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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old August 2nd, 2007, 05:36 PM   #1
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XDcamEX vs JVC GY HD250

Big can of worms.
I too do lots of hand held work and can't hold a DVX100, Z1U, etc. steady for very long without some form of support. I never used to have problems like that with my BetaCam or DV500. Frankly, the extra weight was a small price to pay for a steady shot.
I like the specs on the XDcamEX very much but wonder how the image will stack up next to the HD250. The firestore of course is an option for the JVC vs cards on the XDcamEX. The solid state of the XDcamEX does seem to be the way of the future. I'm still at a loss however about the JVC 720P 20mbs vs 1080i 25mbs/ 35mbs Sony aside. I guess the proof will be when a side by side shoot out is possible.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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I too do lots of hand held work and can't hold a DVX100, Z1U, etc. steady for very long without some form of support. I never used to have problems like that with my BetaCam or DV500. Frankly, the extra weight was a small price to pay for a steady shot.

Its called practice, and yes, you CAN get stable, if not more superior camera motion results with smaller cameras. In fact, i sold of my DSR570 because of the bulk, and I've never looked back. Yes I miss the big imager and the wow factor of the camera, but for the majority of my work (weddings) I think its the best decision ive made. faster compositions, unrestricted movement due to weight, battery power, tape price.... there are many reasons why smaller units are superior to ENG type cameras (and of course vice versa)

I like the specs on the XDcamEX very much but wonder how the image will stack up next to the HD250.

IMO it will rule over anything in this price range.. but thats judging from what I've seen of the codec already running off 1/2 imagers... (F350) considering the imager size, and codecs, to me its a not a contest, its an obvious difference)

The Firestore of course is an option for the JVC vs cards on the XDcamEX.

The solid state of the XDcamEX does seem to be the way of the future. I'm still at a loss however about the JVC 720P 20mbs vs 1080i 25mbs/ 35mbs Sony aside.

The difference is that the JVC is using short GOP structure, vs MPG2 long GOP structure of XDCam. motion differential isnt all that bad though considering the bitrates in question. There's also the issue of XDCam uncompressed audio.. and for me THAT is one of the biggest issues (I also do a lot of concerts so audio isn't compromised

I guess the proof will be when a side by side shoot out is possible. Don't forget the XDCam is also about one year younger than then the JVC.. in turn, technologies evolve...
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 12:35 AM   #3
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I seem to recall seeing on a JVC leaflet that solid state was in their planning "for the future" - whenever that may be, and whatever form it will take. I agree that the form factor of the JVC series is far better than the HVX200 and the Z1 etc, and would love to see a camera like the 250 with a SxS or CF slot built in, ideally in addition to the tape deck. (But maybe with the option for higher bitrate recording?)
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Old October 6th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #4
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Comparision EX v/s Gy 200 series

Hello guys this is my first messege after months off reading, searching and investigating in the forum. I need a little help in my future camera choice. I ended in this thread because one off my choices is the Jvc Gy-201E (by the way Im chilean but I live in sweden), now after all the publicity and discution in the forum, the another choice is the Sony EX. I know that the comparison between them is only theoretic but I will read some opinions, the image quality comparison, lens, work in NLE system, etc. (I know is all in theory).
If it´s important I need the camera for diverse works like shortfilms, documetaries, maybe publicity, etc.
Help me with my choice.

Greetings to all of you in the forum, and sorry for my english!!
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Old October 6th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #5
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There is world of difference in these cameras.

EX:
Fixed lens
1/2 in. chips
full 1080 hd chips
solid state media
consumer form factor batteries
Small form factor

JVC:
Upgradable lens
1/3 in. chips
720 HD only
HDV Tape based
Pro batteries available
Shoulder mount

But the question is what is your style and what do you feel comfortable with.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #6
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I would add my experience to this; I have owned the JVC HD100 and I also owned in the past (or worked with) a number of Sony cameras from prosumer to professional (VX3, VX1000, DSR-500, Z1U, F900, etc.). Based on my personal experience, I would state the following (in addition to what has been said already):

SONY EX (either we already know or I assume as very likely):
-'consumer-style batteries' but they last a long time and they are light
-uncompressed audio
-1080p/1080i/720p at various frame rates
-file-based, no moving parts = fewer problems
-great LCD (even in daylight)
-35 mbs VBR sounds like a very good codec
-built-in workflow via XDCAM disks
-if other Sony cameras are any indication, the EX should be robust and reliable

JVC:
-very unreliable, many issues from SSE to TC (check the boards)
-plastic feel, easy damage to the VF, LCD and other parts
-better form factor - shoulder mount
-as Chris mentioned, only 720p
-'pro batteries' but they don't necessary last longer than the 'consumer-style' Sony variety and are heavy
-tape-based, moving parts = problems (TC, dropouts, tape selections - yes, there are endless threads on 'which tape' to use with the JVC as it is very finicky)
-poor LCD and VF (really bad colour rendition and LCD completely useless in daylight)
-25 mbs and compressed audio
-to this day somewhat limited NLE support

The JVC has an interchangeable lens but to get a really good glass one has to spend another $8-10k. The stock lens isn't very wide at all and it exhibits a lot of CA. And there aren't that many lenses to chose from anyway. If I am not mistaken, the EX1 has a function to minimize CA through its internal circuitry.

I personally think that the SONY is a far better choice and if it proves to be reliable then it will beat the JVC in many respects.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #7
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I'd also add that there's many ways to turn a handheld camera into a shoulder mount and run it off brick batteries. I've yet to see anyway to go the other way.
Add rods, matte box, FF, shoulder mount extension out the back and hang a brick battery out there to power the camera and a decent on camera light and I think the most fickle client will think you're a pro.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 12:02 AM   #8
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If you want to shoot 50p or 60p then the JVC has a GOP pretty darn close or equal to that of the mpeg2 from the EX1.

18mbits/s for 60p 12 frame GOP (only the lower framerates use the 6 frame GOP)
35mbits/s for 60p 12 or 15 frame GOP or somewhere in between.
Think of this as the difference between a DVD at 4.5mbits and one at 9mbits.
The Sony may also use different GOP lengths for 720p recording. I don't think anybody knows yet exactly how the GOP structure will be for 720p so we will have to wait but for 60p the playing field should be pretty even.

It doesn't take much to see that the EX1 will offer 720p mpeg2 encoding at double the bitrate of the JVC 250.

If 720p is what you want then the EX1 should blow away th JVC cameras just with the optics, chip size, native resoltuion and bitrate of the codec. About the only thing you could make better on the JVC is the optics but to get a new higher quality lens for the JVC you are looking to spend almost as much as the cost for a whole EX1.

The EX1 then takes it one step further by allowing you to shoot 1080i or 1080p if you ever need to. This is something you just cannot do at all with the JVC.

I would test out the EX1 on some type of support system to see how you like it.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for the answers! Chris I need the camera for diverse works like shortfilms, documetaries, maybe publicity, etc. and I like the shoulder mount ergonomics, but I kan use a handycam form factor anyway.

A few more questions, what about the Cmos sensors v/s the Ccdīs in terms of image quality? any diference?

How can i solve the issue that you canīt transfer the higher quality from the Ex through firewire cable? Itīs that true? If I donīt have the expresscard reader, have I others options to transfer all the images to the pc and work for example with APPcs3 or avid express?
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Old October 7th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #10
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I also like the handycam form factor for certain things, but not for others. As you can see from the posts after mine all of these things are personal preference. In the end which is going to give you a usable image?

Both of them. But usable for what. I personally don't want to be tied to a 720HD
image I would rather have full HD. But Full HD doesn't mean anything if you are uprezzing chips, because you can do that in post.

I love the EX and everything it is on paper. I already have one ordered. But what it will be when it gets out in the wild still remains to be seen.

As far as CMOS vs. CCD that argument is the same as the camera argument. They both produce great images and have strengths and weakness. In a few years there will be no argument it seems because all of the camera manufactures are heading for CMOS or thus it appears.

I believe you can transfer the file information over firewire but not as a video stream. So it is like a removable hard drive not a DV camera. But there are card readers right now for that memory stick form factor, that will get faster transfer speed. It is just a beefed up express card manufactured by Sandisk.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 09:45 PM   #11
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ok, the mention of an "upgradable" lens was made, but in al honesty, how many lenses with this size (native mount) has fujinon actually made?
Lets face it.. take a look at the XL2 and XLh1... of the EF lens options available, not many people would even consider changing the lens, let alone actually invest in higher grade or prime lenses.

All this talk about lenses etc and over 95% of users stick with the stock unit.. totally defeats the purpose
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Old October 8th, 2007, 12:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson View Post
All this talk about lenses etc and over 95% of users stick with the stock unit.. totally defeats the purpose
I am not arguing for the JVC. But B&H offers three different stock Fujinon lenses to package with this camera. These are broadcast lenses not hampered by the limitations of adapting a 35 mm still lens to an application it wasn't designed for. No disrespect to Canon. They make some of the finest video lens out there. Just not for the XLH1.

I agree that the original lens for the HD100 series was inadequate. Most are that come in a package. Which is why past a certain price point camera bodies don't come with a lens. You have to buy it separate.

The original HD100 series batteries were also woefully underpowered. Lasting only 30 to 40 min. But they offered a work around kit for that with larger, longer lasting, IDX and AB batteries.

I hope the EX batteries do better. But the kind of juice required to power a camera lens combo like this is considerable. I still want one though.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 08:16 AM   #13
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Sometimes I wonder...

How many people actually know that 720p50 is far superior to 1080i50? Or how many even know that 1080i is NOT full HD? And yet - it is just a matter of the easiest mathematics:

50 x 1280 x 720 pps or 50 x 1440 x 540 pps is kinda obvious. (and that's not even taking into account the interlaced filter you need to keep the image from being jittery)

Not to mention all HD screens nowadays are progressive, so you can not watch 1080i optimally.

choosing 1080i and 720p might be difficult, but not as an aquisition format: you can aquire 720p and make perfect slow motions and whatever you want to do and then convert it to 1080i if a client asks for 1080i. If you would choose 1080i as an aquisition format, you can't make any serious slow motions (they'll have almost half the resolution and just half the temporal definition) or any other effect that uses deinterlacing. Furthermore, you cannot supply a client with seriously good looking 720p. Pretty simple if you ask me. But some people will be holding on to 1080i, and as a mathematician and image processing expert, I can only say: I suppose they're let by the fact that 1080 sounds larger then 720 ... ?

Anyhow. That's not even taking into account that the MPEG2 compression scheme has no higher order for interlaced images, thus losing efficiency in 1080i. 1080i in MPEG2 at 35 Mbps can't be compressed better then 720p at MPEG2 at 20 Mbps. I'm not especially promoting JVC here (although I know they have the better product here), but I cannot agree to Sony for what they are doing: They are making XDCAM look like it is a higher end format, but any scientist (as I am) know they are marketing HDV on a different format: it is also 420 - 18 and 25 Mbps is HDV. 35 Mbps is just SLIGHTLY superior standard Z1 HDV. It is obviously all long GOP. XDCAM HD is HDV in 18 and 25 Mbps mode and it is just very slightly better in 35 Mbps, while retaining all disadvantages for it not to be a high end format: long GOP mpeg2, interlaced, just 35Mbps in interlaced, 4:2:0, ....

Quality of the camera and lens, we'll have to see. If the EX wanders onto my desk, and I want to get the best out of it, I'm recording in 720p. Needless to say - that's what I do with the Panasonic HPX-500 that I have as well and with the JVC GY-HD201 (athough, there I have no choice).
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Old November 1st, 2007, 08:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson View Post
ok, the mention of an "upgradable" lens was made, but in al honesty, how many lenses with this size (native mount) has fujinon actually made?
Lets face it.. take a look at the XL2 and XLh1... of the EF lens options available, not many people would even consider changing the lens, let alone actually invest in higher grade or prime lenses.

All this talk about lenses etc and over 95% of users stick with the stock unit.. totally defeats the purpose

Well, not 95% but a lot, indeed. And I think that's probably because of the price point of the HD100/HD200. The fuyinon 16x5.5 isn't all that bad, but the problem is you need to pay in between 8.500 euro and 12.800 euro for a lens that's better. And for some people shopping at this camera price point, that's too much. That said, we have sold a few 13x lenses, but more because of the wide angle possibility, rather then the improved quality (the wide angle is more important to broadcasters).
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Old November 1st, 2007, 08:55 AM   #15
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Werner,

The EX1 shoots 1080p as well. While it doesn't shoot p50/p60 in that mode (it does shoot 720p60), it does shoot 1080p30, 1080p25, 1080p24. Also the EX1, in 35mbps, records FULL 1920x1080 from chips of the same size, even though other XDCAM HD cameras only record 1440x1080.

35mbps is more that "slightly" better than 25mbps. 25mbps is CBR and 35mbps is VBR. Fast moving images are allocated more bits making the codec MUCH HARDER TO BREAK than HDV.

True it's 4:2:0, to card, but as a "studio" camera it's uncompressed 4:2:2 (both SD and HD) out of HD-SDI before the MPEG2 codec touches it.

If you're talking about XDCAM HD in general, Sony will have a XDCAM MPEG2 4:2:2 50mbps format out soon in the highest end XDCAM HD.

You can ask people using the F355 if they're happy with the image and workflow. It works well.

I'd like to shoot 720p60 especially when I'm shooting fast action or material that may lend itself to slo-mo. I like having the option of shooting 1080p30 or 1080p24 though.
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