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Old November 7th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #1
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EX-1/3 or Panasonic AG-HPX171E?

Hello EX People

Just one simple question, what should I buy the Sony EX-1/EX-3 or Panasonic AG-HPX171E.

Is the Sony EX a better camera, and what's the different between them (DVCPRO HD, and Full HD)?

Best Regards
Mikael
Sweden
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Old November 7th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #2
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Depends on your point of view. DVCPRO HD certainly is HD. The Panasonic Varicams have been the mainstay of HD Natural history for many years, producing beautiful images.

However if you compare full res 1920x1080 and 1280x720 on a big screen then the 720 looks soft.

My vote would also go to the EX3 as it is full raster 1920x1080 and has an excellent VF and interchangeable lenses. The EX half inch sensors give a shallower DoF and larger sensors help keep sensitivity up and noise down. The use of a long GOP codec means you can get much more material per Gb on a card and with card prices the way they are that has to be a serious consideration.

If you budget is tight then the EX1 might be better for you.

Ask the same question in the Panasonic forum and you might get a different answer!
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Old November 7th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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to me there is no substitute for the picture quality,
plus EX has better low light, I have EX for a bit less than a year, and I still can't get used to amazing picture in different light conditions and different profile settings;
and now with the kensington adapter it's even better deal than before.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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Don't forget there are many DVCPRO HD cameras. Some do a lot better than the 540TVL the HPX does. Just trying to a least be fair to DVCPRO HD as a format.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #5
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choices ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael Bergstrom View Post
Hello EX People

Just one simple question, what should I buy the Sony EX-1/EX-3 or Panasonic AG-HPX171E.

Is the Sony EX a better camera, and what's the different between them (DVCPRO HD, and Full HD)?

Best Regards
Mikael
Sweden
My take on your question. Both cameras produce beautiful pictures. The 171/170 has a wobble problem on the lens which means you may not be able to put anything on the front of the lens or any kind of shake could produce lens movement. If you are going to attempt to do broadcast level work the 170 may not be exceptable but if you are doing DVD productions ~ that should work fine. It's also, I hear (don't have one but have other Panny cameras) easier to get a look out of the box.
In the end however, the EX1/3 can produce image quality exceptable for both broadcast (full raster) and damn near anything else (especially if you use nanno/flash at 4.2.2). So, it's really a question of investing in a camera that will allow you long term use in case your work expands into broadcast level work (assuming you are not there, of course ~ my bad if so) and does impress clients on a shoot as in (EX3 at least) looks more professional. That's a silly reason to choose a camera, so, I put matte boxes on the front of smaller cams to jack-up the pro look.
Panny does produces some lovely images. I love their cams but I've gone over to the dark-side and picked up the EX3 because it's not going to be obsolete in a year or two and because of the image quality. For the price point ! that just can't be beat.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #6
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i have to say, now that I have my camera setup correctly and focus fixed, image quality
is astonishing, and memory is a no brainer now with the SxS subsitute, you can shoot
for cheap! the rolling shutter still sucks for photo flashes.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #7
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Hi

I just purchased an EX3.

For me it was the "Full Raster" issue that swayed my decision.

The other thing for me was the issue of CCD's v CMOS sensors. You should look into the some of the known issues of CMOS sensors before you make a decision. Correct me if I'm wrong, I think the Panny's are CCD.

Eg: 1) Rolling shutter (CMOS) vs Global shutter (CCD), there are issues re, strobe lighting
and camera flash for the EX3

2) There has been some discussion of "jellocam" and "skew" images, apparently
EX3's don't cope with fast panning, having said that there are lots of posts stating
that this isn't an issue at all

Just do some searches here or google some of the words I've high lighted and you will find a multitude of discussion on all these issues.

In the end it's a personal thing, unless you have unlimited budget.

Good Luck, my EX3 is amazing!

Michael
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Old November 7th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #8
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here is a recent video Idid with the EX1, you can see the rolling shutter issue clearly with the strobing lights

Halloween Party cut2 on Vimeo
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Old November 7th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #9
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The only downside to the EX-1 is that it has a CMOS shutter which can mean weird half exposures under strobes or flashbulbs. If you do alot of event shooting this should be a serious consideration
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Old November 8th, 2008, 01:47 AM   #10
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Mikael, what kind of shooting do you do? for some people the Ex series is perfect, for others, the Panasonic range is best.

I just spent the day at a V8 race track, shooting lots of cars going fast around a track, for very fast turn around SD broadcast. Would i shoot that on an Ex camera? no way. HD only, CMOS rolling shutter. DVCPRO50 onto p2 cards. Easy.

But then some days, i shoot 30 second promo's where i have full control over the environment, and time in post production to get a very good down-convert, i'd definitely rent an Ex camera for that.. I am currently considering adding an EX1 to my kit.

There are a lot of misinformed people around who think the 'Full HD' tag means everything.. it doesn't. A full raster camera is great, but its not everything.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 02:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael Bergstrom View Post
Just one simple question, what should I buy the Sony EX-1/EX-3 or Panasonic AG-HPX171E.
I'm doing exactly these sorts of comparisons myself at the moment, also including the Sony Z7 and the Panasonic HMC151.

They all have their pros and cons, but I've come to the conclusion that the one I can least make a valid case for is the 171. The Z7 has the advantage of still being compatible with the SD/tape world (whilst offering HD and solid state), the HMC151 is undoubtably the cheapest (same basic front end as the 171, but vastly cheaper recording), and the EX seems to be top of the tree for quality, with other benefits such as true manual lens, good viewfinding etc.

I can see a case for the 171 as B camera to a 2/3" P2 camera, maybe, or if you're heavily invested in a P2 workflow, but I don't think it makes sense if you're talking of a isolated purchase. That's especially true now it's been shown that the Ex can use SDHC cards as well as SxS.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 03:39 AM   #12
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I think the cheap media (Transcend/Sandisk/Kensington combo) is the clincher. the days of media costing silly money are over. The flash and strobe shots don't seem to worry the clients - ie they don't spot them as a problem. I am not technical but subjectively the EX1 35mbit pictures blow everything else away for the price point.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #13
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just trying out the 171 at the moment. i quite like it. much better than the hvx200
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Old November 8th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #14
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If money is an issue and you are willing to go the SDHC card route with the EX, memory alone makes the EX cheaper in the long run if you simply buy memory in terms of how much time you get out of a card (unless of course you only got about 32-40 gb of P2 memory).

i.e. an 8 gb P2 card records significantly less time at full quality than 8 gb SxS card.

Last edited by Michael Kraus; November 8th, 2008 at 05:39 PM. Reason: math correction :)
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Old November 8th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Bloom View Post
just trying out the 171 at the moment. i quite like it. much better than the hvx200
Phil, in your opinion, how does the noise levels compare to the EX1?
I've heard mixed reviews on this. Barry has been performing some tests and believes it's as good if not better then the HVX200A.

My understanding is the resolution is the same as the HVX200. The real question is how does it look with artificial enhancement shut off.

The EX1/EX3 still holds an impressive image without the artificial enhancement (detail) on. It does not go to soft and displays great detail.

Also, have you checked out the results coming off of the XDR 100mbps long-GOP? Absolutely unreal under fast high detail motion. Acually even looking at non moving camera shots the image has better color, lower noise, and NO visible macroblocks hanging near the blacks. Even when you blow the image up it looks good.. Simply amazing.
I imagine the HPX170 would fair well hooked up to this device.
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