Shooting with the Sony PMW-200 in Hostile Environments

1 Apr 2014 - Video Production, Professional Video

From: Sony Professional

The PMW-200 is quickly becoming the camera of choice for filmmakers in areas of conflict. It’s extremely portable and its auto settings when run-and-gun shooting ensures superb image quality whatever the conditions.

Documentary makers Olly Lambert and Jezza Neumann are that rare breed of filmmaker, prepared to undergo great risks to their personal safety and wellbeing to uncover incredible stories of life in some of the world's most dangerous and hostile environments.

From war zones to refugee camps, Lambert and Neumann shoot films where everything has to be captured on the fly, requiring a fuss-free camera that's able to be picked up and ready to use instantly and reliable enough to always produce the goods whatever the circumstances.

For both Lambert and Neumann, that camera is the Sony PMW-200. In this informative and thought-provoking film, they reveal what it is about the PMW-200 that makes it their camera of choice for shooting in conflict zones and in the most difficult of conditions.

An all-round tool

What I’m looking for in a camera is not just it being able to take very good pictures; it has to be quite an all-round tool - very ergonomic, very adaptable, to be able to manage things automatically if I need it to, and to be able to rig it and de-rig it very, very quickly.

Lambert says the PMW-200 truly fulfils his well-defined brief for a camera to take into a conflict zone: “What I’m looking for in a camera is not just it being able to take very good pictures; it has to be quite an all-round tool in terms of it being very ergonomic, very adaptable, to be able to manage things automatically if I need it to, and to be able to rig it and de-rig it very, very quickly and for it to be very portable.”

“The 200 has a bigger sensor than most cameras, so if I have time, I can sit down and be quite measured, get quite a nice shallow depth of field,” adds. “But similarly, if something is happening that’s very kinetic, that’s unrepeatable, where I’m having to not only watch my characters in my story but watch my own personal safety, then it’s a very ergonomic camera and I can switch it to automatic functions if I need to.”

Fantastic picture quality

Meanwhile, Neumann says: “For me, the PMW 200 is fantastic in many regards. It’s small enough that it’s portable. It’s got a fantastic balance to it. The design and the layout, and having the audio levels on the side are great. Even under a standard out-of-the-box set-up, the picture quality is fantastic with this camera – it’s got a really nice depth to it, nice contrast. The fact that you can even play with that in picture profiles means, if you want more of a dramatic look, you can crush your blacks a bit more and you can bring more out in your colours.”

For more information, please contact a Sony Professional Solutions Specialist.