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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 8th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #1
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If only I had more time...

I'm shooting a feature that starts principal photography on October 20th. I'm really interested in the EX (and my other choice is the Pany HVX200) but there are too many variables I have to worry about:

PROS
1. 1/2" sensors (unknow what type)
2. Cheaper SxS cards; larger recording capacity
3. Possibly compatible with my existing Sony batteries


CONS
1. Release date.
2. ACTUAL release date (when I can get it in my hands).
3. Compatibility with NLE's
4. Bugs
5. Using an untested camera with 35mm adapters
6. Reliability
7. HD Component monitoring ability (HD-SDI as of know is all that's known)
8. Many features unkown

I was really hoping for more info in July and I know IBC is coming in a month. I think I'll wait to hear the news, but it looks more like I'll be getting the HVX200.

I know you should always work with what you can afford and what is already available as opposed to always waiting for the next best thing, but the camera specs (1/2" sensors for one) sounds like it's at least worth a one month wait.

Of course using an already existing camera has its big advantage since there are more answers available when things don't go right.

I do think the EX is a promising camera, but too much is at stake so I guess it's better to be 'safe than sorry'.

Just thinking out loud...

Todd
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #2
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Okay, release dates. Don't know the exact date, but the Sony website says that the camera will be released in October. You can probably take that to mean the first half of that month.

Full public specs at IBC. Only 3 or so weeks away.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:56 AM   #3
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Thanks Simon,

I'm definitely waiting until IBC to make any purchasing decisions. If it is released in the first half of October it is still possible I'll be able to buy one for the feature (of course everything will be trial and error when it comes to setup but I'd also would purchased your upcoming XDCAM EX dvd so it would help out a lot).

Of course I'd also be cutting it REEEAAALLLY close so any setback or delay would hurt me.
Todd
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Old August 9th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #4
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I certainly don't want to sound pessimistic but based on the info leaking out from Sony I think a launch in October is unlikely.

Based on the launch of the V1 that is...

My thoughts are that before the V1 was available through retail channels it was made available to professionals in the industry and a good deal of info was made available ahead of the official release. This helped me make my decision for sure.

What I don't see surrounding the EX is the same info coming out from people using the camera now.. All the info here is based on seeing a non working or limited functionality demo somewhere or worse - speculation.

SO... Either everyone that has been given the advance beta units has signed a NDA and is honoring it to the hilt or the cameras aren't yet complete. I would like to be wrong but I suspect the latter is true and the cameras won't be in the publics' hands in October or even this year.

Chris
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Old August 9th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #5
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Yeah Chris,

I remember the same thing about the V1 (I ordered mine when it was first announced, but didn't get it until the middle of Dec.). I'm not being very optomistic as well because I can't change my shooting date (I need the fall foliage). I really can't afford to rent an XDCAM either. Also I really am worried if I'd have enough time to play around with it even if it was released in Oct.

It seems I'm going with the HVX200 (... though I'll still wait until after IBC just in case...).
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #6
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I hate to sound a bit antagonistic here, but does the camera really matter? This new Sony camera is not gonna be like night and day between itself and an HVX200. Sure, the Sony cam might be better, but I doubt it's gonna make the HVX200 look like a VHS cam. I think you're better off with something that is tried and true, vs. something that is absolutely new. It is not uncommon for the first batch of new cameras to have all sorts of bugs in them.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Gipson View Post
I hate to sound a bit antagonistic here, but does the camera really matter? This new Sony camera is not gonna be like night and day between itself and an HVX200. Sure, the Sony cam might be better, but I doubt it's gonna make the HVX200 look like a VHS cam. I think you're better off with something that is tried and true, vs. something that is absolutely new. It is not uncommon for the first batch of new cameras to have all sorts of bugs in them.
Exactly how I'm feeling now. If I run into problems, with the EX I'd have no answers. The HVX has been through the run so if anything arises I'd at least have something to turn to for answers. The only reason I was looking at the Sony is the price to memory equation (but then again, if the Sony comes in at $6000-$8000 then the difference is less; HVX plus 2 16gb cards <$7000). I still like looking at the potential of the EX but I can't afford to be the first on the block with a new toy that may still need to have the bugs flushed out (don't get me wrong, I love Sony).
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
but I doubt it's gonna make the HVX200 look like a VHS cam. I think you're better off with something that is tried and true, vs. something that is absolutely new.
It isn't so much about picture quality, but about tools. The manual lens on the EX is a dead cert reason why many are looking at it, followed by the 1/2" chips.

The XDCAM workflow and format is tried and tested. What remains to be seen is whether the camera will use the same format (as in resolution, not MXF wrapper) as the full size XDCAM cameras, or whether it will use a new one.

My bets are on it using exactly the same format as the current XDCAM HD cameras for a number of reasons.

1) It would automatically be compatible with every single XDCAM compatible NLE.

2) Unless it used the same format as the current XDCAM HD cameras it will not be possible to archive to XDCAM discs via the U1 drive. Because I know that archiving to XDCAM discs is the aim of Sony for the EX it is impossible to assume otherwise.

Won't be long until all is clear.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
My bets are on it using exactly the same format as the current XDCAM HD cameras for a number of reasons.

1) It would automatically be compatible with every single XDCAM compatible NLE.

2) Unless it used the same format as the current XDCAM HD cameras it will not be possible to archive to XDCAM discs via the U1 drive. Because I know that archiving to XDCAM discs is the aim of Sony for the EX it is impossible to assume otherwise.

Won't be long until all is clear.
I have been saying the same thing. Compatibility with existing XDCAM HD is paramount. Maybe some differences on the image gathering side (and the addition of 720P), but what comes out the spigot needs to be compatible with the existing format.

As for 'won't be long', they are already behind. We were supposed to get firm pricing and specs in July. My contacts with Sony say it's a matter of waiting for Japan to give permission to speak.

-gb-
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #10
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HVX vs EX

The reason I did not buy a Panny and am waiting for the EX is the recording time and the card cost. There is a huge difference there. Once you get into the P2 cards you are commited to those cards. I would rent and wait for the EX.

IMO

MRW
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Williams View Post
The reason I did not buy a Panny and am waiting for the EX is the recording time and the card cost. There is a huge difference there. Once you get into the P2 cards you are commited to those cards. I would rent and wait for the EX.

IMO

MRW
I thought about renting too, but the cost to rent for an 18 day shoot is about the same as buying the HVX200. Ironically, I'll probably sell the HVX200 once I've made sure all my pick-up shots and inserts are done (once I'm SURE I don't need it shot anything else).

I thought about using my V1U (but concerns about FCS supporting it in 24p plus tape/HD acquisition concerned the other parties involved. I really wish I wasn't shooting until next spring, because I think the EX will be a great camera (the the HVX footage can be stunning).
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Old August 10th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #12
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I see

How about a low time HVX from the 'bay' then sell that sucker when you no longer need it.

I just rember a guy I shot for had one and literally said he hated the P2 card format because of the limited time on the cards. I salivated at it for a while just thinking about how fast it should up load to a hard drive.

The used option would probably be best as the hit on depreciation would be taken and you could probably sell it for the same amount as you paid a month later.

Break a leg!! :)

Mike
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Old August 10th, 2007, 10:37 PM   #13
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Thanks Mike.

I am looking on ebay all the time so you never know...

Though I did find a good price on a new HVX (not grey market) so I have to give it some thought.

Peace.

Todd
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