Shooting Slow Motion on Sony PMW200 camera

I don’t usually shoot slow motion. Way too trendy for me, ha ha; but occasionally it seems like a useful choice.

I haven’t been using my Sony PMW200 camera long, and haven’t explored all its features thoroughly. It has been touted as capable of shooting slow and quick motion. So, is it any good?

The short answer is, yes … sort of … maybe. If you can work with the limitations.

Pros: It works.

Cons: The range of available slow motion is extremely limited – as others have pointed out. You can’t shoot in 1080 format – has to be 720. You have to use UDF format on Sony’s SxS cards. Won’t work on SD Card adapters. And the available frame rate is limited to 1-60. In other words, maximum overcranking is twice normal speed.

That’s enough to get a pleasing floaty effect. There are examples posted by others on the web. It looks good – much better than speed changing standard footage within your NLE. But if want to shoot ‘bullet time’, look elsewhere!

So, I have been shooting everything in 1920×1080, 23.97p.

Here is my suggested workflow for using a PMW200 camera to get basic slow motion shots into your project. Bear in mind that you can also do this with PAL 25P projects, but you need to change the camera format etc accordingly. The recipe below is for a project using ProRes1920×1080, 23.97p, editing with Final Cut Pro 7.



1. Select UDF for card setting (Can only use SxS cards)


2.  in OTHERS menu, select NTSC Area, and choose HD422 50/720/23.98P


3. CAMERA SET menu, select S&Q Motion, set frame rate to 60 (or anywhere between 30-60 for slowed motion, 1-30 for quick to normal), and switch setting ON. Beware … it switches itself OFF when camera is powered down.




1. transfer footage from card to computer as normal, using SONY CONTENT BROWSER


(select preferences to change destination of media, then highlight clips for transfer and select Import to FCP in Clip menu.


2. Create Project in FCP Pro Res 1280×720, 24P


3. Import clips you created in Step 1 above into FCP. Then Export to Quicktime to create ProRes 1920×1080 24P file.

4. Import these converted files into a ProRes 1920 x 1080 24p project (essentially this is your master project) and edit freely.


I THINK!!!!  I take no responsibility for wrong turns and dead ends. This works for me.

Good luck.

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A New Model Dark Age

“… all this gibberish about “break old media models and follow new ones” can be very misleading. In the moment, the promise sounds emancipating and possibly even lucrative for creators and entrepreneurs, but over time … we find out we’ve made a deal with the devil”


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Steve Jobs on copyright and piracy

“From the earliest days at Apple, I realised that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software we’d be out of business. If it weren’t protected there’d be no incentive for us to make new software or product designs. If protection of intellectual property begins to dissipate creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason. It’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your own character.”

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Who benefits from Copyright?

Hands up if you think the answer is,”The Walt Disney Corporation”?

And Disney is a Big Business, Big Business is bad and greedy, ergo anthing that benefits Big Business can’t be good for ordinary people. Right?


Artists are ordinary people too. Well, most of them. Creators need to make a buck and feed their families like everyone else.

Artists do what they do for a complex of reasons, and making money isn’t necessarily the most important. But anyone who takes their art seriously sooner or later wants to spend the majority of their time concentrating on it. Good art takes … practice. And to practice, you need to be at least a little bit free of worrying about where next week’s rent money is coming from.

So, if you accept these points, which I do not believe are in any way controversial, read on and see what an open mind might make of the following article:


A brief extract, starting with a discussion about the impact of “new technologies” on the question of “access”, and the proposition by copyright critics that copyright inhibits access (yes it does – it inhibits access by rogue third parties into artist’s pockets).

“It’s tempting to reduce the scope of copyright protection to “permit unfettered use” by new technologies “in order to increase access,” but doing so “risks eroding the very basis of copyright law, by depriving authors of control over their works and consequently of their incentive to create.”

The Justices added these remarks from Abraham Kaminstein, Register of Copyrights during the run-up to the 1976 Copyright Act revision:

I realize, more clearly now than I did in 1961, that the revolution in communications has brought with it a serious challenge to the author’s copyright. This challenge comes not only from the ever-growing commercial interests who wish to use the author’s works for private gain. An equally serious attack has come from people with a sincere interest in the public welfare who fully recognize … ‘that the real heart of civilization… owes its existence to the author’; ironically, in seeking to make the author’s works widely available by freeing them from copyright restrictions, they fail to realize that they are whittling away the very thing that nurtures authorship in the first place. An accommodation among conflicting demands must be worked out, true enough, but not by denying the fundamental constitutional directive: to encourage cultural progress by securing the author’s exclusive rights to him for a limited time.5


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Illegal Downloading Sucks Hard

I guess I do go on like a stuck record, sorry about that; but my consistent posts on this topic are motivated by rational self interest.

And factual research. Yes, piracy is bad, but the message never seems to permeate the Neanderthal skulls of freeloading ‘consumers’, who persist in insisting that the only things they value are their own convenience, and enormous sense of entitlement.

In response to this sane and elegantly argued piece, the ‘comments’ section is duly filled with the same old bogus arguments.

Downloading films illegally is not theft? And it’s not illegal? This tired shibboleth again??? Really?

I don’t actually believe that freetards are that stupid. But I do think they need to get a grip on simple economics, and learn something about morality while they’re at it.

It’s true, there is an argument to be had around questions of supply and demand. But removing an artist’s right to exploit their work as they see fit and to their best advantage is NOT the solution.

Google’s arguments are specious and entirely self serving.

I have to laugh real hard when they say with a straight face that they are concerned that copyright law benefits big business??? SNORT!!!

What a pack of assholes. Copyright laws benefit business, sure. Copyright laws create the possibility of business. They enable artists to make a living from distributing their work. They make it possible for everyone involved in the creation and distribution of creative work to make a living.

Along comes Google, and with a wave of a digital wand, they say, “oh, we can copy this, and make it available for free to anyone that wants it”. Super. Who benefits from that?


What fucking business is it of theirs??? Did they make anything in the first place?

No, they derive their MASSIVE income (Google are the biggest of businesses on this planet today) from people clicking through links to get hold of whatever they need or want. More want than need, actually, but that’s another story.

So, those poor deprived souls in Australia can’t watch Game of Thrones IMMEDIATELY … FOR FREE? They don’t want to give Foxtel so much as a drippy used tissue???

Foxtel (Understand this … I have no love for Murdoch, or others of his ilk) didn’t get GOT by waving a wet tissue. They paid LOTS to get it. This is called a competitive advantage. This is part of what doing business is all about.

If you don;t like FOXTEL, or whatever other big media company happens to have secured  exclusive first run rights … then WAIT a few weeks. It;s not like there’s nothing else to watch meantime.

You want to be first in line? pay for the privilege.

Oh but no. Freetards can’t wait for anything. They know that 300 thieving chums will rip and upload what they crave, so let’s just blind, deafen, and mute any kind of rational consideration of our actions, and let’s all download GOT for FREE …

And then???

Why do all these bonehead freetards find it so difficult to understand that the natural consequence of starving production and distribution companies of cash flow, will inevitably kill them. No more Game of Thrones. The end.

Before anyone starts screaming NETFLIX at me, and yelling that House of Cards was made with real money paid by subsscribers, let me say, yes, precisely my point. House of Cards was really expensive to make, and it was paid for by subscribers. Exactly the same as Game of Thrones, which cost even more to make (way more); it was not paid for by mooching freetards who think that entertainment comes from the sky and is their inalienable human right.

So, yeah, fuck off Google. Your arguments are crap. Anyone with a brain ought to be able to understand that this greedy, grasping digital octopus is exploiting the wild west of the internet to enrich itself at the expense of everyone who actually makes things – they are alienating artists from their creations, and in the process they are robbing people of their livelihoods, and destroying formerly viable productive industries.

We need to reconsider and reframe copyright laws that can effectively bring balance into the current unfair and destructive online environment. Bullies like Google cannot be allowed to prosper on the broken backs of creative people.


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Catching The Tide: Redux

I’ve just spent the last couple of days rescuing one of my old films from dusty neglect. Catching The Tide: Sam Hunts Cook Strait is available to view for free at NZScreen but frankly, the video quality is pretty poor.

I’ve now got my hands on a much better master tape. Still not primo, but comparitively good. Using that I have authored a new DVD, and will also look at putting free clips up on Vimeo, plus VOD streaming for modest cost.

This film will appeal to fans of landscape and poetry. Sam Hunt is New Zealand’s best known poet. He is a natural raconteur, and his genial interactions with various denizens of NZ’s wildest stretch of water provide an informative and entertaining guide to the spirit of a unique place.

Catching The Tide was made for TV in 1988. Many of the people featured in the film have since passed away, but it’s remarkable how little in it has dated. Not sure what that says about my film making. Ha ha. Perhaps there is an upside to being hopelessly unfashionable!

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Do polar bears make friends with dogs?

No. The polar bears and chained dogs famously seen interacting and playing at Mile 5 near Churchill are not ‘friends’.

Read this handy article. It’s light on detail but gets the essential facts right.

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