Sony PMW-EX1 Video Camera Review


Sony video camera ready to work.

The PMW-EX1 is a professional video camera from Sony using solid-state-only format storage on a SxS memory card created on the ExpressCard interface format. This move can be compared to Panasonic’s P2 solid state video cameras except SxS offers faster and robust transfer rates.

It uses a Fujinon HD lens which is a great improvement from the Sony Z1 HDV cam. It has a manual focus ring with end-stop which lets the user know whether they have reached minimum focus or infinity.

This is a welcome change since without the presence of end-stops, focusing can be very vague due to the indefinite turning of the focus ring. This feature also distinguishes professional kits from consumer level camcorders.

The camcorder has a 14x optical zoom and wider lens compared to the Z1 which offer better footages within confined spaces like car interiors. It uses three 1/2-inch CMOS processor offering true 1080×1920 resolution for clear and detailed scene capture with the use of 35Mb/s variable bit rate codec.


  • The camera offers user friendly functions
  • It has a very clear LCD display
  • Even though the  camera uses a fixed lens, it offers manual controls.
  • The Cinealta Gamma feature offers eight gamma to choose from to achieve a certain film look


  • The camera is relatively heavy
  • Handheld shooting can be uncomfortable


  • Optical Zoom: The camera has a 14x optical zoom
  • Image Sensor and Resolution:  The camera uses three 1/2 inch CMOS sensors
  • Video Capture Resolution: It has a full 1080×1920 effective pixels
  • Shutter Speed: The shutter speed on the camera is 1/33 to 1/2000 sec
  • Focal length: It has f = 5.8 to 81.2 mm focal length
  • Media Format Digital Video: The item can store in a SxS cards
  • Video Capture Format HD: The camcorder captures and stores the video files in MPEG-2 in
  • HQ mode: VBR, maximum bit rate: 35 Mb/s, MPEG-2 MP@HL
  • SP mode: CBR, 25 Mb/s, MPEG-2 MP@H14
  • Recording frame rate: NTSC setting HQ mode: 1920 x 1080/59.94i, 29.97P, 23.98P, 1280 x 720/59.94P, 29.97P, 23.98P
  • SP mode: 1440 x 1080/59.94i PAL setting
  • HQ mode: 1920 x 1080/50i, 25P, 1280 x 720/50P, 25P
  • SP mode: 1440 x 1080/50i
  • Continuous operating time:  Continuous capture lasts approximately four hours with BP-U60 battery and Approximately two hours with BP-U30 battery
  • Color: The item comes Black color


  1. USB cable
  2. A/V cable
  3. Component video cable

The Sony PMW-EX1 Action Cam Price

The Sony PMW-EX1 can be usually bought at $1600 with a shipping fee of $4.49.

What customers have to say about the camcorder:

The customers rated this product a perfect 5 stars.

“ This is not a technical review! I’m a screenwriter and film director and formerly exclusively worked on 35mm and 16mm. I bought the PMW-EX1 in January 2008, shortly after its release and have just shot an arthouse feature film on it. This is undoubtedly the best thing since Super 16mm for filmmaking. In fact I prefer it to 35mm: if you set your scene up smartly, you need almost no lighting. It is light and manageable, so you do not need a huge camera crew. We shot ‘documentary style’ and our crew consisted of myself, as director, a cameraman, a sound recordist, a continuity/logger, a production manager, and two general assistants. It was a pleasure filming and it was only possible to make a professional film this way because of the EX1.”

“This camera is an absolute winner for Sony! Incredible full-blown 1080p HD. This is the Panasonic HVX-200 killer. But then, it surpasses the HVX in almost every catagory…from chip size, pixel size & number, Fujinon lens, to the much better SxS Flash Express recording medium. Oh, and did I mention the fantastic, in-camera, slow motion (and fast motion) which is silky smooth. What’s not to love?”

“Superb camera for it’s price point (under 10k). Nothing in it’s comparable market comes close to this camera. Great build quality, 3x half-inch sensors, superb image – handles blacks really well, and very well designed. Perfect 2nd camera for larger productions or 1st camera for lower budget docs.”

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