- Unparalleled 'full' 1080p high-definition video, huge array of benefits offered by SxS Pro recording format, adjustable handgrip offers extra freedom
- Technology still in its infancy, lens not interchangeable, no SD mode
Like it or loathe it, the PMW-EX1 represents a turning point in the video camera industry; a gradual but indomitable shift away from the comforting familiarity of digital tape. If you're an industry professional, this is where your future will eventually lie.
Price$ 9,460.00 (AUD)
The Sony PMW-EX1 is the world's first professional-level camcorder to use flash memory ExpressCard-based media. As such, it marks an interesting new direction for the digital video industry, which until now, has traditionally stuck to tape. Sporting a Fujinon Professional HD lens specifically designed for this unit, with a trio of 1/2in CMOS sensors and recording capabilities of up to 1920x1080p, it arguably offers the best image quality of any camcorder on the market. It will surely suit any industry professional or independent filmmaker – provided they're bold enough to adopt a pioneering (and unproven) technology.
The release of the PMW-EX1 coincides with Sony's 'SxS Pro' memory card format; a new form of flash media developed by the PCMCIA which complies with the ExpressCard/34 standard. The benefits of SxS Pro are substantial; including the ability to hot-swap between cards while recording, a zippy data transfer speed of 800Mbps, less power consumption (and thus longer battery life) than HDV cams, sound-free operation, and instant access to recorded footage via ExpressCard compatible notebooks. Another advantage offered by the SxS Pro format is the user-friendly way in which data is stored, with each recording appearing on the card as a separate clip. This not only makes playback a simple matter of selecting the appropriate thumbnail, but also ensures you never accidentally record over your footage.
To fit data onto the cards, the PMW-EX1 uses an advanced form of the MPEG-2 Long GOP video codec, capable of compressing high-definition data to a manageable size with almost no loss in video quality. The PMW-EX1 comes equipped with two SxS Pro slots, allowing for up to 140 minutes of continuous recording in SP mode. Currently, SxS Pro memory cards comes in 8GB and 16GB iterations, with larger capacities bound to appear in the future. Interestingly, there are no standard definition options available on this camera; with selectable resolutions limited to 1280x720, 1440x1080 and 1920x1080 (popularly known as 'full HD').
As it makes no concessions to last generation's technology, the PMW-EX1 is perfectly equipped to compete in the high-definition era. Without question, it produced some of the highest quality video we have ever encountered, with unprecedented levels of detail. Depending on setting adjustments, the colours in our test footage ran the gamut from realistically muted to stunningly vibrant; with very few instances of noise. The inclusion of three 1/2-inch Exmor CMOS sensors – each with a pixel count of 2.2Mp – offers a significant boost over most competing units, which typically sport inferior 1/3in sensors. While professional filmmakers are unlikely to be jazzed by the lack of an interchangeable lens, the professional 14x Fujinon zoom (5.8mm-81.2mm, f/1.9) remains a worthy performer.
When it comes to build quality, the PMW-EX1 is just as sleek and professional as you'd expect from a camcorder in this price range. With its overall dimensions of 311.5x178x176mm and weighing in at a hefty 2.8kg, there can be no mistaking its super high-end credentials (a fact bolstered by the saucer sized lens dominating the front of the camera). Like most professional units, the PMW-EX1 sports a serious, no-nonsense black finish with all functions highlighted in white.
Naturally, shooting video with the PMW-EX1 requires constant two-handed operation; not just to navigate controls but also to hold the heavy front-end in place. We were initially a little taken aback by the bulkiness of this unit, as flash memory-based cameras are supposed to be a lightweight format. While it remains relatively portable compared to other high-end cameras, lengthy shoots will almost certainly require a shoulder-mount (or at the least; Rambo-sized biceps). On the plus side, the adjustable handgrip, which swivels through 90 degrees, allows you to keep a solid hold on the camera while shooting at awkward angles. This is a huge boon for roaming freelancers and something that Sony's assorted competitors are sure to adopt.
Being a professional model, the PMW-EX1 is equipped with three independent rings along its lens barrel for focus, iris and zoom. Rather coolly, the focus ring can be pushed forward to trigger auto focus (for extra precision, depth-of-field is displayed in the viewfinder). Anyone who knows their way around a high-end camera should find the control interface a breeze to use.
For audio, a shock-mounted stereo microphone has been built into the carrying handle, along with a pair of professional XLR terminals, a 3.5mm plug-in socket and a sturdy attachment holder for external mics.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Xbox One X
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 TCL X2 review: QLED escapes the premium market
- 2 Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- 3 Acer Spin 5 review: Value for money but conditions apply
- 4 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 5 Sony LF-S50G review: Google Assistant and then some
Latest News Articles
- CES 2018: Ring Bolster Security Offering With Cameras, Lights, Alarms and Subscription Service
- Keep Watch Day and Night with Uniden’s Two-In-One Camera and Spotlight
- Sony make shooting in HDR easy with new 4K camcorders
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories
- Amazon Alexa and Echo set for Febuary launch
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTProject Coordinator - $500 per dayOther
- CCSecurity Business AnalystVIC
- CCIBM Lotus Notes DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Information Security ConsultantNSW
- FTInformation Security AnalystNSW
- CCCISCO Project ManagerACT
- FTAPI DeveloperOther
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java DeveloperQLD
- FTPHP DeveloperOther
- FTLead PHP DeveloperQLD
- CCNetwork Technical Specialist L3 x 2 ? Large Telco ? 6 month contract initiallyNSW
- TPSystems Support AnalystQLD
- CCMid-level Architect/Technical Lead ( Java/J2EE) - BrisbaneQLD
- FTSenior Software EngineerOther
- FTOracle DBAOther
- FTICT Solution Architect - Canberra OpportunityVIC
- FTTest Analyst - AGILE- CMS/Digital/Web projectsOther
- FTCRM Solution ArchitectACT
- TPProject Manager - Call Centre ExpansionVIC
- FTPower BI /SQL DeveloperOther
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- TPTest Analyst / CoordinatorQLD
- FTProject Manager | Onsite ParkingOther
- TPQuality ManagerQLD
- FTTechnical Support Engineer - OnsiteOther