Twenty Questions to help you decide
which of the new Sony HD422 Handycams
will work best for you!




by Doug Jensen, Vortex Media

Since their introduction in 2007, the Sony XDCAM EX camcorders have revolutionized videoproduction. The combination of file-based recording, SxS memory-card workflow, and Sony’s industry-leading camcorder technology opened up new ways of working to broadcast and production facilities around the world. Now, Sony has expanded the XDCAM line-up with three new camcorders that bring broadcast-quality specifications to a small form-factor. The PMW-200, PMW-160, and PMW-100 provide 4-channels of 24-bit audio and record at a data rate of up to 50 Mbps using an MPEG-2 4:2:2 compression technology called MPEG HD422. The camcorders feature multi-format recording at 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97P, 1080/23.98P and nearly 50 other formats.

To learn more about the similarities and differences among the three new HD422 cameras, CLICK HERE and watch episodes of Sony's new "XDCAM Essentials" video series.

Although the new camcorders look similar and share a lot of the same features and functions, they are different in many ways that aren't so obvious -- and that can make it difficult for you tochoose which of them would be best for YOU. For instance, a camera that might be the perfect choice for one person, may be the wrong choice for someone else. There is no single "best" camera that would be the ideal choice for everyone -- and that's why Sony has literally dozens of professional camera models to choose from!

At Vortex Media, we are in the business of training people HOW to use their new camera -- not necessarily recommending which camera to purchase. Why? Because it normally takes a lot of time to analyze an individual's needs, budget, shooting style, and level of experience in order to recommend the right camera. However, with that in mind, we've produced a simple 20-question survey to help you decide which HD422 camera might be right for you.

If you answer the following questions honestly, I am confident that this survey can point you in the right direction and help you determine which camera would meet YOUR needs best. So, without further ado, here are the 20 questions:


Do you currently own or shoot regularly with any of Sony's other XDCAM EX or XDCAM HD camcorders?



What is the most money you have ever spent on a single camera?



Do you ever use auto-focus or auto-iris on the camera(s) that you shoot with right now?



Do you think you'll regularly use this camera for hand-held shooting?



When shooting handheld, do you usually use the flip-out LCD or the viewfinder at the rear of the camera?



Does the ability to operate your camera wirelessly via a WiFi enabled mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.) to control zoom, focus, start/stop recording, and add embedded ShotMarks appeal to you?



All other things being equal, do you prefer the smallest and lightest camcorder possible?



Is the ability to use a wired remote zoom control important to you?



Is the ability to shoot in total darkness (using infrared illumination) important to you?



Do you often shoot outdoors in bright daylight?



Do you shoot wildlife, sports, or other subjects where a long telephoto lens is beneficial?



Do you shoot in situations/locations where having a wide-angle lens is important?



Do you prefer to shoot with auto-exposure turned on, or do you usually set the exposure manually?



Do you prefer to shoot with auto-focus turned on, or do you usually focus the lens manually?



Is macro focus an important feature to you?



If you’ve used other cameras that had Assign Buttons, did you customize them so they could be used for the particular functions you preferred?



What is the most common destination (delivery format) of the finished (edited) productions that you work on?



Will the new camera you are considering buying be used as your primary camera?



Is most of your annual income derived from working as a professional in the video/media production industry?



How often do interviews or other types of “talking head” shots play a major part in your shooting?





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