These days a camera is only as good as its last firmware update. Sony recently announced the release of v1.1 firmware for the PMW-200, and one of the most exciting new features is the addition of auto back focus adjustment to the camera. Flange Focal Distance – the distance from the back element of the lens to the sensor – needs to stay in tolerance so that the marks on the focus scale can be relied on to be accurate. Since the PMW-200’s lens is built into the body, adjusting the FFD must be done electronically.
Though the FFD should generally stay in tolerance, if you travel a lot with your camera this tolerance may need occasional adjustment. You will know the FFD is out if you notice a focus shift while zooming from telephoto to wide angle. If things get fuzzy while zooming out, chances are you need to perform a back focus adjustment. A focus chart is included as part of the free firmware download from Sony, because the camera needs to see a high-contrast chart with lines in order to set back focus. The camera should be ten feet from the chart to perform this operation.
Another new feature of the v1.1 firmware is the ability to use WiFi with the PMW-200. Once the firmware is installed, the CBK-WA01 WiFi adaptor can be installed on the camera in order to control it via WiFi. Additional updates in the v1.1 firmware include the ability to save all camera settings to a USB card, the ability to carry over settings from another PMW-200, Steady Shot available as an Assign Button, and the ability to set a 1kHz test signal.