Sony PMW 200 Menu Quick Start for Broadcast Shooting

Steve Blears Blog, PMW 200


Get shooting quickly with the
Sony PMW 200

Setting up your hired camera eats valuable time on a shoot so here’s my quick start guide to the Sony PMW 200. Shooting with the wrong settings can be a costly error so take a few minutes on the menu. Here are my cock-up proof base settings for broadcast TV.

About the Author / Director

Steve Blears

Twitter

Steve is a shooting producer director with TV credits for Channel 4, BBC & Sky. He's based in NW UK.


Talent Managers: Download my CV & Credits

Get my free newsletter

Sign Me Up


Picture Profile

Before your shoot ask your production manager if they have a specific picture profile they’d like you to load and use. Setting this to off or a standard profile is the fail safe that will give you a bog standard “Rec 709” colourspace. (A broadcast acceptable colour profile.)


Gain

Whenever possible shoot without Gain (also known as ISO). Increasing Gain lightens the picture digitally but also adds a noise or grain. Don’t go crazy with it in low light. Adding 3db to 6db won’t give you problems on this camera.


Wide Conversion

This camera can be fitted with a wide angle adapter/lens. Hire companies often send this out with the camera bundle. Double check this setting is off if you’re not using it.


Audio Inputs

Assuming you are using a shotgun mic and radio mic make sure you XLR inputs for channel 1 & 2 are set to external.


Audio Monitoring

Set your headphones to monitor both channels.


Zebra

I like to shoot with both Zebra’s to correctly expose the image. This setting will give you the first visual warning of areas in the shot with 85% exposure plus total white / blown out at 100%.


Peaking

This camera has a small monitor so I like to use mid level peaking. I find too high a setting can give a false sense of security focus wise.


Display

Spend some time in the display area of the menu. You’ll find audio meters and all sorts of useful on screen help settings here. This camera does tend to slightly over expose in my opinion so I like to use Histogram to get perfect exposure.


Timecode

This will give you a “free run” timecode, essential if you are on a multi camera shoot.


Region

In Europe we shoot PAL. Use NTSC for American productions.

Video Settings

Ask your production manager are you shooting Interlace or Progressive? These are the two broadcast spec settings for capture.
HD422 50/1080/25p (Progressive)
HD422 50/1080/50i (Interlace)


Format Media

Don’t forget to wipe/format your cards!