One of Sony’s big announcements at IBC was the launch of the new PMW-150. The PMW-150 is a 3x 1/3″ XDCAM HD422 camcorder with a 20x zoom lens. The lens is the same as the one on the NX5 NXCAM camcorder and gives a very useful 4.1 – 82.0 mm (equivalent to 29.5-590 mm on 35 mm) range which is reasonably wide and usefully long. It sits below the PMW-200 and above the PMW-100 in the current compact XDCAM HD lineup.
All 3 camcorders record XDCAM HD 4:2:2 @50Mb/s on to SxS cards or XQD* cards or you can also record XDCAM EX 4:2:0 @35Mb/s on to SxS, XQD*, Memory sticks* or SD cards* (*via adapters). They can also record standard definition DV and have a wide range of useful shooting tools like slow motion up to 30fps at 1080p and 60fps at 720p, timelapse and cache record.
Although having a 20x lens on the PMW-150 is very nice the focus, zoom and iris rings are of the round and round servo variety, so there are no calibrated scales for distance and focal length as on the lovely Fujinon 14x lens of the PMW-200. From what I could see from my time shooting with it on the IBC booth the PMW-150 produces a good picture for a 1/3″ camera not a million miles from the pictures from the PMW-200. So if you need that extra zoom range, or your budget won’t quite stretch to the PMW-200 this could be the camera for you. The extra depth of field may help less experienced news shooters, VJ’s and PA’s keep stuff in focus while on the move.
I did manage to grab some footage from all 3 cameras and you can see that in the clip below. What’s nice is how well the colours match between the cameras. Also Sony have significantly improved the image quality from the PMW-100 since I first tried a pre-production unit some months ago.