Sony PMW-100 camcorder brings 50Mbps bitrate in an itty-bitty package
When is full 1920 x 1080 footage not really HD? When a broadcaster rejects it for not meeting its 50Mbps bitrate criteria. There's only a few handheld cameras that can capture video with such gentle compression, and a lot of those require a third-party add-on recorder to achieve it -- but not Sony's new XDCAM shooter, the PMW-100. It has a 1/2.9-inch Exmor sensor sitting behind a 40-400mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens and outputs 1080p, 1080i, and 720p at up to 50Mbps using MPEG HD422 compression. SxS cards are the primary media, but there's HD/SD-SDI output too should you still need it. Sound recording is equally data-heavy, letting you hear interviewees dodge questions in four channels of glorious 24-bit uncompressed 48kHz audio -- unless of course your diminutive kit fools them into thinking you're harmless. The PMW-100 should start shipping in May for an as yet undisclosed price, but in the meantime you'll find more specs in the PR after the break.
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Sony introduces the full-featured yet light and compact PMW-100 handheld camcorder.

The PMW-100 joins the ever popular XDCAM HD422 line-up – making it the smallest and lightest camcorder in the XDCAM family.

Advancement in digital imaging technology has enabled professional journalists and videographers to cover stories by using portable devices such as mobile phones, DSLRs and consumer camcorders. However, when compared to main-stream shoulder mount camcorders, there is still a significant gap in image quality, ease of editing and data management. The PMW-100 achieves the best of both worlds, by recording full broadcast quality MPEG HD422 video within a hand-held form factor.

Equipped with a newly developed 1/2.9-inch "Exmor" CMOS sensor, it delivers excellent picture performance and also achieves the minimum illumination of 0.08lx. Featuring a 5.4-54mm (40-400mm in 35mm equivalent) zoom lens, the versatile PMW-100 allow users to work in virtually any production environment where mobility and flexibility is highly valued.

"The PMW-100 combines exceptional picture quality with portability and outstanding manoeuvrability based on the proven XDCAM workflow, taking professional users to a whole new level of productivity. The development of the PMW-100 is a natural step in the progression of the XDCAM range and is a direct response to our customers requirements. Long-time XDCAM users requested a light and compact camcorder that will not only work seamlessly on its own, but also alongside other XDCAM cameras such as the acclaimed PMW-500," said Bill Drummond, Strategic Marketing Manager, Sony Europe.

The PMW-100 supports full-HD video at 1080i, 1080p and 720p up to 50 Mbps MXF recording and playback based on the MPEG HD422 codec using the standard MPEG HD422 Long GOP compression technology. It is also switchable to MPEG HD420 35/25Mbps or DVCAM 25Mbps. The PMW-100 can also record high quality 24-bit four-channel audio at an uncompressed 48kHz.

It offers utmost flexibility of using a variety of recording media including the high speed SxS memory card as well as Memory Stick, SD card and XQD as the emergency secondly media. The new "SxS Memory Card Management Utility"* software will provide additional operational convenience with SxS memory card, such as the data back-up function and the lifetime indication of the card in use.

Focusing on your subject and reviewing recorded footage is a breeze with the full colour 3.5-inch WVGA (852x480) LCD. The Slow & Quick Motion function enables users to create artistic fast and slow-motion footage from 1fps to 60fps in 720p mode and from 1fps to 30fps in 1080p mode.

The camera also incorporates HD/SD-SDI output, Composite output, Genlock input, time code input/output, i.LINK (HDV/DV) input/output, and A/V output.

The PMW-100 will start shipping in May 2012.

* "SxS Memory Card Management Utility" will be available to download from May 10th.