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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old October 2nd, 2009, 01:48 PM   #1
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Sony camera between EX and PDW-700

I have a long-term client who asked this question to me today. He said why don’t I shoot with the PDW-700? I said the upfront cost is beyond me at this time but it is square in my sights. Then he asked the question: Do the insider people think Sony will announce a new camera in the spring between the EX3 and the PDW-700? With such a big gap in price I was wondering if this might happen.

I have had the chance to test the PDW-700 and think it is an excellent camera and would buy it today if the cash was there. But I have made the mistake in the past spending too much on gear and strapping my business and besides the EX1 with the Nano is offering great pictures at this time.

Just looking for some educated input.

Thanks
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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Would you not say that the F355 is halfway between the EX3 and PDW700?
Other than that I'd say that there can't be much more improvement in the EX3 except using CCDs instead of CMOS - that seems to be the only way to get a 2/3" chip, and that's the 700.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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Hi Steve I thought I would get your educated opinion.

Well I agree the F355 is between on price but not picture quality.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 02:25 PM   #4
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I think you are correct Paul. I don't think there is much doubt that the EX produces better pictures than the F355 etc. I do prefer the disc workflow over the SxS workflow.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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Hi Steve I thought I would get your educated opinion.

Well I agree the F355 is between on price but not picture quality.
Thanks for the compliment! I'd express a personal opinion though that when shooting fast action the picture on the 355 would be better 'cos it's got CCDs and so no skew.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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I have both an EX1 and Sony f350 and allways grab the 350 for all my shooting.
I think the 350 with a good lens attached produces a nice image.

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Old October 2nd, 2009, 05:35 PM   #7
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I also own those 3 cams, EX1, F350 and F800 and I very much agree, the F350/355 performs very well. Also, the ergonomics and lens controls of the F350/355 are quite better and precise than on the EX1. I can reframe a shot and focus on the F350 much quicker.

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Old October 3rd, 2009, 12:44 AM   #8
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I love my F335, and I definitely think that this middle part of the XDCAM line is where Sony's next product would probably be, since the 700/800 and EX line are both newer than the F3xx line.

I'm hoping they can come up with some cool improvements to it for next NAB SHOW. Shockless gain like the 700/800 has would be a nice and simple new feature I'd love to see.

It's the ergonomics and optical disc workflow that I like best about my F335. And though I love my quality, I am envious of the EX line having full raster HD when I paid more and don't. Maybe it's time for the F3xx line to go CMOS, or SxS cards, or both. As long as they don't lose the full size ergonomics and four channels of audio.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 05:48 AM   #9
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Thanks for the comments and nice to hear from F3xx owners.

I am pretty happy with the EX1 footage using the Convergent Designs Nano at 100Mbps but feel the glass holds me back at times. Playing with shutter speeds I have been able to produce some very nice motion footage. I could go with the EX3 with some nice glass but the problem is I have lost out on a few high end clients not having a 700. Not sure if the client was correct shutting the door on the EX w/Nano but that has been the case. Then I read comments from Alister who shoots with both the EX1 and 700 and can cut between with great results. Still the client rules when it comes to long term high end work.

80% of my client base loves the footage I shoot and they keep coming back, but I am always looking to upgrade the footage and push into the high end client base.

As for the S&S compared to the disk. It would be nice to put the disk on the shelf and run with the footage off the Nano.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 07:28 AM   #10
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but feel the glass holds me back at times.
From what I've seen the lens on the EX1/3 is actually very good. It held its own in tests with Nikon 55 micro and 105 f2.5, which are 2 of the very best, sharpest Nikkors ever made.
I had an F355 for about 2 months and I really liked it too, just fell under the BBC specs so got a PDW700 instead. Only problem with the 700 was getting slomo from it was such a pain, that's why I got a Varicam, otherwise it had a lot of good points.
A hire company I was in the other day said they'd had a couple of problems with the laser disc unit in the 700 that put them off it, anyone else having problems?
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 09:01 AM   #11
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Steve glad to hear you think the glass on the EX1 is that high a quality.

Your point with the F355 and BBC is right in line with my point on the EX series.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 09:16 AM   #12
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Your point with the F355 and BBC is right in line with my point on the EX series.
This is where the Nanoflash seems to really get interesting - BBC spec requires 1/2" or larger sensor so that's OK, and also a 50 mb/s or higher codec, so tick that too (and then some!) with the Nano.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 09:27 AM   #13
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Hum that is very interesting.

So I understand you correctly BBC will accept the EX1 & EX3 with C-D Nano set to 50Mbps long GOP or higher?
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 09:39 AM   #14
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In terms of technical spec yes. Whether they like the CF card recording and the fact that it's still a little untried is another thing. You'd have to talk to your producer/commissioner about it and it'd be different for each project. If you were supplying footage I imagine it'd be fine.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:03 AM   #15
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Thank you Steve always appreciated.
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