pixels in a wide-screen aspect ratio of 16:9. Operators can switch the display mode between colour and monochrome according to their preference.
The grip of the PMW-EX1 can rotate 90 degrees, which allows camera operators to flexibly adjust the angle of the grip. This gives users greater comfort during low-angle and high-angle shooting.
Frequently used functions can be programmed onto four assignable buttons, allowing operators to make rapid changes when working in the field. These can be functions such as ATW, Freeze Mix, Rec Review, Expanded Focus, Depth-of-field and more.
In order to facilitate zoom control and recording operation during low-angle shooting, an additional zoom switch and record start/stop button are located on the carrying handle.
The Shot Transition function allows for smooth automatic scene transitions. The operator can program start and end settings for zoom, focus, and white balance into the A/B buttons and, by pressing the start button, a smooth transition will take place according to the set time. It works by automatically calculating the intermediate values during the scene transition. The start of this function can be synchronized with the camera's REC start function.
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.
With the supplied BP-U30 battery attached, the PMW-EX1 can record continuously for approximately two hours, while the optional BP-U60 battery extends the operating time to approximately four hours.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder comes equipped with a wide range of interfaces optimized for a variety of operational needs. These include an HD-SDI output, down-converted SD-SDI output, i.LINK (HDV) input/output, USB2 and analogue composite/component output.
Only SxS memory cards are guaranteed for use with the XDCAM EX. USB based memory cards cannot be used with the XDCAM EX range. USB based memory cards might work with the XDCAM EX range in some cases, but Sony does not guarantee that all the functions will operate. The performance of USB based memory cards can vary.