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The benefits of file-based

GOING UNDERGROUND The need for a shoulder-mounted camera that would work well in low light lead Assan Saine to the PMW-350K

Cameraman Assan Saine is a longstanding fan of Sony’s XDCAM range. He owns a PMW-EX1 and PMW-EX3 camcorder but wanted a bigger, more versatile camera for professional use making corporate films for London Underground and Transport for London’s film unit. “What I needed was a shoulder-mountable camera capable of taking high quality documentary fly-on-the- wall style footage at 1080 25p and 35Mb/s, which would operate well in the type of low light conditions that are commonly encountered filming on the underground,” declares Saine. His first choice was the PMW-350K. “The quality of

the PMW-350K recording at 35Mb/s was amazing,” he says. Built to extend Sony’s popular XDCAM EX solid- state recording range with a new shoulder mount design and high quality recording, complete with three 2/3 inch-type Exmor full-HD CMOS sensors, it offers all the

advanced creative recording features of the PMW- EX1R, along with additional enhancements such as a ‘Scene File System’, which enables operators to call-up customised picture tonal settings, and four channel audio, which is a step up from the EX1 and EX3’s dual channel audio systems. “We use onboard sound for now but with four channel audio I can get a proper sound man and operate separate mics or wireless mic recording in the future,” enthuses Saine. Shooting onto SxS Pro memory, he points out that another major benefit is the simplicity of his workflow. Footage can be rapidly ingested into Final Cut Studio at the film unit’s studio facility where it can be edited, graded and encoded for DVD or turned into Windows Media files for online distribution on the company’s intranet. “This works well because staff can easily access files and we avoid all the DVD encoding issues.”

Summer 2010 theproducer 23

Camera systems such as the PDW-700 and PDW- F800 are fulfilling the need for high quality file- based production at acquisition rates of 50Mb/s while models such as the PMW-EX1 (and the updated model, the EX1R) and EX3 offer a more compact solution, shooting to SxS Pro memory cards. Here we profile four productions that have used cameras from the XDCAM range to good effect. In the case of Grand Designs,Talkback is taking advantage of the convenience of the PDW-700’s dual-layer disc recording, while Predator X and Polar Girls are two documentaries that have found the EX1 packs a powerful punch into a small build. At London Underground, the PMW-350K was preferred as a shoulder-mounted professional camera capable of producing results in low light.



Offering high quality HD at an affordable price, Sony XDCAM offers a solution for many producers exploring the benefits of tapeless

DCAM is becoming an increasingly popular solution for producers tasked with bringing quality to the screen on a budget.

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