Second unit preference - PMW-EX3 or HVR-S270? at DVinfo.net

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Old September 18th, 2008, 03:02 AM   #1
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Second unit preference - PMW-EX3 or HVR-S270?

Hi again,

Ok, we have another option to dealing with the insurance company dilemma whereas I have no camera while mine is being assessed then repaired or replaced...

A few weeks ago I was considering a second unit for the company. It might be worthwhile me getting the second unit immediately to fill in while my camera gets repaired or fixed which may take some weeks.

So for the second unit I have the following options:

The Sony PMW-EX3 or Sony HVR-S270.

To be honest, I like the idea of the EX3, and I know the pictures would be brilliant, but this will need to be used primarily for news and therefore I thought the S270 might be more user-friendly (and more acceptable to the reporters) and closer to the DSR-570 it will be complimenting (I don't have to worry about what format I use because I always feed or FTP my vision to my clients). I have a DVCAM deck in the office for editing from and mastering to at the moment.

The S270 has 4 channels of audio, too, which is nice, and can be used in DVCAM mode which works well with FTP-ing (read quickly) and the CF card will be a boon for dragging files straight into the NLE without any conversion. It can also use my D-Tap light (no big deal, but a consideration).

What are your thoughts? Are EX-3 style cameras acceptable as a main news camera yet? Or are reporters still wanting you to have that big, shoulder mount camera?

Does the EX-3 work well as a news camera?

Cheers,

David
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Old September 18th, 2008, 04:09 AM   #2
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My first thought was the EX3 - 1/2" chips, and full 2Mp chips, whereas the S270 has 1Mp chips. Also, the SxS cards directly plug into modern laptops.

But I understand that currently much of your work is SD, and anything done with the EX3 would have to then be software downconverted. For the sake of time, shooting SD with the S270 saves that time, and gives you the Compact Flash/tape options as well.

Only other option may be a secondhand DSR500 for now?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
My first thought was the EX3 - 1/2" chips, and full 2Mp chips, whereas the S270 has 1Mp chips. Also, the SxS cards directly plug into modern laptops.

But I understand that currently much of your work is SD, and anything done with the EX3 would have to then be software downconverted. For the sake of time, shooting SD with the S270 saves that time, and gives you the Compact Flash/tape options as well.

Only other option may be a secondhand DSR500 for now?
So how much time approximately does it take to convert those HD files? Would it add a lot of time into my work flow?

All of my work at the moment is indeed SD and no one has ever complained about the pictures from my 570.

Could I not capture via firewire out of the EX3 like I do with the 570 now?

Could I attach my firestore to the EX-3's firewire port and use the SD files from the Firestore?

The S270 is probably a more convenient choice and more useful for my needs at the moment, but the pictures so much better out of the EX-3.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 05:54 AM   #4
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I just found this in the EX-3 brochure....

"The PDZK-P1 XDCAM Transfer is plug-in software for Apple
Final Cut Pro nonlinear editing systems that provides support
for MP4 files recorded by XDCAM EX systems. With this
software installed on a Macintosh computer, the XDCAM EX
products or SxS PRO memory card can be mounted on Mac
Finder directly, and users can seamlessly import and edit
recorded material."

I use a Macbook, so does this take the issue away of extra time?

Does this mean I import files directly into FCP, edit, compress to H.264 (or other format) and then transfer?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 06:09 AM   #5
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Oh No, don't tell me you broke your 570, Dave ? I'd probably go for the S270.
I have a Z1 and still prefer a shoulder camera for stability.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Cleverly View Post
So how much time approximately does it take to convert those HD files? Would it add a lot of time into my work flow?

All of my work at the moment is indeed SD and no one has ever complained about the pictures from my 570.
I'm afraid yes, it would add extra time to the workflow. The reference you found relates to the importation of the files into the NLE, next stage is the actual editing, then downconversion to SD, then compression ready for FTP. The first two and the last you obviously already have - the third is the extra step.

I'm not surprised there have been no complaints about your 570 - it's probably "the" camera for such as news etc at the moment - if such exists - and hence my suggestion about seeing if you can source a secondhand one.

The problem with originating HD for an SD output is that apart from the extra time, the downconversion is far from easy to do well unless you spend a lot of money on a broadcast hardware box. The fine detail tends to get converted into aliases in the process, which can do nasty things with compression systems. The HD output of an EX3 may look sharper than a DSR570s output, but once downconverted to SD and compressed may well be worse than the 570 after the compression.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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I would have to agree.

I don't have any HD cameras yet, but doesn't physics still apply?

Going from 2/3" to 1/3" for an SD result can't be considered equal can it?

Are the new 1/3" chip camera that good to improve upon a 2/3" chip workhorse?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #8
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And this camera, for the meantime, would need to be a simple workhorse dealing mainly with news with fast turnarounds on the road.

To me, the 270 would be ideal except for those blasted 1/3" chips.....

Just out of interest....could I capture directly from the EX-3 into the laptop via the firewire cable in realtime (straight into Final Cut as a DV file) like I do now with the 570? Or does the DV link only output HD with no down conversion?

That would solve the work-flow problem for the time being if it did....

Last edited by David Cleverly; September 18th, 2008 at 05:30 PM.
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